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CyberLink PhotoDirector Overview (NEW 2021 Model)

PhotoDirector is a well-liked picture modifying software program from CyberLink, obtainable as a standalone or subscription (aka PhotoDirector 365).

It’s packed stuffed with all the same old modifying instruments you’ve come to anticipate from every other nice picture modifying software program in 2021.

The place it stands above its opponents is that PhotoDirector gives a number of distinctive AI instruments, visible results, design packs and animations.

Extremely Really useful


CyberLink PhotoDirector 12

Highly effective, simple to make use of and priced affordably. Crammed full of each modifying software and particular impact to maintain photographers entertained for hours.

Check Current Price

Selecting picture modifying apps is a complicated sufficient course of, with so many nice choices to select from.

Why do you have to obtain Cyberlink PhotoDirector as an alternative of any of the opposite inventive picture modifying software program on supply?

I’ve spent a month taking part in round with PhotoDirector 365 for this assessment, so let’s have a more in-depth have a look at if it’s one of the best picture modifying software program for you.

What’s CyberLink PhotoDirector?



  • Person-friendly interface (nice for newbies)
  • Reasonably priced subscription payment
  • Highly effective & enjoyable particular results & AI instruments
  • Distinctive Video-to-Picture software
  • Layer modifying for superior customers
  • Face recognition for efficient organisation
  • Quick & simple slideshows with music
  • Easy print choices
  • Tethered capturing

  • Lack of in depth presets
  • Lacks profiles for newer lenses
  • Slower layer modifying
  • Occasional loading delays

Aimed on the informal, hobbyist and fanatic photographer market, CyberLink PhotoDirector is an all-in-one RAW picture modifying app that runs on Mac and Home windows.

The simple to make use of interface appeals to newbies, whereas the in depth vary of highly effective AI-powered modifying options and picture animation instruments will hold superior customers pleased too.

Whereas common picture modifying is taken care of with all the essential modifying instruments, the place CyberLink PhotoDirector shines is once you’re within the temper for some enjoyable and experimentation – ‘Flip Images Into Artwork’ is the tagline, in spite of everything.

  • Minimal System Necessities

Working System: Microsoft Home windows 11, 10, 8/8.1, 7 (64 bit OS solely). macOS 10.14, macOS 10.15

Processor (CPU): Intel Core™ i-series, AMD Phenom® II and above or Apple M1 with Rosetta assist

Graphics Processor (GPU): 128 MB VGA VRAM or larger

Reminiscence: 4GB required (For AI fashion switch, 8GB or above really useful)

Arduous Disk House: 2GB

An Web connection can be required for preliminary software program & file codecs activation.

PhotoDirector Interface

While you open CyberLink PhotoDirector for the primary time, you could really feel overwhelmed, however as somebody who’s used each different widespread picture modifying app available on the market, belief me once I say that that is fairly regular!

Fortuitously, all the things is effectively organised inside 6 ‘Modes’, and the interface turns into less complicated to navigate in a short while, even when you’ve by no means used a photograph editor earlier than.

(There’s additionally an Specific Mode if you wish to lower by way of all of the choices, which limits the PhotoDirector interface to presets, categorical layer templates and the AI Type Switch choice.)

1. Library

grid view in photodirector

Varied viewing choices can be found in Library Mode.

The primary display that seems is the Library, which comes pre-loaded with 14 pattern pictures able to be performed with.

It is a very nice contact by CyberLink, permitting you to familiarize yourself with a few of the software program’s key options and highly effective AI modifying instruments earlier than you let unfastened by yourself photographs.

On the prime, you’ll discover numerous viewing choices and filters, that can assist you discover a particular picture.

A extremely helpful characteristic right here is the flexibility to Auto-Stack photographs, based mostly on the length you choose – this helps to group collectively photographs taken in fast succession, serving to to declutter the Grid view, in addition to hold issues higher organised.

On the left resides the file organisation panel, which features a Sensible Assortment which robotically organises your photographs based mostly on standards corresponding to Lately Edited and Newest Imports.

Importing photographs is easy, and surprisingly snappy too. You possibly can apply Auto-tone, Auto-Denoise and another particular impact prests corresponding to B&W Cool and Fake HDR.

Beneath that’s the Folder hierarchy, based mostly on which laborious drives you’ve imported your individual pictures from.

Then there’s a Calendar View to point out photographs organised by date; Albums and Tags which you’ll create manually; and eventually, Faces, which organises your photographs based mostly on AI facial recognition – significantly useful when you take a lot of photographs of individuals.

One factor to concentrate on within the Library Mode is that photographs take a split-second to load, regardless of what number of instances you’ve loaded the picture beforehand – that is in contrast to Adobe Lightroom, which masses most photographs immediately.

Nevertheless, so long as your laptop meets the minimal system necessities of CyberLink PhotoDirector, the slight delay isn’t a serious problem.

2. Adjustment

adjustment mode

All of the modifying software panels will be expanded or collapsed.

That is the place you come to do all of your essential photographs edits, with the Guide tab organized into separate panels containing Histogram, Regional Adjustment Instruments and International Adjustment instruments.

Adjoining to the Guide tab lives your Presets, each Default ones provided by PhotoDirector and people who you’ve created or downloaded.

The Regional Adjustment Instruments are for area-specific edits you could must make to your photographs – red-eye and spot removing, gradient masks, adjustment brushes and the like.

I have a tendency to make use of the Adjustment Brush lots, so it’s good to see the operation in PhotoDirector is fast and very like that of Lightroom – including adjustment masks is so simple as ‘portray’ an space on display, then utilizing the sliders to make changes.

The International Adjustment Instruments incorporates all of the modifying instruments that will likely be immediately acquainted when you’ve used any picture modifying software program earlier than: White Stability, Tone, Degree, Curves, and so forth; plus some others that in all probability gained’t: Keystone, HDR Impact, and so forth.

The Lens Correction software is a pleasant addition, though I wish to see extra lens fashions supported in future updates – my Samyang 24mm f/1.8 wasn’t there, for instance.

Beneath this panel are two of crucial buttons when batch modifying a number of pictures – Copy and Paste changes. This lets you apply any edits you’ve made on one picture to any variety of different photographs – an enormous time-saver.

3. Guided


Including a faux bokeh impact.

That is the place the enjoyable actually begins! Consider Guided Mode because the experimentation centre of CyberLink PhotoDirector, which homes all of the thrilling AI instruments, filters and results.

CyberLink PhotoDirector gives a playground of modifying results, combining instruments obtainable individually in numerous specialist picture modifying apps, multi functional place… in addition to a number of instruments you’ll not discover wherever else.

As soon as entered, Guided Mode creates a duplicate of your picture so your authentic stays untouched – very like layer-based modifying in Photoshop.

Then it’s only a matter of clicking the assorted panels to broaden them, then taking part in round to your coronary heart’s content material.

The primary Guided instruments are:

  • Folks Beautifier – Face Instruments, Pores and skin Instruments & Physique Shaper.
  • Picture Results – AI Type Switch, Sky Alternative, Blur Instruments, Overlay, Shade Results, Glitch Impact, Grain Impact and Type Impact.
  • Animation Results – Picture Animation, Dispersion Impact, Animated GIF
  • Gentle Results – Gentle Rays Impact, Sparkle Impact, Bokeh Impact, Gentle Hits Impact
  • Enhance or Take away – Deblur, Sensible Path, Content material Conscious Elimination
  • Extract or Compose – Background Elimination, Picture Composer, Content material Conscious Transfer, Content material Conscious Clone
  • Picture Merge – Bracket HDR, Panorama, Face Swap, Multi-Publicity
  • Video-to-Picture – Snapshot, Panorama, Face Swap, Multi Discover, Animated GIF, Movement Stills
  • Frames & Watermarks – Clip Artwork, Body Templates, Watermark Templates, Watermark Creatore
  • 360° Picture Editor – Straighten, Tripod Elimination, Adjustment, Little Planet, 360° to Panorama

Clearly, I gained’t be capable to go into all of those options on this PhotoDirector 365 assessment, however I’ve picked out a few of the extra distinctive ones within the Options part beneath.

Fortunately, many of the instruments’ features are contained of their names, making them simple to know even earlier than you utilize them.

4. Edit

man on bike

Picture edits are non-destructive.

The core Layer-based modifying options are housed within the Edit mode, which was beforehand labelled ‘Layers’.

You’ll discover your layer controls on the left and the assorted instruments on the correct: Space Choice, Textual content, Crop, Gradient, and so forth.

You can too entry a number of the principle instruments from the Guided mode through one of many buttons right here too.

You’re reminded that CyberLink PhotoDirector is aimed in the direction of fanatic/hobbyist modifying (versus professionals), with a ClipArt button that homes a number of enjoyable ‘stickers’.

The Textual content software is especially helpful when you’re a fan of making pictures for social media or shows, permitting you to shortly add and alter textual content – one thing that neither Lightroom nor many of the different skilled picture modifying software program lets you do.

Having a ‘mini Photoshop’ inside your essential picture modifying app is a superb factor, which means you don’t must personal and swap between totally different software program to realize what you need.

Impressively, PhotoDirector even gives an analogous variety of mixing modes as Photoshop.

One factor to notice is that any work with layers is saved as .PHI, a proprietary PhotoDirector Layer File format that may’t be opened elsewhere.

5. Create

create slideshow

Making a slide present or GIF by dragging pictures.

This oddly labelled Mode is the place you’ll be capable to create Slideshows and GIFs – little doubt CyberLink plans so as to add extra options right here sooner or later.

Creating slideshows is easy, by choosing and dragging pictures from the movie strip to the principle work space, then selecting a slide impact, length, textual content, colours and background music.

In the event you’re a part of the PhotoDirector subscription plan (extra on pricing beneath), you even have entry to the massive library of free Shutterstock music so as to add to your slideshow creations.

GIF creation can be easy, however you’ll want to organize a number of photographs taken in fast succession, ideally from the identical spot.

One small niggle is that the Esc button gained’t cancel the GIF preview – you want to find the small again arrow to return to the principle editor.

6. Print

print template

Varied template choices to print out your photographs.

Printing photographs has all the time been the supply of confusion for newcomers to picture modifying software program. Fortunately, CyberLink PhotoDirector retains issues easy.

You possibly can select from numerous paper sizes and grid layouts, apply watermarks and management all the things manually, with a print preview updating as you add or take away your photographs.

Distinctive Options of PhotoDirector

As we’ve seen above, CyberLink PhotoDirector has no scarcity of methods below its belt, with new options being added with each replace.

As an alternative of going by way of each single one on this assessment, I’ve chosen to spotlight solely the brand new options that I take into account distinctive, or significantly helpful.

I extremely suggest you obtain PhotoDirector free of charge and take a look at it out for 30 days and have an experiment with all its options.

Changing a sky in a photograph was one thing solely Skylum Luminar might do, however now, Photoshop and different picture editors now supply this characteristic.

PhotoDirector does an honest sufficient job at it whereas offering a restricted number of template skies so that you can have a mess around with. There’s additionally the choice to buy extra from the shop.

As soon as the sky is put in place, you’ll be able to alter numerous settings together with Feather, Horizon and Land ambient to make issues look much more reasonable.

glitch art

Create enjoyable results with one click on.

You might have seen the Glitch Impact utilized to pictures up to now with out realising what it was known as. It’s a enjoyable look you can simply apply to your pictures to provide them a sort of retro 3D look.

To realize this in Photoshop would require you to separate the RGB channels and mess around with layers – the CyberLink technique is far quicker and less complicated.

That is one other actually enjoyable one, permitting you to create a a number of publicity of a number of photographs – you’ll must have a number of photographs taken from a set location already loaded into the library.

Doing one thing like this in Photoshop can be a really time-consuming course of, involving layer masks and a variety of fiddling round.

That is an instance of extra superior instruments which are obtainable in PhotoDirector. CyberLink gives Content material-Conscious Clone, Take away and Transfer instruments, permitting you to govern your pictures in much less time.

CyberLink consists of face, pores and skin and physique instruments to digitally improve your chosen portrait topic. You possibly can reshape the face, take away shine, wrinkles or eye luggage… even brush your topic’s tooth to whiten them up!

I discovered in apply {that a} little bit of care was required to carry out a few of the duties – the toothbrush software has the behavior of whitening lips until you choose a sufficiently small brush dimension, for instance.

This software is just like the Prisma smartphone app, permitting you to create paintings out of your photographs with one click on.

Results take a couple of seconds to use, however as soon as processed, any energy changes to the filter are instantaneous. You can too use a brush to erase the impact from a selected area, supplying you with some wonderful management over the output.

animated wave

Including motion to a picture is easy – this nonetheless picture might have been exported as a transferring GIF file.

One other characteristic that’s a variety of enjoyable and distinctive to Cyberlink PhotoDirector is the flexibility to animate your (nonetheless) photographs to make them into eye-catching GIFs, MPEG-4 or WMV information.

By drawing arrows on an object within the path you need it to maneuver, you’ll be able to convey motion to your static picture – one thing that will positively make it stand out on social media.

The Dispersion Impact lets you choose an object in your picture that may disperse into hundreds of tiny particles, as within the instance above.

I create a household picture album annually and a part of this course of includes going by way of all of the photographs taken with my iPhone.

Utilizing the Snapshot software in PhotoDirector’s Video-to-Picture characteristic, I’m now capable of seize ‘stills’ from any video I’ve taken utilizing my cellphone, and deal with them as photographs to be included within the album.

There are additionally Panorama, Face Swap, Multi-Publicity, Animated GIF and Movement Stills instruments that can assist you do extra issues to your video information.

Eradicating blur from pictures is a typical request from photographers, and PhotoDirector does an honest job at serving to with this activity.

Once more, processing the picture does take a couple of seconds, however the outcomes are often value it, with edges sharpened and readability added – you’ll be able to then alter the impact with a Energy slider to your individual preferences.

maple leaf

Including body templates to photographs.

Specific layer templates are a enjoyable approach so as to add numerous fashion parts to your photographs, corresponding to frames, callouts, textual content and different graphics. It’s a bit like turning your pictures into postcards or social media posts with a couple of clicks.

They’re additionally a great way to learn to mix layers to create distinctive types, and extra parts will be bought from the CyberLink retailer.

General Efficiency

activity monitor

Exercise Monitor screenshot.

I used a 2020 M1 Macbook Air with 16GM of reminiscence to check CyberLink PhotoDirector. This laptop arrange is comparatively quick, though these are positively extra highly effective computer systems obtainable.

For the needs of this assessment, I clicked round in PhotoDirector extensively, mimicking the common consumer’s picture modifying workflow. I additionally tried many of the unique AI instruments, in addition to options that draw lots from the pc’s CPU.

The picture animation software specifically takes a little bit of time to do its factor, however fortunately there have been no crashes.

For primary picture modifying, PhotoDirector is sweet and fast. Photos within the library should be pre-loaded for a split-second (you’ll see a spinning icon), however as quickly as they’re, you’re capable of begin modifying instantly.

The highly effective Guided instruments require extra processing time, generally as much as 10 seconds for the significantly advanced ones (just like the picture animation software), however often, it’s well worth the wait once you see the loopy outcomes.

(You possibly can see above a screenshot taken when utilizing the animation software, with the CPU utilization creeping as much as 3.5GB of RAM – nonetheless lower than Photoshop operating within the background.)

General, you want to anticipate some ready round when performing the extra difficult picture modifying duties, however these are stuff you gained’t be doing to each picture.

Additionally, it is best to anticipate quicker efficiency when you have a extra highly effective laptop than me, which, I’m embarrassed to say, is more likely to be most individuals studying this text!

Options to PhotoDirector

  • Skylum Luminar AI – sharing some comparable synthetic intelligence options, Luminar AI springs to thoughts as an alternative choice to CyberLink PhotoDirector. Worth-wise, it’s dearer, and it doesn’t supply wherever close to the variety of options.
  • Photoshop Elements – priced equally to PhotoDirector, Photoshop Parts is one other suite of modifying instruments that attraction to newbies. It’s extra strong for primary picture modifying however lacks a variety of the opposite instruments provided by PhotoDirector.
  • PaintShop Professional – aimed toward a extra superior consumer, PaintShop Professional is one other inexpensive picture modifying resolution that’s really cheaper than PhotoDirector when bought outright. Nevertheless, it doesn’t supply almost as many AI nor particular results instruments.

How A lot does CyberLink PhotoDirector Value?

Lifetime License (One-Off Buy)

  • PhotoDirector 12 Extremely – $54.99
  • PhotoDirector 12 & PowerDirector 19 Bundle – $139.99

Subscription Choices

  • PhotoDirector 365 – $2.92/month
  • Director Suite 365 – $5.83/month

(All costs in USD – click on the button beneath to see pricing in your native forex)

Though buying PhotoDirector 12 outright with a one-off fee will likely be interesting to some (particularly as an alternative choice to Adobe Lightroom), it’s the subscription-based service that’s particularly engaging.

For lower than $3/month, you’ll be able to benefit from all its highly effective options and common updates – unbelievable worth for cash for software program this absolutely featured.

When in comparison with the Adobe Artistic Cloud specifically, the PhotoDirector month-to-month subscription plan is inexpensive for any degree of photographer and excellent for college students or these on tight budgets.

To search out the most recent PhotoDirector worth in your native forex, click on the button beneath.

PhotoDirector FAQ

Is CyberLink PhotoDirector free?

CyberLink PhotoDirector Important is the free model of the software program. The usual model is free to make use of for 30 days, with watermarking of exported pictures.

Can I uninstall CyberLink PhotoDirector?

Sure, simply give up this system and navigate to Add or Take away packages (Home windows), choose PhotoDirector and click on Take away. Then restart your laptop.) On a Mac, merely drag the icon to the Trash.

PhotoDirector 12 Overview | Conclusion

CyberLink PhotoDirector is a refreshing piece of software program in a sea of other picture modifying apps.

Providing the same old suite of normal modifying instruments to get your pictures wanting higher with a couple of clicks of the mouse, it provides to this with a variety of AI-powered instruments and distinctive particular results not seen elsewhere – a minimum of, not in a single full package deal.

Its simple to make use of interface, a number of funky fashion results and large ‘enjoyable issue’ recommend that PhotoDirector aimed in the direction of the hobbyist market, however there are additionally some surprisingly highly effective options that’ll hold extra skilled picture editors entertained too.

Whether or not you wish to repair a blurry picture, convert a video clip right into a nonetheless picture or add a brand new sky to a scene, CyberLink PhotoDirector is able to assist, all at an impressively aggressive worth level.

In the event you don’t know the very first thing about modifying, otherwise you’re merely in a little bit of a rut together with your pictures, obtain PhotoDirector and have a mess around.

Turning photographs into artwork has by no means been this enjoyable – bravo, CyberLink.

Extremely Really useful


CyberLink PhotoDirector 12

Highly effective, simple to make use of and priced affordably. Crammed full of each modifying software and particular impact to maintain photographers entertained for hours.

Check Current Price

Disclaimer: All suggestions are neutral and based mostly on consumer expertise, with no bias to the merchandise or the model. The merchandise on this publish could comprise affiliate hyperlinks.

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