Super BladePro

Super BladePro
at a Glance

Publisher: Flaming Pear
Price: $30
URL: http://www.flaming

Equipment Used: G4 400; Mac OS 9.0.4; Photoshop 5.5 and 6.0.

Overall Impression: Excellent tool for creating textures for al kinds of uses, whether it be for import into 3D programs or text effects right in Photoshop.

Key Benefits: A large number of controls allow users to customize their textures and texture effects, including importing bump maps and textures, with two 3D lights and support for a number of parameters.

Disappointments: The program could use clearer labels for what each button does. Could use better support for vector objects.

Recommendation: Strong Buy

Flaming Pear’s Super BladePro

Texture & lighting effects for Adobe Photoshop

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

We previously reviewed regular ol' BladePro from Flaming Pear Software and gave it high marks for its ability to create metallic textures inside Photoshop. Super BladePro, which was released just a couple of weeks ago, comes out even stronger—and $15 less than the original filter. What could I do? I had to buy it—and that's saying something for a guy who gets his software for free.

Super BladePro, available as an online download order for $30, is a plugin for Photoshop designed to create 3D and 2D textures on any object, with an emphasis on metals. But, really, any texture effect can be created—stone, bark, wood, fabric, etc.

How it works
It starts with a selection of 14 bevel shapes, ranging from a spherical effect to multiple ridges surrounding various types of hills and valleys. It also has 12 preset textures. Any PICT file can also be used as a texture and can be easily imported just by clicking on the currently selected texture. It also ships with 246 spare environments and bump maps, and more are available for download from the Flaming Pear Web site. Bump maps can be scaled, and environments can be rotated and flipped. The effect can be applied 15 different ways—normal, procedural+, procedural-, lighten, darken, add, subtract, multiply, screen, tarnish, caustic, abrasion, difference, height and unlit.

Now, the previous version, BladePro, allowed you to adjust each effect through the interaction of 12 sliders. The new one, Super BladePro, adds 12 more, for a total of 24. These controls include:

  • Radius, which lets you set the radius of the bevel;
  • Height, which adjusts the height of the bevel from -100 to 100;
  • Smoothness, which adjusts the fidelity of the texture from 0 to 100;
  • Texture, which sets the relief of the texture from -100 to 100;
  • Embossing, which sets the overall emboss effect from -100 to 100;
  • Gloss;
  • Glare;
  • Reflection (of the environment);
  • Glassiness;
  • Caustic;
  • Iridescence;
  • Iridescence Colors, which are set along a slider;
  • Tarnish;
  • Rain, which adds striations;
  • Evaporation, which affects the appearance of the rain striations;
  • Diffusion, which also affects the rain effect;
  • Wander, which alters the pattern of the rain effect;
  • Dust, which adds layers of dust (0 to 100) to certain areas of the object;
  • Grit;
  • Abrasion;
  • Moss;
  • Leakiness, which affects the pattern of the moss;
  • Blotches;
  • Blotch Size.

Super BladePro lets the user select the colors for several of these slider effects, including rain, evaporation, dust, tarnish, abrasion, moss, leakiness and blotch size.

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