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AV Bros. Page Curl Pro 2.0

3D warping and effects filter for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
Summary: Page Curl Pro 2.0 really ought to be called 3D Warp Pro. It's just so much more advanced than other page curl plugins out there, offering the ability to manipulate objects (layers) in 3D space, apply ambient and point lighting and even bump mapping of the surface. What's more, it's fast; it gives you high-quality results; and it comes at a price that's so reasonable there's simply no reason not to buy it.
Recommendation: Strong Buy
Users: Design professionals/Photoshop users
Platform: Mac OS X and Windows (Adobe Photoshop or compatible host required)
Price: $49.95 for the full version, $29.95 for upgrades, $79.95 in a bundle with Puzzle Pro 2.0
More information: http://www.avbros.com

I don't normally class page curl plugins in the 3D category, but Page Curl Pro from AV Bros. is so far beyond every other filter of this type that it really ought to be called 3D Warp Pro. That's what it does, after all. It's a plugin for Adobe Photoshop that allows you to take any layer and warp it in 3D space--curls, folds, twists, wraps or any other sort of warp along these lines. It offers 3D transformations, advanced lighting and even bump mapping--all in addition to the basic warping features.

And, yes, of course it does do page curls as well. And page folds. And combinations of each. And multiple page curls and/or folds with a single application of the filter. It doesn't even matter what shape the content of your layer takes. It'll warp any object and use the layer's transparency or a marquee selection to maintain the shape of the object throughout the process.

It's a feature-packed, general-purpose 3D warping tool that produces high-quality effects at a price that's practically irresistible.

Features
Page Curl Pro 2.0 carries over all of the features of regular, ol' Page Curl 2.0, a version that launched last year and that was, even without the "Pro" epithet, already well beyond the other page curl plugins available. I reviewed that version last February, so I won't get into too much detail on the features the two versions have in common. If you're like to see the details of the base features, you can read the original review by clicking here.


But to give you a little bit of a reference point, here are some of the base features common to both versions.

? The ability to apply surfaces to the back and front of layer content, either from a color, the contents of the current layer or an external file.
? A choice of a curl or a fold effect.
? The ability to curl/fold upward or downward.
? Independent settings for the level of the curl, the radius of the curl, the obliquity and the torsion.
? Fast, high-quality previews, along with the ability to show any clipping that might occur to the image and the ability to change the backdrop in the preview window.
? Menus and keyboard shortcuts for accessing various features.
? The ability to export the effect to a separate .psd file, rather than applying it to the existing document (or in addition to).
? The ability to import and export effects so that they can be applied over and over.
? Ability to work with arbitrary shapes while preserving transparency on the warped object.
? Independent settings for cross opacity (the ability to see the back through the front) and page opacity (overall opacity).



That's already an awful lot for a page curl plugin to do. But with the Pro version, you get to add several additional features. These include small improvements like multiple levels of undo and the ability to place limits on curls, all the way up to major page curl enhancements and 3D features like texturing and 3D transformations.

In terms of the curls themselves, the most significant enhancement is the addition of multiple curls within a single session. WIth this feature you can add curls not just to the edge of the layer, but to several locations that you define. In the example above, I've placed four curls on the object. But I'm not liited to that. I can make more curls and even mix and match curls and folds. In the example below, I've applied a combination of 10 curls and folds to my image.



This is accomplished through the new Bends palette, where you can add or delete bends and folds, copy existing ones and change their direction.



In addition to this, you also get several new tools for manipulating the 3D aspects of the layer you're working on. This includes the new 3D Transform palette, which lets you manipulate the spin, azimuth and altitude of the object and add perspective into the effect.




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Related Keywords:adobe photoshop, page curl, 3d transformations, bump map, texture mapping, 3d lighting, 3d effects

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