Signs of the Times - June 2013 - (Page 32)
By Theresa Jackson
Theresa Jackson operates Orchard View Color (Escondido, CA) and has more
than 20 years’ experience in prepress, graphic design, color management
and photography. Email her at Theresa@orchardviewcolor.com
Alien Skin Eye Candy 7
Graphic-design effects plug-in for Photoshop
Designed forthe Alien Skin Eye
use with Adobe
Candy® 7 plug-in set of filter effects
allows you to design at a new level,
without acquiring advanced Photoshop skills. If you want to improve
your Photoshop designs and not
spend hours on advanced Photoshop
training, Eye Candy 7 may be your
perfect solution. It allows you to
quickly accomplish great visual
effects – many that would be
difficult for the most experienced
Photoshop artist to achieve.
The plug-in comprises 32 filter
effects packaged within a single
menu; 16 Shape effects relate specifically to objects, meaning, Photoshop layers that contain some transparent background. Shape effects
are great for text and logos (Fig. 1).
The second collection of 16
Texture effect presets creates terrific
backgrounds; they’re also good for
embellishing existing background
imagery. In addition, you can apply
the Texture effects to shapes.
You choose the effects through
easy-to-recognize icons. They’re
designer friendly and fun to use.
Once you choose an icon, move
your mouse over it to view thumbnail previews. This asset makes the
design process visually intuitive and
easy-to-use (Fig. 2)
Having never used Eye Candy or
other Alien Skin devices, I was a
little lost when I first launched the
plug-in. I expected my advanced
Photoshop skills to get me up and
running quickly, and I was briefly
disappointed when things didn’t
work that way. However, by clicking
on the big question mark icon (at
the filter-panel bottom), I discovered
a collection of online tutorials. The
“Getting Started” video got me up
to speed in less than four minutes.
I found the other short video
tutorials just as useful.
I recommend watching several
before attempting your first design.
Fig. 1: Eye Candy’s Plug-in 7 features 32 effects within a single menu.
32 SIGNS OF THE TIMES / JUNE 2013 / www.signweb.com
How it works
Eye Candy’s filter effects work on a
single layer in Photoshop. You can
apply one effect filter at a time.
The default (and recommended)
preset is to duplicate the selected
layer and apply the effect to the
copy. This results in a new layer,
which the system aptly names after
the selected effect.
Output to a new layer leaves the
original layer intact, but combines
the effect with the original shape.
You can change the “output on
new layer” preference under Preferences, which you’ll find beneath
the question-mark icon.
The second preference, “Apply
effect on its own layer where
possible,” works better for some
effects – drop shadows, for example.
In this process, the software applies
a shadow to a new layer that is
separate from the original object
layer. I think this should be the
default setting (Fig. 3).
Eye Candy 7 is strictly for bitmap
editing. So, before a filter is applied,
the software rasterizes all text and
vector layers to pixels. This routine,
but critical, process compels you to
design at the final output resolution,
because scaling up degrades image
The 32 Eye Candy filters include
various presets that you may
independently (and frequently)
customize, and then save as User
presets for future design work. The
possibilities are as expansive as
Most useful shape presets
Adding Shape filters to flat graphics
is a cool way to punch up a plain
design. Eye Candy 7’s broad selection
of useful preset effects makes it
easy. Here are my favorites:
Bevel effects – Add depth to a
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Signs of the Times - June 2013
Signs of the Times - June 2013
Profiling Media for Purpose
Sign Museum News
Enter ST’s 7th Annual Vehicle Graphics Contest!
The Reality of Your Surroundings
The Great ’scapes
Digital Printers at ISA
It’s a Jungle in Here
Signs of the Times - June 2013