The majority of the contents in this guide apply to both StudioPlus Spectra AND myStratus Desktop.
In most cases, instructions referring to "Spectra" also apply to myStratus Desktop.


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Perfectly Clear Plug-In (old)


The Perfectly Clear® plug-in brings powerful automatic image correction tools right into Spectra and myStratus Desktop! It is designed to save you significant time in your editing process. Use it as a first step in your image correction workflow to remove the most common problems created by digital cameras -- under-exposure, lack of depth, lack of sharpness, lack of color vibrancy, lack of color fidelity, and incorrect skin tones.

"Perfectly Clear is superior to filters and enhancers because it corrects your photos pixel by pixel, replicating the way your eye gathers light, and capturing the vibrant colors and natural clarity you saw with your own eyes. Perfectly Clear’s patented, automatic corrections save photographers countless hours by completing in seconds what used to take hours in the editing room."  (Quoted from Athentech Imaging, creators of Perfectly Clear.)

To read more about the science behind Perfectly Clear, refer to the Athentech Imaging website.

Watch the video and/or read the information below to learn how to use Perfectly Clear to streamline your workflow.

Correcting Your Images with Perfectly Clear

Step 1 - Apply a Preset

The first step in correcting your images with Perfectly Clear is to apply a preset. The presets included in Spectra/myStratus have been developed specifically for the unique types of corrections needed by portrait photographers. See the Perfectly Clear Presets section below for examples.

Step 2 - Fine Tune the Correction

If the image isn't quite how you want it, choose another preset or manually adjust the Perfectly Clear corrections. You can make additional adjustments using the standard Spectra/myStratus adjustments menu. For a description of each Perfectly Clear correction tool, see the Perfectly Clear Corrections section below. For more information about the standard Spectra/myStratus image adjustments, see the Adjusting Images in Spectra and myStratus topic.

Step 3 - Apply the Settings to Additional Images

You can apply the settings from a single image to additional images by simply using the copy and paste tools at the very top of the Spectra/myStratus Image Adjustments panel. To save the settings for future use, save them as a new preset. See Managing Your Presets below.

Step 4 - Render the Images

In order for the changes from Perfectly Clear to affect the original image file, the images must be rendered out. See also Rendering Images.


Perfectly Clear Presets

Several powerful presets are included in the software that use the Perfectly Clear correction tools. Here are some sample images that have been adjusted with a preset.


This is a great starting point for all image types and automatically does a bit of everything as needed.


iAuto Skin

Great starting point for creating realistic and beautiful skin.


iAuto Eyes

Just targets eyes to brighten, sharpen, and make them come alive.



Great realistic and robust for any photos with people in them.


Beautify +

Just like Beautify, but more aggressive and also contours the face and enlarges the eyes.



A softer, more natural look great for any newborn.


Student Male

Ideal for fixing photos shot under portrait lighting for male students.


Student Female

Ideal for fixing photos shot under portrait lighting for female students.


Fill Flash

A subtle preset designed to provide a bit of fill flash light.


Details & Shadows

Great for bringing the details out of the shadows.


Managing Your Presets

You can easily create your own special presets for correcting photos. Simply set the adjustments to your desired preference and click the Save to a New Preset button beside the preset drop-down menu, giving your new preset a name. To remove, simply click Delete Current Preset. To modify an existing preset, making changes to the adjustments and then click Save Current Preset.

Perfectly Clear Corrections

The Perfectly Clear tools perform automatic image correction based on sophisticated, patented algorithms. When you enable a Perfectly Clear tool, such as Exposure, each image will be evaluated and automatically corrected. You can modify the amount of correction being applied by moving the slider, checking an option (i.e., Low, Medium, or High), or manually entering a numeric value. Just remember, you are NOT adjusting the actual exposure -- Perfectly Clear does that. You are simply deciding how strong the correction should be. It's a little bit like creating an adjustment layer (in Photoshop) and then lowering the opacity to decrease the effect.


Exposure is the most important correction tool and forms the basis for the other corrections. By replicating the way your eye gathers light, the Exposure correction overcomes distortions caused by a single aperture, correcting your exposure pixel by pixel without clipping. The image is corrected to emulate what the photographer and subjects saw at the time the photo was taken.

Usage: By default, when the Exposure correction is enabled, so is Automatic Strength Selection and Face Aware Exposure technology. Automatic Strength Selection means Perfectly Clear looks at each photo independently and suggests a specific amount of exposure correction unique to that photo. Face Aware Exposure means Perfectly Clear will automatically deliver a correction to faces in front  of a bright background as well as faces that may be over-exposed. You can adjust how aggressive the settings are for the Automatic Strength Selection and  Face Aware Exposure by using the Low, Medium, or High selections. In general, a higher setting gives you more exposure correction on each photo. You can override the auto correction by manually adjusting the slider bar. Note: Using the Manual selection does not include the Face Aware Exposure technology.

Depth (Contrast)

Perfectly Clear's Depth correction optimizes the contrast in each and every pixel of an image without creating artifacts or deleting information, giving you an image with powerful punch and striking depth.

Usage: Since the eye perceives reality in 3-D, many photographers prefer strong contrast/depth in their photos. You'll notice the Depth setting is usually quite high (on the right side of the slider) when you apply a Perfect Clear preset. Note: Using a contrast of 0% does not produce the same result as turning Depth correction off. Also, when you increase depth, your images will usually benefit by also increasing exposure since increasing contrast creates an image slightly darker overall. For very dark photos, try turning Depth correction off in order to bring out extreme details.

Skin and Depth Bias

The bias correction automatically covers up many of the flaws created by digital cameras and also allow you to further tweak the desired depth in your images.


Digital cameras are currently incapable of reproducing the full spectrum of colors your eye sees. For example, point a digital camera at a purple object (i.e., Laker’s jersey, FedEx box, blue Morning Glory flower, etc.) and compare the image on screen with the original purple object in front of you. What do you see? The purple object will appear blue on the screen! Since true color is fundamental to preserving precious memories perfectly, the Fidelity correction tool maps untrue colors created in the camera back into the true colors seen with the human eye at the time the photo was taken.

Usage: There are two settings you can choose: Standard and Vivid. Standard will re-map colors which the camera failed to capture to the full color spectrum. Vivid will do the same, while also accentuating the colors. The result is a photo with more contrast, more vivid colors, and more punch.


The Vibrance correction tool determines whether or not the camera captured the full vibrancy of the colors in an image. If it didn’t, the image will be corrected to restore the washed out/faded colors, while maintaining the true colors represented in the original image. Perfectly Clear looks at each channel independently, mimics how the eye adjusts saturation, and provides you with a color-vibrant image. If the camera properly captured true color, this correction tool will have no effect on the image.

Usage: To enrich color vibrancy, simply move the slider bar to the right. Increasing vibrancy may cause some clipping at the low end of the RGB spectrum. Moving the slider to zero will increase the color density less aggressively and result in no clipping. You may notice that many images show no increase in color vibrancy. This is because the camera sensors have already captured true color. Note: There is a difference between a setting of “0” and turning Vibrance off.

Skin Smoothing

The Skin Smoothing correction tool smooths and diminishes wrinkles and blemishes automatically, while ensuring the details in the hair, eyes, etc. are preserved. 

Usage: Check the box to enable Smoothing. Select an option from the drop-down to automatically smooth the skin and diminish any wrinkles, automatically. Subtle accomplishes this by providing a realistic, yet subtle appearance. Default does this as well as ensuring other details, such as hair, eyes, etc, are still preserved. Super Smooth is an option which makes the skin even smoother. Be aware, however, it is possible that there may be a loss of details.


Perfectly Clear’s Sharpening correction tool consists of a series of very powerful and unique algorithms that deliver a crisp looking photo that is artifact free.

Usage: Check the box to enable Sharpening. Move the slider bar to the right for increased crispness and to the left for less sharpening.

Infrared Removal

Even though you can’t see it, your camera captures infrared in skin tones because the sensor can pick up body heat. This usually makes complexions appear redder than they actually are in person. This is especially true for indoor photos taken with a flash. The Perfectly Clear Infrared Removal correction automatically detects and removes infrared from skin tones while maintaining the proper reds in other parts of the image. In addition, people in different regions of the world have different preferences for skin tones. The Infrared Removal correction includes the ability to tweak the skin tone look for your particular market.

Usage: To enable, check the Infrared Removal box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Teeth Whitening

Whitens teeth naturally! This tool automatically locates teeth in the image and applies just the right amount of whitening to make teeth look brighter without appearing artificial. (New 2016 Volume 2)

Usage: To enable, check the Teeth Whitening box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Face Contouring

Use the Face Contouring tool when a slimmer, natural looking face is desired. This correction is made naturally, so the final image doesn't look overly manipulated and the content and detail around the face is preserved.

Usage: To enable, check the Face Contouring box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Blemish Removal

Unlike common approaches that simply employ a blur over the targeted area and have a limited effect on hot spots, blemishes, or pimples, the Blemish Removal tool scans the skin area for these sorts of imperfections, using a localized correction without affecting the surrounding skin areas.

Usage: To enable, check the Blemish Removal box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Shine Removal

Removes the bright sheen caused by the flash, lighting, or oily skin.

Usage: To enable, check the Shine Removal box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Skin Tone

Automatically alters skin tones. 

Usage: To enable, check the Skin Tone box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength. Select a skin tone from the drop-down as a color to correct with.


Adds blush makeup to your subjects.

Usage: Check the Blush box to enable. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Light Diffusion

This correction tool is meant for portraits, weddings, and close facial shots. It smooths blemishes in the face and creates a diffused, softer image with less contrast. Skin tones will often be slightly warmer/redder when this correction is applied.

Usage: Check the Light Diffusion box to enable. There are no other adjustments for this tool.

Eye Enhance

Brightens and sharpens eyes without distorting other aspects of the photo.

Usage: To enable, check the Eye Enhance box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Eye Enlarge

Use this tool to enlarge eyes in a realistic manner. It's great at automatically finding and adjusting eyes without distorting other parts of the photo.

Usage: To enable, check the Eye Enlarge box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.

Dark Circles

Utilize the Dark Circles tool to freshen tired eyes. Retouching dark under-eye circles requires high precision. This tool is great at reducing just the dark circles while preserving the fine details of the eyes.

Usage: To enable, check the Dark Circles box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength.


Add sparkle to eyes, automatically.

Usage: To enable, check the Catch Lights box. Move the slider to the right to increase the strength. Select an option from the drop-down to change the reflected pattern of the added catchlights. The Umbrella option will be selected by default when this is enabled.

See also

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