The latest version of the Nik Collection suite of plug-in effects features new interfaces, more precise Control Points and optimised tools for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

The interfaces of popular plug-ins, Silver Efex and Viveza, have been redesigned to make them simpler to use and more practical by adding a thumbnails bar on the left side of the screen, without compromising the view of the image that is being edited. This makes it easier for users to scroll through various filter types and adjustments before applying them. Familiar Control Point tools and sliders remain available on the right side of the screen. Users can also group and rename Control Points to make frequently-used settings easy to track. Meta Presets, which can be accessed directly from the Nik Selective Tool in Adobe Photoshop, combine all the presets and settings from the various Nik Collection plug-ins so users can apply several effects with a single click.

Improvements to U Point technology enable users to save favourite pre-sets with Control Points so they can be applied to a series of images. This function can be used to apply a colour effect to several portraits or add a blurred background. Because the Control Points now require fewer sliders, the applied effects are easily seen. Thanks to the new Color Tolerance setting, users can not only select the colour they want to edit, but also adjust the tolerance of similar hues. A new Last Edit feature recreate the last preset you used so it can be applied directly to another image saving editing time when working on batches of similar images.

Nik Silver Efex now features the ClearView technology first released as part of DxO PhotoLab. It can be used to remove haze, boost local contrast, and give photos an entirely new dimension. The latest version also features 39 ultra-realistic grain effects that recreate the looks of traditional black-and-white films.  Nik Viveza also features ten native presets designed by professional photographers which can be applied as is or modified to suit users’ preferences. User-created pre-sets can be saved and shared for use across multiple computers.

A free 30-day trial download is available here. Nik Collection 4 is available to purchase at US$99.99 until 30 June, after which the price reverts to US$149. Click here for details.