Google abandons the Nik Collection – Won’t develop it beyond CC 2015

May 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Google abandons the Nik Collection – Won’t develop it beyond CC 2015

May 30, 2017

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Google haven’t so much announced as “slipped in” that they’ve ceased development of the Nik Collection via a banner. Google acquired Nik Software, the company behind the Collection, in 2012. It was only just over a year ago that Google announced it was making the Nik Collection a completely free download for all users. Now, it seems, that the new price tag doesn’t justify continued development.

The Nik Collection contains seven applications. Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. For now it’s still available, compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10, Windows Vista, 7 & 8, Adobe Photoshop CS4 through CC2015 and Lightroom 3 through 6/CC. Unofficially, the Nik Collection also seems to run fine on Windows 10, too, for now.

The new banner at the top of the Nik Collection website states…

The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015.

We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time. Learn more about Nik.

The Nik Collection already had a pretty strong and loyal following before it was made free. Google’s decision to eliminate the price tag made it very popular, and a staple in many Photographers post workflow.

Now that it’s been abandoned, users may be forced to either find alternatives or for those using it as a plugin, stick with older versions of Photoshop. For Windows users, the Collection does does currently work on Windows 10, even if Google don’t list it. Although there’s no guarantees that it will continue to do so in the future.

I tend not to use 3rd party plugins with Photoshop for reasons such as this. Every time a new version of Photoshop comes out, it takes plugin authors a while to catch up. Some plugins never get updated at all. To rely on one or more plugins for part of one’s workflow can make for a whole mess of problems if they suddenly disappear.

But how about you? Are you a Nik Collection user? Is it a vital part of your post workflow?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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37 responses to “Google abandons the Nik Collection – Won’t develop it beyond CC 2015”

  1. Paul Richards Avatar
    Paul Richards

    Disgusting behaviour by Google. They bought the company because they wanted Snapspeed, and abandoned the rest of the plugins, which were, and arguably still are the best set of plugins available. They should now give the software to another company so it can be developed. I know that apparently the developers behind Macphun are from the Nik team, but their software still isn’t as good as the Nik plugins

    1. Mornee P Sherry Avatar
      Mornee P Sherry

      No the developers of Macphun are not prior Nik guys. It was myself, Kevin LaRue and Matt Cummins who were Nik software and who launched Macphun in the US. Agreed Macphun is no Nik Software.

    2. Jason Leafar Avatar
      Jason Leafar

      I JUST asked, in another post about this, how Snapseed could be so much better than their desktop programs! Lol.. this explains it. Wish they’d turn Snapseed into a desktop version!

  2. John Wojciechowski Avatar
    John Wojciechowski

    They should sell it off to another company who will continue in its development, not just bury it. It would be nice if Adobe would incorporate it into their software. That would be totally awesome.

    1. CanonMinolta Avatar
      CanonMinolta

      And since Google has no use for it and wants to abandon it – it should be cheap

  3. David Proesmans Avatar
    David Proesmans

    What a shame. Silver effex is by faaaar the best plugin!! I love my monochromes and have never been able to find anything even close to what SFx has to offer anywhere else. Shame on you Google!!!

  4. Seshu Badrinath Avatar
    Seshu Badrinath

    Oh, we all knew this day would come, right? I mean … you create something … you buy it out … then you dish it to everyone for free … hmmm … of course there isn’t an incentive to keep developing it. I am saddened to hear this.

  5. Chris Avatar
    Chris

    why doesnt adobe make photoshop backward compatible with past plugins?

    1. Anthony Kerstens Avatar
      Anthony Kerstens

      or even provide a selection to run a particular plugin in “compatibility mode”.

    2. Daris Fox Avatar
      Daris Fox

      It does, and it happily works. It’s just that certain functions may break in the future or may cause crashes. The downside is macOS which may prevent the program from installing/working.

      I’ve plug-ins from the early 2000s that still work.

  6. TheInconvenientRuth Avatar
    TheInconvenientRuth

    I felt a great disturbance in the Instagram, as if millions of posters
    suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear
    something terrible has happened.

  7. Lord Bokeh ⒹⒶ Avatar
    Lord Bokeh ⒹⒶ

    A long time user of Silver Efex Pro. Quite possibly my favorite plugin. But not surprised by Google not being interested in future updates​.

  8. innerdave Avatar
    innerdave

    “Embrace and extinct” seems to be Google’s motto. As a long time Nik user, I’m really angry. Nothing beats Silver Efex.

    1. Hans van Eijsden Avatar
      Hans van Eijsden

      Did you try Alien Skin Exposure? I like it more than Silver Efex, for example try the Daguerreotype preset series (B&W Films -> Vintage). Silver Efex can’t even come close here.. ?

      1. innerdave Avatar
        innerdave

        I’ll have to try it. I really do like the selective control points in Nik… does Alien Skin do that?

        1. Hans van Eijsden Avatar
          Hans van Eijsden

          Good question. I can’t remember (and I can’t find it quickly), but it has layers and brushes.

        2. CanonMinolta Avatar
          CanonMinolta

          Nope. No one else has control points. Think Google controls their function and name.

    2. Harakiri Tabasco Avatar
      Harakiri Tabasco

      Well, let’s not blame Google on that one. Nik could have chosen to not sell. I don’t blame Nik either, but ultimately it was their decision.

  9. Hancasupergirl Avatar
    Hancasupergirl

    WOW! long time , so great .

  10. Randy Schirmer Avatar
    Randy Schirmer

    When it was bought by Google we all were afraid of this very thing. These plugins are incredible and we believed they were bought so they could be shut down. And it is happening.

  11. Colleen Gino Avatar
    Colleen Gino

    I use the collection in almost all of my post processing. I have Topaz too, but don’t like it nearly as well. I guess I better start to love Topaz…Great big FAIL, Google.

  12. Peter Avatar
    Peter

    Personally, I don’t use them because I found that there is little in these plugins that can’t be achieved with built-in tools without too much trouble, but the obvious move would be to make the plugin suite open source so that at least the community has the chance maintain and develop it.

    With Google being quite active with respect to open source (Google Summer of Code etc.), I think there is at least some hope.

  13. Anthony Jones Avatar
    Anthony Jones

    Man I’m kind of glad now that I started moving away from the NIK collection. Don’t get me wrong I love it but recently I’ve been making my own presets and stock piling those.

  14. Jeff Turner Avatar
    Jeff Turner

    I find the NIK tools the best of breed and would love to see someone pick this up and run with it. If nothing else, open source it and let the community continue to build on it.

  15. Nate Whinnery Avatar
    Nate Whinnery

    When was the last time they were even updated? I paid for most of them several years ago, so the idea that they’ll no longer work (at some point in the unidentifiable future)is upsetting, but photoshop has been updated plenty since the Nik suite went free and there haven’t been any issues.

    1. Paula Gemin Bell Avatar
      Paula Gemin Bell

      Same here ??

  16. CanonMinolta Avatar
    CanonMinolta

    Guess when you are rich and powerful, you can do and say whatever you want – the heck with loyal customers and their needs.

    Google is not our friend – too much hubris

    Sad … and very STUPID

  17. Allen Mowery Avatar
    Allen Mowery

    I have the Nik collection, but I’ve never found it to be very beneficial and have only used it a couple times…seems more like just another way to accomplish the same thing while adding a few steps and creating yet another separate file (if using from within Lightroom). It’s sad that this is Google’s modus operandi, but I, for one, am glad I didn’t fork over the money for them years ago when it seemed like all the big names in photography were singing its praises.

  18. pandacongolais Avatar
    pandacongolais

    Any chance they give it (more or less) back to Nikon ? Any chance they open source it ? Any chance Nikon open sources Capture NX2 ?

    Because Nikon needs to update Capture NX2.

    Capture NX2 refuses to install on macOS Sierra. In fact, I think their programmers did a noob mistake : they compare the required minimum version number (10.6 or 10.7) to the current system version (10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11, or 10.12 for Sierra), using text strings, not number. It means that it’s correct up to 10.9, but 10.10|11|12 are considered before 10.6|7, because it’s like 10.1 < 10.6|7 ! So stupid !

    Why don't I use Capture NX-D ? Two reasons at least :
    – it's slow as hell. Where are the improvements/optimizations ?
    – NX2 provides Nik Software U-Points. I did used them. I have many RAW corrected using these effects. NX-D don't have U-Points. NX-D would just ignore the corrections I made.

    Does Nikon want me to trash my work ?

    I know, NX2 still runs on Win 10. But that's not an excuse for noob programmers.

  19. laur Avatar
    laur

    I loved these plugins so much that I paid full price for them years ago. They were the best back then, and I still use them daily. I was a little miffed when Google made them free, but was glad that so many other people would get to use them, too. I figured back then that the plugins would never be updated. It sucks to be right.

    Please PLEASE make them open source.

  20. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    Resistance is futile

  21. William H. Hayes Avatar
    William H. Hayes

    And if that isn’t bad enough, I’m a former Aperture user who switched to Lightroom after having been told that the transition would be seamless–bullshit!!! I haven’t made any exhibition prints for quite some time and expect to have an absolutely miserable time doing it. I’m even contemplating getting out my large format gear, dust it off, and put the darkroom back into usable condition, and see if I still have the strength to use the 5×7 and 8×10!! (At least I wouldn’t have to worry about all the different camera menus and settings that somehow seem to change all by themselves……..)

  22. kimberly Avatar
    kimberly

    the banner is new but the info isn’t. They made it free and stated there would be no new updates & it was, in fact, being abandoned. This was over 2 years ago if I’m not mistaken.

  23. CanonMinolta Avatar
    CanonMinolta

    Too bad
    NIK is extremely unique with it’s Control Point technology that isn’t available anywhere else.
    Cannot achieve the majority of the NIK processes in other software no matter how good you are

    Know the Google bought Snap Chat (for it’s U-Point technology) and NIK just came along with it.
    Since NIK is “abandoned” it should be a cheap buy for a company that wants a built-in user base
    Maybe using Kickstarter to get going.
    Quite stupid of Google

  24. Paddy Avatar
    Paddy

    Google only cares about Google, sad!

  25. Gina Fedon Avatar
    Gina Fedon

    The NIK Collection is by far the best set I’ve ever tried, and yes, I use it extensively in my digital artwork and will continue to do so on an older version of PS. I actually paid for it before Google took over and never regretted it. Yeah, sure, I could do without it, but it makes my life a lot easier.

  26. Guy Poizat, France. Avatar
    Guy Poizat, France.

    Shameful attitude by Google but not surprising. Let’s hope NikCollection will survive as some form of open source. I’ ll miss mostly Silver Efex which is convenient.