I sometimes use Portrait Professional to fix up close-up family portraits and I get good results in less time than if I did everything manually. I do get rid of spots and such in Photoshop first though. You can increase or lower the strength of the different adjustments (for teeth, skin, hair, eyes) separately from within the plugin, so you have good control over the overall result. You may be just as fast doing everything manually, I can't be a judge of that. For photos that are not facial close-ups I lke to use OnOne Software's PhotoTools. There are some great wedding presets, and all presets can be tweaked to one's own preference. I recommend that you test the free trial versions of various plugins to see how they work for you.
I am of opinion the more you know about the application itself, less you will wanting to depend on plugginns .Recently I purchased a star filterplugginn just because I donot know How to do it in photoshop.
For skinsmoothening I donot purchase the pluginn because I can do it in surface/smart blur in filters.
I donot think you need to purchase teeth whitener pluginn bacause u can do it comforatably by using brightness adjt tool as a whole (keeping in teeth in mind) and then inverse the alpha channel and next paint(unmask) with white brush on the black alpha channel over teeth to make them bright.
BOSU BABU wrote:
Recently I purchased a star filterplugginn just because I donot know How to do it in photoshop.
Thanks, Bosu. That's an effect that's actually quite difficult to do convincingly in Photoshop proper, and it would take a good bit of time at best. There are other things Photoshop does not provide, for example deconvolution or the ability to open file formats like FITS that Photoshop does not support directly, that can make purchasing (or downloading a free) plug-in worthwhile.
There's also kind of a middle ground - that of add-on Actions. Basically, actions are sequences of Photoshop operations that would be difficult or time consuming to put together in sequence every time you need them, and it does tend to raise up your level of thinking while you're doing photo work to work in terms like "Local Contrast Enhancement" or "Reduce Noise in the Shadows" instead of "Mask Edges, Adjust Curves, put a point here, point there, Adjust Saturation, etc.". Actions sets to do many things can be found online, some free, some commercial.
Perhaps the most powerful thing is that well-written plug-ins or actions can help save you time to achieve your results.
There's really no easy answer to the original post here... Basically you should determine your needs, then evaluate products that claim to meet those needs. If you find a good match, that makes your work easier/quicker/have higher quality then a purchase may well be "worth it".
Well, I think that does help me a bit more. I did look at Portrait professional a bit, and may end up downloading the free trial version. However, I didn't know how good the actual results would be since I hadn't met anyone who's used it.
All good points to consider and I definitely agree that actions speed up some tasks as well.
I just wanted to be certain that there wasn't some well-known plug-in or third-party service I didn't know about that everyone was using