ArcSoft Portrait+ is an auto retoucher for portrait shots that includes batch processing and one-click presets. We are testing version 3, which has a simplified workflow and other improvements. It is available as a standalone program for Windows priced $149.99 (around £90.95 as of 30/12/13) or as a Photoshop plug-in (Windows only) for $59.99 (around £36.38 as of 30/12/13). Mac versions will be released in the future.
ArcSoft Portrait+ Version 3 Features
Automatic detection - detect faces with 24 key facial features
More than 20 faces can be recognised and retouched simultaneously in one photo
Auto detect all visible body skin for intelligent retouching
Batch processing - import a folder of photos or hundreds of images and apply presets to all with one click
Enhance photos with manually edited effects
Batch export all photos to any folder with adjustable size and quality
Smart blemish removal to eliminate deep scars, pimples and other imperfections while simultaneously restoring the original skin texture
Reshape and fine tune facial features with a click
Optional makeup kits to beautify portraits
Easily find the best results with an embedded comparison interface
Enhancement tools allow optimising an effect and creating new presets
Retouch some faces while ignoring others in a photo
Adjustable skin tone
Simplified interface and improved workflow
Achieve natural effects with optimised presets
Enhance the current photo with presets
Save files with their original names or batch rename them
ArcSoft Portrait+ Version 3 Performance
When you open the program you can import an individual picture or an entire folder. You can also drag and drop individual pictures in. The software will then detect your subject's face and automatically find the key points, such as eyes and nose - the accuracy appears to have improved on version 3. The key points can be adjusted, there are a series of dots that need to be in certain areas of the face, if you get stuck there is a help box which gives you a diagram showing where to move your dot to.
The editing options are on the right hand side of the screen, firstly you'll see the presets. There are 10 to choose from, this is a significantly lower amount from version 2, we assume this has been done in order to help simplify the editing process. If you're using the software on male faces you need to be careful as the presets make them look a little feminine. Performing the edits to multiple images is easy, just load all of the images you want to edit, each preset has the option to apply all images, which appears underneath the list of presets. You'll find examples of the presets below.
ArcSoft Portrait+ Version 3 Sample Photos
When you've finished with the presets you can click edit which takes you to a lot of editing options. The best way is to start at the top and work through each option one at a time. They are split into three sections - skin magic, enhancements and makeup. Within skin magic there is the adjust skin area option that shows you the mask created for the skin, which you can adjust if it hasn't got it quite right automatically. You can also now change the skin tone of your subject.
Many of the other editing options allow you to adjust sliding scales from 0 to 100, or use the low, medium and high options. Be careful, it is easy to overdo some of the editing options - although this can be great fun as well! You're also able to create your own DIY styles, choosing from soften skin, remove shine, slim face, brighten eyes, enlarge eyes, remove circles, enhance nose, deepen smile and whiten teeth.
The bottom of the screen shows you thumbnails of the images you've loaded in to Portrait+. The export button is also here. When you've finished your editing it's time to save. Whether you're editing one or a hundred photos, the process is the same, you hit the export button. You're able to choose the location you want to save to, rename, resize, choose the format and quality. You can also apply a preset to all of the images you are exporting.
ArcSoft Portrait+ Version 3 Verdict
The latest version of ArcSoft Portrait+ feels very similar but there are some quite significant changes. The workflow is clearly much simpler than before and the ability to be able to adjust the skin tone is also a very handy feature, which is easy to perform. As with the last version, it is ideal for beginners who don't want to go down the Photoshop route, but want to edit portrait shots. It's as simple as loading your image, selecting your preferred preset and exporting.
If you've got a number of images to edit you'll find the batch editing feature extremely useful. Where professionals may be put off is the lack of RAW support, but those with more experience and their own style will enjoy being able to make their own presets. It's a little on the expensive side, but the ease of use and performance stand out, meaning we are happy to recommend ArcSoft Portrait+.
ArcSoft Portrait+ produces impressive portraits and is now even easier to use.
ArcSoft Portrait+ Version 3 Pros
Even easier to use
You can now adjust skin tones Available as both a standalone program and Photoshop plug-in Batch processing You can make your own presets
ArcSoft Portrait+ Version 3 Cons
Standalone version is a little expensive Easy to make male subjects look unnatural
Users who upgrade my miss the larger number of presets from version 2 No RAW support
VALUE FOR MONEY
ArcSoft Portrait+ Version 3 is available as a standalone program for Windows priced $149.99 (around £90.95 as of 30/12/13) or as a Photoshop plug-in (Windows only) for $59.99 (around £36.38 as of 30/12/13). For more information, visit the ArcSoft website.