Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture

Started Aug 29, 2012 | Discussions
Jack A. Zucker
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Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
Aug 29, 2012

http://www.arcsoft.com/portraitplus/
http://www.portraitprofessional.com
http://imagenomic.com/pt.aspx

And please - No discussions about how you can do the same thing with surface blur and manual photoshop editing...We all know that. I'm interested in pros who have actually used these tools. I own portrait professional and Portraiture and will comment on them later. I downloaded the trial of portrait plus but haven't had time to fool around with it.

By the way, Frank Doorhof ( http://www.frankdoorhof.com/site/ ) uses portrait professional and his philosophy is that yes, he can do a better job if he has 4-12 hours to spend hand editing, healing, contouring, etc., but many times you do not have that kind of time...

Robgo2
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Aug 29, 2012

I'm not a professional, but I love portraiture and have tried a variety of enhancement programs, although not all of those that you have listed. So here is my take:

Imagenomics' Portraiture is fast and easy, but it has a strong tendency to produce artificially smooth skin. To minimize this, I usually place the Fine and Medium Smoothness sliders far to the left, and even then, I sometimes have to add "film grain" in CS5. It has no blemish brush, which is a major deficiency, IMO.

Nik Software's Color Efex Pro has a Dynamic Skin Softener filter, which works for limited touchups, but is a rather basic tool.

OnOne's Perfect Portrait is somewhat slow and clunky on my aging Mac, but it is the most powerful of the programs that I have tried and produces the best results, as well. I especially like the blemish brush, which, by setting the opacity at about 30%, can produce very pleasing, realistic looking skin. It also has tools for adding skin texture and for enhancing eyes and mouths.

So, in my workflow, when I want a fast and basic touchup, I usually go with Portraiture, but when I want better, more finely tuned results, I reach for Perfect Portrait. I will be interested in hearing from others who have experience with portraiture software.

Rob

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Redcrown
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Aug 29, 2012

I use Imagenomic's Portraiture extensively. Tried Portrait Professional trial once years ago. It seemed it was mostly about face "shaping", with skin smoothing a second priority. Never tried the Acrasoft product. Also have extensive experience with the Photoshop bluring, degrunging, dodge&burn, and frequency separation techniques.

I find Portraiture can do a better job and quicker than other tools and techniques. But you have to learn how to use it. The controls are critical. And often, one set of controls is not adequate. Need to do multiple passes on layers, one for the heavy lifting and one for the light adjustments. Example, the "default" may not be enough for some blemishes, but way too much for relatively clean areas. But usually, I clean major blemishes with healing/cloning first.

I don't think the auto masking works very well, so I usually run it on a separate layer with auto masking off, and then use a photoshop mask to paint in the effect. That manual mask painting is usually pretty quick, just a soft round brush, 100% for heavy areas, something less for light areas, avoiding eyes, lips, hairline, nose holes, etc. Accurate edges are not that critical. If you stray into a boundry it's no big deal.

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DuaneV
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Aug 29, 2012

I use Portrait Pro but I ALWAYS turn off face sculpting AND I manually adjust everything and turn off what I dont use. It can look COMEPLETELY overdone (like anything), or you can use it for some really nice subtleties.
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DianeR
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to DuaneV, Aug 29, 2012

Not a pro but agree with Duane re Portrait Professional and it's my favorite for natural looking corrections.
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DianeR
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Jack A. Zucker
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to DianeR, Aug 30, 2012

note

DianeR wrote:

Not a pro but agree with Duane re Portrait Professional and it's my favorite for natural looking corrections.
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DianeR
http://www.pbase.com/ramseyd

also note that portrait pro has a horrible bug with the spot removal tool. You have to turn this off or else you can end up with jpeg-like blotchyness. For a long time, they denied they could see this but I finally sent them detailed before and after pictures along with another photographer who did the same thing and they acknowledged it was a bug and said it would hopefully make the list for version 11.

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Saleen1999
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Aug 30, 2012

I have portrait professional and really love it plus I got a great price on the Studio Version. I didn't care for Portraiture plus it is really expensive. I haven't tired the other one you mentioned but will give it a try soon to see how it works.
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Saleen1999
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Aug 30, 2012

I just tried the Portrait Plus and this is a neat software. Only takes seconds if you have a lot of faces to fix but I couldn't believe the price of 179.00 and that is a sales price. Has it ever gone down lower to around 100.00? I would like to have it but not for 200.00 I don't.

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Melissa aka mustang_fan

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Jack A. Zucker
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Saleen1999, Aug 30, 2012

Saleen1999 wrote:

I just tried the Portrait Plus and this is a neat software. Only takes seconds if you have a lot of faces to fix but I couldn't believe the price of 179.00 and that is a sales price. Has it ever gone down lower to around 100.00? I would like to have it but not for 200.00 I don't.

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Melissa aka mustang_fan

meh - i just tried it and the results are tacky and it does funny things to the nose if the picture is not a 100% front view.

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RJNedimyer
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to DuaneV, Sep 1, 2012

I agree with Duane!

I was expirementing with it and tried the face sculpting with my 17 year old daughter and she immediatly really did not like it with out that section she loved it.

I have found the same with others so I simply do not use that feature and like the rest a lot.

DuaneV wrote:

I use Portrait Pro but I ALWAYS turn off face sculpting AND I manually adjust everything and turn off what I dont use. It can look COMEPLETELY overdone (like anything), or you can use it for some really nice subtleties.
--
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/3317198770/albums

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Ray
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Sailor Blue
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, Sep 2, 2012

Portrait Professional. Over soften but then work on the mask produced to improve the selection of areas to soften or not soften then reduce the opacity until you get the final result that will show softness without eliminating all the skin texture.

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Sylvain C.
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Re: Portrait Professional
In reply to DuaneV, Jan 13, 2013

DuaneV wrote:

I use Portrait Pro but I ALWAYS turn off face sculpting AND I manually adjust everything and turn off what I dont use. It can look COMEPLETELY overdone (like anything), or you can use it for some really nice subtleties.
--
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/3317198770/albums

Interesting, I did try the demo of Portrait Pro and found that faces were deformed...

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Gord SW Ont
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Re: Portrait Professional
In reply to Sylvain C., Jan 13, 2013

Yes you have to be careful. The default settings have face sculpting turned on. While it might - in some cases - make the face more attractive I find that it is usually better to turn these controls off (unless there is a very special problem/issue).

Note that if you apply Portrait Professional on a separate layer, turning this face sculpting feature off allows one to adjust opacity once the revisions are brought back into the editting program (say Photoshop, etc). This allows you to make further adjustments as subtle as you desire. Obviously if you alter the shape of the face this would not be possible.

I think it works pretty well if you're careful.

YMMV   ;^)

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Sylvain C.
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Re: Portrait Professional - First Attempt
In reply to Gord SW Ont, Jan 13, 2013

Thanks Gord. I bought the Studio edition to be able to work from my RAW files. I am pleased with the result (below) even though I find it did not handle the Shine as well as I would've liked and the touch up brush did not handle a little "defect" on the upper lip.

She is my daughter, still reasonably natural after the enhancements...

Before



After

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Gord SW Ont
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Re: Portrait Professional - First Attempt
In reply to Sylvain C., Jan 14, 2013

I like your edit ... nice job. Definitely an improvement imo!

I find that you often need more than one software program if you want to optimize your results. You can run your image through Photoshop before and/or after using a software program like Portrait Professional (PP) to better clear up specific details. In particular, I find lips, etc can often use a little extra touchup in Photoshop.

The trick with retouching/editing is determining when to stop.  ;^)   LOL.

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Sylvain C.
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Re: Portrait Professional - First Attempt
In reply to Gord SW Ont, Jan 15, 2013

Gord SW Ont wrote:

I like your edit ... nice job. Definitely an improvement imo!

I find that you often need more than one software program if you want to optimize your results. You can run your image through Photoshop before and/or after using a software program like Portrait Professional (PP) to better clear up specific details. In particular, I find lips, etc can often use a little extra touchup in Photoshop.

The trick with retouching/editing is determining when to stop. ;^) LOL.

Yes on all counts.  I ended up going back to LR to fix a couple of things after the (2nd) picture shown above.  I guess there is no silver bullet!

Thanks Gord.

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Abrak
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Re: Portrait Professional - First Attempt
In reply to Sylvain C., May 8, 2013

I just bought Portrait+ and am rather surprised that there is not more interest in the product.

It isn't particularly expensive - US$55 with a discount coupon for the Photoshop plugin.

This compares to US$200 for portraiture which is my absolute favorite plugin and is simply awesome for creating natural results in a few seconds.

The reason I bought 'portrait+' is that I wanted to add 'eyes, lips, makeup' to the equation which is something that portraiture doesnt address. Portrait+ produces really good results along the lines of 'I didnt know that you had edited it' appearance that you can achieve in portraiture.

I don't know if anyone uses this software but would be interested in feedback.

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Shiranai
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Re: Portrait Professional - First Attempt
In reply to Abrak, May 10, 2013

I've been trying Portrait+ too. But currently working with Portraiture. From all programs I tried, those 2 are the best ones.

Currently I think Portrait+ is the most advanced of all programs. It can really do a lot with simply one click. But its also easy to overdo it, since it alters so much that the model probably won't recognize his-/herself anymore. Especially if you enable shaping. But... if you don't care about this and you just want beautiful pictures, it produces by far the best results with only a few clicks.

What I found better in Portraiture is, that it can output a seperate layer in photoshop. This way you're able to alter the result. This program is a specialist for skin smoothing, so you have a lot of control over everything. But basically it just does smoothing and maybe a little color altering but nothing more. I think its the program to go for people who want to have a bit more control and remove wrinkles, blemishes and spots themselves in photoshop.
In my comparison you can see that the Portrait+ Photo is the most beautiful, but also you have the impression that it is a totally different person.

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gwlaw99
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Jack A. Zucker, May 10, 2013

For fast skin smoothing, I still like forum member Ronny Harris's action  although nothing beats painstakingly slow dodge and burn .

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rafnam
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Re: Portrait Plus vs. Portrait Professional vs Portraiture
In reply to Saleen1999, Aug 13, 2013

I recently bought Perfect Portrait and I am very satisfied with the results. It allows you to fine tune the result using layers.  Moreover, it is less expensive than other softwares, especially if you buy it within the Perfect Suite Bundle.

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