Download the Kirby.8bf file and copy it to your Photoshop/Plugins/Filters folder. It was written to the windows Photoshop SDK v6, so it should work on all versions of Photoshop 6 or higher - or any other application that uses Photoshop 6 filter plug-ins (PaintShop Pro, CorelDraw, etc., but we haven't tested it on anything other than Photoshop yet).
Here's how it works: the filter puts big dots in dark areas, small dots in light areas, and no dots in white areas. So to make a CRAZY SPACE VORTEX, I used the Paintbrush tool to draw some white squiggles, then roughly outlined them in light gray, with darker gray around the edges. The white will be the center of our vortex. Next add a whole crapload of Gaussian Blur -- you want nice smooth gradients. On the third image there, I increased the Contrast a lot.
The dots themselves will be made with whatever two colors you have selected over on the Tools bar: In this case the dots will be black on a pink background:
Remember Kirby Dots works with NEGATIVE space, so the usual way of using it is to have a DARK (black) foreground (dot) color and a lighter (white) background color setting. Kirby Dots will replace your source layer/selection with dots and a blank fill based on the foreground/background colors. If you don't want to lose your source image (ie: for blending) then use a duplicate layer.
Go to Filters/Octopus Motor/Kirby Dots. You'll need to hit "Preview" first to see your image in the Preview window. Play around with the settings (see below) until you get something you like. NOTE: Whenever you change a setting, you'll need to hit "Preview" again to see the change - the window doesn't automatically update. It doesn't automatically generate a preview upon opening, because it remembers your last used setting, and if those are slow, then it takes forever to open the plug-in window. When you're happy with your dots, hit "OK".
The result right out of the filter (first image) is pretty basic. To get a soft shaded effect, make a duplicate of your Kirby-ized layer and add a lot o' Gaussian Blur. Then set your layer to "Multiply" or "Darken", whatever looks good...play around with it. You can also add a Gradient Style to that layer, like I've done on the third image. Whoa, dude - Dr. Strange could come flying out of that crazy vortex any minute now.
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