Useful Tool to Quickly Improve Images

Review by Erik Vlietinck

I’m not a fan of automatic image-enhancement tools, but Perfectly Clear 3 struck me as a Photoshop plug-in that allows for subtle improvements. It offers a plethora of presets and a full set of controls too.

Version 3 of this Photoshop CS6/CC plug-in provides a major update to the core processing technology and an easier-to-use, better-looking interface. To me, Perfectly Clear 3 was brand-new, and I loved the app’s nice dark interface with a lot of adjustment tools.

When I loaded a self-portrait, Perfectly Clear’s auto-correction immediately kicked in, and I’m happy to say it kept the Barbie-doll look at bay. The app lists the faces it finds in your image. That’s not just for fun; you can actually go in and place eye-control points very accurately. In my case, I needed a slight adjustment downward to center the controls on my pupils.

I looked a lot better after the app got its way with my face, and yet the adjustments were subtle; which isn’t to say you can’t go overboard with this one, but on the whole, Perfectly Clear keeps everything nicely in check. Take, for example, their Black Point tool: It’s designed to deepen blacks and it does, but without taking all the detail out of your shadow areas. The Color Restore tool is one adjustment that does let you go wild, but if you prefer subtlety, a new Color Vibrancy tool is your best bet.

Perfectly Clear isn’t just for portraits; it’s great for landscapes too. Sky and Foliage enhancements enable you to add green or brown to foliage, and blue to the sky, but if you happen to have someone’s face in the frame, you should be very careful with using them, as they will spill over! ■