Company: Alien Skin
Estimated Price: $129.00
I will make no bones about it; I’m not what you would call a Graphics Professional. Actually, I think you could consider me what many of you are, a dabbler in graphic fun! Hey, I can’t make a living doing it, but I sure can have fun! And on top of all the useful things you can do with Xenofex, having fun is definitely one of them.
Xenofex is a new set of Adobe Photoshop filters which will give you the ability to create some great effects. As a Photoshop plug-in, you cannot run Xenofex by itself. It needs Photoshop, or a comparable program like ColorIt! 4.0, to operate.
This is a great product. In the few months I have been using it, I have never had a system crash or freeze during use. It’s simple to use, with an interface anyone can master in a very short amount of time. The Filters include Baked Earth, Constellation, Crumple, Distress, Electrify, Flag, Lightning, Little Fluffy Clouds, Origami, Puzzle, Rounded Rectangle, Shatter, Shower Door, Stain, Stamper, and Television. Yes, that’s 16 filters, and each one comes with many useful presets, though you can modify each effect for your own use.
On the downside, you do need a fast machine for some of the more complex filters such as Lightning. Otherwise, you’ll be sitting in front of your Mac staring at the screen while you wait for the operation to complete. Definitely not fun. A Mac with a CPU slower than a 603 at 200MHz processor will probably make Xenofex run too sluggishly for most tastes. Will it still work? Sure, but slowly.
When you select the object(s) you want to apply a Xenofex filter to, a new window will pop up onscreen. It will display a tiny “before” window of your graphic, and an “after” window showing what your picture will look like after the filter has been applied. Very useful if you are quickly searching for that special look, but not sure what that look is! It will show you very quickly what your filter will do, and you can quickly change the settings for the desired effect. The preview window runs much faster than the actual time Xenofex takes to apply the filter to the actual graphic.
There are simply so many different combinations of effects that Xenofex can create that it can’t help but being a great addition to your plug-in family. While not a perfect product, its easy-to-use interface and relatively low cost for such great filters make Xenofex a real winner! RECOMMENDED.
MacMice Rating: 4.5