The long-awaited third version of Filter Forge is out! Explore the horizons of the new powerful Filter Forge with support for multiple source images, revamped user interface, improved preview interactivity, new amazing filters, and much more.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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