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AV Bros. Page Curl 2.0

Page curl/fold effects plugin for Adobe Photoshop By Dave Nagel
AV Bros. has rapidly made its way onto my list of favorite Photoshop plugin developers. I previously reviewed the company's Puzzle Pro 2.0 software and was impressed by its depth of features and designer-oriented workflow. Their latest software release, Page Curl 2.0, shares much in common with Puzzle Pro--in its interface and in its unique approach to presenting an effect that isn't, in itself, unique at all. It is, in short, the best implementation of page curl/fold effects I've seen to date.

Now, the page curl effect is nothing new to graphics applications. I can remember using a filter that produced a page curl in Adobe Photoshop back in the '80s, and, to this day, it continues to surface in filter collections from various developers in one form or another. But there's something about the way AV Bros. creates its software that just makes it better than what I've seen in similar plugins from other developers. Maybe it's the depth of features; maybe it's the ease of use; maybe it's just the fresh approach to solving problems. But it's good. This is only AV Bros. second plugin for Mac OS X, and the company has definitely left me with a desire for more.

The plugin
Page Curl 2.0 is a much more simple plugin than the previous plugin we reviewed last month, Puzzle Pro 2.0. Nevertheless, it is full-featured, offering interactive controls for every aspect of the effect, including the angle of the curl, radius, fold level, obliquity (for creating a curl that's thinner at one end, wider on the other) and torsion (for tightening the curl at any giver fold radius). It also includes lighting/shading effects and quality settings, useful for times when you might want to generate several versions of the effect quickly. Click the Play button on the movie below to see some of these controls in action. (QuickTime 6 required.)

In the main interface, seen below, you're also given several display options, including high-quality preview, the ability to show the clipping zone (the area outside the original dimensions of the image or layer) and various backdrop options, including solid colors and individual document layers. And, as with Puzzle Pro 2.0, Page Curl 2.0 provides its own menus for accessing common functions, which are often redundant to provide designers with multiple means to work with the plugin (something that has to be appreciated by any designer who doesn't like being forced into an unfamiliar workflow).

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