On1 Effects Free is the free version of the professional grade photo effects and filtering program for Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X devices.

The free version of the application comes with options to apply filters, preset, borders and textures to photos (or any other image), photo editing tools t make quick adjustments, and more.

On1 Effects Free is a free download, but you are asked to fill out a form on the developer website before the download. You are asked to enter your name, email address and can only download the program if you do so.

The program is compatible with all versions of Windows starting with Windows 7, and all versions of Mac OS X starting with Mac OS X 10.9. The program’s system requirements are on the heavy side: the developers recommend a system with at least 4 Gigabytes of RAM, 1.5 Gigabyte of free hard disk space, at least an Intel Core 2 Duo Xeon or better process, and an Open GL video card with at least 512 MB of RAM.

On1 Effects can be integrated in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Elements, Adobe Lightroom, and Apple Photos.

On1 Effects Free

Installation is straightforward and does not include any nasty surprises. When you run the program afterwards you get options to load a photo into the interface.

On1 Effects displays a prompt once you have selected a photo that you want to edit. Use it to select whether you want to edit the original photo or a copy (copy is selected by default), and to define copy options if you keep the default selection.

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The software supports the following formats: layered PSD and PSB, TIFF, JPG, PNG, RAW images from over 250 cameras.

The main interface has sidebars on the left and right; the photo is displayed between these two sidebars.

The left sidebar displays filters and presets that you can apply to the photo, the right settings and parameters of the selected filters.

Multiple filters and presets can be stacked, and each can be customized using the available customization options.

To select a filter simply activate it. The application applies the filter right away, and you may use the customization options afterwards to adjust it or pick another filter instead.

Each filter and preset is listed as a small preview so that you know roughly what it does to the photo. Many display one or multiple sliders for instance that you may use to adjust the effect.

The program supports the creation of custom presets, useful if you use a specific filter configuration regularly as you can apply it then without having to go through the customization process every time.

A side by side preview option is provided that helps you compare the original photo and the customized version of it.

On1 Effects comes with a selection of tools to make quick adjustments to the photo. Quick Mask for instance lets you brush over an area to create a mask, blur softens the transition between mask and background, and chisel removes halos and fringes along the edges of masks.

Once you are done, you may export the photo in multiple ways. On1 Effects may export photos to TIF, JPG, PNG or PSD formats. The program supports resize and crop operations, may add watermarks to the photo, or extra export options such as “gallery wrap wings” for printing the photo on canvas.

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These export options can be saved in presets so that you may select them whenever you want to reuse them.

Closing Words

On1 Effects Free is a professional grade photo editing program for Windows and Mac devices. It is quite hardware hungry  but can be run on devices that are less powerful as well (with noticeable delays then when it comes to loading, applying of filters and such).

It is a great program if you work with photos regularly, and/or use one of the photo editing tools that it supports as you can integrate its functionality then into these applications.

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