by: Mario Georgiou, December 2004, send
to the web site
III or faster CPU, 256MB RAM, 15MB free hard disk space,
Windows 98/NT/2000/ME/XP; Power Mac G3, G4 or G5, 256MB
RAM, 15MB free hard disk space, OS 9 or higher/OSX Native
(full version), US$79.00 (upgrade from v1.0)
users like plug-ins and AutoFX produces some of the best
plug-ins available. AutoFX programs also work as standalone
products allowing you to use them without either having
to own or load Photoshop. AutoEye is an automated enhancement
tool for improving your photos. The application works equally
well on scanned images and those captured with digital
cameras. It is aimed at the user who really doesn't want
to spend a lot of time tweaking images.
products have very distinct looking user interfaces and
while some may find this sort of graphical user interface
(GUI) not to their preference, it does perform very well
and is consistent throughout AutoFX's other products. The
operations in AutoEye are based on a patented process called
Intelligent Visual Image Technology (IVIT), and is designed
to carefully improve and enhance images. The enhancement
engine in AutoEye is very powerful and allows you to repair
and improve images using a number of controls. AutoEye
also does a fair job of restoring detail and color to your
Controls allow you to auto enhance your image using one
of four predefined strength settings. With these controls
you can remove color cast, increase detail, smooth visual
noise and remove moiré in your images. The adjustments
for these allow for some very nice effects to be applied
to your images as well as varying levels of enhancement.
Controls provide a range of adjustments and modifications
with which you can fine tune RGB values, hue, saturation,
brightness, contrast and tonal range.
Controls found in this product are also very nice, and
can be used to strengthen and intensify images to add a
little more punch. You can also blur or soften images and
add grain for that old world look. You can apply tonal
effects to create some very nice atmospheric qualities.
these controls can be applied to an entire image, or to
small sections with the use of the selection tool. Controls
in the application are enhanced by a number of features
such as memory dots for recording a point in your edit
process that you can return to at any time without losing
your changes, and a button which allows you to view the
original image so that you can compare your changes.
setting can be used to apply a nice range of canned effects
and adjustments to your images. I found
many of the presets a little too rich for my taste—it's
almost like eating a honey-soaked cake. I realize that
based upon the fact that the tool is aimed in part at the
consumer or amateur user, rather than only the seasoned
professional, it does achieve results that work. The ability
to manually tune these corrections more than compensates
for those of us who are more judicious in the application
of so-called enhancing effects however. The fact that you
can also build and save your own library of presets is
delightful and of tremendous benefit especially when processing
large batches of images. The support for loading and saving
Native Photoshop and a number of other image file formats
was also a boon.
AutoFX provides easy to follow quick start manuals and
free technical support via e-mail. The product manual is
supplied in the form of a PDF file and there are also help
bubbles within the application which pop up when you hover
the mouse over a button or control. The manual is fairly
short but it covers much of what you need to know in order
to make productive and creative use of AutoEye. I was a
little disappointed that there were no video tutorials
for this product and that AutoFX had no online forums in
which to obtain support information, interact with other
AutoFX users and so on.
Cons: Canned settings a little on the rich side. Interface
may annoy some. Although AutoEye provides a decent grain
control in the Creative Controls area, I prefer to add
grain and related effects using utilities dedicated to
this typing of image editing. When using Creative Controls
too, it's very easy to overdo image strength and intensity.
I'd love to see support for Camera RAW format.
Pros: Although much of what is done with AutoEye can be
achieved directly within Photoshop by experienced graphic
artists, it all goes infinitely faster for non-professionals
with AutoEye. Plenty of pros will appreciate AutoEye too.
Works as a Photoshop plug-in or as a standalone program.
Fast effects application and image control responses. Easy
to use. Very powerful with a range of effects and enhancement
capabilities which make it a great foundation for a well-equipped
image editing toolbox.
AutoFX pay a lot of attention to the design and usability
of their tools and it shows in AutoEye 2.0. The software
is extremely useful. As a tool for making quick changes
to your images it does its job very well. I highly recommended
this product for any active digital photographer. Have
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