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AKVIS Refocus AI 11 Plug-in Review

AKVIS Refocus 11 is AI-powered for focus adjustments, and includes the new Motion Deblur AI mode.


AKVIS Refocus AI 11 is a standalone program as well as an Adobe Photoshop-compatible plug-in that improves sharpness of out-of-focus images. AKVIS Refocus is best suited for images that are a wee-bit blurred while being clicked, probably due to camera shake. Using AKVIS Refocus on these images, you can create special effects and draw attention to certain details, so as to create selective focus.

Refocus is from AKVIS, a company based in Russia that specializes in graphic programs. We already reviewed a much older version of AKVIS Refocus in the past.

You can download a free 10-day trial version of Refocus AI 11 from the AKVIS site.

My contact at AKVIS for this review was Kat Kharina. Thank you, Kat.


How To Use

Follow these steps to use AKVIS Refocus AI 11:

  1. Open an image you want to use inside Adobe Photoshop or another image editor that supports plug-ins. You can see an opened image in Figure 1, below. You can also open the image in the standalone version of AKVIS Refocus AI 11.

  2. Figure 1: AKVIS Refocus plug-in within the Filter menu
  3. If you chose to open the image in an image editor, access the AKVIS Refocus AI 11 plug-in. In Adobe Photoshop, we chose the Filter | AKVIS | Refocus option, as shown in Figure 2, below.

  4. Figure 2: AKVIS Refocus plug-in within the Filter menu
  5. Either way, you’ll see the selected image within the Refocus interface, as you can see in Figure 3, below.

  6. Figure 3: AKVIS Refocus AI 11 interface
  7. The AKVIS Refocus interface is explained below. Each area corresponds to the area marked in Figure 3, above:
  8. A. Control Panel

  9. The upper part of interface is the Control Panel with buttons located on both the left and right sides. Options are available to share on social media sites, import and export presets and strokes, to turn on/off the drawn strokes, undo/redo, to start processing the image, and to apply the result to the image. There are also buttons to launch the information dialog, help files, open the AKVIS Refocus home page, and the Preferences dialog box.
  10. B. Preview

  11. The Preview area has two tabs: Before and After, which shows previews of both the original and changed images. Additionally, the Before tab sports the Preview window that allows you to preview what you would see in the After tab for a small square section, represented as a dotted frame.

  12. C. Tools

  13. In the Tools palette, docked to the left, you will find a set of tools, explained below:
  14. i. Preview Window

  15. The Preview window can be hidden or shown using this toggle option. You can also move the Preview window to display instant results of effects applied within the dotted frame area, as shown in Figure 2, above.
  16. ii. Pencil Tools

  17. Pencil Tools are used to outline areas for processing. Use the Focus Area pencil tool with the Plus sign to outline areas that should be re-focused with the chosen settings. Similarly, use the Background Area pencil tool with the Minus sign to outline parts that should not be re-focused.
  18. iii. Eraser Tool

  19. The Eraser Tool is used to erase strokes.
  20. iv. History Brush

  21. Use this tool to draw over areas where you want to restore changes made via the history sequence that Refocus AI saves.
  22. v. Hand (Pan) and Zoom

  23. There are some other tools such as Hand and Zoom. These let you alter the viewing area of the open image.
  24. D. Navigator

  25. On the top right, you'll find the Navigator. This also lets you chose the area of the image to be shown in the Preview pane.
  26. E. Modes and Presets

  27. In this area, you will find several Modes to use this plug-in. Although the plug-in itself is called Refocus AI, this is just one of the modes available. There are other modes too, such as Tilt-Shift, Iris Blur, Motion Blur, and Radial Blur, as can be seen in the drop-down list shown in Figure 4, below.

  28. Figure 4: Modes available
  29. Based on the mode you choose, you will find several Presets. Figure 5, below shows presets that are available for the Refocus AI mode. You can use these presets using default values, or you can edit them by changing values within the Settings Panel. These altered parameters can be saved as new presets, that can be used in the future.

  30. Figure 5: Presets for Refocus AI
  31. F. Settings Panel

  32. Within this panel you can find all the parameters to adjust the settings of focusing.
  33. Play with the parameters, and when you'll get the result you want, apply the changes within the plug-in by pressing the Run button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6, below. Doing so applies the effect and creates a preview of the changed image in the After tab, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 6.

  34. Figure 6: Preview the changes
  35. Once you're done, apply the result to the image by pressing the Apply button, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 6, above to return to the image editor.
AKVIS Refocus AI enhances the clarity and sharpness of out-of-focus and blurry photos and also applies spectacular bokeh and lens blur effects. The program works in five modes: Refocus AI, Tilt-Shift, Iris Blur, Motion Blur, and Radial Blur. AKVIS Refocus AI - Focus Adjustment Software



Photoshop Versions: Photoshop CS and higher
Platforms: Windows, Mac
Price: USD $39 and above
Trial Version: Available for 10 days