Product Review: Page (1) of 4 - 04/30/03 Email this story to a friend. email article Print this page (Article printing at page facebook

Flaming Pear Creative Pack 1.0

Filter effects for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
Flaming Pear is one of those software developers that never ceases to impress me. I've reviewed a number of the company's plugins in the past, and every time, I've benefitted from the experience. The same holds true for a relative newcomer to Flaming Pear's lineup, the Creative Pack 1.0--a reincarnation of the old Furbo Filters--which we'll take a look at today.

Before I go on with the actual review, I'd like to recommend that you go to Flaming Pear's Web site (, click on the "Download" link and download everything the company offers. All of their filters are good for up to 30 days (from the time you first use them), and some are even free. You will, without a doubt, be able to make good use of this software before it expires. And, if you're anything like me, you'll wind up buying several of them, since they're not only useful and unique, but also reasonably priced.

The Creative Pack plugins
Flaming Pear's Creative Pack includes four individual plugins: Boss Emboss, Organic Edges, Vibrant Patterns and Wavy Color. Of these, three stand out as truly extraordinary: Boss Emboss, Wavy Color and Organic Edges. The last, Vibrant Patterns, may have its uses, but I'm not a big fan.

Boss Emboss, as its name implies, is a filter for creating emboss effects. But, more than this, the emboss effects it can make vary widely, from simple grayscale effects to shiny, candy-like creations.

The image above shows a smooth, semi-opaque effect, but this is just one possibility. Obviously I can't show you every effect this filter can produce, but below you'll see two extremes of the effect on the same image.

Boss Emboss allows you to play with the height of the emboss, the lighting direction, relief and creasing. It also lets you pick the source of the emboss (grayscale, red, green, blue, color and three-channel) and remove the sparkling that sometimes occurs in an emboss. It also allows you to "melt" the emboss so that the edges droop. And, as with all of the filters in this collection, it provides you with a huge number of "Glue" modes (blending modes) for altering the final appearance of the filter. (I'll get into these Glue modes later.)

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