FocalPoint 1.0 review

OnOne software’s reputation as image plug-in kings gets another buffing with FocalPoint 1.0. This useful tool takes the humble blur filter, sends it to university and feeds it a well-balanced diet – resulting in a brainy, more muscular version of the Photoshop staple.

We’ve encountered the core technology before. A couple of issues back we reviewed OnOne’s Essentials 2, a suite of filters that plugs into iPhoto. The selective focus tool Blur It is part of that package and FocalPoint shares the same functionality and interface – with the addition of 3D lens control features that supercharge the basic bundle. Also, while Essentials targets casual users, FocalPoint is a professional level plug-in that installs into Photoshop.

The features, then, are familiar. A simple interface uses a ‘Focus Bug’ tool that enables you to place to highlight the focal point of any digital image. A series of handles let you change feathering, opacity, blur and motion. You can also input parameters numerically or use sliders to achieve your results.

The Focus Bug in FocalPoint differs to its cousin in Blur It as you can also tilt the virtual lens in three dimensions, enabling you to control the amount of feathering dynamically across the z axis. You can also create vignettes by changing the brightness of the surrounding aperture using sliders.

When you’ve found a setting that works, it can be saved with a unique name for future use, alongside a bunch of bundled presets shipped with the software.

OUR VERDICT

FocalPoint shares the same advanced features and professional quality as most OnOne products. Our one quibble in this instance is its price – around £90 for this single plug-in seems steep.

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