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Detail-enhancement plug-in

AKVIS Enhancer 3AKVIS Enhancer 3 is the latest upgrade of this software, with the main enhancements being a new interface and 16-bit image support. You can independently control the Shadows, Highlights, Level of Detail, and Lightness of an image.

The program, in general, performs nicely. At the default settings, I typically preferred the results to those of the Adobe Photoshop Shadow/Highlight adjustment, although in many cases neither correction was really satisfactory. If you want an alternative to Shadow/Highlights that gives you some different controls, this filter could be one to add to your arsenal. At $69, it won’t break the bank.

I also found some disturbing issues with it. On the Mac (a new G5 Quad with 1.5 MB of RAM using a 1500×1000 image), the filter was distressingly slow to preview changes in the sliders.

One neat new feature is the Level of Detail slider. It does add detail to the image but it may also produce excessive noise. I was able to get a similar correction in Shadow/Highlight with much less noise in the image.

On the Mac, the preview is not color-accurate. One corrected image looked fine in the preview but produced a distressing red skin tone when actually applied. This problem is either not present or less apparent in Windows. Neither platform contains a way to view the image at 100%; however, on Windows you can’t enlarge the dialog either, which makes it extremely difficult to select optimal settings.

If you work on a duplicate layer and mask out the less-successful areas of the filtered image, you can get good results with Enhancer that aren’t possible using Photoshop’s Shadow/Highlight.—Sherry London

PRICE $69
FROM AVKIS LLC
PHONE 206-309-0821
WEB www.akvis.com
FOR Mac and Windows

LAYERS VERDICT

HOT Easy-to-use interface
NOT Lack of Zoom feature; noise
RATING 2.5 stars

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