In my first blog piece about Zoner Photo Studio X (ZPS X), I started by saying I’d recently installed it and suggested it was likely to take a long time for me to explore all of its features. I finished by saying that I’d best get started on my explorations and that, from time to time as I learned, I would post another piece about it here. Well, it has taken too long, but here is my second piece about it.
Firstly, I quickly learned to create copies of images before I processed any of them, so as to avoid possibly overwriting the originals when I didn’t want to. That, of course, is a smart way to operate regardless of what editing software you are using. Anyway, I set up a folder called Zoner, then copied a few existing folders of RAW images into it giving myself a selection of images to work with. The next thing I learned was that, after doing some editing, I couldn’t overwrite my starting file because the Nikon RAW image format is not supported for saving. No problem though, clicking OK in response to the message telling me that instantly brought up a set of options, including TIF, JPEG, PNG, gif and various other common formats to select from. I could also choose to save it in Truecolor or in Greyscale. That gave me a new file to continue working on whilst the original RAW file remained in the folder.
I then explored a series of adjustments options, including such things as levels, curves, colour enhancement, sharpening, blurring, and vignetting. Using them was, for me, completely intuitive – and you can preview the results before saving and overwriting your file. Another option is to use a list of effects, including mixing channels, creating oil painting or pencil drawing looks, cartooning, and even turning a high-quality image into a degraded old photo looking as faded, scratched and aged as you wish.
Making use of a selection of the available features mentioned, I quickly created new versions of two of my images. Not once did I need to refer to the online manual. I started with these very ordinary RAW files taken during a recent visit to the small country village of Sutton in New South Wales, Australia:
and created these framed cartoon versions:
Yes, I know there is nothing remarkable about those created images; but making them demonstrated to me that it is quite simple to use ZPS X without needing to refer to the manual. Not that looking at a manual is a problem – I’ve no doubt there will be times when I need to (or should anyway). In addition, there are regular notifications about new articles on Zoner Photo Studio’s ‘Learn Photography’ school, so there is a heap of material that users can source to assist them on their journeys. This school is not just about learning to use ZPS X, it’s about everything – starting from the basics, like beginner’s tips, cheat sheets and mastering your camera.
Using ZPS X, you can convert to or assign an ICC profile, resize your image, adjust the canvas size, overlay text, overlay an image, and much more. And all of this is in the one dropdown menu: Edit. That’s before I even start looking into the other six dropdown menus in the manager module: Acquire, Information, Organize, Create, Publish and View. After I explore all of them, there are 3 more modules to work through – Develop, Editor and Create. I’ve already taken a peek at the Create menu and noticed there is the facility to create photobooks, postcards, calendars, collages, contact sheets, videos and more. What was I saying about how long a thorough exploration would require?