(As I have subsequently found out, this also applied to the upgrade from Collection 3 to Collection 4, but it does not affect me as much as this upgrade.)
I was happy to see that Collection 5 was released, since it updated CEP4 to CEP5 … long overdue. As I usually so, I installed the trial version to make sure everything ran in my environment before fully committing to the purchase. All was OK until a colleague emailed me the following clip from a FB group he follows …
“Caution installing NIK 5 if you use Smart objects. When I installed NIK 5 it deleted NIK 4. I use ColorEffects pro extensively. PS did not recognize the CE 5 and CE 4 were the same program. I lost every edit I made as a smart filter. I have contacted DXO support. Hopefully they will get back to me quickly I will keep you informed.”
Holy Cow … I almost always use PS Smart Objects for my work in Nik … have done so since starting with Nik. For me, it is the only way to fly. But if true, this would affect hundreds of images post processed and made better with Nik filters over the past 13 years.
I quickly devised a test for each Nik filter that works in a PS Smart Object environment, and sure enough: this “bug” affects both the CEP and the AEP upgrades provided in the Nik 5 release: Any Smart Objects containing edits in CEP 4 (or earlier) and AEP 2 (or earlier) would not process in CEP 5 or AEP 3 respectively … meaning that those edits would be lost forever, as the message quoted above indicates.
This also caused me to question whether or not the upgrades to Viveza and SEP supplied in Nik 4 suffered the same issue … and after some further testing, it was apparent that they do! It appears that any edits created in a Smart Object using Viveza 2 (or earlier) and/or SEP 2 (or earlier) will also not be processed in Nik 4. (Fortunately for me, that is only a handful of images processed over the past year.)
For clarity, the message from Adobe regarding this is:
“Filter not available or cannot be applied to this document.”
As a result, I have returned to Nik 3, and I am recovering those images where I have used Viveza 3 and SEP 3 in the past year so that I can continue to work with them. The integrity of the post processing work I have done previously is more important to me than any product updates that have been made by DXO over the past year. Nik Collection 3 works just fine for me, thank you.
Don’t get me wrong … I think the Nik Collection is one of the best products I have used in the digital darkroom, but this issue is a deal breaker - I have now back-leveled to Nik Collection 3, and will not move past that level until DxO addresses this issue, and my testing indicates that it is safe to do so.
Please, DxO … make your future releases 100% backward compatible.
And please alert your customer base when your current and future releases have a profound and permanent consequence to user work … treat us well and we will return the favour.
Possible fixes …
- Allow Viveza, AEP, SEP, and CEP (as well as any future versions of themselves and updates to other filters) to correctly recognize and process images created in Smart Objects using predecessor versions of those filters.
- Allow multiple versions of the collection to co-exist. Don’t just overwrite the previous version, but give the customer the choice of deleting those previous versions, or installing the new version in a different folder.
I hope that this acts as a cautionary tale for other users who have used Smart Objects to contain their Nik work. In any case, buyer beware: do your own testing of new release to ensure you make an informed upgrade decision.