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Plugin Newsletter - November/December 2011

 

CONTENTS


EDITORIAL


COLORSTYLER PREVIEW: Have a look at our up-coming product

PHOTOWIZ STANDALONE/LIGHTROOM 1.06b WINDOWS UPDATES: Support for ACDSee and new camera raw files

RUNNING THE PHOTOWIZ STANDALONES UNDER MACOS X


POLL RESULTS: What digital camera brand do you use? How much would you maximally pay for a plugin from The Plugin Site?

NEW POLLS: In what format(s) do you usually shoot digital photos? In which new commercial plugin(s) from The Plugin Site are you most interested?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Panorama Correction Plugin, Color Temperature Correction, Plugin Support in PSP X4, EyeCandy in PSP XII


FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Perfect365, MAGIX Photo Manager 10 & Photo Designer 7, dispcalGUI/Argyll, Wineskin

GRAPHICS NEWS: Adobe Upgrade Policy Change, Corel PaintShop Pro X4, PSP X3 Service Pack 5, ThumbsPlus 8, Dynamic Autopainter Pro 64

 

Dear Reader,

If you have not yet heard about Adobe changing its upgrade policy, please read the Graphics News section below. Basically it looks as if Adobe tries to force its customers to buy every new upgrade if they want to continue using future versions of their software. The only alternative will be to pay a monthly fee, which is only financially attractive for people who need more than just one, two or three Adobe applications.

These are certainly bad news for many Adobe customers. If they are not already fed up, they should let Adobe know what they think of this step. On the other hand these are good news for smaller companies, which offer competing products at lower prices. They will see many new customers in the coming months and years.

Sincerely Yours,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site

 

 

COLORSTYLER PREVIEW

Have a look at our up-coming product

We are planing to release a second new product this year (which we have never sone since 2003) called ColorStyler. You could say that it is the color version of our already existing B/W Styler product, but it will offer much more. ColorStyler will enable you to enhance your photos in numerous ways to make them look their best and add your own personal style.

The most remarkable features, which are not available in our other products so far, are image thumbnails of presets, a curve tool, a masking brush tool and a more flexible UI. ColorStyler will include hundreds of presets for simulating color films, color filters and various other traditional photography effects as well as special effects.

Any suggestion about what you would like to see in ColorStyler are welcome.

For more information and for subscribing for the release news go to
ColorStyler product page

 

PHOTOWIZ STANDALONE/LIGHTROOM 1.06b WINDOWS UPDATES

Support for ACDSee and new camera raw files

We have just released updates of all PhotoWiz Standalone/Lightroom versions: ColorWasher, FocalBlade, LightMachine, B/W Styler and ContrastMaster. Apart from smaller bug fixes they now offer support for camera raw files of the latest cameras. Additionally you can now use them as external editors in ACDSee and ACDSee Pro, which works similar to Lightroom. The installer adds them to ACDSee's External Editors menu, from where you can conveniently apply them to selected images.

Registered users will receive the update by email within 24 hours.

For more information and a demo download visit
PhotoWiz pages

 

RUNNING THE PHOTOWIZ STANDALONES UNDER MACOS X

There is a new tutorial available that shows how you can run the Windows standalone versions of our PhotoWiz products on a Mac with an Intel CPU. You do not need a copy of Microsoft Windows for that. You only need the free Wineskin tool. The 19-step tutorial explains in detail how to setup Wineskin, install the standalone and run it. It takes a few minutes to do that, but it is definitely feasible.

Of course, you can also make other Windows programs run on your Mac with the same procedure. Doing that for Windows plugins is also possible, but more complex. You would need to install a Windows host tool, e.g. IrfanView, XNView or Photo Designer 7 (see below), and afterwards copy or install the plugin(s) into the same wrapper.

Read the tutorial at the
Mac Standalone page

 

POLL RESULTS


Thanks a lot for participating in the recent polls. Here are the results and some comments:

Poll 1: What digital camera brand do you use?

673 people voted in the last poll about their camera brand preference. Here are the results:

1. Canon 36.6%
2. Nikon 24.6%

3. Sony 8.3%
4. Olympus 5.8%
5. Fujifilm 5.5%
6. Panasonic 5.3%
7. Pentax 5%
8. Kodak 2.6%
9. Samsung 2%

10. Other 1.5%
11. Casio 0.6%
11. HP 0.6%
12. Epson 0.4%
12. Leica 0.4%
12. Ricoh 0.4%
13. Phase 0.3%
13. Sigma 0.3%

As we can see, there are two favorites in this list. Canon is preferred by far, almost 37% would choose this brand, followed by Nikon which is the first selection for almost 25% of all voters. Other brand names reach much lower percentages among our poll participants.

In a poll about DSLRs five years ago the results were similar, but Sony and Panasonic managed to get more popular in the meantime.


Poll 2: How much would you maximally pay for a plugin from The Plugin Site?

150 people cast their vote in this poll about acceptable prices for products from The Plugin Site. Here are the results and its analysis:

Price
Votes
Cumulated
Profits
 
200$
6% (9)
6%
1200
61%
150$
1.3% (2)
7.3%
1095
56%
120$
0.7% (1)
8%
960
49%
100$
7.3% (11)
15.3%
1530
78%
80$
3.3% (5)
18.6%
1488
76%
70$
2% (3)
20.6%
1442
73%
60$
4.7% (7)
25.3%
1518
77%
 
 
50$
14% (21)
39.3%
1965
100%
 
 
40$
6% (9)
45.3%
1812
92%
30$
8% (12)
53.3%
1599
81%
25$
12.7% (19
66%
1650
84%
20$
7.3% (11)
73.3%
1466
75%
15$
7.3% (11)
80.6%
1209
61%
10$
8% (12)
88.6%
886
45%
5$
11.3% (17)
100%
500
25%

The poll suggests that at $50 our plugin products produce the most profit. $40 seems to be the second best price. According to the poll any price between $20 to $100 would still be at least 75% as effective as $50, so this seems to be the best price spectrum for our products.

It is good to see that we seem to have priced our products on the spot. Although we also offer products at $70, the sales figures do not really indicate that these sell worse, although this poll may suggest it.

We try to keep our prices as reasonable as possible while at the same time maintaining the highest quality. Pricing our products too low or high, would mean less profits which in turn would mean lower product quality, because we would be forced to spend less time on each product.


For more poll results please visit the
Resources section

 

NEW POLLS

In what format(s) do you usually shoot digital photos?
In which new commercial plugin(s) from The Plugin Site are you most interested?

Back in 2004 a poll asked in which format people shot their digital photos. JPEG, RAW and TIFF were common at that time. TIFF has vanished in the meantime and DNG appeared. Although DNG could be counted as RAW, we listed it as a separate item in the new poll. It will be interesting to see how much the RAW format made up ground.

The second poll asks you to vote for our next commercial plugin project. You can choose between four major upgrades of existing plugins and six new types of plugins. Additionally there is the choice of a plugin that combines all PhotoWiz effects

Click here to vote...

 

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS

Panorama Correction Plugin, Color Temperature Correction, Plugin Support in PSP X4, EyeCandy in PSP XII

Here are the latest posts on the forums:

Panorama Correction Plugin
el_del_14 wrote: "When I create panoramas sometimes they have great distortions. Which is the best plugin to correct them. Thank you in advance"
Read More...

Color Temperature Correction
Someone wrote: "... I've long used "The Imaging Factory's" "White Balance" filter and cannot find a replacement to work when Rosetta is no longer an option. I know raw image processing is a another workaround but the specific function I'm looking for is to be for JPGs. Does anyone know of a simple quality plugin along these lines with the same abilities? That is: color balance adjustment on a Kelvin temperature scale?."
Read More...

Plugin Support in PSP X4
vorathavorn wrote: "I was thinking of buying Paintshop Pro X4, but I hear I won't be able to use most of the plugins I have been using with versions 9 and X2... Is this true?"
Read More...

EyeCandy in PSP XII
Tich wrote: "Can anyone help me please I have psp12 and windows 7 and I am trying to get Eye candy 5 to work. I can find them in my plugin folder but they dont show when I open psp12. ! already have Eye candy 4000 and that works fine.
I have tried file location and they show them there aswell so I dont know what else I can do."
Read More...

Please feel free to post suggestions or start a discussion topic at
The Plugin Site Forum

 

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS

Perfect365, MAGIX Photo Manager 10 & Photo Designer 7, dispcalGUI/Argyll, Wineskin

ArcSoft Perfect365 is a one-touch/click photo makeover tool (for Win/Mac/iOS). It lets you adjust up to 21 facial features with the help of style makeup templates and the ability to fine-tune them. Perfect365 performs an automatic facial recognition and can detect up to 20 faces in one photo. It offers cleanup, makeup and enhancement features as well as a before/after comparison, key points for tilted and off-center profiles and lets you save your favorite looks. An enhanced version of Perfect365 that allows users to save and print their high-resolution pictures can be purchased..
Visit website...

MAGIX Photo Designer 7 is a free image editor (for Windows). It has all the standard features of an image processing application. It uses so-called objects, which work similar to layers. It also supports Photoshop plugins, but you should better not apply them to layers to avoid weird results. There is a task wizard and a one-click photo correction.
MAGIX Photo Manager 10 is a free image viewing and management tool (for Windows). It lets you manually optimize photos as well as present, upload, print and burn them. There is a face detection feature, which will search for all photos containing a certain face. It works fine, but also shows you other photos that do not even include a face.
Both tools are 7-day trial versions that can be registered for free. There are enhanced commercial versions of both tools available.
Visit website...

dispcalGUI is a graphical user interface for the open-source Argyll display calibration tool. dispcalGUI lets you calibrate your display devices and create or check their ICC profiles by using a hardware sensor from Datacolor/ColorVision or X-Rite/GretagMacbeth. There is also support for multi-display setups. According to our own experience dispcalGUI is sometimes even more accurate and offers more features than the original software delivered with calibration devices.
Visit website...

Wineskin lets you run Windows programs under MacOS X. Unlike other virtual machines you do not even have to buy and install Windows. It emulates Windows itself, so it does not eat up a lot of RAM and is installed quickly, but on the other hand does not provide UI features like visual styles. It also lets developers make ports of Windows software to Mac OS X. It creates Mac application bundle wrappers which can be distributed. If you are unsure on how to use it, have a look at our tutorial above.
Visit website...

For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
Resources section

 

GRAPHICS NEWS

Adobe Upgrade Policy Change, Corel PaintShop Pro X4, PSP X3 Service Pack 5, ThumbsPlus 8, Dynamic Autopainter Pro 64

Adobe is planning to change its upgrade policy for the Creative Suite 6, including Photoshop CS6. Users of CS3 and CS4 will first need to upgrade to CS5 in order to qualify for upgrade pricing for CS6. So that effectively means a double upgrade fee or paying the full price again. Even the 20% discount that Adobe offers for the CS5 upgrade until the end of this year does not really change much.
It seems that this step is also aimed at converting customers into members of the Adobe Creative Cloud service, which will start in the first half of 2012. For a membership fee of $49.99 or $69.99 per month users will be able to use all Creative Suite applications, the Adobe Touch Apps and various online services.
Scott Kelby posted an open letter to Adobe, which says that this unexpected policy change is unfair towards customers and pleas to delay it until CS7. He is also worried that many users may not upgrade to future versions of Photoshop and the creative suite at all, because they cannot afford it anymore without the option to skip one or two upgrades.
Chris Dickman from Graphics.com critizises that Adobe obviously starts to focus on high-end customers and he speculates that the market segment of normal consumers and semi-professionals will be "thrown under the bus". He fears that the entire infrastructure of book authors, trainers and related websites might be affected.
The Announcement
Scott Kelby's Open Letter to Adobe
Chris Dickman's Comments

Corel released PaintShop Pro X4 (for Windows), which delivers faster performance and 75 new and enhanced features. Among these features are HDR Tools, Photo Blend (for creating compositions by selecting people, objects or areas from a series of images), Fill Light and Clarity (for enhancing underexposed areas and details), Selective Focus (depth of field and miniature effects) as well as Vignette Tools (for soft and faded borders). PaintShop Pro X4 launches 50% faster and has various effects accelerated. It provides built-in social media sharing option, e.g. for Facebook and Flicker.
Visit website...

Service Pack 5 for PaintShop Photo Pro X3 has been released. It fixes a lot of problems with plugins and some other bugs. It is recommended to install all of the service packs sequentially to alleviate problems.
Visit website...

Cerious released ThumbsPlus 8 SP1 (for Windows), an image management application with many database features. It offers Windows 7 support, new UI features and customization, enhanced video file support and a Metadata Batch Editor.
Visit website...

 

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Copyright (c) 2000 - 2009 by Harald Heim