Plugin Newsletter - June / July 2010
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Free Plugins Page Updated
POLL RESULTS: Which of the following features do you consider essential for filter plugins?
NEW POLL: Which is your favorite masking tool?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Keyword Embedding, Ulead Art Texture Problem
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Mosaic Toolkit, Artizen Dreamy, RIPMaster, Layer Mask Tool for Elements, Chromagic
GRAPHICS NEWS: Sagelight,
FaceAge, Exposure 3, EZlect, Lightroom 3
Lightroom 3 has just been released by Adobe. Unfortunately there is still no efficient and integrated plugin interface available for it that allows sharing images in RAM with plugins instead of using the harddrive. Version 3 of Photoshop already supported real plugins back in 1994. Now in a more secure market position Adobe does not seem to be in such a hurry. Lets hope the best for Version 4 of Lightroom.
Processing 16-bit images with Photoshop plugins is not supported by many applications. So far there were only three applications (Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Photoline) that allowed it. Unfortunately Corel still has not activated this feature in its image applications, although it would be a no-brainer to do. So it was nice to come across another tool called Sagelight with such a capability. For more information see the Graphics News section below.
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES
Free Plugins Page Updated
The Free Photoshop Plugins page of the Resources section has been updated with plugins mentioned in the recent issues of this newsletter. Additionally three broken links (GML Matting, SF Maskerade, Mezzoforce) were fixed. For an overview of all free Photoshop plugins see
Which of the following features
do you consider essential for filter plugins?
Here is the result of more than 1850 votes in the poll dealing with your favorite plugin features:
Before/after split preview options 151 votes
2. Resizable window and preview 133 votes
3. Descriptive tool tips or help box 129 votes
4. Brush tool for selectively applying the effect 120 votes
5. Option for applying the effect to a new layer 119 votes
6. Saving and opening presets 116 votes
Multiple undo steps 116 votes
8. Simple as well as advanced modes 115 votes
9. Detailed manual 101 votes
10. Many step by step tutorials 97 votes
11. Support for layer masks 96 votes
12. Video tutorials 78 votes
13. Ability to use as a smart filter 76 votes
14. 200% and higher preview zoom 74 votes
15. Support for transparency / alpha channel 70 votes
16. Tab sheets if there are many controls 62 votes
17. Navigator box 62 votes
18. Histogram display 55 votes
19. Scripting support for recording settings in actions/scripts 47 votes
20. Displaying many controls without tab sheets for fast access 43 votes
Surprisingly a brush tool and a new layer option are among the Top 5 of essential plugin features, although both can easily be done after or before applying the plugin in Photoshop etc. Multiple undo and layer mask support is certainly something that is on the list for our own plugins.
What the poll also shows is that people prefer tab sheets instead of all control on one window. Short tool tips of help texts also seem to be favored over extensive manuals and tutorials, although they are still necessary. Additionally layer masks seem to be preferred over the alpha channel.
For more poll results, please visit the
Which is your favorite masking tool?
Our new poll is about your favorite masking tool. You can choose between the masking tools of three applications (in case you do not use a masking plugin) and 17 plugins.
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Keyword Embedding, Ulead Art Texture Problem
Here are the latest interesting posts of the forum:
richsplace wrote: "What is fav prog for embedding tags/keywords in photos? I am looking for suggestions and advice on which program this sites users like to tag their photos with exif data."
Ulead Art Texture Problem
taylordm wrote: "I have PSPX2 and Windows XP- have installed Ulead Art Texture but when the plugin is up, it's all in black and white. Any sugeestions?"
For discussions and asking questions please visit
The Plugin Site Forum
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Mosaic Toolkit, Artizen Dreamy,
RIPMaster, Layer Mask Tool for Elements, Chromagic
2.55 of the Mosaic Toolkit (for Windows) offers new styles, options
and blend features. Additionally memory errors withvery big files were
The Artizen Dreamy plugin (for Windows) produces
glow and radiance effects and offers 12 options, 28 built-in presets.
It is available as a 32-bit as well as 64-bit version. Also have a look
at the Artizen HDR trial version from the same company, which works without
restrictions for 8-bit images.
The RIPMaster Ps plugin for Photoshop (for
Windows) offers printing features for textile and surface designers like
Step & Repeat, Horizontal & Vertical Drop, Perceptual & Absolute
Workflows, HCL/Lab and Spectro Color Input and more. In addition to the
free demo version there are also commercial Studio and Pro versions that
offer more features, enhanced printer driver support and custom printer
Graphicssoft.about.com offers a free Layer Mask
Tool for Photoshop Elements (for Win/Mac). Actually it consists of
a few files that need to be installed according to the instructions. For
MacOS there is also an installer.
Chromagic is a simple chroma key tool (for Windows). You just need
to open an image and click on the color you wantto make transparent. For
selecting more colors transparent you can click and hold the mouse button
while you move over the image. Chromagic saves the masked image in PNG,
GIF or PSD format in order to retain the mask.
For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
Sagelight, FaceAge, Exposure 3, EZlect, Lightroom 3
Sagelight 3 (for Windows) is an image editor
and RAW converter. Unlike its successor Lightbox 2, there is no free edition
of it available anymore. Unfortunately it does not run on computers whose
processor does not support SSE2. Although it is not mentioned on the product
page, it lets you apply Photoshop plugins on 8 and 16-bit images.
FaceAge is a plugin (for Windows) that lets
you manipulate the age or weight of persons in digital photos. The effects
is created with the help of a 3D mesh, which the user has to define by
clicking on certain points in the image.
Version 3 of Alienskin Exposure (for Win/Mac)
simulates analog techniques and organic looks like cross processing, polaroid
and vintage daguerreotype. Exposure 3 includes speed enhancements, a 64-bit
version and Lightroom integration.
EZlect is a plugin (for Win/Mac) that creates
selections with soft antialiasing by clicking on the object and background
areas in an image.
Adobe Lightroom 3 (for Win/Mac) offers faster
performance, 64-bit compatibility, a new raw processing engine with improved
noise reduction, lens correction and sharpening as well as support for
DSLR video files and tethered shooting on certain cameras. Other new features
are watermarking, perspective correction and film grain simulation.