Plugin Newsletter - January 2005
LIGHTMACHINE 1.0: A New Plugin for Sophisticated Brightness Corrections
PHOTOWIZ CONTEST 2004: The Best Composition Winners
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATE: Harry's Photos
DIGITAL PHOTO EFFECTS: Scrapbook Plugins Reviewed
POLL RESULTS: Which is your favorite noise reduction tool?
NEW POLL: How much would you pay for an electronic
magazine with plugin tutorials?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Creating Plugins, Gradient Shapes, EC on OSX, CG Effect, PSP CM Problems, Monitor Calibration, Film Scanner
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: RW Plugins, HotPixel, MaP | Zone, Birgits Chaos, Tesella, CartaPGM, Orange Photo Editor, Sqirlz Water Reflections
GRAPHICS NEWS: EyeCandy 5, Photolightning, PhotoFixlens, Focus Magic, MojoWorld Viewer, Texture Collection
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
As mentioned in the last issue we released a new plugin in our PhotoWiz series. It is called LightMachine and offers even more features than our ColorWasher and FocalBlade plugins. We are certain that it is the most effective and flexible plugin for correcting shadow/highlight problems and lighting issues in photos that is available at the moment. A lot of hard work was invested in this plugin and with the ideas we still have for enhancing it further you will see some interesting 1.x updates within the next few months. For more information about LightMachine, please read below.
Wishing you a Happy and Successful New Year,
LIGHTMACHINE 1.0 RELEASED
LightMachine is a plugin for performing all kinds of light adjustments in photos. It combines shadow/highlight, virtual lighting and color-based correction tools for performing sophisticated corrections without the need for time-consuming selections and layer stacks. LightMachine can correct brightness, contrast and saturation in specific image areas independently from each other. It lets you correct photos taken under bad light conditions or with bad camera settings and achieve results that rival photos taken under the best circumstances. LightMachine can be used in dozens of graphics applications including Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, IrfanView, Photoshop Elements, PhotoImpact, Photo-Paint and Fireworks. LightMachine can be applied to 8bit and 16bit RGB images.
LightMachine basically consists of four different filters, each split up into a simple mode suitable for beginners and a Pro mode with more features for more flexibility. The Brightness/Contrast modes adjust brightness and contrast throughout the image which is nice as a starting point. The Shadows/Highlights modes give you complete control over dark and bright image areas and let you correct them completely independent from each other with the help of sophisticated masking options. The Virtual Studio modes allow you to place an unlimited number of shadow and light spots as if you were placing studio lights in a real photo studio. The intensity, size, ovality, angle, hardness and reflection properties of each spot can be adjusted precisely. Finally, the Colors modes let you selectively correct image objects of a specific color by clicking on them.
For more information, screen shots, examples and downloading
a demo version, please visit:
PHOTOWIZ CONTEST 2004
The 16 winners of the "Best Composition" contest topic have been elected. Congratulations to all Winners! The winning images can be viewed at the URL below. If you are one of the winners, please send us your physical address.
You can still submit your images within the next 24 hours to the contest topic "Best Correction". After that it will be closed and the winners will be selected within the next four weeks. It would be nice to see some correction from digital camera photos. Most of the currently submitted images are from very old B/W photos. Please submit two photos: the original photo and the corrected version. Also, don't forget to add your name and email address as a comment after uploading. Good luck to all participants!
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATE: Harry's Photos
A new page called Harry's Photos was added to the Gallery section of The Plugin Site. The gallery showcases 88 photo of various photographic themes, which were taken by Harald Heim from The Plugin Site during the last few years. Any comments and constructive criticism are welcome. Please post them by replying to this newsletter.
DIGITAL PHOTO EFFECTS
Issue 20 on the Digital Photo Effects Magazine (formerly known as Digital Photography Techniques) includes several nice projects. They show you how to turn anyone into an angel and create dramatic skies in Photoshop, how to do 3D framing, master mono & duotone, make a photo calendar and use Paint Shop Pro to put your favorite photo into a snow globe.
The Review section contains reports about megapixel monster cameras and Harald Heim's Essential Plugin column takes a look at plugins that are suitable for scrapbooking. The Cover CD contains ten calendar templates, two and a half hours of Photoshop lessons and two full products for transforming photos into artwork.
POLL RESULTS: Favorite Noise Reduction Tools
The latest poll with the question "Which is your favorite noise reduction tool?" received 159 total votes. Thanks to everyone who participated. Here are the results:
1. ABSoft Neat Image (46) 28.93%
2. Other (43) 27.04%
3. PictureCode Noise Ninja (26) 16.35%
4. Imagenomic Noiseware (11) 6.92%
5. Nik Multimedia DFine (10) 6.29%
6. Kodak AFS DigitalGEM (9) 5.66%
7. Helicon Filter (6) 3.77%
8. Visual Infinity Grain Surgery (5) 3.14%
9. PowerRetouche Noise Corrector (2) 1.26%
10. The Imaging Factory Noise Reduction Pro (1) 0.63%
Neat Image clearly seems to be the preferred noise reduction tool. Almost 1/3 of all voters use it. Because of the large amount of available noise reduction tools, it isn't surprising that many people use a tool that isn't mentioned in this list. Noise Ninja which is quite similar to Neat Image made it on the second place.
We hope these poll results help you to decide on a noise reduction tool in case you are looking for one.
For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section:
NEW POLL: Plugin Magazine Poll
This month's poll deals with the question: "How much would you pay for an electronic magazine with plugin tutorials?". Basically such a Plugin Magazine would be the commercial version of the Plugin Newsletter. It would focus mostly on plugin tutorials that show in detailed how to achieve certain effects with well-known freeware and commercial plugins, but also include a few other sections like reviews, news and quick tips. Some issues may also include plugins that aren't available elsewhere for free.
This is just an idea at the moment, but we would like to know if it would be worth realizing such a project. So it would be nice if you voted and expressed your opinion at the bottom of the page at
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
PitzerMike wrote: "I'm wondering how hard it
would be to create a Photoshop plugin."
artwork asked: "is there a plugin that allows
me to create paths or shapes and haeve the gradient follow the shape of
hypdezin wrote: "HELP!!! I am running in OSX
and I have been using eye candy 4000 for awhile. Then all the sudden everytime
I try to apply the filter, photoshop quits! What is going on? How do I
Laura wrote: "... if anyone has any other ideas
of plug-ins that could make a photo/ film still look like computer graphics
I would be tremendously grateful."
Ed wrote: "I have Photo Shop 7 and Paintshop
Pro 9 installed. When I look at a photo in Photo Shop 7 it looks good
. When I look at the same photo In PaintShop Pro it doesn't look like
the same photo. It is darker and the colors are on the dull side."
EYE-lene! wrote: "I just got a new monitor &
now the skin color of models in many of my edited images looks too dark.
I am afraid to edit anymore for fear of this problem. Can anybody suggest
CarbonTerry asked: "I have a collection of 8X10"
negs fron the 1920's (over 1000). I would like to find a scanner that
won't run a jillion $$$$'s. Anyone have any feedback?"
For more interesting discussions please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Rob Williams offers two plugins (for Windows) that are fully-functional shareware. The Multiple Exposure plugin creates abstract multiple exposure images from a single photo and the BW Conversion plugin converts images to B/W with the help of a few color filters. If you intend to use these plugins, please contribute $20 to Mr. Williams for his efforts, otherwise he may decide to make his plugins fully commercial.
HotPixel is a plugin (for Windows) for removing hot pixel noise from digital images. Hot pixels often occur when on long exposure photos. This plugin automatically detects and removes hot pixels without degrading the image. Although HotPixel is free to use, the author would be delighted with a small donation.
MaP | Zone FREE is a texture modeling plugin for Photoshop and Illustrator (for Windows/MacOSX). It lets you create and edit FX-Maps. It is based on a set of 400+ presets, which can be modified with special tools to create non-photorealistic texture effects.
Birgits Chaos is a set of 19 plugins (for Windows) that produce nice fabric patterns. They were created with FilterMeister.
Eric Jones also offers two nice plugins (for Windows) called Tessela and Check Out. They generate nice kaleidoscopic and chess-like patterns.
CartaPGM (for Mac) is a Photoshop plugin that reads and writes files in the Portable Gray Map (PGM) format.
Orange Photo Editor is a small and simple freeware tool (for Windows) for viewing, managing and publishing photos on your web site. It creates thumbnails, resizes photos and generates HTML pages.
Sqirlz Water Reflections is a freeware (for Windows) for creating animater water effects. Its pool simulation reflects the scene and lets you choose the ripple type, wave size and perspective. The animations can be saved as Macromedia Flash (SWF) files and AVI video clips.
AlienSkin Releases Photoshop Filter Collection EyeCandy 5: Nature
Nature is the second offering in a three-part upgrade to the Win/Mac Photoshop plugins in Eye Candy 4000, providing such effects as fire, smoke, rust, snow and ice. A demo is available.
Photolightning Photoshop Automation Plugins Introduced
This suite of six Windows plugins automates such tasks as communicating with clients, backing up work and batch processing images. Free trial available.
HumanSoftware Ships PhotoFixlens 2.0 Plugin
PhotoFixlens for Mac/Win corrects barrel and pin-cushion lens distortion produced by zoom and wide-angle lenses. The new version adds the ability to correct perspective distortion, as well as eliminate lens vignetting and
Focus Magic 3 for Blur Reduction Released
Version 3 of Acclaim Software's solution for correcting out-of-focus blur and motion blur in photographs comes as a Mac/Win pluigin and Windows standalone app. Demo versions available.
Free Pandromeda MojoWorld 3 Viewer Released
The viewer is a free application for Mac and Windows, that lets users explore, render and animate artwork generated with MojoWorld 3 Standard Edition and Professional Edition. Fun stuff.
NewTek Releases Sixth Free Texture Collection
The new set includes 50 high-resolution textures of concrete, nature, soil, stone and wood, with the majority at a resolution of 2,304 x 1,728 in JPEG format.
For daily graphics news updates, visit