Capture One Pro 11 Released: Improves Layer-Based Editing, Masking, and Photographer-Retoucher Collaboration

Today Phase One has announced the release of their updated image editing software, Capture One Pro 11. Alongside the expected performance improvements that comes with new versions, Capture One 11 brings exciting changes to the way layers are handled throughout the application and annotations for journaling or collaborations.

With Capture One Pro 11, layers have been made far more universal in the software. The application has removed the local adjustments tab found in previous versions in favor of a Layers tool. The Layers tool can now work with all adjustment tools, such as color balance, for more flexibility in what can be edited locally. A major downside for professional work is that at this time there is only a maximum of 16 layers that can be created with an image.

With the new approach towards a layer-centric image editor, Capture One can also handle those Styles Packs they’ve been selling much smoother. The Styles can be applied to a single layer, and then have its opacity adjusted to tone down the look. Styles can be layered and masked locally to really refine an image towards your vision.

Speaking of masks, Capture One Pro 11 is adding refine and feather mask functionality. When demoed the refine masking, individual hairs were easily selected out from a plain white background. With a color range selection added to a mask, further mask refinements can be made to fix any rough edges.

The other big announcement in the Capture One Pro 11 release is annotations. These annotated notes or drawings can be made on images to share with a retoucher on how you want areas of an image handled, or just as personal notes. Annotations are part of the files metadata and can be exported in a PSD file as a separate layer, or packed in an EIP with the raw image. Likewise, watermarks and overlays can now also be added to images and exported as PSDs in a separate layer.

Capture One Pro 11 is available now for $299. Subscription pricing is $20 per month or $180 annually. Owners of Capture One Pro 9 and 10 can upgrade for $119, and if Capture One Pro 10 was purchased since October 31, 2017, upgrading is free by reusing the license key. Phase One has a fully-functional trial version that can be run for 30 days to see how you like the new features.

Check out everything new in Capture One Pro 11 on the Phase One website.

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Ryan Mense is a wildlife cameraperson specializing in birds. Alongside gear reviews and news, Ryan heads selection for the Fstoppers Photo of the Day.

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Ooh I like that. Their style packs look nice but often those kind of styles/presets are a touch more graded then many would like. The ability to apply as a layer and reduce opacity (without needing to hop into PS) will be a welcome workflow enhancement for many.

Just because there's an option to use layers now doesn't mean anyone is obliged to use it. In my experience most people do work with layers as there's some types of edits that simply cannot be done without them. If you don't like layers, don't use them. Simple.

How would you suggest a technique like frequency separation is done without the use of layers?

Thats fine, if your edits are basic enough that those tools suffice. How about composite work? If I bring an element from another shot into the image I'm working on I can't see any good argument for not wanting to split it onto non destructive multiple layers. I get it that you don't like multi layered workflows, but lots of us do. Its really that simple. For the record I updated to the new version of Capture One last night and the layer functionality works a treat. It doesn't intrude on any previous non layered workflows, just adds the option if anyone wants to make use of it. Another fine release by Phase One.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree there. I'm not too fussed about convincing you otherwise as the performance and quality differences between C1 and LR are well documented. If you're happy with LR then I'm happy for you.

There's the school of thought called lossless editing, it means you can edit an image where no pixel was harmed. A lot of retouchers, like myself, worked this way in the early 00's with smart objects, adjustment layers and more. It also allowed to do multiple edits on the same image for a client to decide between them.

Also using Adjustment layers saves on RAM usage as they're just text instructions to Ps as to what to do (grossly over-simplified but you get the idea).

I'd suggest learning about layers, blend modes and channels if you wish to do any kind of serious retouching for landscapes, portraits or even product shots. It's almost impossible to get clean edits without layers in a professional capacity.

Some people like layers. Others don't. That has less to do with being archaic or complex and more with the complexity of your edits, along with workflow preferences. I always use layers and, for me, 16 max. layers is a concern.

I'll have to disagree with your initial paragraph. The ability to reorder edits, which is impossible in LR, is critical to certain operations. And, in order for LR to be capable of the same kinds of edits as PS, they would have to make those "invisible layers", visible.

It's easy to assume one's edits, according to individual goals, is representative but I can assure you, I could never do what I do with only LR.

I think the reality, versus mythology, is that Photoshop does what it does very well and Lightroom does what it does, pretty good. If it were possible to give LR the "photography" functionality of PS, C1 and others would have done that. In fact, some try but not very well from what I've read.

I think this is one of the situations where the term, "Your mileage may vary" is appropriate.

They could never eliminate Photoshop. It's possible it could become more graphics intensive but you can just use it for that now. They keep adding functionality to Lightroom so you may get what you want eventually.

Layers are great for complex edits, and helps you stay organized. When a client comes back asking for a change, I can easily find that layer and make the change. Love the new C1 update!

Layers in C1 are what local adjustments are in Lr. Basically the same functionality, just the user interface implementation differs. In Lr they are represented as one or many "buttons" on the image, in C1 it's a named list in the layers tool.

As long as you're not using any local adjustments, you're working on the "background layer" which is a "preview" of the demosaiced, interpreted and adjusted raw image data.

I fail to see any difference in the basic functionality between those two applications, just one now officially calls it layers, while the other (still) just calls it local adjustments. C1 does have more features around this basic functionality, though. I can give them a name, have then displayed in a list nicely, enable/disable with one click and such.

So, your objection is about how the user interface representation of local adjustments in C1 is so similar to the layers palette in photoshop from an UX design and/or usability point of view? (given we agree the basic functionality behind it is the same)

I guess that's a matter of taste. Personally, I always disliked the pins in Lr for reasons you named already in parts: it makes the adjustment layers mostly "invisible". There are just all those little, nameless pins all over the image. With that "layers palette" I have them all listed in one spot, each with a meaningful name and an enable/disable button right next to it (plus other things like clone, reorder, invert mask etc).

Annotations, awesome. Whats the cheapest throwaway Bluetooth pen/tablet I can keep with my tether machine to scribble notes instead of having to write down filenames/client notes on a pad of paper?

I'll probably end up testing this with the Surface Pro, it's ideal for this.

or with the new one from Dell... for those of us that already have a desktop computer and cant afford a wacom 4k...

I use this. Thats the cheapest because its open box. A new one is $46. Its actually very accurate and you can easily draw masks with it.

Thanks for the informative article. Does anyone know if the upgrade is free if you are on a subscription basis. I'm getting a message that my license isn't entitled to an upgrade and I'm currently on Capture One Pro Subscription, latest version of V10. I thought that was the purpose of the subscription basis.

From the press release: "Subscribers can simply download the new Capture One Pro 11 release." Interesting that you are having trouble with this. Might want to reach out to their customer service?

I've already upgraded - download 11, go to the Mypages part of phase one's site and find your license key, then plug that in first time you start C1 11.

Such a killer upgrade! The speed and performance advances make it worth it! Anyone else use AMBCOC10 to save some money on the upgrade?

Where is there an option to enter a code on an upgrade?

Are there still people using lightroom?!! :)

The interface of Lightroom may be easier to understand at first, but lacks the flexibility of Capture One. However, the main reason for people (including me) to switch from Lightroom to Capture One has to do with the far more sophisticated color grading controls and the resulting image quality. Once you have experienced that, there is no going back.

I can pan 1:1 photos with no lag on a 2012 imac. It shuffles through 42mp RAWs and 8 picture panos without a hiccup.

Sorry. Shuffling meant browsing photo to photo. Although that takes a second to load up a picture if it wasn't just available, but panning isn't a problem anymore than lightroom from what I've noticed. It doesn't bother me at all really. It seems fluid. I have nearly the same specs, except I have 24gb RAM and a 3tb fusion. I would think your SSD would drastically improve that slight difference

What is odd is that I have two machines and the newer is the 2017 iMac and it has 64gb of ram and it is the same second of delay on both lightroom and c1 when I move between images. That made me assume that only an SSD could fix it considering I have much more RAM and of higher quality but still the same 3tb fusion. I can say that they pan nearly identically to my perception. I do notice that my sliders are a little more responsive on the 2017 iMac and batch processing is much faster

I love the direction C1 is going. Those new features are a lot less flashy than the ones in PS or LR but they will probably make a greater impact in real world applications.