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Summary

In this hour, we checked out some of the cool third-party filters you can use with Photoshop. The most versatile and complete package is still Kai's Power Tools (KPT 6.0), although it's probably not the easiest to use. My personal favorite, Alien Skin's Eye Candy filter set, includes a great many really odd filters, such as Fur and Fire, as well as very simple-to-apply drop shadow and glow filters. Test Strip will save you time compensating for bad scans or lousy photography. Genuine Fractals makes image scaling simple. Finally, Xenofex gives you the power to add textures, ripples, and electrifying effects to your art.

Q&A

Q1: Is there a way to design your own Photoshop filters?
A1: There's an old plug-in called Filter Factory, which supposedly lets you do so. I've found it on the Web, but haven't really tried to do anything with it. It's a fairly complicated procedure, and the documentation is lacking. If you're really good at programming, Adobe makes specifications available for software developers who want to create plug-ins for Adobe products. Visit partners.adobe.com/asn/developer/gapsdk/PhotoshopSDK.html for more information.
Q2:Do these weird filters, such as Fur and Squint and Water Drops, have any practical uses?
A2: Just today, I saw a sign that featured a frosty bottle of Coca-Cola on a red background. The ` entire image was made to look wet with Alien Skin's Water Spot filter. Anything's practical if you have enough imagination to make it work.


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