Portrait+ for Mac
MSRP (download): $161.99
Facial enhancement on photographic portraits is a process that requires skill, experience, and patience. Removing a blemish is relatively easy, but getting skin smoothing and shine removal done well is more difficult. One-click facial enhancement with Portrait+ is instant and the results are often startlingly effective.
Before and After.
Portrait+ includes 19 preset Style fixes and 8 preset Makeup settings; all are one-click fixes. For more granularity, there is a DIY panel with 8 adjustment sliders for additional fine grain tweaking—Soften Skin, Remove Shine, Brighten Eyes, Remove Circles, Whiten Teeth, Enlarge Eyes, Deepen Smile, and Slim Face. The latter three are dimensional distortions that reshape facial features. They need to be used with restraint.
Before and after including reshaping effects.
Portrait+ uses face recognition so that all of the control points (eyebrows, cheeks, iris reflections, mouth, etc.) are detected and are repositionable. The advantage of the face detection feature is that it allows for batch processing. Say you have a series of ten photos of a subject. You can adjust one of the images to your liking and Portrait+ can easily apply the same adjustments to all of the others in the series.
Everything that Portrait+ does can be done in Photoshop, but accomplishing a full retouch and makeover even for an experienced user is an involved process. With Portrait+ the procedure can be done in a few minutes. Becoming familiar with Portrait+ is intuitive and very easy. It’s so simple that there is no real documentation with the software other than a few pop-up dialogs.
Unfortunately, transforming a photo with Portrait+ saves your work as a JPG or TIFF file only, no layers, no PSD, PNG or other formats. However, the time spent manipulating the file is not lengthy or involved and can easily be recreated. The before and after file sizes remain unchanged.
Portrait+ is surprisingly good at what it does – enhancing faces. It will even recognize several faces in a photograph and it is possible to select only the ones you need to enhance. Portrait+ has no other purpose and will not work on images it doesn’t recognize as a face. If it doesn’t recognize an image a full face, a side view or closed eyes for example, a dialog tells you so. It also won’t work on small file sizes under 0.25 MP.
Portrait+ is ArcSoft’s “Business version” of their less expensive Perfect365 and is currently available for the Mac at $161.99 and as a Photoshop plug-in for Windows at $71.99. Because of its price, Portrait+ is quite expensive for the casual point-and-shooter, but it could be a genuinely useful tool for the pro-sumer.
MyMac Review rating is 7 out of 10.