Good news for all the photographers out there. 3 days ago, Google made the Nik Collection available for free for everyone. Nik Collection is a set of plugins for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. The collection contains the following plugins:
- Analog Efex Pro
- Color Efex Pro
- Silver Efex Pro
- HDR Efex Pro
- Sharpener Pro
Nik Software was established in 1995 and got bought by Google for an undisclosed price in 2012. Google kept selling the Software first for ~ $500 USD and later lowered the price to ~ $150 USD. Since March 24, 1016 the software is now available completely free of charge for everyone.
If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which Google will automatically issue back to you in the coming days.
I was very excited when I read about the news a couple of days ago and started downloading the software immediately.
When you install the Software it will auto-detect the required host programs and install the plugins in the default folders for them.
Remember, to use this software you need either Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture – it’s not a standalone software package.
I am using Adobe Lightroom as my photo management and editing software. I had a little bit of trouble to get the plugins to work. Only one which was working, was the HDR Efex Pro. This is an export plugin and can be found in Lightroom when you open the export function in Lightroom. However all the other once didn’t show up.
After a quick research I found that this were considered “external editors” and should show up in Photo -> Edit In. However they didn’t for me.
The problem was found quick and the solution is simple as well. I set up Lightroom to store presets with the catalog rather than the system. It is just my personal preference. If you haven’t changed this setting, you are good to go and should see the plugins in the menu.
Fix for Windows:
C:/User/YOUR USERNAME/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Lightroom/External Editor Presets
and copy them to
LOCATION OF YOUR LIGHTROOM CATALOG/Lightroom Settings/External Editor Presets
Adobe could have done a better job and allow the presets to work from both directories. That did the trick for me and it’s working fine.
If you are on a Mac, you basically have to do the same thing. You should see the installation path for Lightroom during the installation process. Remember the location and copy the files back to your Lightroom Catalog Settings folder. You only have to do this, if you have set to store presets with catalog.