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Eye Candy 4000 by Alien Skin Software
Reviewed by Joyce Turner


Eye Candy 4000 is a major upgrade to Alien Skin Software's Eye Candy 3. This collection of 23 special effects combines often used filters like shadows, bevels and glows with stunning effects like Chrome, Smoke, Fire, Melt, Drip, Marble, Wood and Corona . The Eye Candy 4000 interface contains dozens of new controls and yet remains compact, clearly organized and easy to use. New mouseover help strings in the status bar have been added for all elements of the preview window so that one easily understands what the control does. If a filter has a large number of sliders, they have been organized onto tabs for ease of use. Lighting, Color and Bevel Profile tabs are used in several filters.

Description: Eye Candy 4000 by Alien Skin Software, L.L.C. is a wonderful upgrade to a terrific product. This new version has 23 superb filters and lets one move among the filters easily. One can switch filters and preview them within the same window as long as one does not apply the filter. This allows one to choose which filter will be the best without having to open a new window to try each filter. Some of the old filters have been combined and there are 5 new filters: Marble, Wood, Drip, Melt and Corona.

The controls are easier to use. In some filters there is a Bevel Profile Editor and/or a Color Gradient Editor. One can use the effects to make seamless tiles for backgrounds. There is unlimited "undo" and "redo". Settings that you make and save as presets can then be emailed to friends. There are mouseover descriptions in the status bar for all controls.

Shortcuts are identical to those in Photoshop. Sliders now use real-world parameter units to create effects that are resolution-independent in Photoshop--a major time-saver for users who move frequently from print to the Web. In Photoshop (not in PSP), one can view all the layers while working on one. To do this, one must choose, "Show All Layers" and you see all the layers above and below where you are working. The filters work as Live Effects in Macromedia Fireworks 3 and Deneba Canvas 7. To visit the Alien Skin Software Site use this Link.

Cost: Full Version: $169 : PSPUG members, check our Special Offers Page for the current special offer.

Requirements:

Windows
  • Adobe Photoshop 4.0 or later (includes Photoshop 6)
  • Macromedia Fireworks 2 or later (the filters work as "live effects" in Fireworks 3)
  • Jasc Paint Shop Pro 5.0 or later
Macintosh
  • Adobe Photoshop 4.0 or later (includes Photoshop 6)
  • Macromedia Fireworks 2 or later (all filters work as "live effects" in Fireworks 3)
  • Adobe Image Ready 1.0 or later
  • Deneba Canvas 6.0 or later (all filters work as "live effects" in Canvas 7)

Platforms:

Windows 98/NT4/2000/Me
  • Pentium II class processor
  • 32 mg of physical ram
  • Color monitor with a 24-bit or greater video card.
Macintosh
  • PowerPC Processor
  • Mac System Software 8.6 or later
  • 32 MB of physical RAM
  • Color monitor with a 24-bit or greater video card.

Installation: Installation is discussed in the manual for both Windows and Macintosh. Eye Candy 4000 does not overwrite Eye Candy 3.0.

Manual: A manual is provided and gives information about installation and use of the filters.

Illustrations: Illustrations made by the reviewer using Eye Candy 4000 by Alien Skin Software, L.L.C.

Reviewer's Remarks: Eye Candy 4000's ability to enable one to try different filters without having to reopen the interface between opening each filter is a great time saver. Both Chrome and Bevel Boss make lovely frames as well as many other terrific effects. In using the "make seamless tile" effect, I found one should make the image fairly large and then reduce it so that there are no lines where the tiles meet. The Bevel Profile window allows one to make many interesting alterations to the effects. If one makes a really good effect, one can save the settings as a new preset. The new filters: Marble, Wood, Drip, Melt and Corona can be used to create remarkable effects.

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