at a Glance

Maker: CValley
Price: $129
Platforms: Macintosh
Demo Available: Yes
URL: http://www.cvalley

Overall Impression: Like its predecessor, FILTERiT 3, version 4 offers amazing tools for manipulating objects in Adobe Illustrator. The new version adds even more powerful features, including 3D transformations, for what has to be considered the final, ultimate set of filters available anywhere. I honestly don't know what they could possibly add for a version 5 release.

Key Benefits: The new 3D transformation capability is completely cool. You can take any object and manipulate it in 3D space, and watch the progress as you go. Live effects are also terrific, allowing you to manipulate objects, including regular text, while maintaining editability. Finally, the dozens of vector manipulation tools make Illustrator behave almost like a paint program, but keeping all the advantages of vectors.

Disappointments: None. This set of filters has it all: tons of effects, innovative tools and a price point that comes in way below what you ought to be paying for this.

Recommendation: Strong Buy


REVIEW MAY 2 , 2001

CValley FILTERiT 4
Filter effects for Adobe Illustrator 8/9

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

FILTERiT is probably the most remarkable set of tools I've ever seen for a vector illustration program. This is a package of innumerable effects for Adobe Illustrator 8 and 9, ranging from new types of transformations to object distortions to effects that can be applied to text without even converting text to paths.

I reviewed version 3.0 of this set of filters last year and was impressed with its variety, power, stability, performance, ease of use, versatility and price point. (You can read this review here.) Version 4.0 adds even more to the package, while still maintaining the incredibly modest price of $129.

Do I sound a bit enthusiastic about FILTERiT 4? I am. This brings features to Illustrator for the Mac that are unheard of in any vector program on any platform.

3D transformations
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a 3D transformation, just think of it as scaling and skewing an object, but in three dimensions and with near limitless possibilities for the shapes of your transformation. For example, you can apply a 3D transformation to an object, turn it into a 3D spiral, and then rotate around and increase or decrease perspective for various styles.

The image below is actually a flower that has gone through several 3D transformations, mostly spirals, and then repeated in a circular pattern to produce this Spirograph-looking effect.


Original with 3D transformations (and a "live" effect) applied.
See below for more on live effects.

You accomplish these 3D effects simply by selecting an object and then choosing Filter > FILTERiT 4 > 3D Transform. Here's what you get:

The 3D Transform window gives you a whole host of options for manipulating objects in 3D space, from amplitudes and rotations to preset styles accessible through a pull-down menu.

The live effects
But 3D Transform is just the shiniest of the new tools included in version 4. You still get all of the great effects found in version 3 as well, including "live effects." Live effects are applied to a single object or piece of text, and the effects change as the original object changes. This includes text, which you do not have to convert to outlines. Type your text. Apply and effect. And then insert your cursor and edit the text, and the effects change with it.

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Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of the Creative Mac, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion and Synthetik Studio Artist WWUGs; and executive producer of Creative Mac, Digital Media Designer, Digital Pro Sound, Digital Webcast, Plug-in Central, Presentation Master, and Video Systems sites. All are part of the Digital Media Net family of online industry hubs.
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