Asiva Photo 1.2 is the Mac OS X port of the image-editing application positioned by Asiva as a companion product to Adobe Photoshop.
This “companionship” is explained largely by the fact that Photoshop’s layers – and therefore masks – are disabled when working with 16-bit images. Graphics pros and photographers always work in 16-bit given the choice, because these can contain 65,536 hues, as opposed to the 256 with 8-bit files. This extra information means that changing colours and levels in 16-bit images is histogram friendly, so non-destructive.
Changes are made using an “operations” metaphor. The available Operations include: Correct Color (searches and replaces a colour), Apply Color (adds a target colour); Shift Component (shiftable values include RGB, hue and saturation); Gain Component (for altering contrast and colour intensity); and Remap Component (a “super” Operation for advanced users, that can apply several of the above changes simultaneously.)
Colours can be altered in a colour-picker window, and changes can be applied and undone in specified areas using an ellipse, square, and brush tool.
Operation Maps offer Asiva Photo’s true colour- and levels-editing power. Maps let you see “inside” the colour space of either an entire image, or a selected portion, by rendering the colour information as a line-graph whose points can be moved, so generating curves, or maps, of colour co-ordinates. This is designed to fine-tune changes made in Operations. When set to Hue, for example, the map’s X-axis – the horizontal – represents a linear version of a 360-degree colour wheel, with the Y-axis being numerical values.
But be warned: there may be rich rewards to be had from mastering maps, but only after long, long hours of practice.raphics pros and pre-press folk. The latter are more likely to warm to the accessible editing and production capabilities of Photo Retouch Pro.
Asiva’s rival product is Photo Retouch Pro from Binuscan. This also edits 16-bit images superbly well, without masks, yet gives fantastic results with a fraction of the effort. It may cost almost twice as much, but it offers heaps more functionality – a separations editor, descreening, retouch tools etc. Of those wanting a 16-bit editor, Asiva Photo 1.2 is a specific-yet-spartan product – you can’t even rotate or crop images – and it may be better suited to photographers than graphics pros and pre-press folk. The latter are more likely to warm to the accessible editing and production capabilities of Photo Retouch Pro.