Super BladePro

Super BladePro's interface. Click on the image to enlarge.


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Flaming Pear’s Super BladePro

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In addition, there are two selectable lights that allow you to select color, intensity and direction; a random button; a button to let you save and load your favorite settings; and a scalable preview window.

The new version also adds an undo button and a random seed button for changing the appearance of blotches.

The experience
Working in Super BladePro is incredibly easy. If you're not sure where to start, you can just hit the Random button until you find something you like, then tweak the results to achieve your final desired effect.

Rain, combined with erosion, diffusion and wander, create the vertical striations seen above on the bevel of this M.
Super BladePro adds blotches, here shown in red for easy identification. The actual color of the blotch, as well as the size and number of blotches, can be set manually.


One of the obvious applications for Super BladePro is text. Effects can be applied to the text itself to create a bevel effect that follows the contours of the text. With transparency in the background, you can also apply the effect to an entire layer, which with then only appear in the final image on the text.

Or it can be applied to shapes or solids, and even areas with feathered masks. Just select the area you want to be textured, and then select the Super BladePro filter from the Filter menu in Photoshop (or whatever other program you're using it in, such as Macromedia Fireworks). For Photoshop 6 users out there, Super BladePro can also be applied to vector shapes, though they have to be rendered (just as with type) before the effect can be applied.

Overall, this is a very solid filter. Super BladePro is well worth the comparatively paltry $30 registration fee. It offers a lot of control and some stunning results. Plus, it works in any program that supports Photoshop filters, including Adobe After Effects (though very few features are keyframable). If you're still in doubt, the software, along with many other Flaming Pear Photoshop plugins, is available as a free download for a limited duration. Get it. And then buy it. I did.

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

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