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The Corel KPT Collection

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Corel KPT Collection

Corel KPT Collection

Note: This review was originally based on the KPT Effects (KPT 7) suite released by Corel under the procreate name. Corel has since bundled KPT 5, KPT 6, and this suite into the KPT Collection. The filter examples linked here are only those from KPT 7, though you get all the classic KPT filters when you buy the collection.

Kai's Power Tools is Now The Corel KPT Collection

Over the years, Kai's Power Tools special effects filters have been considered a "must-have" plug-in suite for Photoshop-compatible graphics software. In 1999, Corel took possession of Kai Krause's popular effects filters and eventually released a new set of effects under the title "procreate KPT effects." Building on the classic special effects from KPT 5 and KPT 6, KPT 7 added nine new filters to expand your creativity. Later, Corel combined all the classic effects along with the new effects into one complete collection--The KPT Collection--with 24 filters in all.

Click on the filter names below to see examples, screen shots, and my comments:

KPT Channel Surfing - splits an image into RGB and HLS color channels and lets you apply effects--blur, sharpen, contract, and value shift--to one or all channels.

KPT Fluid - apply liquid-like distortions that simulate dragging a brush through fluid. Controls allow you to adjust the thickness of the liquid, brush size, and velocity.

KPT FraxFlame II - create and explore flame fractals that resemble colored light. Customize the effect by choosing from seven styles, editable gradients, and infinite genetic mutations.

KPT Gradient Lab - design complex color blends and gradients by mixing shapes and colors in multiple layers with advanced blending and precise positioning.

KPT Hyper Tiling - transform images into intricate tiling effects. Choose from 5 styles and customize the effect with transparency, advanced blending, and precise positioning in 4D space.

KPT Ink Dropper - simulates liquid ink on a surface to create water spots, smoky swirls, and stains. Options allow you to customize the ink color and drop settings such as diffusion, movement, and dispersion.

KPT Lightning - create lightning bolts with complete control over position, size, forkiness, glow, color, and more.

KPT Pyramid Paint - uses the Lab color mode to reduce and separate the colors in an image to resemble a painting. Users can adjust individual color components, saturation, hue, contrast, and lightness.

KPT Scatter - distributes particles over a source image in a variety of ways with control over placement, color, and shadow. Any transparent image can be used as a particle.

I'm generally not fond of software with a nonstandard interface, but I was able to adapt to this one quite quickly, though I would have liked some on-screen tips and hints. Fortunately the software comes with a full-color printed manual to refer to. It didn't take long for me to get up to speed and I was soon happily tweaking all of the effects and quite delighted with the results. Some of the filters' uses are not immediately obvious, but experimenters will love this collection because there is infinite variety.

Users looking for instant gratification and one-click wonders may be disappointed, but those willing to experiment will be delighted with this massive collection of innovative special effects filters.

Pros
• fast rendering of effects
• unique and sophisticated assortment of filters
• custom settings can be saved as presets

Cons
• nonstandard interface
• could benefit from onscreen tool tips
• limited preview sizes

System Requirements

Macintosh:
• Mac OS 8.6 or higher, or Mac OS X
• Power Macintosh G3 or higher (180 MHz or higher)
• Adobe Photoshop 5.0 or higher
• 32 MB RAM or greater allocated to host (64 MB recommended)
• 128 MB RAM for Mac OS X
• 25 MB or greater available hard disk space
• 24-bit (800 x 600) color display (1024 x 768 for Mac OS X)
• CD-ROM drive
• Mouse or tablet

Windows:
• Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 2000, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 (with service pack 6), Microsoft Windows Me or Microsoft Windows XP
• Pentium processor 200 MHz or higher
• Adobe Photoshop 5.0 or higher
• 32 MB RAM or greater allocated to host (64 MB recommended)
• 128 MB RAM for Windows XP
• 25 MB or greater available hard disk space
• 24-bit (800 x 600) color display
• CD-ROM drive
• Mouse or tablet

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