Perfect Layers 8 basics

Who needs Photoshop when you can use Perfect Layers 8 with Aperture and Lightroom?

Aperture and Lightroom fans will need an external image-editor for more advanced image enhancement and manipulation – particularly if it involves combining multiple images as layers. But your external editor doesn’t have to be Photoshop, or even Elements.

Perfect Photo Suite 8, just out, has a new version of its Perfect Layers plug-in which makes it even easier to created layered images from within Aperture or Lightroom.

Perfect Layers 8 basics

I’m going to try this out on my picture of a forest scene, but adding and blending in a picture of some clouds.

01 Launch Perfect Layers 8

Perfect Layers 8 basics

I’m using Aperture to show how this works, and I’ve already created an album containing my two source images. You’ll need to do this first because you can’t select images in different albums or projects.

Next, I select both images and then right-click on either one, choosing Perfect Layers 8 from my ‘Edit with plug-in’ sub-menu.

02 How it works

Perfect Layers 8 basics

Perfect Layers 8 has a new way of handling multiple images, which now open in separate tabs in the workspace. I want to add the sky image to the forest picture, so I select the sky image tab first and use the Layer > Copy layer command…

03 Pasting layers

Perfect Layers 8 basics

Next, I select the forest image tab and use the Layer > Paste layer command. The sky will be added to the forest picture as a new layer – it’s that simple

04 Transforming layers

Perfect Layers 8 basics

The sky is an image I shot long ago on an older, lower resolution camera, so I need to use the Transform tool (circled) on the toolbar on the left side of the screen, then drag the sky layer’s corner handles to resize it. If you hold down the shift key at the same time, the proportions will be retained as the picture changes size.

2 thoughts on “Who needs Photoshop when you can use Perfect Layers 8 with Aperture and Lightroom?

  1. Am I the only person who can’t install the “Perfect Suite” to work as a plugin for Photoshop or do others have issues with it too? OnOne support has been dismal. Either they don’t reply or use the “try this” time waster designed to shift fixing problems onto the shoulders of a customer.

    I make no bones about being a Photoshop devotee. I read a lot about using the standalone version of Prefect (whatever) and have no problems installing that version, just to Photoshop plugins which stopped working when I installed an upgrade to allow 64 bit Windows 7 operation.

    My experience with Perfect layers suggests it is no more or less an extra layer of complication that high quantity Pro shooters can do without. I typically shoot 800 – 1000 frames a week. Lightroom to sort them and Photoshop to do any adjustments. I’m sorry to disagree with most of what has been said about Perfect Layers. The versions I bought (I run several studios) all qualified for a refund when they either didn’t like my otherwise flawlessly running PCs or my Radeon graphics cards…

    1. It’s a shame you’ve had problems with Perfect Photo Suite, and I’ve had plenty of issues in the past with misbehaving software, so I can sympathise. My general point would be, though, that plug-ins like these can produce effects that are difficult or slow to achieve in Photoshop, and that’s their value – but if you don’t particularly want these effects, and Photoshop already does everything you want it to, there seems little point in using Perfect Suite or products like it. I wouldn’t use Perfect Layers if I had Photoshop, but I put it forward as an alternative for people who aren’t using Photoshop or don’t want to. I think it’s especially useful for Aperture and Lightroom users.

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