Plugin Newsletter - March / April 2008
LIGHTMACHINE 1.02 UPDATE: Better output quality, improved compatibility and smaller fixes
NEW POLL: Which version of Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop Elements do you use?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: PSP X2 not working with 16bit plugins, Creating a Fish, GrowCut in PSP, Animation Shop Pixelation
GRAPHICS NEWS: GMX - PhotoPainter, ArtStudioPro CLASSICO, Reshade, Aperture 2.1, Camera Raw 4.3.1, Lightroom 1.4 Recall & 2.0 Beta, Photoshop Express Beta, Kodak AFS
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
The latest Aperture 2.1 now offers a full-fledged Plugin SDK that allows developers to create plugins for it. A very wise step of Apple, which will hopefully force Adobe to do the same for Lightroom very soon if they do not want to lose Mac users. At the moment there is only a very limited SDK for creating script-like export plugins for Lightroom. Lets hope this will change soon. Anyway, I found three Lightroom export plugins for you in the meantime. See the "Free Plugins and Tools" section below.
Another annoying thing is that Corel still does not
allow Paint Shop Pro (PSP) to process 16bit images with Photoshop-compatible
plugins, although PSP supports 16bit images since Version X. This makes
PSP look even more amateurish than it ought to be and could drive away
even more photographers. What do you think is the reason for this? Incompetence?
Sales Strategy? Please let me know your opinions at
Graphics.com launched a new type of contest called "Photos.com Philter Phrenzy". The contest series is about using freeware plugins to create original images. The first contest spins around Harry's Filters. People who want to participate should download Harry's Filters and play a bit with them to see how they can be employed to an original work of their own or on one they have permission to use.
Entries for Philter Phrenzy 1 can be submitted until April 24, 2008. Each participant can submit two entries, which have to be under 1MB and in RGB JPEG format. The three images that best make use of the capabilities of the plugin are selected as winners. The winners receive copies of Plugin Galaxy, the commercial successor of Harry's Filters, and a three-month subscription to the Photos.com stock photo site.
Visit the contest here:
Get Harry's Filters here:
LIGHTMACHINE 1.02 UPDATE: Better output quality, improved
compatibility and smaller fixes
The Brightness slider now produces a higher quality result and six new presets for creating pseudo-HDR effects were added. Support for multiple processors and hyperthreading processors was added for mask creation and the local contrast effect. LightMachine 1.02 also supports activated DEP, Photoshop memory management and offers improved compatibility with host applications. LightMachine also fixes potential problems with ini and language files as well as the ESC key and lets you minimize the window again after restarting it. The manual and installation have been updated, too.
Registered users will get the update within the next 24 hours.
For more information and downloading the demo version
POLL RESULTS: Have you ever purchased a commercial
plugin and which application do you mainly use?
1. I never purchased a plugin and I am using Photoshop.
84% of all participants purchased at least one plugin, but 16% have never done so. The votes from the 16% freeware users are not that reliable and less interesting, but have a similar ranking like the 84% results.
As the question was very general the top three results for Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro (PSP) and Elements (49%, 21% and 6%) are very similar to the September 2006 poll about what application people use for photo correction. In that poll 46% used Photoshop, 21% used PSP and 9% used Elements. So you could conclude that users of Photoshop and PSP are very likely to use commercial plugins. This seems to be a bit less the case for Element users as only 6% of the 9% Element users buy commercial plugins. So 1/3 of all Element users rather stay with freeware plugins. All in all, approx. 90% of all commercial plugins are purchased by users of Photoshop, PSP and Elements.
Because of the small number of PhotoImpact, Photo-Paint, IrfanView and GIMP users in the poll, it is very hard to draw conclusions. But it looks as if people who use these applications are less enthusiastic about commercial plugins. Of all four, PhotoImpact users are probably the most enthusiastic about commercial plugins and GIMP users the least.
The results of this poll were quite general so for individual plugins the result may look much different. For example, Photoshop users will prefer other types of plugins than PSP users and PSP users may probably prefer yet other plugins than Elements users.
For more poll results, please visit the Know-How
Please cast your vote at the bottom of the page at
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: PSP X2 not working with 16bit
plugins, Creating a Fish, GrowCut in PSP, Animation Shop Pixelation
Here are the latest interesting posts on The Plugin Site Forums:
PSP X2 not working with 16bit plugins
FoksMarx recolorLE (for Windows) is a feature-reduced free version of the commercial recolorST plugin. It can be used for color equalization, color enhancement, removal of color stains and bleaches and also for artistic color effects.
Mezzoforce MetallEaser 2 LITE (for Windows) is a Photoshop-compatible plugin that adds a metallic effect to images. Unfortunately it has a few limitations: It only processes images up to 1000 x 1000 pixel and is meant for non-commercial use. In order to download it, you need to subscribe to a discussion group.
The Geotag plugin for Lightroom (for Win/Mac) installs a menu items that allows photos to be tagged with geographic information. It is still in beta stage, so please tell the author if something does not work.
Timothy Armes on the other hand offers three plugins for Lightroom (for Win/Mac). They are restricted to exporting 5 to 10 images at a time or to a certain image size, but if you make a donation, you get an unrestricted version. LR/Mogrify applied ImageMagick's mogrify command on images exported from Lightroom. It provides advanced resizing options, sharpening after resize, color space conversion, overlaying graphical watermarks or textual annotations and adding borders. LR/Enfuse blends multiple exposures and LR/Transporter generates a text file for each exported photo as well as an overall summary file.
ABC Amber PaintShop Converter (for Windows) is a freeware tool for converting PSP (Paint Shop Pro) files to several other graphics formats, e.g. BMP, WMF, JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, PCX, PDF and so on. It supports a batch conversion, the command line, more than 50 languages and offers an embedded viewer. It can also perform various image operations like rotation and cropping.
Active Pixels 2 is a free graphic editor whose interface is very similar to Photoshop. It supports more than 100 graphics formats and offers selections, layers, effects, gradients, brushes and many more. Unfortunately it does not support Photoshop plugins and does not work as efficiently and fast as the Photoshop original.
An alternative download link can be found here:
GMX - PhotoPainter (for Windows) turns photos into artistic paintings of various styles, e.g. pen and ink, crayon, oil, watercolor, pastels and many others. There is also the option of rendering the output at any resolution without quality loss. The Autosketch option analyzes the image for flow directions and automatically adds brush strokes according to more than 40 parameters. But you can also draw the strokes yourself.
Lightroom 1.4 update has been temporarily removed from the Adobe web site, because of several bugs that were discovered after the update was released. Adobe recommends uninstalling Version 1.4 and installing Lightroom 1.3.1. Additionally Lightroom 2.0 is now available for public beta. It includes multiple monitor support, the ability to make localized corrections and improved organizational tools. The beta will only operate for 30 days if you are not yet a Lightroom user.
Copyright (c) 2000 - 2009 by Harald Heim