CyberLink PhotoDirector 3 is a new beta release of the company's image editor and organiser, which introduces some high-end editing features while maintaining its general ease of use.
One headline addition this time around is a new object removal system. If your shot is being spoiled by an unwanted person, tree or other inconvenient object, then PhotoDirector 3 now gives you at least a chance of removing this, just by drawing around the object and choosing a replacement background area. This doesn't always work, but it's quick and easy to try and is a useful inclusion to the package.
The family and friends you choose to leave in the image can now look much better, too, courtesy of PhotoDirector 3's "People Beautifier". A "Wrinkle Remover" works much like the object remover (draw around the unwanted lines, and get rid of them); the Skin Smoother provides a smoothing brush to reduce skin imperfections; an Eye Blinger brightens the eyes to impressive effect, while the Tooth Brush enables you to paint on a whiter smile in seconds.
A handy Watermark editor allows you to create watermark templates with your own choice of lines, frames, pictures, images, even data taken from a few of the image tags (Copyright, Date, Camera Name, Aperture, Focal Length, ISO, Shutter speed). These templates can then be applied to as many photos as you need, so if you'd like an entire folder full of images to have your name and their date added, then you can do it here in just a click or two.
And a new Lens Correction section can help you compensate for fisheye distortion, vignetting and other problems. This isn't as sophisticated as the high-end competition (there are no presets for particular cameras, for instance). It's not exactly easy to find (click Adjustment, then scroll down in the left-hand panel until you get to the very bottom of that section). And even once you've got there, this is one of the more difficult sections to understand (not everyone will understand the important of vertical and horizontal "keystone"). In operation it's just a matter of moving sliders backwards and forwards, though, so even if you don't understand the technicalities you'll soon figure out what the controls do, and again these are a positive addition to the program.
And elsewhere, of course, are the excellent features which PhotoDirector made available last time. The powerful image library, comprehensive photo adjustment tools, slideshow creator and much more.
But if that's not enough, CyberLink will also give you a free copy of their media management and slideshow tool MediaShow 5 for free, just for trying out PhotoDirector 3, and reporting a bug, or completing a survey with your feedback.
Please note, while you can download PhotoDirector 3 from here, you should join CyberLink's beta program by entering your name and address at the official site.
In addition, keep in mind that the program is a beta, and will contain bugs (that's why they want us to test it, after all). And in addition, it will expire 90 days after installation.
PhotoDirector 3 adds some powerful new editing and retouching tools, yet for the most part remains easy enough for anyone to use. Well worth a look.