One of the great new tools in Color Efex Pro 4 is the ability to combine or “Stack” filters within the Color Efex Pro 4 interface. Did you know that the order of applied filters affects the enhancements made to the image? Because each additional filter is applied to the changes made by the filters added previous to it, utilizing the same combination of filters, but in a different order, can change the look of your image.
Generally, filters that will apply globally to the entire image should be applied first, and “Finishing Adjustments” such as vignettes or image borders should be applied last.
In the images below, we can see examples of how changing the order of the same combination of filters changes the look of the image.
In this example, we have Brilliance and Warmth, Tonal Contrast, Darken Lighten Center, Vignette Blur, and Image Borders, stacked in that order.
Reversing the order of the applied filters to Image Borders, Vignette Blur, Darken Lighten Center, Tonal Contrast, and then Brilliance and warmth, gives a different look to this image.
Because Image Borders is now applied first, the borders are being effected by the Vignette Blur, and appear soft. With Tonal Contrast applied to the filters before it, the image is darker and has more contrast, without having changed any of the filter settings.
When stacking filters, you can select a filter in your list of applied filters, and drag it up or down to change the order. Experiment and see how a different order will change your image!
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