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June 22, 2004

Third-Party PS Plug-Ins..

While I don't use any third-party Photoshop Plug-Ins such as Eye Candy, Xerofex, etc, they do have a bad name for "cheating" the graphics. To me, this is not exactly true because Plug-Ins are created to assist you completing the graphics, not becoming the center of attention like many thought. There's no such thing like one click = finished piece.

If you want to use third-party Plug-Ins, go ahead! But.. make sure that applied plug-ins only steal less than 10% of attention in finished piece. The more attention it steals, the more amateur it looks. If you don't want it to look too generic, customize the applied graphic separately by smudging, lowering contrast/saturation, etc until to a point where they doesn't look too "plugins-ish".

Comments

1

Same deal goes with layer effects. I've seen countless "artists" defining major artistic elements with them (like highlights, lighting, etc) and it's just not right.

Posted by: Ricky Romero at June 24, 2004 06:50 PM
2

I do agree with this, although tools like layer effects and filters make designing both more efficient for talented designers and more accessible to beginners... I remember the countless tutorials about the 47 steps to make a drop shadow back in the day, so I think that it's fairly innocuous for the majority of designers to make "light" use of such amenities.

That said, one filter that I find completely indispensible is PhotoTune's SkinTune and 20/20 Color MD filters. I've never been much for color correction, but these filters make it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to end up with poor color fidelity. In this case, I would much rather have some other smart person figure out how to improve my colors (or at least get me started) and leave me to worry about the larger tasks of composition and layout.

Posted by: Chris Messina at November 25, 2004 05:40 PM
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