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Features

On the surface, Filter Forge is just a Photoshop plugin, a pack of filters that generate textures, create visual effects, enhance photos, process images. However, there are 3 things that make Filter Forge unique:

1. You can create your own filters. Filter Forge comes with a visual node-based editor allowing you to create your own filters – textures, effects, distortions, backgrounds, frames, you name it. All filters automatically support 16- and 32-bit modes in Photoshop, real-world HDRI lighting, bump and normal maps, huge resolutions, and most filters can be seamlessly tiled.

2. You get free access to 10113 user-created filters. Anyone can contribute their textures and effects to the online filter collection so it grows with every submitted filter. This means the more people use Filter Forge, the better it gets.

3. Contributors get Filter Forge for free. You submit filters, they get popular with the users, we send you a free copy of Filter Forge. Sounds simple but don't expect a giveaway, you will have to earn it.

Features Added in Version 4.0

The long-awaited fourth version of Filter Forge is out! Explore the horizons of the new Filter Forge with the flexible filter manager, support for component grouping and loop operations, new fantastic filters, and much more.

Filter Manager

Filter Manager

The new built-in filter manager helps you organize your filter collection. You can now create an unlimited number of custom folders for user-made filters and favorites. The filter manager also features new filter history and a rehauled filter search list. Read More...

Loops and Recursions

Loops and Recursions

The Loop component brings two key concepts of programming – nested loops and recursions – into the visual environment of Filter Forge, in a way that doesn't require you to write any code. It lets you render a subtree of components multiple times and combine results of all these iterations into a single output image. Read More...

Component Grouping

Component Grouping

The grouping feature and the new Group component simplify creation of complex filters by letting filter authors "package" reusable parts of the filter tree into custom-made components with user-definable inputs and parameters. Read More...

Features Added in Version 3.0

Support for Multiple Source Images

Support for Multiple Source Images

In Filter Forge 1.0 and 2.0, one could only use a single source image or a Photoshop layer at a time. Starting with version 3.0, Filter Forge allows you to use multiple source images simultaneously. This is implemented by allowing you to load images into Color Controls and the newly introduced Grayscale Controls via the filter interface. Read More...

Progressive Previews

Progressive Previews

The idea behind progressive previews is to give you a rough, low-resolution preview of the rendered image as fast as possible, then gradually refine it in subsequent rendering passes until the image reaches the final level of quality. By default, the first rendering pass of the progressive preview is up to 16 times faster than the original preview method! Read More...

More Preview Images

More Preview Images

If you are a longtime Filter Forge user, you're probably sick and tired of the default lifesaver image that Filter Forge uses to preview rendered results – and so are we! Filter Forge 3.0 comes with 6 new preview images so you can choose the one that you like best. Each of these images comes with an alpha channel allowing you to preview your filters on images with transparent areas. Read More...

Flexible UI with Resizable Panels

Flexible UI with Resizable Panels

The most prominent innovation in the final beta stage is the flexible user interface with draggable separators. Owners of widescreen monitors will benefit from this most. Read More...

Interactive Before/After Wipe

Interactive Before/After Wipe

Filter Forge 3.0 improves interactivity when applying effect filters. We've implemented an interactive slider allowing users to see the original image and the applied effect at a time. Read More...

Bézier Curves

Bézier Curves

Bézier curves are commonly used for creating tone curves, bevel profiles and other shapes. With Filter Forge 3.0, you can draw Bézier curves within the new Bézier Curve component that features a powerful curve editor. Read More...

Edge Detector Component

Edge Detector Component

The new Edge Detector component performs edge detection, similar to certain existing filters in the filter library but faster and in a single shot. The component is highly adjustable and can output HDR colors. Read More...

Script API for Noise and Blending Modes

Script API for Noise and Blending Modes

Filter Forge 3.0 offers expanded scripting API that adds support for Perlin and uniform noise functions and allows access to the blending modes in scripts. Read More...

Other Improvements

Other Improvements

Filter Forge 3.0 includes several other improvements, which include hexadecimal color values in the Color Picker, HDR and alpha channel support for filter controls, high-precision Color Inspector, the ability to load recently-used images, a unified Bomber component and more. Read More...

Features Added in Version 2.0

Ambient Occlusion

Shadows via Ambient Occlusion

Filter Forge 2.0 takes you beyond the photorealism barrier with its fast and easy-to-use Ambient Occlusion. This shadowing technique calculates how much environmental light can reach a certain point of a surface, and darkens that point accordingly. It's mathematically accurate, it's seamless, and it dramatically enhances the level of realism. Read More...

Point and Area Lights

Point/Area Lights

Filter Forge 2.0 lets you create any number of point or area lights that allow you to specify how exactly you want your texture to be lit. You can set up almost any lighting you want – create multiple light sources, make shadows darker by setting negative lights, use 360-degree rotation, and much more. Read More...

New Lighting Options

New Lighting Options

We have completely redesigned the Lighting tab to provide an easier access to the new lightning options. The new interface allows you to adjust all the lighting elements – HDRI environment, surface height, point/area lights, ambient lighting, and ambient occlusion – using a simple unified interface. Read More...

HDR Colors

Full HDR Support

Filter Forge 2.0 supports high dynamic range (HDR) colors across its entire rendering pipeline, from input images through components to rendered results. Over 60% of Filter Forge components now support HDR colors with unlimited channel values, both positive and negative. You are free to use colors as bright as you want – the Sun's the limit! Read More...

Color Inspector

Color Inspector

Color Inspector is a tool that shows the exact RGB output values of any map component, right in the Filter Editor. It fully supports unlimited HDR colors and can show any value – huge or small, positive or negative. This tool is essential for debugging and fine-tuning complex filters. Read More...

Bomber Component

Bomber Component

The new Bomber is an incredibly versatile, very fast component that lets you spray multiple image particles in a controlled manner – it lets you specify over 30 particle placement, coloration and randomization parameters, most of which can be mapped with images – which gives you tons of creative power! The Bomber component has an HDR-enabled counterpart which can accept and output HDR colors but has fewer blending modes. Read More...

Transform Components

Transform Components (Scale, Rotate and More)

Filter Forge 2.0 includes four new transform components (Scale, Rotate, Flip and Lookup), as well as an updated version of the Offset component. Most inputs of these new components, including point coordinates, can be specified by very large values and can be mapped with components that output HDR colors. Imagine the possibilities! Read More...

Polygon and Ellipse Components

Polygon and Ellipse Components

Filter Forge 2.0 now includes a Polygon component which lets you generate symmetrical N-gons and stars with adjustable round corners, and an Ellipse component that generates circles and ellipses. These seemingly simple components have a lot of mappable inputs, so their titular shapes can be easily morphed into a variety of other things, often quite unexpected. Read More...

Free Gradients and Shapes

Free Gradients and Shapes

Filter Forge 2.0 now includes a versatile Free Gradient component with three gradient modes (Linear, Radial and Angular) and arbitrary endpoint coordinates that can be mapped with HDR values. Besides, non-seamless versions of the Ellipse and Polygon components and a brand-new Free Rectangle component are not constrained by the image boundaries. Read More...

Lua Scripting

Filter Forge 2.0 introduces probably the most significant improvement in its history – scripting! Basically, scripting allows you to implement your own components with custom inputs and internal logic. Scripts in Filter Forge 2.0 are written in Lua, a blazing-fast scripting language held by numerous developers as a number one choice for embedded scripting. Read More...

RGB Math Components

RGB Math Components

Filter Forge 2.0 includes 24 new RGB Math components that operate on RGB color channels include arithmetic, trigonometry, power, roots and logarithms, rounding, conditional operations, linear interpolation and directional derivatives. Due to the newly-added support for unlimited HDR colors, these new components can operate on unlimited numeric values from tiny fractions to trillions, positive or negative. Read More...

Instant Filter Search

Instant Filter Search

To make life easier for people with large filter collections, Filter Forge 2.0 introduces an instant filter search that lets you quickly find filters as you type, searching filter names, descriptions, authors and keywords, and displaying the results immediately. No more fuss with the categories – just type what you want and get it in less than a second! Read More...

Median, Minimum, Maximum and Percentile Components

Median, Minimum, Maximum and Percentile Components

With these new components, you can now perform minimum, median, maximum and custom-percentile filtering. The Median and Percentile components are especially handy for creating a wide variety of artistic effects, thanks to their ability to simplify the source image by removing small details while preserving the edges. Read More...

Non-Seamless filters

Non-Seamless Filters

Since the beginning, Filter Forge was all about seamless textures. But times are changing – Filter Forge 2.0 is no longer confined to seamlessly-tiled filters. Unrestricted, non-tiled textures and effects are now first-class citizens of Filter Forge. Support for non-seamless filters enables long-requested features: unrestricted transforms (Scale, Rotate, Offset, Flip and Lookup) and non-tiled Free Gradient, Ellipse, Polygon and Rectangle components. Read More...

Features Added in Version 1.0

Filter Editor

Filter Editor

The most important feature of Filter Forge – a visual node-based editor which lets you create your own visual effects and procedural textures. Read More...

Online Filter Library

Online Filter Library

Filter Library is a free online repository of filters submitted by Filter Forge users. You can access the Library directly from the user interface of Filter Forge. Users who contribute good filters can earn rewards, including a free copy of Filter Forge.

Seamless Tiling

Seamless Tiling

Most filters in Filter Forge support seamless tiling, even for non-square textures. A simple one-click operation, Seamless Tiling works no matter whether you have downloaded the filter or created it yourself in Filter Editor. Read more...

Bump and Normal Maps

Bump and Normal Maps

Filter Forge can generate diffuse, bump, specular and normal maps for its filters – most seamlessly tiled, and all fully anti-aliased and perfectly matching each other – a real life-saver for artists working on textures for next-gen games. Read more...

Resolution Independenc

Resolution Independence

All filters in Filter Forge are generated procedurally and don't depend on external bitmaps; therefore, they are resolution-independent. You can render the same filter in any resolution without losing any detail. Read more...

HDRI Lighting

HDRI Lighting

Instead of the old-style point lights, Filter Forge lighting system uses high dynamic range images that capture real-world lighting conditions. As a result, you get real-world lighting which takes almost no time to set up. Read more...

16- and 32-Bit Image Modes

16- and 32-Bit Image Modes

Filter Forge uses a full floating-point rendering pipeline, which allows it to support 16-bit and 32-bit image modes in Photoshop.

Floating-Point File Formats

Floating-Point File Formats

You can save your work in high-precision image formats such as OpenEXR or PFM. Unlike the traditional image formats such as JPG or BMP, these formats use floating-point numbers to store the pixels, which allows to retain every single bit of precision.

Smart Anti-Aliasing

Smart Anti-Aliasing

Anti-aliasing, when done in the usual brute-force way, can be devastating to rendering speed. Filter Forge applies anti-aliasing only to those areas of the image that tend to produce aliasing artifacts, which results in vastly improved rendering times. Read More...

Multi-core CPU Support

Multi-core CPU Support

Filter Forge rendering engine is built to fully utilize the power of dual-core and quad-core processors. A multi-core processor can speed the rendering up to 96% (83 to 86% is the norm). Once we even saw a speedup of 115% – don't ask, we have no idea how that is possible! Read More...

Standalone Version

Standalone Version

Filter Forge can work as a Photoshop plugin or a standalone application. Actually, the plugin part of Filter Forge is tiny – all it does is sending and retrieving the images. All processing is done within the main application.

Huge Resolutions

Huge Resolutions

The biggest one we tried was 65536x65536 pixels – and it worked! Granted, it took hours, but anyway! Furthermore, the interface remained responsive – we were able to zoom and pan the preview while rendering that monstrosity.

Presets

Presets

You can save the settings of any filter as a preset to recall them at any time. All filters included with Filter Forge come with factory presets that give you a glimpse of what a filter can do and provide a good starting point to explore the filter's settings. Read More...

Randomizer

Randomizer

With Randomizer, you can randomize filter settings in one mouse click – a relief for those who don't want to learn the controls just to explore a filter. You can configure the randomization strength, plus there's a Back button allowing you to return to the previously generated settings in case you click Next too eagerly. Read More...

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The Filter Forge Watercolor filter is so realistic that it’s scary. It is soooooooo GREAT! Trust me, you definitely need to check this out.

Russell Brown
Senior Creative Director
Adobe Inc.
www.russellbrown.com

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