buZZ Professional 2.0
buZZ Professional 2.0
Reviewed by Ken Greek
Plug-in for Photoshopâ¢, Paint Shop Proâ¢, PhotoDrawâ¢, CorelDRAWâ¢, Corel PHOTO-PAINTâ¢, Fireworks 3, and most other major image and graphics related software packages. For both Mac and PC.
buZZ.Professional 2.0 by Fo2PiX (Segmentis Limited) is a plugin that uses a Simplifier to remove unwanted detail from an image without loss of focus. Once the foundation layer is produced, a range of other effects may be added-in to produce stunning and original artwork. This allows one to create paintings from pictures. The results are beautiful.
The 19 effects in buZZ.Pro 2.0 are:
Platforms: Macâ¢ OS 8.5 or higher and/or Windowsâ¢ 95 or higher.
Cost: buZZ Professional 2.0--- Â£ 89.99 (Approximately $125.00 USD); a trial download is available on their product page .
Installation: Installation is straightforward but does involve a restart to complete the initialization of the Windows installer. It defaults its installation to a PhotoShop plug-ins folder so you'll have to re-direct that during the install. (Bonus for those that care: the Mac version is on the same CD, simply unstuff the folder and drop in the PhotoShop plug-ins folder.)
Right off the bat let me say that this one is a keeper. The transformation of an ordinary photo into a painting that is a work of art with this plug-in will have you playing with this one a lot. And the word "wow" factors in a lot too. Here's a couple of examples that I was able to quickly do.
The Simplifier is the key to this in that it removes detail, leaving the color brightness and sharpness of the image, without being blurry at all. There are 3 different simplifiers to experiment with, each giving more control than the other. By applying a series of effects (they refer to them as "stacks") you can build on each effect. The secret here is to work on multiple layers and then merging them which takes a bit of experimentation.
The interface is very straightforward and easy to use, no guessing on how it works or what does what. You can build stacks of effects yourself or load one of the 19 pre-set stacks that are included. The effects can also be applied in any order. Plus the stacks you build can be saved as pre-sets. There is a preview pane that is pretty accurate in it's rendering and it renders quickly also.
To help you learn to use the effects, they include on the CD a step-by-step how-to, walking you through manipulating an image that they supply and even going to the trouble of showing a detailed summary of the steps for PhotoShop, PSP 6.0, Corel Photo-Paint and Adobe PhotoDeluxe. The manual on CD, an Acrobat document (with an installer), is just as comprehensive yet in a very easy to follow style. They even cover suggestions for handling memory issues on a by platform and by program basis. This is the kind of user manual a lot of manufacturers could learn from.
And to further inspire and instruct you, there are 41 images that have been "Buzzed", in PhotoShop format, which you can can examine layer by layer to see just how things were done.
This is a something that will "save" an otherwise poor image and allow you to create a high quality painting with it rather easily. I can imagine that running some prints off on some textured papers would result in some very frameable art to be hung.
As I said at the top, this one is a definite keeper. Give the trial version a whirl and you'll see just how useful and enjoyable it is from the first time you use it.
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