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Eye Candy 3.0: Tempting Deserts for Your Eyes

by Paul Gerstenbluth (ArieFound@aol.com)

Washington Apple Pi Journal, September/October 1999, p. 71-72, reprint information

Fine desserts. You don't have to be a mature connoisseur of savory fine foods and seductive deserts to enjoy the pleasures of Eye Candy 3.

Alien Skin Software's Eye Candy gives you tempting plug-in Photoshop filters that once only affluent graphic designers could enjoy. At a sensible price, Eye Candy is a must plug-in for your Photoshop work.

Welcome to Eye Candy 3.0. It's a set of 21 image processing filters that plug into Adobe Photoshop 3.0.4 and later.

What's New in Eye Candy 3.0

The ten filters from The Black Box 2.0 return with improved functionality. Alien Skin Software added 11 spectacular new filters. Below is a list of the main filter enhancements:

Some of My Personal Favorite Eye Candy Filters


This filter gives your selection the appearance of being woven. You may select the width of the strips and gaps that form the weave. You may specify the color, if any, of the gaps. In addition, you can add texture to the woven strips.


This filter produces a metallic effect that can be used to simulate chrome, gold and other metals.

When using this filter, the shape of your selection is important; you'll get a better Chrome effect on fat text, for instance, than you will on a plain rectangle. Contrast Controls the amount of contrast between the lightest and darkest areas of the affected area; higher values increase the contrast.

Online Help

You can get help any time you have one of the filter dialog boxes on the screen. Just click on the question mark icon in the upper right corner. This will take you to an electronic version of the Eye Candy manual. The electronic manual is in Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Preview Controls

The bottom half of each Eye Candy dialog box is devoted to previewing. The resizable area in the lower right is the Preview window, which shows a special effect applied to your image. You can preview different parts of your image by simply dragging the preview with the mouse.

Thumbnail Navigator Window

In the bottom center is a Thumbnail that is a small copy of your entire image. A small black rectangle in the Thumbnail represents the view of the Preview window. You can move the Preview area by dragging the black rectangle with the mouse. You can also click outside the rectangle in the Thumbnail window and the rectangle will jump to the clicked location.

Photoshop Layers

A layer is like an extra image on a piece of acetate over your background image. Layers allow you to keep your composition flexible until you are sure where you want to place all of your image components. Most of Eye Candy's filters take advantage of this layer technology.

All of Eye Candy filters can be used in layers. This means that you can create a semi-transparent glow around an alien in a layer, then move the alien and glow together without messing up the rest of your image.

If you drop the Alien filter onto the background and apply the glow, then you can not move it without tearing a hole in the background.


To ensure that filters work correctly in a layer, make sure that the Preserve Transparency checkbox is not checked. This is important for Photoshop users, since the above filters will not always perform properly with Preserve Transparency enabled.

Note that Photoshop 4.0 automatically enables Preserve Transparency when it creates type and when it places an image in a layer. Disable it and you will be able to use the filters without a problem.

Pro Reaction:

You receive a good hard copy manual with Eye Candy filter illustrations. HTML files on the Eye Candy CD-ROM have color pictures of the 21 Eye Candy filters.

Con Reaction:

There are no Acrobat pdf color slides of the Eye Candy filters. The hard copy manual with black and white illustrations was blurred.


Alien Skin Software makes Eye Candy. The main purpose of Eye Candy is to make your life easier by creating spectacular special effects quickly and easily in Photoshop. (Please note that Eye Candy is the successor to the popular filter set called The Black Box.)

Eye Candy retails for $119.00 and is available by mail order.

System Requirements:

Macintosh Recommended

Paul Gerstenbluth is President of the ARIE Foundation. The ARIE Foundation's mission is to provide VA hospitalized patients with hobby materials and computers that helps in their stay and recovery.

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Revised September 6, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters
Washington Apple Pi
URL: http://www.wap.org/journal/