Are you ready to ramp up
your photos with striking special effects? Web Euphoria (I love the
name) offers more than 20 effects that you access from 19 plug-ins within
Photoshop compatible programs such as Adobe Photoshop (Versions 2.5
through CS) and Elements, Corel Draw and Painter, Director, Canvas,
and DeBabelizer. Want to add a look of aged and scratched film that's
particularly trendy right now? How about scattering some realistic looking
snow over one of your landscapes, or making it a foggy day in London
town. Rain, smoke, and stars round out the organically realistic effects,
while surreal offerings include light blasts, thermography, Sabbatier
effect (solarization), specular lighting, and retinal bloom.
Presets And Variations
Each plug-in has a custom user interface that allows you to vary the
effect through many different parameters. At first, these may seem overwhelming,
but once you play with them a while you'll see what each can do.
Many require a lot of time and experimentation. Out of the box, there
are over 300 presets, and you can save your own settings as well. An
interactive preview window shows the changes you make at selectable
fixed magnifications. For print size files, though, redrawing the preview
each time you make an adjustment can be slow.
There is a reason that "Web" is in the title. These effects
were originally developed for video and have been ported over to work
with still image-editing software. As a result of this and their inherent
design, they work best on lower resolution images, such as 72dpi for
use on the web or in multimedia presentations. You can apply them to
higher resolution files for ink jet printing, but as the files get bigger,
your Euphoria can turn to exasperation because the rendering times become
so long. However, all the examples shown here are high-resolution 300dpi
files necessary for reproduction in a magazine or book, but they are
rather small, at about 3.3MB. Originally I tried applying the Euphoria
filters to 6MB files. Even with 1.37GB of RAM on my computer, some of
them took a really long time (several minutes).
Here's the bottom line: if you're working with web images
only, you'll be fine. However, if your final objective is 8.5x11"
or larger prints, you need to have lots of RAM and lots of patience.
For some of you, it may be worth it. The plug-ins are unusual and some
are unique. Download the trial software and see if they ring your chimes
or only rattle your cage.
At press time, the program was available for the Mac, with a Windows
version in the works. Check the website below for a free trial download,
system requirements, availability, and examples of the effects and their
interfaces. Current price from the website is $195. A printed black
and white manual is included.