A year plus ago, I tried the free trial download of Fractalius plug-in by Redfield Plugins. The plug in creates some very interesting and strong effects on your images and I saw enough potential to purchase the plug in back then. In particular, I found that pans of animals worked well with the tool and it also could give an abstract feel to landscapes with distant horizons. That said, like many of my toys, it got a little forgotten. I think it was primarily because I generally felt that the tool was just a little too powerful for the look I generally go for in my images.
A few facts and qualifiers: The trial is a free download, but leaves little ‘demo’ stamps all over your imaging. Perhaps one could use the trial and clone out the stamps, but the software isn’t that expensive. If you like the trial, buy the product! The plug-in will only work on a PC platform – no Mac support at this time. To use the plugin, you must convert your image to 8 bit ( image>mode>8 bit ). The tool does not come with instructions. Fractalius is easy to use as there are numerous pre-sets and sliders. You can also create and save recipes. That said, each slider is not that intuitive, so if you find an effect you like, make sure you write down the settings or save the recipe.
Now, back to the story on why I am a re-born fan of Fractalius. Our local camera club, the Lehigh Valley Photography Club, recently had a guest speaker – Denise Ippolito. I know Denise as a renown bird photographer who is active in bird photography forums and in conducting workshops. I wasn’t aware that she’s spent a lot of time developing a strong understanding of texture overlays and various ‘digital art’ type plug ins and effects. During her presentation, she showed numerous really high impact images of birds and other subject using Fractalius. Among these were several cases of using the tool on realitive close-up examples of the animals. Hmmm …. Didn’t try the plug-in on that type image.
I’m still playing with this toy. I surly haven’t mastered Fractalius, but have seen enough to recommend this product for your consideration. I hope the images embedded in this article are enough of a tease to get you involved.