Filter Forge is – by quite a margin – the most powerful plug-in we've looked at here. That's because it's a tool for creating plug-ins, both generative texture-creation tools and effect filters.
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“For 3D modelers, Filter Forge is a dream come true. It creates seamless textures with a single mouse click. The professional version creates the following map types for any texture: bump, normal, specular strength, specular exponent, diffuse, metallic, and alpha. The same filter can be used to generate any resolution, since filters are procedural.”
“It's a powerful and logical way of creating effects that's relatively easy to learn by seeing how other effects are built. Creating filters from scratch is time-consuming, but for a wider user group, it's a great way to modify already-created effects.”