Although filters and plugins are not always necessary since Paintshop Pro has quite an array of possible effects, sometimes, it is fun to play around with new settings that might not be available natively in Paintshop Pro. Filters Unlimited 2.0 is one of those filters that has hundreds (if not thousands) of possible effects. Although you likely won't use even close to half of them for your main projects, you might discover some effects that will trigger some inspiration for other things.
Download Filters Unlimited 2.0
Initially, this plugin was available at the icnet.de site but this is no longer available. Even though I tried to find the source of a download from the author, I was unsuccessful. Maybe it is no longer available for download from the original source. For that reason, HERE is a link to download it directly.
Installing the plugin
Once you unzip the file, you will find an .exe file. Just double-click on it to start the installation process.
During the installation process, you will be asked where you want the plugin to be installed. Of course, you can point it to the Plugin folder that is available in MyDocuments from the initial installation of PSP, but you can also point to any folder where you might be gathering all your plugins, and then just point Paintshop Pro to that folder through File > Preferences > File location and under Plugin tab.
Using the plugin
The way to use Filters Unlimited 2.0 is pretty straightforward. With an image open, you go to Effects > Plugins > <I.C.NET Software > > Filters Unlimited 2.0. You then get 24 "types" of filters on the left column.
Once you select one of those filters, you get a variety of "sub-filters" associated with it. The number can range from 5 to 20.
While you see the effect, live on the preview, you also can tweak the settings to get completely different results on your image.
You also have the Randomize button on the bottom right, which will randomize the settings for the particular filter and sub-filter that you have selected.
If you like a particular effect but might not necessarily need to use it immediately, OR if you plan on reusing it in the future, you can click on the Preset tab (1), click Add... (2) and that will bring up a window with the effect you just created. You have to add a name to it (3) and if you want a description, you have enough room for it too. Then, click OK (4) and the preset will now be available in the Preset tab, for future use.
Interesting filters for you
There are many filters you can play with, but I would assume that not all of them would be of common use. I did pick a few that I think have great potential for you.
Distortion Filters: If you use the Ink Blot, especially if you have a colorful background, could make the base for a fun paper.
Edge square (and Edge Round): these will create really fun edges around your image, either in a rectangular/square or round/elliptic way.
Paper Backgrounds: this filter has a ton of options to create basic papers. Those papers have no settings to change but they are great as a base for other effects to be applied on top of them.
Paper Textures: those will add a delicate texture to your image. It is so subtle that I have to zoom in to show you the actual texture. This way, it won't overpower your image (or paper) with an unrealistic texture.
Of course, you might have different favorites and you might also find some creative ways to use other filters and settings. Go ahead. Play around. Create your own presets and use this filter over and over again.
What is your favorite filter? Share your suggestions in the comments below, and you can even post samples in the forum so we can see them "in action".