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Get amazing one-click filter effects with Alien Skin plug-ins

Added on Saturday 22nd of September 2007 11:43 pm EST


Adobe Photoshop 7/CS/CS2/CS3, Alien Skin Eye Candy Effects Collection

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows



We’ve recently had the pleasure of testing out Alien Skin’s Eye Candy Effects Collection, a five-CD set of amazing plug-in effects. We’ll give you a brief rundown of the entire collection, and then point out our favorite effect from each individual plug-in package.



As Photoshop educators, we’re certainly advocates of learning how to create special effects and artistic techniques for your images the long way. After all, nothing beats a little bit of sweat and tears to boost your Photoshop experience to pro status. However, having said that, not everyone has the time to noodle around in Photoshop to create eye-popping special effects. When time is short and you need some creative help, Alien Skin’s Eye Candy Effects Collection is a good addition to your workflow.


Inside the box

The Alien Skin Eye Candy Effects collection, shown in Figure A, comes with full versions of Eye Candy 5 (Textures, Nature, Impact, Xenofex 2, and Snap Art).



The interfaces, such as the one shown in Figure B (Windows screenshot shown) are familiarly Photoshop-esque. This will put you at ease as you experiment with the effects. One thing we wanted was the ability to press [option] ([Alt] in Windows) to change the Cancel button to a Reset button. However, all of the filters have unlimited undo/redo, with the same keyboard command as Photoshop. So, if you’re not satisfied with the results you can still revert to the original without exiting the dialog box.





Each plug-in package has a variety of filters. Some of the filter effects edit your image layer directly, while others give you the option to create the effects on a separate layer, thus preserving your image. Added together, the package hosts over 1000 one-click filter presets, as well as tabs, sliders, and radio buttons to customize your own settings. Let’s take a look at what’s inside.




Eye Candy 5: Impact

Impact contains 10 filters including Backlight, Bevel, Brushed Metal, Chrome, Extrude, Glass, Gradient Glow, Motion Trail, Perspective Shadow, and Super Star.

We think the Brushed Metal filter, demonstrated in Figure C, is especially pleasing and realistic. The Chrome filter also offers a lot of potential for additional realistic metal effects. Some of the filters in this package are similar to the presets in Photoshop. The Backlight and Motion Blur filters create very interesting results, however we didn’t find executing these particularly intuitive.




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