1. Technology

Eye Candy 5: Impact

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

With ten special effects filters and countless customization options, Eye Candy 5: Impact gives you an infinite variety of visual effects to add to your projects. Includes special effects filters for generating metal surfaces, bevels, glass, plastic, shiny and brushed metallics, mirrored chrome, 3D extrusions, light rays, glows, motion trails, cast and perspective shadows, reflections, stars, gears, and other shapes.
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  • Generates high-quality, photo-realistic visual effects with many customizable options.
  • Simple, straightforward user interface with a large, resizable preview window.
  • Includes a printed User Guide, PDF Manual, filter-specific help, and mouseover hints.


  • Not compatible with older systems and host applications.


  • Ten plug-in effects filters for generating visual effects in Photoshop and other software.
  • Improved Effects: Bevel, Chrome, Glass, Gradient Glow, Motion Trail, Perspective Shadow, Super Star.
  • New Effects: Backlight, Brushed Metal, Extrude.
  • All effects offer many customization options, improved controls, and a random seed option.
  • Seamless tiling, new layer options, and in-preview controls are provided for many of the filters.
  • Filters with reflections maps now allow users to add custom reflections maps using any JPEG file.
  • Includes more than 200 presets and an improved preset management system for saving settings.
  • Features unlimited undo/redo, resizable preview, effect on/off toggle, and 16-bit color support.
  • Ships on a cross-platform CD for Macintosh or Windows, and includes a printed user manual.
  • Requires Mac OS X or Windows 2000/XP and a compatible host application.

Guide Review - Eye Candy 5: Impact

"Eye Candy 5: Impact" is the the third collection of next-generation of special effects plug-in filters from Alien Skin. Following Eye Candy 4000, the effects suite has been split into 3 separate collections — Eye Candy 5: Textures, Eye Candy 5: Nature, and Eye Candy 5: Impact.

As usual, Alien Skin does not disappoint with the quality of effects and the variety of customization options. The user interface is always improving, and in this version the most notable change is seen in the new settings tab of each filter, where users can apply hundreds of preset settings--or save, manage, and share their own custom settings. The filters themselves have been improved also. "Impact" includes three filters which are brand new to the Eye Candy line, and the remaining seven filters offer more controls for achieving a variety of effects, with greater realism. Also, many of the filters can render the effect to a new layer, offering more control over the effect in the host application. In-preview controls in many of the filters offer greater ease-of-use.

The downside to these improvements is that Eye Candy 5's system requirements have been raised. Macintosh users will need to be running Mac OS X 10.2.6 or higher and at least Photoshop 7, Photoshop Elements 2, or Fireworks MX 2004. Windows users will need to be running Windows 2000 or XP and at least Photoshop 7, Photoshop Elements 2, Fireworks MX 2004, or Paint Shop Pro 8.

See examples of all ten filters in Eye Candy 5: Impact.

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