Digital Filter Suite for Photoshop
Review by Daniel M. East
Tiffen’s Dfx digital filter suite has always been more than just a one-stop-shop, all-in-one set of effects. With the release of version 4, one might equate this full version update to bringing in some hot new talent to an already winning team. As they say in professional sports, this new upgrade is “stacked” with some of the best special effects, emulations, and artistic elements for photo and design professionals.
While the new user interface is easy enough to navigate, it’s the presets that are at their peak, only requiring minor tweaks of each filter’s parameters. Clearly, Tiffen added some functions that are both fun and good-looking for all kinds of subject matter. The new features in version 4 really kick things up a notch with effects that professionals will enjoy as they experiment with all the presets. Standout additions include a stunning Pastel filter, a Grunge effect (although the presets need tweaking), a cartoon-like softening, and the Harris Shutter, which is based on the device Robert S. “Bob” Harris of Kodak invented with three color filters (RGB) for making color photographs. The effect is reminiscent of the old analog film photo lab filters.
Although you won’t need to forfeit because of it, Dfx v4 doesn’t create a new layer for the effects, but applies them to your original layer. Duplicating the image layer before applying the Dfx v4 filters, however, will allow you to nondestructively blend the effects with your original. Also, it’s important to remember to Reset All and clear any in-app searches with each use, as the software doesn’t reset itself. Once again, Tiffen makes it look easy because it is. Dfx v4 gives a lot of value for its $149.99 price tag and it may just end up being your MVP plug-in. ■