Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others

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Plugin Newsletter - December/January 2019


 

CONTENTS


EDITORIAL


ELEMENTSXXL 6.02 FOR WINDOWS: Filter Improvements, Renewed Trial, Bug Fixes

ELEMENTSXXL 1.05b FOR MAC: Support for the App Store versions of Photoshop Elements

CAMERAXXL 1.03 FOR WINDOWS: Camera Raw 11.1 Support, Multi-File-Editing Improvements

PHOTOWIZ FOR WIN/MAC: Affinity Photo Fixes, Bug Fixes, Enhanced Raw File Support, App Store Support

PLUGIN GALAXY 2.10 FOR MAC: Affinity Photo Fixes, App Store Support


POLL RESULTS: Which features do you often use in your image editing applications?

NEW POLL: What percentage of your time do you spend in Lightroom versus Photoshop (Elements)?


FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Halftone 2, Sigma X3F Plugin, Photopea

GRAPHICS NEWS: Long Shadow, GRFX Studio Pro, Luminar 3, Capture One 12


PRODUCTS OF THE PLUGIN SITE

ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE

NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIPTION





Dear Reader,

In the 90s and 2000 years many software companies tried to come up with a product similar to Photoshop. Creating a Lightroom clone seems to be the trend of this decade. In addition to many standalone software products trying to imitate it, many plugin companies have started to create a software similar to Adobe Lightroom in recent years. AutoFX has now also joined the game as can be seen in the news section below.

We have no plans to dive into the Lightroom imitation business. The Lightroom-clone market seems to get quite crowded and the products become more and more similar. We have kept our competitive edge over the years by developing effect plugins until 2002, then switched to photo enhancement plugins in 2003 and finally started developing unique plugins for Photoshop Elements in 2012. The next step will be to take the features of our Photoshop-Elements-only plugins to Photoshop. Additionally all of our plugins that were created since 1997 are still updated and improved.

The trend of the next decade may very likely be AI supported image editing and managing. Unfortunately artificial intelligence is currently too dumb to be of great help apart from very specific tasks. It also requires too much data to develop its internal algorithm, so it is very tedious to develop AI features. With quantum computers and more sophisticated AI technology that may change one day.

In any case I wish you a great new year with many joyful moments and magical surprises!


Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site





ELEMENTSXXL 6.02 FOR WINDOWS

Filter Improvements, Renewed Trial, Bug Fixes



Photo Credits: Javarman / Dreamstime


Version 6.02 of ElementsXXL offers many bug fixes and general improvements for various filters. Highpass Sharpen received a new feature for making it easy to evaluate the sharpening at 100% image zoom. The Simplify Layer command now supports multiple layers. The trial period of the trial version has also been renewed, so that it can be tested again for another 14 days.

ElementsXXL for Windows adds up to 1080 powerful features to Photoshop Elements that were previously only available in Photoshop. These features are included as new menu items, icons, buttons, key shortcuts and dialogs, so they seamlessly integrate into the user interface of Photoshop Elements. ElementsXXL bridges the gap between Photoshop Elements and Photoshop and greatly enhances the image editing experience in Photoshop Elements.

For more information and a demo version visit the
ElementsXXL Page





ELEMENTSXXL 1.05b FOR MAC

Support for Photoshop Elements 2019


The Mac version of ElementsXXL finally supports installation into the App Store versions of Photoshop Elements, which do not have a standard Plug-Ins folder. To do that you have to click the Install icon in the download .dmg file. However, we recommend to buy the retail version of Photoshop Elements to avoid the various disadvantages of the App Store versions.

ElementsXXL adds up to 130 powerful features to Photoshop Elements for MacOS X that were previously only available in Photoshop. These features are included as new menu items, icons, buttons, key shortcuts and dialogs, so they seamlessly integrate into the user interface of Photoshop Elements.

For more information and a demo version visit the
ElementsXXL Page





CAMERAXXL 1.03 FOR WINDOWS

Support for Camera Raw 10.5 and 11.0


CameraXXL 1.03 supports installing Camera Raw 11.1 into Photoshop Elements 2019 and offers various improvements for working with multiple opened raw files. CameraXXL does not crash anymore when working with more than 3 raw files at the same time, the tool bar repositioning was fixed and a missing trash can icon was added. Additionally the Camera Raw Smart Object feature now creates smart objects correctly for editing with ElementsXXL.

CameraXXL allows applying Adobe Camera Raw as a filter in Photoshop Elements and creating smart objects that can be edited with Adobe Camera Raw. CameraXXL also enables users of Photoshop Elements to install a newer version of Camera Raw than provided by the Photoshop Elements update mechanism.

For more information and a demo version visit the
CameraXXL Page





PHOTOWIZ FOR WIN/MAC

Affinity Photo Fixes, Bug Fixes, Enhanced Raw File Support, App Store Support

The latest PhotoWiz plugin updates fix problems with Affinity Photo. For the Mac versions the preview did not work anymore with the latest Affinity Photo version, which is now fixed. Under Windows the control repositioning and color dialogs were fixed for Affinity Photo. The Windows standalones now support raw files from newer cameras and 8-bit grayscale PSD files saving. A freeze bug was also removed from ColorWasher for Windows. The Mac versions now supports installation into the App Store versions of Photoshop Elements.

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 trial version visit the
PhotoWiz Page





PLUGIN GALAXY 2.10 FOR MAC

Affinity Photo Fixes, App Store Support


Plugin Galaxy 2.10 for MacOS fixes a non-working preview in the latest Affinity Photo update, offers installation support for Photoshop Elements 2019 and supports installation into the App Store versions of Photoshop Elements.

FilterHub is a powerful replacement for the Filter menu of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and offers many advantages over it. It supports built-in filters (from the Filter, Adjustments and Enhance menus), filter plugins and third-party automation plugins. The FilterHub panel runs in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements under Windows and in older Photoshop versions under MacOS X.

For more information and a trial version visit the
Plugin Galaxy Mac Page





POLL RESULTS

Which features do you often use in your image editing applications?


The previous poll about image editing features received 803 votes by 115 people. Here are the results:

1. Filters 73%
2. Adjustment Layers 68%
3. Brushes 53%
4. Selections 52%
5. Layer Masks 47%

6. Histograms 41%
    Presets 41%
    Text Layers 41%
7. History 40%
8. Actions 37%

9. Smart Filters 24%
10. Smart Objects 22%
     Layer Styles 22%
11. Layer Groups 22%
12. Color Swatches 19%
13. Channels 17%
14. Properties 16%
15. Paths 12%
     Layer Comps 12%
16. Guides / Learn panel 11%
17. Vector Masks 10%
     Scripts 10%
18. Batch Processing 8%

On average every voter uses 7 of the 23 mentioned features, which is 30% of all features. Filters and adjustment layers are used by around 70% of all voters. Brushes, selections and layer masks are put to work by every second voter. Other popular image editing features include histograms, presets, text layers, the history feature and actions. Only every third filter user also likes smart filters. Least popular are batch processing, scripts, vector masks and guides.

For more poll results visit the
Resources section



NEW POLL

What percentage of your time do you spend in Lightroom versus Photoshop (Elements)?

The latest poll asks you how much of your time you spend in Lightroom (or any Lightroom-like application) versus Photoshop (or Photoshop-like tools). You can vote in 10% incremental steps from 0% to 100%.

You are welcome to participate in this poll by voting at
Main page...





FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS

Halftone 2, Sigma X3F Plugin, Photopea


Halftone 2 (for Windows 64-bit) is a free Photoshop plugin that turns photos into halftone imagery. Version 2 was simplified by keeping only the most important features. It uses a completely different algorithm that handles antialiasing better and renders faster.
Visit website...

Sigma released the Sigma X3F Plugin for Photoshop CC 2017 64-bit and later (for Win/Mac). It allows you to directly open X3F raw files from newer Sigma cameras, e.g. DP Merrill, dp Quattro, SD1/SD1 Merrill and sd Quattro. Older Sigma cameras have to be opened as usual with Adobe Camera Raw. The plugin is executed from the File > Import menu in Photoshop. A real shame that it displayes cut-off text on HiDPI screens under Windows and only offers a small preview in a non-resizable window. It offers a Fill Light slider for adjustments only and you can open merely one raw file at a time. It can be used in Photoshop Elements, but it works much slower there. Even though it is only a half-hearted effort by Sigma, it may mean an improvement for some Sigma photographers.
Visit website...

Photopea is an online software that has a very similar UI to Photoshop. Standard image files that can be opened from your local drive and even PSD files can be opened and saved. It only supports a limited set of Photoshop functionality, but most needed features are available, e.g. layers, basic tools, filters, adjustment layers, various panels. There is a free version with ads as well as a premium version whose subscription fee is not much cheaper than the Photoshop/Lightroom subscription unfortunately.
Visit website...

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




GRAPHICS NEWS

Long Shadow, GRFX Studio Pro, Luminar 3, Capture One 12


Long Shadow is a commercial Photoshop plugin (for Windows 64-bit) that produces shadow effects. It lets you specify the shadow angle, length, opacity, color as well as fade it out over its length.
Visit website...

AutoFX packed the effects of its previous products (now labeled as legacy) into the GRFX Studio Pro product (for Win/Mac), which contains a plugin as well as a standalone and a more Lightroom-like UI. It offers 792 digital image effects like light, color, sharpen, blur and black & white. It also features 400 edge effects, brush and ellipse tools as well as special effects like double exposure, bokeh brush, light beams, hatch flares and lens flares.
Visit website...

Version 3 of Luminar (for Win/Mac) offers a new Library feature for managing digital assets. You can now also apply adjustments to one photo and sync them to other images. The new Looks section allows applying presets and other effects with one click. Still, a lot of features known from Lightroom are missing, which are planned to be added in 2019.
Visit website...

Phase One released Capture One 12 (for Win/Mac), which is probably the most expensive and complex raw conversion tool. It offers a redesigned UI, linear and gradient masks, luminosity masking and third party plugin support. This means that developing plugins for sharing and editing as well as connecting Capture One to specialized editing will be possible. Lets hope its plugin API will be more powerful than the one of Lightroom.
Visit website...

 

 

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