I took up the offer to download perfect effects 8, its was for a limited time. However i didn’t write about it during the offer because the stand alone version always froze in browse mode and in fact hung my computer everytime (so fully I could start task manager so I had to turn off the computer and restart it to get going again). This was a bit disappointing because I have a couple of OnOne presets (some are free to download) and they are a cut above the rest. Even so I wasn’t about to recommend the free perfect effect 8 download, till I could find out more and possibly get it working.
At the moment I suspect the problem related to the version of drivers for the graphic cards I have on Windows PC (you need at least 256MB of dedicated VRAM and a video card driver that is OpenGL2 compliant, I found this looking in the manual, there is a downloadable pdf) and elsewhere on the web this “freezing” is not just for me and in fact wide spread. Strangely this topic is missing from the OnOne’s Knowledge base and specifically the Perfect Effect 8’s FAQ section. Also I haven’t yet had a reply to my more direct email requests.
The good news is providing you also installed the lightroom plug in, you will discover that perfect effects brings you two really significant features into you lightroom world. They are masking and layering, which normally require round tripping into photoshop (which many of us lightroom users don’t have). You have to look past the one filter one effect approach and start playing with the masking brush, masking bug and layer, particularly the blending controls. Whilst the capabilities of these features in perfect effects is not as extensive as those in the full perfect photo suite, I’m sure they will open up some amazing possibilities for those who have been using just lightroom alone.