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Review – Macphun Snapheal CK

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Review – Snapheal CK

Software from Macphun to remove items and fix blemishes in pictures



Snapheal from Macphun is a standalone image editing tool (and plugin for other software) that helps remove items from images, as well as fix blemishes and other unwanted features.

The (Mac) software analyses image content to fill in missing areas of images, such as the example to the right, where I’ve selected an unwanted photographer for removal from a photo.

The software is part of Macphun’s Creative Kit selection but can also be purchased as a single standalone App.

We've reviews of many MacPhun/Skylum apps. See the Macphun or Skylum Category in the dropdown menu at the top of the right column.

snapheal remove

Buying Software from Skylum

Skylum Luminar  ... [review] 

We have a code northlightimages10 - that will usually get you a 10% discount on current MacPhun/Skylum offers.

Aurora HDR - (review) | Tonality Pro (review)
Intensify Pro (review) | Noiseless Pro (review)
Snapheal CK (review)
Tonality Pro 'City Light' - article and free presets made by Keith for Architectural B&W

Looking for a non-lightroom solution? Macphun have outlined their plans

If you buy the software via a link on our site, then we receive a small commission, which helps in the running of the site. We have no commercial connection with Macphun, and believe strongly that readers should be aware how we run the site.

Keith is looking at using the software as a plugin for Photoshop here (tested with CS6), but functionality is similar for the other ways of using Snapheal.

Macphun run frequent offers and combination deals, so it’s worth checking the Macphun web site to see what’s current.

You can get a free trial version of Snapheal

Snapheal CK – What do you get?

The software here is part of Macphun’s creative kit and installs as an application.

You just drop a file onto it to get started.

snapheal startup screen

However, I’m using Photoshop for my editing and don’t really want to use yet another application for image editing.

Fortunately, Snapheal works as an image editing plugin with several other programs – you just tell it to install the plugins for the software you have.

plugin setup for other software

Features list

This from Macphun

Proprietary CleanPics erasing technology
Great object removal speed
Custom erasing precision for best results
Multiple erasing modes for different types of photos
Clone and Stamp
Different selection tools (brush, lasso, etc.)
100% zoom with one click
Multiple comparing & preview modes
Photoshop plug-in
Lightroom plug-in
Aperture plug-in
Extension for Apple Photos
Selective editing with the custom brush
Temperature, Hue, Saturation controls
Shadows & Highlights adjustment
Sharpen
Clarity adjustment
Selective Blur
Denoise
Full Retina display support
Navigation window
Force touch support
Wacom tablet integration
Standalone software
Real-time image processing
PNG, TIFF, JPG, PSD and other formats support
Native RAW processing technology
PSD files support
Adobe RGB wide colour profile support
ProPhoto wide colour profile support
Facebook sharing
Flickr sharing
500px sharing
SmugMug sharing
Export to Email and iMessage
Export to other photo editors

As you can see, there’s quite a lot packed into the software.

I’m just going to show a few examples of it removing items from images, and how you can fine tune the results.

Using Snapheal

The images I’m using are from my 50MP Canon 5Ds, so at pretty high resolution. It can take several seconds to work with files like this, especially at the highest precision settings.

I’d suggest working at the default settings for most initial work on an image.

I’ll start with an easy one – this view of Cromer pier at dusk on a grey cold North Norfolk summer’s evening (there is nothing but sea and then ice if you head to the North Pole from this point).

cromer pier at dusk

Looks fine but for that seagull.

I select the plugin from within Photoshop (CS6 in this instance)

opening photo in snapheal

A simple selection with the paint brush

selecting item in photo to be removed

A before and after view.

before and after view showing edit

Now something a bit more tricky – a paper sticker (this is a 100% view)

paper sticker on floor

Once again selected with the brush.

selecting mark on floor to be removed

The ‘global’ setting – a very slight bump in the lines (yes I am this picky in my cloning work)

removal using global mode

The ‘Local’ setting – note the break of line

removal using local mode

The ‘Dynamic’ setting – absolutely perfect

removal using dynamic mode

The differences can be quite subtle at this scale.

The software can offer useful reminders and tool tips that it’s good to take notice of…

software help item

Whilst the software is processing your image it offers up interesting facts and info.

This is mildly amusing at first, but please can someone who’s first language is English go through and proof read them?

software progress bar

This is another photo taken at the same time.

wide view of cromer pier at dusk

A detailed view shows some unwanted people at the end of the pier.

detail of photo showing people to remove

A quick selection and they are gone.

cleaned up image

Pick the wrong mode and it doesn’t look so clean (400% zoom)

As an aside, this really does show the sort of detail you can get from a 50MP camera – EF11-24mm lens at 11mm (hand held). As an architectural photographer I really do eagerly await the next jump to 120-150MP.

problem using the wrong removal mode

The dynamic mode worked better for this example.

example using dynamic mode

A much more complex photo – The fishpond at Portmeirion in Wales. This is part of two stitched images with the TS-E17mm shift lens and is equivalent to about 70MP.

Whilst an interesting view (you need to see it much larger than this web image) it’s got just too many tourists in it for my liking…

fishpond at Portmirion

Three quick adjustments get rid of the coloured thing in the left, the photographer in red and the family on the bank.

Not much but they declutter the photo a lot

cleaned up image of fishpond

The global fix worked best for this.

item of clothing to be removed from image

You can see how the repeated stonework fits nicely.

results of removing item

The photographer is ready to be expunged.

unwanted photographer in image

If only there was a button on my camera for this in real life…

photographer expunged from image

I note a few residual errors, but the software includes a cloning tool for tidying up such things.

The grassy bank with people removed. With this one, the grass has been extended a bit far but once again this is a 100% crop.

more people removed from image

Adjustment tools

There are a good range of adjustment tools in the software – great for standalone use if you’re editing a picture from a phone, but less relevant if I’m editing an image in Photoshop and have just called the plugin for it’s cleaning/removal functionality.

Image adjustment tools

Retouching tools

The retouching tools are a very powerful function that is easy to overlook. The key feature is that they are masked, so you can apply them to just parts of the image.

Once again, I’d likely do this in Photoshop, but I was surprised just how useful they were in my testing.

Take this example at Portmeirion, where I’ve ‘painted in’ my adjustments (set with the sliders to the side) and made the mask area visible (red) – this allows me much finer control over where I’ve applied the adjustments, and, just as importantly lets me see if I’ve missed anything.

masked application of re-touching tools

To see the effect of where I’ve applied the adjustment, move your mouse over the image below.

Conclusions

Buying Software from Skylum

Skylum Luminar  ... [review] 

We have a code northlightimages10 - that will usually get you a 10% discount on current MacPhun/Skylum offers.

Aurora HDR - (review) | Tonality Pro (review)
Intensify Pro (review) | Noiseless Pro (review)
Snapheal CK (review)
Tonality Pro 'City Light' - article and free presets made by Keith for Architectural B&W

Looking for a non-lightroom solution? Macphun have outlined their plans

If you buy the software via a link on our site, then we receive a small commission, which helps in the running of the site. We have no commercial connection with Macphun, and believe strongly that readers should be aware how we run the site.

I should start by saying that as an architectural and landscape photographer who’s been making huge prints for many years, I have a lot of experience of ‘fixing’ images by hand in Photoshop.

As such I was prepared to be rather disappointed by any ‘automatic’ system. The secret of ‘invisible’ adjustment is understanding of what the content really is…

However, given what the software managed with a few examples, I’m sure that many people would be unable to spot where things had gone.

It takes a fair bit experience to get good at doing this by hand and relatively few people pick over images with the care that I would for a six foot wide print.

Snapheal made a better job on many images than some of the awful Photoshop ‘fails’ I’ve seen made by people who were being paid, and should have known better.

If you include the fact that it has a good cloning tool, and those masked adjustments, I’d say that it’s well worth a try of the trial version.

Summary

Snapheal helps remove items from images, as well as fix blemishes and other unwanted features.

Offers different removal algorithms and specific image adjustment and retouching tools.

Works as a standalone or plugin application. The software is part of Macphun’s Creative Kit selection but can also be purchased as a single standalone App.

System requirements – Mac only

Image formats handled

Works as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Elements and Apple Aperture

We've reviews of many MacPhun/Skylum apps. See the Macphun or Skylum Category in the dropdown menu at the top of the right column.

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