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Friday, March 28, 2008, 09:20 am PT (12:20 pm ET)

Apple releases Aperture 2.1 with new plug-in architecture

Apple on Friday released Aperture 2.1, an update to its post-production photography workflow software that introduces an open plug-in architecture allowing photographers to more easily use specialized third party imaging software directly from within the application.

Available today as a free update, Aperture 2.1 includes the Apple-developed plug-in, Dodge & Burn, which adds brush-based tools for dodge (lighten), burn (darken), contrast, saturation, sharpen and blur.

Over the coming months, third party software developers will deliver image editing plug-ins for localized editing, filters and effects, noise analysis and reduction, fisheye lens correction and more, according to Apple.

“The image quality in Aperture 2 has won over the most demanding photographers,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing. “Now, thanks to our open plug-in architecture, users can access an entire industry’s worth of imaging expertise without ever leaving Aperture.”

By clicking on one or more images within Aperture 2.1, users can choose from a menu of installed plug-ins and apply specialized imaging operations to either TIFF or RAW images. Apple is also working closely with key developers to bring the most requested plug-ins to Aperture such as:
  • Nik Software’s Viveza plug-in, powered by U Point technology, which provides a powerful, precise and easy way for photographers to selectively control and adjust color and light in their digital images

  • PictureCode’s Noise Ninja plug-in that delivers advanced high ISO noise analysis and reduction

  • Digital Film Tools’ Power Stroke plug-in that features a simple, stroke-based interface to quickly mask and intuitively perform targeted adjustments

  • The Tiffen Company's Dfx plug-in that provides an expansive suite of creative filters and effects

  • dvGarage’s dpMatte plug-in, which is a high performance chroma key tool for creating seamless composites, and the HDRtoner plug-in that enables the selection of multiple photos to create a single high dynamic range (HDR) image and

  • Image Trends’ plug-ins that include Fisheye-Hemi to quickly and effortlessly correct fisheye lens distortion, ShineOff which automatically removes shine from faces and PearlyWhites that automatically whitens and brightens teeth.

Aperture 2.1 is available immediately as a free software update to current Aperture 2.0 users. Full system requirements and more information on Aperture can be found at here. Information and availability for third party imaging plug-ins can be found here, here and at the Aperture community site AperturePluggedIn.