Star Filter Plugin for Photoshop simulates star lens filters (also known as cross screen filters) – it adds star streaks to lights and highlights in an image. It can create a 4, 6, 8, or 16 point star filter effect (or any number from 2 to 16). It also allows you to adjust parameters such as angle and falloff while seeing the results updated in real time.Because highlights in digital photos are often clamped, we added a highlight boost feature to extend the dynamic range of 8 and 16 bit/channel images. The filter also handles HDR (high dynamic range) images correctly.
Author: Adam Wignall
The aim of this plug in is quite simple really. To convert highlights in an image into star highlights. When I first had a look at this, the first thing that came to mind was old fashioned posters where the catch lights in the eyes had been made into stars or even a highlight on the teeth. In fact when I tried it very quickly on a picture of my pet dog that is exactly the effect I got.
However after a bit more thought I decided to try it on an image that would be much more suited to this effect. I had a quick look on the web and saw that star highlights can work quite well on dark scenes with bright lights, like what you may find in a club. With this in mind I found a picture of a DJ in a club to test it out on.
I chose this picture because of the contrasting light and lots of strong highlights to work with yet the subject remains dark.
Once the filter is installed (which was a simple matter of double clicking the file and following the instructions) it can be found in the filters menu.
When you select the filter it brings up a new window which shows your image with the effect applied and the options to adjust on the effect.
You have a fairly decent amount of adjustments you can make. These include the obvious ones, such as amount and brightness along with some more clever ones like cutoff and falloff which helps you tweak what highlights get effected and by how much. You can also change how many star blades you want and even tweak the colour.
I actually quite liked the final result with this type of image, it adds to the scene rather than making it look cheesy like it could do with portraits.
At just under $50 for the plug-in I would say you would really have to be needing this effect to justify the cost. If you shoot a lot of club scenes then it could easily be worth the money if you are after this look. However for portraiture and other such images I wouldn’t recommend it as the effect can look a bit dated.
Easy to install
Easy to use
Very specific use for the money
Can look dated with some kinds of imagery
Star Filter 2.0 is available to buy from Scarab Labs by Kornél Lehőcz
About the author
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