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Alien Skin Eye Candy 4000

Special effects package for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
If you're anything like me, your Photoshop Plug-Ins folder looks like a junk yard. It's full of old, decrepit filters that you haven't used since you stopped designing your own custom Dungeons & Dragons character sheets; demos of filters that expired before computers were even invented; and shareware filters whose usefulness you've never quite figured out, but somehow you can't bring yourself to throw them away. Hey, I still have Gallery Effects loaded on one of my Macs!

But amid all that clutter, you have three or four packages you routinely use when there's serious work to be done. I won't name all of them here. They can send me review copies if they want publicity. But one of these, surely, is Eye Candy from Alien Skin Software.

I was introduced to this package of special effects for Photoshop when version 3 was released, and it quickly became one of my favorites, not only for designing custom D&D character sheets, but also for doing professional work in print and, later, on the Web. The latest version is Eye Candy 4000, which Alien Skin released just a few weeks ago. It's an update whose time has come.

New features
Eye Candy 4000 adds five new filters to the set included in Eye Candy 3?Marble, Melt, Drip, Corona and Wood?bringing the total to 23 effects. It also brings with it a new interface for all of the filters.

Where the old interface seemed overburdened and slow, the new one is light and speedy, although, as with version 3, previews can still take as much render time as the final effect. But, on the whole, the interface in Eye Candy 4000 is much more effective.

Eye Candy 4000 gains several improvements in the interface
department over its predecessor, Eye Candy 3.

New interface features include:

Tabbed pages within the main window for adjusting various controls. Basic setting appear under the first tab, while lighting, color, bevel and other setting appear under subsequent tabs.

The new version adds menus that take over the menu bar when a filter is launched. The menus add several new features to Eye Candy, including unlimited undo and redo; cut/copy/paste; the ability to jump back and forth between filters without having to return to the canvas; and the ability to save and manage settings, which can be shared between filters in the collection, where appropriate.

The preview window is larger than in version 3 and can show layers behind the current layer you're working on. It also includes a small navigation window so you can see which part of the image you're looking at.

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