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Alien Skin Eye Candy 5: Nature

Filter effects for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
Eye Candy 5: Nature is Alien Skin's latest collection of filters for Adobe Photoshop. The package contains 10 individual filters for simulating natural phenomena, from fire and smoke to snow drifts and icicles. The Eye Candy 5: Nature suite is the second installment in Alien Skin's three-part incremental update to Eye Candy 4000.

The effects
There are 10 filters in the Eye Candy 5: Nature collection, each designed to simulate a different natural phenomenon. Like the previous Eye Candy 5 package, this set carries over six filters from the original Eye Candy 4000 collection and adds four new ones. In additional, all of the filters gain new functionality (including 16-bit support) and include an average of 50 factory presets to choose from.

New filters
The new filters in The Eye Candy 5: Nature collection include Icicles, which is my favorite of the original effects. It allows you to make a selection (or choose an entire layer) and place icicles over the edges of the object. It also allows you to place ice coverage over your entire selection, if desired, with icicles depending from the bottom edges of the selection, as seen in the example below (which also shows two other filters in this collection: Snow Drift and Squint).

One of the nice features of the Icicles filter is its ability to refract/bend the light from the object to which it's being applied, which is not something you'd be able to do with a simple bevel effect. It provides control over lighting (direction, inclination, highlights, shadows) and a wide range of icicle properties, including density, length, width, regularity, height, pointedness, opacity and refraction. It can also be used to create water drip effects, stalactites and various other dripping materials.

Snow Drift is another new addition to the Eye Candy series. As seen in the first image, it can create drifts at the bottom of a selection, or it can be used to create a layer of snow on the top edges of objects. I'm not particularly impressed with Snow Drift through. In the example above, I'm using about eight applications of the effect to create some semblance of of a decent snow drift effect. Without the multiple layers, the effect comes off as pretty cartoony, as you see in the example below.

Snow Drift allows you to place snow on the top or bottom of a selection/object and sprinkle snow over the entire object to varying degrees. It also provides controls for clumpiness, drift height and roughness, as well as light direction and shadows.

Rust is another of the new filters. As you'd expect, it creates rust effects, along with all of the usual variations--moss, patina, etc. It gives you control over feature size, coverage, roughness, softness and variation. And it provides controls for creating water streaks.

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  • Alien Skin Eye Candy 5: Nature by DMN Editorial at Dec 16, 2004 9:22 am gmt (Rec'd 3)

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