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Digital Anarchy Texture Anarchy

Procedural texture generation suite for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
In this world there are two types of texturization filters: image-based and procedural. The former is good for getting quick results for common texture styles--canvas, sandstone, brick and the like--and there are plenty of plugins of this sort available. (Alien Skin's excellent Resurface plugin comes to mind.) But, in the end, image-based filters limit you to the resolution of the base texture and the creativity of the developer. Procedurals, on the other hand, offer unlimited creativity and resolution, but at the cost of efficiency (and, often, practicality). However, Digital Anarchy has found a way to combine the creative potential of procedurals with practicality and efficiency in an expansive, well designed plugin suite for Adobe Photoshop called Texture Anarchy.

Texture Anarchy is a fractal-based procedural texture generator that offers more creative flexibility than I've seen in most Photoshop plugins. Beginning with a base set of fractal noise types, it allows you to combine layer upon layer of variations in color, alpha and bump channels, with multiple simulated 3D lights, gradients, blending modes and a wealth of other creative controls for producing textures, tiling textures and edge effects. At the same time, it also offers simplified methods for texturization, including presets with identifiable characteristics (old fabric, concrete, bricks, etc.), along with easy methods for generating variations through one-click texture mutators.

What it does
Texture Anarchy contains three individual filters for producing procedural textures. Texture Anarchy Explorer is a general texturing filter, allowing you to apply textures to the entire image or to selections of the image. Tiling Texture Anarchy is similar, but slightly more limited, since it's designed to produce tiled textures. And Edge Anarchy is a version of Texture Anarchy Explorer designed specifically for producing effects that create textured edges around an image or selection.

All of the filters provide much of the same (enormous) base functionality, which we'll get into below, but tailored for specific applications. All are incredibly powerful and offer so much flexibility that you will literally never be able to explore every possible combination of parameters. Now that's my kind of filter suite!

The main Texture Anarchy Explorer filter provides a wide range of parameters for creating endless unique textures, which can be used by themselves or composited over a selection for startling results, especially when combining clever lighting with some of the plugin's alternate blending modes (27 in total, including several not found in Photoshop itself). We're going to get into this plugin in depth in the next section, but here's a random sampling of 6/∞ (that's six-infinityths) of the possible textures you can create using this software.

Edge Anarchy takes procedural textures to the next level by adding in the ability to use the textures you generate to create edge effects. It provides for two different base edge styles--Gaussian and Voronoi--with an infinite amount of variety in between.

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