ACDSee Ultimate 2023 Brings Huge Updates and New Features

ACDSee is becoming a household name in the photography industry. The latest software from the company boasts a whole host of incredible new features. 

AI Actions and Face Edit

AI software and features have become a huge part of the photography industry. I use several kinds of AI software for my workflow. This is because many of the long, drawn-out processes can be quickly actioned by AI software on a level that's comparable to what a professional can manually achieve. The latest software from ACDSee includes several new updates, including AI Actions and AI Face Edit. 

AI Actions

This is likely to be one of the more useful features of the software. ACDSee now offers several AI features in its AI Actions tab that are sure to impress and improve workflows.

In the Edit panel, there is a tab called AI Actions. This is where you will find options such as Remove Background, Select Subject, Blur Background, Black and White Background, and Select Sky. These are all self-explanatory and do precisely what they suggest. In the image below, you can see how the subject is accurately selected from the background. This is despite the fact that certain sections of the background are in focus and out of focus. It's impressive to see how well the software can sort the information in an image. 

Another useful feature is the ability to quickly select the sky in an image. In the image below, you'll notice how the software is able to quickly pick out the sky from the rest of the scene. And this is literally with just one click. With the image below, the scene is relatively complete, especially considering the color of some of the buildings. The tall building in the middle of the scene, for example, has certain sections that are quite difficult to separate from the sky, yet the software has no issue selecting the sky through the buildings. 

The benefit of this feature is that you can quickly select the sky in an image and make localized adjustments. The sky in any given scene can sometimes make or break an image, and this feature will end up being one of the more powerful features for lots of landscape and architectural photographers. 

AI Face Edit

Moving onto the AI Face Edit tool, which is found on the top left-hand side of the software, you'll notice lots of features available to help you edit your portraits. Clicking on this option will open up a new section in the software that allows you to perform a wide range of edits. These features are similar to a liquify feature found in other software; however, they're more detailed with how much you can edit. 

For instance, not only can you edit the shape of someone's face, you can also make changes to their makeup, whiten teeth, and make adjustments to the eyebrows. For this feature, I would recommend a subtle touch, because it can be easy to get a little carried away with things. 

Nonetheless, the results can be powerful considering how much you can adjust in your portraits. The makeup sections are likely to be one of the more useful features of the software. Having the ability to touch up things like eyeshadow, lip hue, and saturation is extremely useful .

Obviously, I've gone a little too far with my edits in the image above; however, that is simply to illustrate a point on how much of an impact this section can have on your portraits. 

Photomerge and Panoramas

The ability to create panoramas and merge photos together is crucial for many photographers. This is especially the case for landscape and architectural photographers. In my experience, there have been plenty of times when a lens is simply not wide enough and multiple images are required to create the final composition. Also, sometimes it's good to have the extra resolution if you plan on printing large images. Stitching images together is a great way to overcome low-resolution sensors. 

Now, of course, taking the images is one thing. However, post-production software requires a good and stable feature that allows you to stitch images together. This is where the new Photomerge and panoramas feature comes in. 

In the Manage tab, you simply select the images you'd like to stitch together, hit the right-click on your mouse, scroll over to "Process," and select Panorama. The software will automatically stitch the files that you took for the panorama, and the results are great. 

Other features included in the software are the ability to create focus-stacked images and HDR images. Focus stacking allows you to increase the depth of field for any image by stitching together lots of images taken at different focus points. This is generally useful for product photography, where greater depth of field is preferred. 

Interestingly, some landscape photographers also focus stack their images at relatively wider apertures. This helps produce the sharpest and most detailed images compared to a single-shot image. 

Finally, with HDR, you have the ability to stack multiple images taken with different exposure settings. This expands the dynamic range of any given scene. Even the most capable cameras can struggle to capture detail effectively in extreme conditions. This is where the HDR merge feature comes in handy. 

Once again, the process is simple: you select the files you wish to stack and merge, select the option, and the software will perform the processes automatically. 

Although this feature may not be new, having it in the latest suite gives additional value to creatives. It helps with the workflow because you're not having to hop back and forth between multiple pieces of software. 

Shape Selection Tool

If you're an architectural photographer, then the shape selection tool is definitely something to be excited about. With a lot of software, selecting objects with straight sides is generally a lot easier than selecting curved or circular objects. The shape selection tool in ACDSee 2023 allows you to select curved and circular objects quickly with its dual selection system.

You can first apply a rough selection around the object using the square selection tool. Once this is complete, you can use the circular selection tool, which helps you refine the selection by applying curved movements. 

This feature may not seem like an exciting new AI-based thing, however, it's likely to assist a professional's workflow far more than most other things. This helps professional photographers quickly and accurately select complex objects in a scene. That makes it one of more useful updates in the latest version of ACDSee Ultimate 2023. 

Final Thoughts

Every year, ACDSee works hard to produce software that pushes the boundaries. The latest version includes a wide range of new features that offer incredible value to creatives. The AI features alone help the software stand out from the crowd, because they offer something that's not really available elsewhere. 

Add to that the panorama and image-stacking features, and we have a well-rounded piece of software that can serve a wide range of creatives across many photography genres. 

The latest versions of ACDSee 2023 are available without a subscription for both Windows and Mac computers. You can purchase your copy using this link here

Usman Dawood's picture

Usman Dawood is a professional architectural photographer based in the UK.

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Great write up. I actually just installed ACDSEE Ultimate on my computer and am prepping a video idea I had about fill light. Curious to try the shape selection tool as I am still not great with the traditional pen tool.

I remember when ACDSEE used to be a good image browser. I still use 2.41. I don't know what the rest of this shit is.

This is awesome, I used ACDSee in summer of 1995 with my Mustek scanner to make a wholesale catalogue of giftware for an importer friend of mine I was working with in Toronto. Got into photography in 1996 and have used many solutions since... Might have another look. 🌞