updated 10:00 pm EDT, Thu August 21, 2008
HSC Edit adds denoising
HumanSoftware today announced the latest release of its HSC Aperture plug-in, version 1.3. This latest release includes a module to automatically denoise images. HSC Edit is a suite of 13 separate modules that add a wide variety of editing capability to Aperture. Different modules can be purchased individually or as a whole bundle.
Noise can be present for a variety of reasons. Digital cameras inherently produce images with noticeable noise, as the ISO setting is increased the processor is taking a weak signal and amplifying it. The processor doesn't separate the weak signal from the noise, so both get amplified as the ISO setting is increased. Compact digital cameras show more noise from their comparatively smaller sensors. Although high-end or digital cameras with larger sensors are less affected, noise will still show on pictures taken at high ISO settings.
For pictures taken at high speeds or in low light, using a high ISO will take an image with less blurr, but the sacrifice is additional noise. The AutoDenoise module reduces the grain and noise with mathematical algorithms. The tool also allows the user to save settings for each particular camera and type of image.
Another module is the AutoCorrect Image Enhancer tool allowing lost colors or details in photos to be restored. Another module for curves now supports multiple layers referenced to a brush to enhance highlights or shadows to balance colors. The Image Refocusing module uses algorithms to analyze images that are blurry due to bad focus and attempts to restore as much of the image's correct focus as possible.
HSC Edit's AutoSmooth can be used to smooth out images such as skin. HumanSoftware claims this can be used without blurring surrounding surfaces, and allows the effects of retouching and manual softening to be processed automatically. Another tool, PhotoFixlens, is designed to correct distortions present in pictures taken with high zoom or wide-angle lenses. The Grid Distortion module includes a double grid feature and allows for reversing of deformation.
MagicFrames contains over 1700 different edges that can be applied to pictures in addition to 100 realistic frames offered in the ClassicFrames module. Fractals, light effects, and a multitude of surfaces can be added or blended using different tools. A filter toolbox module can be used to layer up to 50 different filters or effects from a collection of 150.
HSC Edit is available from HumanSoftware for Apple Aperture on Mac OS X Leopard. Each of the 13 modules can be purchased for $70, except for the Multi-Curves which costs $30 or the Image Enhancer for $50. The entire bundle can be obtained for $300.