Using Nik Software from within Capture NX2

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For those of us who use Nikon's Capture NX2, it is disappointing that Nik Software's Filter Programs are not available for NX2, with the exception of Color Efex Pro, which I use frequently. I have seen mentioned on other forums that the Lightroom versions of the other Nik software can be run as stand-alone programs. This means that they can be called from within Capture NX2, which converts the file you are working on to a TIFF and passes it across to the program of your choice. I tried this out, and it worked fine, so I purchased Nik's HDR Efex Pro.

The one problem with this is that Capture NX2 only allows you to specify one 'Edit With' external program at a time, you have to go into the setup and change the program each time you want to use another external editor. I saw another thread on another forum where someone had written a Batch File to call a number of external programs. You set the batch file as the 'Edit With' program, and when you called it it presented you with a list of your external editors, for you to select. This appeared to work OK, but being a batch file was a bit messy, running in a DOS window. I had a look at it and decided to create a small program to do the same thing using VB6.

I have now written this program, and offer it to anyone who would like to test it. It allows you to specify the name and path of your external editors, and send a file to any one of them from within Capture NX2. No Guarantees that it will work for you, but it's probably worth trying. It's not as good a solution as using Color Efex Pro from NX2, as this works on the RAW file, but this way at least you can use the rest of the Nik filters.

It can also be used to call any other filter or editor, such as the Topaz filters, Photomatix etc.

Edit: If anyone is interested in trying this out, it can now be downloaded here: http://www.nikonians.org/dcfp/user_files/191195.zip
 
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Hi

Some additional information about my free program EditList...

If you install Topaz Fusion Express (which is free) as one of the programs in EditList, you can then use that to call any of Topaz Lab's filters as well. (They are not free!). I presume they need to be the Lightroom version.
 
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I'm afraid that I have to disagree with tT over his generalisation that SEFX is nothing more than "a customised plugin/stand-alone of the B&W conversions embedded in NX".

In the NX2 version of B+W Conversion you can't alter the Brightness, Contrast and Structure of individual (selected) parts of an image WITHIN A SINGLE INSTANCE OF THE B+W CONVERSION i.e. a single edit step. Structure has to be added via an additional edit step (i.e. via a MULTI EDIT STEP).

The controls in an NX2 B+W Edit Step are GLOBAL within each single Edit Step wheras Control Points in SEFX allow for different treatments for different areas within a single Edit Step. In its simplest form SEFX allows for different settings of Brightness, Contrast and Structure for sky and foreground in a lanscape. I stopped at ten Control Points but could have gone on.

The controls for adding grain (film types) i.e. Grain Per Pixel, Soft, Hard, Colour Sensitivity and Tone Curve do not exist in the NX2 Grain Edit Step.

The B+W Conversion in NX2 is an extremely capable performer and JO'D's adaptation takes it to a different level again but it is still not in the same league as SEFX for a "one stop shop" for B+W Conversion.

My observations are based on my installation and use of SEFX1 - if anyone has FIRST HAND knowledge of SEFX2 I'd like to hear what practical differences to expect?
 
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Tom,

Please don't mis-quote me - I didn't mention "one click" anywhere?

"One stop shop" means having ALL of the controls (of SEFX) inside a SINGLE edit step.

Perhaps you could show us how to get four different variations of Brightness, Contrast and Structure within a single edit step in the NX2 B+W Conversion?

I know that you can do it in Multiple MultiEdit steps but I'm saying that the benefits of having it in ONE edit step (plus the other presets for grain, film type etc) would make SEFX a worthwhile addition to the tools available in NX2.

I, for one, would consider purchasing it!

DG
 
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Hi Tom,

I think that we are all aware of the GLOBAL Edits that you have shown and how to achieve them.

https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=299582

However, I am not seeing how you intend to apply two or more different settings to two or more different parts of the image? (In the one multi-step).

How would you apply greater Brightness/contrast to the TOP of your image and less Brightness/contrast to the bottom of your image? (In the one multi-step).

How would you apply more "structure" to the bottom of the image than the top? (In the one multi-step).

If you apply a multiple CCP Edit Step as a FIRST Edit Step you are then able to control the Brightness and Contrast of two or more different parts of the image retrospectively by leaving the B+W Conversion Multi-Edit Step and adjusting Hue, Brightness and Contrast of the CCPs differentially as required. This is the way JO'D approached the "problem".

However, SEFX2 would (presumably) be able to do this in the SAME Edit Step in an NX2 version.

This still does not address the ability to apply differential STRUCTURE to the image which SEFX2 is able to do.

A workaround would be to apply a GLOBAL Structure Edit Step and by means of SCPs adjust the Opacity Sliders to decrease the effect in selected areas as required. But this would involve LEAVING the B+W Multi-Edit Step once again. SEFX2 is able to do this in the SAME Edit Step.

DG
 
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... and one of the next question of you will be to demonstrate to ex- and inhale in a single step while sounding like a speed triple ...
Tom,

I only ask to be able to do what SEFX2 is already able to do in ONE EDIT STEP.

Can I ask if you use SEFX2 or whether you have dismissed it without trying it?

I have used SEFX as a plugin in CS4 and find it to be well worth the money. Having everything all together in one Edit Step makes much more sense than hopping back and forth between Edit Steps.

If it were available as a plugin for NX2 I would get it because I am trying to do everything possible in NX2 on the RAW file.

Having bought JO'D's method I don't find to be any better or worse than SEFX2 but the latter achieves more and does it with more ease.
 
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