Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - January 2004



THE PLUGIN SITE NEWS: The Plugin Site On The Move

FOCALBLADE 1.02b UPDATE: Several bug fixes

HARRYS FILTERS 3.0: New version with 14 new effects and an animation feature


PRODUCT REVIEWS: Creative Pack, Designer Sextet, Glitterato, Hue & Cry

RUNNING POLL: Most Useful Free Plugins

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Graphic Tablets, IrfanView Masks, Batch Processing, Currency Censoring, Upgrading to CS, Photoshop book

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Fotomatic, cam2pc, Texture Editor, ICC Tool, PDF4Free

GRAPHICS NEWS: Kodak paper, Focus Extender, Adobe Awards, Andrew's Plugins, Dogwaffle, Primatte, CorelDraw 12




Dear Reader,

Since the internet got a mass medium spam has become an epidemic, because some people think they can make money by trashing everyone with unwanted product offers. But what seems to be even more perverted are the overaggressive and unintelligent anti-spam measures that are taken sometimes. These anti-spam means can block one important email for which you would luckily take hundred of spam emails into account if you would just got it in time or at all. Even worse is that some people, angered by the amount of anonymous spam that they get and against which they can't do anything, accuse others of spaming and cause a lot of trouble for them, because of an email that generally would not be regarded as spam. It would be interesting to see a statistical comparison of the damage done by spam and anti-spam. I'm quite sure that both sides would have a similar high balance.

I only hope that both problems subside within the next few years. Which would leave us only dealing with email viruses, worms, trojans, dialers, hoax emails, fraudulent emails, fake web sites, hackers and what other evil things that lurk around on the internet ... Anyway, I didn't want to frighten you. There are a lot of things you can do to protect yourself from these things. Still, you have to be quite careful with your actions on the internet sometimes.

Wishing you all the best,

Harald Heim


THE PLUGIN SITE NEWS: The Plugin Site On The Move
The Plugin Site is now redirected to a new and faster server. However, if The Plugin Site shouldn't be accessible or temporarily unavailable within the next two weeks under the URL, please try the following direct link to the new server:

We don't expect such a problem to occur, but you never know, so we thought it would be wise to warn you. Also please bear with us when noticing the one or the other broken link on The Plugin Site. We are thankful for any such report.

Thanks for the help, trust and support that you have invested in The Plugin Site in the past and present. We appreciate that and will continue to do our best to be a great resource for Photoshop-compatible plugins and special effects.


FOCALBLADE 1.02b UPDATE: Several bug fixes
FocalBlade has now become our most successful commercial product outracing Plugin Commander Pro recently. A more than sufficient reason to produce a new update of this multi-functional sharpening plugin. The new Version 1.02b is more or less a bug-fix release. The sharpening of 8-bit images has been improved by avoiding that the brightness is increased unnecessarily.

Unlike the previous version FocalBlade 1.02b doesn't cause a problem when it is applied to a selection. Another important bug fix is that FocalBlade's blur effects don't cause black borders or colored streaks at the vertical image border anymore. Previously Cloak Mode also applied a slightly weaker sharpening effect, but FocalBlade 1.02b does more pre-processing in Cloak Mode now, to produce accurate results. Additionally some other minor bugs have been fixed.

For more information and for downloading a demo version go to


Our free Harry's Filters is our oldest product (dating back to 1997) and also our most popular download. It has probably been downloaded more than 500,000 times during the last seven years. Now it is time for a new update. Version 3 of Harry's Filters for Windows has just been released. It includes 14 new effects, new blend and brightness features, a 200% larger preview and more than 30 new presets. Several of the old filters have been improved and an incompatibility, which kept the previous version from working fully in Paint Shop Pro 8, was fixed.

The most intriguing new feature, however, is the Play Feature for running animations in the preview. After pressing the Play button the current effect will be animated with random slider values. To make better use of this feature there are two combo boxes for choosing a frame/second value and one of five possible speeds. While the animation is displayed in the preview you can still use all controls, e.g. change the zoom, change a slider value, choose another effect and so on. The Play feature is very useful for discovering interesting effects settings, but don't use it too often, otherwise you'll get addicted :-).

For more information and for downloading it please visit


Issue 8 of the DPT magazine includes Photoshop and PSP tutorials for creating shutter speed effects, a film poster look, fish-eye lens effects, winter scenery and many more. The cover CD contains over 1.5 hours of video tutorials and many software trials. There is also a contest that rewards the best digitally manipulated image with an expensive digicam. My Essential Plugins column in issue 8 compares and rates several plugins for upsizing images.


New reviews about four Flaming Pear plugins have been written by plugin-enthusiast Peter Mayer and book author Lori G. Davis. Here are the review summaries:

Creative Pack (2 stars): "... is a nice set of plugins at a great price. Creative Pack allows you to apply some neat embossing and coloring effects to images and create some unique patterns and fills."

Designer Sextet (3 stars): "... is a versatile collection of filters that will let you create a wide variety of artistic effects. A great addition to any plugin collection."

Glitterato (2 stars): "Beautiful effects. If this plugin included an option for seamless tiling, it would be truly stellar."

Hue & Cry (2 stars): "Gorgeous effects. If this plugin included an option for seamless tiling, it would be absolutely top notch."

For reading the full reviews please go to


The latest poll with the question "Which of these free plugins do you use regularly?" is still running. The more than 1600 votes that have been cast yet have placed the EyeCandy4000 Free Filters, Harry´s Filters, Flaming Pear Freebies, the Ulead Free Plugins and Xero Plugins among the Top 5.

If you haven't cast your votes yet, please do so at the bottom of the page at


Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:

emerald_angel_1975 wrote "I also tried several different cheapy tablets before getting my Wacom. Most of my friends use the Wacom Graphire which seems to be great for them. I was able to get a great deal on the Wacom Intuos 9x12 AND the 4x5 tablets so I got them both (as a package deal on ebay). I LOVE my Wacom and will never own another brand. I have had them for 5 years and use the 4x5 99% of the time."

Earthshaker asked "Does anyone on this forum have a source for simple masks/frames for that will work in Irfan View?"

megatoon asked "I've been pouring over PS's batching features. But haven't found away to batch an image to a specific file size. Anyone know of a way to specify 35k to be the maximum file size for all images?"

Roo wrote "Adobe Is Censoring The Images That You Open. Currency,Disney and God know what else. Read about it here... "

mikepdx asked "I am considering upgrading to Photoshop CS from v7.0.1 Will I be able to use the plug-ins from the folders of the previous versions with CS?"

Ed asked "Does anyone know of a good book that deals with photo editing only for Photoshop 7. If not just photo editing and improving colors than one that has very good information on this subject."

For more discussions and comments please visit


Cybia released three new Fotomatic plugins and now also offers Mac versions of all six plugins. NightScope is a filter for adding a basic "night-vision" effect to your digital photographs, Pseudo-IR creates a similar look as traditional B&W infra-red film and BW-Plus quickly turns your colour images into grayscale, but with the added option of using a colored optical lens filter.

cam2pc Freeware Edition is a very nice image viewer and organizer (for Windows). It offers an Image Browser for viewing, organizing and modifying your images. There is also an Image Downloader that transfers your pictures from your digital camera to your PC. Other features include running a slideshow with more than 80 transition effects, organizing your images in albums, printing single or contact sheets, viewing EXIF information, processing your images in batches and many more. In addition to the freeware version there is also a shareware version with more features.

The Texture Editor is a tool (for Windows) for generating procedural quadratic textures. Texture Editor creates color texture maps, bump maps, specular / diffuse maps, reflection / refraction maps, transparency maps and displacement / height maps.

ICC Tool (for Windows/MacOS X/Linux) from Serendipity Software is a simple tool for checking how ICC profiles convert certain color values. This tool can give you a basic idea how color management works.

PDF4Free is a printer driver (for Windows NT/2000/XP) that lets you create PDF files from any Windows application. It is free for personal and noncommercial use and there is also a more sophisticated commercial version.


KODAK Ultima Picture Paper Delivers Inkjet Prints that Last More than 100 Years

Reindeer Graphics Releases Focus Extender Plugin

Adobe Announces Call for Entries for 2004 Adobe Design Achievement Awards

Color Effects Plugin (Andrew's Plugins Vol 15) Released

Project Dogwaffle 2.0 Paint and Animation Software Released

Digital Anarchy Announces Primatte Chromakeyer 2.0 Plugin

CorelDRAW® Graphics Suite 12 on the way

For daily graphics news updates, visit


Back to the News Page


Still got questions ?