(I’ll return to the Contrast Series on Monday)
This is a question that comes up regularly
I, among others, have answered it multiple times
Some folks never heard of internet searches ;-)
After Google released the newly branded Nik Collection
The same questions began all over
Folks, at this stage the *only* things Google changed
The name – now Google Nik Collection
The update method – auto update, like it or not
The price – $149 for all six collection programs
Individual programs no longer available
The programs themselves are identical
to when they were called Nik Software
Read on for how to run the Nik Collection programs
in stand-alone mode (without PS, or LR , or Aperture)
Note well – there are a few “gotcha’s
Click to enlarge
Sunrise – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Went back 4 consecutive mornings (up at 4:30)
Waiting for this scene
Sun intentionally “cupped” under the tree branch
While I was writing this post
With HDR Efex Pro open as a stand-alone
I opened this image (HEP, alone in the collection, has a File menu)
I quickly (5 seconds each) used presets to create the above
A single exposure; not a bracketed set
First – disclaimers and cautions
Pay close attention or you may irrecoverably lose your files!
1. Not intended to be run alone (although they can)
These programs were never intended to be run stand-alone
Driven mainly by Lightroom which doesn’t use plug-ins
This means if you have problems don’t expect support!!!
2. RAW files can’t be used
In spite of appearances to the contrary
No Nik program will accept a RAW file
If you missed my previous explanation of this, read here
Obviously this means you must
Use jpeg or tiff files as input to the “stand-alone” program
3. There are no menus in an open stand-alone program
Except for HDR Efex Pro as shown here
Without any menu how do you work with image files?
A good question (to be answered in the next section)
The answer for now is VERY CAREFULLY!
Failure to heed the caution can quickly lead to
LOSS OF YOUR ORIGINAL INPUT FILE
Because – THE INPUT FILE IS OVERWRITTEN
As soon as you click the SAVE button
ZAP – original is overwritten!
Make a copy before you start!!!
As shown above, HDR Efex Pro is the sole exception
It does have a minimal File menu
To quit a program (except HDR), you use the
Cancel or Save options at the window’s bottom right
Every time you finish an image (either cancel or save)
The program closes & you must start over for the next
I’m willing to take my chances, Ed
How do I run a Nik Collection in a stand-alone mode??
1. Navigate to the folder containing the
Desired program’s executable file
NOTE – executable, NOT plug-in
a. I’ll illustrate with Window’s File Explorer and Color Efex Pro
b. Mac users will have to translate as appropriate
Click to enlarge
2. To repeat: you’re looking for the executable, not the plug-in
Don’t bother looking in your PS, LR or Aperture folders
Find a Google folder containing a Nik Collection folder
The yellow highlighted line above tells it all
If you used the default Nik Collection installation
The above is exactly what you should see
3. Drag & drop the image to be processed
On top of the executable file entry line you just found
IN THE FILE EXPLORER WINDOW!
Voila – the program is running just as it would within a host
(until you’re ready to save and/or exit;
you read that part above, didn’t you??)
Note – if you open the executable first and
then drag the image into the program’s window
It won’t work (at least not on my Win 7 PC)
If you own either PS, LR or Aperture -
I don’t recommend doing this
There’s no reason plus there’s the potential file loss
There is one exception
It’s if you use PS Elements and have none of the others
HDR Efex Pro will not run in PSE
Stand-alone is your only option
Fortunately HEP has its minimum File menu
to keep you out of trouble
It’s very simple really
I added all of the extra stuff because nothing is fool-proof
Fools can be very foolish if not held by the hand ;-)
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