Last updated on June 15, 2022
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Presentation

Image: Scott Stulberg

The Color Efex Pro 5 module is an extensive library of filters that lets you apply creative effects, modify them as you wish with overall correction tools and control points, and even combine them to create an infinite number of special colour effects.

Preferences and Help

The various settings in Color Efex Pro let you choose your preferences for the interface, GPU acceleration, image output and language. Help gives you access to the user guide and a range of online services.

Preferences

To access Preferences:

The Preferences window comprises a single tab named General. It offers the following options (from top to bottom):

* By default, if you do not change this option, it is the setting previously used that will be applied.
**Changes are applied the next time you launch the plug-in.
Shared options and settings selected in one of the modules will apply to all Nik Collection plug-ins.

To save your Preferences:

Help

Color Efex Pro, Help menu (Mac/PC).

To access the online help links, go the the Help menu (Internet connection required):

* Requires an internet connection.

Interface

Color Efex Pro 5 comprises the following elements:

  1. The menu bar
  2. The upper toolbar
  3. The image display area
  4. The left panel (Filters and Presets)
  5. The right panel (tools)
  6. The lower toolbar
The 6 elements of the Color Efex Pro 5 interface.

The menu bar

Mac:

The menu bar at the top of the Color Efex Pro window comprises the following menus:

PC:

The menu bar at the top of the Color Efex Pro window comprises the following menus:

The upper toolbar

The upper toolbar includes the display, comparison, and zoom tools.

The Compare buttons let you compare your image before and after correction:

Zoom +/Zoom -: use to change the scale of the image displayed:

You can also press the spacebar to zoom in; release the spacebar to zoom back out. In this case, the image will be zoomed to 1:1 (100%).

Alternate display mode.
Vertical or horizontal split display mode.
Side-by-side or one above the other display mode.

Whenever you zoom in on an image (including in Fill mode), a floating window is displayed to the top right of the image display zone. You can move around the image by clicking and dragging the tile or by clicking in the floating navigation window.

The floating browser window (Zoom+/Zoom- mode).

The image display area

This is where the image is displayed, on a medium gray background, which you can change in the Settings.

Below the image you will find the following information:

  1. If you have opened several images, a small horizontal scrollbar lets you switch from one to the next.
  2. File name and extension If the image has EXIF metadata, the shooting and material settings will also be displayed.
  3. You will also see the checkbox to select non-destructive mode.

To gain space to display your image, you can use the Tab key on your keyboard to hide/unhide the two side panels at the same time.

The left panel

Filters and Presets

Left panel (Filter categories rolled out on the left, rolled up on the right).

The left panel comprises all the Filters, grouped in categories (All, New, Fine Art, Travel, etc.) in list form (with access to the variants for each filter when you click on the chevron), and the Presets, i.e. the ready-to-use recipes that combine several filters.

To select a category, click on one of the tiles: the frame turns yellow and the list of filters shows those included in the selected category. Click on a preview thumbnail to select a filter and a yellow bar will be shown to the left of the filter name; the associated tools will be shown in the right panel. Likewise, if you add a filter using the “+” button, which appears when you hover over the list with the mouse.

The Filters and Presets are shown as preview thumbnails of the image opened in the plug-in. If the image is framed horizontally (landscape format), the thumbnails are arranged in a single column, and if the image is framed verticallly (portrait format), the thumbnails are grouped in pairs.

To hide or unhide the content of a filter or a section, click on the chevron on the right. The figure indicates the number of filters or presets in each section and, depending on the section, you can use the double arrow to save, import or export a filter or preset.

The Custom section is used to create your own filters and presets. In the Import section, you can upload filters and custom presets shared by other users. Finally, the History section lists all the corrections and settings applied to the selected image.

In each section, you can filter the filters and presets to show your favourites or recently used choices. You can also hide or unhide the left panel, either by clicking on its right-hand edge or pressing the L key.

The History section

The History section shows all the processing and correction steps of your image, from top (oldest) to bottom (most recent).

To view the image at a particular stage, click on the stage in question in the list. The selected step is displayed in yellow, all previous steps (above) are white, and all subsequent steps (below) are greyed out: if you correct the image at this point, the greyed out steps will not be applied to the image.

In split or side-by-side display mode, you can apply a step to the left view from the history by moving the History selector (the yellow arrow on the left edge of the section).

The right panel

The right panel (default to the left, with the filter added to the right).

The right panel shows the following sections, based on the filters selected in the left panel, along with the permanent sections:

The Loupe and Histogram section

When you scroll the contents of the right panel upwards, the Loupe and Histogram disappear from view. Click on the pin on the right in the section header to lock the section in place (scroll down for the other tools).

The Loupe section is always available, regardless of the tools used:

The Histogram section is always available too, regardless of the tools used:

The histogram shows the distribution of the brightness levels of the pixels in the selected image, with shadows on the left, midtones in the centre, and highlights on the right, with the peaks corresponding to the number of pixels per brightness range.

Click on the buttons to view the histogram in different ways:

Because you can display the brightness values per channel, you can adjust your tonality (exposure, contrast) and color settings more accurately.

The histogram can also be used to display the clipped values in the image, shown as masks whose color corresponds to the RGB channel and/or the complementary colour affected. This is especially important as Color Efex Pro provides tools that can significantly impact brightness and contrast.

Enable clipping indicators (shadows to the left, highlights to the right).
Colored masks showing clipped tones.

To show the clipping masks, click in the histogram or on the button(s) in the top corners: left for clipped shadows and blacks, and left for clipped highlights and whites.

The DxO Filters section

The DxO Filters are based on tools that were originally developed for DxO PhotoLab. With ClearView, they can correct misty and atmospheric haze effects and draw on DxO Labs’ expertise in simulating film grain.

Uncheck the ClearView and Grain boxes to temporarily disable these corrections; use the curved arrow to re-enable them (or double-click on the sliders).

ClearView

Reinforce an image’s impact with ClearView.

Set to 0 by default, the Strength slider adjusts the atmospheric haze correction. The aim is to recover data in the shadows, which improves the perception of details, contrast and colour saturation.

ClearView can also be used to give your images greater impact.

Grain

Applying AdoxColorImplosion film grain.

The drop-down menu, set to Original by default (no grain applied) shows a list of silver emulsion films. Hover the mouse over the list to see a preview of the effect on the image.

Once you have made your choice, you can use the sliders to adjust the strength of the grain and its size.

The Grain Size slider is set to a low value by default (1.0) so you may want to increase the value and zoom in on the photo to see the effect.

The Color Efex Pro Filters section

When you select a filter in the left panel, a new section and the associated tools are displayed in the right panel, along with buttons you can use to access the Check Points.

Although the tools and sliders available depend on the filter(s) and preset selected, the sections share some common features:

  1. Box to check to disable/enable all the tools in the filter (for a quick comparison with and without the corrections and effects applied).
  2. Double arrow to reset the filter (keeping the local adjustments or not) and copy/paste the Control Points.
  3. An “X” button to close the section (which also disables the effects and corrections applied).
  4. A chevron to collapse or expand the section’s content.

The lower toolbar

The lower toolbar includes the following information and features:

  1. File source: indicates the name of the host application.
  2. Cancel: cancels the current processing and corrections and closes the plugin. The image in the host application is not modified.
  3. Apply: saves the processing and corrections and closes the plug-in. The image is modified in the host application. If you have more than one image open, the button shows “Apply…” (short for “Apply to all”).

Keyboard shortcuts

ActionPCMac
Clipped highlightsShift + HShift + H
Clipped shadowsShift + SShift + S
Add a FilterShift + Click on a FilterShift + Click on a Filter
Add a RecipeShift + Click on a RecipeShift + Click on a Recipe
CancelCtrl + ZCmd + Z
RedoCtrl + YCmd + Y
Full ScreenFF
PreviewPP
Show/Hide Control PalettesTabTab
Apply FilterEnterBackspace
Cancel FilterEscEsc
ZoomSpacebarSpacebar
Zoom InCtrl + “+”Cmd + “+”
Zoom OutCtrl + “-“Cmd + “-“
Zoom to FitCtrl + 0Cmd + 0
Zoom to 100 %Ctrl + Alt + 0Cmd + Alt + 0
Add a + Control PointCtrl + Shift + ACmd + Shift + A
Add a – Control PointCtrl + Alt + Shift + ACmd + Option + Shift + A
Delete Control PointDelDel
Duplicate Control PointCtrl + D, Alt + drag, or Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + V to pasteCmd + D, Alt + drag, or Cmd + C to copy and Cmd + V to paste
Expand/Collapse Control PointEE
Group Control PointsCtrl + GCmd + G
Ungroup Control PointsCtrl + Shift + GCmd + Shift + G

Filter Library

Color Efex Pro 5 offers 55 filters in 20 categories (plus the DxO ClearView and Grain filters permanently docked in the right panel). When you select a cateogry, only the Filters in that category will be displayed in the list in the left panel. To display the full list, click on the All category. You can hide some of the categories or unhide them by clicking on Show Less/Show All just below.

There are different versions of each filter: click on the chevron on the right to see them. To apply a Filter, either click on its name or on one of the thumbnails once you’ve clicked on the chevron. The associated tools will then appear in the right panel. To add a Filter, click on the “+” button.

You can add a Filter to your Favourites, but not an individual thumbnail. Your Favourites are shown by a gold star. To find your Favourite or recently used filters, click on the Filter By buttons.

The descriptions of the Filters and associated tools below follow the alphabetical order of the Filters in the library.

Each Filter comes with an Opacity slider [LIEN] and Control Points [LIEN]. For more on how they work, see the related sections in this guide.

Bi-Color Filters

Sweet Ice Cream Photography/Unsplash

Simulates a traditional two-color glass filter by mixing two colors and then adding the result to the image. From the drop-down menu, select a predefined color combination, each with four variations.

Color SetSelect one of the 20 predefined color combinations, grouped in 5 different color sets.
OpacityControls the overall intensity of the filter.
BlendControls the transition between the two colors.
Vertical ShiftControls the position of the filter horizon.
RotationControls the angle of the filter horizon.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Custom Bi-Color

Laszlo Kiss/Unsplash

Simulates a traditional two-color glass filter by mixing two colors and then adding the result to the image. Both colors can be customized.

OpacityControls the overall intensity of the filter.
BlendControls the transition between the two colors.
Vertical ShiftControls the position of the filter horizon.
RotationControls the angle of the filter horizon.
Upper ColorIndicates the upper color to be applied to the image. Use the eyedropper to select a color in the image or click the color chart to open the color picker tool.
Lower ColorIndicates the lower color to be applied to the image. Use the eyedropper to select a color in the image or click the color chart to open the color picker tool.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

B/W Conversion

Stephanie Studer/Unsplash

Use this filter to convert a color image into a black and white version, and control shadows, highlights, and relationships between the original colors. Three black and white conversion modes are available in the filter displayed in the right panel:

The tools available vary depending on the conversion mode selected.

Color FilterAdjusts the color of the simulated filter and controls the relationship of colors in the image. This filter brightens subjects of the selected color in the image and darkens subjects of the complementary color.
Filter strengthDrag the slider to the left to decrease the contrast between colors or to the right to increase it.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ContrastAdjusts the overall contrast of the image. (B/W Conversion only)
Contrast EnhancerAlso adjusts the overall contrast, but more forcefully than the Contrast slider. (Dynamic contrast only)
MethodOffers three options with different types of contrast to bring out shadow detail or create a high-contrast image. (Tonal Enhancer only)
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Bleach Bypass

Desiree Fawn/Unsplash

Simulates the technique used on color films where the bleaching process has been skipped. The result is high contrast and low saturation. Both set photographers and animated filmmakers use this effect to create striking, stylized images.

BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
SaturationControls the overall color intensity by increasing or decreasing the saturation throughout the image.
Overall ContrastControls the overall contrast of the image.
Local ContrastUses a custom variation of the Structure slider, found in some other Nik Collection plug-ins, to emphasize fine detail and texture in the image.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Brilliance/Warmth

Daniel Frank/Unsplash

Lets you control the brightness of the color within the photo and give it a warm or cool tone.

SaturationIncreases or decreases the vividness of the colors in the photo.
WarmthAdjusts the color temperature of the photo. Move the slider to the left to cool the colors (adding a blue cast) or to the right to warm them up (adding a red cast).
Perceptual SaturationAlthough it does not directly increase the saturation of colors, this slider alters the hues slightly to increase the perception of saturation of the corresponding colors. To achieve this, the complementary color component is increased in the surrounding colors, which affects the eye’s perception of colors. This process’s operating principle is similar to that of perceptual contrast, where the contrast seems to increase when the image is placed against a black background.

Classical Soft focus

Drew Coffman/Unsplash

This option simulates blur filters and traditional diffusion techniques.

MethodOffers 3 different levels for each of the Blur and Diffusion effects.
Diffused DetailAdjusts the density of random details added to the Blur effect. This option helps maintain the appearance of the details and prevents interference.
Filter strengthAdjusts the level of softening added to the photo.
BrightnessAdjusts the overall brightness of the image.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Colorize

Jess D’Arcy/Unsplash

Inks the image with one color, and offers different color and contrast relationships to stylize the image.

MethodOffers six different modes for applying color to the image.
ColorSelects the color to be added to the image. Use the eyedropper to select a color from the photo or click on the color chart to open the color picker tool.
Filter strengthAdjusts the degree to which the filter is applied to the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Color Stylizer

Duncan Shaffer/Unsplash

Use this filter to overlay a color on the photo, while retaining control of the color saturation of the original image.

ColorSelects the color to be added to the image. Use the eyedropper to select a color from the photo or click on the color chart to open the color picker tool.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
SaturationAdjusts the vividness of the original colors. Drag the slider to the left to create a monochrome image or to the right to maintain all the colors of the original.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Contrast Color Range

Pineapple Supply Co. /Unsplash

Adjusts the contrast between the selected colors in an image.

ColorSelects the color range to which to apply contrast. Select a color and the subjects in that color will be lightened, while the opposite colors will be darkened.
Color ContrastAdjusts the level of contrast to be added between the selected color and the complementary subject of that color.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Contrast Only

Slim Emcee (UG) the poet Truth_From_Africa_Photography/Unsplash

This filter provides various controls for contrast, including the “Contrast Only” method, which adjusts contrast without changing the color of the objects in the photo.

BrightnessControls the overall contrast of the photo.
ContrastApplies standard contrast to images, similar to the contrast provided in your image editing application.
Contrast OnlyApplies contrast without changing colors.
Soft ContrastProvides a softer alternative to the usual contrast. Move this slider to the right to create a contrast that gives character to the image, with smooth transitions between areas.
SaturationControls the overall intensity of colors in the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Cross Balance

Jase Daniels/Unsplash

Simulates the use of a daylight film under artificial tungsten-type light, or a tungsten color film in daylight. Use this filter to warm up your photos with an orange color or cool them down with a bluish effect.

Method Select one of the 6 available options to get a daylight-to-tungsten or tungsten-to-daylight effect. Each option gives a more accentuated effect than the previous one.
Filter strength Adjusts the degree to which the filter is applied to the photo.

Cross Processing

Linford Miles/Unsplash

Provides a variety of different options for C41 to E6 processing (color negative film processing in slide film chemicals) and E6 to C41 processing (slide film processing in color negative film chemicals).

MethodUse this drop-down menu to select one of the predefined processing methods.
Filter strengthControls the degree to which the filter is applied to your photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Dark Contrast

Kazuend/Unsplash

Uses an exclusive technique to amplify details and textures throughout the photo, with a denser and more striking rendering.

Detail ExtractorLets you control how much detail is accentuated. Increase the value of this slider to amplify details while lightening shadows and tamping down highlights. As a result, the tone is distributed more evenly throughout the photo.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
SaturationControls the intensity of the colors in the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Detail Extractor

Kazuend/Unsplash

Uses a unique new technique to exaggerate details to create oustanding stylish photos. Use this filter to balance light and tone, and extract detail throughout the photo.

Detail ExtractorThis is the main control for this filter. Drag the slider to the right to lighten shadows and darken highlights while accentuating details throughout the photo.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
SaturationControls the overall intensity of colors in the photo.
Effect radiusControls how the Detail Extractor function brings out details. Select “Fine” to emphasize small subjects, which gives the image more texture. Or select “Large” to highlight large subjects.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Duplex

Igor Ovsyannykov/Unsplash

Creates a two-color effect and offers different options for color, blur and saturation.

ColorAdds a color to the image. To choose a color for this command, use the eyedropper to select a color from the photo or click on the color chart to open the color picker tool.
Filter strengthAdjusts the degree to which the filter is applied to the photo.
DiffusionControls the amount of blur added to give style to the image.
SaturationControls the intensity of the colors in the photo.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Darken/Lighten Center

Laura Lefurgey-Smith/Unsplash

Draws the eye towards the center of the photo or away from it. A light center and dark edges draw the eye toward the center of the image, while a dark center and light edges draw the eye toward the edges.

MethodControls the shape of the effect. You can choose between an oval or circular shape.
Center LuminosityControls the brightness at the center of the photo.
Border LuminosityControls the brightness at the edges of the photo.
Center SizeControls the size of the effect.
Place CenterClick on the “Place Center” icon and then click in the area of the photo you want to use as the center of the effect.

Dynamic Skin Softener

Jochen Kohl

Creates soft, shiny skin without altering other objects in the image. You can also use this filter in photos that do not show a person if you want to apply the softening effect to other subjects.

Skin ColorTo select the skin color, use the eyedropper to choose a color from the photo or click on the color chart to open the color picker tool.
Color ReachLets you control the range of colors involved. Drag the slider to the left to narrow the color range or to the right to widen it. If you select 100%, the softening effect applies to all colors and objects in the photo.
Small DetailsControls the amount of softening applied to small details in the photo.
Medium DetailsControls the amount of softening applied to medium details in the photo.
Large DetailsControls the amount of softening applied to large details in the photo.

Film Efex: Faded

Sweet Ice Cream Photography/Unsplash

The Film Efex Series “Faded” filter applies a unique style to the image, giving the impression that the photo has been aged.

BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
SaturationControls the intensity of the colors in the photo.
BlurGives a diffuse effect to the image, reducing contrast and softening details.
VignettingDarkens the edges of the image in a circular shape.
Grain per pixelBased on Nik’s unique grain engine, this slider lets you add realistic grain to the photo. Moving the slider to the left reduces the number of grain elements applied per pixel, increasing the size and visibility of the grain throughout the photo. If you don’t want to apply any grain to your photo, move the slider all the way to the right.
Film StrengthControls the intensity of the unique stylization applied to the film. To maintain the original colors of the photo, set the slider to 0 %.
Film TypeSelect one of the available film types. Each is designed to give the image a different appearance.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Film Efex: Modern (Branded)

Rob Bye/Unsplash

The “Modern” filter from the Film Efex series is used to simulate the appearance of color films, negatives and slides, including grain. Using the advanced sliders in the “Film Details” section, you can even define your own film types to create never-before-seen imaginary films.

Film TypeSelect one of the available films. For each type, multiple films were printed, scanned, and analyzed to create the most authentic film emulation possible.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
SensitivityEach slider can be used to control the brightness of a specific color in the photo.
SaturationEach slider can be used to adjust the intensity of a specific color in the photo.
Tone CurveThis tool lets you adjust the contrast of the film type, and change the tone and contrast of red, green, and blue separately.
GrainThese sliders let you add realistic grain to your photo using Nik Software’s unique grain engine. Move the Grain per Pixel slider to the left to reduce the number of grainy elements applied per pixel, increasing the size and visibility of the grain throughout the photo. If you don’t want to apply any grain to your photo, move the slider all the way to the right. The “Grain Hardness” slider lets you control the intensity of the grain. When the grain is coarse, the image will appear more detailed and sharper. The finer the grain, the more natural the image feels.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Film Efex: Nostalgic

Ingo Hamm/Unsplash

The “Nostalgic” filter in the Film Efex series creates effects based on imaginary film types. Use this filter to create special and interesting interpretations of your photo, with vivid colors, and give the feeling that it was taken by a toy camera.

BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
Perceptual SaturationAlthough it does not directly increase the saturation of colors, this slider alters the hues slightly to increase the perception of saturation of the corresponding colors. To achieve this, the complementary color component is increased in the surrounding colors, which affects the eye’s perception of colors. This process’s operating principle is similar to that of perceptual contrast, where the contrast seems to increase when the image is placed against a black background.
GlowAdds a small amount of glow around bright subjects.
VignettingDarkens the edges of the image in a circular shape.
Grain per pixelBased on Nik’s unique grain engine, this slider adds realistic grain to the photo. Moving the slider to the left reduces the number of grain elements applied per pixel, increasing the size and visibility of the grain throughout the photo. If you don’t want to apply any grain to your photo, move the slider all the way to the right.
Film StrengthControls the intensity of the unique stylization applied to the film. To maintain the original colors of the photo, set the slider to 0 %.
Film TypeSelect one of the available film types. Each is designed to give the image a different appearance.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Film Efex: Vintage

Casey Allen/Unsplash

The Vintage filter in the Film Efex series creates photos that feel like they have been taken with the very earliest types of color film.

SaturationControls the overall intensity of colors in the photo.
WarmthAdjusts the color temperature of the photo. Move the slider to the left to cool the colors (adding blue tones) or to the right to warm them (adding red tones).
VignettingDarkens the edges of the image in a circular shape.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
Grain per pixelBased on Nik’s unique grain engine, this slider adds realistic grain to the photo. Moving the slider to the left reduces the number of grain elements applied per pixel, increasing the size and visibility of the grain throughout the photo. If you don’t want to apply any grain to your photo, move the slider all the way to the right.
Film StrengthControls the intensity of the unique stylization applied to the film. To maintain the original colors of the photo, set the slider to 0 %.
Film TypeSelect one of the available film types. Each is designed to give the image a different appearance.

Film Grain

Freestocks.org/Unsplash

Adds a realistic film grain to images.

Grain per pixelBased on Nik’s unique grain engine, this slider adds realistic grain to the photo. Moving the slider to the left reduces the number of grain elements applied per pixel, increasing the size and visibility of the grain throughout the photo. If you don’t want to apply any grain to your photo, move the slider all the way to the right.
Grain HardnessThis slider lets you control the intensity of the grain. When the grain is coarse, the image will appear more detailed and sharper. The finer the grain, the more natural the image feels.
Film ContrastAdds a natural S-curve to the image, similar to that of film.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Fog

Nitish Meena/Unsplash

Simulates a traditional fog effect: a pronounced blur that gives this look to the image.

MethodAllows you to choose from 4 artistic blur ranges.
Filter strengthControls how intensely the filter will be applied.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Foliage

Phil Goodwin/Unsplash

Identifies foliage and greenery in an image, and enhances or stylizes these objects.

MethodControls the color of the foliage visible in the photo.
Enhance FoliageControls how intensely the filter will be applied.

Glamour Glow

Josh Applegate/Unsplash

Provides portrait photographers with a powerful tool to stylize images with soft and dreamlike effects.

GlowLets you control to what extent the filter’s softening technique is applied.
SaturationAdjusts the overall vividness of the colors (to the right) and gradually fades the colors (to the left).
Glow WarmthControls the temperature of the effect added to the image. Move the slider to the left to cool the image with blue tones or to the right to warm the image with red-orange tones.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Graduated Filters

DesignCue/Unsplash

Simulates the use of a traditional glass graduated filter that fuses a color in one half of the photo.

Color SetSelect one of 16 predefined color combinations, grouped into four different color sets.
OpacityControls the overall intensity of the filter.
BlendControls the transition between the filter and the original photo.
Vertical ShiftControls the position of the filter horizon.
RotationControls the angle of the filter horizon.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Graduated Fog

Andrew Charney/Unsplash

Simulates a traditional glass filter and lets you add an accentuated softening effect to one half of the photo.

Fog MethodProvides a range of different soft focus effects.
OpacityControls the overall intensity of the filter.
BlendControls the transition between the filter and the original photo.
Vertical ShiftControls the position of the filter horizon.
RotationControls the angle of the filter horizon.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Graduated Neutral Density

Gary Bendig/Unsplash

Darkens or brightens part of an image while preserving its color. Use this filter to correct the tonality of an image that is too high in contrast.

Upper TonalityControls the brightness of the upper part of the filter.
Lower TonalityControls the brightness of the lower part of the filter.
BlendControls the size of the transition between the fog effect and the details in the original image.
Vertical ShiftControls the position of the filter horizon.
RotationControls the angle of the filter horizon.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Custom Graduated

Bradley Swenson/Unsplash

Simulates the use of a traditional graduated glass filter and lets you select any color to merge it into one half of the photo.

ColorIndicates the color to be applied to one half of the photo. Use the eyedropper to select a color in the image or click the color chart to open the color picker tool.
OpacityControls the overall intensity of the filter.
BlendControls the size of the transition between the selected color and the details in the original image.
Vertical ShiftControls the position of the filter horizon.
RotationControls the angle of the filter horizon.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

High Key

Jamie r. mink/Unsplash

Lets you simulate the look of a photo in bright light, with uniformly light tones and low contrast. This filter is also useful for enhancing photos originally taken without highlights.

GlowControls the degree of brightness added around objects from the “Standard Highlights” effect.
Standard High KeyLets you add highlights uniformly throughout the image.
Dynamic High KeyAdds a unique highlight effect that changes according to the color and tone of the original subject. This command makes dark subjects lighter than light subjects.
SaturationControls the overall intensity of colors in the photo.
BlacksBrings out the darkest subjects in the photo and ensures that black tones (a crucial element in a high-light image) are present.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Image Borders

35mm/Unsplash

Use this filter to add a unique, natural, and random outline to your photos. This filter uses Nik’s exclusive technologies to create borders that are not only infinitely variable, but also incredibly natural.

Border TypeSelect from among 14 borders or frames.
SizeControls the size of the outline added to the image. Tip: Adding an outline always removes part of the image. To prevent your image from being cropped when you add an outline, use a pixel editing application such as Photoshop to increase the size of the image canvas and apply a black outline around the image. Then use the Size slider to create the desired overlap between the image outline and the black outline.
SpreadControls the depth of the added outline. Move the slider to the right to widen the space taken up by the border elements in the image.
GrungeControls the random details added around the image. Move the slider to the right (more towards Rough) to add more random details to the border and give it more style.
Vary BorderClick here to select another border category number at random. A different border is created at random for each number, giving a wide range of results. To create exactly the same border each time, make note of the “Size”, “Spread” and “Clean/Rough” settings and the border category number. To achieve a border that is similar but still different for each image, use the same values (éSize”, “Spread”, “Clean/Rough”) but with a different border category number.

Indian Summer

Aaron Burden/Unsplash

Identifies foliage and greenery in an image, and enhances or stylizes these objects. This filter can be used to create warm colors similar to autumn landscapes.

MethodApplies one of the 4 available renderings for the color of the foliage visible in the photo.
Enhance FoliageControls how intensely the filter will be applied.

Infrared Film

Christian Joudrey/Unsplash

Simulates color and black & white infrared films. This filter simulates different methods of capturing the infrared portion of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum, as well as the effects produced by films capable of capturing these wavelengths.

MethodSelects Color or Black & White infrared film types, each with different styles.
Lighten HighlightsControls the brightness of the light tones in the picture.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Ink

Julian Paul/Unsplash

Simulates the stylistic effect of special photographic papers and toners.

Color SetSelect one of the 11 color combinations.
Filter strengthControls how intensely the filter will be applied.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Levels & Curves

Ray Hennessy/Unsplash

Levels and curves are among the most commonly used tools for adjusting the brightness and tone of an image. This filter is especially useful when combined with other filters in a stack.

ChannelSelects the channel for which the tone is to be ajdusted. In addition to the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) channels usually located in the Curve dialog boxes, the Levels & Curves filter also provides a brightness channel that lets you adjust the brightness and contrast of your photo without changing the colors. You can also adjust the brightness and contrast of your photo without changing the colors.
OpacityAdjusts the degree to which the filter is added to the photo.
Tone CurveClick on the curve to add anchor points to it directly. To remove an anchor point, double-click on it.
Levels SlidersDrag the Black Point, White Point, or Midtone slider to adjust the tone levels.

You can find more information about the Levels & Curves tool in the Overall and Selective Correction Tools section.

Low Key

Scott Webb/Unsplash

Lets you simulate the look of a photo in low light, with uniform dark tones and low contrast. This filter is also useful for enhancing photos originally taken without low light.

GlowControls the degree of brightness added around objects from the “Standard Shadows” effect.
Standard Low KeyLets you add shadows uniformly throughout the image.
Dynamic Low KeyAdds a unique low-light effect that changes according to the color and tone of the original object. This control darkens light subjects more than dark subjects.
SaturationControls the overall intensity of colors in the photo.
WhitesBrings out the lightest objects in the photo and ensures that white tones (a crucial element in a low-light image) are present.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Midnight

Facundo Aranda/Unsplash

Creates the illusion of a photograph taken at night to gives the image character. Use the Midnight filter to create a cinematic effect and reduce detail throughout the image with an advanced blur technique.

Color SetUse this drop-down menu to select one of the predefined color combinations.
BlurControls the amount of blur added to give style to the image.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ColorControls the relationship between the amount of color added by the filter and the amount of color from the original photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Monday Morning

Alejandro Escamilla/Unsplash

Creates a diffused atmosphere and gives the photo a restful look. Use this filter to control contrast and saturation, add grain and apply a blur effect.

Color SetUse this drop-down menu to select one of the predefined color combinations.
GrainControls the amount of grain added to the image.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
SmearLets you control to what extent the filter’s softening technique is applied.
ColorControls the relationship between the amount of color added by the filter and the amount of color from the original photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Old Photo

Igor Ovsyannykov/Unsplash

Transforms an image so that it looks like an old photo. Different styles let you simulate various color or black & white processes.

StyleChoose a color or a black & white process. There are six styles available per process.
GrainControls the amount of grain added to the image.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Paper Toner

M. Zonderling/Unsplash

Simulates the different types of toners commonly used in black & white prints in the darkroom. Use this filter to automatically convert an image to a black & white version before adding the toner effect. For best results and accuracy, apply the B/W Conversion filter first.

Paper ToneUse the drop-down menu to select one of the 8 preset tints to be applied to the photo.
Filter strengthControls how intensely the filter will be applied.
TextureAdds a unique paper texture to the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Pastel

2Photo Pots/Unsplash

Brightens and softens the image by giving it a smooth and stylish effect. The result is an understated, desaturated image.

MethodUse the drop-down menu to select a predefined pastel effect.
DiffusionControls the level of smoothing applied to the photo details.
SaturationControls the overall intensity of colors in the photo.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Photo Stylizer

Jay Ruzesky/Unsplash

Use this filter to give style to any or ordinary image and make it more attractive.

Stylizer TypeFrom the drop-down menu, select one of the 5 available styles (the choice of style determines the availability of the following sliders).
StyleFrom the drop-down menu, select one of the available color sets.
Filter strengthControls how intensely the filter will be applied.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
WarmthAdjusts the color temperature of the photo. Move the slider to the left to cool the colors (adding blue tones) or to the right to warm them (adding red tones).
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Polarization

Matt Collamer/Unsplash

Simulates the polarization filter (or PL) of traditional glass. Use this filter to accentuate the blue of the sky while increasing the contrast in the rest of the image.

RotationSimulates the effect of rotating the filter in front of the lens with the resulting different color contrasts.
Filter strengthControls how intensely the filter will be applied.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Polaroid Transfer

Joey Huang/Unsplash

Simulates the effect of Polaroid Instant Processing color film and the transfer of the rough image to paper before it is fully developed. The result is a version of the image with low saturation and contrast, with subtle shades of color throughout the image.

BorderAdds a border (to which a texture is applied) around the image. When the cursor is set to 0, the entire image is displayed.
TextureLets you adjust the paper texture effect added to the image.
Outer ColorAdds elements from the original image to the border area. The higher the value of this slider, the more elements from the original image are added to the areas created using the Border slider.
SaturationControls the amount of color from the original image to be preserved.
SmearLets you control to what extent the filter’s softening technique is applied.
Tear OffSimulates the effect of tearing off different parts of the image during the transfer process. To prevent details from being removed from the image, set the slider to 0.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Pro Contrast

Blair Connolly/Unsplash

Provides advanced options that change the color and contrast of images by analyzing each one and making improvements based on their specifics. Use this filter if you want to increase contrast levels while maintaining detail throughout the image.

Correct Color CastAdjusts the reduction of a color cast automatically identified by the filter in the image.
Correct ContrastIncreases the contrast in the image according to the distribution of light and tone.
Dynamic ContrastAdjusts the contrast of each object in the image according to the tone distribution. This unique control automatically adjusts different areas to varying degrees.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Reflector Efex

Will Oey/Unsplash

Simulates traditional photographic reflectors that allow shadows to stand out and control the light in the image.

MethodSelect Gold, Soft Gold, or Silver. The Gold and Soft Gold options give warmth to the image shadows in varying degrees. The “Silver” option adds neutral light to the shadows.
Light IntensityControls the amount of light that the reflector adds to the image.
Light FalloffControls the intensity at which the effect should fade.
PositionControls where the transition should begin.
Source DirectionSpecifies the point at which the reflector effect begins.

Remove Color Cast

Brigitte Tohm/Unsplash

Lets you remove color dominants from the photo quickly and efficiently.

ColorIndicates the color dominant to be removed from the image. Move the slider until the selected color matches the dominant color in the image.
Filter strengthControls the proportion of color tone to be removed.

Skylight Filter

Markus Petritz/Unsplash

Simulates warming lens filters. Use this filter to attenuate dominant blues while adding warmth sparingly to the colors in the photo.

Filter strengthControls the degree of warming effect to be added to the picture.

Solarization

Aleksandar Savic/Unsplash

Simulates the Sabatier darkroom process (more often called solarization). Use this filter to create a style effect in which certain tones and colors are reversed.

MethodUse this drop-down menu to select the type of solarization applied to the image using different styles designed for color or black & white effects.
SaturationIn the color methods, this slider controls the intensity of the colors in the photo. In the black & white methods, this slider controls the saturation of the image prior to black-and-white conversion, allowing you to adjust the resulting image contrast.
Elapsed TimeAdjusts the effect as darkroom photographers do when they change the amount of time the image remains in the developer before re-exposing it to achieve varying results.

Sunlight

Gabe Hobbs/Unsplash

This filter adds natural sunlight and warmth to the image. Use this filter to give the impression that your photo was taken on a warm, sunny day.

Light StrengthControls the amount of light added to shadows in the image. Move this slider to the left to increase contrast or to the right to add warm light throughout the photo.
Light TemperatureControls the temperature of the light added to the image. Move this slider to the left to increase the warmth of the light or to the right to decrease it and give the image a cooler tone.
BrightnessControls the overall brightness of the image.
ContrastControls the overall contrast of the photo.
SaturationControls the intensity of the colors in the photo.

Tonal Contrast

Cayton Heath/Unsplash

This filter lets you modify the textures and details of the photo efficiently.

HighlightsControls the level of contrast applied to light tones in the photo
MidtonesControls the level of contrast applied to midtones in the photo
ShadowsControls the level of contrast applied to dark tones in the photo.
SaturationControls the intensity of the colors in the photo.
Contrast TypeUse this drop-down menu to select one of the 5 contrast types available.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Vignette: Blur

Craig Whitehead/Unsplash

Attenuates the details around the center of the image, allowing the eye to be drawn into the image.

ShapeUse the drop-down menu to select a circular, oval or rectangular shape for vignetting.
TypeUse the drop-down menu to select the type of blur added to the image.
TransitionControls the rate at which the vignetting effect is applied to the original image.
SizeSets the area in the image to which vignetting is to be applied.
OpacityControls the overall intensity of the filter.
Place CenterPositions the center of the vignetting effect.

Vignette Filter

Vincent van Zalinge/Unsplash

Simulates the application of a vignetting effect worthy of a darkroom.

ColorLets you select the color to be used for the vignetting. Use the eyedropper to select a color from the photo or click on the color chart to open the color picker tool.
ShapeUse this drop-down menu to select a circular, oval, or rectangular shape (with smooth or coarse edges) for vignetting.
Adapt EdgesControls the relationship between the shape of the vignette and the image details. The higher the value of this slider, the more the vignetting shape becomes part of the image.
TransitionControls the rate at which the vignetting effect is applied to the original image.
SizeSets the area in the image to which vignetting is to be applied.
OpacityControls the overall intensity of the filter.
Place centerPositions the center of the vignetting effect.

Vignette: Lens

Alvin Mahmudov/Unsplash

Simulates the vignetting created by different types of lenses. The darkening of the edge of the frame helps to draw the viewer’s eye within the image boundaries and gives the picture more depth.

AmountControls the intensity of the vignetting. Move the slider to the left to add vignetting darkening to the image edges. Conversely, move the slider to the right to add lightening vignetting to the edges.
ShapeControls the overall shape of the vignetting: circular or rectangular.
SizeSets the area in the image to which vignetting is to be applied.
BrightnessAdjusts the brightness of the vignetting effect.
Place centerPress the Place Center button to select the center position of the vignetting in the image.

White Neutralizer

F/Unsplash

Removes color dominants from light-colored objects, such as a white wall or a wedding dress. Use this filter to clean up images and create bright, vivid whites without changing other colors in the photo.

ColorIndicates the color dominant to be removed from the image. Use the eyedropper to select a color from the photo or click on the color chart to open the color picker tool.
Adjust Whole ImageRemoves the color selected in the Color command from the entire image.
Neutralized WhitesRemoves only the color selected in the Color command from light objects in the image.
ShadowsMoved to the right, the slider will lighten only shadows and recover details drowned in the dark areas.
HighlightsMoved to the right, the slider will darken only the brightest areas and recover blown-out details.

Overall and Selective Correction Tools

The configuration and number of sliders depends on each filter.

In this chapter, we will look at the following topics:

Correction tools (general information)

Each filter in Color Efex Pro 5 uses a number of sliders and tools specific to the adjustments and effects it offers. They are used in the same way from one filter to another:

Opacity slider

When using a Color Efex Pro filter, you can fine-tune the overall intensity of the effect and corrections applied.

By default, the slider is set to 100, its maximum value. Set it to 50 to halve the intensity, and to 0 for no correction at all.

Effect of the Warmth slider with the Opacity slider at 100 (left), and at 50 (right).

When you apply Control Points, another Opacity slider lets you adjust the intensity of the locally applied corrections, independent of the overall opacity slider.

Levels & Curves tool

The Levels and Curves tool is found in the Filters list, in the Contrast category. Select it and it will be added to the Color Efex Pro Filters section in the right panel.

The Curve lets you refine or completely rework the contrast in your images, by affecting the curve either globally or via the RGB channel, and by using the Level sliders:

To reset the settings:

Control Points

Control Points let you modify selected parts of the image only. When you add a Control Point, only the elements covered by the control point(s) will be affected when adjusting the corresponding sliders.

Add a Control Point

To place and use a Control Point:

Managing Control Points

The Selective Adjustments section lets you manage the various Control Points applied to the image, presented here as a numbered list. The active Control Points are indicated in yellow.

  1. Create a Control Point: use these buttons to create a Control Point (“+” sign) to apply local corrections, or to create a Protection Control Point (“-” sign), to prevent corrections on a specific area of the image.
  2. Size: indicates as a % the size of the Control Point’s radius of action.
  3. Show/Hide selection for all Control Points: this button displays the monochrome masks for all Control Points. In the monochrome mask, white indicates the areas of the file where 100% of the correction is applied, black indicates no correction and various level of grey indicate the areas that are affected by the correction to varying degrees.
  4. Control Point List: Control Points indicated by the yellow icon and white text are selected and active, while greyed-out Control Points are inactive.
  5. Enable/Disable effect for all Control Points: the checkbox disables and re-enables all Control Points applied to the image, as well as the associated corrections and settings.
  6. Enable/Disable effect for a Control Point: the checkbox disables and re-enables the Control Point applied to the image, as well as the associated corrections and settings.
  7. Show/Hide Selection of Control Point: this button lets you display the monochrome mask of the control point concerned (also see point 3).
  8. Duplicate: click on this button to duplicate the currently selected Control Point(s). You can also duplicate a Control Point by clicking on it while pressing the Alt/Option key, then dragging the mouse to reposition the duplicated Control Point.
  9. Group: to group multiple Control Points, first select them in the list, holding down the Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) key and then click on the Group button. In the list, the Control Points are organized into groups named Group 1, Group 2, etc. In the image, the first Control Point selected to form the group is indicated by the normal dot, and all other Control Points in the group are indicated by a small yellow dot. When you apply a correction to one of the Control Points, the correction will be applied to the other Control Points in the group. However, you can use the size slider to adjust the size of each Control Point in a group independently. To select multiple Control Points, click in the image and then, while holding down the left mouse button, draw a selection rectangle encompassing the desired control points (you can then click the Group button to group them).
  10. Ungroup: to cancel the grouping of Control Points, select the group from the list and press the Ungroup button. All the Control Points will be displayed as ungrouped, allowing you to delete, modify, or create new groups from individual Control Points.
  11. Delete: click the Delete button to delete the currently selected Control Points.
  12. Reset: resets all sliders and settings associated with the active Control Point.
Display of the Control Point selection as a monochrome mask.
Black: No correction.
White: 100% correction.
Gray variations: varying degrees of correction. (see points 3 and 7 in the list above).
Applying a Protection Control Point (“-” sign).
On the left, the Control Point used to apply warmth to the horse’s head also affects the sky, due to the similarity of hues.
On the right, the Protection Control Point limits the effect in the sky.

You can group several Control Points together to apply the same correction to all of them. To do this, drag a rectangle with the mouse over all the desired Control Points.

Color selectivity and opacity.

The Color Selectivity sliders allow you to extend or reduce the range

of color tolerance covered by a Control Point. This lets you include variations in hue and its brightness level in your correction (for example, to take into account variations in skin color):

The effect of the Color Selectivity sliders is subtle, so use the black/white mask display of the Control Point, as shown below.

On the left, the Color Selectivity settings are at 0, the correction is distributed over the horse’s entire head and around it.
On the right, the sliders are set so that the correction applies primarily to the cheek and neck.

The Opacity slider is linked to the active Color Efex Pro filter, and if Control Points have been applied, it will be linked to the active Control Point.

Set to the maximum value of 100 by default, this indicates that the Control Point effect or correction is fully applied. If you reduce to the value to 50, the strength of the effect or correction is halved; at 0, no correction or effect is applied. This means you can adjust the effect or correction with a high degree of precision.

On the left, Control Point correction with Opacity at 100, on the right, Opacity at 0.

Rename Control Points

To help you manage and keep track of your Control Points and/or Control Point groups, which can grow quickly, you can rename them as you wish:

  1. In the list of Control Points, double-click on the name of the Control Point or group to rename. The Control Point or group must be inactive when you want to rename it.
  2. The name is highlighted: enter the new name directly. The old name is deleted as soon as you start typing.
  3. If you just want to change the name, move the flashing input cursor using the left or right arrows on your keyboard.
  4. Hit Enter to confirm.

Renaming does not change the order of the Check Points in the list, and there is no automatic alphabetical ordering. Nor can you change the order by drag and drop.

Presets

There are 39 presets in Color Efex Pro 5. Presets combine several filters. They can be selected, displayed, marked as Favorites, and sorted in the same way as the Filters. You can also combine a Preset with other Filters or other Presets.

Custom Presets

You can create your own Presets:

To create a Custom Preset

  1. After selecting one or several Filters and Presets, make the desired overall and/or selective (Control Point) adjustments using the tools in the right panel.
  2. At the bottom of the right panel, click the Save Preset* button.
  3. In the Custom Preset dialog box, enter a name to describe your filter clearly (e. g. “Soft Contrast + Desaturated Colors”).
  4. If you want to save the Control Points and associated selective corrections, make sure that the Save with Control Points box is checked (it is checked by default).
  5. Click Save to confirm.
  6. The Custom Preset then appears in the Custom section in the left panel.

* You can also save by going to the Custom section, clicking on the double arrow to the right of the number of presets and selecting Save Preset from the pop-up context menu.

Managing Custom Presets

You can take advantage of your Custom Presets with the following features:

  1. Rename: click on the name of the Preset under the thumbnail to activate the input field. Enter the new name and hit Enter to confirm.
  2. Mark as favorite: Click on the star to the left of the Preset (the star turns gold). Click again to cancel (the star turns black again).
  3. Export: hover over the Preset to display the buttons to the right in the thumbnail. Click the top button to export the Preset so that you can share it. A system dialog box lets you choose where to save it; then click Open.
  4. Update: After adjusting or adding corrections in a Custom Preset, hover over the thumbnail to display the buttons on the right. Click on the curved arrow to update the Preset with the adjusted or added corrections.
  5. Delete: hover over the Preset to display the buttons to the right in the thumbnail. Click on the trash can to delete it.

Sharing Custom Presets

You can export and import Custom Presets so you can share them with other users.

Exporting Custom Presets

  1. In the Custom section, click on the double arrow to the right of the number of Custom Presets.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select Export all.
  3. A system dialog box lets you choose the Save location and complete the Export process.

Importing Custom Presets

  1. In the Imported section, click on the double arrow to the right of the number of Presets.
  2. In the pop-up menu, select Import Preset.
  3. A system dialog box will open. Locate the Presets you want to import. Select the Presets you want to import, then click on Open.
  4. The imported Presets are displayed in the Imported section.

Imported presets can be renamed, marked as favorites, exported and deleted, in the same way as your Custom Presets. However, it is not possible to update the settings: if you want to, apply the imported preset, adjust the settings in the right panel then create a Custom Preset.

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