We originally reviewed Alien Skin's filters back in 1996 with their "Black Box" product including an interview with from Michael Pilmer , one of the developers of Alien Skin. Later, XenoFex was a DTG "BEST" winner in 1998, then along came "Eye Candy 4000" which was also a true blockbuster, and the basis of this new incarnation.
Eye Candy 5: Texture
... from Alien Skin
As a sister to their "Nature" collection, earlier this year Alien Skin released the Eye Candy: Textures collection -- a set of 10 plug-in filters for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements, Jasc Paint Shop Pro and Macromedia Fireworks.
This is the first of three upgrades to Eye Candy 4000. Textures produces a wide variety of texture effects, including snake and lizard skin, fur, brick, stone and wood. Graphic designers, Web developers and 3D artists can quickly create backgrounds, skins, seamless tiles and more.
Relying on the contents of a stock texture library limits creativity. Textures creates a limitless variety of photo-realistic surfaces for $99, the cost of a stock CD. And, because every filter has a seamless tile option, tiling is quick and easy.
Textures includes four new filters and six updated Eye Candy classics. These produce a wide variety of effects:Stone Wall (New) - simulates a wide variety of stonework. Size and color yield the basics, like cobblestones or residential veneers. Bright colors can create stained glass and other effects. Surface detail controls, such as roughness and grain, simulate smooth flagstone walks, granite walls and more.
Diamond Plate (New) - beefs up wimpy text and creates tough, embossed backdrops. The aspect ratio and taper controls enable round to rectangular embossing. Adding a reflected image creates shiny plating and surface roughness weathers the surface with corrosion and pitting.
Brick Wall (New) creates a limitless variety of brick, tile and block textures using six traditional bricklaying modes. Controls for color and shape design the basic appearance. Detailed controls, such as Surface Roughness, differentiate bathroom tile from rough cinder blocks.
Swirl, a classic Eye Candy effect, adds spirals and whirlpools as curvilinear noise. Applying swirl to a solid color creates interesting background textures. Now, Swirl also adds a painter's touch to any image. Swirl transforms photos into impressionist paintings by aligning brush strokes along image details.
Animal Fur (formerly Fur), features six fur simulations, as well as the options to derive fur color from your image. Because Animal Fur provides precise control of fur length, pattern and color, you can conjure the pelt of virtually any jungle beast or household pet.
Weave simulates woven textures using four basic patterns: Plain, Basket , Satin and Twill. Larger thread sizes weave basket reeds in the colors of your choice. Tiny threads produce realistic cloth swatches, like denim blue jeans and satin. Apply the same settings to a photo to create a canvas-like texture..
Wood quickly creates realistic sawn wood surfaces. Color and growth rings imitate the basic appearance of woods such as plain yellow pine, mahogany or ebony. Knots and grain add further detail. Creating hardwood floors and pine paneling is a snap.
Reptile Skin reproduces almost any scaled skin using Lizard or Snake (overlapping) patterns. Control of scale shape, size and color provides the foundation for anything from alligators to Gila monsters. Choosing a solid skin color mimics a variety of animals, even fish. Tinting scales with original color patterns simulates coral snakes, parrotfish, geckos and more.
Marble (our least favorite) creates virtually any style of architectural marble using three modes: Veiny, Layered and Fractured. Easy-to-use color selection tools emulate anything from Travertine to Brecciated marble.
Texture Noise Formerly HSB Noise, Texture Noise creates lighting effects, grain and static in photos, as well as psychedelic textures. Texture Noise varies hue, saturation and brightness, adding detail and vibrance to photos. In addition, Texture Noise mimics streaming sunlight, snow, and TV static.
The answer to store-bought textures
Textures includes settings for over 200 frequently used effects. A new settings system makes it easy to explore these effects. The ability to save and export makes sharing settings a snap. Textures works with 16-bit images and does not compromise expanded color depth. Color transitions are smoother and print documents reproduce colors more accurately.
Pricing and Availability:
The estimated street price for Nature is $99.
Upgrade pricing is available for owners of other Alien Skin products. Eye Candy 5 will be a three-part series. The remaining upgrades will be released in 2005. Eye Candy 5: Nature will simulate fire, smoke and other natural phenomena. Eye Candy 5: Impact (not yet received) will contain the classic graphic design effects that made Alien Skin Software famous. If you need bevels, shadows, fire, smoke or other classic effects now, check out "Eye Candy 4000".
Registered users of other Alien Skin Software products receive discount pricing when ordering direct. Online delivery is available at the Alien Skin Web site: http://www.alienskin.com.
Nature is also available worldwide through stores, catalogs and resellers. Host Requirements: Nature is a plug-in; it must be used with one of the following: Adobe Photoshop 7 or later, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 or later, Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004 or later or Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 or later.
Windows users must have at least a 1 GHz Pentium III processor, 256 MB RAM and Windows 2000 or Windows XP.
Macintosh users must have at least a 500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 256 MB RAM and Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later.
Alien Skin has made award-winning plug-ins since 1994, Alien Skin Software writes and sells filters that users love. Alien Skin says: "We will never wear suits."
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