Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - December 2001




SPECIAL OFFERS: 20% price reduction until the end of the year

POLL RESULTS: Web vs. Hard drive applications
NEW POLL: How often do you use filter plugins?
REVIEWS: KPTeffects and DreamSuite



Dear Reader,

we wish you and your family a Merry and Joyful Christmas as well as a Delightful New Year. We hope you enjoyed this Plugin Newsletter, ThePluginSite web site and all the stuff we made available during 2001. It has almost become a tradition for me to design a special greeting card every Christmas as a particular thanks for all people who helped and supported us with comments, by purchasing our products or in different other ways. You can have a look at it by visiting:

You will also find comments about how it was designed there. Enjoy it and see you next year!

Best wishes from
Harald and Miriam Heim
The Plugin Site - Your guide to image and video effects


SPECIAL OFFERS: 20% price reduction until the end of the year
The reduced prices for Plugin Galaxy and Edge & Frame Galaxy are still valid. Save $10 by ordering these products until 31 December 2001. Don't miss this opportunity!

Here are the prices of the special offers in detail:
Plugin Galaxy Download - $39.95 (instead of $49.95)
Plugin Galaxy CD - $49.95 (instead of $59.95)
Edge & Frame Galaxy CD - $39.95 (instead of $49.95)

For more information and for ordering please visit:


POLL RESULTS: Web vs. Hard drive applications
138 people have voted for the poll about web vs. hard drive applications. The results are:

I prefer had drive applications. 77.54%
I like both. 15.22%
Other 5.8%
I prefer web applications. 1.45%

Some people commented that the term "web applications" was unclear. I must admit that they are probably right. There are three types of web applications I would differentiate: web services like hotmail which are usually driven by server-side scripts, Java-type applications that need the browser to run, but are executed on the user's machine and applications that are executed on a server and accessed via internet. Looking at the vote's result, I guess most voters had the third type in mind. Most of the voters who like both probably had web services in mind.

Even if the results may seem a bit confusing, it was interesting to see the opinion of some of the voters. Here are some interesting comments:

-> I think they both have their place for number 1 usage

-> Hard drive apps rule in the performance area, but Web apps rule in accessibility. No one can deny that a Web-based calendar is not perfect for a couple or family trying to be on the same schedule. Users can see what is going on from work, home, or school, or any other kiosk, rather than being limited to single box. And who doesn't have a Web email account? :)

-> After 2 bad experiences with reputable web based software packages, I don't plan to buy web-based applications anymore.

-> Web applications are a technological trap

-> Web Applications aren't worth the snot their programmers stick under their chairs

-> Computers weren't made to only function if connected to other computers. They are independent machines.
What a silly question!!

-> When I find a program I can "fool" around with on the web, I usually give it a try...But they usually are limited to just a few functions and take quite a bit of time to render........So, for me, I would rather have the program on my hard drive (or hard drive as you have it here) to work with at my leasure.....

-> Web apps is another "innovative" idea of Bill Gates to make another billion. Avoid the idea.

-> If they are not free, I don't want to pay subscription fee every year. I want to own it. Besides, I trust my own computer more than the internet.

-> Why not just punch me in the face and rob me instead. I'm paying for it, I want to OWN it, not BORROW it. I want a hardcopy of it so if I decide to uninstall, redo, revamp, rebuild or any other re-whatever, I have the program to do with as I please. Thank you and good night. (Exits stage left)

-> When s/o wants to use an application, there are the following problems: Everywhere you want to use the software, you need a high-speed Internet connection. (Example: Re-Rendering some graphics) -> You have to transmit the large amount of data of a high-quality image you process. The web computer calculates and has to send back the image. In case of a jammed connection, you would have to start over again. And don't forget:Transmission costs time --- and money. While transmitting the images, the Inet connection has to be shared with the rest of the traffic and slows down everything else in progress. ... The only ones which are happy about web based applications are: TELCOS and HARDWARE SUPPLIERS!!!
CONCLUSION: FORGET ABOUT WEB APPLICATIONS!!! (But technology goes on, so you may ask me in five years again. You are welcome...)

Previous poll results can be viewed at


NEW POLL: How often do you use filter plugins?
As photo editing applications are more and more armed with their own filter effects, the question arises if there is still need for third-party plugins. That's why our latest poll would like to ask you "How often do you use filter plugins when creating graphics?". Please vote in this poll and write down a comment at


REVIEWS: KPTeffects and DreamSuite
Here are the summaries of the latest review done for the Review section of The Plugin Site:

procreate KPTeffects (3 stars overall rating):
"KPTeffects is an effect collection of a very mixed nature. You will find very simple as well as very complex effects, impressive as well as old-school effects. KPTeffects is nevertheless a buy recommendation, because of the three or four great plugins it contains."

AutoF/X DreamSuite (2 stars overall rating):
"DreamSuite is big collection of complex image effect. Unfortunately it consumes so much RAM and renders so slowly that many users will probably think twice before using an effect from it. With some speed and code optimizations this package would be a candidate for every day use. Hopefully Auto FX will have that insight, too, when updating this product."

For the full product reviews please visit




Just in time for Christmas VanDerLee released a freeware plugin (for Windows) called Snowflakes. It lets you add snowflakes of any size and shape to your images. It is a nice effect for Christmas e-cards and other snowy scenes. You can also use it for other effects like raindrops, clouds, fog, textures, confetti and many more.

Luce [Italian for "Light"] (for Windows) was created by Antonino Perricone and is Freeware. The author sent this Photoshop-compatible plugin to The Plugin Site and asked us to make it available publicly. Luce blends radial light beams into your image. Clicking on the preview places the focus of the light beams. Additionally there's a text box for adjusting the intensity of the effect. It can be used with Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro. It could work with other image editing applications, but it hasn't been tested yet.
Luce produces the best results when applied to dark images. Nice effects can also be produced when Luce is applied to photos with light and dark portions. Sometimes it can also produce nice effects on bright images especially if you like to have an overexpose effect.

RichFX recently released a Photoshop plugin - ZoomFX Pro (for Windows). ZoomFX Pro is a Photoshop plug-in that creates streaming, web-based media for users to zoom smoothly into areas of detail of high-resolution images, showcasing the specific areas that you want to display. The result in an elegant interface that smoothly presents detail in the context of a larger picture. Best of all, the output is compressed and streamed for dialup accessibility; a 10 MB photograph, for example, can be presented in 20-50 KB! The tool is free for non-commercial use.

Direct Download Link:


Even if you already have and use an image viewing tool, sometimes there may be the need for a tool like XnView which is (Windows/Linux) a freeware utility (for non-commercial use) for viewing and converting graphics files. It supports more than 340 graphic formats in reading and 40 in writing and supports 36 languages. So if you aren't happy with an image viewer in English language or want to convert and view a very exotic image format, XnView should be your choice.
Additionally XnView features Multipage TIFF, Animated GIF and Animated ICO support as well as basic image manipulation functions like Resize, Copy/Cut/Crop, adjusting brightness and contrast, modifying color depth and simple filters and effects. Further options include full screen mode, slide show, picture browser, batch convert, thumbnail creation, screen capture, contact sheet creation, TWAIN support and print support.

GSview (Windows/Linux) is a graphical interface for Ghostscript, an interpreter for the PostScript language and PDF format. With GSview you can view PostScript and PDF formats, print them or convert them to various bitmap formats. It also allows you to extract plain text from a PDF file, which is sometimes quite useful.
With a trick you can also use GSView to create PDF files from any application you like (e.g. Word, Internet Explorer). All you have to do is to install a PostScript printer driver (e.g. Apple Color LW 12/660 PS) in the "Printers" control panel and to assign it to the FILE: port. After that you can print with this PostScript printer driver from any application you like. The resulting .PRN file can then be converted to PDF with GSview.
GSview requires Ghostscript to be installed before you can use it. (By the way, if you should have download problems, please log directly into the ftp server or use one of the mirror sites.)

Morpheus (Windows) is a tool that lets you morph from one image to another and to save the result as an AVI, Animated GIF or BMP/JPG/PNG/TIF sequence. It is easy to use, even for beginners, because all you have to do is to open two different images, set the corresponding dots in both images and to let Morpheus render the morph video.




LVS has opened registrations for the online classes, which start early next year. Registration closes on 12th January. For new students it costs $20 per course, returning students only pay $15. Self-study courses are offered at a reduced rate. All classes are 6 weeks in length. Beside the Filter Frenzy 1-3 classes, which are about Photoshop-compatible plugins, there are also plenty of courses about various graphics, web and office applications.

ACD Systems unveiled ACDZip, a zip tool for digital images that provides users with the ability to compress, preview and share digital images, audio, video and document files. In addition to file compression, ACDZip offers a variety of features, including the ability to view images in thumbnail size before and after compression, convert archived images to one of 14 image formats, distribute archives as self-executable files, so that anyone can view them (even if they don't have ACDZip), convert existing archives into new formats in one easy step and password-protect files with ACDSystems' Strong Encryption Format.

Adobe announced Adobe After Effects 5.5, a new version of the company's motion graphics and visual effects software. Adobe After Effects 5.5 boasts exciting new features that enable precise control including multiple views, colored shadows, stained glass lighting and the Advanced 3D Renderer for creating high-quality intersecting layers. Versatile import and output options, including Advanced RealMedia export and integration with Alias|Wavefront's Maya and Discreet's 3ds max, give users more flexibility. Moreover, After Effects 5.5 supports additional 16-bit per channel file formats including Maya IFF, RPF, SGI and QuickTime.
After Effects 5.5 further enhances productivity with native support for Mac OS X and Windows XP and Pentium 4 optimizations. The new Effects Palette helps users organize and apply effects, with eight new effects including Color Stabilizer, Advanced Lightning, Grid, and Roughen Edges. As an added bonus, Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator Classic is included with the After Effects 5.5 Production Bundle, allowing users to turn 2D artwork into 3D elements without leaving the After Effects environment.
Adobe After Effects 5.5 is expected to ship worldwide in the first quarter of the 2002 calendar year.

The CorelDRAW 10 Service Pack 2 is available now. It is a free 14 MB download. For more details please visit:

Adobe Barred From Distributing InDesign 1.5
A preliminary injunction order has been filed against Adobe Systems, barring it from distributing its InDesign page layout software. What are the implications for the upcoming InDesign 2.0?

ColorBlade Photoshop Plugin
Studion has developed a Macintosh Photoshop plugin claims to streamline the process of creating, proofing and separating color images. A downloadable demo is available.

Zoomify 1.0
The developer provides a Photoshop plugin for Mac/Windows that is said to convert images of any size or quality to stream for fast initial display and on-demand viewing of fine details. A free trial version is available.

For daily graphics news updates, visit




Plugin Commander - The easiest way to manage, preview and apply plugins

Plugin Galaxy - 20 filter plugins with 129 amazing effects

Edge & Frame Galaxy - 1600+ edges and frames for creating special image and videos effects

HTML Shrinker - Reduce the size of your web, wap and script files

PHOTO GALAXY - 2300+ royalty-free photos and photo textures

MUTATION - 1000 high-resolution textures



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