#59: SHADOWS & LIGHT (Vue)
#58: ADVANCED DIRT MAPPING (Vue)
#57: SSS IN VUE 9, AND THE "SPECKLE" PROBLEM
#56: THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL OF ART
#55: FIXING POSER CLOTHING
#54: MAKING "FOREST WAR - GOBLIN SHAMAN"
#53: MAKING A STUDIO RENDER FOR VUE
(and other apps)
#49: NEBULA MKIII (Vue)
#48: RENDER SETTINGS FOR VUE (Vue)
#47: POSTWORK - MAKING A RENDER INTENSE (Any)
#46: MAKING RIVERS THAT FOLLOW TERRAIN HEIGHTS (Vue or Bryce)

PLUGINS FOR PHOTOSHOP & SIMILAR APPS
AND 3D WORK

  Plugins, mini-apps that work inside Photoshop and similar programs, such as PaintShopPro or CorelDraw, are great ways ot add special effcects, weathering, image adjustments etc, to your post work renders, or, to make textures for your 3d models.
Here I'll discuss some ofthem, and apps that allow similar functions.

Photoshop and many similar apps, like Paint Shop Pro, Core Draw etc, can all use "plug ins", that can do many different effects to enhance or create images.

I mostly use plugins to spice up my digital 3d renderings, to add special effects, like explosions, or to tweak the looks, or add weathering, dirt etc to textures I make for my 3D models.
Here's some of my faves and what they can do :)


OZONE 2.5 from Digital Film Tools

This is a bit complex to understand, but easy to use, it can adjust colour, temperature of light, saturation of an image according to "colour zones".
Basically, you can make a sunset more rich in colour, without washing it out, or alter the blue of the sky without touching anything else.
Really quite neat, but a bit advanced. Good price, IMHO for what it can do.
http://www.digitalfilmtools.com/ozone/index.htm


DSB FLUX

This is an old one, it has several effects I like for "SFX" and weird stuff, like "Electrosphere" which creates oil-on-water-rainbow-like fills.
http://www.photoshop-filters.com/html/dsb_flux.htm
http://www.jumbo-psp.com/Tutorials/Lesjes/Tools/Filters/dsbflux.zip


INDIA INK from Flaming Pear

This is the plugin I use to make most of my cartoon images, give a sort of "wood-cut", or cartoon-like look
http://www.flamingpear.com/indiaink.html


SOLAR CELL, LUNAR CELL and GLITERRATO from Flaming Pear

These plugins respectively create suns, planets (and moons), and starry space with nebulae.
Awesome combo for creating space scenes! Lunar Cell can also be used to create textures for 3d models of planets, so I love that one ;)
http://www.flamingpear.com/glitterato.html
http://www.flamingpear.com/solarcell.html
http://www.flamingpear.com/lunarcell.html


SUPERBLADEPRO by Flaming Pear

This plugin adds texturing, usually metallic, to selections, letting you create gorgeous metal text and many other effects.
http://www.flamingpear.com/blade.html


KNOLL LIGHT FACTORY

I can't afford this one at moment but have enjoyed playing with the demo. It's awesome for creating lens flares, suns, light bursts, and similar things, such as SFX of space engines, weapons fire etc.
Made by the guy who is largely responsible for Photoshop's creation and a snot load of SFX in films, John Knoll
http://www.digitalanarchy.com/index.html


ALIEN SKIN

Alienskin have a lot of plugins, some of them are really nice. From metal plate effects, to fire, smoke, glass (makes great web buttons) etc.
-Xenofex has nice lighting and staining effects (weathering and dirtying 3d textures is vital for realism)
-Impact has the glass, metal, rust, chrome solar coronas, dripping, scales, weaves, wood and other effects.
http://www.alienskin.com/


ULEAD GIF-X 2

This is one of my all time faves!! it has superb lightning, best I'vve ever seen in a plugin :), as you can choose it's start and end point, as well as all other variables, and is animatable!
-Also has variety of presets for animations like flag waving etc.
-Lot of different light effects.
http://www.ulead.com/gifx/runme.htm


DEPTH OF FIELD PRO by Richard Rosenman

Depth of field, is the effect you get when something is in or out of focus, based on distance; so, a finger up close is sharp, background is blurred. Great way to make shots look like they have real depth.
Richard Rosenman's plugin lets you adjust that, but what's great about it, is that it can use, easily, "depth masks" made by 3d art programs, including animations, to add in post work, depth of field, very accurately.
I really like this plugin :)
http://www.dofpro.com/


UNIVERSE by Diard Software

This plugin, or stand alone app, can create many astronomical features, like star fields, nebulae, galaxies etc. It's pretty neat.
http://www.diardsoftware.com/


GENESIS by Futurefantastic

Alas this is no longer sold, bought it years ago. It creates amazing light effects, like sci-fi stuff...you'd have to see it to get why it's so cool!! :)
This is a test image I made with it a long time ago.
http://www.silverblades-suitcase.com/artofadreamer/htm/genesis.htm


PARTICLE ILLUSION by Wondertouch

Ok, this is a cheat, lol, it's not a plugin for Photoshop, but you can use it to add effects to 2d images, so you can export an image from Photoshop, give it some special effects, and bring it back into Photoshop.
Particle Illusion does all kinds of jaw-dropping "particle" effects, from fire, laser blasts, "Matrix" style numbers falling down the screen explosion...absolutely gorgeous stuff!
So you can take a boring pic and add lots of effects to it.
http://www.wondertouch.com/
http://www.wondertouch.com/movies/space_small.mpg

I did the fireball effects in this pic, using Particle Illusion
using particl eillusion to make 2d special effects


MACHINE WASH by Mister Retro

This is a suite of different plugins for adding dirt, wear and alterations. I find it perfect for adding grime and weathering to textures for 3d models.
http://www.misterretro.com/image_filters.html


PHOTOSHOP ACTIONS

Ok, another cheat, not a true plugin ;) Photoshop can use "actions", scripts that run a sequence of effects. This can produce a really cool variety of end results, touching up, or altering images. I like ones that give subtle, softening and enhancements, or cartooning.
This is one suite of actions from one creator, others exist, but this I use this one :)
http://market.renderosity.com/mod/bcs/index.php?ViewProduct=48600
This image shows one picture altered in several different way by these actions, this pic is the artist/sellers' work and advertisement.


HOW I use them these things, is complex...as I often mess around with 'em in combinations, with various layers in Phtososhop etc, to get the end results (whch are often not what I expect, but cool, lol).

I hope you find this of use! :)
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Silverblade the Enchanter, © 2008

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