Auto FX Free is a free collection of 10 free Photoshop plugins which can also be used stand-alone.
The effects include Focal Zoom, Light Brush, Lighten and Sharpen, Mood Lighting, Soften Details, Vitality, Dreamy Photo, Mosaic, Abstract Edges and Photo Border.
Unusually, the developer doesn’t ask for any details with the download or installation, and there are no annoying restrictions or “upgrade now!” nag screens.
You don’t need a Photoshop plugin-compatible editor to try out the effects, as they’re all available from a bundled host program called “Auto FX Free”.
Launch this, open an image (JPG, PSD, PNG, BMP, TIFF) and your preferred plugins are available from the “Select AFX Effect” menu.
A panel displays the settings for each plugin. Choose Focal Zoom, for instance, and you’re able to set the position of the effect, its strength, opacity, adjust its lighting effects, and customise the results with a brush.
Filters may optionally be combined, and you can save the finished image as a JPG, PSD, PNG, BMP or TIFF file.
The stand-alone “Auto FX Free” program seems to have a bug or two. We found it crashed most of the time when using the “Abstract Edges” effect, and would occasionally fail elsewhere for no apparent reason.
Still, most of the time it worked just fine, we could play around the effects, explore their many configuration options and produce some quality results. Give it a try.
Auto FX Free is available for Windows XP and later and Mac.