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Other Improvements

Hexadecimal RGB Values in the Color Picker

One of the popular feature requests has been a hexadecimal field in the Color Picker, so here you are: Filter Forge 3.0 lets you view, copy and paste hexadecimal RGB values of the current color within the Color Picker

Note that the hex field cannot represent HDR colors (its text turns red in this case) and floating-point RGB values (it simply rounds them to the nearest integer), so if you plan to use it for copy/pasting colors from one color swatch to another, use the right-click menu of the color swatch instead.

Hexadecimal RGB Values in the Color Picker

Ability to Create and Open Images from within Filter Editor

Filter Forge 3.0 now allows you to create and open images from inside Filter Editor. If you are in the middle of designing a filter and would like to check how your creation looks on another source image, you no longer need to save it and close the Filter Editor to preview it.

The File menu of the Filter Editor

Recent Images Menu

Filter Forge 3.0 introduces the Recent Images menu that contains 9 most recently opened external images. The menu appears everywhere you can open an image from: in the main window, in the Filter Editor and in the properties of the new Color Control and Grayscale Control components:

The Recent Images Menu

Unified Bomber Component

In the previous version of Filter Forge the Bomber component was separated into two versions, Bomber and Bomber (HDR), the latter capable of handling HDR colors at the expense of having less blending modes available. Filter Forge 3.0 introduces a new, unified Bomber component that can switch between the LDR and HDR mode:

The Unified Bomber Component

Precise Color Inspector

The Color Inspector we introduced in Filter Forge 2.0 has gained extra precision. If you turn this feature on, the Color Inspector will show double-precision RGB values instead of single-precision ones.

Filter Forge uses double-precision numbers for internal processing but the output bitmap cache is limited to single precision by default. Enabling high-precision Color Inspector allows you to get accurate display for very small or very large RGB values that would otherwise be rounded to 0 or 'Infinity'. This comes in handy for debugging complex filters that use HDR colors and Math components.

To turn precise Color Inspector on, select Tools > Options > Rendering > Use double-precision output cache. If you're debugging a filter that uses HDR colors, make sure to deselect the Clip HDR Before Averaging option in the Filter > Anti-Aliasing menu.

Precise Color Inspector

HDR and Alpha Support for Color Components

Filter Forge 3.0 finally allows control components to accept HDR colors and alpha channels. HDR is supported by both Color Control and Grayscale Control components, while the Alpha Channel is supported by Color Control only. Both these features are turned off by default, but they can be easily enabled in the properties of the control components:

HDR and Alpha Support for Color Components

This is really a fantastic piece of software, I highly recommend everyone checking it out if you're into pattern/texture map creation.

Neil Blevins
Technical Director
Feature Films
www.neilblevins.com

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“I really like Filter Forge, I seem to find new uses for it constantly. The 2.0 upgrade looks great, HDR will be really welcome.”

Jared Martin
3D and Visual Effects Artist
jozvex.cgsociety.org/gallery

“It's a powerful and logical way of creating effects that's relatively easy to learn by seeing how other effects are built. Creating filters from scratch is time-consuming, but for a wider user group, it's a great way to modify already-created effects.”

Neil Bennett
Digital Arts
www.digitalartsonline.co.uk

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