Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - January 2003




PLUGINS UNPLUGGED COLUMN: HyperTyle - The Creation of a Plugin
UPDATES OF THE PLUGIN SITE: Polls 2002 Page, Desktop Wallpaper

LATEST POLL RESULTS: Your Favorite Photo Correction Plugin
NEW POLL: Your Favorite Digital Photo Camera




Dear Reader,

This issue should have been the "December 2002 issue", but I decided to name it "January 2003 issue". As each issue is released on the end of the month, it makes it look more up to date and directed toward the future.

2002 has not been my most favorite year. The new Euro currency made living more expensive here in Germany, I had to pay more (unnecessary) taxes than ever before, we had a flood of the century in Germany, our reelected German government got many new silly ideas how to crush the economy and increase the burden on every citizen, the threat of a new war in the Near East and so on.
Yet I still hope that things will get better next year. But I guess we'll have to take it as it comes and be happy with what we have. There is never a reason to stop being optimistic :-)

Nevertheless, enjoy the rest of this year and have a Happy and Successful New Year,

Harald Heim

P.S: Have a look at my holiday greetings card at


HTML Shrinker is a tool for reducing the size of various web, wap and script files. As a consequence your web or wap pages will load faster, need less web space and less bandwidth and you will save web-hosting fees.

Version 2.60 of HTML SHRINKER includes a lot of bug fixes; e.g. some special folders inside the "My Documents" folder don't cause problems anymore. Several script-shrinking problems were solved and icons were added to the menus. The Pro Version now does a 50% better shrinking of CSS code, supports VBS files and removes HTML Comments from XML files. Additionally seven new rules for removing empty tags were added and there's an option for ignoring Frontpage _vti_ folders.

The Commercial Pro Version of HTML Shrinker now includes some features that are not provided in the cheaper Personal Pro Version. These features are helpful when you want to flexibly shrink different web sites. You can create a HSO file for each web site which contains specific shrinking options. With these HSO files you don't need to waste your time readjusting the shrinking options for each of your web sites.
The "Edit /Add Site" dialogs additionally lets you specify a backup folder, a shrink folder and a HSO file for each web site. When choosing a web site from the Sites menu these items are automatically activated. Last, but not least, there is also a command line switch for opening a HSO file.

For more information and downloading the free Light Version please visit:


PLUGINS UNPLUGGED COLUMN: HyperTyle - The Creation of a Plugin
My third article for my bimonthly column "Plugins Unplugged" at has just been published. As its title suggests I wrote about the creation of my latest HyperTyle plugin which uses textures to produce various image effects.

In this article I explain how I got the idea for creating it, which tools were used to develop it, why it renders that fast and what you can achieve with its effects. I also compare HyperTyle a bit with plugins of similar effects, described how its skin was designed and much more.

Please read the article at:


UPDATES OF THE PLUGIN SITE: Polls 2002 Page, Desktop Wallpaper

The Polls 2002 page was finally updated with the results of all 7 polls that were conducted in 2002. The polls about people's favorite image applications, texture size, photo size and freeware plugins are certainly the specially interesting ones.

The Desktop Gallery has been opened in the Gallery section of the Plugin site. It contains wallpapers for your desktop which were designed by us. Currently there is only a Christmas 2002 wallpaper for your desktop available, but as the Christmas season officially ends in mid January, it is still not too late for it. The wallpaper is available in five different resolutions from 1600 x 1200 to 640 x 480 pixel.


LATEST POLL RESULTS: Your favorite Photo Correction Plugin
528 votes were collected in the latest poll about your favorite photo correction tool. Here are the Top 10 results:

1. Photoshop's Auto Levels/Auto Color 23.5 %
2. PSP's Enhance Photo Filters 16.7 %
3. Other 11.2 %
4. Image Doctor 5 %
5. iCorrect 4.5 %
6. AutoCorrect 4.4 %
7. AutoEye 4.2%
8. Sharpener 3.8%
9. Intellihance 3.4%
10. Color Pilot 2.8%
10. PhotoOptics 2.8%

Obviously many people use Photoshop's and PSP's built-in photo correction tools. Although they don't produce perfect results in many cases, they are quick and easy to use. Number 3 is occupied by the category "Other" which probably mostly includes other image applications and a few less known plugins.


NEW POLL: Your Favorite Digital Photo Camera
We had a poll about digital camera manufacturers in summer 2001 in which Sony, Nikon and Olympus were the favorites. In the meantime a lot of new and exciting digital cameras have been released, so people's preferences may have changed. Unfortunately asking for individual camera types would require too many choices for such a small poll. So this time our poll asks for digital camera series.

Please cast your vote for one of 30 available digital camera series at


Here are the latest interesting posts from the The Plugin Site Discussion Forum:

Mark McDonough asked: "Can anyone recommend a Photoshop plug-in that will do a true stipple effect? I've seen recipes that add noise but a true stipple gives images that are even clearer than photos by accentuating edges. ... I haven't found something like this on the web. Perhaps it is too pedestrian a function to take photo and turn it into a pen and ink stipple. ... Thanks in advance for any help"

Peter asked: "Ok here is the problem ...: Take a low res file and make it (much larger) without the pixelly smoothy/fuzzy look. Are there any other programs (plug-ins) on the market that will take a low res file and enlarge it (up to 500%+) without creating a smooth and smudgy mess?"

wiseguy asked: "There has to be an easy way to correct the white balance in an image shot in mixed conditions (such as a gym or auditorium or church). The auto white balance in my camera (a Canon G3) only goes so far, then it pukes. Does anybody know of a plug-in, filter, etc. that you can use..."

You can reply to these postings or read the replies by using the URLs above. You can also post your own requests or messages at



After a long time the free Krusty's FX plugin collections (for Windows) are available again. They mostly consist of pattern generation filters, but also offer retouching, transformation and transparency effects. Although they were created with Filter Factory, they have a specially skinned dialog.

Set Two of the free Xero Plugins (for Windows) is now available. Artgrain creates unobtrusive grain effects, Aartifax produces a posterize-like art-line look, Clarity improves color and perceived sharpness of an image, Cubism is a strange mosaic effect, Illustrator turns images into colored-ink illustrations, Serious Fog is a fog effect, Softmood gives portraits a warm touch, Supersmooth cleans up noise or produces an artistic 'wash' effect and Ultraviolet tints photos pink and blue.

An updated version of the free light effects plugin Luce (for Windows) from Antonino Perricone is now available. Some new features have been added since the last time and some bugs have been corrected. Now there's also an Adobe Premiere version available on his new web site at

TabbedText, a free format plug-in from Reindeer Graphics (for Win/Mac), reads and writes a grayscale images from and to a tab-delimited text file. The text file can be created and manipulated in a spreadsheet like Excel or produced with text output from any arbitrary source. TabbedText is very useful for data visualization and supports both 8- and 16-bits per channel. If you use it on a color image, only the first color channel will be saved. Happy Experimenting!

There are some free Photoshop Actions (for Win/Mac) offered on Fred Miranda's web site: ES 8-bit Light (low intensity), Red-eye removal and D30 AutoWB fix.

"VFXFlash-Transition Free Edition" from VFXPlug is a free transition plugin for Ulead MediaStudio Pro, Ulead Director's Cut and Ulead VideoStudio (for Windows). It consists of 7 video transitions with real-time preview rendering.

JAlbum is a free web photo album generator (for Win/Mac/Linux). It supports deep hierarchies of image folders and movie files like mpg, avi and wmv can also be added to albums. There is an integrated FTP client with synchronization capability and EXIF support. JAlbum is highly customizable: The album appearance can be changed with the included skins as well as your own skins and album functions can be programmed in a Java-like language called BeanShell.
If you want to create a photo album for your web site or to burn it on a CD, JAlbum should be your first choice.

Gertrudis (for Windows) is a free application for creating paint and ink drawings. In addition to some sophisticated pen and ink tools, it also includes a few retouching, airbrush, color correction, alpha masking, selection and image warping tools. Gertrudis features an unlimited number of layers, a large number of Undo levels and a variety of brushes and patterns.
All in all, there are still many bugs present, there are no standard brushes, only esoteric ones and graphic tablets aren't supported yet. So Gertrudis is something for people who like experimenting.

The ADG Panorama Tools (for Windows) are free for non-commercial use. ADG Panorama Tools is a program which lets you generate an interactive panoramic composition from a series of photos. It features auto-alignment of images, warping images into true cylindrical view, customized designer user interface and performs a vertical camera movement perspective correction. The created panoramas can be placed on a web site and viewed through a java applet.


Optipix 1.1 Free Update
This free update for all registered users adds two new plug-ins to the Optipix suite, Safe Median and Power Median. The online documentation has also been updated to give examples for these plug-ins. Affiliate Program Launches, the recently-launched membership-based royalty-free stock photography service, has now opened up its affiliate program. affiliates earn 15% of every new sale brought to the site, with commissions
ranging up to $59.95 for one-year memberships.

Ulead DVD MovieFactory 2.0 Now Available
DVD MovieFactory 2.0 is Ulead's latest version of their consumer-level Windows software for sharing high-quality videos and digital image slideshows on DVDs and CDs.

Electric Image Ships Amorphium 3.0
This modestly priced Windows/Mac app is designed to make 3D creation more accessible to 2D designers.

ACD Systems and Realview 3D Release Three New Digital Imaging Plug-Ins
RealOptimizer Pro, Realview 3D and Realview 3D Pro plug-in to ACDSee and ACD mPower Tools, to add image optimization, interactive animations and 3D pictures with hotspots to websites. Windows only.

Expression 3 Released
Creature House continues its valiant battle to breathe new life into the vector graphics app category. The new version of Expression adds some significant functionality. Snag the Windows or Mac demo and give it a spin.

Artlandia SymmetryWorks 2.0
This Adobe Illustrator plug-in lets you create professional-quality, symmetry-based surface designs for web pages, wallpaper, fabrics, quilting, tilings, etc.

For daily graphics news updates, visit



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