Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - April 2001 - 2







POLL RESULTS: Your favorite tool in your image editing application
NEW POLL: Your favorite image editing functionality






Here's the second April issue of the Plugin Newsletter packed with info
on a lot of cool and free plugins and other things. If you enjoy this
newsletter, please recommend it to your friends by simply forwarding it.
Currently this newsletter is delivered to 37000+ people, but I guess
there are more people out there who are interested in image effects and

Stay Creative,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site - Your guide to image and video effects



Harry's Filters is the most successful resource at The Plugin Site. It
has been downloaded several hundred thousand times during the last four
years. Now Version 2.0 is available!

Harry's Filters 2.0 is a free Photoshop-compatible plugin for Windows
which can be used with dozens of different image editing applications
e.g. Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Corel Photo-Paint and many others. The
plugin includes 55 effect filters in one dialog, a Random button,
options for saving and opening presets and a cool instant preview
feature. Version 2.0 executes roughly 1.5 times faster than Version 1.0
and it can be applied to RGB and Greyscale images.

At the same time I would like to announce the "Harry's Filters Preset
Contest". This contest likes to inspire you to create marvellous effects
with Harry's Filters and save them as preset files. The creators of the
three best presets or preset collections will be rewarded with a copy of
Plugin Galaxy, the commercial and enhanced successor of Harry's Filters,
worth $50 each.

To take part in this contest, please send your Harry's Filters preset
files to us by the 31st May.

Grab Harry's Filters 2.0 for Windows at


The Plugin Commander Discussion List has just been created. It is
intended for asking questions about Plugin Commander, discussing
experiences with this tool and to help each other to learn more about
the usage of Plugin Commander.

A PDF Manual for the current Version 1.52 of Plugin Commander is now
available on the Plugin Commander Light Download page.


Several new pages will be added to the Know-How section of The Plugin
Site soon. You could help us by sending link suggestions for the
following topics: Photoshop Tutorial Sites, Paint Shop Pro Tutorial
Sites, Photo Paint Tutorial Sites, Other Tutorial Sites, Computer
Graphics Newsletters, Online Classes, Books and Learning CD-ROMs. So if
you know some good sites that feature such resources, please send them
to us. Thanks!

The tutorial "How to install 8bf files (Photoshop-compatible filter
plugins) in different applications" has been updated. It contains
instructions on installing plugins into 25 different image applications.
Especially new instructions for Paint Shop Pro 7 were added.

The Visitor Gallery has again been updated with 10 impressive images.
Thanks for sending them. They were created by Vivian Kendall, Rod
Wright, Bob McNish, Wynn Schaible, Carolyn Oakley, Thomas Janssens, J.
Dunnell and Xaime Aneiros.


POLL RESULTS: Your favorite tool in your image editing application

200 total votes were cast for the last poll about your favorite tool in
your image editing application. Here are the results:

1. Clone/Stamp Tool (35) 17.5%
2. Magic Wand Tool (33) 16.5%

3. Retouch/Blur/Smudge/Burn Tool (17) 8.5%
4. Freehand/Lasso Selection Tool (15) 7.5%
5. Tube/Nozzle/ImageObject Tool (13) 6.5%
6. Gradient Fill Tool (12) 6%
Vector/Pen/Path/Draw Tool (12) 6%

7. Other (11) 5.5%
8. Brush Tool (9) 4.5%
Text Tool (9) 4.5%
9. Zoom Tool (8) 4%

Voter's Comments:
- I love the eyedropper tool the most when you do the kind of work I do
with Photoshop (Prosthetic Makeup Design). The eyedropper allows you to
duplicate highlight and shadow colors in faces that are from diverse
races. I love it I do!
- By far, one of the handiest tools in Adobe PhotoShop 6 is the
background eraser. It makes getting rid of unwanted backgrounds in
photos a snap, and is a great help in weeding out unwanted pixels when
you are trying to separate all the wires in a shopping cart basket from
a background, for example. The tolerance can be set with the Magic
Wand's tolerance.
- You left out the "Sharpen" tool. In digital photography, that's one
tool that gets used on almost every picture to some extent, regardless
of what else is done to it.
- Bar none [no pun intended] the MIRROR effect tool in Freehand 8 is the
best. It allows me to configure kaleidoscopic imagery PRECISELY AND can
make "anything" look fantastic, from the lowliest design, typographic,
or jpeg image. The results are usually spectacular and worth having on
display in my home office.

NEW POLL: Your favorite image editing functionality

To set forth the last poll, you can now vote for your favorite image
editing functionality. This includes more general features of image
editing applications. Please cast your vote at



According to the last poll the clone/stamp tool and the magic wand tool
are the most used tools in image applications. That's why it is
important to train their usage. The clone/stamp tool lets you
effectively remove unwanted image details, blend parts of one or more
images or allows you to create soft transitions between image parts. The
magic wand tool is great for selecting irregular image parts in order to
manipulate them differently than other image parts.

There are some tutorials below that may help you to learn more about
these two tools:

Paint Shop Pro: Clone Brush and Colors

Paint Shop Pro: Clone Brush

Photoshop: What Is Cloning / Rubber Stamp?


PhotoPaint: Motion and the Clone Tool #1 by The Internet Eye

Paint Shop Pro: Basic Selection Tool Methods

Paint Shop Pro: Working with Selections in Paint Shop Pro

Paint Shop Pro: Creating Clean Selections

Photoshop: The Mysteries of Photoshop's Magic Wand




The AmphiSoft filters set (Windows only) contains both free and
shareware Photoshop-compatible plugins. Included are free light versions
of "Convolution shaman" and "Sorting shaman" (basic functions like blur,
sharpen, edge detection and sharpening and despeckle with many extra
options for image enhancement) which can be upgraded to full versions by
registering. "Thread master" (cross-shaped smudge effect) and "Out of
the noise (noise & diffuse effects) are free, too. The shareware plugins
of this package are called "Metalwork II" (metallic effects),
"ArtiFactor" and "Kinetics lab" (for creating organic textures by
simulating chemical reactions).

Martijn Van Der Lee released a free Photoshop-compatible plugin called
Camouflage (Windows only). With this plugin you can generate all kinds
of army-style and animal camouflage patterns. As usual you get maximum
of control of the effect and any setting can be saved and loaded,
also a lot of preset color palettes available based on authentic army
camouflage patterns.

Grab the Eye Candy 3 Special Edition (for Mac and Windows)! Alienskin
currently try to promote Version 4 of Eye Candy by releasing the old
version for free. It isn't officially available on the Alienskin web
site, but on web sites of some institutions and will also be available
on cover CDs of different magazines soon. This Special Edition of Eye
Candy 3 is probably only available for a limited time. Find some
download links here:

InstaCropper (Windows only) is a small free program for automatically
cropping white backgrounds of .jpg, .bmp, or .tga files. It features
manual as well as batch processing, noise filtering, manual and auto
rotation. This easy to use and convenient tool is perfect for
straightening out your scans.

If you are looking for a free full-featured vector application, have a
look at StarOffice Draw which is part of the free Star Office package.
Unfortunately you'll have to download the full 79 MB package to get Star
Draw as it isn't separately available.
StarOffice Draw includes 3-D modeling that enables you to fuse basic
shapes together to create complex ones, Bézier curves, a range of
connectors that draw lines between objects, and even the elusive "text
on a curve." New and improved 3-D sizing handles make it a snap to
rotate drawing objects and manipulate their invisible bounding boxes.



VDL released Version 1.03 of Halftone, a Photoshop-compatible plugin. It
does high-quality halftone dithering as seen in black/white newspaper
photographs. Not only does it allow for classic-style dithering but it
also includes different shaped dots and fine-tuned control allowing you
to do much more. The Halftone plug-in automatically scales the color
range for contrast and allows both transparent and opaque background
colors. It supports Grayscale and Duotone color modes as well as the
standard RGB mode and costs $10.
New in Version 1.03 is the changed control layout over two separate
pages, new "Contrast" and "Brightness" controls, new shape "Rotating
squares" and new controls "Rotation" and "Align" for use with the new
Rotating squares shape.

Andromeda announced a new Photoshop-compatible plugin called Perspective
for adding depth effects to 2D images. It has a "virtual" camera in 3D
space to introduce perspective, lets you view and manipulate your image
through "perspective lens" and allows 360 degree rotation of images in
any direction. Find out more at


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