Plugin Newsletter - March / April 2006
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Using Filter Factory Plugins under MacOS X, Small Plugin Commander Update, Updated Pages
POLL RESULTS: How many of the Photoshop plugins that you regularly use are commercial?
NEW POLL: Which statements represent your opinion about Photoshop-compatible plugins best?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: JPG Compression Problem, Deformation Plugin, Tiling Plugin, Top 5 Plugins, Photoshop Web Gallery, Old Photo Mac Plugin, Rain Plugin, Comic Style Plugin
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Count Colors, L&K Filters, Vivida, 4N6site Filters, Filter Formula, DaVinci, Photoshop Automator Actions 2
GRAPHICS NEWS: Photoshop TV, MagicTracer, Photo Art Suite, Smart Download, Painter IX.5
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
I'm planning a new article series around Photoshop plugins called "Plugin Artists". I would like to present artists and photographers that use one or more plugins to enrich their images. Each article will include a short interview and a small tutorial or demonstration that shows how he or she uses a Photoshop plugin in his work. So this series is meant to give you insight in the work of top artists and some inspiration for using Photoshop plugins in more creative ways.
I already have two or three people in mind for this series, but it would be nice to get suggestions for other artists and photographers. So if you know someone who would fit or if you would like to suggest yourself, please contact me at http://thepluginsite.com/about/contact.htm
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES:
Using Filter Factory Plugins under MacOS X, Small Plugin Commander Update,
The Plugin Essential article has been updated with a paragraph about "Using Filter Factory Plugins under MacOS X". It explains how you can use Photoshop plugins that were created with Filter Factory under OS X, although the plugins themselves only work under MacOS 9.
Plugin Commander was updated with a small bug fix. Previously when converting an FFL file (without the "Automatically create sub folder(s)" check box activated) the resulting .8bf files were placed in the root folder of the hard drive instead of the chosen folder. This doesn't happen anymore. Registered users of Plugin Commander Pro will receive the update information soon.
Some pages on The Plugin Site have been updated with information from previous issues of this newsletter: Free Plugins, Polls 2005 and Polls 2006.
POLL RESULTS: How
many of the Photoshop plugins that you regularly use are commercial?
305 people voted in our latest poll with the question "How many of the Photoshop plugins that you regularly use are commercial?". Here are the results:
0% - I only use freeware: 41%
100% - I only use
commercial plugins: 5%
I don't use any Photoshop plugins at all: 2%
As it was already obvious from previous polls a large part (approx. 40%) of all plugin users who visit The Plugin Site only use freeware plugins. 23% use only few commercial plugins, 15% use free as well as commercial plugins equally and 14% use more commercial than freeware plugins and 5% use only commercial plugins.
For more poll results,
please visit the Know-How section at
NEW POLL: Which statements
represent your opinion about Photoshop-compatible plugins best?
Our latest poll asks you to vote for up to 10 general statements about Photoshop plugins. Five of them are positive and five are negative. They deal with potential advantages and disadvantages of plugins. Please only vote for the statements that you fully agree with.
Please cast your votes
at the bottom of
The poll has very
general statements, so if you like to post your detailed opinion about
plugins, please go to
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS:
JPG Compression Problem, Deformation Plugin, Tiling Plugin, Top 5 Plugins,
Photoshop Web Gallery, Old Photo Mac Plugin, Rain Plugin, Comic Style
Here are the latest interesting post from the discussion forums:
Box Brownie wrote:
"I normally when PPing my images for the web keep them below 100kb
(730px x 550px max) and as such the highest JPEG "save as" quality
in PSCS2 to get that size. ... However, I have been asked to reduce the
file size to less than 40kb (400px x 300px) ... but no matter what I do
the loss of quality IMHO at that compression is bad to an extent that
I am unhappy ... So, is there an advised workflow that others use that
will maintain the quality look ...?"
D_Spider wrote: "I
use PSP5 still, and its own deform tools are pretty limited. I have Richard
Rosenman's "Pinocchio" plugin;... Does anyone know of a freeware
deformation plugin that's a bit more sophisticated?"
SirFency wrote: "i'm
looking for a plugin that will take for instance a 1024 by 1024 image
and scale it down to a 512 and then dupe it around to make it a 1024 again
but each 1/4 of that image will be a copy of the original. i think its
called the tiler or tilling or somthing like that if anyone could help
me out that would be great."
jackdee wrote: "I
would like opinions on the top 5 plug-ins for Photoshop."
shuggy wrote: "I
can save my pics to the web gallery in the maximum 450 pixel size, and
it does this as a batch, but I need to save slightly bigger in 540 by
380 but CS won´t allow me to make this size. Doing it individually
is a hassle.
Can it be done as a batch another way?"
irinawer asked: "what
good Plugin for making pictures look old is thjere for MAC?"
omalleys wrote: "Id
love to be able to have a sort of realistic rain filter ... Is there any
filters around or can anyone give me tips on how to do this sort of stuff
"Is there a plugin out there that turns your photo into comic book
style? One that looks exactly like a comic book character."
For more interesting discussions please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS:
Count Colors, L&K Filters, Vivida, 4N6site Filters, Filter Formula,
DaVinci, Photoshop Automator Actions 2
Telegraphics enhanced their Count Colors plugin (for Win/Mac) to work on images with 16bit per channel. Additionally the calculation speed was increased.
The free L&K Filters (for Windows) consist of 14 plugins that produce various gradients and patterns, which can be useful for graphical designs.
The Vivida plugin (for Windows) from Cybia, which was already made available last December on the Renderosity site, is now available on the Cybia web site. Vivida provides a quick and easy way to boost the brightness, contrast and saturation values in each individual red, green and blue channels.
4N6site.com offers three freeware plugins (for Windows), which are mainly meant for forensic tasks. "Color Deconvolve" separates or removes color components from the image, the Digitization plugin saves coordinates of features in large images to a text file and the Fourier Transform plugin filters images in the frequency domain, e.g. for separating or enhancing periodical patterns. The plugins are requested and distributed by email.
ATS Graphics is giving away their FilterFormula plugin (for Windows), which wasn't updated since 1999, for free. FilterFormula is an advanced version of FilterFactory and can be used to create your own Photoshop-compatible plugins. To get the plugin you have to enter a name and valid email address. The download instructions are sent out manually, so it can take several days.
DaVinci is a free image editor, organizer and downloader (for Windows) from Chroma Software. It can download images directly from a camera or card reader and sort chosen folders. There are several image editing options including 30-day trial versions of the Chroma Software plugins.
Photoshop Automator Actions 2.0 package contains a large number of Photoshop actions that can be used to automate tasks in Photoshop CS and CS2 with the help of Automator, a tool that is delivered with MacOS X 10.4. In addition to the actions a detailed manual and sample workflows are included.
GRAPHICS NEWS: Photoshop
TV, MagicTracer, Photo Art Suite, Smart Download, Painter IX.5
Adobe Photoshop TV is a 30-minute weekly video podcast that interviews people from the Photoshop industry and gives viewers tips, secrets and new techniques for Photoshop. It is produced by Scott Kelby, Dave Cross and Matt Kloskowski of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). There are already more than 23 episodes available.
Bitmap to Vector Conversion
MagicTracer is a bitmap to vector converter for Windows. The program includes many features for increasing the efficiency of vectorizing.
Paint Shop Pro Photo Art Suite and Contest
The Photo Art Suite from Corel combines three products for Windows: Paint Shop Pro X, Photo Album 6 Deluxe Edition and Painter Essentials 3. To celebrate the release of the new product, Corel and Shutterbug magazine are sponsoring a contest that looks for people who turn their own photos into paintings using a trial version of the Photo Art Suite.
Lexar Smart Download
Lexar announced the Smart Download acquisition plug-in module that will allow rapidly download and images managing via Adobe Bridge. The plugin will support advanced features of Lexar CF and SD cards like ActiveMemory System (AMS), which stores user preferences and host device settings in a protected area on AMS memory cards. In connection with a Lexar CF reader it also lets you simultaneously download from multiple cards. Lexar Smart Download will be included for free with Lexar CF and SD cards or available for purchase on their web site.
Free Corel Painter IX.5 Update
Corel® Painter IX.5 adds support for the new Intel-based Apple hardware, lets you open PSP files, offers new photo painting palettes as well as a rubber stamp and cloner tool. Corel Painter IX.5 is available as a free download to registered Corel Painter IX customers.