Eye Candy 5: Impact
Photoshop Filters from Alien Skin
Copyright © 2007 by John Passarella
Eye Candy 5: Impact (EC5I) is the third in a three part upgrade to Eye Candy 4000 (EC4000). The two previous upgrade installments were Textures and Nature. All ten filters included in Impact can be used for print or web design. Of the ten filters, three are new to Eye Candy (Backlight, Brushed Metal, Extrude), the other seven (Bevel, Chrome, Glass, Gradient Glow, Motion Trail, Perspective Shadow and Super Star) represent improvements to existing filters in EC4000. Out of the box, the ten filters come with a combined 200+ presets. But you aren't limited to the designers' choices. You can build your own custom presets by tweaking various settings in the simple but powerful user interface.
As always wtih reviews of plug-in Photoshop filters, a picture is worth a thousand words. Below a brief description of each filter, I will show a couple examples of that filter in action.
BACKLIGHT (New Filter)
Backlight simulates a brilliant light source or rays of light behind a selection.
Bevel creates a wide variety of embossed, bevelled or carved shapes. New surface textures give you the ability to render shiny, pitted or bumpy surfaces. Also included are smoothness and corner rounding controls.
BRUSHED METAL (New Filter)
Brushed Metal renders architectural surfaces, including stainless steel, copper or aluminum and comes with three brush patterns, Linear, Circular and Hand-brushed.
Use Chrome to simulate mirror-polished chrome, liquid metal and other shiny surfaces. This filter includes a bevel editor and surface textures.
EXTRUDE (New Filter)
Extrude is a new effect for simulating 3-D text and shapes.
Glass produces a shiny, translucent coating over selections, making instant "glass" buttons possible. Glass has a built-in drop-shadow control and features improved simulation of refraction and distortion. The buttons example below shows how you might use this effect to design Web site navigation buttons.
This Glass example applied to my Kindred Spirit cover has a Road-Night Time reflective map applied to the cover, which changes the mood from rural to urban.
Create a simple halo effect or simulate a neon sign with Gradient Glow.
Motion Trail creates a semi-transparent streak along a flexible path so that objects can appear to turn, swerve, dip, or zip along a straight line.
Take drop shadow effects to the next level. Perspective Shadow creates a 3-D perspective drop shadow beneath, behind or beside an object. I used a Perspective Shadow effect in a print and eBook ad for Kindred Spirit, my most recent novel.
Super Star allows you to create much more than variously-pointed stars. You'll be able to create gears, flowers, spirographs and more. This filter also includes a color gradient editor.
As with EC5: Nature and EC5: Textures, EC5: Impact includes a compelling assortment of filters. I would be hard-pressed to say which third of the EC5 triumvirate I would want to do without. Also true: each of the EC5 packages includes several "must have" filters. One of the best features of these packages is the abundance of presets. The beginner is almost certain to find several presets to his liking that can be applied immediately without any tinkering. And once you reach a comfort level with the many built-in choices, it's a natural progression to experiment with the adjustment sliders and dials to create your own variants.
I keep coming back to Alien Skin products and, especially, the Eye Candy series of filters because of the excellent quality of the effects and their genuine ease of use and application. With EyeCandy 5: Impact, it's fast and easy to look like a professional graphics designer. What more could you want from a set of photographic plug-in filters?
Eye Candy 5: Impact has an estimated street price of US $99. Upgrades are $49 for registered users of previous versions of Eye Candy. Impact is available worldwide through stores, catalogs, and educational resellers. Online delivery is available via Alien Skin’s Web site at http://www.alienskin.com.
Host & System Requirements
Eye Candy 5: Impact is a plug-in; it must be used with a compatible host program.
Adobe Photoshop 7 or later
Adobe Photoshop 7 or later
1 GHz Pentium III processor
500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor