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Corel Aftershot Pro: The New Tool For Graphic Design

Corel introduces a non-destructive editing tool that graphic designers will find to be a useful addition to their digital toolbox.

January 2012 - Corel announced the unveiling of their latest creation, AfterShot Pro. They declared the software a powerful and affordable to alternative to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, thanks to "complete RAW workflow, flexible photo management, advanced, non-destructive editing and breakthrough performance." This is big talk, since Adobe is the go-to software for most creatives. One look at AfterShot Pro, though, reveals a well-designed tool that graphic designers will enjoy adding to their toolbox. Perhaps Corel isn't full of bravado.

Editing photos for layouts and integration into designs is a big part of a designer's job, so making the process easier should be the biggest objective for any editing software. The single best feature about AfterShot is that it provides designers with a workspace that has all of the most-used tools within easy access. There's no need to constantly be opening new tool menus or searching through menu lists for the right tool. Everything is laid out on the workspace. One click can adjust an image's saturation, contrast, temperature, exposure and 12 other common editing tasks (as seen in Photo 1).

The Perfectly Clear photo fix, one of the 12 other workspace adjacent apparatuses, will soon become any designer's favorite quick tool. With one click, it turns a drab, under-exposed photo into a bright, properly color-balanced image (as seen in Photo 2) in less than a second.

That's right, even tasks that take most editing software around a dozen seconds to perform is done almost instantly with AfterShot Pro. Corel says this dazzlingly fast operation is due to their new technology. Pro is multithreaded and optimized for multi-core computers, so that it works with a computer's CPU speed. This affects the speed of any image adjustments, onscreen previews and output generation. Designers can also convert and export files into new sizes and formats using pre-defined settings.  No more waiting means quick adjustments for picky clients and happier graphic designers.

The ability to add keywords to images and retrieve image data such as the type of camera and lens that was used to take digital images gives the AfterShot additional time-saving features. The metadata can be manipulated to meet the needs of the user.

Unlike some photo editing software, AfterShot doesn't destroy the resolution and quality of the image while it is being edited. Designers can work with RAW images to their heart's content, and can rest assured that the non-destructive editing tools will leave the data quality intact. The software also saves your original image, so that no matter how badly an image is botched, it is never lost forever.

Not only is the overall image quality maintained, designers can also select specific areas to alter on an image thanks to flexible Regions and Layers capabilities. This means that if part of an image is too dark or blurry, the designer can alter that one area without fouling up the rest by over-lightening or sharpening areas that don't need touched up.

Corel AfterShot Pro has proven itself against other leading photo editing programs. It has features that are specifically designed to save designers time while producing the highest quality images. Available for $99 on Corel’s website makes this program an extremely good value compared to similar, pricier programs. AftersShot Pro is available for both PC and Mac.

Photos courtesy of Alina Bradford