Filter Forge has released a free beta version of Filter Forge 2.0, a high-end plug-in for Adobe Photoshop allowing computer artists to build their own filters.

The beta testing will be conducted in several stages, with new features added at every stage. The first stage includes full support for unlimited HDR colors, Bomber components that allow filter creators to spray image particles in a controlled manner, Minimum, Median, Maximum and Percentile components to create artistic effects, a gamma-aware workflow for technically-minded users, shapes (polygons and ellipses), and instant filter search to make life easier for users with large filter collections.

The beta version can be downloaded here. The beta is a fully functional 30-day trial version of the Filter Forge 2.0 Professional edition. All registered users of Filter Forge 1.0 can get a free beta key that allows them to use the beta version until the end of the beta period. The commercial version is planned for release in 2010.

Additionally, Filter Forge is offering a 25 per cent discount on all editions of Filter Forge 1.0. Read our review of Filter Forge 1.0 here.