By Joan T. Sherwood
Now that the Mac-supported versions of Image Trends plug-ins ShineOff and PearlyWhites are available, I can test them. Both plug-ins are of the simplest variety to use; just select the filter from your menu and the rest of the operation is automatic, with no sliders or adjustments to fiddle with. In Photoshop, you can control the amount of filter you want to apply to your image, by simply copying your background image onto another layer, then running the filter on the copied layer. (You could use the filter on your background layer, but at the risk of accidentally saving over your original.) Now go to Edit > Fade … in the options menu or adjust the opacity of the layer.
Image Trends plug-ins work with any application that's Photoshop-filter compatible, including Photoshop 7 and later (including CS3), Adobe Image Ready, Photoshop Elements 2 and above, Corel Paint Shop Pro 7 and later.
To test PearlyWhites, I used a portrait that includes white clothing.
The PearlyWhites plug-in whitens teeth in a natural way. The whites of the eyes also brighten slightly, which is a nice bonus. However, the skin tone on the left cheek (the subject's right cheek) changed from peach to pink, not such a welcome change. I could detect only a tiny difference in the brightness of the shirt on the right shoulder, but only when I turned the layer view on and off. I can't detect it when I look at the images side by side. [Click the image for a larger view. Images ©Joan T. Sherwood]
You could protect your image from unwanted changes by using a layer mask, but that takes away a little of the convenience of using the plug-in. Still, it's an easy mask to make; there's no need for any refined selection. Hold down the alt/option key and click on the layer mask icon in the Layers palette to get a black layer mask, then paint with a white, slightly soft-edged brush across the eyes and mouth. Your skin tones will remain untouched.
To test ShineOff, I used a snapshot that shows both face shine and eyeglass flare.
It goes a little too far for my tastes, though. I used the Edit > Fade ShineOff command in Photoshop to back down the adjustment to 40%. Results below. [Click image for a larger view.]
ShineOff affects shine on the skin but not other highlights on smooth surfaces. It may not magically fix the unwanted glasses glare, but it also won't spoil other highlights that you don't want disturbed, like those in jewelry or champagne glasses.
Do watch out for highlights on skin-like textures, such as flowers.
ShineOff dulls the dew considerably in the image above. It's still an easy fix with judicious masking to keep the effects away from areas that don't need fixing.
ShineOff and PearlyWhites plug-ins are available from Image Trends Inc. for $49.95 each. Free trial versions are available for download.