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Plugin Guide #5 - Mehdi Plugins

by Harald Heim

 

The Mehdi Plugins are a freeware collection of 26 Photoshop-compatible filter plugins and were first released in 2004. In the meantime a few new plugins have been added and some older ones have been updated. If you want to get them, you have to download 26 separate .zip files, which is a bit inconvenient.

The Mehdi Plugins offer a non-resizable dialog with a more or less small preview. Most plugins only provide a few sliders, so they are fairly easy to use. A few plugins are more sophisticated and also let you pick colors from the preview or from a color dialog and let you manipulate objects in the preview. Most plugins offer a Reset button for restoring the original settings, but only a few of them also offer a feature for saving the filter settings as preset files.

You can find various effect types in this collection. There are pattern generating plugins called Blots, Julia World, Kaleidoscope and Vibrations, distortion plugins like Fur, Melt, Wavy Lab and Weaver, color effects like Absolute Color, Color Mega Mix and Gradient Smithy, artistic effect like Edges FX, Posterizer and Sorting Tiles. Additionally you can also find tools like Eraser, Projection and Seamless Border as well as photo enhancement plugins like Contrast Balance, Curves, Equalizer and HSL Plus. Not to forget the Grain Natural, Local Equalization and Quick Mirror plugins, whose names indicate what they do.

The plugins for enhancing photos imitate features that can be found in a more or less similar way in graphics applications, so they don't offer something really special. The two Eraser plugins are nice for photo composition jobs and the Grain Natural is a great for simulating film grain. Other than that, the Mehdi Plugins are best used for special effects. Nevertheless, the tutorials below show you how to achieve special photographic effects.

 Info & Download
  www.mehdiplugins.com
  
 Installation
 If you use an Adobe application, please create a sub folder called "Mehdi" in the Plug-Ins folder of your application's folder and copy the unzipped Mehdi plugins into it. If you use Paint Shop Pro, PhotoImpact or Photo-Paint, you can put the unzipped Mehdi plugins in any folder you like. Afterwards you have to select that folder in the Preferences dialog of your application. After restarting your application, you can find the Mehdi Plugin on the "Mehdi" sub menu of the Filter or Effect menu. For detailed information on installing plugins please see here.
  

Tip 1 Tip 2

You can use the Projection plugin for perspective correction. To do that, activate the Sold Color option and adjust the rectangle in the preview. After pressing OK, you only need to crop the outer white area away.

 To better use the Curve plugin please apply it to a duplicated layer. With the opacity slider of that layer you can adjust the effect and compensate for the missing slider in the Curve plugin.

 

SEPIA MOOD

01 Choose An Image
Please use a photo that contains a lot of blue areas.

02 Run Color MegaMix
To achieve this effect you need to use the Color MegaMix plugin. Selecting the radio button above the blue source and target boxes and setting the Hue slider to zero will produce a sepia effect. You can weaken the effect by reducing the value of the Saturation slider.
03 Violet Mood Variation
If you experiment a little, you can also come up with other nice color effects. For this example we clicked Reset for the default values, selected the green radio button and set the Hue and Saturation sliders to zero to produce the result above.
 
OLD FILM
01 Open A Photo And Make it B&W
Open a photo that would look good as an old-style photo. Run the HSL Plus plugin, set the Saturation slider to -100 and press OK. This will convert the photo to black and white.
02 Apply Grain
To add some film grain you need to run the Grain Natural plugin. Please set the Size slider to a value between 1 and 3, Strength to 20 and Ratio at zero. This will produce a grain effect that isn't too coarse and obtrusive.
03 Add Film Stripes
As a final step please run the Grain Natural plugin again. In order to produce vertical stripes instead of grain you need to set the Ratio slider to -100. You can keep the Size and Strength sliders at the same value, but you may also experiment with them.
 
THERMAL CAMERA
01 Choose An Image
Open a photo, preferably with some living subjects. The effect will look best if there are subjects in front of a plain colored and soft background.
02 Run Vibrations
Run the Vibrations plugin, activate the Iridescence check box and increase the Sat. slider to 75 to achieve saturated colors. Try the Freq. Slider with values from 0 to 10, drag the Blur slider to a middle position and use the Offset slider to make the living subjects red and the background blue.
03 Try A Night Vision Variation
To simulate night vision goggles please deactivate the Iridescence check box. Now click on each of the three color boxes and set the first one to dark green, the second to black and the third to bright green. Adjust the Freq., Blur and Offset sliders until you are satisfied.

 

This article was published in Issue 25 of the Digital Photo Effects Magazine. It was updated for The Plugin Site in July 2006.

 

Copyright (c) 2000 - 2009 by Harald Heim