Request: Automate loading/saving of Nik sidecar/.np files - WITH Control Points

Now that we know we can include Control Point information in a Nik Recipe - and save it as a Nik sidecar/.np file - then;

  • this provides a template/basis for automating this process (so that we don’t forget to do so ourselves)
  • this would make the Nik Collection consistent with PL’s handling of sidecar files
  • this would mean that the Nik Collection does not “break” the concept of non-destructible editing (as it does when there’s no means of recreating applied corrections without doing so manually).

PL has the following Preference settings; DxO_Prefs

A similar set of settings in, say, Color Efex Pro could manage loading and saving of the current Recipe (ie. stack of Filters) in a Nik sidecar (.np) file, WITH current Control Point information … as an image is loaded or saved in the Tool.

Wouldn’t that be excellent ?!

Regards, John M

That would be a reason for me to buy the new version.
Regards, Geri B


Yes, I agree that this would be a significant enhancement to this excellent tool - - and it would allow & encourage more users to move completely across to Nik Collections 2 (which now includes PhotoLab for RAW processing).


Wonderful idea, would buy right away.


excellent idea.


Yes that could be a good (temporary ?) solution.

Why do you say “temporary”, Marc … What would you like to see as a permanent solution ?

John M

Hi John,

Well it was at the same time a question. I had to re-read and imagine a bit the solution you propose.

I guess, in the end, the NIK settings could land into the .dop file if the NIK collection is well integrated. Meaning, for me, that we do not need to export to NIK anymore.
This would eventually work with the virtual copies and so on too.
But we have no idea yet what DxO has planned.
In my opinion, a well integrated NIK collection with Photolab can be positive. At the same time it is important to keep NIK as a plugin for as many software as possible (Standalone, Affinity, Photoshop, etc).

Yes, that would certainly be ideal - but, as you go on to say;

… this probably(?) means that the Nik Collection will continue to be separate from PL.

Regards, John M

Well DxO has the source code they can do both. I guess in the end, Photolab will be the only software with « non destructive » NIK workflow. Because any other software can not implement a plugin like this in the workflow… except… if… DxO brings an API for it and can sell it for good cash to competitors of Photolab -in a few years when the work is done with PL-NIK.

if DxO could make sidecar like PL that would be pretty good, no need to save multiple presets named after the edits.


I only vote for it if it is “one” sidecar only for both DPL and NIK

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Yes, I agree that would be ideal, but probably not practical - as PL and the Nik tool would not necessarily each know where the “one sidecar” was currently located.


As long as the .xmp file stays with the original file, wouldn’t that be possible? Can’t DxO create/add a Nik .xmp readable for PL?

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I probably ventured too far into design considerations in my comment, Mike … Just about anything’s possible in software development.

John M

I don’t own Photoshop but what I understood from the tutorials it is already possible with smart objects to have each Nik plugin as a layer in PS and return to the plugin with all settings remembered and PS uses the plugin in a non-destructive way, which means it recalculates the smart object if layers underneath are changed.

So there must be an API already, following the PS plugin standard. I don’t know any details, but I already wondered if one could make use of this. Also I wondered why DxO doesn’t use the same standard to integrate the Nik plugins to DxO instead of the clumsy and destructive export/import workflow we have today.

Yes, Smart Objects in PS works fine. Unfortunately there is noe equivalent to Smart Objects in Affinity in regards to filters like Nik, at least I have not found one.

Thanks for your point of view. I heard about Smart Objects and have an idea how it works although I never used them. Today I am a Photolab only user albeit I can use Affinity photo sometimes.

Right. I guess they are not there yet. For Nik/PS plugins.
The closest I found is Assets:
And they have a great synergie between Photo/Designer/Publisher.

Also the main problem is: does DxO see Serif as a good partner ?
Will DxO work hand in hand with Serif ?
If the answer is yes, why is there no mention on DxO’s homepage about “NIK is also compatible with Affinity Photo” ?