Graphics Software Reviews - Eye Candy 3.0 by Alien Skin Software
Eye Candy 3.0 Rave-view
This review covers the exciting new incarnation of Eye Candy 3.0 (formerly Black Box) from Alien Skin Software.
The image of the burning newspaper letters above (figure 1.1) was created in a matter of minutes using some of the new filters included with Eye Candy 3.0 Without these plug-ins this image would have been somewhat difficult to create. The new filters, which include 11 really cool additions, used to help achieve the burning paper look were: Jiggle, to give the burning part of the paper the look of curling and bending from the heat as well as the Smoke and the Fire filters.
If you found the Black Box filters to be useful then you'll love the Eye Candy package! Aside from the new filters, Alien Skin has updated the interface (see figure 1.2). The updates include a new set of real-time navigation windows similar to the new navigational windows in Photoshop 4. These new windows include a zoom option so that you can see more or less of the image that you're applying the filters to.
As with the Black Box set, Eye Candy 3.0 includes many presets to help you get started. In fact I used the typical settings for the Jiggle, Smoke and Fire filters used to create figure 1.1 with only a small adjustment to the height of the flames with the Fire filter.
If you don't think that stunning graphics can be created just with the presets, think again! Figure 1.3 was brought to life just be applying the preset "Blue" Water Drops and the "Button" Inner Bevel filter to a layer which contained the text.
Voila! A unique look for text with just a few mouse clicks. If you've never thought of applying more than one filter to a selection, then I suggest you give it a try. Cancel all your appointments for the day, though, as you'll quickly get hooked :)
Oh ya. If you're getting tired of that ubiquitous drop shadow look applied to text on the Web, then try the new Perspective Shadow filter that was used to give some depth to the text in figure 1.3
With all the presets that Alien Skin has included you could, probably, spend several hours just exploring them alone. Once you're done, though, you should start to expand your repertoire by playing with the adjustment values for each filter. The words "unlimited possibilities" come to mind. In fact it's rather easy to create unique looks that many people won't think were done with Eye Candy. Imagination, rolling up your sleeves and getting down to some really fun playing around will be needed, though.
If you think that this set of plug-ins is more a toy than anything else you'll quickly find that you're mistaken. As fun as these filters can be I wouldn't think of doing any serious web graphics without at least looking at the many possibilities afforded me by Eye Candy 3.0
These filters can help increase the usefulness of your favorite paint program. You may find that you can't live without them :)
That's it for now... Be sure to check out some of our other Rave-views!
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