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virtualPhotographer Help


  1. Philosophy and Technique
  2. Installing and Launching virtualPhotographer
  3. Quick Start - Use Presets!
  4. The virtualPhotographer Screen and Controls
  5. How virtualPhotographer works
  6. Using virtualPhotographer
  7. Selections and Layers
  8. Speed Tips
  9. System Requirements and Compatibility



virtualPhotographer is designed to allow photographers familiar with traditional camera usage and terminology to easily create photographically rich and artistic results from their digital images.


The operating principle of virtualPhotographer is to offer many "one-click" photo-effect options that give, or get close to, a desired result. If needed, simple adjustments can then be made to get exactly the shot being sought.



Installing and Launching virtualPhotographer

Installing virtualPhotographer

1) After downloading virtualPhotographer installer to your computer double-click the setup.exe icon:


2) Select the language and then progress through installer wizard:


3) The virtualPhotographer folder is now located on your Desktop.


4) Open this folder and drag the file virtualPhotographer.8bf to the "Plug-Ins" folder of your Photo-editing software program:


Example: For Adobe PhotoShop the Plug-ins folder is at: [Program Files] > [Adobe] > [PhotoShop] > [Plug-Ins]
NOTE: For Photoshop CS place files in the [Filter] folder within the [Plug-Ins] folder

For Paint Shop Pro the Plugins folder is at: [Jasc Software Inc] > [Paint Shop Pro] > [Plugins]

Tip:  As a rule most Photo-editors implement their effects using Filters, these effects will always be “8bf” files such as “Solarize.8bf” so look for where these 8bf files are located for your photo-editor (typically in a “Plug-ins” or “Filters” folder) and place the file virtualPhotographer.8bf in the same folder with them.



Starting virtualPhotographer


To start virtualPhotographer simply load an image into your Photo-editing software program and then select the optikVerve Labs -> virtualPhotographer option from the "Filter" menu:




Quick Start -- Use Presets!

  1. Open an image in your photo-editing software and start virtualPhotographer
  2. Click on the Presets pop-down menu and select various Preset options, see the results in the Preview
  3. Click the "Process" button (bottom right corner) to apply a Preset you like to your original image.


    [TIP: Use the UP and Down arrow keys on your keyboard to quickly select different Presets and see results instantly. Note: The Preset pop-down menu must be selected but closed]




The virtualPhotographer Screen and Controls

The following list describes what each control section of virtualPhotographer does:

  1. Preview
    • This area allows you to preview the applied filter effect. Clicking and holding the left mouse button on the Preview image will display the original image. If the image is zoomed larger than the Preview Window then you may move the image by clicking and dragging with the left mouse button
  2. Zoom Buttons
    • This area allows the image to be zoomed for better viewing. The "-" and "+" zoom buttons zoom out or in by a fixed amount. The "100%" button shows the image at full size while the "FIT" button fits the entire image into the Preview Window. This area also contains the "?" link to help button, and also the Progress bar on the left that shows the progress of the filter being applied to the image.
  3. Presets
    • The is the main functional area and is the first thing you should do. Effectively, the Presets are applying all the other control settings for you. Apply the various Presets to see their impact on the image, when you get close to what you are looking for you may then fine-tune the image using the other controls if necessary.
  4. Film Type
    • This allows you to set either a film type which causes the image to appear more like regular film, or slide film which results in a slightly more contrasty image
    • The sliders allow you to adjust brightness and contrast of the input image
  5. Film Speed
    • The Film Speed dictates the speed of the film and therefore how much film grain is applied to the image
    • The slider adjusts the amount of grain applied
  6. Photographic Style (emulsion/colored filter)
    • Firstly these settings allow the film emulsion (warm, cool, green) to be applied
    • In B/W mode, these settings simulate colored filters in front of the camera lens
    • The slider adjusts the emulsion characteristics or the strength of the filter
  7. Photographic Effect
    • One of the most powerful settings, this allows blur, color shift, and blend effects
    • The slider adjusts the strength of the effect
  8. B/W
    • Converts the image to black and white based on other settings above, also allows tints
    • The slider adjusts the strength of any tinting
  9. Settings
    • These buttons allow you to save your own custom settings (.vph files) to use on other images and load additional settings (.vph files) available separately
    • To access the additional/saved settings Click the LOAD button. Then browse to the .vph file
  10. Process
    • These buttons either apply the current filter to the original image, or cancel the plug-in



How virtualPhotographer works

virtualPhotographer is designed to be familiar to traditional photographers. The filter can simulate the film type: "Film" or "Slide", the speed of the film to adjust grain, the emulsion of the film: "Warm", "Cool", "Green", "B/W", colored filters placed in front of the lens, and various darkroom effects and tints that can be applied to the print. Presets allow all of these adjustments to be made with just one-click. Simply select between the various Presets until you find one you like. virtualPhotographer "Presets" are designed to work on many different image types, from landscapes to portraits, so you are likely to find a number of Presets that work well with your image and yield the artistic results you desire.



Using virtualPhotographer

 The ideal way to use virtualPhotographer is first apply all of the Presets to your image to see which ones look best. Then, if needed, fine tune the other controls to get the exact results you want. Once you have applied the first Preset you can quickly move through all the other Presets by using the DOWN arrow and UP arrow keys on your keyboard, or the scroll-wheel on your mouse if you have one. This will move to the next Preset and apply it automatically. Make sure the Preset pop-down menu is closed but selected for this to work correctly, otherwise the arrow keys will simple scroll through the pop-down menu list to the next Preset if it is open but will not apply the effect.

To see the original image simple click and hold the left mouse button down on the image in the Preview Window.

You may need to use the Zoom controls to see the details of some effects, film grain for example, the "Fit" zoom control will fit the entire image into the preview window while the "100%" zoom button will show the image full size. The "+" and "-" buttons zoom the image in and out respectively

If the image is zoomed larger than fits in the Preview window you may move the image around to view the area you wish by clicking and holding the left mouse button on the image in the Preview window and dragging it to where needed.


Selections and Layers

virtualPhotographer is fully aware of Selections and Layers in your image editing software. To apply an effect to just a part of your image simply select it before you start virtualPhotographer, you can even feather the selection to ensure gradual and pleasing edges. When you have the desired effect in virtualPhotographer simply click the "Process" button as normal and the effect will only be applied to your selection. Likewise with Layers, virtualPhotographer will work on any layer, or the background. Simple select the layer you wish to use in your image editing software and then start virtualPhotographer. When you apply an effect from virtualPhotographer that you like it will only be applied to the selected layer. You can also combine selections on layers.

Note: virtualPhotographer does not currently preserve the transparency (Alpha-channel) of a layer.


Speed Tips

Viewing the effects of all the Presets is a great way to get to the best options quickly. To do this click on the Preset pop-down menu and select the option you wish to begin at. The pop-down menu will disappear but the effect you choose will be selected, and applied to the Preview window. Now use the DOWN (and UP) arrow keys on your keyboard to quickly move between all of the presets.

Another method to quickly move through Preset options it to use the scroll-wheel on your mouse. Once the Preset pop-down menu is selected as described above simply scroll the mouse wheel with your finger to move between Presets and see their effect.

To quickly access specific Presets you may use the first letter of the name of the Preset from the keyboard. As you keep pressing this key the Preset will jump to the next effect beginning with the letter you are pressing.

You may also use the HOME, END, PAGEUP and PAGEDOWN keys in the selected Preset pop-down menu to jump to the top of the list, the bottom of the list, one page up in the list and one page down in the list respectively.

To move sliders by small amounts first click on the slider to select it and then use the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys on the keyboard


System Requirements and Compatibility

Currently virtualPhotographer works on Microsoft Windows '98, ME. 2000, XP. We are looking to create a Macintosh version

virtualPhotographer is a Photoshop-compatible plugin and as such requires a host image-editing program that supports Photoshop plugs. There are many such programs that we have successfully tested virtualPhotographer with:

Photoshop from Adobe
Photoshop Elements from Adobe
Paint Shop Pro from Jasc
Photo-Paint from Corel
Photo-Brush from MediaChance
Canvas from ACD
PhotoSuite from MGI
Image Explorer Pro from CDH Productions

virtualPhotographer requires a photo-editor that supports 24bit RGB images.


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