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Arcsoft Perfect365 review

Ben Pitt
22 Jan 2012
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
20
inc VAT

Fundamentally awful, but if you're determined to make your photos resemble the pages of OK Magazine, this is the tool to do it with

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Now that Facebook has replaced archaic modes of communication that involve leaving the house, there's little point in wasting time and money on beauty treatments such as makeup and Botox. Digital photo retouching is rife in the fashion and entertainment industries, and surely it's only fair that those of us who weren't born with supermodel looks get the same kind of help with our digital snaps?

That help is on hand in the form of Perfect365. It's a free download, but to export at resolutions higher than 600x600 pixels requires a $30 upgrade. As such, there's no need to pay if you just want to spruce up your Facebook profile picture.

Perfect365

Who needs makeup when you can do it in software?

Picking a photo to import via the standard Windows file browser was a little clumsy, and about 10 per cent of the photos we tried were rejected because the software couldn't find any faces. The others worked fine, with the software finding multiple faces in group shots and accurately locating the various facial features to work with. Sometimes it required a slight tweak to correct the corner of the mouth or eyes, but this simply involved moving a dot to the correct position.

The Instant Look panel offers 21 one-click treatments ranging from Organic, which subtly softens skin textures, to ones with names like Princess and Velvet with suitably decadent looks to match. Over on the right are the individual controls. Most of these are for virtual makeup but others are more radical, including whiten teeth, enlarge and brighten eyes, slim face, lift cheeks and enhance nose. Remove Circles and Soften Skin are functions that are only possible with software, giving featureless lower eyelids and a supernaturally translucent sheen to skin.

It's easy to overdo it for comic effect, but Perfect365 is surprisingly effective at giving convincing results – or as convincing as glossy magazine images, at least. Soften Skin doesn't remove all skin texture completely, but just reduces mottled textures while maintaining some pores and wrinkles. Similarly, Remove Circles replaces wrinkles below the eyes with a realistic looking skin texture. The Slim Face function isn't so successful, though, squeezing the cheeks and jawline rather than trimming excess flab and skin. Enhance Nose is a little odd too, adding shading either side regardless of the light and shadows on the photo. The makeup treatments look great, though, and there are lots of options to play with. We fully embraced our feminine side as we experimented with colour combinations and tried out fake lashes and coloured contact lenses.

Perfect365

Because you're worth it

It's hard to know how to rate this software. It's a little reminiscent of a violent computer game – either it's just a bit of fun or it glamorises one of the least appealing aspects of our society. Admittedly, putting on a bit of lippy isn't as dangerous as a sociopathic rampage, but this software suggests that to look normal is somehow not good enough, and that people should aspire to whiter skin, a slimmer face and higher cheekbones. Is Perfect365 meant to be just a bit of harmless fun? Its name suggests otherwise.

Then again, we gave Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 a four-star review, so what the heck – four stars it is. It should probably have an 18 certificate, though.

Details

Price£20
Detailswww.arcsoft.com
Rating****

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