PhotoDirector 3 - Gets snap happy

5/31/2012 5:22:56 PM

Let’s get snap happy with CyberLink’s workflow package.

It’s worth getting this out of the way from the start: PhotoDirector 3 isn’t a rival to Adobe Photoshop. It is a good photo workflow package in its own right, but the level of functionality doesn’t match up to what you’ll find with Adobe’s software.

Description: PhotoDirector 3

PhotoDirector 3

Of course, PhotoDirector 3 is considerably cheaper than Photoshop, costing $175, yet it still offers users a high level of functionality that you’d expect at this price point. When combined with an ease of use that is fast becoming the company’s hallmark, PhotoDirector 3 marks a genuine leap forward for CyberLink.

The company has already developed a solid reputation in the movie editing space, thanks to steady progression in its PowerDirector suite in recent years. Adopting a similar approach, PhotoDirector benefits from a similar presentation.

Description: The core UI takes its cues from CyberLink’s other software

The core UI takes its cues from CyberLink’s other software

Based on five modules – Library, Adjustment, Edit, Slideshow, Print – you can take a photo from import to print stage, with plenty of editing and optimising along the way, in a matter of clicks. As with PowerDirector, what makes PhotoDirector 3 a success is the confidence the software has in its approach. The interface is wonderful to look at, and the clear tabbed layout along the top and side of the screen means that whether you’re a seasoned photo editor, or a relative beginner, the software will work for you.

Naturally, the workflow approach has much to do with its success, bringing photo library management, enhancements and publishing out of the box. A workflow concept can only work providing the software itself can drive it, however, and the power behind the package is worth applauding. Everything just works, with no hang-ups or confusion over what to do next.

As for the key feature additions, the new Editing module is fantastic. Opening up with the People Beautifier tool, which cleaned up portrait shots to good effect during testing, the module also consists of practical, usable object and background removal tools which again worked as well as promised.

Before the editing process comes the adjustments, and with batch processing included, you can render your tweaks in good time. A raft of presets with titles such as ‘80s’ and ‘Golden Harvest’ are included, and more can be downloaded from CyberLink’s DirectorZone online resource, giving access to the best efforts users have put together. Specific adjustments can also be made to your photos using the adjustment brush, and options like spot removal and gradient masks are present, as you’d no doubt expect.

Sharing destinations includes YouTube, Flickr or Facebook, while slideshows can be stored locally in H.264 format, alongside MPEG-4, and WMV. Photo export options are slight, however, with only JPG and TIFF included, while watermarks can be added to printed images.

CyberLink has successfully pushed its PhotoDirector package forward with this year’s release. There are enough professional features to keep more seasoned users happy, while the excellent workflow approach will keep you coming back for more. All-in-all, it’s a value-for-money offering that’s well worth a trial at least.

Description: The object removal tool is one of the package’s editing highlights

The object removal tool is one of the package’s editing highlights


Price: $175 (free trial also available)

Manufacturer: CyberLink


Required spec: Intel Pentium D 3.0GHz processor with Hyper-Threading or equivalent, 2GB RAM, 1GB HD space, Graphics card with 128MB VRAM and above, Windows 7/Vista/XP



Excellent photo workflow package with strong features

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