Optics 2022 - Version History

Optics 2022 - 2/16/22


New Filters

  • Particle Illusion
    Particle Illusion is an easy-to-use, powerful, high-end particle generator that gives photographers and artists instant access to photorealistic particle effects. Particle Illusion is the choice for anyone looking to quickly and easily add amazing particle effects to any image.

  • Beauty Studio
    In the age of cameras equipped with ultra sharp lenses and highly sensitive sensors, we’re seeing more detail than ever before in images on screen. Akin to digital make-up and filters, Beauty Studio was designed to automate the process of eliminating wrinkles, pores and other undesirable blemishes from facial skin tones.

  • Pin Warp
    Pin Warp warps specific image areas using pins, while leaving other areas untouched. Adjustments can range from subtle nip and tucks to something more obvious like repositioning an arm or leg.

  • S_UltraGlow
    Generates a variety of glowing light from bright areas of the image utilizing a primary as well as secondary, after glow.

  • S_UltraZap
    Generates lightning bolts along a spline and renders them over a background with added UltraGlow options.

  • S_EmbossDistort
    Embosses and warps the image using the Bumps input as a relief map and also distorts the result using the Bumps as a lens image.

  • S_EmbossGlass
    The image is embossed and warped using the Bumps input as a relief map and lens image. A chrominance distortion is also performed, separating the spectrum for a prismatic look.

  • S_EmbossShiny
    Embosses the image using the Bumps input as a relief map. A lighting model is used which includes highlights from specular reflections.

  • S_TextureFolded
    Creates an abstract texture resembling folded cloth or liquid.

  • S_TextureTiles
    TextureTiles draws a repeating pattern of tiles. The shapes can be hexagons, triangles, diamonds, stars, or variations on those, depending on the Morph parameters.

  • S_WarpPuddle
    Warps the image using a pattern of concentric waves.

  • S_WarpPuff
    Warps the image based on its gradient. By default, brighter areas are puffed out and darker areas are shrunk.

  • S_WarpWaves2
    Warps the image using two sets of overlapping wave patterns.

Alpha Support

  • Alpha Channel Processing
    Applicable filters, for instance lens flares, glows and blurs, now affect the alpha channel.

  • Layer Mask Transfer from Photoshop
    Photoshop layer masks import to the Optics’ original layer.

  • Layer Mask Transfer To Photoshop
    Masks from a selected layer transfer to the Photoshop layer mask.

Mask Enhancements

  • Mask Output
    Mask export is now enabled using a layer’s Export Masks icon visible to the right of the layer’s masks.
    Requirements for mask export:

    • Photoshop: A layer mask is present.
    • Lightroom: Exporting to PNG or TIFF files.
    • Standalone: Saving to PNG or TIFF files.
  • Mask Reordering
    Masks can be reordered using drag and drop.

Mac Metal GPU Acceleration for Sapphire Filters
Most Sapphire filters are now Metal GPU accelerated. See the complete list of filters featuring Sapphire Metal acceleration.

Native Mac M1 Support
Optics now runs as a native, Mac M1 application.

New Presets

  • Film Stocks
    62 new movie looks presets.

  • Light
    50 new glass presets.

  • Particle Illusion
    1700+ particle effect presets.

  • Sapphire
    270+ new and curated presets.

  • S_LensFlare
    20 new and 65 revitalized lens flares.

  • S_Rays and S_EdgeRays
    S_Rays and S_EdgeRays effects now have blur parameters allowing the rays to be blurred before they are combined with the background.

  • Workspace Creation, Import and Export
    Workspaces can now be loaded and saved.

  • User Interface Redesign
    The new Optics user interface reflects a clean, modern design.


  • Compact sliders
  • New font: Inter-UI
  • Added a font size preference


  • New Layout with Presets on the left, Parameters on right and Layers (previously named Effect) at the top left
  • Effect window renamed to Layers
  • Histogram located at the top right
  • Add Mask icon moved to the Layers window
  • Metadata window displays information entered during preset creation
  • Viewer is now a dock and can be moved

Keyboard Shortcuts

  • R, G, B, A: Toggles the red channel, green channel, blue channel, alpha channel, and alpha overlay on and off
  • D: Toggles enable filter state
  • Shift-D: Toggle enable mask state
  • Ctrl/Cmd-L: Adds a new layer
  • Ctrl/Cmd-R: Reset All


  • Preset Creation: To create a new preset, you can no longer change the preset name in the Name field. Now, pressing the Create Custom Preset icon opens the New Preset window where the desired information is entered before hitting OK to create the preset.


  • A Time parameter which animates the effect forward in time was added to the following filters: Particle Illusion, S_Aurora, S_Clouds, S_CloudsColorSmooth, S_CloudsMultColor, S_CloudsPerspective, S_DigitalDamage, S_FilmDamage, S_TVDamage, S_UltraZap, S_Zap, S_ZapFrom, and S_ZapTo.
  • Position and Corner-Pin controls could only be adjusted using on-screen controls. Now, there are associated controls in the Parameters window.
  • Although layers can have different Layer Opacity and Layer Blend Mode settings, there is now only 1 set of Opacity and Blend Mode controls and are shared between the different layers.
  • While hovering over a numeric field, the Up/Down Arrow keys now make adjustments. Up/Down Arrow changes the value by 1 unit, Shift+Up/Down Arrow moves by 10 units and Ctrl/Cmd+Up/Down Arrow advances by 0.1 unit.
  • Hover over a numeric field and use Alt+mouse wheel to adjust it. Use Alt+Shift for a 10x larger change. Use Alt+Ctrl/Cmd for 10x smaller change.


  • “Apply previous filters/masks?” message was added on start
  • Apply, Cancel, Reset All moved to the lower right


  • A/B Comparison mode: Show Other View always visible but grayed out when not selected
  • Enhanced on-screen controls
  • Overlay icon to toggle the display of overlays
  • Preview Channels icon displays individual channels
  • Preview Over icon includes a variety of display options
  • Updated Viewer icons
  • View menu replaced with Window and Workspace menus
  • Zoom control: Single zoom icon and numeric entry field for zoom percentage

Color Wheel Reset
Double-clicking on a color wheel in Color Correct resets the color wheel.

Bug Fixes
Standalone Color Management - Mac
Some images looked more saturated in the standalone and Lightroom than in the Photoshop plug-in on macOS 11 and later.

GPU Selector
Optics didn’t always choose the best GPU when multiple GPU’s were present.
Light > Displacement

Tiling Artifacts
When Displacement was used with the Shadow parameter, there were tiling artifacts in the rendered result.

Rendered Result Did Not Match
When the Preview Resolution was set to anything but Full, the rendered result in Photoshop did not match what appeared in the Optics viewer.

Paint Mask Inversion Issue
When Paint Mask was inverted, painting was not interactive and produced unexpected results because of the inversion post-process.

Sapphire Flare Designer Didn’t Open - Mac
The Sapphire Flare Designer did not open on some Mac OS’s.

Slow Performance On Some Windows Systems
On some isolated Windows systems, Optics would run slowly as a result of too frequent license checks.


  • Override Edge
    Override Edge was not grayed out once a path had been created.

  • Path > Point Simplification Slider
    The Snap > Path > Point Simplification slider wasn’t simplifying enough on large images.

User Entered EXIF Data Missing In Lightroom
User entered EXIF data was missing after adding an Optics filter in Lightroom.

Known Issues
Sapphire Lens Flare Designer
When you exit the Lens Flare Designer, the flare disappears in the Viewer until you adjust a parameter or move an on-screen control.

Smart Objects and Alpha
When alpha is exported from Optics to a Smart Object containing an embedded layer mask, it is exported as transparency. You can access the Smart Object’s alpha after applying Optics by dragging the Smart Object’s layer thumbnail and releasing on top of the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers window.

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Optics 2022.0.1 - 3/4/22

Bug Fix

Tiling Crash
At some resolutions, a crash occurred in some filters when rendering certain tile sizes. In Photoshop, this would result in the filter not rendering. In the Standalone, there could be horizontal tiling artifacts.

When I import a mask from Optics to a PS smart object with embedded layer mask by dragging the thumbnail to ‘new layer mask’, I need to turn the Optics eyeball in PS off and on for the mask to apply properly. Is this a PS quirk?

Welcome @user178 Yes, this is correct, because the Layer Mask is being applied twice. When you export the mask from Optics to the Smart Object, it is embedded as transparency. If you then drag the Smart Object thumbnail to the Create New Vector Mask icon, it composites again making the mask smaller.