Image Doctor 2
Alien SKin Software
$199.00 ($99.00 upgrade)
Adobe Photoshop is a standard for image editing. It has a lot of great tools for making a good picture great, or even a lousy picture a lot better. However, there are times when the tools in Photoshop are not enough, or are not fast enough. Image Doctor 2 by Allen Skin Software aims to help with those times when you need more than Photoshop can offer.
Image Doctor 2 is a set of five filters for Photoshop. These tools include Smart Fill, Dust and Scratch Remover, Blemish Concealer, Skin Softener, and JPG Repair. I’ll go through the filters one by one.
Smart Fill is my favorite filter of all. Have you ever taken a photo that would be perfect if your uncle didn’t walk behind the baby during the perfect shot? Smart fill lets you take out those unwanted sections of a photo and blends those spaces into the background.
Here’s an example:
This is a photo of a giraffe walking through its natural habitat.
or is it?
Image Doctor allowed me to remove the zoo portion of the photo. The tool takes some trial and error, and does not always yield the results you were hoping for. However, once you get the hang of it, it does a great job.
Dust and Scratch Remover
Dust and Scratch remover is similar to the built-in filter in Photoshop. It removes dusts and scratches from an image, but it does a better job then the built in filter, and it gives you more control.
Blemish Concealer is probably the easiest tool to use. It is for concealing blemishes like moles, freckles, acne, etc. on skin. You simply select the blemish to remove, run the filter, and it vanishes.
Skin Softener is like the Blemish Concealer, but on a larger scale. It smooths out the skin, and gives it that perfect look for a magazine cover.
This is an interesting filter to be in the mix. JPG repair takes a low quality image that might be choppy and blocky looking and it attempts to clean it up. It won’t take a low quality image and make it perfect, but it does a nice job of making a low quality image better.
The above image is a zoomed in sample to give you an idea of what this filter does.
Each filter has preset settings and customizable settings. I found customizing the settings from the defaults yielded better results. I also found that the filters have a slight learning curve. They don’t necessarily do what you expect right off the bat. As I mentioned above with the Smart Fill Filter, trial and error gives the best results.
As you read through the filter descriptions you might be thinking you could do all of these things with the tools in Photoshop. I thought the same thing until I tried Image Doctor 2. After trying the product I discovered that Image Doctor 2 combines a lot of steps into a quick filter saving a lot of time. In some cases, like the Smart Fill filter, Image Doctor 2 saves time and does a better job than what I might have done on my own.
At $199, Image Doctor 2 is not for everyone. It is a nice product, with some very useful filters. However, it is a bit pricey for the average user, who would benefit from these filters a lot. The professional user would probably benefit from the time these filters can save you.
To see if it is right for you check out the samples at http://www.alienskin.com/imagedoctor/idoc_filters.html. There is also a downloadable demo available at http://www.alienskin.com/downloads/getmail1.asp.
PowerPC G5 processor or Intel processor Mac OS X 10.4.0 or later
Adobe Photoshop CS2 9.0.2 or later
Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0.1 or later