PortraitPro 15 Standard Edition is a software package for Windows and Mac that allows you to improve your portrait photos by removing blemishes from skin, adding impact to eyes, whitening teeth, fixing distortion and even adding makeup.
It’s available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max versions. The latter two editions include Photoshop and Lightroom plug-ins as well as RAW and DNG support. The Studio Max version also sports a full batch mode to speed up your workflow. By applying and combining the different presets, you can improve your portraits in a fraction of the time it would take you to make similar edits in Photoshop. With the ability to transform a photo in a single click, Anthropics claims PortraitPro 15 is the world’s easiest portrait enhancement software, and based on our tests this claim may well hold water.
Eye and Teeth Whitening These are two elements of portrait retouching that are often overdone and can cause even billboard and fashion magazine covers to look over-processed and unrealistic. Luckily, PortraitPro 15 allows you to tweak the strength of the effects with easy-to-use sliders until you have as much (or as little) whitening as your heart desires.
Lighting For our money, PortraitPro 15’s lighting tools are one of its standout features and deserve special mention. Realistically relighting a portrait in post-processing can prove tricky for even a seasoned Photoshop retoucher, but the software streamlines the process by allowing you to position a virtual light with sliders that control the vertical and horizontal axes. Placing this light above the head, under the chin or elsewhere creates spectacularly good results that are so realistic we’ll bet they could fool any imaging professional.
A professional retoucher will be the first to tell you that cleaning up blemishes is best done by hand to avoid accidentally removing pores and natural skin texture that keep images feeling ‘real’. Nobody wants to end up with unrealistically smooth or ‘waxy’ skin. However, the time may have come for those pros to re-evaluate automatic portrait improvement software, as PortraitPro 15 is smart enough to remove blemishes without taking a scorched-earth approach to your model’s skin pores. This is a very welcome development and makes the software a much more attractive proposition for amateur users and more discerning pro shooters as well.
Virtual Makeup Based on user feedback, Anthropics have introduced a full set of makeup enhancements in PortraitPro 15. The team researched real cosmetics before creating their digital equivalents in an attempt to deliver natural results. The tool includes a range of eyeliner styles, various eyeshadow colours and a wide selection of lipstick types. Makeup elements have individual settings for controlling intensity and colour, allowing you to create a range of moods, from subtle and casual to a more exaggerated and stylised look. If you’re looking to shoot several setups and costume changes with a single model but you haven’t got a makeup artist on hand, the software allows you to try out a number of looks and styles in moments, without the need to reapply makeup between shots.
Lens Correct The Lens Correct tool is not, as you might expect, located in the Picture Controls section, which is for adjustments for the image as a whole. Instead, it’s actually tucked away in the Face Sculpt Controls, which contains tools for altering your model’s face shape and bone structure. Moving the Lens Correct slider changes the spatial relationships between the features. It can be used to move the eyes, nose and mouth closer together or spread them further apart while leaving the face outline largely unaffected. This can be used to mitigate the distortion effects found in headshots taken with wide-angle lenses. It’s not as fully-featured as the lens correction tools you’ll find in Photoshop, but if you’re looking for a quick fix, it’s a nice extra feature to have.
If portraits are part of your photography, at the current price of £29.95 it’s hard to find a reason not to recommend it.
With one-click editing and impressive relighting options, this offers great value at £29.95. Even better, the ability to make your own presets means PortraitPro 15 caters for those who prefer a more subtle look, too.
- Price: £29.95 Standard, £49.95 Studio, £99.95 Studio Max (As of June 2016)
- Compatibility: Requires Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, or XP, with the latest updates installed. Requires a Mac with OSX 10.6 or later. 2GB RAM minimum recommended. To handle larger images (8 megapixel or more) you would benefit from having 4GB or more RAM and a 64 bit system. 1024 x 600 minimum supported display size. 1GHz processor or faster recommended.
- Free trial available Yes. Saving & printing disabled, no time limit.
- Visit: www.portraitprofessional.com
This review was first published in the December 2015 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.