When was the last time a major software company offered a fully functional, fully licensed $100 software program for free? Never—at least not that I can remember. But onOne Software has a great offer for photographers: a free download of Perfect Effects 8 Premium Edition. This application is one of eight modules that comprise the latest edition of Perfect Photo Suite 8, normally costs $100. We don’t know when the offer—which was in effect at the time of this post—will expire, so click on through to onOne to download. (If you go directly to the site, click on “Free Products”.)
As the name implies, Perfect Effects offers a wide range of filter presets, more than 100 in total. The filters are grouped into 23 categories, some of which have more than a dozen options. In addition to presets such as black and white, antique, vintage, HDR, split tone and sunshine, Perfect Effects offers more practical groups including adjustable gradient, adjustment brush, sharpening and borders. All of the filters can be customized, applied globally or selectively and most are perfect for enhancing wedding and portrait images. Filters and adjustments can be layered and Perfect Effects offers a long list of blending modes as well. Between the assortment of filters and myriad adjustments, the possibilities are almost limitless.
While the software is sophisticated and provides a surprisingly large number of adjustable parameters, it’s highly intuitive and incredibly easy to use. Perfect Effects can be launched as a standalone program or used with Adobe Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom, as well as Apple Aperture.
You’ll need a fairly robust computer though; the software is 64-bit only and requires at least 8GB of RAM with Mac OS X 10.7 or higher or Windows 7 or higher. We’ve heard that people have been able to run the software on less than 8GB, but that’s no guarantee. It’s free so you have nothing to lose if it doesn’t work, and a really solid piece of software if runs on your machine.