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Eye Candy


Spectrum

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While I'm generally not a fan of filters outside of the default PS features as they can leave a gap in your skills if they become corrupted, or you're using a copy of PS without them installed and you haven't bothered to learn to create the effect manually, there are some effects which can only be achieved at a very high quality with plugins, unless you wish to devote most of the day to achieving them manually.

One such effect is chrome text. I don't mean brushed metal, or the popular faux metal effect using gradients, I mean convincing polished chrome. In terms of speed and realism, there is simply no substitute for the chrome effect in the Eye Candy plugin by Alienskin.

Many of you will know of this plugin set, but some of the beginner PSers won't.

This is just a stock setting, but you can adjust settings to get the bevel/colour/reflection map/curve qualities you are looking for. Eye Candy comes with a whole bunch of other simulation/textures features, but this is my favourite.

You can download and try out the plugin for a trial here: http://www.alienskin.com/eyecandy/index.aspx

chrome text.jpg
 
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iDad

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That sure was a long winded commercial for eye candy, for a non fan of plugins!
 

Spectrum

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Its not long winded, its descriptive. People should know a bit about it before downloading and installing. Just saying "Its good" isn't enough. Good plugins are good, but unfortunately most of them are fairly ****ty compared with manual techniques or real images. The only reason I gave this one a promo is because its better than any PS tutorial on realistic chrome text I have seen.

Nothing wrong with plugins, but always have back-up manual skills in case you are without them.
 

iDad

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I have the whole package, download that and you can see all free limited time I like them all but I think if I calculated which I use most it might be adjust or detail restyle is getting very good ratings I like that but haven't had many chances yet to use. It's fairly new, but in beta it rocked! Have fun testing out, many options(presets)
 
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MikeMc

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I like the idea....BUT at $130.00 bit pricey for many . Not saying no, as I do have the AS app on my iPhone....

I have a few Topaz plugins, I am on the Topaz mailing list and if you wait, most of the plugins are discounted to $30.00 each. I have a couple bought months apart and have tried a couple others, but didn't need them as much, and didn't have an extra $30.

I love Detail :yourock:, have ReMask...OK...BUT can really work well on some images. Didn't care for restyle :rolleyes:
 
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Trevor Dennis

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Even Steve Caplin uses plugins, and one of the ones he uses is a chrome effect. Possibly this one! You might argue that it is wrong to use Quick Select and Refine edge, because you might lose the skills you used before they became available.

In actual fact, chrome, gold, metal etc. are super easy to do with nothing more than bevel & emboss with the 'w' shaped curve.
 

MikeMc

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I swear by Refine edge over remask.
Remask has an edge for quickies using the color brush...I still get much crisper masks with refine edge. I still have to clean up bits, but not as much....Could be I have more experience with refine edge....
 

Spectrum

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Even Steve Caplin uses plugins, and one of the ones he uses is a chrome effect. Possibly this one! You might argue that it is wrong to use Quick Select and Refine edge, because you might lose the skills you used before they became available.

In actual fact, chrome, gold, metal etc. are super easy to do with nothing more than bevel & emboss with the 'w' shaped curve.
Yeah that technique is fine if you're after a synthetic metal effect, but realistic chrome is based on the reflection of an image which is distorted. I may be wrong, but I've never seen a technique as realistic as the Eye Candy chrome. If you know of one, link me to it!

Been trying out some of the Topaz filters, and they're okay, and sure, faster, but not as high quality as the manual techniques I already know in PS. Will keep trying more features to see if I'll keep Topaz or not.
 
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Tom Mann

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"Nothing wrong with plugins, but always have back-up manual skills in case you are without them. ..."

Meh ... that's not a convincing argument to me.

I'm all in favor of knowing the basics incredibly well and teaching the basics before you turn someone loose with plugins. I've preached that policy for probably over a decade, ie, from when plugins first became widely available/popular.

However, at the point I'm at in photography, if some piece of SW saves me time and money or increases the quality of my images at a reasonable cost, there's no question - I just buy it and use it. The cost of such software is negligible compared to my time. If I don't have a computer with the software I need on it, I've done some *really* bad planning, and I will likely be having much more serious problems than simply missing some of my favorite plugins.

Besides, what pro makes critical image adjustments out in the field using some ill-equipped computer? Image critical adjustments go hand-in-hand with post-processing efx, and they are both done best on a high-end, hardware calibrated monitor in an environment with stable, controlled ambient lighting. Away from home, I might want to review and back up my daily shots, edit out the poor ones, but not bake in any critical image adjustments in a bad environment. If there was a need to get that sort of work done quickly, I would just send the images back to a good PS person back home.

Just my $0.02,

Tom
 

Spectrum

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"Nothing wrong with plugins, but always have back-up manual skills in case you are without them. ..."

Meh ... that's not a convincing argument to me.

I'm all in favor of knowing the basics incredibly well and teaching the basics before you turn someone loose with plugins. I've preached that policy for probably over a decade, ie, from when plugins first became widely available/popular.

However, at the point I'm at in photography, if some piece of SW saves me time and money or increases the quality of my images at a reasonable cost, there's no question - I just buy it and use it. The cost of such software is negligible compared to my time. If I don't have a computer with the software I need on it, I've done some *really* bad planning, and I will likely be having much more serious problems than simply missing some of my favorite plugins.

Besides, what pro makes critical image adjustments out in the field using some ill-equipped computer? Image critical adjustments go hand-in-hand with post-processing efx, and they are both done best on a high-end, hardware calibrated monitor in an environment with stable, controlled ambient lighting. Away from home, I might want to review and back up my daily shots, edit out the poor ones, but not bake in any critical image adjustments in a bad environment. If there was a need to get that sort of work done quickly, I would just send the images back to a good PS person back home.

Just my $0.02,

Tom
And what if your plugin corrupts, or your serial number wrongly reads as invalid? What if you can't get hold if that PS person? Unless you can solve it quickly (most plugin companies won't get back to you the same day) you're screwed.

Also you are looking at this from the perspective of a photographer. Most photographers I know are already familiar with manual techniques they use regularly, and don't do heavy post work in most cases anyway, so most of them don't use plugins. I'm looking at this as a designer. My point was that a lot of the plugin effects are of a lower quality than manual effects.

If a plugin has equal quality in its results as a manual technique, I see no harm in using it, but relying on it so much that you forget how to do it manually is a disaster waiting to happen if you to a lot of high volume post work. If the plugin doesn't work for whatever reason, clients don't want to hear about it, they'll just remember that you're the guy who couldn't pull off the effect they wanted, despite claiming to be a professional.

There are all kinds of situations you can find yourself in at work. Sometimes you can't always do your work in ideal situations with all your gear, but if you can work your magic on any machine with Photoshop sans plugins, then you're covered for 99.99% of unforseeable problems.
 

SCTRWD

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Spectrum, I totally agree with you.

But sometimes PS just simply doesn't let you do what you want to do manually. Some plugins are there just BECAUSE doing it manually in PS is quite tiresome, pesky and sometimes is just simply impossible thing to do:)
 

IamSam

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Tom M, I love ya man but I really have to agree with Spectrum here! For the sake of ease and time I can see your point. Plugins are great time savers for professionals but they are a crutch for most everyone else. I think the really bad planning is for those who don't know how to accomplish the effects manually.
 

iDad

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Drawing takes some serious graphics skills, lots of Photoshop enthusiasts have no drawing skills. That does not mean they are not professional. Photoshop is meant as a manipulating graphics tool, for photographers, for hobbyists either way most people use Photoshop enthusiastically or hesitantly. Plug-ins are only a help not a crutch. even plug-ins take some type of skill level. If you know you're plug-in, you know how to manipulate even that.. Skills or lack of is not a competition. I don't know how to drive the space shuttle, but I know how to drive..... either way you get to your destination, it's all a preference as in Photoshop there anyways to arrive to the finish line. Plug-ins is one way of many....

By the way, I checked out this thread because of the title, I was hoping for some icandy :mrgreen:
 
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iDad

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lmao.omg.., that looks like,:rofl:I won't go there. (It is the fine line I walk)
 

Crotale

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Actually, you can replicate the Eye Candy effects with Extended versions of PS. Just takes a bit of experimentation with the 3d mapping tools.

I agree with Tom on a professional level. There are times when time is of the essence and you don't have the luxury of hand-manipulation of every facet of the image.

Edit: Chris, that pic is awesome. Did you create that?
 

Trevor Dennis

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You make a good point regards reflections, but the could be added manually after using layer styles. Thinking back over the years, there have been some outstanding plugin sets, like the Koi Power Tools, Mystical lighting, Eyre Candy and Flood, but my versions have not worked for several versions of Photoshop, nor on 64 bit systems. So now my only paid for 'working' plugins are the Topaz Bundle.
 

Spectrum

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Drawing takes some serious graphics skills, lots of Photoshop enthusiasts have no drawing skills. That does not mean they are not professional. Photoshop is meant as a manipulating graphics tool, for photographers, for hobbyists either way most people use Photoshop enthusiastically or hesitantly. Plug-ins are only a help not a crutch. even plug-ins take some type of skill level. If you know you're plug-in, you know how to manipulate even that.. Skills or lack of is not a competition. I don't know how to drive the space shuttle, but I know how to drive..... either way you get to your destination, it's all a preference as in Photoshop there anyways to arrive to the finish line. Plug-ins is one way of many....

By the way, I checked out this thread because of the title, I was hoping for some icandy :mrgreen:
PS is a professional-grade image editing program. If you want to create an effect or style, yet are unable to because you lack the knowledge due to relying on plugins, and thus never investigated the manual methods, you aren't a professional.

Thats the problem with the design industry. Every man and his dog with a copy of PS thinks they are a designer. I had this issue with a client a few months back, he checked out some prices from some "designers" in India, and then asked me if I could match it. It was ridiculously low, and I wouldn't even design someone an avatar for the price he quoted.

I told him that my services were worth the money for the after-service benefits alone, such as being able to download pdfs of his business card, print banner, and web banner anywhere in the world from my cloud storage account without needing to contact me. Also, if he wants revisions done to his existing designs, I will have the working files so he doesn't have to pay for them to be designed again from scratch.

Good luck getting replacement files and advice on good local printers from some dodgy outfit which does logos for $100. If you lose the first image/working file they give you, tough luck. You have to pay them to start again in most cases.

Now there's nothing wrong with PS being a hobby. Thats how I started out. It was a hobby for a few years, then it became so all-consuming that I made it a career. Ultimately, professionals may use plugins, maybe even semi-regularly, but they don't RELY on them as their only means of achieving an effect.

PS: There's absolutely nothing wrong with not being a professional designer/photographer. Many passionate hobbyists contribute wonderfully to the collective design/photography community, but its the work practice which separates hobbyist from professional in most cases.
 
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