| on April 14, 2010
Price When Reviewed: £127 plus VAT . upgrade £67 plus VAT
Pros: 60 adjustable presets; effects can be applied non-destructively using layers
Cons: Slow to open from Photoshop; awkward interface; most effects already achievable in Photoshop
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Mystical Tint Tone and Color 2 is an application that can be used either as a plug-in or as a standalone package. As the name suggests, it provides a quick way to tone and tint your digital images.
The core of Mystical Tint Tone and Color 2.0 is the tint and tone engine. This features over 60 presets, each of which can be refined and customised. You can apply toning effects non-destructively on top of your artwork, using layers within the Mystical Tint Tone and Color interface.
This is a mixed blessing: it’s designed to be used as a standalone application, so it’s slow to open from Photoshop, and the interface feels quite clunky.
The presets produce usable results when applied to the right image. They’re also easy to experiment with, helping enable happy accidents. Each preset has its own adjustable settings, so the Antique Photo effect has Dreamy and Grain sliders, while the Sepia effect has a colour slider.
AutoFX Mystical Tint Tone and Color allows a range of toning effects to be built on top of texture masks.
The combination of preset and adjustment is Tint Tone and Color’s basic method, although you can also build an effect from scratch. After the initial learning curve, the interface is responsive and has tools allowing you to selectively apply effects.
A built-in snapshot feature, Memory-Dots, allows you to store the state of your image and any effects applied. You can switch between the various states by clicking on the dots, of which there are eight in total. This feels like a nice idea, but the way it’s been implemented is counter-intuitive.
You can achieve almost every effect that Tint, Tone and Colour offers within Photoshop, meaning that this is essentially a timesaving tool – but experienced Photoshop artists may find the interface frustrating and their money better spent elsewhere.