Adobe’s Photoshop is great but it doesn’t include every option you could want. Plug-ins can meet that need. This time, Andromeda.
In this series of articles we are going to look at a number of plug-ins that work
in Adobe Photoshop, Corel Photo-PAINT, Corel Painter, etc. Note that
all these plug-ins work on Windows and on Mac OS up to 9.2 or Classic.
Most also work on Mac OS X. In the case of plug-in sets, we are
going to show examples of selected filters from each set of what we
considered the most interesting ones.
One problem for plug-in writers is that the software makers, like Corel
and Adobe, keep rolling a lot of functionality into new releases of the
software. This is great for us but frequently means that some filters
have a limited life. If you work with older versions of the main
programs look around for people with older filter sets they are willing
to sell as you can still get good use out of them.
Andromeda – www.andromeda.com
Andromeda produce a large number of filters designed for photographers
or to simulate photographic effects. Their filters seems to all be
focused on allowing the digital photographer to shoot and then later
apply effects as if they had shot through some photographic filter or
used some photographic technique, like selective focus. These work very
well. As to which ones you will find useful will depend on your
The interface is pretty simple. You choose from a good
selection of effects and then can finetune each of these to suit
This before and after shows one of many results.
This shots shows a coloured star-burst like effect.
Perspective – As the name suggests this provides a very quick and easy
way to put your images at interesting angles and exaggerated
perspective. Of course you could do this in Photoshop with the free
transform option but not as quickly and easily.
So if you need to do a lot of this sort of manipulation this could be ideal.
As its name implies this filter helps you apply various
filters to the current layer. A wealth of pre-defined textures are
available and these can all be modified.
A techture applied to an image. The plug-in is a good way
to quickly generate texture to apply to all or part of an image.
For images that are too sharp overall the VariFocus
filter allows you to draw the viewer’s attention to just part of the
image by progressively blurring other parts.
VariFocus produces its most realistic effect on images
that contain objects at progressively greater distances from the
camera. However you can use it creatively in many ways.