Review: OnOne PhotoFrame 4 Professional

Create works of art from your photos with frames and embellishments. (December 2nd, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: OnOne Software

Price: $259.95

The Good

  • Video tutorials are helpful. Well organized frame library. Layering of frames provides near endless combinations. You can download a demo from site.

The Bad

  • Priced for professional photographers. Downloaded presets are difficult to locate online. The Add Random function occasionally caused the software to stall.

OnOne Software creates photographic plug-ins that work with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture. While their products may seem expensive for the digital photography enthusiast, they make it very easy to create art from a simple photograph. The editing time saved to create a variety of pleasing looks, including newsletter inserts, cards, or professional prints make the initial investment less painful.

Recently onOne Software released PhotoFrame 4 Professional and Standard, their plug-in for digitally adding frames, border effects, adornments, and text overlays to images. Version 4 builds on previous releases by adding hundreds of new frames neatly bundled into a new frame library with added support for both Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 and Apple Aperture 2.1 (Professional version only). The plug-in also supports the newly released Adobe Photoshop CS4 and works just fine.

New Features

The new library window in PhotoFrame 4 Professional allows you to search, browse, and preview frames and borders in real time. This lets you see how the modified image looks without waiting for the effects to be fully rendered and added. New library management options allow you to select where to install the frame library and easily move it to a new location.

PhotoFrame4 Frame Library

PhotoFrame 4 Frame Library with Eiffel Tower Photo

You can also create your own frames and automatically add them to the library making them easier to find in the future. The library has been narrowed down to hundreds of onOne's best frames and they've added exclusive frames from professional wedding photographers Kevin Kubota and Vicki Taurfer. If you are a fan of the older removed frames, those are still available to download on onOne's website.

In another new PhotoFrame 4 option, you can adjust a frame size and position to better capture an image. You can use the new rulers and guides to set up a layout before adding any frames. This allows you to mark out the area of the picture you want to highlight before you make any modifications to the image. These features greatly improve the functionality of the software. In my testing I found that while most frames looked good in their default state; a few minor modifications highlighted an image better and created a more professional look. The ability to layer different frames lets you apply some very creative effects.

 PhotoFrame 4 Interface

PhotoFrame 4 Interface

PhotoFrame 4 has also adds a batch processor that allows you to work with folders of images. You can select a frame preset to be applied to a group of photos, select output file sizes, and add watermarks. This works great when doing class or team photos where the pictures are all taken in the same manner. The photos can quickly be framed and finished identically, without the need to work with each individual photo.

Photo Frame 4 Batch Screen

Sample Batch Controls

Photo Frame in Action

Installation was quick and simple and the included start up tutorials taught me how to customize frames very quickly. The ability to alter the frame settings, as well as layer and combine frames, left me with the feeling that there are near limitless options.

Photo Frame 4 Batch Screen

Sample Frame Stack Dialog

At first glance the 1000+ frame library, backgrounds and textures seems overwhelming, but after I familiarized myself with the interface, it felt much more accessible. To simplify the process of browsing through all the options, they organize the frames into groups of similar styles. When you find frames you like you can add star ratings or put them in your favorites so you can find them quickly later.

The online web tutorials also turned out to be an invaluable learning resource. These tutorials provide a great way to learn about more advanced options that you may not notice just from using the software by trial and error.

The price of the software is targeted for professional photographers. At $260 some may find the software a tad pricey and a basic Photoshop user may find the large library of frames and effects more than they want. onOne offers PhotoFrame standard for $159.95, and it contains a smaller frame library and leaves out support for Aperture and Adobe Lightroom. OnOne has also offered a free downloadable library of "holiday-themed frames, textures, layouts, backgrounds, and adornments" PhotoFrame 3 and PhotoFrame 4.

 Finished Framed Photo

Finished Framed Photo

Overall, I would recommend this product to anyone looking to add a more personal touch to each of their photographs.

Photos Bradley McBurney, 2008. Reuse without permission is prohibited.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Bradley McBurney


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