Extensis Intellihance Pro
4.0 offers single click solutions for many common photo-editing problems.
Intellihance also features a powerful preview mode that enables you
to preview up to 24 different enhancements from one convenient window.
Although Intellihance is advertised as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop
and Corel Photo-Paint, it worked with every photo editor that I have
tried, including Ulead PhotoImpact XL, Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8, and Macromedia
Fireworks MX 2004. The installation wizard will guide you through the
steps of installing for Photoshop or Photo-Paint. Once installed, Intellihance
Pro will be available in your photo editor's Filter or Effects
Pro in its Default mode. A single image is displayed, with
the Quick Enhance adjustment applied.
Photos © 2003 Anthony L. Celeste, All Rights Reserved
Intellihance Pro Interface
When you use Intellihance Pro for the first time, it will display a single
copy of your photo, and apply the default Intellihance adjustment, called
"Quick Enhance." When you use Quick Enhance, Intellihance
examines the image and automatically applies up to nine filters to enhance
the image's quality (#1).
Although this single adjustment will be enough for some photos, the true
power of Intellihance Pro comes when you use it to preview multiple copies
of your photo, each with a different adjustment applied. To do this, click
the Layout menu, and then select a layout. Then click the View menu, and
select Repeating Image.
Intellihance Pro in 3x3 layout with repeating image view.
I frequently use the 3x3 layout,
since this allows me to place the original image in the middle windowpane
of the 3x3 grid, and surround it by a total of eight preview windowpanes,
each containing a different adjustment. Note that you can go as high as
the 5x5 layout, and still not have any preview panes showing the same
adjustment, since Intellihance Pro makes the original image plus 24 different
adjustments available every time you preview an image (#2).
To the right of the preview windowpane, you'll find the Arrow, Hand,
and Zoom tools, and the Apply and Cancel buttons. The Arrow tool is used
to select the preview pane that you'd like to work with. Once selecting
a preview pane, you can set it to preview a different image adjustment
by clicking the drop-down menu located in the upper left corner of each
#3. Viewing an Adjustment's Intelligent Settings.
The Hand tool works the same
as a typical Pan tool: by clicking and dragging in any preview pane, you
can select which part of the photo you want to be displayed in the preview
windows. Note that when deciding on which area of your photo to preview,
it's often a good idea to choose an area that contains both foreground
and background elements, since this will give you the best look at how
the adjustment you select will affect your entire image.
The Zoom tool is used to zoom in to and out of your photo. Clicking the
Zoom tool and then clicking on any preview pane increases the zoom. To
decrease zoom, click in the window while holding down the Alt key (Windows)
or the Option key (Mac).
The Apply button is used to
apply the adjustments in the currently selected windowpane to your photo
(the currently selected windowpane will always have a red border). To
return to your photo editor without making any changes to your photo,
click the Cancel button.
Intellihance Pro makes three
adjustment modes available: Intelligent Adjustment, Fine Tune, and Power
Variations. Each mode uses a slightly different set of tools, but they
all make use of Intellihance's ability to display an original image
and multiple preview images. I'll look first at Intellihance Pro's
default mode, Intelligent Adjustment mode. Intellihance Pro's modes
are accessed via the Mode menu.
Intelligent Adjustment mode makes available a total of 22 different types
of adjustments, each designed for a particular type of imaging problem.
The available adjustments are: Bright Enhance, Clean Up, Dark Image Enhance,
Darken, Deep Enhance, Descreen, Despeckle, Digital Camera, Digital Camera
Flash, Drum Scanner, Dust Reduction, Edge Enhance, Flat-bed Scanner, Focus,
Halftone Enhance, Heavy Cast Removal, Photo CD, Scratch Reduction, Smooth,
Soft Enhance, Vector Enhance, Vivid Enhance. In addition, the Original
Image, the Last Applied adjustment, and Quick Enhance are also available.
#5. After. A sample photo from a digital camera before and
after using the Intellihance Digital Camera adjustment.
You can view the types of
changes that a particular adjustment applies by using the Arrow tool to
select the windowpane that's using that adjustment, and viewing
the "Intelligent Settings" on the upper right side of the
interface (#3). If no windowpane is using the adjustment you'd like
to preview, use the Arrow tool to select any windowpane, and then select
the adjustment you want to preview using the windowpane's drop-down
The sample image I'm using here is a photo my cousin took of his
kids using a digital camera. So, I decided to try Intellihance's
Digital Camera adjustment. My main concern with the original image was
the excessive shadows covering the faces of the kids. The Digital Camera
adjustment successfully brightened the shadows, without applying too much
overall brightness to the images (#4 and #5). This is precisely what Intellihance
Pro is designed to do: fix common image problems with single click efficiency.
Setting Color Balance using Intellihance Pro's Power
ine Tune Mode
Fine Tune mode is used to make manual adjustments using seven filters:
Descreen, Dust & Scratches, Brightness/Contrast, Saturation, Cast,
Sharpness, and Despeckle. I don't want to devote too much time to
this mode, since your photo editor contains similar filters that are capable
of the same adjustments. However, there are some advantages to making
these adjustments from within Intellihance Pro that are worth mentioning:
You can start out in Intelligent Adjustment mode using an adjustment such
as Digital Camera. Then, if you're not completely satisfied with
the adjustment, you can switch to Fine Tune mode to make additional enhancements.
You can save your adjustments to "Presets" if you want them
to be available for other images. The preset will then be available in
Intellihance Pro's drop-down menus. To save a preset, click File,
and then click Save Preset As. To delete a preset, click File, and then
click Delete Preset.
Intellihance Pro enables working with multiple filters from within a single
interface. For example, you can adjust Brightness/Contrast, then adjust
Sharpness, and then Despeckle, all from within the same window.
Power Variations Mode
Power Variations mode enables you to choose a filter and view your original
image plus up to 24 different previews of the same filter being applied
at different strengths. The number of previews available depends on the
layout that you're using. As with other Intellihance modes, the
original image plus 24 previews is available in 5x5 layout. Since I feel
that this many previews is somewhat excessive, I usually use Power Variations
mode with the layout set to 3x3 mode.
Intellihance Pro's Power Variations mode is a true power tool for
increasing productivity. For example, consider the steps involved in setting
a brightness level using your photo editor's built-in tools. You
have to try a setting, look at the preview image, try another setting,
look at another preview image... Intellihance Pro significantly reduces
the time this process takes by placing multiple preview images, each with
a different setting, in a single interface.
There are seven filters available in Power Variations mode: Contrast,
Brightness, Saturation, Red/Cyan Cast, Green/Magenta Cast, Blue/Yellow
Cast, and Sharpen. Power Variations also include a Color Balance filter
that previews your image with eight different color and lightness adjustments:
Red, Green, Blue, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Lighter and Darker (#6).
A photo with washed out, poorly colored highlights.
The Color Balance can be applied
to your entire photo, or just to the highlights, midtones, or shadows.
This can be particularly useful when you want to make minor color adjustments
that don't affect an entire image. The Highlight, Midtone, and Shadow
checkboxes, located in the upper right corner of the Intellihance Pro
interface, are used to control this process. To apply the Color Balance
filter to the entire photo, no changes are needed. To turn off color correction
for your photo's highlights, midtones, or shadows, remove the checkbox
next to its name.
In #7, the shadows (such as the dark areas on the surfboard), and the
midtones (such as the model's flesh tones), both look correct. However,
the photo's highlights (such as the water and sky) have a washed
out green tone instead of the blue tone they should have. This can easily
be corrected by applying the Color Balance filter only to the photo's
Click on the Shadows and Midtones checkboxes (to remove the checkmarks),
and then click on the Blue windowpane, to apply the blue color correction
to the photo. The screen automatically updates to display the photo with
the blue color correction in the middle windowpane, and the surrounding
windowpanes update to show a preview of what the image will look like
with additional color corrections. I clicked the Blue windowpane twice,
to apply the blue color range two times, and then clicked the Apply button,
which change the original image and closes Intellihance Pro.
The image after adjustment using the Power Variation's
Color Balance filter.
The results are seen in #8:
A photo with a more vibrant, significantly bluer ocean and sky. Since
the Blue filter was applied only to the photo's highlights, the
flesh tones and dark areas of the image are virtually unchanged.
Installing On Non-Adobe
Or Corel Photo Editors
To install for programs other than Photoshop or Corel Photo-Paint that
accept Photoshop plug-ins, follow
1. Choose Corel Photo-Paint as your photo editor. If
you receive a message saying, "Can't find Corel Photo-Paint
in the Registry," just click okay.
2. When prompted to confirm the loction of your Corel
"plug-ins" folder, use the Browse button to find your photo
editor's "plug-ins" folder.
3. When the installation is complete, search for the
file "etoolbox.dll," copy it, and paste it into your system
folder. For Windows 98 and Windows Me this is usually located at "C:\Windows\System,"
for Windows 2000 and NT "C:\WinNT\System32," and for Windows
Intellihance Pro is available for Windows and Macintosh (including Mac
OS X). A demo version can be downloaded from "http://www.extensis.com/intellihancepro"
and their website is www.extensis.com/intellihancepro.
Tony Celeste appreciates feedback
from his readers. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org