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The following is an unedited press release, shown as received from the company represented. We've elected to present selected releases without editorial comment, as a way to provide our readers more information without further overtaxing our limited editorial resources. To avoid any possible confusion or conflict of interest, the Imaging Resource will always clearly distinguish between company-provided press releases and our own editorial views and content.

Photokit Sharpener 2.0's logo. Click here to visit the Pixel Genius website! PRESS RELEASE: PixelGenius Announces PhotoKit Sharpener 2.0

The update to the award winning PhotoKit Sharpener image sharpening tool for Photoshop.

Pixel Genius, LLC. announces PhotoKit SHARPENER™ 2.0, a new update slated to ship by the end of the 4th quarter, 2010. PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 is an Adobe Photoshop Automate Plug-in designed to bring optimum image sharpening to both scanned and digital captures. With a retail price of $99.95, PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 will offer a simple but effective digital image sharpening workflow for Photoshop CS3, CS4 and CS5 for both Mac and Windows (both 32-bit and 64-bit in CS5). PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 supports 8 and 16 bit RGB and Greyscale images.

Image sharpening has long been one of the most challenging aspects of digital imaging – largely because correct sharpening has to account for a host of often competing and contradictory factors. The image source has a huge effect on the kind of sharpening needed; capture speed and format effect the way the grain or noise structure interacts with the image. Different resolutions need different treatments and digital captures behave quite unlike film scans. Sharpening is also dependent on image content. Close subjects with soft details need a different treatment than distant subjects with small, sharp details. The final output process also has unique demands. Halftone printing processes such as offset presses require a different type of sharpening than inkjet printers, which in turn have different needs than film recorders.

PhotoKit Sharpener 2.0 dialog. Screenshot provided by Pixel Genius LLC. Click for a bigger picture!

PhotoKit Sharpener 2.0 dialog.
Screenshot provided by Pixel Genius LLC.

PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 provides an easy way to address all these issues systematically and provides a complete sharpening workflow using three sets of sharpening effects. These three sets of sharpeners are designed to work together. Start with Capture Sharpening so that you can see details as you begin work on your image. Use Creative Sharpening to address specific problem areas. Apply Output Sharpening to optimize the image for each output process.

  • Capture Sharpening performs image adaptive sharpening immediately after the capture stage. This restores the sharpness that's inevitably lost during the process of turning photons into pixels.

  • Creative Sharpening offers a series of sharpening effects for performing localized sharpening on key details such as hair and eyes. It also contains functions designed to address specific problems such as camera shake, poor focus, aerial haze and insufficient depth of field.

  • Output Sharpening optimizes images for different output processes, giving images that final snap that makes them pop in final printed form.

The PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 upgrade maintains the sharpening workflow concepts of Bruce Fraser, the original product designer, and was extended by new PixelGenius member and new product manager Mac Holbert. In addition to improving the sharpening effect routines, PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 adds all new functionality and new effects. The PixelGenius Toolbox dialog simplifies the processing, provides a thumbnail and 1:1 previews and offers integrated batching capability, not only for PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 but also PhotoKit Color 2.0 and the upcoming PhotoKit 2.0. Also new to PhotoKi SHARPENER 2.0 is the abilty to have multi-layered effects reduced to a single layer for file size savings and the ability to now have ALL PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 effects be brushable effects. PhotoKit Sharpener 2.0 also runs on greyscale images!

Click here to see what's new in PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0

Like all PhotoKit effects, PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 effects are non-destructive layer-based edits that never change your original data. Because they're layer-based, you can increase or decrease the effect strength by changing layer opacity, or make local adjustments using layer masks so you always remain in control. Traditional sharpening filters, applied globally, often create artifacts such as color-fringing, blown highlights, or plugged shadows, and offer a take-it-or-leave-it adjustment. PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0 analyzes each image to build a unique, content-sensitive sharpening mask, protects highlight and shadow details, prevents color fringing, and produces results that you can adjust at any time in the image editing process.

Upgrade pricing for current PhotoKit SHARPENER 1.x users provides a 70% discount for an upgrade price of $29.99. Users who purchased PhotoKit SHARPENER 1.x on or after October 1st, 2010 are eligible to receive a free upgrade to PhotoKit SHARPENER 2.0.

About Pixel Genius, LLC
Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, Pixel Genius, LLC. is a collaboration of industry leading experts dedicated to creating leading edge products and services for the photographic and digital imaging industries. Company principals: Martin Evening, Mac Holbert, Seth Resnick, Andrew Rodney & Jeff Schewe.

(First posted on Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 20:10 EST)

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