Pros: High-quality output, plenty of options, stable, genuinely seamless results.
Cons: Manual is a little light, can be slow to process images.
ImageSynth is a new Adobe Photoshop plug-in from the most unlikely of sources. Created by Luxology, famed for its 3D modelling application Modo 202, it’s a standalone plug-in that creates high-resolution, seamless images.
Available free as part of the Modo 202 package, the company has spun it off into its own product for a bargain online price of around £55.
First impressions are daunting. Create a blank document in Photoshop CS 1 or higher, then access ImageSynth from the Filter menu. Here, you pull in one or more seed images, which are then plonked either manually or automatically into a central workspace. Much like using the Stamp tool, the smaller seed image can be placed and overlapped into the workspace, and ImageSynth automatically builds a new image that can be later tiled seamlessly.
Ideal for designers looking for seamless backgrounds, brushes or texture maps, output is frankly staggering. It handled our test photos with gusto, and the resulting image featured very few flaws, smears, or unusual joins. We took the final image and used the Offset filter to test how seamless it was. The result was impressive. There is a pre-filtering option to better smooth the image source.
Sorting you out
You can even let ImageSynth handle the whole process automatically. Select one or more seed images, add randomness and jitter parameters, and ImageSynth will work out the best image for you.
Building images can take time. We used two 500-pixel-wide stills to create a new, larger HD image (1,920-x-1,080) and it took around five minutes on a dual-processor Power Mac G5.
ImageSynth will find a home in the toolboxes of 3D artists and visual-effects animators more than designers. The included manual was a little light from what can seem an initially complex plug-in – however, Luxology’s included video tutorials make up for the shortcoming. For photoreal seamless image generation, ImageSynth has it nailed.