Last updated on June 15, 2022
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Image: Sutirta Budiman

The Viveza 3 module is a tool designed to rework the colors and tonality (brightness and contrast) of your images, both globally and locally, using Control Points.

These let you enliven or attenuate the colors by altering the hue, saturation, and luminosity; you can also modify the contrast and micro-contrast of your images.

Preferences and help

Viveza 3 lets you make a number of adjustments to its display modes and gives you access to the online user guide.

Preferences

To access Preferences:

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

Viveza 3 Preferences, General tab

* By default, if you do not change this option, the previously used setting will be applied.
**Changes are applied the next time you launch the app.
General options and settings changed in one module will apply to all Nik Collection plug-ins.

Save

Help

Viveza 3 Help menu (Mac)

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

* Requires an internet connection.

Interface

The Viveza 3 interface is composed of the following elements:

  1. The menu bar
  2. The upper toolbar
  3. The image display area
  4. The left panel (presets)
  5. The right panel (tools)
  6. The lower toolbar
The 6 elements of the Viveza 3 interface

The menu bar

Mac:

The menu bar at the top of the Silver Efex Pro 3 window includes the following menus:

  1. Viveza 3: gives access to the Preferences.
  2. Edit: contains the Undo and Redo commands, to undo or redo previous actions one by one, as well as the Apply Last Change command, which allows you to apply the corrections made to another image during a previous session with Viveza 3 to a new image.
  3. Help: contains links to the user guide, DxO support, etc. (see the Preferences and help page).

PC:

The menu bar at the top of the Viveza 3 window contains the following menus:

  1. File: gives access to the Preferences.
  2. Edit: contains the Undo and Redo commands, to undo or redo previous actions one by one, as well as the Apply Last Change command, which allows you to apply the corrections made to another image during a previous session with Viveza 3 to a new image.
  3. Help: contains links to the user guide, DxO support, etc. (see the Preferences and help page).

The upper toolbar

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

The upper toolbar

Compare and Zoom buttons

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

  1. Alternate: click on the button to display the image before correction, release to display the corrected image.
  2. Split vertically or horizontally: divide the image in two with a vertical line that can be moved left or right, and switch to horizontal mode by clicking on the arrow in the center of the line, with the possibility to move it freely up or down. The left half (or top half) represents the image before correction, as it was opened in the plug-in, the right half (or bottom half) represents the processed and corrected image. You can zoom and move synchronously in both halves of the image, either with the Navigator or with the Hand tool, by pressing the Space bar.
  3. One above the other or side-by-side preview: the pre-processed version is shown at the top, the post-processed version at the bottom. You can also display both versions of the image side by side by clicking on the button between the two. You can also zoom and move synchronously in the two images, either with the Navigator or with the Hand tool, by pressing the spacebar.
  4. Fit: displays the entire image in the display area.
  5. Fill: displays the image so that it fills the entire display area (image will therefore be cropped).
  6. 1.1: standard zoom value equivalent to 100% (1 pixel of the image = 1 pixel of the screen).
  7. 2.1: zoom value equivalent to 200%.
  8. Other zoom values: click on the arrows to select other zoom values from the menu. When you select one of these values, it is displayed in the button (7).

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 grabbing the tile or by clicking in the floating navigation window.

Alternate display mode.
Vertical or horizontal split display mode.
Display modes: one on top of the other, or side by side
(Note that you can zoom in these comparison modes.)
The floating navigation window (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 floating scrollbar lets you switch between them.
  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.

The left panel (presets)

The left panel contains all the filters and effects grouped in 2 categories (All and En Vogue) under the presets section, as well as the Custom section, for creating your own effects, and the Imported section, for loading effects shared by other users.

You can hide or reveal the left panel either by clicking on its right edge or by pressing the L key.

The presets are presented as preview thumbnails of the image opened in the plug-in. If the image is framed horizontally, the thumbnails are arranged in a single-image column. If the image is cropped vertically, the thumbnails are grouped in pairs. To hide or reveal a section, click on the arrow on the right. The number indicates the number of presets in each section, and the double arrow lets you save and export a preset. In each section, you can filter the presets by favorites or recently used. Finally, to hide or reveal the left panel, click on the right edge.

The left panel

The right panel (tools)

The right panel contains all the global and selective correction sections, as well as a loupe (magnifying glass) and a histogram, arranged from top to bottom:

You can hide or reveal the right panel by clicking on its left edge or with the R key. Each section can be hidden or expanded using the top-right arrows.

To reset a setting, double-click the slider. To reset the settings in the Global Settings and White Balance sections, click the rounded arrow. The White Balance section also has a checkbox to temporarily turn the applied correction off and on. Finally, the Selective settings and Levels & Curves sections have their own reset system.

The right panel

Loupe (Magnifier)

The Loupe section is available regardless of the tools used:

Loupe placed on a point in the image

Histogram

The histogram shows the distribution of the brightness levels of the pixels in the selected image, with dark tones on the left, medium tones in the center, and light tones on the right, with the peaks corresponding to the number of pixels per brightness range. You can view the histogram in different ways by clicking on the buttons:

(clockwise) RGB, R, G, B, and L histograms

Thanks to the possibility of displaying the brightness values by channel, you will be able to deal more precisely your tonality (exposure, contrast) and color settings. Note that the histogram is also present in the Levels & Curves tool.

The histogram also allows you to display the clipped values by checking the boxes in the upper left corner (dark tones and blacks) and in the upper right corner (light tones and highlights). The clipped tones, which indicate pixels and therefore image information that may disappear, are also represented in the image as masks:

Clipping indicators in the histogram and image.

For example, if your image has clipped highlights, you can restore them using the Brightness and Light Tones sliders or the Levels & Curves tool. In this case, the clipping black mask will be reduced or disappear. The same applies to the clipped blacks, which can be corrected with the Brightness, Shadow Adjustment, Shadows, Blacks sliders and with the Levels & Curves tool.

The lower toolbar

The bottom bar includes the following information and functions:

  1. File Name and Source: Indicates the file name and 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 in the host application is modified.

Keyboard shortcuts

ActionWindowsMacintosh
Select several control points in the imageCtrl + ACmd + A
Select several control points in the listCtrl + clickCmd + click
Delete Control PointBackspaceDel
Duplicate a Control PointCtrl + D, Alt + drag & dropCmd + D, Option + drag & drop
Apply the presetEnterEnter
Cancel the presetEscEsc
Full ScreenFF
Pan ToolH or SpacebarH or Spacebar
PreviewCtrl + PCmd + P
Show/Hide the left and/or right panesTab (both), L (left), R (right)Tab (both), L (left), R (right)
Select ToolAA
CancelCtrl + ZCmd + Z

Using and managing presets

The left panel is dedicated to presets and consists of the following sections:

Each section can be hidden or expanded using the arrow to the right of the section name. The number indicates the number of presets in each section.

Presets

Presets consist of adjustments and corrections whose effect is represented by thumbnails, using the active image. Presets are a quick way to learn how to use Viveza, while providing a starting point for creating custom presets, which you can then apply to your images with a single click.

At the top of the Presets section, the presets are organized by category (All and En Vogue). If you click on any of the categories, the associated presets are displayed in a scrolling list of thumbnails.

Starting image (Neutral preset)
Selecting a different preset (001 Golden Hour)
Warning about changing presets
Applying the new preset and setting changes

To apply a preset, click on its thumbnail in the left pane. The corrections are immediately applied to the image, and a dialog box tells you that the previous settings and corrections will be replaced. Click Yes to confirm or No to cancel (if you don’t want to see the dialog again, check the Don’t show again box).

Each time you apply a preset, the settings and sliders change in the right pane, reflecting the preset’s corrections.

You can mark presets as favorites by clicking on the gray star to the left of each thumbnail. Favorite presets are indicated by a gold star. To remove the favorite status, click on the gold star and it will return to gray.

The Presets section also allows you to filter and display presets according to the following statuses (you can add the filters together):

Active filters are represented by their respective light gray buttons and the brighter name. To revert to a single filter or to disable filters completely, click on the relevant button(s).

Custom

The Custom section stores presets that you create, and also has tagging and filtering by favorites or recently used.

Creating a custom preset

To create a custom preset:

  1. Make the desired corrections with the tools in the right pane, both global and selective settings (control points).
  2. At the bottom of the right pane, click the Save preset* button.
  3. In the Custom type dialog box, enter a detailed name (e.g., Soft Contrast + Cyanotype, Color and Contrast +, Desaturation, Structure ++, etc.).
  4. If you want to save the control points and the 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 appears in the Custom section in the left panel.

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. After entering the new name, hit Enter.
  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. Clicking the top button will allow you to export the preset, for the purpose of sharing it. A system dialog allows you to choose the save location, before clicking Open.
  4. Update*: After editing or adding corrections from 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 modified 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.

To export all your custom presets:

  1. Click the double arrow to the right of the custom presets number.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select Export all.
  3. A system dialog box allows you to choose the save location and confirm.

Imported

This section allows you to import presets shared by other users, and with a few exceptions, its operation is similar to that of the Custom section.

Importing presets

To import presets:

  1. Click on the double arrow to the right of the number of imported presets.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select Import preset.
  3. A system dialog box will open. Locate the presets you want to import.
  4. Select the presets to import.
  5. Click Open.
  6. The imported presets are displayed in the Imported section.

Managing imported presets

You have tools and controls for renaming, bookmarking, exporting, and deleting your custom presets:

  1. Rename*: click on the name of the preset under the thumbnail to activate the input field. After entering the new name, hit Enter.
  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. Clicking the top button will allow you to export the preset, for the purpose of sharing it. A system dialog allows you to choose the save location before clicking Open.
  4. Delete*: Hover over the preset to display the buttons to the right in the thumbnail. Click on the trash can to delete it.

While it is not possible to edit and update imported presets in the Imported section, you can do so by creating a new preset from an imported preset:

  1. Apply the preset to edit.
  2. Edit the tool corrections in the right pane as desired, both global and selective (control points).
  3. At the bottom of the right pane, click the Save preset button.
  4. In the Custom type dialog box, enter a detailed name (e.g., Soft Contrast + Cyanotype, Color and Contrast +, Desaturation, Structure ++, etc.).
  5. If you want to save the control points and the associated selective corrections, make sure that the Save with control points box is checked (it is checked by default).
  6. Click Save to confirm.
  7. The modified imported preset appears in the Custom section in the left panel.

Finally, just as with custom presets, you have the possibility of exporting all your imported presets: This can be useful if, for example, you deleted the downloaded presets or the message from the user who shared them:

  1. Click 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 allows you to choose and confirm the save location.

Correction tools

Viveza 3 is purely a tone and color correction tool, designed to make corrections easier without having to go through the complex masking techniques offered by major retouching software.

The tools in Viveza 3 can be used both for global image correction and for selective correction using control points (U-points). They are grouped in the following sections:

Global Adjustments

Overview

The Global Adjustments section of Viveza 3 is divided into two parts:

  1. Global Adjustments: correction of brightness, color contrast and structure effect (detail enhancement).
  2. Selective tones: brightness correction by tonal ranges (light tones, medium tones, shadows, blacks).

The sliders are set to 0% by default, and to reset a slider, simply double-click it. To reset all the corrections, click on the curved arrow at the top right.

The sliders described below are used globally, with the corrections acting throughout the image, and the same sliders also appear in the Selective Adjustments section, after you have created a control point and placed it in your image.

Global Adjustment sliders

Selective tones sliders

White Balance

The White Balance tool allows you to restore natural, balanced colors and compensate for the presence of colored dominants. Of course, you can also take advantage of it to create special effects and renderings,

which is the purpose of the tool as included in Viveza 3, given that your host application will have already performed the white balance of the original RAW file.

Performing and correcting white balance

To perform white balance:

  1. In the White Balance section, click on the eyedropper to activate it.
  2. Move the mouse pointer over the image and it will turn into an eyedropper.
  3. You can adjust the diameter of the sampling area (shown by the circle at the end of the dropper) using the Radius slider. The default diameter is 5 pixels, on a scale from 1 to 50 pixels.
  4. To neutralize a dominant, click on a neutral area of the image, white or gray.
  5. To introduce a dominant, click on the desired neutral color (for example, click on a blue to warm up the image, click on a yellow, orange or red to cool it down).
  6. You can change the white balance as many times as you wish by clicking repeatedly in the image.
Cooler image by clicking on a warm shade
Warmer image by clicking on a cold shade
More balanced image by clicking on a neutral color

Change or fine-tune white balance

Whether you want to neutralize a color cast or alter the warmth of the image, you can fine-tune the white balance using the Temperature slider. Set to 0 by default, its scale ranges from -100 to +100.

Warmer image by increasing the value of the Temperature slider

Reset and compare

You can reset the white balance and compare it to the image opened in Viveza :

Selective Adjustments

Selective adjustments allow only certain parts of the image to be changed. Add a control point, and when setting the corresponding sliders, it will affect only the objects or areas covered by the control point.

Add a Control Point

To place and use a control point:

  1. In the Selective Adjustments section, click the button to the right of Control points.
  2. As you roll over the image, the mouse cursor changes to a control point.
  3. Click where you want in the image to place the control point.
  4. The control point appears as a yellow (active control point) or white (inactive control point) dot.
  5. When it is active, the control point has a slider for adjusting the radius of effectiveness, represented by a circle.
  6. When the control point is inactive, you can move the mouse over it to see the slider and the radius (but to adjust them, you must first activate the control point by clicking on it).
  7. If desired, you can move a control point (active or inactive) by dragging and dropping it.
  8. You can add as many control points as you want by repeating steps 1 to 3.
  9. To delete a control point, click on it to activate it and press the Delete key on your keyboard. A dialog box will prompt you to confirm (check the Don’t show again box to stop displaying the dialog box).

Managing control points

The Selective Adjustments section allows you to 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: see previous paragraph (Adding a Control Point).
  2. Size: indicates in % the size of the radius of effectiveness of the control point.
  3. Show/Hide selection for all control points: This button displays the monochrome masks for all control points. To display the mask of only one control point at a time, check the box on the right side of the list. In the monochrome mask, white indicates the areas of the file where 100% of the correction is applied, black indicates no correction and the gray variations indicate the areas more or less affected by the correction.
  4. Control point list: control points indicated by the yellow icon and white text are selected and active, grayed 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. Show/Hide control point effect: The checkbox allows you to temporarily disable and re-enable the display of the control point in question, as well as the associated corrections and settings..
  7. Show/Hide control point selection: this button allows you to display the monochrome mask of the control point concerned (see also 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: You can group multiple control points by first selecting them in the list, holding down the Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) key and then clicking on this 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. You can also select multiple control points by clicking in the image and then, while holding down the left mouse button, draw a selection rectangle encompassing the desired control points (then you can group them by clicking the Group button).
  10. Ungroup: to remove the grouping of control points, select the group from the list and press this button. All 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.

Renaming control points and groups

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. To be renamed, the control point or group must be inactive.
  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. Confirm by hitting Enter.

Selective Adjustment sliders

  1. Color Selectivity :
    • Luminance.
    • Chrominance.
  2. Basic Adjustments :
    • Brightness
    • Contrast
    • Saturation
    • Structure
    • Shadow settings
    • Warmth.
    • Red.
    • Green
    • Blue
    • Hue.
  3. Selective Tones :
    • Highlights.
    • Midtones.
    • Shadows.
    • Blacks.

The control points in Viveza 3 no longer have their own sliders, as the number of sliders can get in the way of image visibility. This means you will need to make your corrections using the sliders that appear in the Selective Adjustments section of the right pane after you have created a control point. Do not confuse them with the sliders in the Global Settings section.

You can reset a slider to its default setting by double-clicking on it; to reset all the sliders in the Selective Adjustments section, click on the curved arrow to the right of the name of the active control point.

Selective adjustments allow only certain parts of the image to be changed. Add a control point, and when setting the corresponding sliders, it will affect only the objects or areas covered by the control point.

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.

Five distinct control points, only one active
Drag the mouse to cover all the control points.
Grouped control points for applying the same correction

Color Selectivity

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

of color tolerance covered by a control point. This will allow you to include in your correction variations in the hue and its brightness level (for example, to take into account slight variations in the blue of the sky).

Placement of the control point (no correction)
Slight lightening with the Luminance slider: the correction is not homogeneous within the radius of the control point.
Color selectivity adjustment.
The correction is more homogeneous.
Without using color selectivity,
(in white: correction applied, in black: no correction)
With color selectivity.

Sampling pipette and color picker

Sampling eyedropper

Active only with the selective adjustments, the eyedropper allows you to pick a hue from the image and apply it to the active control point. For example, if the control point is set to blue sky and you pick a green from the vegetation, the control point will apply that hue to that location in the image. The picked color appears in the color picker box to the right of the dropper.

Once you have picked the color, the Selective Adjustments sliders will display settings that you can change as you wish.

Color replacement with eyedropper sample applied to the control point (duplicated to extend the correction).

Color Picker

You can also click on the tile to the right of the dropper, provided that a control point is active (by default, the tile is gray). This will open the color picker of the operating system, where you can choose a color that will be immediately applied to the active control point.

Again, you can use the Selective Adjustments sliders to  adjust the chosen color.

Levels & Curves

The “S” curve is a tool that lets you reinforce the contrast by making the darker parts denser (lowering the foot of the curve), the light parts brighter (head of the curve), and by adjusting the midtones (center of the curve).

The Curve allows you to refine or completely rework the contrast of your images, by affecting the curve either globally or via the RGB channel, as well as by using the Level sliders:

  1. RGBbutton: selected by default, it allows you to adjust the luminosity and contrast of your images without altering the colors. The histogram represents the 3 RGB channels combined, and the curve is white.
  2. R, G, and B buttons: let you adjust the brightness of the Red, Green or Blue channels, to depress or reinforce their respective dominance. The histogram represents the selected channel and the curve takes the color of the chosen channel (red, green, or blue).
  3. Curve: to adjust the curve click and drag with the left mouse button. You can add anchor points to the curve, which will allow you to lock the contrast settings to specific points on the curve, and therefore on the image. To remove an anchor point, double-click it.
  4. Levels sliders: Move the dark (left), mid (center) or light (right) sliders to adjust their respective ranges.
  5. Reset: The double arrow at the top of the Levels and Curves section opens a pop-up menu where you can reset the settings of the active channel, or all applied settings.
Reinforcing global contrast with an “S” curve (see illustration at the beginning of the paragraph).

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