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Flaming Pear SuperBladePro

Metallic texture effects for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
This will be my fourth review of a Flaming Pear Photoshop plugin in the last two and a half years. In that time, the company has never returned an e-mail of mine, never kept me abreast of developments and never issued a single news release announcing any of their new plugins. This might explain why you've never heard of the company or the software before.

Nevertheless, Flaming Pear is clearly alive and well and continuing to churn out high-quality, extremely affordable tools for graphics professionals. Last week, the company released Mac OS X versions of almost all of their software, including their flagship Photoshop plugin, SuperBladePro 1.06. We last visited SuperBladePro in its 1.0 incarnation a couple years ago, and I thought it would be worthwhile to see how well the software survived its port into OS X.

SuperBladePro is a plugin for Adobe Photoshop designed primarily to create metallic texture effects. More than just a filter for making objects and text look shiny, it's a plugin that provides a great number of tools for fine-tuning metallic effects and creating new, non-metallic textures.

What it does
Functionally, the Mac OS X version of SuperBladePro is identical to the first-generation OS 9 version. It includes a selection of 14 bevel shapes, ranging from a spherical effect to multiple ridges surrounding various types of hills and valleys. It also has 12 preset textures. Any PICT file can also be used as a texture and can be easily imported just by clicking on the currently selected texture. It also ships with a multitude of spare environments and bump maps, and more are available for download from the Flaming Pear Web site. Bump maps can be scaled, and environments can be rotated and flipped. The effect can be applied 15 different blending modes--normal, procedural+, procedural-, lighten, darken, add, subtract, multiply, screen, tarnish, caustic, abrasion, difference, height and unlit.

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