The world is literally your oyster
with this latest product from FXhome
That old adage that, "the camera never
lies" is now something of a farce. Anyone with a half decent PC and an
image editor, can alter a digital image to tell just about any story they like.
In the same way, some of the gizmos used primarily in the world of video, are
now becoming accepted parts of the professional photographers toolkit. The
green screen is a case in point - a familiar concept to anyone who has watched
a sci-fi film in the past five years. It can transport the actors into just
about any location you could dream up, without them having to leave the safety
and convenience of the studio.
6 Pro software
The technical term for this is chroma
keying. A postproduction technique for compositing two images, or video streams
based on their color hues, and FXhome's PhotoKey is designed to bring this
facility to photographers regardless of their expertise or budget. This version
designated 6, is said to simplify the process without losing the quality the
product has become noted for. The review is based on the Pro version, yet
there's also a standard version, aimed more at the home or semi-pro
photographer. It's a cheaper product, and the differences between the two can
be compared on FXhome's website.
PhotoKey is a standalone program, but will
also install as a plug-in filter for Adobe Photoshop (if it's found on your
system). Used this way it provides seamless integration between the products,
and consequently better productivity.
When it comes to using PhotoKey, it's
almost disappointing because it does its ‘thing1 pretty much automatically. You
can still apply a tweak here and there but quite honestly in most cases it
knows best. I tested it on a variety of different subjects, trying to trip it
up but I must say the results are very impressive.
You know the old paint around the edge with
red, then fill in the bits you want to keep in green method that some programs
use? Well forget about all that, because PhotoKey works it out automatically.
it comes to using PhotoKey, it's almost disappointing because it does its
‘thing1 pretty much automatically
One of the major problems affecting this
type of product, is the ability to handle hair, lace, or any other fine detail.
To combat this the designers have added a new adaptive color feature that
improves the result quite dramatically. It does this by re-filtering the image,
to restore some of the fine detail lost in the removal of the green
background... again the results are very impressive.
Another useful feature added to this
version is batch processing. It will automate the integration of different
background and foreground elements for a series of images. Very useful for
those clients who want a variety of backgrounds to choose from or simply when
you want to find a background that fits a particular subject.
useful feature added to this version is batch processing
We're not done yet, though, because
PhotoKey Pro 6 also includes a wide range of effects and filters, these range
from white balance, contrast and saturation to more subtle options like color
temperature, bilateral blur and silhouette. These are not gimmicks either, they
provide useful functions that are time consuming to achieve manually. Take for
example the leave color filter. This allows you to specify a color to keep,
before removing the color from the rest of the image. A well-used feature in
advertising when you want to highlight an object, or particular section of an
image. Again very quick and easy to use with refinement controls for the
tolerance, edge softness and blend.
Finally the program ships with 25
professional background images, so you'll have a small library to get you
started. Although most any high resolution images can be used.
- Manufacturer: FXhome
- Website: www.fxhome.com
- Required spec: Windows 7,8 or Vista (64bit versions) 1 GHz Pentium 4 or AMD
Athlon 64 2 GB RAM 50 MB hard disk space