Kodak has launched a range of Image Enhancement Plug-Ins that allow consumers to quickly and easily improve the most common problems associated with digital images.

There are four professional and three standard versions available and each programme is designed to target a different problem area.

Photographers can download a free trial of the Image Enhancement Plug-Ins software by visiting http://www.asf.com/

The first, called the Kodak digital Gem Plug-in allows users to smooth skin surfaces and automatically reduces image noise/grain without sacrificing image detail or excessive softening.

According to Kodak the plug-in allows photographers to create studio quality soft-focus effects, and image sharpening that surpasses most typical “unsharp mask” filters.

It is possible to reduce or remove JPEG compression artefacts, as well as line screening patterns from flatbed scanners. For the more advanced user, the DIGITAL GEM Professional Plug-In offers greater flexibility and control with advanced features such as additional algorithms and 16-bit capability to control noise and grain.

The Kodak digital gem airbrush professional plug-in reduces image noise and grain. The software allows users to create an airbrush effect by automatically smoothing areas of a digital image without blurring or reducing fine detail. It minimises the imperfections of skin and other surfaces whilst fully preserving details like hair, eyebrows and the true character of the subject’s face.

The software can be used to create a starting image for more customised retouching and is fully compatible with ADOBE Photoshop.

When used at moderate settings, the plug-in can even be applied to an entire set of portraits without damaging detail and allows the amateur snapper or professional portrait photographer to enhance their photographs and bring out the beauty of their subjects.

Next up is Kodak's digital ROC plug-in which promises to restore, correct, and balance colour of almost any digital image by removing colour casts that have been caused by coloured lighting or fading. The software works by analysing the colour gradients of a digital image and then finding the optimum tone curve for each colour. The plug-in can be used to correct the effects of tungsten and fluorescent lighting and also to restore pleasing density and contrast to black and white digital images. The professional version includes additional features and functionality to give the user greater power including advanced controls for precise adjustment of both image brightness and image contrast.

Finally the company has announced the Kodak digital sho plug-in which optimises contrast and exposure. The digital sho software automatically adjusts the dark areas in a digital image so that more detail is visible. The plug-in corrects exposure problems in images with backlit subjects and uneven flash illumination, as well as partial shade. The plug-in analyses the image and reveals the detail in the shadows without sacrificing any detail in the highlights. The professional plug-in works on both shadow detail lighting and highlight darkening – giving consumers separate control of the amount of detail to reveal in each area, as well as colour saturation.

Kodak image enhancement plug-ins work with 8 bit digital photographs from any source, including film scanners, flatbed scanners, digital cameras, CDs and the internet. The plug-ins are compatible with ADOBE Photoshop and other programmes that support Photoshop plug-ins and are available on both Windows and Macintosh platforms.