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Pro Tips to Using the Nik Collection in Photoshop – Bitesize Nik Tutorials

-GB Hello I’m Robin Whalley. Welcome to Lenscraft and another Bitesize Nik Tutorial. Given the choice of using the Nik Collection in Lightroom or Photoshop, I would go with Photoshop every time. Today were looking at how to use the Nik Collection in Photoshop. And I’m hoping to have a few surprises for you. . When you have an image open for editing in Photoshop, there are a couple of ways to launch the Nik Collection filters.

One is to use the Photoshop Filter menu. You can find the Nik Collection near the bottom. Here you can pick whichever filter you you need to use. If you’re using the old Google version of the Nik Collection, you may find Photoshop crashes. This bug seemed to creep in with one of the recent Adobe releases and is probably because the Nik Collection didn’t keep pace with the new Adobe code.

You can fix this by upgrading to the Nik Collection 2018 by DXO. Alternatively, you use our next method to launch the Nik filters, which seems to overcome the problem for a lot of people. This method is to use the Nik Selective Tool. This is a floating panel that appears in Photoshop. You can be minimise it by clicking here. Notice the display when it returns. This could be a bug, but I think it’s deliberate to prevent the tool from blocking your view.

You’ll notice the icon we clicked before has changed. If you click it again you can see the filters again. We can also close the Selective Tool by clicking the close icon. If you don’t see the Nik Selective Tool when you open Photoshop, or you close it by mistake, you can open it again using the File Automate menu. Here you’ll find the Nik Selective Tool option. At the bottom of the Selective Tool you’ll find a Settings button. This is where you can set the tool to automatically open when Photoshop launches. You’ll also notice two other settings we can change as well. The first controls where we apply the Nik filter. You have two options here, the first being an Image Composite. This means when you launch a Nik filter from the Selective Tool, it creates a new layer which is the sum of all the other layers in the image. The other option allows you to apply the Nik filter directly to the active layer that you selected and you’re working on. The third setting we have here is to control what happens after you click to apply your changes in the Nik filter.

We can use this to apply the filter effects to a separate layer, or to the current layer. Currently I have Nik set up to create a new layer. When we launch a Nik filter, you can see the new layer is created, in the Layers Window. When we click the OK button this layer actually becomes flattened and it’s merged with the layer beneath it. This is happening even though we’ve selected to apply our adjustments as a separate layer. The reason it’s happening is because the individual Nik filters also have a setting very similar to this.

Let’s open the filter again but from the Filter menu this time. Now we can select the Settings button. Here we can select the option to apply the filter effect to the current layer or to a new layer. These individual filter settings are overriding the settings in the Nik Selective Tool. As you can see this has created a new layer from the filter we just used. If we now use it from the Nik Selective Tool, You’ll see that the new layer is again created in the Layers Window. The ability to create a new layer in Photoshop helps you avoid destructive editing. It also allows us to use to take advantage of blending modes. And we can also refine our adjustments using layer masks. One very useful feature in Photoshop is that the Nik Collection can be used as a smart filter. If we duplicate this layer we can convert it for use as a Smart Filter. Now when we launch a Nik filter we see a warning message.

This is telling us that the active layer is a Smart Object, but we can still carry on and edit it just as we would normally. Once we’ve applied our adjustments we can see the Smart Object in the layers menu has a couple of changes. We have a filter mask which can be applied to the Smart Filters. And below this we have the Nik Nik filter we added. But the best thing about a Smart Object is that we can reopen our editing sessions by double clicking the filter.

You’ll notice that all the adjustments we applied last time are still here and and we can add further adjustment now to these. We can also add Control Points. The Control Points will also be saved by the Smart Filter. Once we are happy we can click OK. This updates the Smart Object and stores your editing information for the future use. Providing you save the image as a Photoshop file, you’ll be able to reopen it and adjust your Nik editing at any point in the future. You can also add multiple Nik filters to the same Smart Object. If you’re using Smart Objects in your editing but want to create a normal layer using Nik, click on a normal layer, like the Background layer, in the Layers Window.

Now when you apply a Nik filter, it’s created as a new normal layer. There is though one of filter that works slightly differently in Photoshop, and that’s HDR Efex Pro. You can still launch this filter from the Nik Selective Tool. In the Selective Tool we have two options. We have the “Merge multiple images” into a single HDR image or we can Tone Map a single image. In the Filter menu we only have the option to open a single image for Tone Mapping. If you want to open multiple images to merge them into an HDR image, you need to use the File Automate menu. And here you can select the merge to HDR Efex Pro. Now when the filter opens you can choose to open multiple files for merging, or you can add files that are already open in Photoshop.

As found on Youtube

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