Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - February 2002



POLL RESULTS: Your favorite freeware plugin



Dear Reader,

The links on the free plugin pages on our website have finally been fully updated. A lot of links were already not valid, because several web sites were closed. But I managed to find alternative links in most cases. At the same time I also updated the plugin database of our Graphics Galaxy Search Engine with 150 new plugins and corrected links. So you may feel free to complete your collection of free plugins with the missing ones.

This month I spent two whole and enthusiastic weeks helping to develop a software called "Filter Meister" which is currently the most sophisticated development tool for 8bf plugins. This tool has been improved since 1998, but recently the development stagnated. There are already a lot of good free as well as commercial plugins which wouldn't be available without Filter Meister. So with helping to improve this tool I hope to indirectly spur the development of even more and better free plugins. If you want to have a look at the current Filter Meister version, please visit

This issue concentrates on various updates of The Plugin Site, poll results, the latest free Photoshop-compatible plugins and free applications and news from the computer graphics field. Enjoy it!

Sincerely yours,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site - Your guide to image and video effects


HTML Shrinker is a tool developed by The Plugin Site for reducing the size of various web, wap and script files with great efficiency and enormous speed. As a result web or wap sites will load faster, need less web space, less bandwidth and server performance. Thus HTML Shrinker also helps saving web hosting fees continually. There's a free Light Version and a commercial Pro Version of HTML Shrinker available.

In Version 2.50 we have improved HTML Shrinker's shrinking gain and speed. Shrinking is performed approximately 10% faster and spaces, EOL and quotes removal is more efficient. A new tab-style Options dialog has been added as well as a Shrinking Preset option for different cases e.g. W3C-compliance. Furthermore the text box that displays the shrinking results does not have the 32K limit anymore.

The commercial 2.50 Pro Version additionally provides a new and exciting Rules feature for defining own shrinking rules easily and thus enabling users to extend the capabilities of HTML Shrinker themselves. Several useful rules are already included with HTML Shrinker Pro, e.g. for removing links, forms, asp code, meta tags and many other HTML expressions. Furthermore HTML Shrinker Pro's shrinking gain was remarkably improved by adding new shrinking options. Especially html files that are produced with MS Office can now be shrunken dramatically. In addition to these main enhancements a lot of smaller improvements and fixes were conducted.

For more information and for downloading the Light Version please visit


The Free Plugins page and the Filter Factory page of the Resources section have been updated again. The broken links of many free plugin packages have been replaced with working ones.

The plugins database of the Graphics Galaxy Search Engine has been updated with several new plugins and corrected links. You can use it to search for more than 3100 plugins by using keywords.


POLL RESULTS: Your favorite freeware plugin
The latest poll was conducted with the question "Which is your favorite freeware plugin?". As only slightly more than 150 people voted in this poll, we are wondering if the rest of you just didn't have the time, because you downloaded and tested these plugin :-) Anyway, here are the present results of the poll:

Plugin Galaxy Free Plugins 13%
Flaming Pear Freebies 12%
Eye Candy 4000 Free Filters 10%
EyeCandy 3 Special Edition 10%
Ulead ArtTexture 9.7%
Fantastic Machines Paint Engine 6%
Xenofex Free Filters 5%
DragonFly's Plugins 4.5%
TV Effects 3.9%

Of course it is no surprise to see the "Plugin Galaxy Free Plugins" ranging at number 1 as it can be downloaded from the same site as the poll was conducted. So this No. 1 result isn't very representative, but the others should be. If you don't like the results, please feel free to vote if you have not already voted. The poll will still remain active for another one or two weeks.


------------------------------------------------ offer three free Photoshop-compatible plugins for Windows as well as Macintosh. The "Custom Filter" is an enhanced version of the custom/user filters that can be found in various image applications. It is actionable, works on both 8- and 16-bit per channel gray and RGB images, supports a 7x7 convolution array, accepts real (floating point) numbers for greater precision and lets you save and open presets. 17 sample presets are already included. The "Adaptive Equalization" plugin increases the local contrast of images by reducing overall dynamic range. It is particularly useful for making small surface marks visible, or revealing detail in shadow areas while preserving color information. The "Enter Magnification" filter prompts the user to enter the image magnification (e.g., 1000X), the dpi of the camera or scanner used (e.g., 300 dpi), and the desired length of the calibration bar (in micrometers), the program calculates the length of the bar (reported in pixels). If this is more than 10 pixels and less than the width of the image, the bar is drawn in the lower right hand corner and labeled with the length, using the currently defined foreground and background colors.

There's a free Sharpen filter (for Windows) available from Kevin Anetsberger who also produces the commercial TV Effects plugin. This is a very simple filter which lets you only adjust the sharpness intensity. It is a bit superior to the Sharpen filter that is built into many image editing applications. The download link for this filter is at the bottom of the page.

The penPalette plugin from nik multimedia will be available for download on March 15th. penPalette is free to registered Wacom tablet customers who purchased an Intuos2 or Cintiq on or after February 1, 2002 and registered it. If you own a registered Wacom tablet, but purchased it prior to February 1, 2002 penPalette is available for $50 as a limited-time discount. penPalette allows Wacom graphics tablet users to selectively apply digital image enhancements using the pen to precisely control both the location and the amount of photographic filter effect applied.

The PRINT Image Matching Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop (for Windows and Macintosh) will be available on the Photoshop 7.0 CD and for Photoshop 6.0 and Adobe Photoshop Elements 1.0 on the PRINT Image Matching web site in early March. It is designed to import JPEG files containing P.I.M. information and retains the P.I.M. effects during the importing process. This PRINT Image Matching Plug-in meets the needs of many digital photographers who want to be able to import an image into Photoshop and not lose the valuable P.I.M. data. To use the PRINT Image Matching technology you need the combination of a PRINT Image Matching-enabled digital camera, printer and software.

TMPEGEnc 2.0 converts AVI files into high quality MPEG-1/2 files. TMPGenc enables you to adjust the bit rate, quantize matrix, GOP structure, interlace and many other parameters. Presets for various Video CD formats are already included. As long as it is still available for free, grab it from

Alias|Wavefront's finally released the free "Maya Personal Learning Edition" for Windows and Macintosh. It provides users with free access to a personal-use, non-commercial version of Maya, the high-end 3D graphics and animation app.

FadeToBlack is a nice and free tool for editing your home movies and AVI files. It lets you dissect video files and re-edit them without altering your original files, combine many AVI files and even include your digital camera pictures. You can make your video files play backwards, speed them up, slow them down, cut out scenes, modify the colors and overlay, move or fade clips. There's also a Custom Filter for creating more visual effects. The free version of FadeToBlack lets you save projects, but you need the commercial version to open them again. So you have to create your projects in one session if you don't want to pay for the low-cost commercial version.

Adobe Announces Photoshop 7.0
It looks like a solid new version, with some welcome new features and is available for Windows and Mac OS X. At $149, the upgrade price makes this hard to resist. Read the complete Adobe press release.

Adobe Announces Availability of LiveMotion 2.0
Adobe has been busy, it seems. The new version of LiveMotion is now available and it provides support for ActionScript, better integration with Adobe tools, enhanced Flash support and more.

Alien Skin Software introduced Splat!, a new plugin set
Splat! combines frames, textures, edges, borders, mosaics and more with the interface of Eye Candy 4000. Splat! will be available for both Mac and Windows late in the first quarter of 2002.

ScreenTime for Flash 2.0
This utility lets you create Flash-based screen savers. Strange concept? Perhaps, but this seems to do a decent job. A downloadable demo is available.

Color Expert
This is a full-featured Windows color application for web and graphic designers or others who work with color. It's a color picker, a web color scheme generator and an html color code creator. A trial download is available.

Artlandia SymmetryWorks
This is an Adobe Illustrator plug-in for Mac and Windows that lets you easily create and interactively edit symmetrical patterns and designs.

Corel GRAPHICS SUITE 10 for Macintosh update
The update for Corel GRAPHICS SUITE 10 for Macintosh is now available for download from the Corel site. Current Corel GRAPHICS SUITE 10 for Macintosh users will find improvements in overall stability and performance. Additional development for Asian language support and various OS X and OS 8.6 improvements will also enhance the user experience.

Ulead Video Editing Software Development Kit (SDK) available
The new Ulead Video Editing Software Development Kit (SDK) gives you everything you need to write your own
Capture, Video Input-Output (VIO), VIO Driver, Transition Effect & Filter plug-ins for VideoStudio and MediaStudio Pro.

For daily graphics news updates, visit


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