COMPANY: Shinycore | URL: www.shinycore.com | TYPE: PS, AI Plug-in | PLATFORM: Mac, Windows | PRICE: $99 ea/129 for PS+AI
Path Styler Pro is a filter plug-in for both Photoshop and Illustrator that is unique in that it uses Photoshop's paths as input to create its effect, resulting in high-quality images with sharp and clean bevels that can be enhanced with procedural maps, metallic materials, textures, reflections, and more.

Photoshop provides all the tools necessary to create and edit paths; Path Styler Pro does the rest. And to make it easy to create styled titles and headings, Path Styler Pro adds an Automate command to quickly turn any type layer into a Path Styler Pro effect.

Main Features

Path Styler Pro has many great features, all combined in a single filter, allowing you to create impressive designs fast and easy.

Super sharp bevels
Path Styler Pro produces bevels that are crisp and clean and allows you to choose between rounded, beveled or mitered joins at corners.

Multiple bevels on a single object
Add more than one bevel to both the inside and the outside of a path. Each bevel with its own edge style, material, and texture items.

Metallic, plastic, glass and custom shaded materials
Choose from 6 types of shaders for each material and control the color, opacity, shadow, and highlight settings with dynamic sliders.

Procedural maps
Add layers of maps to almost every parameter and choose from 38 map types, including Noise, Wood, Dots, Image, and more.

Bump mapping
Add relief and irregularities to a surface by adding multiple texture items with procedural bump maps. Shape the bumps of the textures with editable contours.

Reflective materials
Create reflective materials with the reflection item. Use procedural maps for a wide range of colorful environments.

Improved lighting
Use 4 colored lights and a light map item to illuminate your object. Choose from directional, omni, and tube lights for sophisticated lighting effects.

Editable contours
Use contours to control the shape of bevels, the output of maps, and the bumps of texture items. Create your own contours with the Contour Editor.

Gradients
Color the output of procedural maps with gradients. Edit any gradient instantly with the inline gradient editor.

Smoothing
Although Path Styler Pro's bevels do not need smoothing, that doesn't mean you cannot apply smoothing to the bevels in Path Styler Pro. In fact, you can even use separate smoothing settings for each bevel.

All-in-One user interface
Path Styler Pro's user interface was designed to give you instant control so you get great results fast. With dynamic sliders, onscreen controls, unlimited undo/redo capability, and a huge preview that immediately updates when you make changes.

Visual presets
Instantly apply various styles to your paths with resolution-independent presets. View presets quickly and save your styles, contours, and gradients as preset libraries.

With the Photoshop version of Path Styler Pro you can also create refractive bevels that distort the background, create styles that remain editable after you apply the Path Styler Pro filter, and use document layers and alpha channels as bump maps, color maps, or masks. The Illustrator version of Path Styler Pro is a live effect that you can apply directly to path, compound path, and text objects. All parameters remain fully editable at all times and the effect automatically updates when you edit the path.

In addition to all the top features, the Photoshop version of Path Styler Pro comes with a refraction effect that allows you to distort and tint the image underneath. Great for creating refractive materials like glass.

How it Works

Bevel and embossing techniques are used throughout the world of pixels to add depth to your 2D artwork. Many graphics programs use a technique that produces smooth bevels. The bevel needs to be smoothed because otherwise you will get artifacts that give the bevel a chiseled look. However, smoothing out the artifacts also smoothes out any fine details so you always end up with soft blurred edges.

The reason for this is that the technique described above does not take into account the path that is often used to create the logo or title. Paths are used throughout Photoshop and Illustrator to describe the outlines of shapes such as circles, rectangles, and of course text. Shapes, also called vector objects, always have crisp edges when rasterized. But when you add a bevel to a shape in Photoshop, the shape is rasterized before the bevel is added, so the bevel itself is not crisp.

Traditional 2D bevel techniques operate on an image that has already been rasterized. Path Styler Pro, on the other hand, first adds the bevel to the path, and then rasterizes the shape, creating a crisp and clean image with sharp bevels that do not require smoothing.

The Path Styler Pro way to create bevels
Another advantage of using paths to create bevels is that in addition to the rounded joins at corners, you can now have beveled and mitered joins as well.

Rounded and Mitered joins at corners in Path Styler Pro
Path Styler Pro makes full use of its technique by allowing you to add multiple inner and outer bevels to the same path. This means that you are no longer restricted to only a single inner or outer bevel. Furthermore, each bevel in Path Styler Pro can have its own material, contour, textures, and procedural maps. Together with four colored lights, reflections, custom shaders, and a host of other high-end features, you can create a wide range of impressive designs fast and easy.
Fill Styler

Included with every version of Path Styler Pro for Photoshop is Fill Styler, a filter plug-in that enables you to use the rendering capabilities of Path Styler Pro to create tileable textures, backgrounds for web pages, and image effects.

Easy styling
Mix colors, procedural texture maps, and lighting to fill your selection with a large variety of patterns and effects. And with more than 100 different preset styles to help you get started you will be able to create your own impressive styles in no time.

Create tileable textures
Let Fill Styler automatically make your styles tileable so you can use them as textures that repeat seamlessly across a rendered surface or a background for a web page.

Tileable Textures
Fill Styler can adjust the mapping of your style, even when rotated, to turn it into a tileable texture.

Image effects
Not only can Fill Styler color the pixels in your image, you can also use it to add image effects. Distort your image, add rain or snow, engrave it in metal, and more.

Normal maps and height maps
In addition to rendering fully colored images, Fill Styler can also create and adjust normal maps and height maps that you can use as textures for a game engine or a high-end 3D application.

Any bit depth, any size
Like Path Styler Pro, Fill Styler works with 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit High Dynamic Range (HDR) images, using the full range available. And the styles you create are resolution independent so you can render the same image at any size.

Free with Path Styler Pro for Photoshop
Fill Styler is not available as a separate filter plug-in but it is included for free with Path Styler Pro for Photoshop and the Path Styler Pro Bundle.

Smart Filter
In Photoshop CS2 and earlier, Path Styler Pro was already a re-editable filter that allowed you to change the style of a path on a layer after you applied it. But with the introduction of nondestructive Smart Filters in Photoshop CS3 it is even easier to design and optimize the style of your logos until it is perfect.

Height and Normal map rendering
When you are working with textures for a game engine or a high-end 3D application, you can use Path Styler Pro to create and adjust normal maps and height maps.

Resolution Independent
Path are resolution independent and so are the styles you create in Path Styler Pro. So when you are designing logos or icons for use at different sizes, you can use Path Styler Pro to render the same style with crisp and clean bevels at any resolution.

Requirements
Path Styler Pro works with Adobe Photoshop CS3, CS2, and CS running on a Mac or Windows system. System requirements are those that Adobe recommends for running your specific version of Photoshop. Visit the Adobe Photoshop website for the system requirements of the latest Photoshop version. Note that only Photoshop CS3 is fully compatible with Mac OS X Leopard, so it is recommended that you only use Path Styler Pro with Photoshop CS3 when running Leopard.

Path Styler Pro may work with older versions of Photoshop but support is not provided for these versions. Note that due to the use of paths unique to Photoshop, Path Styler Pro will not work with other applications that support Photoshop plug-ins.
Shapes courtesy of www.graphicxtras.com