Core Image filters (a.k.a CIFilter) is one of the crown jewels of the Apple platform. At the time of writing there were 230 of them. They are incredibly powerful and versatile. If you ever developed anything that involved image or video processing you should have used some of them one way or the other. If you didn’t, your app probably sucks (unless you are a hard-core pro and prefer to get your hands dirty with Metal Shaders).
If you did, then you must have bunged your head against the wall a great number of times trying to make sense of Apple documentation (if it exists), looking for sample code, scavenging Stack Overflow for bits and pieces of information, trying to figure out why the damn thing doesn’t work.
There is hardly any other Apple API that is documented as poorly as Core Image Filters. It’s unfortunate and incredible given how much benefit it brings to developers all over the world if used right. Like me, you probably wished there was an app out there that lets you browse through all the filters and play with their settings in real time to understand how they work. Someone should have done all that homework and shared that with the community!
Well, if you search the AppStore you probably come across a few. But whatever I could find was either very limited or extremely buggy and simply not usable.
Search no more. This is it, you are here! Filter Magic is your final destination. It lets you play with EVERY SINGLE filter in real time. It goes way beyond some simple sliders, it gives you nifty visual controls that are fun to interact with. It explains the most obscure filters in great detail. It corrects Apple documentation where it’s incorrect. And it’s very performant too, since it uses Metal for rendering, and the pixels never leave the GPU.
This started as a side project to support my own development. As frustrated as you are, and not being able to find anything usable, I wanted to have a tool of my own to be able to try things out. Over time it grew into an obsession - I wanted to crack every single one of them even though I wasn’t using them in my development. 2 years later, after a lot of research, web crawling, false starts and dead ends, it’s finally here for your enjoyment and education!