Photoshop plugins + tutorials

BEST Plugins for Photoshop CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 CS4 PSP Painter GIMP etc: Blurs, smears, paint etc as well as information about other plugins (included with Photoshop as well as third party filters) such as cutout filter, bas relief, analog efex, watercolor effects, halftones, twirl plugin, flame render etc


Buy 180 plugins set

Introduction to the Photoshop plugins

output settings and blends

Additional plugin effects

Effects modes in Andrew's Plugins

Installation of Andrew's Plugins


Trace images in Photoshop for vectors

Create a voronoi

Twirl filter effect

Use of the flame plugin render

circle effect using halftone plugin

watercolor effect

Analog Efex plugin (NIK set)

Bas relief and gradient effect

Use of cutout plugin in Photoshop

fragment plugin

Maximum plugin for blurry effects

free plugins


Buy Plugin set. Photoshop / psp plugins


BUY $6.49 US Dollars for the entire collection of 180 plugins of amazing effects for the PC (Windows) inc. blurs, gradients, textures, noise etc. An amazing collection of millions of effects for the PC. Use in Photoshop, PaintShop Pro and many others Plugins gallery

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Intro. 180 Plugins for Adobe ® Photoshop ®CC 2019 2018 2017 / 2015 2014 CS6 CS5 CS4 CS3 etc etc as well as Corel Paint Shop Pro 2018 X9 X8 X7 X6 X5 X4 etc, Photo-Paint, Painter and many others for PC 64bit / 32 bit effects for use on the PC - millions of stunning effects such as blur effects + blocky effects + gradient tools + color effects + edges + Photographic tools + distortions + smears + threshold effects + posterization + warp tool and many more. On buying the set, you receive all 180 filters as well as documentation and a serial number for any future updates. The gradients effects 8BF alone include millions of variant gradient effects for the most amazing and unique color effects around. Each of the tools includes 100 different output modes along with effect modes for blurring and smearing and paint like effects; the 8BF tools also include zillions of color options as well as gradient color overlays and randomization options to create a vast array of unique wow effects. 64bit & 32bit versions included. You can also combine the effects in Adobe ® Photoshop ® using scripting and PS actions. From the creator of the Andrew's 1000 filter series.



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Output settings for the tools. The Photoshop plugins (Andrew) include 100 output settings such as invert the image, apply only to the red channel, wrap the color, limit the colors to the current foreground and BG color range, set to difference, darken only, different darken effects, many types of tiling, zapped color effects, Edge effects, Posterization etc. Output settings (or blending modes) are like additional filters added to the effect, adding millions and millions of new creative effects. You can still use the standard blending modes and opacity that are available to the app such as darken etc as well as fade the result via the fade command.

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Andrew's plugins. All the tools include 18 post processing / effect modes settings such as applying a randomized blend to the end result of the filter effect and includes billions of amazing combinations. The randomized color blends effects and blends can add subtle color changes to any image or text or layer. The color effect combinations can range to millions and millions of unique color effects such as quadrant effects and also linear gradient effects, square themed gradient blends and many more. They can be saved as an action so you can use the actions in batch processing / scripting. You can combine many of the effects, combine them with native Adobe ® Photoshop ® effects and save as an action. Re-use the action in future image processing. They can be used in RGB as well as CMYK and Grayscale and LAB as well as in 16 bits / channel (for many of the features). Change the image mode via the image command in Adobe ® Photoshop ® from RGB to CMYK and they will still appear enabled in the filters menu, apply your effects in CMYK. You can also go to the channels panel and apply the effects to individual channels as well as use them via the split channels and merge channel feature. You can use the 8BF tools in individual channels in most color modes but you can also modify the end result on a channel by channel basis by using the red and green and blur sliders included in all the tools. You can make the entire image a whole lot redder or greener etc. You can also randomize the colors by clicking the color setting button. You can also apply a color factor in many tools so the reds will be set to 110% of the red channel etc as well as adding the current red channel plus a set of 10 etc up to the allowed maximum for the channel (there are also wrap features which means the channel wrapping can wrap from 255 (white) back to 0 (black). All come with a selection of randomization controls such as the "Xtreme" which randomizes the most settings to the extreme, creating literally millions and millions of image effects. The "blend" control randomizes the blend / output options so click the blend and the image will invert or a frame will appear or the red color will become dominant. The "tweak" control applies subtle variations of the current settings and will modify only some of the controls - useful if you are fairly close to a setting but just want to tryout certain close settings (good idea perhaps to save the settings before you click the extreme or color etc as you will not be able to undo or return to the earlier settings. All contain their own unique tools settings: some are much the same in many of the tools such as a factor control which controls the color of the image as well as the mix tools which control the blend with the effect and the original source image. There are check-boxes such as inverse or link r-g-b etc which links the channel information to the red channel settings (useful for grayscale etc effects). If you apply the effect on a layer, the alpha channel can also be modified by the effect as well as the image itself. There are many different layer / alpha channel modification settings such as adding the red channel of the effect to the alpha channel, or applying a blend to to the alpha channel, or inversing of the effect, edge settings and many more. You can also then use the result of any alpha channel with the layer effects / styles such as unique drop shadows or unique textures / bevels. Some of the functionality of the tools use the foreground and background color stored in the toolbar of Photoshop. You can use that to create millions of unique color effects by simply changing the colors in the toolbar. All the effects include a large preview screen to show the effect. You can go in and out within limits. The preview in many cases can also be used as an interactive tool to change the settings of some fields, simply click the preview to select the color or change the intensity of an effect. The effects work with the new smart objects feature. You can add them to all kinds of layers and shapes and then simply go over to the layers panel and de-select or remove them from the smart filters as well as change any of the settings and the end result of the effect. You can move them up and down the chain of effects. You can use them in the video timeline as well.

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Effect modes for amazing effects. How to use the powerful effects modes feature in the Andrew's Plugins. Filter menu for Photoshop or psp etc. AP Threshold and then Threshold - color lite (all the plugins have the effect modes but I have chosen color lite). Goto to the effects modes combo. Select 'shift subtle' for a subtle distortion. Change the effects mode (EM) setting to the maximum to distort the image. Click OK. The effects modes can be found in the middle of the dialog and are linked to the mode slider. The higher the mode slider will result, the greater the amount of blur and smear and noise will be taken from the source filter. If you use the effects modes in the plugins, the filter is applied as a blur or sepia etc and not as the actual filter. Basic mode - (this is the default) and just applies the tool as is and doesn't use it as a source for anything. Tone mode - uses the EM to modify the tone of an image. Shift subtle - uses the EM to create a subtle distortion / paint like. Shift extreme - painted / colorful distorted results. Shift horizontal - uses the EM to create horizontal distortion of the image. Cutoff mode - uses the EM as a threshold for the image. Cutoff1 - a variant threshold . Smear - uses the EM to smear / blurry smear the image. Horizontal blur - uses the EM to blur the image horizontally. Blur color - uses the EM to blur but blurs with emphasis on color. Smear color - uses the EM to smear and color the artwork. Smeary color - a variant of the smear color but more extreme. Smear horizontal - horizontal smear applied to an image. Old smear - a sepia smearing / vintage sepia added to the image. Gray - a variant smearing but this time grayscale. Overlay - a colorful result heavily depending on the EM setting. Grain - a noise added to the image. Jitter - a variant grain / noise. Doubled / Doubled2 - color modification. The result of the EM settings and dropdown can vary depending on the strength and setting and the image itself. Sometimes the results will be magical but in many cases, you can only push the image so far. The extreme button does not randomize the mode related settings.



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Installation of Andrew's plugins. How to install Andrew's Photoshop plugins tutorial - They are supplied in standard 8BF format files for CC 2019 2018 2017 etc (other sets such as Analog have their own installers). Download the plugin set from the the site (such as graphicxtras) on purchase of the set or if you are using any of the sampler sets found on this site. Unzip the zip (the file should unzip on double clicking the set on Windows) to see all the 8BF files (or access the installer application if available and run and follow the instructions). In an explorer window, select all the files and then copy all the 8BF Photoshop plugin files to install in the plugins folder for the application. Place the 8BF files in the filters path of the host application such as in "program files" or "applications" and sub folder of the application. Start application. Access the plugins via the filter menu (though the actual category or menu name may vary if using PSP etc). Another way to add them is to go to the preferences section of Photoshop and go to plug-ins and then set an additional folder option to ON and then browse for that folder. Once selected, you can then use that as a source for all your 8BF files. Re-start the application and all the files will be added to the filter menu of the application.



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Recommendations. 'Totally fascinated with the graphicxtras tools', 'Use them 90% of the time for mixing colors to achieve artistic effects' - Jeff Wietor ( "In the growing market of filters Andrew's work shines above the mediocrity of mostly uninspired "effects". His work is not only inexhaustible in scope and variety it is original and fresh. Andrew's Filters, settings, do not just blur the distance between effects and art, his work is art. Welcome to the future." Dede Kafka

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Other plugins and filters for Photoshop and how to use them. Below a selection of tutorials about general filters and plugins such as plugins that are included with Photoshop.


Tracing images. How to trace images in Photoshop CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc ? Open image for trace. Image menu and adjustments and black and white. Set image adjustment as required. Filter menu and stylize and find edges. Select menu and color range. Set fuzziness as required (96 etc) and OK. Select menu and inverse. Window menu and path panel. Make work path. Set tolerance (2). Edit menu and define custom shape of the trace. OK, the result is not as elegant as perhaps using traces via other application (such as in AI). You now have a vectorized design of the original photo, well at least in a sketch form. You can make some modifications to the image before you use the selection. You can also use other filters to achieve a nice line design in PS such as using the filter menu and filter gallery poster edges command. Set the edge thickness to 5 etc and edge intensity to 5 and posterization as required (perhaps 1). Goto the image menu and adjustments and exposure and set the value fairly high to make the image whiter but still keep the lines in place. The image looks more cartoon like. Select menu and color range and select the black. Set the fuzziness high. Paths panel and make work path and set tolerance to 2. Edit menu and define custom shape. You can now apply the vectorized design as a shape. Set the foreground to black and the background to white in the toolbar. Goto the filter menu and filter gallery and then sketch section and halftone. Set to circle type and set the contrast high and set the size to 3 or 4 etc. Click OK. Go to the magic wand (in the toolbar) and select the black and then select menu and select similar. Goto the path menu and make work path and click OK. This is probably my favorite quick tracing method. Set the foreground to black and background to white in the toolbar. Go to the filter menu and filter gallery and sketch section and photocopy. Set detail and darkness to low settings. Click OK. You may wish to now use the image menu and adjustments and threshold to create a solely black and white image. Use the magic wand and select the darkest part of the image and then select menu and select similar. Go to the path panel and right click and make work path. The result can be fairly crude and is very dependent on the image. Not really the best application for this but it can be done and the best approach would be layers. Again, probably best to use a filter like poster edge to reduce the colors before you work on this. Break the image up into layers and then create a vector selection of each of those layers and then you have an entire vector design (but spread over multiple layers and perhaps stored as individual custom shapes). Use the magic wand and select areas of the image using the required tolerance. Go to the paths panel and then use the make work path. Go to the pen tool and just click the shape button (note that this is not available in 2018 etc but in earlier versions of PS, you can now do the same if you select the rectangle etc tool instead) and that converts the just generated path into a shape. Now set the color for that. Repeat that with the other parts of the image depending how complex or basic you want your vector design to be based on the image. Again, AI or a Corel product or online tool is a better option. You can, of course, just use a pen tool or the curvature tool and create individual paths by eye. Click the document and create a shape based on the underlying image (use the eyedropper to select the color for the area you want to trace). You can create multiple shapes which can then be re-colored as required. Personally, I generally add the image on the top layer and set the opacity to 50% so I can see what I am tracing with the shapes. All the generated shape layers are below the actual image. Once you have finished, you can then delete the original image.



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Voronoi. How to create a voronoi effect in CC 2019 2018 - CS5 etc ? Create a new document for the voronoi. Filter menu and noise and then Add noise (amount 150), uniform and OK. Filter and pixelate plugin. Crystallize - cell size 50. Filter menu (continue to make line voronoi). Stylize and Find edges. Image menu and Adjustments and then Black and white to create B&W voronoi. Add perhaps more noise. Or perhaps apply effects to the noise such as adding a blur to the source material. Use less noise as well. There are also different noises available in PS via the gallery filters. The result of the crystallize ends up very similar but if you use a blurry filter beforehand, the design does end up slightly more averaged out. Or apply adjustments to the noise such as hue / saturation and colorize in the image menu to create red noise which then can be turned into a red crystal effect. You can also repeat the effect multiple times to create variations there. You can also vary the cell size. You can go for a small cell size and get a lot of color fragments in the image or you can go for a large cell size and create less colors. You can re-color the generated artwork in numerous ways via the image menu and adjustments and then use color lookup to change the color of the generated diagram. You can also use black and white adjustment to change it into a black and white diagram. You can make a smeary design by using oil paint filter. Or perhaps use the find edges filter to just create a line design.



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Twirl. How to use the twirl filter in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 2014 etc The tool can be used to warp and distort images and type and layers in 1000s of ways. Open an image for use with the twirl plugin and then Filter menu and Distort followed by Twirl filter (TF). Set angle and OK. You don't have to use the effect just once, it can be applied multiple times. Sometimes the result of multiple applications can be quite interesting. For example, Apply the effect and go to the repeat at the top of the menu (instead of going through the distort menu all the time). The image on the left is the result of three applies of the effect (the image at the top of the page is a single application). The result is more like a spiral design. You do not have to re-apply it with the same settings though. You can just go to the distort menu and run it again but with a different settings such as using the opposite angle to apply and you can make the effect go in the opposite way (though the setting was a little more subtle this time). The twirl filter can be used in actions as well as blended with other effects to create many truly unique distortions. The filter can be used to create extreme designs as well as very subtle warping to an image as well as objects such as type. The action on the left uses the effect multiple times and combines with the liquify tool. Set the angle (really that is all there is, that has been the same way for years and years with the TF - there is no control for the center and no strength or variation of effect such as inverted etc). You can use the entire image but you can also use the twirl effect with a selection. So you can apply the effect to multiple areas across the image without affecting the other areas. For example, Open image and select part of the image using the marquee tool and then use the effect with the current settings or change the settings and then de-select and then use the selection again in a different part of the image. The center of the effect is now no longer in the center of the image (not particular ideal but it is a way around the lack of of center control. You can also re-apply this but you can also just select another part of the image and then apply the twirl plugin to that and then move to another and apply it again and again such as in the image on the right with multiple applications of the effect. It should be noted that the effect really doesn't like the edge of an image and squeezes the effect into the selection and doesn't just warp the image and leave the rest not displayed). The selection does not need to be circular. You don't have to apply it just on its own. You can use it with other effects. For example, use the effect and then go to the wave effect and use that - you can add other effects such as oil paint or camera raw to modify the result in countless ways. The result can be quite a distorted design. You can also use other distort tools or maximize effect to create many different types of curled designs in Photoshop such as on the right (uses the roundness setting and maximum). The twirl can also be used with channels and use them in separate channels to create interesting color artworks. Go to the window menu and channel panel and Select the red channel and run the TF via the distort menu as before. Change settings. Select the green channel and use the effect again but with different settings / angle. Goto the blue channel. Different angle again. The image on the left uses different centers for the twirl by using different selections and also different angles but the same approach with the channels. You can use the effect with layers and type is just a layer. For example, Select the type tool and add some new type such as Lorem ipsum etc and then apply the TF and you will see that the application will display a convert to smart object dialog (you could of course use the convert to smart object command on the type beforehand) and click OK the effect and set the angle value for the effect. The type can be a lot more than just a single word. You can use an entire page and then distort that. If you wish to apply different centers then it is best to just flatten the type and then select the type in different parts of the image. For example, Add the type and then Select using the selection tools (such as a circular selection). Apply the plugin and set the settings for the angle and then move the selection using the selection tool and apply the effect again. You can create interesting designs from the same image but one that has been duplicated multiple times as layers and then blended using different blending modes in Photoshop and combined with different settings of TF on different layers. For example, Open image and Layer menu and duplicate (repeat a few times). Go to the each layer and apply the TF with different angles and then go to the layers and set different blending modes such as difference or darken etc to create an unique effect for your distortion. You can also add effects to the layers to perhaps blur the effect. You can apply the effect to an image and then edit menu and fade and then use a different blending mode and opacity and the effect will not be so extreme. For example, apply effect and go to the edit menu and select the Fade. Change the blending mode for the applied effect (such as difference or darken etc) as well as opacity. The image on the right uses two TF applications and both have been faded with blending mode of difference and opacity of 50% and mixed with a little vibrance to bring out the design. You can use the TF with layers to create some really oddball distorted designs. Shift the center of the layer from the center of the image and layer will be warped and distorted and then you can duplicate that or move it and re-apply or perhaps combine multiple layers of the distorted design and create unusual surfaces and textures. For example, duplicate layer and shift center of layer. Apply the TF and then duplicate and duplicate etc and re-position those layers across the document to create some truly extreme warping and distorted. The image can then be modified by the TF again perhaps with all the layers merged and then to smooth things a little, use an oil paint effect once or twice. Go to the toolbar and select one of the shape tools such as polygon. Set to star mode via the options. Set number of points to 12. Apply the artwork as a layer and go to the layer menu and smart objects and convert. Place the object in the center of the document. If not, the distort will be slightly or a lot off center. Once you have the shape as a smart object, go to the effect and apply with an angle of 200. You can do much the same with custom shapes etc



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Flame filter. How to use the flame filter plugin in Photoshop CC 2019 2018 etc for fire and fiery effects and realistic effects. Create a path using the pen tool or use a custom shape / path or copy a path in from Illustrator etc for use with the flame filter. Make certain the path is selected in the path panel. Probably best to work on a layer so create new layer via layer menu for the flame. Filter menu. Render and Flame. The key thing is to remember to create a path otherwise you will not be able to use the tool. There are a lot of settings but the key ones are on the basic tab. Click on the advanced tab to modify the resulting effect in 1000s of ways and you can create all kinds of amazing designs Basic tab has type + length + random length + width + angle + interval + use custom color quality. The advanced tab has turbulent + jag + opacity + complexity + bottom alignment + style + shapes + random shapes + arrangement. I would love to see a randomizer option here but the random shapes is a nice feature though there is not a huge variation (as if all the fields were randomized) The basic tab still has a lot of functionality and also complexity and changing the type can slow the tool down quite a bit especially selecting the multiple options (the multiple options allow for the width angle etc to be accessible). Simply by changing settings for the length down to 5 (the minimum) with the multiple, you can create some oddball designs. Changing the custom color from orange to blue can create cold chilly artwork. When it comes to trying out the tool and the different settings, it is probably best to set the quality to draft (fast) as the art can be really great looking but processing can take a lot longer. Personally, I generally use the one flame and candle option but the multiple are useful for some very interesting designs spread over a large area. The thing about the fiery render is that it can be applied on a layer as well as a background (any color of background) so you can always run the tool multiple times resulting in renders that can be re-aligned and blended in different ways. You can see an example of the candle light opposite. Personally, I would probably turn it upside down and would be then more convincing but that was the generated result from the default. You can change the width for the candle light and you can see the individual strands of image that make up the image. Multiple fiery design and one direction example - In this case the angle has been set to make the render go to the right (see the image on the right) but you can set the angle of the flame to any direction. Looks a bit like a a long burning stick or a fence blazing in the wind. There are some settings only available for multiple option. Width setting is probably the most extreme setting and if you want to fill the screen with your generated artwork then set that to a high value. Interval - set low to create the greatest density of flame and set high for a more loose fire. Setting the length to a high value results in an unusual fiery design especially with a high interval and high width. The FF generates more than its fair share of abstract designs which maybe useful just for creating interesting backgrounds. You can create a very thin jet design by setting the turbulent setting very low. The result looks more realistic with a moderate setting of turbulence (such as on the left). If you set the value to high, the art is all over the place and fills the image. If you have a low turbulent setting and set the length low, you can see the very thin lines (multiple type). Jag adds its own touch, set the value low and the image is far more concentrated, have the jag value high and the results looks more random. The higher jag settings spreads the FF effect a little wider. The opacity is similar to the opacity in the application in general, set the value low and the artwork will be very faint and hardly visible but set the opacity value high and you can see the result of the jagged dabs and the image looks more abstract. Opacity works best with lower values. If you set the opacity value very low, the result can look very misty (especially with a wide setting of jag) as on the left (you can set the color to anything so you do not need to have an orange or yellow look, it can end up being green or blue or gray etc). If you set the opacity to a high value, the result can be an abstract shape, especially if you randomize the shapes (or just select different arrangement settings). Complexity - Lower values result in a more abstract chunky design (not realistic) but complexity high and the result is a very smooth design. Bottom arrangement is probably the most extreme and works best with low values, with high values the result is a large fiery design but it not very realistic. Styles - The descriptions are of interest but the normal seems more violent than the violent. Flat looks more smudged but hardly flat. Shape option - does create some interesting variations but with some settings such as low width and low length etc, it would be hard to notice any difference. The arrangement setting probably makes the most extreme changes and most interesting changes with the FF but there is little offered to what they do, beyond (I assume as I am certain there is little difference between a 30 and 31 yet the FF changes considerably). You can really create all kinds of abstract artwork with the tool. Really depends also on the path being used but if you use the following Type - first entry + Width 999 + Turbulent 80 + Opacity 20 + lines 10 + bottom 99 + Default shape and style + Arrangement 34.4. The example is just one but lots of different combinations can be used to create weird and wonderful abstract backgrounds. You can apply the effect again with the repeat filter but the result may not have any randomization and so the same artwork is created. Create a new layer and then re-do the render panel and change the arrangement slightly and click OK. Now you can combine the two layers using blending modes or perhaps combine them with other effects such as using gaussian blurs on the render and then use blends such as darken or overlay. You can use the the tool render with different path and use that to create all kinds of fiery artworks. Set many of the other settings low otherwise the turbulent etc will be too great. Set the width reasonably low as well. Keep the bottom alignment low. Vary things by using the arrangement setting or randomize shapes. You can add fiery artwork to cubes, stars, letters, circles, etc as well as things like jigsaw puzzle designs or pens etc. On the right, a flower design was used. You do not need to use them only on one layer, you can apply the render on different layers and then combine the results. You can also add styles to the rendered design. The image on the left was applied on a layer by using the render on an embellished and swirled design and the artwork was then modified by using a style (you can find 7000 styles on this site with a mix of styles that work super well with the fire designs). The style includes a bevel and highlights etc. You can use many of the shapes on the site as well as the shapes that come with Photoshop. The shapes can be turned into all kinds of fiery themed artwork such as on the right. In most cases, the settings have all been set to low values otherwise you may find the image and the preview totally full of the same color. You can also add effects to them such as oil paint as well as blurs and camera raw and many more. You can also use the renders with type / text in 1000s of ways to create some truly extreme fiery designs. Type some characters and then goto the Type menu and create work path and then Create new layer and apply the render to create a truly unique fiery type effect in seconds. You may find an error message appears saying about the length of the path, the render still seems to work fine though the preview is perhaps not the same as the result. You may also wish to hide the type or delete that type layer. Different settings such as candle light can result in more abstract type generated by the render such as on the left.



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Circles. How to create a circle themed background using the Photoshop halftone filter / plugin in the filter gallery. Select the elliptical marquee tool. Apply and hold the shift key down, Release (you can make the selection as small or as big as required) or no selection for an entire background. Set the foreground and background color such as black and green or black and white. Filter menu and filter gallery and Sketch section and halftone filter. Select pattern type of circles and set the size and contrast (I am going for 4 and 37 respectively) for the intense circular background and OK. Copy and de-select and then paste a new layer with the halftone filter. You now have the result of the halftone filter as a layer and that can be duplicated. Select layer and Alt / option and duplicate the layer multiple times and shift these 'halftone filter' layers across the document. Select one layer and then edit and transform and scale. Re-size to two thirds of the original. Alt / option and duplicate multiple times. Repeat and re-size that re-sized layer of the halftone filter effect. Alt / option and duplicate multiple times. Set the foreground and background to the colors you want and then apply the halftone filter via the filter gallery to the entire document. Go to the layer menu and duplicate the layer multiple times (there is duplicate copies command though). Go to the edit menu and transform and distort one of the layers. Repeat with the other layers and distort them to fill the artwork with different angled distortions of the artwork



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Watercolor. How to create a watercolor paint effect using paths using plugins (flame) in Photoshop CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 etc. Create a white background and go to the shape tool in toolbar. Create a new layer. Select a preset and use path option and apply and then Filter menu and render and flame. Set the custom color to yellow etc and use the flame type one flame along path. Set width for the 'watercolor' paint to a low setting. Goto advanced and set opacity to low and click randomize option at bottom of panel - click ok. Create a new layer and re-apply render using a different color and then repeat this multiple times. You can build up multiple layers with different renders in different colors. As the flame render comes with a number of randomization features, you can create multiple renders in red and green and blue etc to create all kinds of watercolor paint effects in Photoshop. Set the width to 5 etc and then set the custom color. Go to the advanced section and make the opacity very low and have randomize shapes on. You can also tweak the jag and turbulent values (keep low) as well as flame lines. There is a preview to show the general idea of the added flame. To the right you can see a flame render of a circle path and greens and reds and blues have been used with subtle changes to the turbulent etc settings. You can add into the mix a number of different blending modes or perhaps set the opacity for the render layers to 50%. You can also apply the render and then go to the edit menu and use the fade command and change the opacity to less than 100% and change the blending to darken or lighten to create different watercolor Photoshop paint effect or sketch effects with the same shape. On the left, the renders have been applied to a layer and the layer has then had the opacity setting reduced to 70% or so instead of just the standard 100%. You can also use the same path (or custom shape) but you can also use the tools to shift the artwork or transform the designs and then re-render the design. You can also use the pen tools / curvature tool as well as direct selection tool to manipulate the path and move the points a little and then re-apply the flame render to create subtle different lines. In the image on the right the circle render has been slightly distorted and the render has been added in screen blending mode for the circle. The example is a circle but custom shapes can be used as well as perhaps a tracing of an image produced in Illustrator via the trace tool and re-imported into PS - though it should be noted that the application will throw up a warning that the render may be slow. You can also then use tools such as the blur and smudge tool or filters such as liquify to move the individual paint on each of the layers to give the appearance of smearing and blending of the art. You can use this approach with a single vector design or perhaps use multiple vectors. In the image on the left, a circle path has been used and a new layer has been created with each render and then effects such as blurs and liquify have been added to change the rendered circle. You can merge all the layers via the layer menu and then drag the merged layer into the CC library panel (found via the window menu) and the artwork is then saved to the Adobe server. The artwork can then also be used in applications such as Adobe Illustrator and After Effects and used in videos. You can save the design as a PSD file or PNG file or JPG and use the design in applications such as Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer and GIMP and Krita.



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Analog efex. A quick guide to Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin for Photoshop etc and application from NIK / google and use it for distortions, motion blur, bokeh effects, light leaks, frames, multi-lens effects etc in Photoshop etc. For Analog Efex Pro 2 plugin, start the application and open a normal file or image or photograph etc. Goto to the filter menu. NIK collection and Analog Efex Pro 2 (AEP). Go to the camera selector such as classic camera, black and white etc. Select a preset. Tweak settings for the preset via right side menu. You can then save the result for use in another application. The AEP plugin is accessible in many different applications such as Photoshop, Affinity Photo and is available for the pc and mac. You can also use the Analog Efex as an application so there is no need for Photoshop or other applications. The key thing here is that you have to open an image and that not all file types are supported. Once you have the JPG etc image open then you can add tools and filter settings to the image. You can use the AEP 2 with just one tool such as basic adjustments (such as adding detail extraction and brightness and contrast etc) but you can add a whole range of different tools to create all kinds of amazing effects. There are many different tools available in the AEP tool from Google / Nik such as lens distortions, double exposures etc. The AEP 2 application (and filter) comes with a range of tools such as Basic adjustments + Lens distortion + Bokeh + Zoom and rotate blur + Motion blur + Double exposure + Light leaks + Dirt and scratches + Photo plate + Lens vignette + Film type + Multi-lens + Frames + Levels and curves. You can use one or more of them but sadly you can't add multiple exposures and multiple lens vignette tools though the tool may allow multiple tweaks within the actual tool. Use the camera kit as the starting point for all the great effects in AEP. Click on the camera kit and you will see the basic tools but you will also see a selection of preset categories or groups for the AEP 2 and you can then click on those and you will see a selection of presets such as presets for motion and presets for double exposure etc. Click on a preset and the tools and settings will change on the right side and you will see the effect applied to the current image. Go to the right side settings. You can also click the little tick box beside each tool / settings and de-select if you don't want the basic adjustments for the AEP 2. You can also go to the left side and perhaps add another tool via that list such as multi-lens if it is not included in the preset. You can also create your own presets for the tool so you can quickly apply them again and again. Once you have set all your AEP settings and tools then you can click the + in the custom section on the left side and that will add a new custom preset with all the settings stored. You can then quickly click those to access all your tools instead of using the ones supplied with the AEP 2. Most of the tools have a number of settings, some more than others and some have only visual tools such as frames or different light leaks etc (sadly there appears to be no way of adding your own to the application which is a pity). You can click the vary which will randomize the settings such as brightness and contrast etc for the tool and you can then use the vary to try a whole range of different settings which can be saved to your preset. A really nice feature of the AEP 2 is that you can add control points to the image and vary settings (not all but many such as saturation and brightness) and set the size of influence for the control point. The control point means that you can set the brightness in a very localized area and not the entire image. Start AEP 2 and then Goto left side presets. Select the classic camera presets. Click classic camera 4. Go to the right side panel. Go to the basic adjustments. Expand control points section in the basic adjustments part of the panel. Click add control point. Click somewhere in the image. You will see a selection of small sliders below the control point. Click on one of those sliders such as De, Br, Co, Sa etc (saturation etc). Click on the top slider node and move the control point for the AEP. Drag on the top slider for the control point to change the range of the settings. The AEP 2 filter can be added to applications such as Photoshop and Affinity Photo and they can then be used with the other tools and also the range of file types is a lot greater. You can also add the filter multiple times as with the right image where the AEP 2 presets have been applied multiple times. If you are using the application, the only way to apply multiple effects is to save the effect via the file menu and then re-open the image. Another difference with the filter is that there is a brush option which is allows for painting on the effect so you get a truly localized effect. Of course, a simple way around that is to just apply the effect to a selection but the brush is a neat tool (even if it is oddly titled as a selective tool). One thing you get when you apply the effect, the original layer and the effect layer and then you can always use the powerful blending modes to blend the effect and the original together (or perhaps use the opacity setting in the layers panel). Of course, you can also duplicate the effect layers and add other effects to that new layer and so on and build up all kinds of amazing AEP 2 effects. Of course, if you are running the effect as the filter, this does not apply to the standalone version.



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Bas relief effects. How to create some really weird and unusual bas relief inspired 3D backgrounds / landscapes using gradients and bas relief filter in CC 2019 2018 2017 2015 etc. Use a gradient with multiple stops via gradient tool in Photoshop. Set the color for the bas relief filter to black and white via foreground / background. Filter menu and filter gallery and bas relief filter. Smoothness to the max. Re-apply the bas relief filter over and over to create weird 3D backgrounds. This is a tutorial that all kinds of results can be generated. You can start from different presets (I am using a gradient from the graphicxtras presets collection) and depending on the stops in the presets. You can start from any type of presets but create something similar to the opposite with about 11 stops and have black and white and purple and then white and then green etc all evenly spread out. Select the GRD tool. Click the presets panel. Select a preset or create a new one such as on the left by clicking on the bottom part of the editor line and adding stops. Space them out. Once you have the color effect, set the type to a linear type and apply from top left to bottom right. Set the color for the bas relief to black and white for the bas relief filter. Now the bas relief filter can be applied to the gradient. I am using a small image (400 x 400 but you can use larger. The results may vary depending on the gradients, size etc. Go to the filter menu. Filter gallery and sketch and then Bas relief. Smoothness to the max and detail set to 1 and light to the right. Apply the bas relief. Re-apply the bas relief via the last filter in the filter menu. Apply as many times as you like until you are happy with the background generated. You can also alter the light direction after a number of applications and then apply the bas relief filter multiple times. You can also re-apply the presets over the bas relief background and perhaps use it with a difference blend. Apply the preset once or twice with the difference blending mode. Re-apply the bas relief filter in Photoshop and repeat and perhaps change the light direction. Re-apply the colorful GRD preset or a different preset and again use the blending mode of difference (or perhaps overlay etc). The results of the combination of the colorful linear preset and the bas relief and the re-applied presets and different blending modes can result in 1000s of combinations of different 3D backgrounds or landscapes. You can also use the result of the bas relief and colorful presets as a 3D model in Photoshop (CC 2017 etc). 3D menu and New mesh from layer and then Depth map to plane option. Use the 3D mode / move tool to scale, shift etc (move the lights to create different surfaces). Flatten the 3D layer. Perhaps use filter menu and stylize and oil paint or perhaps re-apply the bas relief filter in Photoshop and repeat the process of creating yet more 3D models (you can also save the 3D model via the 3D menu via the export 3D layer to OBJ etc. In the image on the right, the preset was added to the image on the left (you can vary the angle of the linear gradient to get the best result) The artwork can then be re-used as a 3D model or perhaps yet more bas relief filters can be applied or adjustments can be added such as sepia (see the top image) to create unusual landscapes / backgrounds / surfaces

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Cutout. Cutout plugin filter in Adobe Photoshop for abstract artworks in CC CS6 CS5 etc. Goto to the filter menu in Photoshop (for cutout filter) and Filter gallery. Cutout filter (COF). Set the levels / edge simplicity etc. Click ok. You can use the cutout filter in Photoshop to totally abstract an image. You can use the COF to add a powerful colorful reduction in seconds. You can find the COF in the filter menu and gallery and the artistic section - where you can use it and combine it with other tools in the gallery set. The cutout filter (COF) is for RGB 8bit images. The COF has only a few settings but they are very effective. The COF is a powerful effect that works best combined with other effects such as the gaussian blur. You can use it create an interesting drawn looks as well as some truly abstract designs and color reduction. You can also combine the results from the COF with other effects such as the 3D graphics in CC. The plugin includes the settings - Number of levels - the lower the setting, the more abstract the image with hardly any features appearing. Edge simplicity - the higher the setting, the more the image will be lost and replaced with solid colors. Edge fidelity - probably the least effective of the settings with very subtle changes with either maximum or minimum but it does come in useful if the image is noisy. If you want more of your image then the best settings for the COF are levels 8 and edge simplicity 0. If you want a more cubist like image then set the number of levels to 8 and edge simplicity 10. If you want a fairly flat scene then set the levels to 2 and edge simplicity to 10. As with many tools in the gallery plugin, the Photoshop cutout filter works best when it is re-applied or used in combination with other effects such as the gaussian blur. I really don't like to see them described as one click tricks or one trick ponies etc, they can be used in countless ways to create many unique artworks. Gaussian blur 10 and then COF levels 3 and edge simplicity 3 and then Photoshop cutout filter - levels 8 and edge simplicity 7. Actually, the edge fidelity really kicks in on the second pass. With the first application of the COF, the edge fidelity had hardly any effect but with two passes you can see the change with the edge fidelity. Repeat COF to create a still recognizable design (in most cases) but still now very flattened. It should be noted that the results will vary depending on the source image. I am using a 1000 x 1000 image but the effect may vary with a noisy image and 4000 x 4000. As with all the tools in the application, you can use the COF and then go to the edit menu and fade the result. You can also use the fade to change the opacity and the blending mode of the effect and that can be used to create interesting effects such as using the abstract COF effect and then using the edit menu and fade with the divide blending mode for a very surreal looking artwork. Or you can use the edit and fade with screen and other blending modes such as with the image on the right. The result can be a very surreal looking effect. The great thing about the effect is that the result is a large expanse of a single color and that is great for a selection using the magic wand tool. You can either select the areas of the COF result and then copy and paste them onto different layers as well as just using the selection of the solid color areas and filling them with different colors such as gradients or perhaps patterns. For example, Apply COF and then go to a solid area of color and Use the magic wand and select. Fill with a gradient or pattern fill etc. Repeat selection etc. The COF is great for creating abstract art but sometimes the result of averaging out an image can be a fairly unsaturated and dull design without a little tweaking and I always find the camera raw tool or some of the adjustments super useful to finish on. The cutout can be used in color channels and all kinds of weird abstract art can be created using the mix of red cutout and green cutout etc. It can be used as a smart object / effects. It can be used to create amazing video timeline effects with movies and much more.



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Fragment. How to use the fragment filter in Photoshop CC 2019 2018 - CS5 etc. Open image in Photoshop for use with the fragment filter and Filter menu and then Pixelate category and Fragment filter. The plugin / filter uses the average of a selection of pixels to create the fragmentation effect. The effect works best with a small image. There are no options - it works as is but it should not be seen as just a single effect as it can be used multiple times and in multiple ways. As with all the PS effects you can use the tool, with channels, use it with smart objects, use with layers use with blending modes as well as combine it with other effects, use in actions, use multiple times, With selections, With channels, Use with shapes and brushes etc. You can use it to create all kinds of weird and wonderful abstract imagery. The result can then be further manipulated with other tools such as the artistic filters. Or you can add the effects before you use the fragment filter and then apply the artistic tools. You can then combine all the effects used into an action via the actions panel and recording the different filters along with the fragment filter. You can use the tool with selections by using the select menu and color select or select / mask or the rectangular marquee tool and then access the tool via the filter menu and pixelate category. If you want to blur out a part of the image (say to stop someone being identified) then you can use the rectangular marquee tool and select the required area and then apply the tool to that. You can use the tool with channels. Display the channels panel via the window menu and then select the red and use the tool with that and use it multiple times, select the green channel and then use the tool a few times than the red etc. You can also combine the plugin with the edit menu and fade and perhaps blending modes to vary the result. You can also use the opacity setting to reduce the effect of the tool. If you want to use blending modes with the fragment tool, another approach would be to use the duplicate layer and then use the tool with the duplicated layer and then use blending modes via the panel. It should be noted that as there are no modification features with the tool, the blends are fairly limited but they do work nicely with darken. You can use the effect with smart object and that makes the effect super smart as well. You can then hide or delete the effect. As there are no options with this tool then it makes no difference when clicking it in the layers panel.



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Maximum filter. A quick guide to the maximum filter in Adobe Photoshop, great for spreading whites and chocking blacks and some unusual blurry effects. Filter menu and Others category and Maximum and Set radius and Set preserve - roundness for a circular maximum blurry effect. Click OK to process the maximum filter in Photoshop. The maximum filter can be found in the filter command and other category and maximum. The basic point is to spread white and choke the black (according to the Adobe site) but as with many of the effects in Photoshop, it can do a lot more than that. There are not many options though radius - The higher the setting, the slower the application; as well as preserve (squareness and roundness). Personally, I always prefer the roundness option to the squareness as the results seem to be less crude. You can use the max effect with brush strokes. Super useful for creating very interesting brush stroke / sketch effects with a drawing. You can modify the applied strokes in seconds using the tool. Select the brush tool and apply brush strokes in black (using a default stroke and on a white background). Go to the tool and apply with a decent sized radius, though the actual results depends on the radius and what you want to achieve. If you have applied a number of brush strokes with a setting of 60px then it probably is not a good idea to set the radius to 60px as you will just end up with white. Set the radius of the maximum to 15px and then re-apply a few times (I always prefer to add multiple small applications to a single large setting). You will then end up with a much lighter pencil like drawing than than the original sketch, a bit like the effect of reducing a large comic page to a smaller actual comic. Also great for frame designs as on the left where the frames can be generated from a number of quick brush strokes or selection and then modified by using the maximum. You can use the maximum plugin effect with type / text / character designs to create thin black type or perhaps faded black type (or whatever color the type has been set to). Such as the type on the left where the Futura PT has been reduced to the point where the ink in the typewriter is very uneven and clearly needs a new ribbon in a short while. Say you have a paragraph or page filled with type with a bold typeface, you can apply the effect to the type to thin it - the actual thinning depends on the radius. You can simply flatten the type or use the type as a smart object / converted payer via the smart object command. You can create all kinds of interesting visual effects with type by combining the max effect with blurs and re-applying the blurry effect again to create type that looks as expected but certainly is not. As the type is a layer / smart object, it can be duplicated along with the smart effects and then applied on top of each other using blending modes such as difference and darken. If you change the color of the type to white, the result is the same with a choking of the white (which does seems odd). You can use the tool with custom shapes to thin any of the shape designs. As the custom shape can be converted into a smart object, the thinning can be varied. The result on the custom shapes depends on the shape, some vectors such as an Illustration / sketched designs will be reduced and parts of the illustration will just vanish. If you are using the max effect with something like a circle shape then you will just see an overall reduction in the vector design. You can use the effect with selections and masks etc to modify the result. Go the marquee tool or use select menu to make a selection and then apply the effect to that. This can be repeated especially using low value settings. You can use all kinds of selections so one selection can be used on one side of the image and the effect is applied to that, and then leaving the other side untouched. You can use the effect with channels to create interesting colorful blurriness. Add a shape or image or type to a document. You can also use the effect with channels. Go to the channel panel. Select the red channel. Select the effect in the filter menu and set the radius to 20px say. Go to the green channel and then re-run the effect but this time using 10px. And then the blue etc. You can re-apply multiple times to the same channel. Go back to the RGB (or CMYK etc) image. You will now see a colorful edge around the design. You can use the tool to create interesting variations of noise effects - select a noise plugin and then apply the effect to that to create a unique blurry grain in seconds. You add the noise to an image via the add noise menu command and then use the effect again to create a much lighter sprinkle of noise across the photo. You can use the noise menu but there are also other tools in the gallery. You can use the tool with images and photographs. This really depends on the image, but I have always found the tool with the roundness setting generates an unusual sparkle glow with highlights and gives the image a really surreal look. The squareness option is never as pleasing but it has a use in creating very large blocks of color across an image which can be blended with the original image using the fade command. You can apply the tool multiple times to the images and also combine with other tools such as auto tone etc. If you set the roundness / radius setting to too higher a value then the effect will be slow and will result in a totally white image. It does work well if you use an image with channels and the tool and set one of the channels to a very high value. A low value of the tool often just makes a person or object in a photo look a little sweaty as if they are under hot lights. The tool can be used to add some interesting effects to images and photographs when combined with adjustments such as black and white to create an unusual glistening effect with people etc. Or use color lookup or HDR toning



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Plugin Freebies. Free plugins for use in Photoshop, PSP, Affinity etc in 8BF format (PC only) and they are all from Load them to the plugins folder for your application. Free plugin 1 / Free plugin 2 / Free plugin 3

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