Read about Nik Software’s official response and provide feedback and feature requests to be forwarded to the developers. A call to arms, part 2.
In one of my recent blog posts, I reported that according to a support staff member the future of Silver Efex Pro was uncertain. This blog post caused quite a few people to speak up and express how disappointed they would be if the program was discontinued. Now, an official response reached me via the Google+ network.
Hello Christian, we appreciate the love for Silver Efex Pro!
We also want to apologize, as it seems there was a misunderstanding. The support agent you spoke with was not speaking on behalf of the development team when she mentioned the uncertainty of a Silver Efex Pro update, she only meant to reiterate that we don’t have any updates on upcoming updates/versions of Silver Efex Pro as we generally don’t provide information until a release date.
We are always very happy to receive such support from photographers, as it is photographers like you that keep us motivated!
While my initial reaction was a feeling of relief, the more often I read this statement, the more striking it becomes to me how little it actually says. They sort of deny everything their support team member said without actually making an alternative statement. Right now it is as if they had not responded at all.
Now, I respect the company’s information policy and this blog post is not about urging them to change it. I’d just like to give them a little more motivation. So here is my extensive list of feature requests for Silver Efex Pro 3 which may or may not be released and nobody knows when and if this is going to happen at all.
Feature requests for Silver Efex Pro 3
Control Point Enhancements
Control Points are great, but they are only the beginning. The Nik wizards have already shown us what else can be done in terms of a more powerful UI in Analog Efex Pro 2. I’d like to see:
- Larger handles. They are really tiny and easy to miss on a 27″ iMac.
- More control. I would love to be able to selectively adjust brightness, contrast and structure on the highlights, mid tones and shadows using control points.
- Even more control. It would be great to be able to toggle the mask preview directly in the control point’s sliders.
- What about a slider that lets us control how aggressively SEP tries to detect and respect edges? Counteracting imprecise masks with restrictive control points is not only a hassle, it is imprecise, too.
- Did I already mention larger handles?
- SEP desperately needs a better user interface for preset management. People tend to use many of them. I tend to not use them because the UI just doesn’t work well for a large number of presets. We need folders or some other form of hierarchical management system.
- Please add an option to save control points in presets, too. Sometimes I create several versions of the same shot and then having the control points all in place would be really helpful.
Control Points are often great. I think of them as content aware masks on steroids. But sometimes they are a hassle, too, and just not precise enough. Try to create a mask along the straight lines of a tall building and you’ll know what I mean. A powerful brush tool could make some things much easier.
The Burn Edges tool should be replaced by a decent Gradient tool, just like in Lightroom. This could also be listed in the Control Points Enhancements section of this list. I’d love to be able to create a gradient and then apply all the adjustments of a Control Point to it.
Thanks to Charles Lupica for suggesting this one. Others have it, Silver Efex needs it. Analog Efex has selective focus features that go above and beyond almost anything on the marketplace. Just move them over to Silver Efex – done.
Halos are the arch enemy of every SEP user. They are ugly and very often they are inevitable. Nobody likes them, few can stand them. Please get rid of them.
I am no developer, I just take photos, so I don’t know whether these feature requests are realistic or technically possible at all. But as far as I am concerned, these are the quintessential requests for Silver Efex Pro 3. Do you disagree or do you have additional requests? Please let write them down in the comments. Let’s create the unified Silver Efex Pro 3 feature request page. I’ll gladly send it to the developers.