Plugin Newsletter - August 2012
COLORSTYLER 1.02 FOR WINDOWS: Various Bug Fixes
POLL RESULTS: What user interface do you prefer for Photoshop plugins? From which companies have you purchased a Photoshop plugin (or its upgrade) during the last three years?
NEW POLLS: For what purpose
do you use Photoshop Plugins?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: KPT3
under Windows 7, Flaming Pear Registration, Photoshop CS6 Problems Under
GRAPHICS NEWS: AlphaPlugins LaunchBox, Adobe Exchange Panel, Corel Painter 12.2, GraphicConverter 8.2
I sincerely regreat that the ColorStyler Challenge had to be canceled. There were a lot of registrations for the contest, but almost no presets were sent in. We really would have been pleased to award the prizes, but hardly any opportunity to do so. It seems that most people rather want to present their images in contests, therefor future contests will be about images again, which also worked for our contests in the past.
Our FocalBlade plugin was compared with sharpening products from Topaz and Fixer Labs in the latest issue of the German ColorFoto magazine. FocalBlade won with a big head start considering image quality, usability, amount of features and rendering. It is mentioned that it renders three to seven times faster than the competing products. The review is quoted on the FocalBlade Reviews page with a link to the German article.
If you are still not sure if you want to get an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, here are two aspects that you should consider: Once CS7 is out, you can use CS6 applications for only one more year, then they will expire. This will also be the case for future major updates. So if you need to use older CS versions, e.g. for compatibility reasons or for teaching them, a cloud subscription may not be the best idea (unless Adobe decides to change this policy in future). Another potential problem: Adobe could raise the subscription fee in future. If you think that the cloud subscription saves you money at the current rate, that may not be true anymore in future. Going back to the standard licensing may then be too costly, because you may have to buy Adobe applications at full price again, so you might be trapped with the cloud subscription. That is why you should better include a somewhat increased price in your calculations before making a decision.
MacOS X 10.8 Mountain Lion became available this month. By default it does not allow installations to be executed, which were not downloaded from the App Store or from certain developers. We recommend that you disable this excessive security feature in order to be able to install most Photoshop plugins. How to do that is explained at Softonic.
PHOTOWIZ MAC UPDATES
Enhanced Compatibility with Photoshop CS6 for Mac
MacOS X updates of the ColorWasher, FocalBlade, LightMachine, B/W Styler, ContrastMaster and NoiseControl plugins were released. The new versions offer compatibility with Photoshop CS6 and also fix bugs. Improvements are the gray preview background, which is more eye-friendly and the last preset display in the title bar. The plugins now appear on "The Plugin Site" sub menu of the Filter menu, and not on the PhotoWiz sub menu anymore.
The new updates work in Photoshop CS2 to CS6, Photoshop Elements 6 to 10, Photoline, Illustrator CS2-CS6 and Fireworks CS3-CS6 under MacOS X 10.4 and higher. Older versions of the PhotoWiz plugins (except the newer FocalBlade 2 and NoiseControl plugins) also run in Photoshop 7/CS, Photoshop Elements 1-4 and other PowerPC applications under MacOS X 10.2. to 10.6.
The latest version 1.04 of B/W Styler does not run in Photoshop CS2 anymore, so we recommend that you keep B/W Styler 1.03 installed in Photoshop CS2. We will issue a fix as soon as possible.
Most 17-year-old Photoshop plugins still work in Photoshop CS6 under Windows 7 whereas several two-year-old Mac plugins do not run under the latest MacOS X and/or Photoshop version anymore. So it has always been much harder to keep Photoshop plugins compatible under MacOS X, but we do our utmost to keep up the compatibility with as many application and MacOS versions as possible.
For more details and a free demo
version of the PhotoWiz plugins visit
COLORSTYLER 1.02 FOR WINDOWS
After adding new features in
ColorStyler 1.01, this release is dedicated to fixing bugs. Still, it
features four new ND presets and automatically focuses the preset list,
which is more convenient for mouse wheel scrolling. Among smaller problems
three main bugs were fixed in the Standalone/Lightroom version. These
problems previously caused a crash, made the controls vanish and kept
the preview from being displayed under certain conditions or at random
occasions. Moreover, the included Plugin Installer tool makes sure that
Vista and Windows 7 do not display the message "This program might
not have installed correctly" anymore, when running it from the Start
ColorStyler Under Inspection
Kay Michael Kuhnlein decided to take a closer look at
ColorStyler and write about his impression. He applied ColorStyler effects
to two portraits, a landscape photo and a graphic artwork. He is quite
enthusiastic about its possibilities and its low price.
What user interface do you prefer for Photoshop plugins?
Here are the results of the
UI preference of 102 voters:
5. I do not care 10%
With more and more image editing applications using a dark UI it is not surprising that most users prefer such a style. But it is only 1/3 of all voters, maximally half of all users if you add the votes of the third item (UI similar to host application). Next comes the standard Win/Mac UI look which 1/5 of all voters prefer. If you add the light gray votes, which corresponds to the standard look, it is 1/4 of all users. Other voters like a mid gray UI, which is rather hard to find today. A similar amount of voters do not care or have no definitive preference.
So apparently a Photoshop plugin should at least offer
three UI looks to satisfy most users: a dark, mid gray and a standard
UI. Most plugins today only offer a dark or standard look, but not both.
It seems we were on the right track when complementing the standard look
with dark, mid gray and light gray UI variations in ColorStyler and by
imitating the look of popular applications.
There were 131 voters with a total of 529 votes leading to these end results:
1. Topaz Labs 10.6%
6. FilterForge 3.2%
11. Tiffen 1.5%
Each voter voted for 4 plugin companies in average, which means that plugin users choose from a wide range of plugins and do not stick to one or two plugin companies only. Almost 50% of all votes were collected by the first 7 companies whereas the other 42 companies got the other half of the votes.
Compared with the similar but general poll of the previous issue we can draw several conclusions: OnOne Software seems to have gotten more popular in the last three years as they made it from rank 3 in the previous poll to rank 1 in this poll. nik Software appears to have been slightly more popular in the past than it is now. A popularity increase within the last three years can also be claimed for Akvis, FilterForge, Imagenomic and NeatImage. A small decrease in popularity might have happened to Flaming Pear and AutoFX.
Another noticeable fact is that Mehdi Plugins managed to maintain its rank compared with the previous poll, which seems to indicate that its one commercial product is popular. Xerographics on the other hand appears to be more popular for its freeware plugins than its commercial ones.
For what purpose do you use Photoshop Plugins?
The new poll asks you for what
general purposes you edit your images with Photoshop plugins. You can
choose between the "Creative Expression", "Personal",
"Commercial", "Scientific/Technical", "Journalistical",
"Educational" and "Other" items.
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
KPT3 under Windows 7, Flaming Pear Registration, Photoshop CS6 Problems Under XP
Here are some of the latest posts on the forums:
KPT3 under Windows 7
Photoshop CS6 Problems Under
Feel free to post comments or start a discussion topic
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Kamlex Plugins, Wacom Pen Tools,
Kamlex supplies six free
Photoshop plugins (for Windows). The FFT/iFFT plugins perform a fast Fourier
transformation for periodic noise removal or pattern detection, the Histogram
Equalization plugin increases the contrast of images and the PCA Color
Stretch plugin produces extreme colors for scientific examination. There
are also two plugins for RGB/HSL conversion. All plugins are 32-bit, so
they only work in the 32-bit version of Photoshop.
Wacom Pen Tools (for Windows) are Photoshop plugins
that let you brush various effects on an image. These plugins are from
2001, but still fun to use. They run in Windows 7 with any 32-bit application,
e.g. Photoshop CS6 32-bit. There is also an Mac version, but it does not
run under OS X.
ffDiaporama is a free application (for Win/Linux)
for creating videos consisting of titles, images, video clips and audio.
The images and titles can be animated and transitions can switch between
different video clips and images. Additionally it lets you cut the video
clips and enhance images. The result is then rendered to a video file.
PhotoCleaner (for Windows) is a free tool for
enhancing digital photos. There is an Enhance button for automatic and
several sliders for manual adjustment. It can also display meta information,
batch process images and create photo albums.
For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
AlphaPlugins LaunchBox, Adobe Exchange Panel, Corel Painter 12.2, GraphicConverter 8.2
Launchbox from AlphaPlugins
(for Win/Mac) is now available for Windows too. In addition to running
Photoshop plugins in Lightroom, Aperture, iPhoto, ACDSee and other applications,
it can now run 32-bit Photoshop plugins in the 64-bit version of Photoshop.
On the Mac it is actually the only way to run 32-bit plugins in Photoshop
The Adobe Exchange panel (for Win/Mac) runs within
various CS6 applications. It lets you search, download and install plugins,
extensions, and other content for Creative Suite products. This is not
the final version of the panel, only a preview, so there may still be
problems with it.
The Corel Painter 12.2 update (for Win/Mac) comes
with an app, called Cinco, for controlling Painter with an iPad. Other
new features are: a new Flow Maps feature, vertical docking and multi-touch
support for Wacom Intuos5 tablets and Cintiq 24HD displays.
GraphicConverter 8.2 (for MacOS) is an affordable
image editing application, which supports 200 graphic formats. It offers
standard image editing features along with an image browser, slide show
function and batch conversion. With this new version the support for Photoshop
plugins returned. Unfortunately our own PhotoWiz plugins do not work with
it, but we are in touch with the developer to get them running with the
next GraphicConverter update.
Copyright (c) 2000 - 2009 by Harald Heim