Google’s Nik Collection of Photo Plugins Now Free – PC Magazine

7 months ago Comments Off on Google’s Nik Collection of Photo Plugins Now Free – PC Magazine

If you’re an avid photo editor, you probably already have a pretty decent workflow for transforming so-so shots into lovely digital images. Those who want a little bit more of a helping hand, or just a few new tools in their bag of tricks, will welcome Google’s latest announcement. The company’s Nik Collection of plugins and apps is now completely free—a $150 discount from the collection’s normal price. And this isn’t just a time-sensitive deal. The tools will be free for all to download forevermore (and refunds will go out to those who already purchased the collection at any point in 2016).

“Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it,” reads Google’s announcement.

“The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.”

Though you can run the seven different plugins in the collection as standalone products, they tend to work better when you integrate them into an existing image editing program, like Adobe’s PhotoShop.

“(On Windows) You can make shortcuts to the individual .exe files on your desktop and then just drag stacks of images onto them,” suggested one Google+ user.

The collection includes Analog Efex Pro, for stylizing images with a more vintage look; Silver Efex Pro, for enhancing black-and-white shots; HDR Efex Pro, for fine-tuning your high-dynamic-range attempts; Dfine, which lets you reduce noise in your images while preserving as much detail as possible; Color Efex Pro, for color correction and retouching; Viveza, for altering parameters like brightness, contrast, saturation, and hue; and Sharpener Pro, which does exactly what its name implies.

While Google’s move is fairly altruistic, some users are now concerned that the company will no longer be issuing any updates to the collection. Now that it’s free, it’s possibly a lower priority for Google.

“That said, I hope Google continues developing the suite. There haven’t been many/any updates for quite some time, and I’m nervous that making it free (and cutting off the only method of revenue that they really have for the suite) is going to result in the suite getting even fewer updates and then eventually being depreciated, which would KILL me because I use the Nik collection regularly,” one Google+ user wrote.

We’ll update this article if we receive any clarification about Google’s intentions going forward.

Google’s Nik Collection of Photo Plugins Now Free – PC Magazine