This seems like an obvious question to me, but with no experience in using plugins I haven't been able to google the correct terms.

When using a plugin such as the Nik collection by DxO in something like Affinity or Photoshop, are the changes made to the image destructive or non-destructive?

EG are they layer like modifications, or are they raster like changes?

Can anyone provide concrete examples of either type of operation?

  • ye goddes, but this is broad. Some plugs can save to a new layer, some can't. With some it's dependent on the application they're launched from. Not sure what else can be said to cover the hundreds of different plugs available.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 31 '21 at 20:16
  • @Tetsujin I did say I was naive about the process, and I wasn't intending to create an overly broad question .. but apparently I have opened a can of worms. lol. However if you could come up with a couple of concrete examples that illustrate both destructive and non-destructive then I think that would make a great answer for me (and in general).
    – Peter M
    Dec 31 '21 at 20:21
  • " layer like modifications, or are they raster like changes" These are not opposites, in fact they're not really anything definable. All photo images are raster images. The "opposite" of raster is vector, like a font or illustrator drawing. A layer in a photo editor is another raster image. You can modify one layer without touching others, or you can modify all at once, or you can do any modification & place it in a new layer on top. These actions are independent of any 'plugin'.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 1 at 16:58
  • @Tetsujin It is possible that my my terminology is imprecise with regards raster - I was trying to separate out changes made to the base raster of the image (or to a direct copy of that base raster) vs parametric changes applied via a layer (and where the parameters can be modified after the fact). If you are stating that plugins typically can be used in both scenarios then that is an answer in itself.
    – Peter M
    Jan 1 at 17:11

Most plugins work on a copy of an image, although this depends on the host program. Some can apply their changes on a layer, which preserves the original data on its own layer.

  • Can you give some concrete examples of both types of operation?
    – Peter M
    Jan 1 at 16:35

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