Filter Forge is supposedly a filter plug-in for Photoshop, and a sort of fractal generator on it's own. In practice, while it will show up in your Photoshop Filters list, if you click on it, Photoshop will pick up a magazine and inform you that "Filter Forge is already running" and if you want something, "go bother Filter Forge". Which is fine; the program works with Photoshop much like Image Ready does--you move into it and then poke at your source file. Just to see how it worked, I ran a few presets on a photo of my Granado Davon. Old Photo version:
Here is the Instagram version of the photo:
The engraving of Captain Aldwood:
A bit seasick here
And Aldwood on shrooms, or perhaps just Richard Power's version of him;
While this is all fun stuff, the real power of the program lies in the filter editor, which works a lot like the materials room in Poser, where you can combine different fractal formulas and images and colors and make 3d textures, which will be obediently tiled for your convenience. Since the program was 60% off today, I bought it--I can see it is going to be useful!