The list of professional-grade tools available to young artists is growing rapidly. On Monday, the animation software Toonz, preferred by Studio Ghibli and Futurama, was repackaged with a free edition. Today, Google announced that its $149 suite photo editing plugins, the Nik Collection, is now totally free to download.
Aimed at sweetening widely-owned programs like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture, the Nik Collection encompasses a set of precision filters for color correction and beautification, a darkroom-inspired module for perfecting the black-and-white photo, and an effects suite that adds the look and feel of different film cameras. While these plugins are limited to desktop software, downloading them is an easy way to amp up your Instagram game, as long as you don't mind shuffling them between your phone and computer.
Google explains, “As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.” Combined with Steve McCurry's excellent composition tips and Die Antwoord photographer Roger Ballen's advice on how to make photography your art, you now have everything you need to get out and snapping.
The Nik Collection includes Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine. Anyone who bought the collection in 2016 will be refunded. Grab the whole suite here.