More from max: John Nack Demos Pixel Bender Plug-in for Photohsop CS4

So one of the things I saw demo-ed at Adobe max earlier this week was the new Pixel Bender plug-in for Photoshop CS4. The plug-in allows you to collect a bunch of very cool filter effects and access them through your Photoshop Filters menu. It’s pretty dang cool as you can see from my groovy effect (CircleSplash) applied to this photo from Monday’s keynote.

Yesterday, Adobe Principal PM John Nack talked all about it on his blog, and mentioned it’s now available for download from Adobe Labs. (By the way, once you’re there, unless you want to create these babies yourself, which makes me think you’re way geekier than I am, you’ll want to skip the Toolkit and scroll down to “Pixel Bender Plug-In for Photoshop CS4.”)

Notes from John:

  • It runs filters really, really fast on your graphics card (GPU). (As John pointed out when he showed this in the ADIM session,  make sure to click this checkbox in the filter dialog box in order to see the effects rendered at graphics card speed.—cw)
  • The plug-in is not one filter, but rather a harness into which you can drop Pixel Bender files (.PBK and .PBG)
  • Pixel Bender also runs cross-platform in After Effects CS4 & Flash Player 10
  • The filters people write for Flash will also work in Photoshop
  • We should therefore see an explosion in the number of new Photoshop filters becoming available.

Read John’s post here for more information (he’s even got a demo movie). There are twelve effects that come with the plug-in, and there are already a host of wild effects for download in the Pixel Bender Exchange. Check it out, dekePeeps!

Next entry:The Amazingly Malleable Links Palette in InDesign CS4

Previous entry:The Instant Liquid Diet


  • Tried it

    GPU rendering is really fast and all effects can be applied as smart filters. Great for brainstorming design ideas.

  • I’m so jealous

    I haven’t tried it yet. I have my head so buried in this Channels & Masks book, there’s no coming up for error.

    Ha, that was real mistake. Meant air.

    I was joking with CW how ironic it is that I’m jonesing to try out something that was posted on my own site.

  • PS CS4 bugs?

    The pen tool is behaving a bit waywardly in my trial version of PS CS4. Is anyone else having problems controlling the pen tool? I’ve not had this problem in previous versions, so I don’t think it’s me (though it could be, of course).

    Any other bugs? Work around suggestions? Tips or tricks (if the tool has changed in some way that I’m not aware of, but should be)?


    Edit: If it’s helpful, I’m running WinXP, service pack 3, on a dual pentium 4 @ 3.20ghz on an GA-8IPE1000 Pro 2 mobo, with a nVidia GeForce 6600GT video card with 128mb onboard RAM, and 2gb of DDR RAM.

  • CS 4

    The whole suite needs more ram.  I noticed that on my 2 GB RAM PC everything is kinda delayed. You need definitely 4 GB ram and setup PAE on XP for the system to get the extra .5 Ram.  Even though I tried several graphic cards but not less than 256 MB. Your card might be obsolete for the new system. I see it on my 6600 GT 256 MB where if I try to increase the brush tip, it shows only 1/3 of the cursor on bigger brush. Please note that the demo shouldn’t be really different from the final version since you can activate it and use as full one. Unless it’s cracked or patched or beta. These are funky and sometimes crash. I remember when CS2 came out the patch that people use created not being able paste and copy and people actually call Adobe to report this as bug. I was laughing. I’m not sure if anyone took any action but this is how it is. I have been using our CS4 at our work and it actually crashed several times but I don’t think this was a problem of the soft. It’s also good to remove all previous versions. Not to updated unless you use Ultra KEY which is not available in CS4 but it’s the best to remove everything and start from clean system. I also use XP most of the time. On my vista lap I don’t have good graphic card, so no sliding of the image from left to right, but mostly I have single core with dual display on Cintiq 21 and Wacom intuos 3/8 to operate both monitors and I don’t have problems at all. There is 512 Nvidia 8800 GT and it works like magic. Unless I buy Dual quad Xeon, on 64bit win 32 GB ram and Quadro card, that’s where I want to see the difference. LOL

  • Thanks for the info, Archee

    It’s definitely not cracked - but I do want it to be a legit upgrade from my (legit - hey, I had a life and a job before taking on the old girl!) copy of CS2. I had CS3 on loan while a friend of mine was in London on a 6 month contract, but he returned a couple of weeks ago, so I had to give it back.

    I guess I better start going through my cupboards and putting stuff on TradeMe (the kiwi eBay), so I can upgrade the ram and vid card. Oh, well.

    Thanks again, Archee. grin




  • I can’t attest

    To how well CS4 runs under XP. That’s the one platform I haven’t tried.

    Otherwise, your machine sounds fine.

    Insofar as the pen is concerned, Adobe changed path display (in a way I frankly don’t care for), but I haven’t come across any behavioral changes.

  • NP

    No Problem but consider the upgrade. It’s going to be like 13-16 months before they come with new version. You know the one with all juices and extras rather then the one that it’s just tweaked like the CS4. Then we have to through away old PC or we can use it as a heating unit (my CPU can warm up my room even in winter and I have my heating completely off, in summer, well that’s different story I have to keep 6 fans running.  So after new version is release we all are going to come back here and wait for new 1On1 and extras. Deke, are you reading this. Looks like you are going to be busy till the rest of your life. Good night everyone I’m done today.

  • That’s good.

    If the Dekester says the machine sounds fine, then I’ll stick with it for a while longer. :-D

    Unless the lottery ticket I bought for myself comes through, of course….

  • s’upgrade? duh’pgrade!

    Yeah, I just went to my local tech place to see about the cost of a new vid card. New vid cards are PCI-Express and my mobo will only support AGPx8. AGP cards only go to 256mb max, and are otherwise obsolete. “Obsolete”, can you believe?! It was the newest, greatest, most future-proof thing I could buy back in 1852! Cost an arm and a leg and a couple of gold teeth, too. Nothing lasts these days. So anyway, I’m researching upgrades now on the net, and I’ve already wish-listed about eleventy-twelve million dollars in new gear - gear which will be obsolete in about 2 1/2 months after purchase. Oh, what suckers we are. At this rate I might just go back to an old box brownie (if I can find one) - with crayons and home made paints for touch ups and fun. lol. As Frank Zappa said, “the computer can’t tell you the emotional story. It can give you the exact mathematical design, but what’s missing is the eyebrows.”

    Oh, well. G’night. Sleep tight. grin


  • pens

    Hands Petra a sword, use this instead - it’s mightier.

    Actually, I’m having trouble -just- installing cs4 let alone using the pen tool.


  • video cards

    Fortunately I got a laptop with enough ram & good enough video card to run CS4 back when I had the beta versions running. Without the right vid cards PS think it’s still perfectly usable, you just won’t be able to use the new zoom features, things like that. 


  • Cuts off own arm playing with sword…

    ...but don’t worry! It’s only a flesh wound!

    Keith, Keith, Keith…the pen[tool] is far mightier than the sword, especially in the War on Error.

    Swords (and guns) are for pussies.

    tongue laugh

    Good luck installing CS4, Keith. It’s taking some getting used to CS4 - so many changes to the interface, for starters! But trial and terror will win out. No swords needed. grin

  • You had beta running?

    I missed that part. Well, that’s probably your problem. Definitely launch the uninstaller and get rid of every last vestige of every last everything re: CS4. (At one of the points in the various stages of the thing, the biggest impediment to installing Photoshop CS4 was having Illustrator CS4 on your system. They interbreed!) Get rid of the preferences, set your hard drive on fire, and then reinstall.

    Good news: You shouldn’t have to uninstall a single component of CS3.

    I estimate I spent a good 24 hours on uninstalls and reinstalls during the beta cycle. Make that 48. It was gruesome. I spent a good deal of time cursing. (I said the Z word.) But ultimately, it was worth the effort. Once the damn thing installs, the sigh of relief you breathe is like the one after you beat The Boss on Level 13. Dude, that’s some good breath.

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