Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - February 2008




FM PATCHER 1.0: Makes FilterMeister plugins Vista-compatible

THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Plugin Essentials Updated, Polls 2007 Page Updated

POLL RESULTS: In which application(s) do you use Photoshop plugins?

NEW POLL: Have you ever purchased a commercial plugin and which application do you mainly use?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Fantasy Trees, Silver/Gold/Pearl Effects, Blending Images

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Filter Forge Freepack 2, XDepth, BackgroundManiac, 8bf Plugins, Mono Renditionizer, LaaTiDo, SUPER

GRAPHICS NEWS: Mandala Painter 3, Four Contests, Aperture 2, CorelDRAW X4





Dear Reader,

There have been a lot of reports from people who were trying to make the MuRa's Filter Meister plugins ( work under Windows Vista, but did not manage to. Unfortunately the author of these plugins cannot be contacted, so he cannot be asked to update them. There are also several other plugin created with FilterMeister which have been more or less abandoned. As it is not quite legal to provide downloads of modified version of these plugins, I and Alex Hunter from decided to provide a tool that lets people modify these plugins to make them work again under Vista. For more information on this tool called FM Patcher see below.

Recently I came across another tool for patching files called LaaTiDo. It can be used to make graphics applications and Photoshop plugins use up to 4 GB of RAM instead of just 2 GB. It should work nicely under 64bit versions of XP and Vista, but needs some boot modifications and may cause problems with other software under 32bit Windows. Normally 2 GB RAM should be enough for most image processing tasks, unless you are using really huge files (e.g. 100 Megapixel and above) and need to apply a plugin that consumes a lot of RAM or need to use a lot of layers. People with such needs can have a look at the LaaTiDo tool mentioned in the "Free Plugins and Tools" section below.

Kindest regards,
Harald Heim



FM PATCHER 1.0: Makes FilterMeister plugins Vista-compatible
FM Patcher is a small application for making .8bf Photoshop plugins work under Windows Vista. However, FM Patcher only modifies plugins that were created with older versions of FilterMeister. Photoshop plugins that were not created with FilterMeister cannot be made Vista-compatible with this tool.

Normally developers just need to recompile their plugins with the latest FilterMeister release to make them Vista-compatible. Unfortunately some developers abandon their plugins. So we decided to create FM Patcher to enable users of these old plugins to make them work under Vista.

At the moment FM Patcher does not fix the problem that old FilterMeister plugins have with activated Data Execution Prevention (DEP). You still need to deactivate DEP in your control panel or place your graphics application on the DEP exclusion list.



THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Plugin Essentials Updated, Polls 2007 Page Updated
The Plugin Essentials article has been updated with a new section called "Making FilterMeister Plugins work under Windows XP and Vista". It explains how to avoid the DEP problem with FilterMeister plugins and how to make them compatible with Vista.

The Polls 2007 page was updated with the latest poll results.



POLL RESULTS: In which application(s) do you use Photoshop plugins?
Last month's poll asked people in which application they use Photoshop plugins. Here are the results of 1184 votes:

1. Photoshop 25.4%
2. Paint Shop Pro 20.2%
3. Photoshop Elements 9.7%

4. IrfanView 6.5%
5. Corel Photo-Paint 4.8%
6. GIMP 4%
7. PhotoImpact 3.5%
8. Other 3.3%

9. PhotoFiltre 2.9%
10. Painter 2.8%
11. Plugin Commander 2.5%
12. XnView 2.4%
ACDSee 2.4%
13. Xara 2.2%
14. Serif PhotoPlus 2.1%
15. Fireworks 1.8%
16. PhotoBrush 1.6%

17. Photoline 0.9%
18. Canvas 0.7%
19. MS Expressions 0.3%

As expected Photoshop made it on Nr.1 closely followed by Paint Shop Pro and a bit behind by Photoshop Elements. Adobe applications sum up to 37% and Corel applications to a bit more than 31%, which is 2/3 of all applications. IrfanView and GIMP together make up 10.5%. The remaining applications have a plugin user base of less than 3%.

For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section at



NEW POLL: Have you ever purchased a commercial plugin and which application do you mainly use?
The question of the latest poll may sound strange, but in fact it tries to find out if users of certain applications are more inclined to buy a plugin or only use freeware plugins. That's why it combines two topics in one question. Additionally we can see if the "which application" part of this poll is consistent with the results of the previous poll.

Please cast your vote at the bottom of the page at



THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Fantasy Trees, Silver/Gold/Pearl Effects, Blending Images
Here are some of the latest interesting posts on The Plugin Site Discussion Forums:

Fantasy Trees
tonyaautry wrote: "I have seen an application that tends to almost feather out trees, giving the photo a very fantasy effect. Does anyone know what this is?"

Silver/Gold/Pearl Effects
theaver wrote: "I use photoshop elements 4.o and love creating all sorts of images. But I am looking for a plug-in that can help me create shiny surfaces, gold silver, pearl things like that. Does anyone know how I can do it and what I need for that?"

Blending Images
chaitereye wrote: "Is there an easy way to take a small image, put it into a larger image & then blend the edges so it looks like it's all the same image? Hope I'm explaining it right."

For more interesting discussions and posting your own comments or questions please visit



FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Filter Forge Freepack 2, XDepth, BackgroundManiac, 8bf Plugins, Mono Renditionizer, LaaTiDo, SUPER

Filter Forge Freepack 2 (for Windows) contains seven photo effects. They allow you to add sunny styles, grunge looks, color tints, age the image and more.

XDepth is an image and video compression solution for providing more precision and color depth than JPEG while staying compatible with it. A free XDepth plugin for Photoshop CS2 and CS3 (for Win/Mac) is available. It adds the ability to save compressed High Dynamic Range images in JPEG files. The resulting files can still be edited and displayed by applications and browsers as usual, but you need to use the free XDepth ActiveX control to display the HDR content of the JPEG files in Internet Explorer.

In addition to the Knitted Fabric and Oriental Lines plugins the BackgroundManiac Filters (for Windows) now include six new plugins. They create cloth-like pattern effects. There is also a tutorial that shows how to create plaid patterns with one of the plugins. Please download these plugins from the following new URL:

The 8bf plugin collection was stuffed into two plugins: The AAA OPTIONS plugin offers more than 50 filter options and 16 blend modes and the AAA BLUR OPTIONS is a plugin that contains various blur effects. Nevertheless the old plugins are still available for download. The 8bf plugins are now also compatible with Vista.

The Mono Renditionizer plugin was updated to Version 3.91. It offers some additional processing options and allows to restore the original colors.

SUPER (short for Simplified Universal Player Encoder & Renderer) is tool (for Windows) for converting and playing any available media files. It offers a GUI for various other tools, e.g. ffmpeg, MEncoder, mplayer, x264, mppenc, ffmpeg2theora.

LaaTiDo is a small utility (for Windows) that sets the LargeAddressAware bit in EXE and DLL files. Normally 32bit programs can only use up to 2 GB of RAM. Setting the LargeAddressAware bit allows the usage of up to 3 GB RAM under 32bit Windows and up to 4 GB RAM under 64bit Windows operating systems. As Photoshop plugins are basically DLLs, you can also use LaaTiDo with them to make them use more RAM in order to support larger image files. However, if the host application does not LargeAddressAware bit, it will not work. Photoshop CS2 and CS3 do, but for other applications you will need to modify their .exe file with LaaTiDo, too.

Under 32bit Windows it is additionally necessary to do some system modifications (unless you have DEP activated) to make it work. You normally have to edit boot.ini file to activate it except for Vista 32bit where you have to use the BCDEdit command. Please only do that if you have enough knowledge, otherwise you may make your system unbootable. Activating the 3 GB RAM feature may also cause problems with some drivers and other software, so better only do it if you really need it.

For downloading LaaTiDo please go to

For more information also see



GRAPHICS NEWS: Mandala Painter 3, Four Contests, Aperture 2, CorelDRAW X4

Mandala Painter 3 is a commercial application for people who like creating kaleidoscopic and mandala-like images. It automatically mirrors every brush stroke in several directions to create a centered look. It supports layer, Photoshop plugins, music playback, various image formats and offers many textures, papers and other materials. A demo version is available.

Several contest have been launched recently. asks for logo submissions until April 4th and honors winners with cash prizes of up to $5000. The HUGO Create Contest asks for artwork based on a perfume bottle by September 5th and awards ten winners with $500 each. The Adobe Announces 2008 School Innovation Awards allows US and Canadian high school students to submit artwork (created with Adobe products) dealing with the theme "My Community - My Planet - My 21st Century". Closing date is May 12 and prizes include a trip, a notebook and Adobe software. Finally, the Doodle 4 Google Competition invites US school kids to design a Google logo inspired by the question "What If...?" and send it in by April 12. Prizes up to $25,000 can be won.

Apple released Version 2 of Aperture, a raw conversion software for the Mac. The upgrade offers more than 100 new features, an enhanced image processing engine, faster browsing and an improved interface as well as a lower price. There are new tools for highlight recovery, color vibrancy, local contrast definition, soft-edged retouching, vignetting and new brushes for removing blemishes, sensor dust and repairing problem areas.

Corel now ships CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4 for Windows which includes more than 50 new and enhanced features. It also contains 80 design templates, 10,000 clipart graphics, 1,000 photos, 1,000 fonts and two hours of DVD-based training.

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