View Full Version : photographic edge effects / frames / tabs / etc.
I'm looking for some interesting photographic edge effects - either photoshop plugins, actions, or software - to create historic looking edge effects.
The one option I found so far is Auto FX Photo/Graphic Edges -- I downloaded the demo and some of the edge effects (darkroom/burned) are quite nice, but the frames and tabs look too computer generated I think, at least based on the small selection included with the demo.
Does anyone have any other recommendations?
Maybe a little heavier than what I was first looking for, but I found an interesting option:
You get 60 frames for $39 which seems a pretty fair price. I like the fact that they don't look too computer generated.
06-08-2004, 10:50 PM
I like the fact that they don't look too computer generated. Looks like these are based on actual frames, which would certainly help. The rounded ones are stunning.
Well, I seem to be good at working for tools instead of profit. For this job where the customer requested frames printed around the photos, I've now purchased AutoFX Photographic Edges 6.0 and Classic Frames volume 3 which is about equal to the total profit on the job :)
I have to say though that I'm a little disappointed by each.
Classic Frames is the better of the two, in that you can control the mat thickness in many of the frames. However, there are two downsides:
1.) Though I'm not a programmer, the way I would have handled frames with repeating detail would be as follows: input photo dimensions, subtract non-repeating corner dimensions, then get nearest number of x tiles and y tiles of the repeating pattern for the sides. Then stretch repeating tile as little as possible to be seamless, and apply corners. Allow width of corners and sides to be user selectable. (much like building a 9-cell table to add an edge effect on a web page, where the backgrounds for each table cell would be resampled upon demand to fit the width selected.) However, this is not how either one of the above plugins work (AutoFX is even more limited, and I'll get to that in a moment.) With Classic Frames, some frames work great, but others look noticeably stretched when your photo is a different dimension than the base frame, as each edge stretches as one unit to fit, so if your photo is 3:2 proportion and the frame is designed 4:3 proprtion, you see some stretching. Also the mat doesn’t always stay constant thickness, but instead is thicker on the sides than the top and bottom if your photo is a wider proportion than the programmer used to make the background.
2.) When you apply the filter, your original photo is resampled to fit within the frame, but:
-first it doesn't always fit right. You can adjust in 1% (even percent) increments above and beyond the auto, but the auto doesn't seem to work quite right (I’m guessing it’s also confined to even full percentages) and not being able to input fractions of a percent you either get a white seam or the photo overlays the mat or frame a little (it doesn’t go behind.)
-second, I think it would be a nice option to have the frame applied around the existing photo by increasing canvas size instead of resampling the photo down. The reason for this is that resampling the photo leads to loss of sharpness and detail, so it would be a nice option to add the pixels for the frame around the original instead of having to resample the original photo down always. (the lack of this feature means the way I'll actually use it is to apply the frame to a blank image and then copy and paste the real image into it, which is a bit less efficient.)
Now on to AutoFX Photographic Edges 6 - this really bothers me for a $200 program (It's $179 but only available in CD form, not for instant online purchase, and fast shipping adds $20.). What bothers me: Many of the frames are not straight. Maybe it was meant as artistic, but I notice several of the frames are crooked by a degree or so and not necessarily rectangular. This not only means that your image ends up slightly non-rectangular, but also leaves a white line under some photos or you have to cut into them a bit. It's not the end of the world, but for $200 I would have expected them to straighten their scans or at least offer straight versions as alternates for when you want images to line up, perfectly.
Second, the traditional frames in Photographic Edges are all one-piece scans, so you can't adjust the frame size in proportion to the photo size. Further, they are fixed proportion, so many of the effects you see in the demo are only useful if you have that exact proportion image. Otherwise you have to crop the image, and much worse, the default auto stretches the original to fit, so if you start with a 3:2 proportion image and select a given frame, the image might be stretched to 2:2 or 4:3 or 3:4 which was unexpected.
Finally, the photo tab effect in AutoFX seems to have a major glitch as well. I'm not a programmer, but I expected more for $200 which is quite $$$ for me. Here is the limitation - when you apply tabs, you get a drop shadow too (which I can't seem to control or eliminate.) The problem? The dropshadow is larger than whatever canvas you set so you get a distinct edge produced by the canvas edge and not a smooth shadow-the shadow is cut off by an arbitrary rectangle which looks terrible if you print it any way other than full bleed and trimmed. When you apply the effect, the shadow is not created beyond the canvas, even if you apply the effect on a new layer. The only way around this is to stretch the image down in the PGE interface, but the problem here is that you don't have precise pixel control in the PGE interface – you can only drag the handles - so that means one image will likely be slightly differently sized than the next. Obviously a drawback if you want each image to be 600 x 400 and one ends up 596 x 398 with extra white if you want them to line up.
I guess what bugs me is that these "bugs" are so seemingly correctable and the programs are so close, and yet the bugs make it much more time consuming to use each of these programs.
Though I'm not a programmer, the way I would have handled frames with repeating detail would be as follows...
Wow, deja vu. %)
Originally posted by dank:
Wow, deja vu. %)
Non-programmers telling programmers how it should work without being able to create a working program themselves you mean :P
No, no... I was referring to having gone through much that thought process with setting up a picture framing script last year.
06-15-2004, 08:02 PM
Non-programmers telling programmers how it should work without being able to create a working program themselves you mean While I'm still not entirely clear on what Dan meant (oh wait, I think he meant that he did a similar thing last year...) I do have an appreciation for this Jeff. I was impressed with this. Being able to think through all the steps and maybe draw a flow-chart is half-way there, just hiring someone to code it would make it a good product.
Unfortunately having a good product is still less than half the (total) problem, as Dan certainly can attest...
About 1% of the battle, I'd wager.
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