Retouch like a Pro – Portrait Professional 15


ARetouch2We often see celebrity photographs with soft an  ‘perfect’ skin and wonder how they manage to get such dreamy complexion. But most often than not, behind every celebrity, there is a skilful retoucher who carefully fills the pores and masks the flaws on his/ her skin. Portrait Professional is one of the best dedicated photo retouching software available today. The Version 15 adds more capability to this already awesome product from Anthropics Technologies.

Key Features
PortraitPro is arguably one of the best and simple solutions for portrait retouching, and the version V15 includes a range of new features. The software allows you to improve any aspect of a portrait with the help of improved technology with scientific image processing. According to the company, Version 15 increases retouching efficiency and expands creative control, preserving natural looking results and ease of use.

New features include, among others, Makeup Controls, Wide Angle (Selfie) Lens Distortion Correction, Enhanced Child Mode, Advanced Skin Colouring Controls, Improved feature detection and Support for ultra high-resolution displays. Makeup controls have been refined to apply natural tones based on research into how real cosmetics work and it provides the most natural results with the help of simple sliders. The Wide Angle Lens Distortion  Correction feature is helpful in correcting distortion that is common in wide-angle lenses and smartphones. Advanced Skin Colouring Controls intelligently corrects for any lighting situation and gives a natural glow to the skin. Feature detection has been improved to make it more accurate and fast. The software now supports Apple Retina and High resolution PC displays.

 

This software has been designed with thousands of photos for reference so that it accurately detects and recognises facial features. The software has been made intelligent to identify and improve all aspects of the face. For example, if the face has a double chin, PortraitPro will recognize that, and automatically reduce it using the jaw slider. Portrait Pro also allows you to change the hair colour, smooth hair, brighten and re-colour eyes and enhance lips and teeth. Another new feature in the Version 15 is the ability to change the lighting of faces in photographs. In the make-up front, PortraitPro 15 allows you to enhance and touch up existing make-up or to add make-up from scratch. In the case of children’s photos, the new version has been improved to enhance child photos with better control. A simple slider interface with over 300 sliders along with an ‘intelligent’ touch up brush, which recognizes defects within its radius and removes only the defect, make the Portrait Pro very easy to use.

PortraitPro is available in Standard, Studio, and Studio Max versions. The Standard is a standalone version that offers all the control options but does not include the Photoshop plugin, batch mode or Raw file support. Th
Studio version is aimed at amateur and professional photographers. This can be run as stand-alone or as a Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture plugin. It also works directly with Raw files, is colour managed, and provides 48-bit colour support. Studio Max is the premier edition with all of the features of PortraitPro Studio along with a full batch mode to speed up the workflow.

Evaluation
We reviewed an earlier version of Portrait Professional a few years back, and it was quite difficult to get fine effects. But with V15, the software has become extremely user-friendly, allowing you to manage very fine details with precision. The software  guides you step-by-step and so you do not need any expertise to use it. The results look stunning and natural.

The software has sliders for almost every feature that you can think about, be it the lighting, eye-colour, make-up or hair colour. The hair colour option was a little tricky to use. The Photoshop plug-in provides you the flexibility of using layer masks to fine-tune the effects. This is quite useful if you need a non-destructive process for each stage of application.

The software license allows it to be installed only on one computer. If you reinstall the software on the same machine or another one, you need to reactivate the license by raising a support ticket. From our experience, the support system is quite fast.

Value for Money
Portrait Professional can be downloaded from www. portraitprofessional.com. The standard version is available for a special launch price of $39.95 (approx. Rs.2700) against a normal price of $79.90, the Portrait Pro Studio at a launch price of $59.95 (approx. Rs.4000) against a normal of $119.90 and Portrait Pro Studio Max at a launch price of $119.95 (approx. Rs.8100) while the normal price is $239.90. You can download a free trial version also. This is great value for money for such a professional level retouching software. |SP

ARetouch1

FINAL SCORE                                                                                                                     87%

Key Features                                                                                                                         18/20
Ease of Use                                                                                                                            16/20
Performance                                                                                                                         17/20
Value for Money                                                                                                                   18/20
Support                                                                                                                                  18/20

PLUS
• Simple slider controls
• Easy-to-use
• On-screen guide
• Photoshop plug-in
• Great value for money

MINUS
• Hair control needs some refinement

VERDICT
Portrait Pro 15 is a powerful portrait retouching software that provides a simple and  easy to use interface with sliders to apply effects with precision. And the most attractive part of this software is that in needs no previous experience to get along with. With the announced price and excellent customer service, it is certainly a Best Buy.

Sujith Gopinath