When working with still images, I am a big layer user. And that is actually something that really annoyed me when using Aperture or Lightroom: both of these apps require an external editor to use layers. This basically means firing up Photoshop and working on huge TIFF files.
Well, this is a problem of the past because On One Software just announced their public beta of Perfect Layers. It is a free download but require a #$%#$% registration (name, email and phone number???) and be warned: they will send you weekly email about special offers. The beta app expires on June 30 which is probably their target release date since they said it will be launched mid 2011.
Before reading further
All the content below this point is based on what I saw on the On One Software website because I did not manage to make the plugin work. It is installed but I dont see the menu option in LightRoom. Anyone having this issue?
How it works
At first I thought it was a real plugin in the sense that it was used within Lightroom. Actually, it seems like the plugin exports the selected pictures to an external editor, Perfect Layers, which is a tool specialized in layer editing. Basically, this looks like a trimmed down version of Photoshop with only layer related feature (masking & blend modes) available.
I still have to figure out what is the picture format when it is getting edited but this is not really important (as long as it is a lossless format!) since the returned image is a PSD file.
I know Photoshop quite well, at least as long as picture editing is concerned, so Perfect Layers has nothing to offer me on the feature side. On the workflow side, I think it could have its uses, but I need to make it work first!