Review: Portrait Professional Studio dramatically transforms your images
At a Glance
Portrait Professional 11
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There's no such thing as the perfect photo. When we see the finished picture, there's always something about it that we wish we could change. This is more true with portraits than anything else. Pimples, dimples, baggy eyes, wrinkles…but these are all things that can now be removed, with the magic of Portrait Professional Studio.
Photoshop can more than amply handle those tasks. But Photoshop suffers from two great disabilities, its huge learning curve and its huge price. Portrait Professional Studio, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper (although still very expensive by normal software standards) and it has a minimal learning curve. 30 minutes experimenting with a photo will find yourself pretty much on top of all the features, and you'll be stunned by the results.
When you first load your image into Portrait Professional Studio, you will be asked to specify the gender of the person in the image. The best results are when it is a single person and a close-up full-on shot. After specifying the gender, blue marker lines are placed on the face by the software and you have to review these markers to make sure that they are in the right place. You must mark the the corners of each facial feature accurately. It's essential that this is done correctly. Otherwise, when you go to make a change to the image, the marker will change the wrong area.
With the markers correctly in place, you will now see two copies of the image side-by-side. The one on the left will be the "before" picture with the blue marker lines, and the one on the right will be the "after" picture which will change as you use each altering feature. And now the fun begins.
On the right hand side of the screen are your magical powers: a set of sliders which you move from left to right, depending on the effect you want to achieve. The sliders are split up into different categories, so you have ones for the eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, hair, teeth, and complexion. You can do things such as make the eyes bigger, remove the bags under the eyes, smooth out the complexion, change the eye color, tighten up the face, and make the face thinner or fatter.
There are also a number of presets, where you can achieve certain effects instantly at the click of a button. So remove the double chin, shorten the nose, whiten the teeth…in short, do the digital equivalent of what a plastic surgeon would do in real life. The main difference being that everything you do in Portrait Professional Studio is instantly and easily reversible. Just click the "undo" button or use the Windows undo command CTRL + Z.
Finally, there's the most powerful tool of all one that all Photoshop users will know right away: the touchup brush. Using this, you can move over areas of skin that you want to change—a spot, a blemish, a mole, rough skin—and the touchup tool will make those unsightly items disappear, leaving a smooth baby's skin in its place. But when using this tool, make the brush size small and the strength medium, and go slowly. Otherwise you may end up making the subject look like something from Night of the Living Dead.
Finally, step back and admire your work, and see how you have managed to shave at least 10 years off the person's face. If the person is you, your great mood could last the rest of the day.
All in all, Portrait Professional Studio is a powerful software tool for touching up photos, as well as for anyone who works in the media who needs to have picture-perfect models with shiny white teeth and perfect skin. The only downside to the software is the price, but you get what you pay for. And with Portrait Professional Studio, you get a lot. If you can't afford Photoshop, take a look at this and give it a go.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.