Google has just announced that their entire Nik Collection is now 100% free! I’ve been using this software for years and I can attest to how powerful and unique it really is. Probably the coolest thing about the software is the ability to use control points to specify exactly what area of an image you’d like to work on (you can also just have the software apply itself to an entire image). Ordinarily the only way to do something like that in Photoshop was with the use of layers and lots of layer masks, but the Nik Tools make finite adjustments of specific areas of an image very easy. The software works both as a standalone product as well as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom.
The software bundle originally sold for $149, but for whatever reason Google has decided to make it completely free. I’m not sure if this means that Google are abandoning the software (hopefully not, although they mention in their announcement that they are focusing on mobile technology more these days). Regardless, you should go grab a copy of this awesome software right now, fire it up and start playing!
If you need any further inciting to download, here’s what the collection includes – there’s bound to be something in here you need:
- Analog Efex Pro – Create “vintage” looking stylized images using various presets and controls
- Color Efex Pro – I use this one quite a bit – there are a bunch of presets (which you can fine tune) that allow you to stylize your color images, or even just a section of your images
- Silver Efex Pro – Black and White photography enhancement tool
- Viveza – Another one that I use often. This one is all about control points and fine tuning specific areas of your image without having to rely on layer masks
- HDR Efex Pro – As the name implies, this one is for HDR image processing
- Sharpener Pro – Obviously a sharpening tool for your images. The use of Nik’s control points to specify what areas of the image to sharpen are very useful
- Dfine – Basically a noise reduction plugin
Here’s the official word from Google on this announcement:
Today we’re making the Nik Collection available to everyone, for free.
Photo enthusiasts all over the world use the Nik Collection to get the best out of their images every day. As we continue to focus our long-term investments in building incredible photo editing tools for mobile, including Google Photos and Snapseed, we’ve decided to make the Nik Collection desktop suite available for free, so that now anyone can use it.
The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.
Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.
We’re excited to bring the powerful photo editing tools once only used by professionals to even more people now.