You can retouch your digital photographs to remove whatever blemishes they have, enhance them by applying dozens of artistic effects, and correct common exposure and lighting mistakes quickly and efficiently, or you can use CyberLink PhotoDirector, and add to all of these features the possibility of creating pro-looking slideshows and seamlessly-stitched panoramas, all in a comfortable and attractive desktop workspace.
PhotoDirector is far from being the average photo editing tool – it is that also, of course, but it is also many more things. Instead of just retouching and correcting all the usual mistakes we tend to find in our digital photos, this app allows you to unleash all your creativity by offering you a long list of artistic filters and tools that can turn your dull holiday shots into true works of art. Not only you can improve the lighting and the colors of your images, but you can also remove unwanted objects, stitch various pictures into seamless panoramas, blend two images into one, correct lens distortion effects, or enhance skin tones and body shapes in just a few clicks. You can easily combine manual retouching with a large number of one-click presets, undo and redo any actions, and go back to the source picture without fearing to lose any of its original quality.
Among the many new tools available, there are at least two of them that deserve special attention. “Face Swap” is one of them. This new feature allows you to select various group pictures and tell the program to select the faces with the best expressions or smiles, and it will compose the best shot possible automatically. The “Photo Merge Panorama” is the other one. Having tried quite a number of stitching tools with various degrees of satisfaction, I can say that this new feature beats them all not only in the astonishing final result, but also in the simplicity of the entire panorama-creation process. I can also mention the “Adjust Skin Tone” function to enhance portraits in seconds, or the Radial and Grain effects added in this new version, but the list of new and improved tools is too long to review in-depth here. Besides, the fun is when you try them out yourself.
I cannot leave out another extensive set of functions and features (both old and new) that you don’t always find in most image editors. It is what I call the “image management” section. Here you will find tools that not only will speed up your workflow but will also help you keep your ever-growing image collection neatly organized. The EXIF editor will let you add, delete, and edit the EXIF tags to help you catalog your pictures and select which information will be visible to others and which won’t. You can also use the face recognition algorithm to tag your portrait and group shots for easier cataloging. And I will finish by mentioning two more new management-related functions – CyberLink Cloud and the new direct access to some well-known social networks. The former will let you save all your pictures, templates, projects, and settings in the cloud, thus preventing the consequences of accidental loss while allowing you to share your photos more securely. And the latter deals, precisely, with sharing. This new feature will let you send your pictures to your Facebook and Flickr accounts or to your friends and family via e-mail without leaving PhotoDirector.
Whichever way you look at it, CyberLink PhotoDirector is no longer a “pro-looking” photo editor, but a full-featured professional editing tool with more functionality than many other similar tools that boast of wearing the “pro” tag in their names. It is attractive, intuitive, and it delivers what it promises, and those are reasons enough to, at least, try it out.