Arcsoft Portrait+ 3 scores high in our review because it is easy to use and the results are very good. In fact, you get professional-looking results without knowing how to use Photoshop. The skin smoothing effect is on par with the high/low pass technique that professional retouchers use. Because Portrait+ 3 uses face detection, many adjustments look great from the start. You can use one of the presets or create your own and apply the preset to all your photos. The face detection works well but it doesn’t always work if the faces are cut off or on the side. It can detect side-facing faces on large and high-resolution images, but on smaller faces, it was less likely to find it. You can still apply skin smoothing but we wouldn’t recommend using of the enhancements or makeup effects.
For professionals, Portrait+ 3 will not replace your manual retouching workflow but it’s very useful for quick photo edits that don’t require much attention but for more serious work. Disappointingly, Portrait+ 3 cannot output the effects into multiple layers. The plug-in also doesn’t work on Smart Objects which means you can’t go back to edit the settings after you’ve applied them. Performance-wise, Portrait+ 3 is pretty fast. On our test system, (Intel Quad-Core 2700K processor with 16GB of RAM), the adjustments took only a second or two to change on a 14 megapixel image. The plug-in was stable and responsive and, with smaller photos, had almost-instant results.
Who is Portrait+ 3 for? We recommend it to beginners to intermediate Photoshop users who want to retouch photos without learning all professional retouching techniques in Photoshop. Wedding and portrait photographers will love this because they can get great results with little effort. For professional retouchers, it won’t replace your retouching workflow but it’s a great tool to have for the photos that don’t need delicate manual retouching.
You can buy Arcsoft Portrait+ 3 on their website. The MSRP is $99.99 for the plug-in (not the standalone) and the Photoshop plug-in is currently only available on Windows. If you’re interested in using batch mode to process many photos at once, be sure to get the standalone version because the Photoshop plug-in doesn’t have that feature. Thanks for reading this review – if you would like to purchase the plug-in, use the coupon code Portrait45 to save 45% off your order.