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Edit portraits with A.I. and adjust focus in the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 editor

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By Hillary Grigonis


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From focus stacking to new portrait-specific editing tools, the new ON1 Photo RAW 2019 is a major update to the photo editor that adds new tools and enhances the user interface. Launched on November 13, the update adds several new tools, enhances the workflow, and offers a glimpse into several new tools currently in development for the photo editor.

ON1 Photo RAW is a mix between Lightroom and Photoshop-like applications with both RAW processing and tools like layers. With the 2019 version, those layers have a new non-destructive workflow, moving the tool inside the editing module, along with a new auto align tool for layers. ON1 says that each layer now has its own non-destructive settings that use the original RAW file data for more powerful adjustments for exposure, highlights, and shadows. Those non-destructive layers also power updates to other tools, including enhanced Layered HDR.

The layers tool isn’t the only one moving around in the update. Develop, Effects, and Local Adjustments are all now inside the same develop module, though the tools still remain organized using individual tabs. The company says the change is designed for a faster, seamless workflow.

A new portrait tab introduces new tools specific to images of people. ON1 Photo RAW 2019 will automatically detect faces in images, the company says, which then powers adjustments like retouching skin, brightening and sharpening the eyes, and whitening teeth.

The software can now adjust the focus in an image using a series of focus stacking images. The trick requires taking several images of the same object shot at different focal points and stacking them together. With those images layered together, the software can adjust the focus or increase the depth of field. ON1 says the tool is fast enough to adjust focus in real time.

Local adjustments applied to only a portion of the image will now use RAW data from the original file, allowing for a wider range of adjustments. Local adjustments also now include tools for haze, whites, and blacks.

The update also brings a text tool, searchable master keyword list, new filters, and support for new cameras and lenses. The user interface has also been enhanced to help the photos stand out, and to adjust fonts and icons for easier readability. The update also includes A.I.-tools for migrating images from Adobe Lightroom into Photo RAW 2019.

And while ON1 Photo RAW is already available, the company says it’s not quite done with the improvements. A new A.I.-powered masking tool will help photo editors easily make selections and masks for local adjustments by automatically detecting what’s in the image. The update will arrive during winter 2019, the company says. The company is also working on dual display support, editing history, and other enhancements. The updates will be shared ahead of the next major update, which means they will be free updates for users with the 2019 version.

ON1 Photo RAW is available for about $100; users of previous versions can update for $80. A 30-day free trial is also available. ON1 Plus Pro, which includes a perpetual license of ON1 Photo RAW and training courses, is available for $130 a year.


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