Nik Collection Introduces – Analog Efex Pro (AEP)

Summary – Yesterday (10/29/13) Google announced a major new “Efex-team” player addition to its existing lineup of Color, Silver & HDR – Analog Efex Pro (AEP). AEP is from a different “league”. Prior team members performed necessary photography functions. AEP does one thing & that thing isn’t essential – it converts images to an old film-era look, joining the already crowded field of faux-vintage-image players. Is it needed? No. Is it fun to play around with? Yes. You can even build your own custom vintage camera. It’s a free upgrade so no harm, no foul.

Analog Efex Pro – Observations by Yours Truly

Read about it here

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Why would I want to do this to a perfectly good image? 😦

Roll mouse over for an AEP example

001D800E-_131003_063445__DSC9929_orig_HDRblog 001D800E-_131003_063445__DSC9929_orig_HDRblog aep

I didn’t “intentionally” try to make AEP look bad

Simply used a canned preset AEP recipe

Then again, some may like this

Certainly saves money buying expensive equipment 😉

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My personal opinion on AEP

Could I personally do without

1. Color Efex Pro? No

2. Silver Efex Pro? No

3. HDR Efex Pro? Yes, 99.9% of the time

4. Analog Efex Pro? Yes, 100% of the time

Vintage effects aren’t my thing 😉

But – that’s just me

Based on my blog’s recent faux-vintage usage survey

Only 15% see room for yet-another such program

So – maybe it’s more than just me

There’s a reason the collection’s programs were

Developed in the 1-4 order shown above

Photo restoration service is a well-established business Also, colorizing & otherwise modernizing old images

Has lots of new-found interest

(interesting article with many historical image examples)

Analog Efex Pro seems to be swimming against the tide

Adding yet another tool for intentionally degrading images

IMO Google resources should have been used to

Improve the existing functionality

Something that actually benefits all users

Not just providing a small minority a new toy

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Note – “announced” does not mean “released”

AEP isn’t available to the public yet

When there’s more news I’ll try to let you know

In the interim I’ll sprinkle some

Additional info about AEP & more examples

(as soon as I find out what info is releasable)

[Update – apparently AEP is released. They just didn’t tell the testers. In light of still on-going test issues with AEP, I mistakenly thought this was a pre-announcement. Mea culpa.

Since Google updates their products automatically, you should see a new release of the Nik Collection – including AEP – on your system shortly if not already. Would someone please leave a comment here when that happens. Thanks.]

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13 thoughts on “Nik Collection Introduces – Analog Efex Pro (AEP)

  1. While your previous poll might certainly be representative for your group, I dare say that neither your nor your readers represent today’s mass market for photography software. But then yes, I also assumed that smartphone platforms were much more a target than PCs. Maybe they realized that iOS/Android is already too saturated and try the PCs now…

    We are getting old and out of fashion…

    • Old & out of fashion…. Sounds like a antique photo.

      My personal opinions are just that – personal. In photography that includes what is a photo & what might not be, and on & on. I’m not trying to change the world, simply comment on things from my personal viewpoint.

      As to the market & “try the PC’s now”, between Color Efex Pro’s extensive list of Vintage filters to Snapseed’s Grunge option, Google had plenty of offerings for both desktop & mobile devices. What they need at this point – more than yet another way to degrade images – is improvements to things like the workflow for the Nik Collection when using Lightroom. It’s absurd to have to make a separate round trip from LR to the collection for every different plug-in you want to use. Topaz & OnOne allow you to access their complete collection – until you’re done with it – in a single trip and there’s no reason Google couldn’t do the same, but instead they make another photography TOY instead of fixing their existing photography TOOLs.

      Please step aside as I climb down off this soapbox 😉

      • There ARE filters within AEP that might be interesting to use in making non-vintage looking images: the zoom & rotate blur and the bokeh ellipse. Just choose camera kit, uncheck all the filters but one of the 2 filters mentioned above, and apply. I guess you could make a custom preset that applied just one or the other.

        • Absolutely right, Georgette. I am, at this instant, about 50% of the way through the individual camera kit filters examining them 1-by-1 against some graphics-style hand made test images in order to see exactly what they do. My thought is just as you suggest – see which filters or combinations do interesting or useful functions apart from grunge for grunge’s sake.

          I’ll do a post once I see what’s what.

    • Left a note on the tester’s site this morning expressing surprise at the early release. Made the analogy between AEP’s premature birth and the recent Obamacare rollout where the supporting website wasn’t ready and no one wanted to admit it (until it was there for the world to see). In the case of AEP, I suspect that Google underlings didn’t want to tell the VP, who had a major 1-hour show scheduled with invited guests lined up for weeks. The show must go on…. 😉

      If you visit Google’s AEP site & look under Q&A and Troubleshooting you’ll see hints that AEP has issues.

      Have you seen my soapbox? I think maybe my wife hid it from me.

  2. Ed,

    So besides improvements in the LR–> Nik and back, what other improvements might you suggest? Your years as a beta tester should have come up with some useful features that have not yet been implemented. Perhaps you could start of your reply with Color Efex Pro 4 and SEP2. It might be a fruitful discussion to share with Nik/Google product managers, if enough of us get behind the wheel.

    Wei Chong

    • At this point the thing most needed is changing the collection from strictly one at a time plug-ins to a true COLLECTION consisting of the 7 individual programs integrated within a single shell – just as Topaz and OnOne have done. Whether this integrated collection operates as a stand-alone as well as a plug-in isn’t as big an issue as bundling them to begin with – again, Topaz & OnOne do it both ways.

      This would be a major benefit for LR users and *others* as well. One of my most read posts on a PhotoNet.com forum thread contains a link to my blog post that explains how to run the Nik programs in a stand-alone mode. A handful of of blog visitors every day for over a year click their way from that forum. to the tune of several thousand cumulative.

      Nik was – and Google is – aware of this. For now at least they’ve invested their Nik Collection attention to creating new toys instead of bettering their existing tools (except Snapseed and the Google+ photography functions – but that was their underlying reason for buying Nik over a year ago to begin with). The collection is an after thought because its main appeal is to “serious shooters” and not the vastly larger number of folks who shoot & post billions of images on social media sites. I understand their reasoning & motivation – just don’t care for it personally because I’m not part of their main target audience.

  3. So the Analog Efex will just show up? Just as an upgrade would? Thanks,
    I really like your blog by the way. I look forward to it arriving in my inbox!!

    Bob Miller

    • That’s how it’s supposed to work, Bob. Read this previous post of mine for more info – like you must be connected to the internet (duh!) AND the host programs (PS, LR,….) must be turned off.

      https://edknepleyphoto.com/2013/05/17/a-google-nik-collection-auto-update-update/

      The latest version number is 1.1.0.5 (was 1.1.0.3 as of the time of the release announcement so you can see they’ve already updated it twice in two days – and that’s not the end of it :-() ).

      The version previous to the AEB release was 1.0.0.7 I believe. If you’re running windows just look at the install/remove section of the control panel where versions are listed. I’d be curious to hear when you see the new version.

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