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AutoEye by AutoFX
Reviewed by Joyce Turner


AutoEye is a new program by Auto F/x which can improve scanned images and pictures. Unlike any other program, it rebuilds the color and detail in images that is lost in the transition from film or prints to digital. The rebuilding is done using a patented IVIT method that helps it see images differently. This unique method often results in image enhancements which are much easier to attain and yield a higher quality result. AutoEye enhances detail and can make printed images seem sharper when printed. The patented IVIT algorithms used in Autoeye help CMYK images remain sharp with increased tonal ranges and color gamut while maintaining the proper detailed black component for offset printing.

Description: AutoEye is a totally new image refinement program using a patented Intelligent Visual Imaging Technology. It rebuilds colors which are usually lost when an image is converted to CMYK as when one converts pictures or film to digital. The interface is very simple for the automatic adjustment. However, if one wishes to use the manual adjustment, then the program offers an interface with a variety of adjustments. For images on the web, AutoEye can make images look brighter and more life-like. As most images on the web are reduced in size for the web, much of their original sharpness and color quality can be degraded. Running them through AutoEye before uploading can help the images have more onscreen impact when viewed. One can choose either the auto mode or the manual mode to improve the colors and the image quality.

Key Features Color Correction, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Brightness, Moiré Pattern Removal, Despeckle and Tonal Range are the controls used by AutoEye to improve the picture. If one uses the automatic control, the program automatically enhances the digital images providing full spectrum color correction, increased color vibrancy, contrast and sharpness, and rebuilt detail. The program automatically removes moiré patterns that occur when scanning printed images and features a basic dust and scratch remover.

Visual feedback of all enhancements is easily viewed in the Manual mode. AutoEye features a large dynamic on-screen preview with full zoom and panning and support for Before and After previews.

Auto Eye can improve/enhance any image with absolutely no user knowledge of complex correction concepts and processes such as adjustment curves, levels, cast removal, contrast and histograms. With advanced color rebuilding algorithms, AutoEye can enhance darker images or areas of a dark image without burning or over correcting in lighter areas which is a common problem encountered with the traditional tools found in PhotoShop.

This Link shows the two different interfaces, Automatic and Manual and an example of an image processed using the Automatic defaults.


Automatic Presets

The Automatic Mode is started by clicking on the word Automatic presented on the interface when one starts AutoEye. The settings for the Automatic enhancement are derived from the pop-down menu next to the word Automatic (click on the small yellow arrow). The presets that come in the program are presented below. (You can make your own presets and then they will also be listed in the drop down list.)
Enhance Dark Image which is used to bring out the colors and details in a picture which is too dark.
Enhance Very Dark Image which is used if the picture if really dark.
Enhance Light Image which is used if an image is too light.
Enhance Very Light Image which is used if the image is too light and the colors need to be brightened.
Super Sharp and Vibrant makes the image sharper.
Default Setting is a general setting which works well on a wide variety of images.

One can add one's own presets to the Automatic menu by using the manual mode and saving presets. These saved presets are shown under the Automatic menu after one has created them. This is a terrific feature and lets one quickly setup some default settings that are calibrated to the type of images with which one usually works.
The Automatic mode always uses the active menu item from the Yellow pop-down menu.

Manual Controls
The Manual Interface has the following controls:
Enhance Control: This control turns the enhancement effects on and off. If one wants only to adjust colors with the RGB sliders or to run despeckle or Anti-Moire, then one can turn off the enhancing controls.
Reset Control: This enables one to reset the slider buttons to their default settings quickly. This is very useful if one decides that the results are totally wrong and one wants to start over with the original image.
Enhance SubDetail: When this effect is applied, AutoEye can enhance the subdetail regions in the image and pull out more color quality and detail from darker images. There are five levels available under the pull down menu. Normally a setting of 2 or 3 is sufficient.
Colors: The color slider determines the AMOUNT of color adjustment AutoEye can apply to the image to correct the color problems.
Saturate: This control increases or decreases the vibrancy of the existing colors in an image.
Contrast: This control increases the difference between light and dark areas in an image. Both lighter and darker areas become more defined using Contrast.
Sharpen: This control enhances the detail in an image using some unique methods found only in AutoEye. Most images are fine using the default Sharpen settings. Sharpen typically makes an image have more visible noise and grain as a result of the Sharpening process. Anti-Noise can help to reduce this noise somewhat.
Anti-Noise: This control reduces noise generated in images that are sharpened and have increased contrast. By moving the Sharpen slider (see above) to the left, you can further reduce the noise in some images.
Brightness: This control makes the overall image brighter or darker.
Tonal Range: This control makes the image have more or less color depth and tonal difference in mid-tone areas. It is normally beneficial to adjust the Tonal Range for most images. One will generally see improved tones and more depth and richness in ones image.
RGB: The Red, Green and Blue controls allow one to make basic color adjustments to the image.
Despeckle: The Despeckle control activates the despeckle filter which removes any dust and scratches found in the image.
Anti-Moiré : This control helps to remove unwanted screen patterns from an image. These moiré patterns are formed when one scans printed material that already contains a screened pattern. The Anti-Moiré filter softens the image to remove the patterns.
Presets: This Control allows one to save and reuse one's preferred settings. The presets can be renamed, imported, exported, or deleted. One can use them in the automatic mode but must be in the manual mode to edit them. The presets can be used in the manual mode as well.
Zooming and Panning Controls: One can zoom in on an image up to the 1:1 size. When the zoom is in effect, one can move the picture around with a panning cursor (hand).
Extra Tips: When in the manual mode,one can see the original image by holding down the shift key. This will present the original image to you. When you let up on the shift key, then the enhanced version will again be presented. Also, when making adjustments, if one wishes to make a selection of several before having the work done, one can press the ctrl key while making one's selections in the settings. Then when the ctrl key is released, Auto Eye will proceed with making the changes.

Cost: Cost: $99.00. A demo version is available for download.

Platforms: Windows 98, NT, 2000 or ME. Macintosh OS 8.5 and higher.

Installation: The program offers three installation options. One can install it as a plugin, as a stand alone program or as a plugin and at the same time, as a stand alone program. The plug-in version supports Adobe PhotoShop actions and Paint Shop Pro actions and can batch process files through PhotoShop or Paint Shop Pro. The application version of Auto Eye supports drag and drop file launching and automatic file saving attributes for an easy drag-and-enhance styled production workflow. (When using the drag and drop method on the stand-alone version of AutoEye, the file is automatically improved and the new version renamed eye*.xxx and put in the folder from which you dragged the icon.)

Support: Available at Auto F/x at: Auto FX Software or by email: techsupport@autofx.com. Registered users can also obtain support via telephone at 205-980-0056.

We recommend that you install the stand-alone application. At present, under heavy usage, the plugin will crash. Auto F/x is working on a solution. So for the present, one should use the stand alone program.

Reviewer's remarks: We found AutoEye to be useful for improving the colors and vibrancy of a wide variety of images. Its ability to enhance colors and the dark areas without burning the image is good. In order to realize the full capabilities of AutoEye, one must use all of its controls.

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