View Full Version : Corel release : After Shot Pro

14-01-2012, 8:51am
Corel, the makers of Paintshop acquired the Bibble RAW editing software business a while ago. Corel have now built on that to release After Shot Pro.

After Shot Pro is an editing suite touted to compete with Lightroom and Aperture. So I decided to download the free trial and see what it is about.

Firstly, installation is quick (compared to Lightroom) and easy. The installation file you need to download is not hundreds of MB (as Lightroom is), in fact at 33mb, it downloaded very fast on my ADSL1 line. Run the installation package and few OK's later and you are done. There are downloadable versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Now to open the program. My first opinion was..hmm..where do I start. Being familiar with Lightroom, I must say Adobe have the layout of screen down to a fine art. After Shot just does not have that slick and polished finish to it. But I suppose if Corel made it look like Lightroom, the Apple and Samsung wars would be soon called the Corel and Adobe wars.

After Shot Pro uses catalog's the same as LR, and the process of setting one up is intuitive. Click File>New Catalog. How hard can that be? I quite like that Corel have chosen to put all the metadata etc on the left panel , and editing is all done on the right panel, including their presets. It kinda makes more sense. LR has the presets on the left, and editing on the right. Presets are edits, therefore including them all in the same place just seems more logical.

You can toggle the sidebars off and on, you can move the location of the film-strip, and adjust the many screen options to suit your needs. After Shot Pro uses a lot of icons. Some are familiar (cropping tool etc), but I found I had to mouse-over several and wait for the little pop-up box to appear to tell me what the icon was, and therefore did. After Shot Pro feels more like a RAW editor (it edits JPG, TIFF etc just as easily) and less like a total workflow package, than do LR and Aperture. Lightroom is more intuitive in regard to what to click to do what. However users of Paint Shop Pro might be all to familiar with these icons and it probably means a quick and easy learning curve for them.

All the edit tools are the same/similar to LR and its easy to quickly find how to apply edits. I found the inclusion of Noise Ninja as the noise reduction tool a good move. Noise Ninja has long been a much admired noise reduction tool. Corel's inclusion of it in After Shot Pro is admirable.

All in all, I think After Shot Pro builds on what Bibble created and it is a worthwhile software consideration at a reasonable price. I don't think it is as slick and well presented visually as LR and Aperture, but all the same adjustment and editing tools are there. I reckon LR/Aperture users will find this lack of 'finish' in After Shot Pro to be initially annoying, but once a few hours are spent using it, it would be intuitive.

If costs are a factor, After Shot Pro, is a good package to consider, as its is cheaper than its competitors.

A free trial (and purchase) is available from the Corel website (http://www.clixGalore.com/PSale.aspx?BID=93735&AfID=181059&AdID=10307&LP=store.corel.com%2fau%2f) Just click on PRODUCTS, Photo Editing, when you get to the site

15-01-2012, 5:17pm
Thanks for the write Rick.
Will have to check it out.

15-01-2012, 11:29pm
Yeah! thanks for that Rick..
I trialled Bibble 5 something for as long as the trial lasted(about 30days), but had a ton of 'learning difficulties' with the way the edit tools worked. I vaguely remember the lasso type tool to be particularly annoying to use.
Having come from the world of point and click Capture NX for so long, this is inevitable tho.
I can use the LR brush tool to effect changes and that's a simple matter, and Bibble also had the brush tool, but I figured that if a tool is there, it's there for a reason, so I tried to nut it out too no avail.

Anyhow way back then, Bibble was much more expensive than it is now, and with the reasonable rate that is being asked for AFP, I'm going to have another look into it.
I remember Bibble to be an extremely fast processing software on raw files, in terms of batch processing.
LR was only just quick, but fro some reason I found that ViewNX was faster than LR.
The only annoyance about Bibble's speed was the refresh rate in updating the image when an edit step was done/undone, where the image would blur for a second or so and then recover to a viewable format. Made it harder to assess fine detail adjustments due to the rendering speed .. where Both LR and ViewNX were faster <1sec to render the edit on the image.

Don't use LR much, if at all, only to view new raw image types with the respective updates, and very rarely to edit an image here or there(not mine, other's that I've tried to help with PP on).

For the money, this looks quite good, and even tho I have no need for cataloguing, I just hope that it doesn't force you to catalogue images every time you just want a simple edit! :rolleyes:

I already have my cataloguing software(IDImager), so sometimes I just need another bit of software to review images in another manner .. LR hasn't worked for me.

18-01-2012, 12:04pm
Here is a few very early impressions of AfterShot. I have only worked with a handful of images so far, so I don't claim to have got my head around it all yet.
Background - I have been using Paintshop Pro X3 for a while (bit over a year now). Have recently been trialing Lightroom (mainly so I could trial Silver Efex pro)

Contrast adjustment, & light/dark levels I find a bit annoying. Not quite as good as Lightroom or Paintshop pro. Raising the contrast lightens the image way too much for my liking.
No prominent undo button (that I have found yet...maybe it is there??) Had to go menu, or Ctrl Z. Undo is my most used feature:D
Crop & rotate. Separate controls - a slider to rotate. I prefer Lightroom's crop/rotate where you can rotate the image at the corners of your crop frame

File management - In Aftershot you simply select your directory of photos to edit (seems easier than lightroom where you have to import each new directory before you start editing)
Easier to edit and manage RAW images than Paintshop pro, which I find basic and clumsy for RAW editing.
The sharpening adjustments and NoiseNinja are really very good. They lifted a few shots from the weekend that I thought were beyond hope.

I'll be playing with it more over the next week or so, so I'll maybe post some more impressions, and even some edits.
With PsP X4 now coming with Nik's ColorEfex Pro features integrated into it, I am wondering if we will see a Silver Efex plugin for AfterShot?? That would sway me I think.

18-01-2012, 1:06pm
I've had this for around a week. Have been using Paintshop Pro x4 for some time and due to my frustration with very limited raw editing I've been using the Sony Raw editor, saving tiff files and then opening with Paintshop but with Aftershot Pro this has made a huge impact with processing. It can automatically open images with other editing programs following adjustments and links seamlesly with Paintshop Pro (as you'd expect). I've also found no undo button annoying and agree with Matt that it is a pretty important feature. I've been using Corel products due to being an economical alternative to Adobe but having never used Adobe products cannot make any direct comparisons but would recommend Aftershot and Paintshop without hesitation.

PS Prior to purchasing I checked out a number of reviews and a lot of them highlighted problems with there not being any red eye removal... I have no concerns re this though as this is available in Paintshop.