Perfect Layers 8 basics

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

05 Layer blend modes

Perfect Layers 8 basics

Now I’m changing the blending mode in the Layers panel on the right side of the screen as a quick way of combining the two images. The Linear Light mode works well here, blending the clouds with the forest scene in a mysterious, ethereal way.

06 Changing the opacity

Perfect Layers 8 basics

The top part of the picture was burning out a little after the previous step, so I’ve reduced the opacity of the top layer to 80% to restore some of the highlight detail. And now all I need to do is click the Save button to close the file and then switch back to Aperture to see the result.

07 The new version(s)

Perfect Layers 8 basics

Back in Aperture, you can see my new photo (circled in red) grouped with the original image. It’s all worked perfectly, though there is one minor annoyance with this process. When you export an image to an external editor from Aperture, it automatically creates a new file for editing. In this case, I don’t just get a new version of my forest picture, I also get a duplicate of the sky image I opened alongside it. This is not needed, and I’ll have to delete it manually.

08 The finished picture

Perfect Layers 8 basics

If I was doing this for real, I’d want to use a mask and some further adjustments to blend the clouds in more effectively with the forest, but this was just intended as a demonstration of how the Perfect Layers 8 system works. It’s quite a nice effect, though, and one that wold be impossible to achieve in Aperture or Lightroom aloen. The masking tools in Perfect Photo Suite 8 are very good, incidentally, and I’ll be looking at them in more detail in future posts.

See also

More Perfect Photo Suite tutorials

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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