Review of Eye Candy 5 Nature

Eye Candy 5's Nature is the second in the series of Eye Candy 5 plug-ins by Alien Skin . It is a collection of ten Photoshop filters that create natural phenomena. There are four completely new filters and six that have been upgraded. There are over 500 presets and a countless number of effects that can be achieved. One filter can also create many totally different looks. For example, the Squint filter can simulate double visions as well as creating light streaks.

The Nature filters are: Corona, Fire, Drip, Icicles (new), Ripples (new), Rust (new), Smoke, Snow Drift (new), Squint, and Water Drops. The Rust filter can even be seamless tiled.

To demonstrate this filter, I took a number of pictures I had already created and added effects from the Nature collection. The first example will demonstrate the additions of Fire and Snow. The fire in the lamppost is hard to see because of the snow. But that is how it should be.

Original Additions of Fire and Snow

Below are the snow settings I used. Notice the number of basic variations in the first box that are possible. Then imagine the number of further combinations using the variables in the Basic Menu.

Settings Menu Basic Menu Lighting Menu

A number of the filters also have an additional feature whereby the changes created by the filter can be added to a separate layer. (See the screen capture on the left.) The screen capture on the right shows the image above the street light before and after the addition of the snow.


Staying with winter scenes, meant creating icicles, ice, and icicles with snow. The icicles and ice were created by the Icicles filter

Original Icicles and Ice on Window
Only Icicles Snow, Ice, and Icicles

I combined two other filters in an image, the Corona filter and the Smoke filter. The smoke filter had so many wonderful variations that I think it became my favorite although it was probably a tie between that and the Icicles filter.


I used another variation of the Corona filter for a background for an image created with first the Drip filter and then the Rust filter. The original circle was created using a Texture from Eye Candy 5 Textures.

The Squint filter has a few different effects. One adds highlights to type which will be evidenced in the word Sun Shower. Also, it can be used to create the impression of double visions. The below right image makes use of three filters. The Squint filter to alter the text, the Ripple filter to create a ripple around the person, and the Water Drops on the ocean to simulate a sun shower.

Squint Squint, Ripple, and Water Drops

Color is easy to manipulate in Eye Candy 5's Nature plug-ins. All filters have a screen that looks like the one on the left. This gives the user a chance to see a color history of colors used for various objects such as light. It also gives the user the ability to choose other colors.

Some filters allow for the use of a gradient. If you look at the picture to the above right, you will notice that there are many parameters that can be manipulated.

Since Eye Candy 5 Nature is a plug-in, it must be used with one of the following host programs: For the Mac: Adobe Photoshop 7 or later, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2 or later, or Macromedia Fireworks MX 2004 or later. For Windows, the programs are the same except for the additions of Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 or later.

The system requirements for a Mac are: 500 MHz PowerPC G3 processor, 256 MB RAM, Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later. And the requirements for Windows are: 1 GHz Pentium III processor, 256 MB RAM, and Windows 2000 or Windows XP.

The estimated Street price is US $99.00 and the upgrade price for registered users of previous versions of Eye Candy is US $49.00.

This plug-in, like its precursor, Textures, has more possibilities than can be imagined. Alien Skin has a demo on its website. See it and you'll believe it! And I really liked it as well. I think, it makes an excellent addition to ones bag of tricks.