As hard as I try, and as much as I have come to loathe all things Adobe, I just cannot tear myself away from Photoshop. It’s not that I can’t afford Adobe’s monthly rental fees. I can. I cannot yet bear the loss of some of my favorite eye candy tools.
Necessary Eye Candy
The eye candy in question here is the eye candy plugin Eye Candy. For better or worse, Photoshop built this wonderful plugin technology which lets clever developers do what Adobe could not.
Eye Candy makes easy that which is nearly impossible in Photoshop, or that which would require hours of billable time that some clients wouldn’t appreciate.
What you get in the Eye Candy package, which runs within Photoshop, are dozens of effect categories, over 1,000 presets, and a bunch of controls to create graphic elements not easily or quickly accomplished in Photoshop.
Eye Candy is smart enough to apply those effects to a new layer, which leaves your original graphic design untouched.
The latest version of Eye Candy is actually easier to use and does more than previous versions. Apple shapes and textures to any graphic element, point and click.
Icons now display the qualities of each shape and texture. Choose an effect and then rummaged through the presets in the navigator. No clicking required. Move the screen pointer over the preset name and you get a view of the effect on your design.
Eye Candy’s controls may seem daunting, but if you’re already a Photoshop user you’ll catch on quickly.
The chosen effect is displayed in the left column Sidebar, with presets below that. Controls for each element are displayed in the right column Sidebar (sliders with numerical entries). Make adjustments to a preset and save it as your own customized version.
Much of what Eye Candy does to graphic designs can be done in Photoshop, but with just a few clicks instead of dozens of layers. Photoshop plugins are one reason why many graphic designers stick with Adobe rather than abandon the platform because of the predatory pricing policies.