AutoFX Software: Mystical Tint, Tone and Color

One of the prizes I received from winning PhotographyCorner’s October 2006 Photograph of the Month contest was the Mystical Tint, Tone and Color software suite provided by AutoFX Software. My package arrived in super fast time – even though I’m in the UK, so no problems for the first hurdle!

As you would expect, the software installed without any problems and the installation took about five minutes to complete.

I headed out to the coast today and took some shots of the fishermen’s tractors – the light was shocking so I thought I would see what this software could recover from the starting image:

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Image from a Canon EOS 350D. Shot in RAW:

Original image data:
  • Lens: 10-20mm
  • Focal length: 20mm
  • Aperture: f/6.3
  • Exposure: 1/160sec
  • ISO: 100
  • Programme: Aperture priority

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Click on image to see full picture

The software appears seamlessly into Photoshop on it’s own menu:

So it’s time to see what it can do for me!

It opens into a different window, as can be seen:

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There are a fantastic array of choices for the filters available but I think for this shot I’m going to have a go at producing an antique style shot as I think it’ll lend itself quite well.

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Selecting “Antique Photo” brings up a new set of choices: Gold, Yellow, Gray, Blue or custom.

I want a golden feel to this so “Gold” it is! Then there are sliders available for Opacity, Dreamy, Sepia Tone, Brightness and Contrast. Mostly self evident but I wanted to see what the “dreamy” slider did!

It appears to introduce a level of blur to replicate an old photograph’s lack of clarity – like many other Photoshop adjustments, if pushed all the way to 100% the effect can be a little extreme! I have gone for a value of 10%.

The preview window is responsive and you get a quick rendition of the changes you have made on the slider tools so that you can see the effect you are aiming for.

I have also adjusted the brightness and contrast a little to fine tune things.

I have chosen to apply the changes “Globally” but you also have the option to brush the effects onto specific areas of the image or even use a gradient tool for the effect. I actually really like this option and the results it gives: but that’s not what I want right now!

Click ‘OK’ and the image is returned to Photoshop for any final editing!

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I think achieving this look would have taken me a lot longer working with Photoshop alone so this is a real time saver! Very pleased with this version!

Just to show the gradient tool in action – here is a different version.

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And rather than waffle on about the same thing every time I have had a play and here are some more examples!

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Click on image to see full picture

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This is a very powerful tool that integrates well into Photoshop but also works as a stand alone application. It’s responsive and intuitive to use with no glitches or annoyances that I have found yet.

Each individual effect can be blended with others and then different layers blended into different areas of the image to give the final image.

You would probably be able to make most of these adjustments in Photoshop directly but I think it would take a lot longer and the effects would be harder to reproduce consistently. Especially as this tool will allow you to save presets and come back to them.

This would mostly be a great addition for people who don’t have a tool as powerful as Photoshop CS or are not confident with a lot of the more complex tools available within Photoshop.

The Mystical Tint, Tone and Color software suite will definitely be staying installed on my system to add to my arsenal of tools to save my terrible photographs! And I think I will have to have a closer look at the other software from AutoFX Software!