Scour Power

Whenever I have serious  photo scrubbing to do, I turn to a great Photoshop plug-in called Machine Wash Deluxe from the folks at Mister Retro. It not only does some mean surface cleansing, but digs deep beneath the layers, lathers up and scrapes those crusty pixels silly. It does deep-steaming, too, not to mention high-concept saturation, blow texturizing, and grime buff-blasting. It filters out dullness and lets the natural grunge shine through.

Machine Wash is an  awesome bundle of advanced  texture effect filters,  featuring customizable parameters for extensive fine-tuning. It’s specialty is producing organic abstractions, grunge-funk, scrapes, stains, scratches, spills, toxic degradation and deconstructive erosion. Thus, it’s a plug-in that makes designers temble with excitement, craving its sheer power, the endless potential for astounding layouts, eye-grabbing designs, inspired retro background spasms, and abstract photo transformations.

In short: art attacks!

 It’s a bit easier to show than describe, so here are some examples that ultimately became the sign atop this post.


My original  photo prior to washing.

Interesting composition, but I wanted to take it to another level with Machine Wash.

This tweaked texture turned me on.

Wow. I was cooking now.

In the above version I opted for more subtle filtering and left  the background untouched. I added a drop shadow to the leaf. But then I decided to lose the leaf. I cropped the photo, added text, washed it, and applied several additional  textures to create the finished sign below: 

Now dig the slick interface of Machine Wash Deluxe… (click on screens for larger view)

You first select a texture by clicking on the Basic tab and choosing from a descriptive list:  Crystallized Window, Fiberglass Web,  Super Scuffer, Toxic Waste, etc. (Additional texture sets are available for downloading.) The other three tabs—Wash, Surface, Background—are where you adjust each filter’s settings via handy slider bars. You can devote  many hours to playing with the various parameters and may even discover unique  iterations  that expand your original vision. It’s this level of control that makes Machine Wash so seductive and powerful.

You can save your own adjustments sets, as I did in the screen below (“Zoom Surface 1”).

I don’t have time to list all the features, but here are some faves: Apply Wash Effect on Mask Layer; Dimensional  Surface Effects & Lighting Control; Effect Multiplier; 3D Textured Depth Perspective; Sync Texture Effect Scaling & Orientation Across Tabbed Sections.

Surface Tab Parameters

Mister Retro is one hip cat with some very cool software.

Grab the plug-in here.