Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others

History of The Plugin Site



October 2022 ElementsXXL 11 for Windows included 200 new features, including sky replace functionality.


October 2022 ElementsXXL 10 for Windows included ActionsXXL, FilterHub and was made compatible with Photoshop. ActionsXXL and FilterHub were discontinued as individual products.


October 2021 ElementsXXL 9 for Windows included 190 new features, support for Photoshop Elements 2022 and speed improvements.
July 2021 FilterHub 2 for Windows offered a new UI and did not require Adobe Flash Player anymore.


October 2020 ElementsXXL 8 for Windows included 220 new features, support for Photoshop Elements 2021 and speed improvements.
CameraXXL 2 for Windows with 50 new features and support for Camera Raw 12.3 and higher.
June 2020 LayerShop 2 for Windows was released. It was previously called LayersXXL, but renamed because of Photoshop support. 130 features were added and the UI was enhanced greatly.
March 2020

Edge & Frame Galaxy 2 for Windows included a plugin for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements as well as 5000 edges & frames.

March 2020 New Galaxy Bundle with Edge & Frame Galaxy, Plugin Galaxy, HyperTyle and Plugin Commander.


October 2019 ElementsXXL 7 for Windows included 200 new features, support for Photoshop Elements 2020 and a dark mode.
June 2019

AdjustShop for Windows extended Photoshop as well as Photoshop Elements with 400 new features. It was the first plugin ever to add new fill and adjustment layers to Photoshop.

June 2019 The Elements Bundle was renamed to Elemental Bundle because 3 of its 7 products were now usable in Photoshop.


October 2018 ElementsXXL 6 for Windows included 200 new features and support for Photoshop Elements 2019.
July 2018 CameraXXL for Windows was released, which added 100 new features to Camera Raw in Photoshop Elements.
March 2018 MetaRaw 3 offered new features, UI enhancements and support for new cameras.
February 2018 The Plugin Site officially supported HTTPS and transmitted all of its contents encrypted.


October 2017 ElementsXXL 5 for Windows included 255 new features, a Photoshop Elements skin and support for Photoshop Elements 2018.
April 2017 MetaRaw 2.50 now included a MacOS version. It offered the same features as the Windows version. 300 more cameras were officially supported than in the last version 1 of MetaRaw.
March 2017 Support for tile processing and images larger than 2 GB by Harrys Filters, PhotoFreebies and Plugin Galaxy for Windows. Support for processing images larger than 2 GB by ColorWasher, FocalBlade and NoiseControl for Windows.
February 2017 The PhotoWiz Collection 2017 (previously known as PhotoWiz Bundle) for Windows was the 10th edition of the PhotoWiz products. All PhotoWiz products now offered a skin feature, 3200% zoom, improved file format support, Affinity Photo support, combined plugin/standalone installations and more. ColorWasher 3 and Lightroom 2 for Windows additonally included multiple core support, up to 12 time faster preview update and the ability to use them as smart filters and for action recording.


December 2016 The design of The Plugin Site was reworked to give it a modern touch and to make it better viewable on mobile devices. The main page was completely reworked and the other 1000+ pages were adjusted to the new template. The Gallery section and some other outdated pages were removed.
December 2016 FilterHub 1.50 began using ElementsXXL for applying smart filters in Photoshop Elements.

Our commercial HTML Shrinker Pro for Windows became freeware.

Plugin Galaxy AE
was discontinued.
October 2016 ElementsXXL 4 for Windows included 200 new features, many speed improvements and support for Photoshop Elements 15.
Juli 2016 ElementsXXL for MacOS X was released.
April 2016 ActionsXXL for Windows was released for recording actions in Photoshop Elements and using them for batch processing. ElementsXXL, LayersXXL and FilterHub now support ActionsXXL for recording and playing actions.
March 2016 The PhotoWiz standalones started using MetaRaw Converter for opening camera raw files.
January 2016 FilterHub for Windows supported UI Scaling in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.


December 2015 HiDPI and 4K support under Windows for PhotoWiz, Plugin Galaxy, HyperTyle and Harrys Filters.
December 2015 MetaRaw 2 for Windows was released.
October 2015 The MacOS X versions of the PhotoWiz and Plugin Galaxy plugins were updated with Retina support and a combined installer.
October 2015 ElementsXXL 3 for Windows included 200 new features and support for Photoshop Elements 14.
March 2015 LayersXXL for Windows was released.
March 2015 The Elements Bundle consisting of FilterHub, ElementsXXL and LayersXXL was offered. Later more and more plugins were added to it.


October 2014 Updates of all PhotoWiz products for Windows with support for 30K+ images, 64-bit standalones and a combined installer.
October 2014 ElementsXXL 2.5 for Windows included a 64-bit version for Photoshop Elements 13 and higher.
May 2014 Plugin Galaxy 3 for Windows was released. It offers the most advanced Filter Factory engine that ever existed.
January 2014 ElementsXXL 2 for Windows was released.


August 2013 BWStyler 2 for Windows contained our first 64-bit release of a standalone version and Lightroom external editor.
June 2013 MetaRaw for Windows was our first Photoshop format plugin.
May 2013 HyperTyle 2 for Windows included a 64-bit version and new UI.
March 2013 ElementsXXL for Windows was the first Photoshop plugin ever that fully intergrated itself into the UI of the host application.


December 2012 FilterHub 1.01 included our first Photoshop automation plugin and the first flash panel that ever ran in Photoshop Elements and Photoshop 5 to CS3.
December 2012 ColorStyler for MacOS X was released.
October 2012 FilterHub was released. This was our first commercial Photoshop panel extension.
May 2012 ColorStyler for Windows was released.


July 2011 NoiseControl for Mac was released.
May 2011 NoiseControl for Windows was released.
January 2011 Version 4 of Harrys Filters for Windows, which included a 64-bit version.

November 2010 -
February 2011

64-bit Mac versions of all PhotoWiz plugins appeared.


November 2010 The PhotoWiz products were now offered as a price-reduced product bundle.
November 2010 FocalBlade 2 for MacOS X was released. This was our first 64-bit Mac plugin.
September 2010 Windows Standalone/Lightroom versions of all PhotoWiz plugins became available.
July 2010

A 64-bit Windows version of Plugin Galaxy was released.

Our Photo Galaxy and Abstraction/Mutation products were discontinued after nine years.

April 2010 Version 2 of FocalBlade for Windows was released.
March 2010 Harald Heim of The Plugin Site wrote a technical book on nude and portrait photography in German language in 2009 together with co-author Kay Michael Kuhnlein. It was published in March 2010. Spanish, Chinese and Polish editions followed in 2011.
January 2010 The Plugin Newsletter was sent out in HTML for the first time.
January 2010 Plugin Galaxy AE was updated to Version 1.6.


November 2009 64-bit Windows versions of the other PhotoWiz plugins were released.
November 2009 We changed servers for the Plugin Newsletter. The subscriber base was reduced from 130,000 to 15,000 addresses by asking people to resubscribe. Both measures reduced the costs for sending out the newsletter dramatically.
October 2009 The web design of The Plugin Site was greatly improved. The old design served for many years and was only slightly changed during that time.
September 2009 ThePluginSite Panel for Photoshop was released. It offers a convenient way to run all of our plugins.
March - August 2009 The Postcard Contest 2009 was conducted. Participants were asked to either buy a postcard or create one of their own and send them to us by postal mail. 20 prizes worth more than USD $3500 in total were offered to the winners. The best postcards were exhibited in the Museum of Communications in Nuremberg, Germany, from October 2009 to February 2010.
July 2009 Version 2 of Plugin Galaxy for MacOS X was released.
May 2009 Version 2.04 of ColorWasher for Windows was released including a 64-bit version. This was our first commercial 64-bit Photoshop plugin.
March 2009 Version 2.0 of PhotoFreebies for Windows were released. The update included a version with our first ever released 64-bit Photoshop plugins.
February 2009 From 2001 to 2008 we used the FilterMeister development tool for creating our Windows Photoshop plugins. We also contributed most of the new features to FilterMeister during that time. In February 2009 we decided to drop FilterMeister and only use VC++ for developing our plugins. This allowed us to develop more powerful plugins, create 64-bit versions and standalones as well as release updates much faster.


December 2008 ContrastMaster for Mac was released.
April - December 2008 All PhotoWiz plugins were updated for enhanced compatibility and reliability.
August 2008 ContrastMaster for Windows was released. This was our first plugin that fully supported multiple CPU cores.
February 2008 FM Patcher, a tool for making FilterMeister .8bf plugins Vista-compatible, was released as a co-production between The Plugin Site and AFH Systems.


October 2007 Version 2 of Plugin Galaxy for Windows was released.
August 2007 PhotoFreebies for MacOS X was released.
March - December 2007 All of our plugins were made compatible with Windows Vista.
February - May 2007 Our PhotoWiz plugins now ran natively on Macs with an Intel processor.
February 2007 The MacOS X version of B/W Styler was released.


September 2006 B/W Styler for Windows was released.
April 2006 The MacOS X version of LightMachine was released.
January 2006 The MacOS X version of FocalBlade was released.


August 2005 ColorWasher for MacOS X was released.
July 2005 Version 1.60 of Plugin Commander was released.
March 2005 Photo Galaxy 1600 Themes and Photo Galaxy 1600 Textures were released. The previous five volumes of Photo Galaxy 1600 were remodeled into these two new products.
February 2005 The first Plug-Talk article was published. Plug-Talk is a a series of interviews that give you a better idea about the people behind the scenes of the Photoshop plugin business. It is also published at
January 2005 Harald Heim of The Plugin Site started a second column in the Digital Photo Effects magazine (which was previously known as Digital Photography Techniques). The column presented freeware plugins and showcased three tutorials for each set. Unfortunately in mid 2005 the magazine was discontinued.
January 2005 LightMachine, the third commercial plugin in the PhotoWiz series, was released.


October 2004 The PhotoWiz Contest 2004 was started and run until the end of 2004. More than 500 images were submitted and 66 prizes were awarded.
July 2004 Finally Paypal orders were processed automatically, so that customers got their download immediately after the purchase.
May 2004 Version 2 of ColorWasher was released.
March 2004 Photo Galaxy 2300 consisting of 1000 photo textures was released.
February 2004 The Plugin Site web site was transfered to a new and faster server of a new web hosting provider. The URL was not working for four days. A new main Order Form for ordering our products was made available. At the same time we also relaunched our Affiliate Program with improved features and a higher commission.
January 2004 Version 3 of Harry's Filters, our most successful freeware product, was made available. It included new effects and an interesting animation feature.


November 2003 PhotoFreebies, the third PhotoWiz product, was released as freeware. The Photo Galaxy 800 CD was released.
July 2003 FocalBlade, the second PhotoWiz product, was released.
June 2003 Harald Heim of The Plugin Site started a monthly column called "Essential Plugins" in the Digital Photography Techniques magazine from Future Publishing UK. The column reviewed several plugins that produce certain effects. The column ran for 28 issues of the magazine until mid 2005.
April 2003 Plugin Galaxy 1.50 for Mac was released.
February 2003 The new Download Center, which makes it easier to access the downloads of our freeware and demo versions, went online. At the same time a discussion board was opened.
January 2003 The first version of ColorWasher was released. This was the start of the new PhotoWiz plugin series which focuses on providing professional photo correction tools.


December 2002 HTML Shrinker 2.60 was released. This was its last version. It is not developed further but available as freeware.
November 2002 Version 1.50 of Plugin Galaxy for AE was released.
October 2002 The Galaxy Contest 2002 ended after three months.1250 images and animation from 500 international artists were sent in. The 70 prizes were given to approx. 50 winners.
September 2002 Photo Galaxy 5 (Mixed Impressions) was released.
August 2002 Harald Heim from The Plugin Site started a bi-monthly column called "Plugins Unplugged" at The articles were about general plugin topics and meant to be quite controversial. Until the end of 2004 several articles were published.
July 2002 Our second commercial plugin product HyperTyle was released.
June 2002 Another co-production with called Abstraction was released. Discontinued in 2010.
May 2002 Photo Textures 2 (Photo Galaxy Vol.4) was released.
April 2002 Plugin Galaxy 1.50 for Windows was released. The MacOS X version of Plugin Galaxy for AE, too.
February 2002 Harald Heim of The Plugin Site became part of the FilterMeister development team. FilterMeister is a tool for creating Photoshop plugins for Windows. Until February 2009 he added most of the new feature to new FilterMeister releases. Until February 2009 we also used FilterMeister to develop our Photoshop plugins for Windows.
February 2002 HTML Shrinker 2.50 was released.
January 2002 Photo Galaxy Vol.3 was released.


December 2001 Beside the Element5 service we also introduced the Paypal payment service as another means of ordering our products (in response to some customer requests).
November 2001 The Photo Textures (Photo Galaxy Vol. 2) product was released on CD-ROM.
October 2001 The Photo Galaxy product was released. Furthermore a co-production with called "Mutation" was released, too. Both product were only made available on CD-ROM. Both were discontinued in 2010.
September 2001 The Plugin Newsletter was moved from to a Sparklist/Lyris server.
August 2001 The URL wasn't redirected to anymore, because Eyewire shut the redirection down. It took almost one year to get back to the same amount of visitors again. Too late to ask yourself why you didn't register your own domain back in 1997, although it was quite expensive at that time.
July 2001 Plugin Galaxy for AE (Windows/Macintosh) was released. Again a co-production with Discontinued in 2016.
April 2001 Version 2.0 of "Harry's Filters" was released as freeware. Just like the old version, it was downloaded several hundred thousand times since then. It was our first plugin that was developed with FilterMeister.
February 2001 HTML Shrinker 2.0 was released as a free Light Version and a commercial Pro Version. The Pro version was made freeware in 2016.


December 2000 The first version of our GraphicsGalaxy search engine was installed on The Plugin Site. It allowed people to enter keywords in order to find Photoshop plugins. This service was available until the end of 2009.
November 2000 The Plugin Com HQ web site ( was closed down after two and a half years, because I/US was acquired by Eyewire. Eyewire closed the web site as well as the site. Almost all pages from were transferred to Most of the traffic was redirected to The Plugin Site.
October 2000 The winners of the Galaxy Contest 2000 were announced. Almost 400 images from more than 120 artists had been sent in and a total of 60 prizes were won.
September 2000 Version 1.5 of Plugin Commander was released.
July 2000 The first Mac version of Plugin Galaxy (a co-production with was released.
April 2000 We had to sell the copyright of Alpha Magic to Pinnacle Systems (which acquired Hollywood FX) to keep the product alive. Alpha Magic was still sold by Pinnacle on its own for two or three years and later included in some of their products, e.g. Pinnacle Studio.
March 2000 The Edge & Frame Galaxy CD Version was released.
February 2000 "The Plugin Site" web site at was opened, but only contained little information and redirected traffic to


December 1999 A total of 60 prizes worth over $4000 were given away in the Xmas Draw 99 to the subscribers of the Plugin Newsletter.
November 1999 After dozens of beta versions and two years of development Version 1.0 of Plugin Commander was released as a free Light Version and a commercial Pro Version.
October 1999 Ordering our commercial products was made possible through our own web site via the ShareIt/Element5 payment service. We registered as a business at our local authorities.
August 1999 Alpha Magic, a video transition plugin, which was a co-production with Hollywood FX, was released.
July 1999 Our second commercial product Plugin Galaxy was made available through I/US. Plugin Galaxy was developed with the FilterFormula tool.
June 1999 The first version of HTML Shrinker was released as freeware.
May 1999 The Edge & Frame Galaxy Contest 1999 was conducted. Almost 100 images were submited to the contest.
April 1999 "Edge & Frame Galaxy Vol.2" was released by I/US. This product isn't sold separately anymore. (However, its content is included with the Edge & Frame Galaxy CD Version which came out a year later.)
February 1999 Our first commercial product "Edge & Frame Galaxy" was released for sale as a download through I/US. An updated version of it is still sold as the Edge & Frame Galaxy Download Version.


September 1998 The first issue of the Plugin Newsletter was sent out to a few hundred people.
May 1998 The predecessor web site was called "Plugin Com HQ" and moved to and was sponsored by the I/US corporation.


November 1997 The first beta release of Plugin Commander was published as freeware.
October 1997 The first version of Harry's Filters (which was called VideoRave at that time) was released. More and more filters were added in the following two years. Harry's Filters 1.0 was developed with Adobe's Filter Factory.
September 1997 The first release of 8bf2prm, the predecessor of Plugin Commander, became available.
August 1997 The first amateur web site called "Premiere Plugin HQ" was opened on a server.



For a more detailed information about what happened on the web site see the Previous News page.


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