Tiffen is an interesting company that create quite a few products that I didn’t know about. One of those products is called DFX which is a filter suite with what seems like an endless supply of filters. The program comes in both Standalone and Plugin configuration. I’ve played with both and the only difference between the two is the Standalone comes with it’s own RAW converter.
The features ripped straight from the website
- 125 individual filters
- Thousands of customizable presets
- Simulation of Tiffen glass camera filters, specialized lenses, optical lab processes, film grain, exacting color correction as well as natural light and photographic effects
- Rosco and GamColor Gel libraries
- Rosco and Gam Gobo libraries for lighting effects
- Paint system that includes Black/White, Blur, Clone, Color, Eraser, Mosaic, Red-Eye, Repair and Scatter brushes
- Image effects including non-destructive Crop, Rotate and Scale
- Layering system for multiple filter application
- Sophisticated but easy to use masking tools
- Variation generator for effect parameters
- Batch processing
- Color management using ICC profiles
- 8 or 16 bit image processing
- Exchangeable Image File Format (Exif)
- Camera RAW, TIFF, JPEG as well as Kodak Cineon and DPX file formats
- Multi-processor acceleration
So as you can see from the above there is a quite a few filter presets you can use. It’s the customisation settings that allow you to completely create your own look which you can save to use again and again, this comes in handy if your creating a set of images that need the same processing applied to them.
The best bit
The best bit is the advanced masking and layering available. Have you ever had a photo where you want to apply an effect to the background but leave the subject, in this case we will say a model, untouched? The more complicated way of doing it would be whole heap of masking in photoshop to get it right. DFX allows you to do the masking inside the program and it’s actually very easy. Using a selection of brushes you can select which areas you want to apply the effects to and which areas you want to leave alone.
Due to the extreme power of their masking tools I think the next step for future releases would be the ability to bring in your own background images, I’ve already mentioned this to them so i’ll let you know that the outcome is. Either way it is a great tool that can save a lot of time.
Support and Help
It’s rare for a company to be so committed to helping people use the software. Along with their extensive video tutorials, they also host regular webinars designed to help you get the most out of DFX. It shows that Tiffen are dedicated to this piece of software and at version 3.0 it is already a powerful package.
Some other cool features
There are so many features in this app I keep forgetting the all so I often head back to the website to remind me of everything they have packed in. Here is another little excerpt.
– Color Shadow: Creates a high contrast image overlayed with a gradient, simulating the look and feel of those colorful iPod® commercials.
– DeBand: Removes banding artifacts from an image by smoothing pixels in banded areas while retaining detail. Banding frequently occurs, in blue skies for instance, with DSLR’s as well as digital cameras. DeBand effectively smooths out this unwanted banding.
– DeBlock: Removes blocking artifacts created as a result of high compression factors, such as overly compressed JPG images which often cause square blocking artifacts.
– DeNoise: Grain and noise from digital cameras, whether still or video, is a common problem. DeNoise removes the grain and noise while still retaining detail.
– Film Stocks: Simulates 113 different color and black & white photographic film stocks. For those desiring the look of either old or current film stocks, there are simulations of many of the popular
brands from Kodak®, Fuji®, Agfa®, Polaroid®, and Ilford®.
– Glow Darks: Glows and grows the dark areas of an image, creating a stylized, dreamy dark glow.
– Key Light: Relights images with a directional or point light. Changing the lighting after an image has been photographed gives the photographer/editor control to fix or enhance their images, as well as create interesting lighting effects.
– Rays: Creates stunning and realistic light ray effects quickly and easily. Rays can add shafts of light streaming through clouds, rays filtering through a forest canopy, beams of light on a foggy night, or rays shooting through an interior window. Rays adds a striking and dramatic quality to any image.
– Texture: Applies textures to an image for a stylized look. Adding texture to an image is a great way to create a unique and customized look.
– Match: Matches the color, detail, gradient, and tone of one image and applies it to another.
So I was going to do my own screencast of me using DFX but instead I lifted a few videos from the DFX tutorial page because they are very easy to follow. I will be showcasing DFX in some up coming videos and web casts.
I feel DFX v3 is great value, the amount of effects you get along with the ability to create your own or customise the already provided presets is the perfect solution for beginners through to the advanced user. The more I play with the settings the more I find out just how powerful and easy to use this piece of software is. Every time I think I have it worked out I discover a new feature or settings that changes things up again. It’s just so much fun to use.
If you use it, I would love to see some of your work. Let me know in the comments below.
Pick up your copy at the Tiffen Software website