Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - April/May 2017




: First Mac version, Support for 145 new cameras

PHOTOWIZ FOR WINDOWS: Support for 2GB+ images, Irfanview Installation Support, Various Bug Fixes

PLUGIN GALAXY 3.10 & HYPERTYLE 2.10 FOR WINDOWS: Support for 2GB+ images, New Skins, Improved installation and more

POLL RESULTS: Photoshop plugins of which companies do you regularly use?

NEW POLL: From which companies have you purchased a Photoshop plugin (or its upgrade) during the last two years?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Animation Shop Problem, KRITA Fans Wanted, Old Plugins Not Recognize

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: VDL 64-bit Plugins, Polar Projection & Pixel2Vector, Robobrush, Zoner Photo Studio 18 Free, Lightroom CC

GRAPHICS NEWS: AKVIS AliveColors, AlphaPlugins Fire4




Dear Reader,

A Mac version of MetaRaw, which offers all features of the Windows version, is now available. Making it work with very old as well as very new Photoshop versions turned out to be more difficult and tedious than expected unfortunately. Developing the Mac version of ElementsXXL meant overcoming even more obstacles. Luckily such annoying problems have never occurred with the Windows versions. But we finally managed to release MetaRaw for Mac, even if support for Photoshop CC 2015.5 and 2017 have to wait.

In the next two months we prepare to provide some smaller updates of existing products as well as release a totally new product for Photoshop Elements with XXL in the name. So stay tuned!

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site


First Mac version, Support for 145 new cameras

MetaRaw 2.50 now offers a version for MacOS X 10.6 and higher, which works in Photoshop CS3 to CC 2015 and Photoshop Elements 8 to 15. A future update will include support for Photoshop CC 2015.5 and 2017. With version 2.50 of MetaRaw 145 new camera models have been added to the compatibility list, which now consists of more than 990 camera models.

MetaRaw extends the functionality of the Adobe Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It lets you open camera raw files with Adobe Camera Raw, which are normally not supported by it, and allows applying Adobe Camera Raw to image layers. In Photoshop Elements MetaRaw provides automatic lens correction and chromatic aberration removal features for Adobe Camera Raw. Additionally MetaRaw includes its own raw converter, which has several advantages over Adobe Camera Raw.

For more information and a 14-day trial version visit the
MetaRaw Page


Support for 2GB+ images, Irfanview Installation Support, Various Bug Fixes

All PhotoWiz plugins received a small update in March. ColorWasher, FocalBlade and NoiseControl now allow processing images that occupy more than 2 GB RAM. On the other hand LightMachine, BWStyler, ColorStyler and ContrastMaster produce no error message or crash for such large images anymore, but it is still not possible to process them.

"The Plugin Site" sub menu, which hosts all PhotoWiz filters, does not appear at the top of the Filter menu anymore, because the leading space character was removed. The standalones received support for the raw files of 38 new cameras based on MetaRaw 2.07 and Plugin Installer now supports installing plugins directly into IrfanView. Various bug fixes for the plugins, standalones and the installation were added.

For more information and a demo version visit the
PhotoWiz Product Page


Support for 2GB+ images, New Skins, Improved installation and more

Plugin Galaxy 3.10 can now process images tile by tile which requires less memory and allows processing images that occupy more than 2 GB RAM. However, tile processing is not supported by all effects. HyperTyle 2.10 on the other hand produces no error message or crash for such large images anymore.

Both plugins offer two new Affinity skins and UI improvements. Among many other fixes for the plugins and installation, it is worth mentioning that Plugin Installer now supports Affinity Photo, IrfanView and the common plugin folder of all Photoshop CC versions. Also, "The Plugin Site" sub menu, which hosts both plugins, does no appear at the top of the Filter menu anymore.

For more information and a demo version visit the
Plugin Galaxy Product Page
HyperTyle Product Page


Photoshop plugins of which companies do you regularly use?

In the last poll about regularly used Photoshop plugins 185 voters placed 800 votes: This is 4.32 votes per voter and means that an average voter uses plugins from 4-5 plugin companies. Here are the final results, which tell the percentage of regular users that each company has:

1. Topaz Labs 55%
2. Google/nik 47%
3. The Plugin Site 38%
4. ON1 34%
5. Alienskin 22%
    Flaming Pear 22%

6. Other 19%
7. DxO Labs 18%
    FilterForge 18%
8. HDR Soft/Photomatix 15%
9. AutoFX 14%
    Imagenomic 14%
10. Redfield Plugins 13%
11. Mehdi Plugins 12%
12. Portrait Professional 11.4%
13. Akvis 10.8%

14. Corel 8%
      Richard Rosenman 8%
15. Xero Graphics 7.6%
16. ABSoft/Neat Image 7%
17. Lucis Art 6.5%
18. Van Der Lee 6%
19. Andromeda 5%
      Tiffen 5%
      ICNet/Filters Unlimited 5%
20. Cybia 4%
21. PixelGenius 3%
22. AVBros 2.7%
      PTLens/EPaperPress 2.7%
24. Fred Miranda 2.2%

Compared to the 2012 poll the top 6 companies have stayed the same, except that The Plugin Site moved up and ON1 moved down. In the last five years Topaz has increased its user base by 6%, nik and The Plugin Site increased it by 5%, ON1 decreased by 4%, Alienskin decreased by 5% and Flaming Pear stayed the same.

The winners in the rest of the field since 2012 are: DxO (+12%), FilterForge (+8%), Imagenomic (+5%), Neat Image (+3%), Lucis Art (+2.5%), Van Der Lee (+1%), and Mehdi (+1%). These companies seem to have lost users: Xero (-6%), Corel (-3%), Redfield (-3%), Cybia (-3%), AutoFX (-2%), Akvis (-2%), PixelGenius (-2%),Tiffen (-1.5%), Fred Miranda (-1%), AVBros (-1%), Andromeda (-1%) and Richard Rosenman (-1%). HDRSoft and Portrait Professional did not participate in the 2012 poll, but reached a good rank anyway in the current poll.

Xero Graphics, Lucis Art and Filter Unlimited are out of business, but still have a user base of 5% to 8%. Additionally Andromeda, AVBros, PixelGenius and Fred Miranda do not seem to actively develop their plugins anymore.

For more poll results visit the
Resources section


From which companies have you purchased a Photoshop plugin (or its upgrade) during the last two years?

This second plugin poll is about commercial plugin companies and was also conducted 5 years ago in a similar way. The 29 top companies from the last poll (which still offer commercial plugins) are now participating in the new poll. As always there is an "Other" option.

Please participate in this poll by visiting the
Main page...


Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:

Animation Shop Problem

Sandie C wrote: "Hi everyone, I have been using Animation Shop now for years, and works good for what I use it for. However, just today when I go to Add the names to my animation I get a message saying Unable to create file.... I have uninstalled it and REinstalled, same thing happens. Anyone have any idea. I know this is one of those, that will never be updated, but I really like it. Thanks"

KRITA Fans Wanted

HannaK wrote "KRITA is a FREE open source painting tool. Anyone using or knows about?"

Old Plugins Not Recognized

SPURSFAN wrote: "I recently got FU2 ... however when I go into my Plug-ins folder it is there, but it's not showing up in PS [CS6]. I'm not sure what else to do as I have uninstalled and reinstalled it and I'm still getting the same issues. Has anyone experienced this and if so did you figure out how to fix it? ... I'm having the same issue with Xenofex as well ... I would appreciate any advice, help or detailed workaround to fix it. Thank you"

Feel free to post comments or start a discussion topic at
The Plugin Site Forum


VDL 64-bit Plugins, Polar Projection & Pixel2Vector, Robobrush, Zoner Photo Studio 18 Free, Lightroom CC

Van Der Lee has finally updated his plugins (for Windows) for working in 64-bit applications. There are five free plugin called Camouflage, Harmonix, NightVision, Snowflakes and Snowscape. But Van Der Lee also offers five commercial plugins.
Visit website...

Polar Projection is an extension panel for Photoshop CS6 and CC (for Win/Mac) which turns panorama images into mini planets or disks, so-called 360-degree stereographic projections. There is a Mirror Edge check box for blending the left and right part of the image. The same web site also offers Pixel2Vector Converter for Photoshop CS3 to CC (for Win/Mac), which converts a pixel layer into a vector shape or custom shape.
Visit website...
Visit website...

Mediachance offers a free and experimental tool called Robobrush (for Windows) for download. Robobrush basically hijacks the mouse cursor and paints on a photo in e.g. Photoshop, Painter or Rebelle. It automatically changes colors and brush sizes and provides a lot of options to build templates. It also offers a vector tracing tool, so you can import line art and have it painted with a brush or create hand drawn signatures. However, it is not a tool for one-click users, because you have to teach RoboBrush where the color and brush controls are, e.g. in Photoshop, and you have to make sure that these controls are visible all the time and remain at the same position.
Visit website...

The previous version 18 of Zoner Photo Studio (for Windows) is available as a free edition. As far as I can see it offers most features except the image editor. Zoner Photo Studio is an image viewing and management application, which also provides features for batch processing images and EXIF data, creating panoramas, postcards, contact sheets, calendars, and applying up to 21 effects or photo enhancements among other things. You need to create an account in order to use it. There is also a button on the UI for activating the Pro edition for 30 days.
Visit download website...
Visit download website...

How about using Lightroom CC (for Win/Mac) as an image management tool for free? How is this possible you may ask? When Creative Cloud members cancel their subscription, they still need to have access to their images in Lightroom. As a result Lightroom CC even runs after a subscription was canceled or the trial period expired. But Lightroom CC imposes various limitations in this case: First of all, the Develop module is not accessible anymore. Adjustments that were previously applied are preserved, but you cannot change them or apply enhancements to new images. Also, the Edit In sub menu for applying external editors does not work either. Only the "Show In Explorer" menu item remains functional. But you can still export images or open them with another image editing application. So Lightroom CC is basically degraded to an image management and raw conversion tool without editing capabilities. If this is not enough, you can still buy Lightroom 6.10 if you want to avoid a CC subscription.
Visit website...

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


AKVIS AliveColors, AlphaPlugins FireFor

AKVIS offers a beta version of AliveColors (for Win/Mac), a graphics and photo editing application with a variety of tools, adjustments, filters and effects. It supports 16-bit/channel images as well as CMYK images. Unlike Affinity Photo its UI is much more similar to Photoshop, but it still misses a lot of useful features. That's why you only have to pay half of the future regular price. There is also a more expensive Pro version, which includes features from the AKVIS plugin products.
Visit website...

AlphaPlugins FireFor (or Fire4) is the forth edition of the Fire plugin, which was previously developed for After Effects by Panopticum, and now works in Photoshop and compatible applications. The plugin creates natural-looking smoke and fire effects for hi-res and high-quality compositions. FireFor delivers a set of presets with key flame and smoke effects grouped into wizard palettes.
Visit website...



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