Auto FX Software’s Mystical Focus 1.0; A Dual Platform Effects “Stand-Alone,” Or Plug-In Page 2

The Mystical Focus Specular Shapes Filter
The Mystical Focus Specular Shapes filter uses naturally occurring light in your image to create effects. The effect is created in the form of shapes and the filter allows a choice from over a dozen options. I’ll use a winter image (below) to demonstrate the Specular Shapes filter.

Effects are created with the Specular Shapes filter by drawing lines on the image. The lines determine approximately where the shapes will be placed.

The Specular Shapes filter includes a wealth of options for controlling the appearance of the shapes you create. These include Color, Size, Spread, Items (total number of shapes), Size Variation, Color Variation, Softness, Glow Color, Glow Softness, and Variation (which adds randomness to the placement of effects). The controls are specific to each line. So, for example, you could have one line with effects close together, and another line with effects spaced further apart. For that matter, each line can use a completely different shape effect.

Here’s the interface (A). Each point on the lines you draw can be manipulated much like a vector path in Photoshop, allowing you to fine-tune the location of your shape effects.


The shapes available are Dust, Flare, Heart Strokes, Sparkle, Spiral, Star Strokes, Star Flares, Swirls, Polygon, Simple Flare, Hatch Flare, Circle Strokes, Simple Circle, Heart, Simple Star, Simple Diamond, Moon Strokes, and Simple Moon. I found the Dust and Sparkle shapes to be particularly useful.

The Dust shape (B) can be used to add a dreamy, soft-focus feel to a photo. It also does a good job of creating the look of moisture or snow on a camera lens. The Sparkle shape (C) resembles the effect created when a glass star lens is attached to your camera while taking a photo.



The Mystical Focus Glamour Glow Filter
Perhaps the most interesting filter in the Mystical Focus collection is Glamour Glow. This filter takes a photo shot under ordinary lighting and creates an effect of glamour lighting.

When I think of “glamour lighting,” I think of lighting that allows for significant brightness and contrast in a photo. Bright areas of the face, such as teeth and cheeks, may look noticeably brighter than they would under ordinary lighting. Darker areas, such as dark hair and eyebrows, may have a more shadowed appearance. Enhanced contrast should be displayed throughout the image.

This is why I find the Glamour Glow filter so interesting. It instantly does an excellent job of creating the glamour lighting effect. Yes, you could do the same thing in Photoshop, but it would require taking quite a bit of time working with the Levels and Brightness/Contrast adjustments to create the effect. When using the Glamour Glow filter, the effect is instantaneous. All that you may want to do is a few seconds of fine-tuning with the filter’s sliders or brushes to tweak the result to your liking.

Here’s a before (A) and after (B) shot. Applying the Glamour Glow filter accentuates both highlight and shadow areas, and increases the overall tonal range of the photo.


spencerid's picture

I've learned most of these techniques at a corporate event about photography and its artists. But every time I come across something interesting I like to read it and I document how well I can about the topic. You have done a good job!