Last month I saw a ton of questions, Facebook/Twitter posts and just about everything else when Google/Nik stopped working for some people. It seems there was a software update that broke it for some folks, but it also seems like there are some workarounds that will get it to work.

That said, the writing is on the wall and probably has been since Google made Nik free last year – Nik is unfortunately dead – Google even posted a message on the Nik home page that says it will no longer be updated (not even maintenance upgrades to make it work with Adobe, Apple or Windows).

Anyway, last month I didn’t write anything on the topic for two reasons.

1) I had already written two articles on it and I felt like the topic was getting beat to death. The first was years ago after Google bough Nik (and I was very wrong about some predictions). And the second was last year when they made it free. So I figured I’d written enough.

2) Rather than write any more about this. Or complain any more than I already had, and pile on the angry-train that was building, I figured I’d make a course to show people what I moved to after I dropped Nik years ago. So that’s exactly what I did and that course, The Nik to ON1 Survival Guide is now ready and free for you to download right now.

A Quick Word From Our Sponsor 🙂

As you’ll see below, I use Lightroom to organize and edit my raw photos and I use Photoshop for retouching, layers, etc… Both of my big Lightroom and Photoshop courses are $100 off right now if you’re interested. Here’s the links:

Lightroom Course

Photoshop Course

How I Use ON1?

My workflow is pretty much the same as it always was. I start in Lightroom. If I have any major cloning/healing to do, layering, content-aware, retouching, etc… then I jump to Photoshop. After that, if I really love the photo and I need some creative help with styling it, then I jump to ON1 Effects and back to Lightroom. For me, I only used Nik Color Efex and Silver Efex, so when I went looking for something to replace it, I just needed a new place for effects, styling, and black & white conversions.

So that’s the viewpoint from which this survival guide was created. You can certainly do your whole workflow in ON1 and they have a ton of info on that on their website. I just wanted to show you were it fits in my workflow.

What Is the Survival Guide?

This course is meant to be something where Nik users can see what I switched to, and how it works similar to what you had with Nik – and how it’s different.

The course mainly covers Nik Color Efex Pro (which was the most popular plug-in Nik had) and how to get something similar in ON1 Effects. First I show you how the two are similar. How you launch ON1 (just like Nik), and how the Filters and Presets work similar to the way they work in Nik. Then I dive in to an overview cheat-sheet of sorts, that shows a Nik filter and what filters I think produce something close or similar in ON1 Effects.

Keep in mind, Nik CEP is old – like really old. So there are filters in there that just don’t make sense in today’s workflow. Things like Curves or Levels. If you even use Curves anymore (which most people don’t), that would be something you’d do in your raw editor of choice (I personally use Lightroom, but there’s a lot of others out there and ON1 even has their own raw editor).

Then I cover Silver Efex Pro and how to get something similar in ON1 Effects with their black & white conversion. I won’t get in to the debate of whether or not there’s anything comparable to Silver Efex, since that’s in the eye of the beholder. All I want to do is give you an option if you want to find an alternative to Nik, and show you what I personally use.

Finally, I briefly touch on Viveza, Analog Efex, Sharpener, and Dfine. I don’t spend much time on them because most people have a workflow in a raw editor, and all of these tasks should be done there (where you get better results anyway), rather than a plug-in.

It’s Got A PDF Cheat Sheet Too!

I even included a PDF cheat sheet with it. This has all of the links to download, but also has a decoder that lists each Nik Color Efex Filter, and it’s closest match in ON1 with some quick notes on settings or suggestions. The videos are the main thing, but I figured this would help once you’ve watched them and just needed something to quickly refer back to.

Also, if you want to just grab the PDF and see if the course looks like it’s something for you, you can click here to download it.

Yes, It’s Free

I decided to make this free because I was right there with ya’ years ago. I was ticked off that my favorite plug-ins were close to dead, and never-to-be-updated again. So rather than complain about it again (which I’ve done many times), I decided to do something that could help. I figured I can show you my workflow. This isn’t a sales pitch and I don’t work for ON1. It’s meant for a Nik user who doesn’t know how to get the effects that they liked with Nik, and hopefully it helps you reproduce some of them with ON1.

Do You Already Own ON1?

If you already own and use ON1 this course isn’t for you. My guess is you won’t learn anything new (unless you literally haven’t installed or used your purchase yet). And if you do already own ON1, there’s much more complete training on using their products FREE on their website. Just click the Learn link in the top menu.

Download Away!

The course is in my store, but it’s priced at $0. Just add it to your cart, check out (which only requires a name/email – no credit card info) and you’ll be able to download it for free. No strings attached. And you can even download the free 30-day trial of ON1 Photo Raw 2017 (which includes ON1 Effects), so you can literally try this out and see if it works for you at no cost.

ON1 Free Downloads

There’s two free downloads that ON1 offers you. So what’s the difference?

  1. The first is the full version, 30-day trial, of ON1 Effects 2017 which includes ON1’s newest entire lineup of apps (Browse, Effects, Develop, Resize, Layers). If you’re looking for a complete workflow from organizing your photos, raw editor, and styling effects, then that’s the way to go.
  2. But… ON1 also offers ON1 Effects 10.5 which is last year’s version of ON1 Effects. It’s got all of the effects I talk about in the video, and definitely something to consider if you’re workflow is like mine – and you’re using Lightroom and Photoshop. That version is free. Free to download, and it doesn’t expire.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope this free course helps you find an alternative to your Nik plug-ins. I know it’s frustrating when good software just stops working, and maybe you’ll even find something better in the future. Enjoy and have a good one!


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