AutoFX Mystical Tint Tone Color

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Impressive creative control over your image’s overall look and feel.

Mystical TTC's targeted colour effects can be non-destructively combined.

Hot on the heels of Mystical Lighting, AutoFX's range of filters for controlling every aspect of the lighting in your images, comes Mystical Tint Tone and Colour (Mystical TTC) which is designed to do a similar job for their overall appearance.

Like Mystical Lighting, Mystical TTC can either be accessed as a standalone application or via the Filters menu in any application that supports Photoshop-compatible plug-ins. Mystical TTC also shares the standard AutoFX interface with a control panel to the left and a large proxy-based preview to the right. Even better - and now standard in all AutoFX programs - is the ability to apply filters as non-destructive and editable "SmartLayers" so that you can quickly and easily combine multiple effects to get exactly the look you are after. Best of all, and unique to Mystical TTC, most adjustments can be applied globally, focused on a particular area or interactively painted onto the image.

And there are certainly plenty of effects to choose from with no less than 38 on offer from Antique Photo through to Washed Out. The filters aren't divided into themed categories but they do fall into the three broad camps that the collection's name implies - tint, tone and colour.

In terms of tinting, you can apply an overall colour shift to your image with filters such as Sepia and Antique Photo which let you mix a customizable colour into your image while managing brightness, contrast, softness and so on. Other targeted options include Blue Sky and Green Foliage which bring out the colour in clear skies and vegetation. And for maximum control you can use Under Colour and Hand Tint which allow you to paint on tints to particular tonal ranges.

In terms of tonal control generally there are a range of dedicated filters, such as Tonal Smooth, Tonal Detail and Tonal Contrast, that let you increase or decrease the tonal depth across your image or target certain ranges to apply smoothing or sharpening (a particular favourite is Restore Details which brings out detail lost in shadows). Other options include Multiply Darks and Dark Contrast which boost washed out images to make them richer and Over Exposed and Under Exposed which simulate the effect of photos taken in too bright and too low light conditions.

Finally there is a wide range of colour effects: Saturate Colours, Soft Saturation and Vitality for making the hues in your images more vivid; Warm and Cool for quickly changing the colour "temperature" of the image and Black and White for removing it entirely And for more general control over the colour mix in your image there's HSB Adjust, RGB Adjust, Levels and Colour Mixer which operate in very similar ways to Photoshop's own Hue/Saturation, Colour Balance, Levels and Channel Mixer commands.

This begs the fundamental question: couldn't you achieve the same results without using Mystical TTC? In a way though that's missing the point. Yes you could theoretically (using multiple filters, adjustment layers, layer masks, selections and so on), but you'd need to be an expert with unlimited time and patience. More importantly, you'd need to know exactly what effect you wanted to produce before you began.

What Mystical TTC offers is a targeted approach to colour correction based on how best to produce particular end results. This tends to make each filter more effective in its own right, but where MTTC really shines is when you combine them, either to fine-tune a particular effect or to take you off in completely new directions. Whether your photo needs a subtle enhancement or a radical creative makeover, Mystical Tint Tone and Color quickly obliges.

Tom Arah

Ease of Use
Value for Money

ratings out of 6

System Requirements:Pentium II, 256Mb of RAM, 30Mb of hard disk space, Windows 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP, 1024x768 display

August 2003

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