Totally Rad's Dirty Pictures

April 12, 2010
By Dan Havlik

Prod Reviews - Totally Rad

Dirty Pictures has a well designed visual interface for adding a range of textures to your images.
Photoshop Actions can be addictive things but I've always found sorting though them to be a confusing experience. About a year ago, I reviewed Kevin Kubota's DASHBOARD interface which is designed to get a handle on his voluminous assortment of Actions and thought it was a step in the right direction. Though it's a completely different product from DASHBOARD, Totally Rad's new Dirty Pictures plug-in for Photoshop offers another well designed visual interface to help you add textures to your images.

Dirty Pictures, which was created by Totally Rad's Action man Doug Boutwell, is actually so unlike any Action I've used that I hesitate to even call it an Action. In fact, it doesn't reside in the Action palette in Photoshop after you install it; it's in the filter menu with the rest of your plug-ins. So is it really an Action or a plug-in? Does it matter?

First off, let me state that I'm not a huge fan of adding textures as overlays or background to my images though I really like what Doug has created with Dirty Pictures. (And if you're a texture fan, you'll love this program.)

Rather than just list textures in the Actions palette, Dirty Pictures' graphically driven interface shows you exactly what the textures look like as large thumbnails before you use them. So while the porn star-like names of the Dirty Pictures textures are cute—Booty LaRue, Cherry Amore, Johnny Thunderpants—I'd much rather have known what I'm getting into before I use them. (Ok, that sounded a little weird.)

You can also add a preview image thumbnail—sample defaults include a bride, a tricycle, and a valley—to see what the texture is going to look like with a photo. Or, though it takes a little bit longer to load, you can have Dirty Pictures convert your current image into thumbnails paired with all the textures. If you're in a hurry and already know which texture you want to use, you can just pick it from a list without having to go through the graphic interface.

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