Some of us are born good looking. Others buy beauty through a range of products and services. And the rest of us? Well, until recently we just had to deal with the genetic hand that was dealt us. But then along came image editing applications such as Photoshop, which could at least make most of us look noticeably snappier via retouched portraits. But such fine-tuning takes time in hands of a skilled retoucher. To the rescue came easier to use applications and Photoshop plugins.
Probably the best-known tool in this space is Anthropics Technology’s Portrait Professional, a cross platform application/plugin that is dedicated to making us all look more appealing. Its approach is an usual one, in that the app bases its range of changes on hundreds of photos of “beautiful human faces.” Of course, what constitutes beauty isn’t fixed, but is a factor of time and place. But that’s a philosophical discussion for another day. The fact is that users can quickly load in a portrait and simply by means of sliders move aspects of the face, such as skin smoothing, teeth whitening, lighting, spot reduction and even face shaping, in a more “beautiful” direction. True, all this could be done in Photoshop — but only given the time and expertise.
Given all this functionality, what does AKVIS’ MakeUp plugin/application bring to the beautification party? Its claim to fame seem to be its ability to automatically smooth small skin defects, which in Express mode can be performed with one click using the default settings. Batch processing is also available. In Advanced mode users can choose the tone of the skin more precisely by using the Eyedropper tool and adjusting the available parameters, thereby being able to determine the zone “between glamour and authenticity,” as the developer puts it. Advanced mode adds such effects as High Key Lighting, which is said to blow out harsh shadows and thereby remove small imperfections and the shadows under eyes.
New in version 3 are the Teeth Whitening, Red Eye Removal and Blur tools. It’s now also possible to choose from two History Brush modes: Restore to Original or Edit Brushes. A new Preset Preview window displays a quick proview result when the cursor is moved over a preset in the drop-down list.
MakeUp for Mac and Windows is similar to other AKVIS products, in that it is provided in multiple editions. The Home version is priced at $39 and requires customers to choose between either the Photoshop plugin or application. The Home Deluxe edition includes both for $49, while the Business edition includes both and can be used for commercial use, and is priced at $72. A trial version is also available.