AKVIS Retoucher Photoshop Plugin Updated for Repairing and Editing Photographs

Adobe Photoshop has evolved to the point where it's now a powerful photographic retouching and restoration tool, in the hands of an experienced user. But what if you only occasionally need to enhance photos that are somewhat the worse for wear? That's where the AKVIS Retoucher plugin comes in, which the developer claims can make quick and effective work of such defects as scratches, water spots, flakes and stains. The plugin can also be used to remove unwanted items such as date stamps, logos and irrelevant details, such as wires, as well as add missing sections of torn photos. To keep things simple, Retoucher runs initially in Express mode, displaying just the essentials tools, with users being able to switch to Advanced mode at any time.

To remove small details, users can just select objects and let the program do the work. It's possible to remove even large objects, with users employing the Linear Retouch and Patch tools to suggest where fill textures should be drawn from. Of course, Photoshop provides a very effective Intelligent Fill feature of its own, so the abilities of Retoucher in this case are less compelling. But for those with old versions of Photoshop, or Photoshop-compatible applications, the plugin can add some welcome functionality. Retoucher is also available as a standalone application, extending its abilities to those who can't employ plugins. A Spot Remover tool can be used to remove such small imperfections as stains and dust from an image. It can also be used to "heal" skin problems in portraits with one click (Deluxe and Business licenses only).

Version 7 adds Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical options to the Chameleon brush, additional hotkeys and support for more RAW formats in the standalone version.

A plugin or standalone Home license for Retoucher for Mac and Windows can be purchased on the AKVIS site for $87. Home Deluxe includes both the plugin and standalone versions and is priced at $98, while the Business version allows users to create commercial work with Retoucher and is priced at $154. This is an unusual way to price a plugin/application and is something AKVIS might want to reconsider, given that there's no way to determine whether it's used for business purposes or not. A trial version is also available for download.