Filter Forge, Inc., a newcomer to the Photoshop plugin market, released a public beta version of Filter Forge, a high-end plugin for Adobe® Photoshop® allowing computer artists to build their own filters -- seamless textures, visual effects, distortions, patterns, backgrounds and more. The key features of Filter Forge include a visual node-based filter editor and a free online library of user-created filters to which anyone can contribute.
Filter Forge can produce a wide range of textures and effects which include organic structures, metallic and rocky surfaces, distortions, abstract textures, repeating patterns, color corrections, and more. All filters are adjustable and editable, seamlessly tiled, resolution-independent, and support real-world HDRI lighting. Also, filters can automatically generate diffuse, specular, bump, and normal maps, which makes Filter Forge an essential tool for artists creating 3D models and environments, architectural visualization and high-end game content. Examples of filters can be seen at http://www.filterforge.com.
The key feature of Filter Forge is the Filter Editor, a visual node-based environment allowing users to build custom filters without writing a single line of code. Filters are assembled by connecting components into a network to combine their effects. Components include familiar operations such as blurs, gradients, color adjustments, distortions, and blending; as well as 7 types of seamless fractal noise, HLS and HSY color models, color-preserving adjustments, and more. For end-users, the filter internals are hidden behind a simple set of filter controls -- anyone can immediately benefit from filters without knowing what is inside them.
Another major feature is the Filter Library, a free online repository of user-created filters to which anyone can contribute. It makes Filter Forge immediately useful for anyone who has no time to learn the Filter Editor. Access to the Filter Library is built directly into Filter Forge, so users do not need to browse any websites to download new filters. The Library already contains over 50 filters created by staff designers, with at least 100 filters planned for the commercial release. Users who contribute good filters to the Library can earn rewards, including a free copy of Filter Forge -- details can be found at http://www.filterforge.com/more/freecopy.html
Filter Forge's rendering engine takes full advantage of multi-core processors -- for example, a dual-core processor can speed the rendering up to 96%. A high-precision floating-point rendering pipeline allows Filter Forge to support 16- and 32-bit image modes, eliminates unwanted artifacts such as color banding and allows users to save the results into high-precision image formats such as OpenEXR. Filter Forge's custom memory manager allows it to render large bitmaps -- up to 32000x32000 pixels -- even on moderate amounts of RAM.
The public beta version of Filter Forge is available at http://www.filterforge.com upon registration and approval. The beta is currently Windows-only, the OS X version for both Intel and PowerPC processors is in development. The final commercial version will be priced between $200 and $300 -- or free for contributors of good filters -- and is planned for release this fall.
About Filter Forge, Inc. -- Since the day it was founded, the company has been focused on a single goal -- "To develop the best Photoshop plugin on this planet, period." A one-product company, Filter Forge, Inc. is solely dedicated to improving Filter Forge in order to meet the challenge. For more information, visit http://www.filterforge.com