Major PhotoDemon 6.4 beta adds layers, undo history, auto-adjusts, and more

PhotoDemon

Tanner Helland has announced the first beta for PhotoDemon 6.4, the latest edition of his open source portable photo editor. But don’t be fooled by the apparently minor version number: this is a massive update with a host of significant new features.

Strong support for layers is a highlight. PhotoDemon 6.4 gives you an unlimited number which you can hide, show, reorder, merge or duplicate as required. There are 24 blend modes on offer and you’re able to resize, rotate, mirror or flip any layer without flattening the image.

There’s also good news if you’re after a quick fix, with new automatic enhancements for color, contrast, lighting, even an excellent Auto Levels feature.

More professional color handling sees the Curves and Levels dialogs gain per-channel support, while the Color Balance tool can now limit adjustments by tonal range.

The build introduces many new effects, including Lens Flare, Sunshine, Split Toning, HDR, Colored Pencil, Glass Tiles, Stained Glass, Fragment, Remove Noise.

Several existing effects have gained new settings. Clicking "Relief", for example, doesn’t just carry out the same canned operation each time: you can tweak its angle, thickness and relief depth.

Undoing any of your actions isn’t just about Ctrl+Z any more: a new Undo History dialog means you can quickly revert back to any point in an image’s past.

The list goes on, with new non-destructive "Quick Fix" tools (Exposure, Contrast, Clarity, Vibrance, Temperature, Tint); a Straighten tool with an on-screen grid; major content-aware resizing improvements, usability tweaks, performance enhancements and more.

Put it all together and PhotoDemon 6.4 is looking like a spectacular update. Just keep in mind that it’s a first beta, so be careful if you plan to use it for serious work.

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