AutoFX Mystical Focus 2.0 is an Adobe Photoshop-compatible plug-in that comprises 16 photographic focus effects, including a special masking layer. The plug-in allows users to add realistic depth-of-field, panning and motion effects, tilt-shift focus, focal planes, and a myriad assortment of other effects that improve the look and feel of the photo. It ends up being a very helpful tool for photographers for post-production tasks since it lets you digitally enhance the focus in a smooth, natural way.
Auto FX Mystical Focus 2.0 is from Auto FX Software, a company based in Birmingham, Alabama and Nashua, New Hampshire (both locations in the USA) which develops professional Photoshop plug-ins and filters. Their other Photoshop-compatible plug-ins are Photo/Graphic Edges, Mystical Lighting, Auto Eye, etc.
You can download a free trial version of Mystical Focus from the Auto FX Software.
My contact at Auto FX Software for this review was Patrick Sutton. Thank you, Patrick.
How To Use
Follow these steps to use Mystical Focus 2.0:
- Open any image in Adobe Photoshop.
- Choose the Filter | Auto FX Software | Mystical 2... option, as shown in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Mystical 2...
- Doing so opens the Mystical 2.0 interface, as shown in Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: Mystical 2.0 interface
- The interface is explained below. Each area corresponds to an area highlighted in Figure 2:
- This part of the interface provides all the 16 effects as part of the Select Effect | Mystical Focus menu. The other options you can get in this sections are File, Edit and View.
- Depending upon the effect you choose from the Select Effect list, you'll find context sensitive properties here that allow customization and fine-tuning of various parameters.
- Here you get options such as Brush On/Off focal areas or Lasso On/Off, it uses the opacity to define the degree to which the algorithms apply or remove the result, giving the photographer an exact degree of control. And the ellipse tools let the user click to place a focal point on the image from which the focus is removed and the viewer’s eye is instantly drawn to the area inside the ellipse. The path tools let the user draw straight bezier paths that can be adjusted by moving, stretching, and angling the path.
- All the effects applied on the active image are stacked here, so that you can delete, clone, or hide any effect layer, and even add a new mask layer. You can also individually control layer opacity.
- In this palette, you can control the size, feathering, and opacity of the brush, and also select from an assortment of brush styles.
- This area displays the changes that occur, as you select and fine-tune the effects.
- This section provides options to view the Original image without the effects applied. If you click the Select Layer Preset button, this opens the Presets window, as shown in Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Presets
- From the Presets window, you can choose any of the available preset effects, and apply these on the active picture.
- The Save Layer Preset button enables you to save any effect you create, so that it can be applied to other images later.
- Choose any effect from the presets, or create an effect of your own.
- Click OK to apply the effect, and return to your Photoshop composition.
D. Layer Palette
E. Brush Palette
Here are some Before and After samples:
|Photoshop Versions:||Photoshop CS and higher|
|Site:||Auto FX Software|
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