Product Review: Page (1) of 7 - 06/22/04 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Auto FX DreamSuite Series 2

Standalone effects generation and filters for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
We've taken a look at several software packages from Auto FX, and all of them have impressed me not just with the quality of the effects produced, but with the variety and depth of the filters themselves. The package we're reviewing this week--DreamSuite Series 2--is no exception. It includes 14 individual effects, each of which offers dozens of controls for achieving a wide array of variations on everything from photographic borders and film effects to puzzle and mosaic effects.

Now, I should note before we get started that DreamSuite Series 2 is not a new piece of software. (It's about two years old now.) I'd meant to review it earlier, but the release of Photoshop CS caused some problems with that, since it was initially incompatible with that version. Now, however, the company's software is compatible with Photoshop CS and all the latest operating systems, so I've had the opportunity to revisit the software, which once again compelled me to write about it for those of you who have yet to discover this invaluable resource.

I should also note that DreamSuite Series 2 is not an upgrade to DreamSuite Series 1. It's a separate package of plugins with its own unique effects. However, it does operate within the common DreamSuite interface, so that if you have other DreamSuite collections, all of the filters can be accessed from a single location.

Workflow and functionality
DreamSuite Series 2, like other Auto FX software packages we've reviewed, operates either as a standalone application or as filters within Adobe Photoshop. Also like other Auto FX packages, it includes a huge number of controls for each effect, plus a wealth of workflow tools to help get the job done.  We'll cover these workflow features first and get to the effects in the next section.

Running as a filter, DreamSuite is called up via the Filter menu in Photoshop, which then launches the main DreamSuite application (seen above). This application includes its own layer controls, including opacity, layer creation and management, mask layers, correction layers and layer presets (allowing you to save entire sets of layers, including effects, masks and corrections).

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Related Keywords:adobe photoshop, auto fx, dreamsuite, dreamsuite series two, series 2, filters, effects, plugins, film effects, plastic wrap, wrinkles, puzzle pieces

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