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
At last real chrome...
__ 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
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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