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Kai's Power Tools

Kai Krause is a legend in the field of computer graphics. He's the guiding genius behind Kai's Power Tools, Bryce, Convolver, Vector Effects, Final Effects, Goo, Soap, and probably many goodies yet to be announced. Power Tools (also known as KPT 5), the current edition for both Macintosh and Windows, comes with an "Explorer Guide" rather than a manual. There's much to explore, but as Kai says in a foreword, you really don't need to read the guide book. The interfaces are designed to be as intuitive and as interesting as possible. There are excellent help screens available within each filter (look for a question mark and click it). The goal of these filters, along with doing interesting things to your photos, is to do interesting things to your mind and to your way of working with the computer. By the way, you can find Power Tools in mail order catalogs or on the shelves of your local software store for about $129.

MetaToys

One of the coolest, if not the most useful, of Kai's tools is the MetaToys Lens. If you think of a Swiss Army Knife and turn it into a magnifying glass that does tricks, you'll have the beginning of an understanding of the Lens f/x (see Figure 19.2). Each of the lines and bumps and buttons on it does something. Clicking the words Lens f/x, for instance, opens the menu of effects available with this tool, allowing you to switch without going back to the Photoshop screen. Effects that the Lens applies are Pixel, Gaussian, Noise, Edge, Intensity, Smudge, Glass Lens, and Twirl.


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