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Panopticum Plugin Galaxy

Filters for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
Here's a great set of utilitarian plugins for Adobe Photoshop. Plugin Galaxy, developed by Harald Heim and coded for the Mac by Panopticum, offers 20 plugins that generate about 120 basic effects, from noise and alpha manipulation to texture, lighting and magnification tricks.

I refer to this package as "utilitarian" because it doesn't easily fit into any particular category, such as "natural effects." Rather, the filters range broadly in terms of effect and application. For instance, there are glass and ripple effects, as well as simple tools for working with alpha channels. So let's take a look at what these things can do.


The filters
Each filter in Plugin Galaxy uses basically the same simple, intuityive interface. Each includes a few sliders for adjusting values, and most contain presets for applying the filters different ways. The one thing you won't like about these filters is that, at least in the Macintosh version, numeric entry fields can be difficult to work with. Specfically, entering a value with more than one character requires you to enter an insertion point each time youy want to type a character. A value of 249, for example, requires you either to use the slider or type 2 | 4 | 9. I'm not sure why. The only other limitation is the size of the preview window, but that's no big deal.



My favorite filter from the collection is probably Glass, which, unlike Glass filters from other companies, creates panes of glass for some very stunning results.

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