Filter Forge today released a public beta of Filter Forge, a new plugin for Adobe Photoshop that allows users to build their own filters, including seamless textures, visual effects, distortions, patterns, and backgrounds.
Filter Forge includes a visual filter editor, a node-based environment allowing users to build custom filters without writing any code. Filters are assembled by connecting components into a network to combine their effects. Components include familiar operations such as blurs, gradients, color adjustments, distortions, and blending, as well as 7 types of seamless fractal noise, HLS and HSY color models, color-preserving adjustments, and more.
For end-users, the filter internals are hidden behind a simple set of filter controls -- anyone can immediately benefit from filters without knowing what is inside them.
Another feature of Filter Forge is the filter library, a free online repository of user-created filters to which anyone can contribute. This makes Filter Forge immediately useful for anyone who has no time to learn how to use the filter editor. Access to the library is built directly into Filter Forge, so users do not need to browse any websites to download new filters.
The Library comes populated with over 50 filters created by staff designers, with at least 100 filters planned for the commercial release. In addition, users who contribute good filters to the library can earn rewards, including a free copy of Filter Forge
Filter Forge's rendering engine takes full advantage of multi-core processors, allowing, for example, a dual-core processor to render a filter up to 96 percent faster than before. A high-precision floating-point rendering pipeline allows Filter Forge to support 16 and 32-bit image modes, eliminates unwanted artifacts such as color banding and allows users to save the results into high-end image formats such as OpenEXR. In addition, Filter Forge's custom memory manager allows it to render large bitmaps -- up to 32000x32000 pixels -- even on moderate amounts of RAM.
The public beta version of Filter Forge is currently available upon registration and approval. The beta is currently Windows-only, however the OS X version for both Intel and PowerPC processors is currently in development. The final commercial version will be priced between $200 and $300, and is planned for release this fall.