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graphic designers love eye candy

When Skip Elsheimer contacted me to get started beta testing Alien Skin's new Eye Candy 4000 I just couldn't hardly wait until the package arrived. You know I've been a huge Alien Skin fan for years, and the prospect of a new Eye Candy is just what we needed to wrap the year up right.
__ You can thank Jeff Butterworth, Finley Lee and the whole gang down at Alien for a stunning collection of awesome new filters for Photoshop compatible imaging software!
__ You'll find the original EC product has been upgraded with new features and capabilities -- like the Bevel Boss! This takes over where "bevels" left off in the previous Eye Candy with an enormous variety of new bevel and carve shapes and controls. Best new feature here is a chiselled effect. The addition of lighting (across the line of tools where light sources are appropriate) now adds the final touch of realism we've yearned for. (See the "Bevel Boss" sidebar)

At last real chrome...
graphic designers love eye candy__ The single most welcome new addition is the Chrome filter! Making chrome is probably one of the most frequent questions we get in the Photoshop Tips & Tricks column, and you know we've done a number of articles on how to wring chrome out of Photoshop. Now EC's Chrome Filter not only allows you to create chrome in a click or two -- but it's really great chrome!
__ Rather than twenty or so odd commands as prescribed by many PS gurus, Alien has configured the filter to get it right the first time. You see, chrome needs to "see" something in order to be realistic. (As we wrote about and demonstrated back in 1997.) The Chrome Filter actually uses reflection maps to give you a realistic metallic effect that no other single filter can do. You change the tinging and you've got gold, silver, copper and other metals. Two big thumbs up for this one guys!

Help for shadow challenged
__ The next most significant module in EC4000 is The Shadowlab filter. At last there's an easy and accurate way to generate drop and perspective shadows realistically. You may have read our column about 'diminishing shadows' and how existing graphics programs required a lot of tweaking to get cast shadows to act like real-world shadows. Well, this filter allows you to cast a diminishing shadow in a snap -- but gives you power over intensity, angle, and extension. It's by far the best (er, uh, ONLY) product on the market today that actually generates proper shadows.

Glass with class
__ For those of you who have been agonizing over emulating Apple's new OSX glass buttons, the Glass filter turns it all into a click or two. Create a layer of clear or colored glass over any selection. The glass effect is achieved by simulating three physical effects; refraction, light filtering and light reflection. These are controlled by the Refraction, Color and Opacity, and Highlight and Light Direction sliders, respectively. I spent probably a whole day, and several dozen layers, creating a glass-covered logo for a client -- but if I had EC400, I could have done it with a couple of clicks.

There's much, much more... please keep reading. . .

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