By Neil Bennett | on January 10, 2008
Price: 74 . 24
Company: onOne Software
Pros: Fast tools to correct colour.
Cons: Not much on offer for creative pros.
PhotoTune is based on two plug-ins from the company of the same name, which OnOne acquired in September. It includes SkinTune and 20/20 Color MD – renamed ColorTune here, perhaps to stop it sounding like a alcoholic drink favoured by students. Since OnOne acquired them, the company has updated both to version 2.2.
Both plug-ins offer colour correction tools aimed at creatives working with large numbers of images. SkinTune corrects images based on skintones.
You select an area of skin using an eyedropper tool, then select the ethnicity of the person (African, Asian, Caucasian, Latin, Middle Eastern or All, for people of mixed race), and the plug-in adjusts the colour of the overall image based on its knowledge of skintone characteristics.
ColorTune adjusts images by offering you a series of two variations on it that you select between in a similar fashion to having an eye test. It’s a curious idea, but it works – delivering much improved images in six steps.
The version 2.2 updates allow both to work on 16-bit images, which is great for photographers working with RAW images. They both also work as Smart Filters in Photoshop CS3, which makes changing their results easier.
OnOne has rejigged ColorTune’s core ColorWizard, which used to require 13 steps. However, while it’s great for novices, experienced Photoshop users won’t find it any faster than traditional correction.
SkinTune is more useful, as it produces naturalistic results often in a single click. It works well with most of the skin colours in our test shots – even with extreme lighting conditions. You need to be careful where you click with unevenly lit skin though (as in the shot below) to get the best results.
PhotoTune is more of a production tool than a creative one, and of limited use to design professionals.