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Plugin Newsletter - May / June 2007



COLORWASHER 2.01 FOR MAC: Update plus Mac-Intel Versions for Photoshop CS3

PHOTOWIZ ARTWORK REQUEST: Submit your PhotoWiz-manipulated images to the Plugs 'N Pixels ezine

POLL RESULTS: Which of these steps do you usually apply when enhancing a photo?

NEW POLL: What do you do to get good prints of your photos?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: B&W to Color, Rippling Water, Dreamsuite Problems, 3D Shadowing, PSP10 Plugin Problems, Ulead Particle Problems

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Redfield Bas-Relief, FP Circle to Square, GML Matting, Image Skill Plugins, Photoshop Action Pack, Irfanview, AcrChecker

GRAPHICS NEWS: Camera Raw 4.0 Update, Fluid Mask 3 Beta, ACDSee Pro 2 Beta, Genuine Fractals 5, DxO FilmPack, YouSendIt Plugin, BatchPhoto 2, Turbo Mask





Dear Reader,

Please excuse that this issue of the Plugin Newsletter comes so late... I had been struck down by a terrible flu for two weeks, a flu that I got on the last day of my holidays in Spain. Luckily this only seems to happen every five or seven years, so I hope I got my share for this decade.

Some problems with my printer gave me the idea for this month's poll (see below). I hope you do not have as many problems with your printer as I do, but we will see after the poll is closed. Anyway, I hope you will enjoy this newsletter, which is stuffed with a lot of information and news.

Kindest Regards and Happy Whitsun from
Harald Heim




COLORWASHER 2.01 FOR MAC: Update plus Mac-Intel Versions for Photoshop CS3
The MacOS X version of ColorWasher, our color correction plugin from the PhotoWiz series, has now been updated to Version 2.01. Along with the update we also released a version that runs natively on Mac computers with an Intel processor in Photoshop CS3, which results in a speed gain of up to 200% on these computers.

In Version 2.01 of ColorWasher the dialog is not fixed anymore and can be sized as you wish. Right clicking or CTL clicking on the Open button will display a menu with all preset files from the presets folder. Additionally several minor bugs were fixed. Registered users of ColorWasher for Mac will receive the update within 24 hours by email.

For more information about ColorWasher and for downloading a demo version please visit:



PHOTOWIZ ARTWORK REQUEST: Submit your PhotoWiz-manipulated images for inclusion in the Plugs 'N Pixels ezine

The Plugs 'N Pixels ezine contains artwork created with Photoshop plugins on its last page. Mike, the editor of the ezine, would like to publish artwork created with one or more PhotoWiz plugins (ColorWasher, FocalBlade, LightMachine, B/W Styler, PhotoFreebies) in a future issue of the ezine and also on the companion Plugs 'N Pixels website's Gallery page.

As a reward you will receive worldwide exposure with an artist credit and a link to your relevant website if you like.

Please email up to three JPEGs (up to about 9x12 @ 72ppi, high quality compression) and a paragraph or two about the product and technique used to plugsnpixels-at-gmail.com (Please replace -at- with @). Alternatively you can also refer him to an existing image or images on your website.

You can take a look at the Plugs 'N Pixels ezine and website at



POLL RESULTS: Which of these steps do you usually apply when enhancing a photo?
Here are the results of our latest poll about which steps people apply for enhancing their photos. More than 3500 votes have been cast by several hundred people.

1. Overall Brightness/Contrast Adjustment 419 votes
2. Sharpening 406 votes
3. Color Correction/White Balancing 358 votes
4. Shadow/Highlights Correction 291 votes
5. Saturation Adjustment 247 votes
6. Image Size Reduction 246 votes

7. Selective Brightness/Contrast 193 votes
8. Noise Reduction 185 votes
9. Image Enlargement 151 votes
Red Eye Removal 151 votes
11. Skin Smoothing/Cleaning 140 votes
12. B/W Conversion 121 votes
13. Scratch/Dust Removal 116 votes

14. Selective/Creative Coloring 93 votes
15. Perspective Correction 79 votes
16. JPEG Artifact Removal 68 votes
Lens Correction 68 votes
18. Soft Focus/Diffusion Effect 64 votes
19. Vignette/Frame Effect 56 votes
20. Local Contrast (USM with large radius) 55 votes

People mostly correct the brightness, contrast, sharpness, color, shadow/highlights and saturation of their image. With the big megapixel count of today's cameras many people also need to size down their digital photos. Certain enhancements are less common or are only applied in special cases, e.g. colorizing, lens & perspective correction, JPG artifact removal, soft focus effects, vignette and local contrast effects.

The Plugin Site offers solutions for the Top 5 tasks and several lower ranked tasks with its popular PhotoWiz plugin series. The results of the poll confirm that we are on the right path. So we will continue to provide more plugins for doing efficient high quality photo enhancements.

For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section at



NEW POLL: What do you do to get good prints of your photos?
The latest poll deals with photo printing. It wants to know what you do to achieve good prints of your photos. You can choose between the following eight predefined answers:

1. I do not print my photos. I only view them on screen.
2. I do not print my photos myself. I use a print service.
3. I did not calibrate my monitor and printer or anything else, but get good prints every time.
4. I calibrated my monitor and/or printer and now get great prints.
5. I use a special software to achieve good prints with my printer.
6. I need to do one or more test prints before I am able to achieve satisfying prints.
7. I use another method to achieve good prints with my printer.
8. I do not get good photo prints from my printer no matter what I try.

Please try to vote for the statement that is closest to your experience even if none of the eight answers resembles your own point of view.

You can cast your vote at the bottom of the page at



THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: B&W to Color, Rippling Water, Dreamsuite Problems, 3D Shadowing, PSP10 Plugin Problems, Ulead Particle Problems
Here are some interesting posts from The Plugin Site Discussion Forms:

B&W to Color
arthurghewett wrote: "Is there a way I can change a black and white photo to color ?"

Rippling Water
AJ wrote: "I'm interested in adding some rippling water to an animation. I already have the animation in AVI, gif and can split it into individual jpeg frames. I made it in Photoshop and Imageready."

Dreamsuite Problems
BlackLilly wrote: "I just had a huge puter crash and am working with a fresh drive. I went to install dreamsuite and all was going ok, I did the update, but when I went to use it. the screen opens(as a standalone) but there is no text at all on it. nothing at all. just the buttons. How do I fix this?"

3D Shadowing
xarzu wrote: "... it seems to be that you can do a lot of the cool 3d shadowing that you might do with a true 3d Modeling software (like Maya ) in photoshop. For example, can anyone tell me how I could do this sort of box-like shadowing and shading like this"

PSP10 Plugin Problems
Talon65 wrote: "I have been having some issues with PSP 10 and plugins - got most worked out but several plugins cause me to crash to desktop with an error message: "plugin passed bad papameters". the problem is most apparent with Eye candy 4000 plugins (the ones I use the most of course!) but it happens to others as well so I dont think its a EC4000 problem per se. any help is appreciated"

Ulead Particle Problems
meo wrote: "... I have [problems] with the [Ulead] Particle presets. I'm going crazy with this plug-in, trying for a few months now to install this plug-in. I can instal it, see it in paint shop pro X and XI but when I try to load a preset or make a preset by myself I'm getting this message: [Preset folder doesn't exist.]. can you help me"

For more interesting discussions and posting your own comments or questions please visit



FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Redfield Bas-Relief, FP Circle to Square, GML Matting, Image Skill Plugins, Photoshop Action Pack, Irfanview, AcrChecker

The Redfield++ Bas-Relief filter plugin (for Windows) turns 8-bit RGB images into a carved-in bas-relief with controlable surface lighting. The effect can also make the image look like aluminum foil, hammered metal, carved stone or pencil sketch.


The Circle to Square plugin (for Win/Mac) from Flaming Pear transforms circular objects in an image into squares. There are no settings, so you can not influence the effect.


The GML Matting plugin (for Windows) is a masking plugin for extracting objects from their background. It supports output to the layer mask and even applications without an opacity channel. The GML GrowCut plugin and GML Image Undistorter application are also offered for free on the same web site.


Image Skill offers two free plugins (for Windows). Magic Enhancer Lite is a plugin for brightening shadows, darkening shadows and adjusting local contrast as well as the color temperature. There is also a commercial Pro version with a few more features. The Outliner plugin turns your image into a line drawing.


Version 3.5 of the free Photoshop Action Pack (for MacOS X 10.4 and higher) from Ben Long contains 86 actions for Photoshop CS to CS3 for automating repetitive tasks. The package includes sample workflows and a 71-page manual. It's available as a free download.


IrfanView (for Windows), the most popular freeware image viewer, has made it to Version number 4.0. Its Vista compatibility was improved, it supports toolbar skins now, shows in Google Earth where a photo was taken (in case GPS data was saved to the EXIF header of the image) and offers several other improvements and new features.


AcrChecker (for Windows) is a program which displays system information that can help diagnose Adobe Camera Raw installation problems. This information can also be pasted into an email. AcrChecker can also display information about all installed plugins.




GRAPHICS NEWS: Camera Raw 4.0 Update, Fluid Mask 3 Beta, ACDSee Pro 2 Beta, Genuine Fractals 5, DxO FilmPack, YouSendIt Plugin, BatchPhoto 2, Turbo Mask

Adobe has released an update of its Camera Raw 4.0 plugin and DNG Converter application. They now support the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 camera. The Camera Raw 4.0 update only works with Photoshop CS3, Elements 4.01 for Mac and Elements 5.0 for Windows.


Vertus launched the public beta of the Fluid Mask 3 Plugin, which detects edges and builds a mask out of them. The Windows version of the Fluid Mask 3 beta is currently available for free download on the Vertus site. A Mac version will follow soon. Fluid Mask 3 Beta works as a plugin for Photoshop CS2 and CS3, and also now runs as a standalone application.


The beta version of ACDSee Pro 2.0 (for Windows), an application for viewing, processing, editing, organizing and publishing images, is available for free download. It will expire by the end of September 2007, when the final version will be ready. New is the Windows Vista support, faster viewing, better quality and more non-destructive RAW editing features, the ability to adjust each color channel independently and more. Beta testers and users of the previous version receive a 30 percent discount on the regular price.


Version 5 of Genuine Fractals (for Win/Mac) adds Photoshop CS3 and Intel-based Mac compatibility as well as new functionality and a new user interface. It uses a fractal-based algorithm to increase the size and resolution of images while retaining as much detail as possible. It can now resize Photoshop files with multiple layers.


DxO FilmPack is a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and DxO Optics Pro. It’s also available as a stand-alone application. It simulates the colors and the grain of over 20 popular film types (e.g. Kodachrome, Tri-X, Velvia) and transforms images into toned print with ochre, bluish or verdigris tints.


YouSendIt Inc. offers a Photoshop plugin that allows designers to send files of any size directly from Photoshop. Files delivered through YouSendIt are secure and can be tracked with assured delivery and a delivery receipt.


DiVision Software released BatchPhoto 2 (for Windows), a photo manipulation program that makes it fast and easy to annotate, touch up, transform, apply effects, and rename hundreds of pictures in a single operation.


Paravue announced a new masking tool for Adobe Photoshop CS3 called Turbo Mask, which is supposed to cutout objects with one mouse click. Paravue Turbo Mask will be available in late May 2007.


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Copyright (c) 2000 - 2009 by Harald Heim