How To Get Google's Free Nik Filters Again
Updated: May 23, 2020
A while back, a retouching friend of mine told me about these filters that were the absolute shiznit. I followed the links that eventually led me to Google. At the time, Google had apparently acquired the filters and were now offering them for free.
It seemed too good to be true, but I downloaded the link and before I knew it the filters popped up at the bottom of my Photoshop filters bar. I didn't really know much about them. There are a lot of options. But after watching a few top retouchers use them I found that they were mostly using certain parts of the program. Over the years I started using some of the filters as my normal workflow. To get details back in the shadows, for example, I would go to the "detail enhancer" filter and bring up all the details. Then, back on my layers I would create a luminocity mask that was inverted so the details were only showing in the shadows. I also regularly use pro contrast, color balance, and fade edges. But that's not all, there are also tools for creating black and white images, sharpening images, making image look more analog. It's pretty amazing. I would always recommend it to anyone that was looking for a free filter solution. But then, just like that, the NIK filters were once again aquired. This time by DxO. Nik filters would no longer be free. In fact, as it looks right now they sell them for $175. So, after all of this happened, I started to wonder...is it possible to have the old filters that existed before this? I know there is a bit of a grey area, but as long as you're not using hacked software, you can always say that you downloaded the NIK filters back when they were free. I by no means know anything about the law in this situation, but my general feeling is that, as long as you don't upgrade, you should be able to continue using the free