How to use Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin

A quick guide to Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin and application from NIK / google and use it for distortions, motion blur, bokeh effects, light leaks, frames, multi-lens effects etc in Photoshop etc

Analog Efex Pro

how to use the analog efex pro 2 from google / nik
  1. For Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin, start Photoshop and open a normal file or image or photograph etc

  2. Goto to the filter menu

  3. NIK collection

  4. Analog Efex Pro 2 (AEP)

  5. Go to the camera selector such as classic camera, black and white etc

  6. Select a preset

  7. Tweak settings for the preset via right side menu


Video tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


You can then save the result for use in another application. The AEP plugin is accessible in many different applications such as Photoshop, Affinity Photo and is available for the pc and mac.


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You can also use the AEP as an application so there is no need for Photoshop or other applications. The key thing here is that you have to open an image and that not all file types are supported.


Once you have the JPG etc image open then you can add tools and filter settings to the image. You can use the AEP 2 with just one tool such as basic adjustments (such as adding detail extraction and brightness and contrast etc) but you can add a whole range of different tools to create all kinds of amazing effects


There are many different tools available in the AEP tool from Google / Nik such as lens distortions, double exposures etc


The AEP 2 application (and filter) comes with a range of tools such as

Basic adjustments

Lens distortion


Zoom and rotate blur

Motion blur

Double exposure

Light leaks

Dirt and scratches

Photo plate

Lens vignette

Film type



Levels and curves.


You can use one or more of them but sadly you can't add multiple exposures and multiple lens vignette tools though the tool may allow multiple tweaks within the actual tool.


Use the camera kit as the starting point for all the great effects in AEP. Click on the camera kit and you will see the basic tools but you will also see a selection of preset categories or groups for the AEP 2 and you can then click on those and you will see a selection of presets such as presets for motion and presets for double exposure etc.


Click on a preset and the tools and settings will change on the right side and you will see the effect applied to the current image.


Go to the right side settings. You can also click the little tick box beside each tool / settings and de-select if you don't want the basic adjustments for the AEP 2.


You can also go to the left side and perhaps add another tool via that list such as multi-lens if it is not included in the preset


You can also create your own presets for the tool so you can quickly apply them again and again. Once you have set all your AEP settings and tools then you can click the + in the custom section on the left side and that will add a new custom preset with all the settings stored.


You can then quickly click those to access all your tools instead of using the ones supplied with the AEP 2.


Most tools have a number of settings, some more than others and some have only visual tools such as frames or different light leaks etc (sadly there appears to be no way of adding your own to the application which is a pity). You can click the vary which will randomize the settings such as brightness and contrast etc for the tool and you can then use the vary to try a whole range of different settings which can be saved to your preset


A really nice feature of the AEP 2 is that you can add control points to the image and vary settings (not all but many such as saturation and brightness) and set the size of influence for the control point.


The control point means that you can set the brightness in a very localized area and not the entire image.


Start AEP 2 and then Goto left side presets. Select the classic camera presets. Click classic camera 4. Go to the right side panel. Go to the basic adjustments.


Expand control points section in the basic adjustments part of the panel


Click add control point. Click somewhere in the image.


You will see a selection of small sliders below the control point. Click on one of those sliders such as De, Br, Co, Sa etc (saturation etc). Click on the top slider node and move the control point for the AEP. Drag on the top slider for the control point to change the range of the settings


The AEP 2 filter can be added to applications such as Photoshop and Affinity Photo and they can then be used with the other tools and also the range of file types is a lot greater. You can also add the filter multiple times as with the right image where the AEP 2 presets have been applied multiple times. If you are using the application, the only way to apply multiple effects is to save the effect via the file menu and then re-open the image. Another difference with the filter is that there is a brush option which is allows for painting on the effect so you get a truly localized effect. Of course, a simple way around that is to just apply the effect to a selection but the brush is a neat tool (even if it is oddly titled as a selective tool)


One thing you get when you apply the effect, the original layer and the effect layer and then you can always use the powerful blending modes to blend the effect and the original together (or perhaps use the opacity setting in the layers panel). Of course, you can also duplicate the effect layers and add other effects to that new layer and so on and build up all kinds of amazing AEP 2 effects. Of course, if you are running the effect as the filter, this does not apply to the standalone version


Keywords : How to use Analog Efex Pro 2 tutorial



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