Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - January 2002





POLL RESULTS: How often do you use filter plugins?
NEW POLL: Your favorite freeware plugin




Dear Reader,

Welcome to the first edition of the Plugin Newsletter in 2002. We hope that this year has had a pleasant beginning for you. We have been very busy producing new products and updating our web site. So expect some new and exciting things to come this year.

This newsletter contains news about our latest product releases, updates of, tutorial links, poll results and new free plugins and graphics tools.

Sincerely yours,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site - Your guide to image and video effects


Volume 3 of our Photo Galaxy product series, subtitle "Dark Season", has been released as a cross-platform CD-ROM for both Windows and Macintosh. Photo Galaxy 3 is a collection of more than 1000 royalty-free digital photos on CD-ROM with mostly autumn and winter themes. It can be used as material for graphics artwork or multimedia projects, as decoration for web sites, brochures, flyers or other print products, as desktop backgrounds and many other things.

The Photo Galaxy CD-ROM contains 1050 photos divided into 82 different topics as follows: Animals, Autumn, Balls, Blurred, Boat, Bridge, Buildings, Buildings2, Candles, Cars, Castle, Castle2, Children, Church, City, City Night, Clouds, Conference, Construction Site, Decoration, Dome, Dome Interior, Door, Evening Sky, Fence, Field, Fireworks, Flowers, Forest, Fountain, Garden, Graveyard, Graveyard2, House, Ice, Ice skating, Industrial Area, Lake, Lantern, Leaves, Mall, Market, Moon, Night, Night Snow, Other, Panorama, Parcels, Park, Path, Pub, Restaurant, River, Roof, Show, Sky, Skyscraper, Smoke, Snow, Snow Bridge, Snow Forest, Snow House, Snow Path, Snow Tree, Square, Stained Glass, Stairs, Station, Statue, Street, Sun, Sunny Street, Sunset, Supermarket, Tower, Train Trip, Train, Trees, Trees2, Twilight, Village, Wall, Water, Window, Xmas Deco and Xmas Market.

The photos are provided at a resolution of 1760x1168 or 1600x1200 pixel (which is 4 x 6 inches or 10 x 15 cm at 300 dpi) as high quality JPG files.

For more information, contact sheets of all photos and for downloading some free samples please visit


Finally the Download Version of Edge & Frame Galaxy has been released for Macintosh computers. It is a creative collection of over 400 edges and 50 coloured frames for use in various image, animation and video applications, e.g. Photoshop, Corel Photo-Paint, GraphicConverter, PhotoFrame, Photo/Graphic Edges, Adobe Premiere and After Effects.
You can use the supplied edges and frames to give your photos a personal touch, but you can also use them as backgrounds for titles and credits, to design greeting cards, CD booklets and labels and last, but not least, to create unique shaped buttons, animations and special video effects. Several tutorials explain how to use the edges and frames in a large number of applications and provide advice for creating professional effects.
The edges and frames appear in dozens of different shapes, e.g. as rectangles, triangles, circles, prisms, ellipses, hearts, gears, woodcut, stars and flowers. Their variations range from frozen, rippled, smooth, textured to many other kind of effects. They are supplied as JPG files which is the most frequently used format for edges and frames.

For more information and for downloading a demo version, please visit:

Plugin Commander Pro is now available on CD-ROM. The CD also contains all tutorials and tutorial videos as well as many freeware and demos of our products. Plugin Commander Pro is a tool for dealing with various image formats, plug-ins and effect types from various image, animation, video and 3D applications. Hundreds of useful functions are available for this purpose.

For more information please visit


Three pages of the Resource section of have been updated: the Free Tools page, the Free Plugins and the Free Filter Factory Plugins page. Some invalid links are marked with "Currently down" and others were replaced with working ones.

The Visitor Gallery 2002 has been opened and filled with 22 new amazing pictures from Stefan, Joseph S, Damir Lovrincevic, Michael Brooker, Ray Jaunty, Frank Black, Germain St-Onge, Rebecca Sanderson, Woody Hirsh, Dbluz2, kAdEeS, Phil Mortimer, Janice Dunne and Gary Bailey.


Computer Arts published a nine-stage tutorial by Andrew Buckle (from Sapphire Innovations) about creating Photoshop filters with Filter Factory. It is explained how to program color gradients, emboss effects, glassy looks, greyscale conversion, line effects, an negative effect, rings and circles, shifting and warping of images as well as an threshold effect.

Creating Photoshop Filters, Part 5 by David Nagel has been published. It is about convolving images with the cnv function. Check it out at


POLL RESULTS: How often do you use filter plugins?

270 people took part in our latest poll with the question "How often do you use filter plugins when creating graphics? ". The results are:

Always 42%
Often 42%
Sometimes 11%
Seldom 4%
Not at all 1%

Although the results may be somewhat shifted to the direction of "Always" and "Often" due to the fact that the poll was conducted on a web site about plugins, there is still is an overwhelming evidence that filter plugins are very often used image tools.

This is also what most user comments from the poll's message board state:

"I love to use plugins to massage my photo images. I came across this site in Photoshop User magazine and consider it quite a find. I know I will return here often, sort of like one-stop shopping for plugins and info. A BIG THANKS for your efforts to bring this to us."

"Graphic programs are only as good as the plugins that work in it. You can have a monster of a graphic program, but if it is limited to "x" plugins, YOU'RE creativity is limited. PLUGINS RULE!! :o) Thanks for all the fun!"

"... I check out as many as I can, but I only end up keeping a selected few. ... . It's sort of like an addiction. Certainly they can add something extra, even if the change is subtle and not immediately evident. Keep them coming. "

"Plugins are great especially when creating new [effects]. ... However, I use many others. Many can be applied in infinite ways, so not stale at all. The more used, the more intuitive, so I grab 'em and go!"

"I keep a catalog of every freeware filter I can get my hands on that won't crash my system as well as several commercial plugins ... . I have my favorites, but often I am driven to experiment and I'll create effects with lesser used plugins that can range from subdued to starteling. I love 'em. "

"I use them all the me they are an important part of my artwork....I'm not a professional by any stretch of the imagination, but the stuff I create ... screams the need to enhance the works of art with all those great little programs (plug-ins/filters). Without them, I would only have partial works of (so-so) art..... Instead I get stuff that people can say: WOW, <How did you do that>"

"Many of the commercial-grade plug-ins ... can greatly enhance your creations. There are some great free plug-ins out there too. Anyone who frequents this site is probably a plug-in junkie like myself. There is hardly a image I work on where I haven't used a filter of one kind or another. "

"I have dozens of filters, but I find I keep going back to just a few of them and using them over and over, and using most of the others only on occasion. Once in a while I find I can complete a project with just the tools my graphics programs offer, but most often I wind up using one plug-in or another. "

"Plug-in filters are a huge part of graphic design. Even as the programs themselves add more features, I'm sorry, but they just can't possibly come up with all the effects some of the outside plugins/filters create without a huge amount of extra work, if at all. The plugins and filters offer in some cases shortcuts, in other cases effects to your designs you simply couldn't get any other way. Not to mention the creativity by those who are actually making the plugins/filters is astounding. ... "

"... True, PSP and other apps are now coming out with filters and-or plugins included, but for a collector like me, I will never stop searching high and low for that next new whammo-zapper, super duper, plugin or filter! "

"I use PSP, PhotoImpact and Photoshop, and filters greatly enhance any image I am working on. I also appreciate the work the makers of filters do, especially the freeware ones, some of them are truly awesome and even better than the commercial ones. "

"I don't think I could design a graphic without the use of a filter of some kind. Main ones I use, EyeCandy 4000, KPT5 & 6......and Harry, yours of course. "

"I have literally hundreds of filters installed but I use very few of them. My most used filters are Simple Filters (Half wrap), my own filters (Teph's Tricks), KPT5, Eye Candy 4000, Super Blade Pro, Flaming Pear's Tachyon. If Paint Shop Pro had some sort of adjustable wrap around filter, or a way to write filters like Filter Factory (or better, use perl like GIMP does) I'd dump most of the basic plugin filters."

Previous poll results can be viewed at


NEW POLL: Your favorite freeware plugin
This is the second freeware plugin poll. The last one was conducted in mid 2000. Since then a lot of new and free plugins have become available. So please vote for your favourite freeware plugin among almost 40 candidates at



A new plugin called "Simplifier" (for Windows) has been added to the partly freeware, partly commercial collection of Photoshop-compatible plugins from Amphisoft. The free Simplifier filter provides a wide range of color\shape simplification operations, resulting in "painterly" artistic effects. Additionally the ... plugin has been updated with some features.

In addition to some low-cost commercial plugins GlickCreative released two free 8bf filters called "Background Blur" and "ScanLines" (for Windows). Background Blur smoothes the background of your images while keeping the high contrast details in focus. ScanLines create scan lines on any image with complete control.

Beginning February 2002 Alias|Wavefront plan to make a free Personal Learning Edition (for Windows and Macintosh) of their professional 3D application Maya available for non-commercial use. The full version costs up to cost up to $24,000, so you should not miss this opportunity. This special edition will feature all the toolsets of the full version, e.g. NURBS modelling, animation, inverse kinematics, Maya Artisan, Maya Paint Effects, particles, dynamics and Maya's advanced rendering capabilities. However, the display of a watermark on images as well as the use of a special non-commercial file formats restricts users to non-commercial usage. The Maya Personal Learning Edition will be available for download during February 2002 and free registration will be renewable on an annual basis.

Sign up at
for notification of when available for download.

Apple released iPhoto (for MacOS X), a software for saving, organizing and sharing digital photos. iPhoto lets you import your pictures from your digital camera, organize them, edit and improve them, and share them in a number of different ways. iPhoto automatically imports your photos from cameras connected to the USB port, catalogs them, stores them and displays them on your screen as thumbnails.
With iPhoto you can create your own custom coffee-table books. This feature lets you add titles and text to tell your story or describe your pictures. iPhoto also does full-screen slide shows, accompanied by your favorite music, offers an option for emailing them to friends, print them on your ink-jet printer or allows to order Kodak prints via internet.

STARBITS 7 (for Windows) is a shareware tool for creating stars and galaxy images. It isn't disabled in any way and doesn't time-out. The author requests to pay him $10 to cover the development costs if you should find his tool useful.



Panopticum Lens Pro 3 and Animatext 2.0
Panopticum updated two of their After Effects plugins for Windows. Lens Pro 3 features a rose lens, 15 new 3D crystals, VRML model import, a set of parameters for creating lenses and crystals, and a set of 18 different sources of light. Animatext 2.0 includes predefined text styles, an extrude effect for making 3D-letters, new color filling methods, new outline curve growing capabilities, a glow effect and substrates of different shapes. Both updates are available for free.

Auto FX Photo/Graphic Edges 5.0
PGE 5 adds torn, ripped, deckled, feathered, painted, film frames and darkroom styled edges to any grayscale or color image. Demos for Mac and Windows are available.

iCorrect 3.0 and iCorrect Pro 3.0
iCorrect provides a method of digital photo color correction based on direct interaction with the image. By clicking on certain reference colors within your picture, it performs a global color correction. iCorrect is a stand-alone application for Windows and a plug-in for Windows and Mac, with demos available.

Sapphire Brushes Volume 11
Sapphire Innovations has introduced Sapphire Brushes Vol 11 - Randomised Brushes for PC/Mac Photoshop 6 and Elements. This new volume of brushes contains 450 new random grainy smeared brushes.

Color Mechanic Photoshop Plugin
This is a selective color correction plug-in for Adobe Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. It lets you change one or more colors in an image without changing any other colors in the image and without the painstaking work of selecting the parts of the image you want to change.

Create Fabric Effects with PhotoWeave Plugin
Create your own Plaids or Strip Fabric using the Photoshop-compatible PhotoWeave plugin. Employ up to 16 yarns in the Weft and Warp direction, combine fabrics and simulate very sophisticated weaving. For Mac and Windows.

FotoEffects Plug-in from Lastolite
An Adobe-compatible .8bf plugin for Windows, this makes vignettes, gradations and other corrections quick and easy for intermediate level Photoshop users. A demo is available.

QFX 8 Released
QFX for Windows combines the features of both a paint and a drawing program in a single integrated graphics environment. It supports Photoshop plug-ins, TWAIN scanners and digital cameras, and the most popular file formats. A demo download is available.

Unleashed FX for PHOTO-PAINT
Unleashed Productions has released a collection of 250 FX for Corel PHOTO-PAINT 9. Each of the FX can be applied to an existing object or can be created as text in the font of your choice. Sample FX can be downloaded.


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