Most companies seem to think that offering beta versions for free is sufficient reward to encourage people to try them. CyberLink, it seems, have a different view. Or maybe they’re just being seasonally generous. Whatever the reason, if you participate in the beta program for their digital photo workflow tool, PhotoDirector 3, then you could not only receive a free copy of their media manager MediaShow 5, but you’ll also have a chance to win a shiny new Nikon D3100 DSLR camera, and could even receive a copy of the finished PhotoDirector 3 on its final release.
If you’re unfamiliar with PhotoDirector, then the current version provides an easy way to manage your images in libraries, tag them, search for the shots you need and apply a range of corrective options. And PhotoDirector 3 extends the program’s repertoire further by adding a number of very useful high-end editing tools.
If an otherwise great shot is spoiled by a person, animal or other inconvenient object, for instance, you may be able to seamlessly remove this just by drawing a line around it, choosing a replacement background area, and, well, that’s it. This doesn’t always work (the image background is crucial), but when it does, the results can be amazing.
A new People Beautifier section enables you to replace wrinkles on a face in a similar war, while also painting away skin imperfections, brightening eyes to improve portrait shots, or painting a whiter smile for your subject.
Lens correction tools allow you to compensate for fisheye distortion, vignetting and other problems.
You can now apply a few basic effects, then clean them away with a brush; you could, say, give an entire portrait shot a sepia tint, then restore the original color just to the eyes.
And a handy Watermark Designer enables you to create your own watermark templates, with your choice of lines, frames, text, images, and even information taken from the photo’s tags (camera, date or whatever). Once you’re happy, you can then apply that template to as many photos as you like, in just a click or two.
The end result is more like a cut down version of Adobe’s Lightroom than Photoshop, then; there’s no lengthy list of filters here, no painting, no layers. The new features do help to considerably improve PhotoDirector’s editing power, though, while still being very easy to use, and if you’re after this kind of photo workflow tool then the beta is a great way to sample one at no charge. (Until it expires after 90 days, at least.)
Of course, as we mentioned, there’s more to this beta program then simply getting free use of PhotoDirector 3.
If you test the program, and complete a survey afterwards with your thoughts (or just find and submit a bug), then you’ll immediately receive CyberLink’s MediaShow 5 (a media management and slideshow tool) for free. We’re a little skeptical about these things, and wondered if this would be some massive multi-page form that would take forever to complete, but no; it contains 19 questions (including “Country”, “Age” and “Gender”), and after you’ve tried PhotoDirector should be easy to finish in just a few minutes. (Take a look.)
Submitting a bug or completing the survey will also see your name entered into a draw for a new Nikon D3100 DSLR camera.
And CyberLink are also inviting beta users to submit a “testimonial”, essentially your own personal review of PhotoDirector 3 and your experiences in using it. This will get you another entry into the Nikon draw, and if your testimonial is chosen then you’ll get a copy of both the final PhotoDirector 3 release, and PowerDirector 10.
If you’d like to check out PhotoDirector 3 then the survey does look worth your time, being quick to complete and offering a free copy of MediaShow 5 right away. The beta is available now, and will run for 90 days after the date of installation before it expires.