Google's Nik Collection, a desktop suite of powerful image editing plugins for Adobe Photoshop and other imaging solutions, is now freely available.
The company bought Nik Software, makers of Snapseed and Nik Collection, back in 2012, to improve its own photo-editing tools and digital imaging offerings.
Nik Collection has been offered as a commercial desktop suite ever since, but this changes with today's announcement that Nik Collection is available freely as of March 24, 2016.
Customers who purchased the 2016 edition of Nik Collection will receive a refund according to Google. Anyone else can head over to the official website of the desktop suite to download it to their system.
The program is available for Windows and Mac operating systems. Please note that the option to send statistics to Google is enabled by default in the Windows installer.
The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities -- from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.
The desktop suite consists of the following tools that integrate with popular image editing programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.
A good starting point is the official support page which provides information about each plugin included in the desktop suite, as well as instructions on installing or uninstalling, or accessing the plug-ins from host applications like Photoshop.
Another great option to get started is to head over to the Nik Software YouTube channel which offers hundreds of tutorial videos and more that explain how to use various features of the desktop suite.
Here is a tutorial that covers the Silver Efex Pro plugin.
Google plans to integrate the technology even more into its own web services and applications. That's likely the main reason why it made the decision to offer these plugins for free as of today.
It is unclear right now whether these will receive updates in the future, or simple provided as is with no further updates. (via Caschy)
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