Plugin Newsletter - August 2005
PLUGIN COMMANDER 1.60 RELEASED
PLUG-TALK: Interview and Give-Away with Jeff Butterworth from Alienskin, FilterMeister Give-Away Winners
DIGITAL PHOTO EFFECTS: Polarizer Plugins Reviewed, Photo-Plugins Tutorials
POLL RESULTS: Commercial Photo Effects Plugins
NEW POLL: Selective
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: PSP9 Mouse Problem, Photoshop Mac Upgrade, Pattern Fill, Heart Shape, Old Documents, CD/DVD Labels
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Xero Nostalgia, PTLens 6.1, Photoshop Album 3 SE, Opanda PhotoFilter, Easy Picture2Icon
GRAPHICS NEWS: Cybia Alienator, Extensis Plugins Sold, TIF ConvertToBW, Painter 9.1, Adobe Bridge 1.02, Fluid Mask, Quasar
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
There have been some commercial plugin releases lately, but not many freeware plugins became available. Seems that summer holidays are taking their toll. Anyway, I interviewed Jeff from Alienskin, which turned out to be the funniest and maybe the most interesting contribution to the Plug-Talk series so far.
A long awaited update of Plugin Commander was just released. Some technical problems and our concentration on the PhotoWiz products delayed this update. So now I am happy that Plugin Commander is again up-to-date with the latest graphics applications and add-on types. There will certainly be more releases of Plugin Commander in future as well as updates of our other pre-PhotoWiz products.
We are also preparing for a major redesign of The Plugin Site web site to make it more attractive and visually up-to-date. Additionally we will add new things to it to make it a even more useful resource for plugin users. I'm sure you will like it.
Wishing you a nice summer time,
PLUGIN COMMANDER 1.60 RELEASED
Plugin Commander has just been updated to Version 1.60. Plugin Commander is a tool for dealing with various image formats, plugins and effect types from various graphics applications. It allows you to manage and preview your plugin, tube and add-on collection quickly and easily. There is a commercial Pro Edition as well as a feature-limited Light Edition of Plugin Commander, which is freeware.
Version 1.60 now supports plugin types with more than three file extension letters and the latest Paint Shop Pro file types. The Picture Editor has been improved with new "Revert", "Use as Preview Image" and "Zoom" features. In addition to many bug fixes there have been some cosmetic changes regarding menu icons and the dialog gradient bars. Step by step instructions have been added to the help files and first-time users are now prompted for a plugin folder.
The Pro Edition of Plugin Commander now displays PSP tubes, PSP frames and PSP images in the browser and preview window and lets you open them in Picture Editor by double clicking them. You don't need to have Paint Shop Pro installed anymore to view these PSP files. In Plugin View the Photoshop Mode check box now simulates the Filter menu structure of Photoshop 6, 7, CS and CS2. Registered users of Plugin Commander Pro will receive Version 1.60 as a free update by email within the next 24 hours. If your email address has changed in the meantime, please contact us and mention your old as well as new email address.
For more information and for downloading the free Plugin Commander Light please go to
This month I interviewed Jeff Butterworth from Alienskin Software. He tells us how he got started with Alienskin, what his favorite plugins are and how he sees the future of Alienskin and Photoshop plugins in general. You may also win a copy of Eye Candy 5: Impact by answering a question on the interview page.
We also have three winners in the FilterMeister Give-Away: Barry Gregg, Donald P. and Tndemayo. The answer to the question "Which decorative and mythological creatures are Alex's favorites?" was garden gnomes. Luckily only 5% of all participants had it wrong. Someone thought it were minotaurs.
For more interviews see
DIGITAL PHOTO EFFECTS
Issue 28 of the Digital Photo Effects magazine contains a total of 32 Photoshop projects. For example it shows you how to take great flower photos, add interesting effects to them afterwards in Photoshop, conjure warm skies in dull landscapes, create a soft-focus portrait and how to remove UV haze from summer landscape snaps. Furthermore, you will learn how to compose an underwater scene, create vector illustrations from your photos and fashion your own Dali masterpiece from your photos. On the cover disk you will find two hours of video guides, more than 60 free pictures and the full version of NetObjects Fusion 7.3.
The Essential Plugins column reviews three plugins for simulating polarization plugins and the Plugin Guide offers three tutorials for creating nice photo effects with the free Photo-Plugins. As usual you will also find other software and digital camera reviews.
Here are the results of the 181 votes of the poll with the question "Which of these commercial photo effects plugins do you like best?":
1. Other (61) 33.70%
2. Auto FX Mystical
Tint Tone and Color (33) 18.23%
3. nik Color Efex (25) 13.81%
4. Andromeda Photography Filters (21) 11.60%
5. ChromaSoftware Photographic Filters (13) 7.18%
6. PowerRetouche (8)
7. The Imaging Factory (8) 4.42%
8. PixelGenius PhotoKit (6) 3.31%
9. DFT 55mm (3) 1.66%
10. DFT Digital Photo Lab (3) 1.66%
The results are quite interesting. The AutoFX and Andromeda plugins unexpectedly received a high ranking and DFT plugins were rated surprisingly low. The Other item also indicated that there are a lot more plugins that are used for photo effects.
For more poll results,
please visit the Know-How section at
This months poll asks "Which is your favorite tool for selective brightness corrections?" and gives you 15 choices plus an "Other" option.
Please vote at the
bottom of the page at
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
Bob wrote: "I
just loaded up PSP9 to do a looksee. ... Something weird with the mouse.
Very slow, like half speed, and no double click on the middle button.
... Outside of PSP9, PSP8 and all apps work fine. In PSP9, slow and no
middle button ... Any thoughts ..."
Jones wrote: "...
Photoshop 6 won't install on ... MacOS X without Classic being installed
on that computer ... If I upgrade to Photoshop 7 (with a legal upgrade
disk), will I be able to use one of my older Photoshop disks ... when
I'm asked to put the disk in?"
"When I make a pattern from an image & try to fill a canvas [in
Photoshop] I get a bunch of little squares. Does that mean I have to make
it a seamless pattern & if so, how?"
ice-man wrote: "sorry to be a pain but im after a plugin that will put a love heart round a picture and frost the outer edge is there any thing i could use or get for this"
david wrote: "I'm
searching for plugings working with scanned images of documents, usually
old and with problems of conservation ... I think that many Archives work
with such a software, but I don't know if it is a plugin or a program
itself, and of course I don't know its name."
Alex wrote: "Is
there any plugin that would allow me to print CD/DVD labels or even CD
Printing directly on disc from PS? I usually use Nero Cover Designer,
but I have too many problems with color management ..."
For more interesting
discussions please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Xero now offers the free Nostalgia plugin (for Windows), which produces tinted monochrome effects.
Version 6.1 of PTLens (for Windows) from Thomas Niemann now lets you lens-correct photos taken with fisheye lenses. It also includes chromatic aberration correction features and an improved anti-vignetting feature. PTLens is certainly the most convenient and easy-to-use lens correction tool (unless you use a not so popular lens or compact cameras).
Adobe has released Version 3 of its free image management software Photoshop Album Starter Edition (for Win/Mac). It offers some of the features of the commercial Photoshop Album like basic image editing, organization, slideshow and emailing images.
Opanda PhotoFilter is a freeware tool (for Windows) that imitates Kodak, Hoya and Cokin lens filters. It offers adjustable density and auto luminosity compensation. Its interface has a MacOS X look.
Easy Picture2Icon (for Windows) is a simple tool for converting images or photos to Windows icons. It also lets you choose a color that will become transparent in the icon. The icon files can contain multiple icons of different sizes.
Alien Colors With The Alienator Plugin
The Alienator plugin from Cybia takes an alternative approach to colour-modification effects and produces unusual and unpredictable results. So if you like colorful surprises and use Windows, this plugin is for you.
Extensis and LizardTech
Sell Their Plug-ins To onOne
Extensis and LizardTech, which belong to Celartem Inc, sold SmartScale, PhotoFrame, Intellihance Pro, Mask Pro, PhotoTools, QX-Tools Pro and Genuine Fractals to onOne Software, which consists of former Extensis employees.
TIF BW Plugin Updated
The Imaging Factory updated its ConvertToBW Pro plugin to Version 3.0. The user interface was completely redesigned, was optimized for 16-bit processing and even offers preliminary 32bit support.
Corel Introduces Painter
Update and Broad Upgrade Offer
The Corel Painter IX 9.1 update is available as a free download for Painter IX users, while the competitive upgrade makes Painter available for almost half price.
Improved Adobe Bridge
Adobe released a software update for its Creative Suite file browser, which is also delivered with Photoshop CS2. Adobe Bridge 1.02 update delivers overall improved stability and performance.
Vertus Fluid Mask
Plugin Seeks to Speed Photoshop Mask Creation
The new plugin is said to automatically detect edges within an image and build a mask out to each edge, providing more control over the cutout.
Shape Your Own Star
The Quasar plugin from Xero Graphics tries to simulate a traditional starburst filter and even goes beyond it. Any star you want, Quasar will draw it for you.