Adobe’s Photoshop is great but it doesn’t include every option you could want. Plug-ins can meet that need. This time, Corel and Extensis.
Corel has a major presence in the plug-in market and I feel they are a
company to watch in the future as I feel we have yet seen only a small
part of what this company is capable of. They have been very active
picking up promising products from other developers. They have done
good things with Painter and Bryce and have been very early supporters
of Mac OS X in terms of well done shipping product. They have two
plug-in products we have examined here.
KPT is a suite of nine plug-ins that are fully Photoshop 7 compatible under OS X compatible.
Channel surfing interf and channel surfing – Channel Surfing allows you
to apply blur, contrast and sharpen effects to any or all of the RGB,
Luminance, Hue or Saturation channels.
Fluid allows you to readily move the image around and as you do
so it flows as if sitting on the surface of a fluid. It creates images
FlaxFlame II creates certain types of fractal images.
These are potentially very useful as textures and in funky web site
Gradient Lab makes it easy to create very
complex gradients and colour blends. You have a huge amount of control.
Hyper Tiling makes it easy to create interesting tiling
effects from your images. Again very useful for generating textures for
Ink Dropper creates the effect of liquid inks dropped onto glass or oil paints dropped into a pan of water.
Lightening generates quite realistic bolts of lighting.
This is probably best used to create material for you to layer up and
manipulate in Photoshop.
Pyramid Paint turns your images into paintings. Just please don’t call it fine art.
KnockOut 2 is Corel’s selective masking tool. You trace around the
inside and outside areas of the object(s) you wish to separate from
their background. It works very well once you get used to the required
way of working.
Extensis is another big player in the plug-in stakes. Probably more
famous for their excellent Portfolio and Suitcase products, they have
had a long-term presence in the plug-in market.
Intellihance Pro makes it easy to
simultaneously compare a number of adjustments to an image before
committing to any of them. You control how many variations you see and
you can individually set each variation. A very useful tool whether
going for a natural or stylised look.