Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - December 2010 / January 2011




FOCALBLADE 2 FOR MACOS X: Including a 64-bit version for Photoshop CS5

CONTRASTMASTER 1.02 FOR MACOS X: Two-times faster 64-bit version plus scripting/smart filtering support

THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATE: Free Photoshop Plugins page


POLL RESULTS: Which is your favorite RAW Converter?

NEW POLL: Have you ever done HDR photography?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: New forum software with anti-spam meassures

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Flaming Pear Freebies, FilterForge Freepack 3, AAA Options, Typefacer, PicPick

GRAPHICS NEWS: Softener 2, Aperture 3 Low Priced, Contest, PhotoZoom Pro 4, Photoshop CS5/Lightroom 3.3/Camera RAW 6.3 Updates



Dear Reader,

I came across an article called "Photoshop CS5: A Simple Desultory Philippic" which complains about 32-bit plugins not working in Photoshop CS5 64-bit, Photoshop CS5 32-bit not using RAM above 2 GB and other problems.

Nevertheless we recommend updating to Photoshop CS5 on the Mac. The FocalBlade and ContrastMaster 64-bit plugins that we have recently released run 1.5 to 2.5 times faster compared to the 32-bit versions. So unlike the 64-bit Windows version of Photoshop, you really get a big performance boost with Photoshop CS5 for MacOS X in the default 64-bit mode. We will be releasing 64-bit Mac versions of our other plugin within the next few months, so the waiting is almost over.

Kind Regards
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site




Including a 64-bit version for Photoshop CS5

The Mac version of FocalBlade 2, our popular sharpening solution, is here. It contains all features of the current Windows version, e.g. 10 to 100 time faster rendering, multiple workflows, up to 2000% and 32 pixel sharpening, a Softproof feature, full scripting and smart filtering support, up to 3200% preview zoom, a navigator tool and many other UI improvements, Lab and CMYK support, color protection, enhanced halo reduction as well as edge masking. Unlike the Windows version it also supports images larger than 30,000 pixel in width or height. A 64-bit version for Photoshop CS5, which runs 1.5 times faster, is also included.

For downloading a demo version and more details visit
The FocalBlade product page



Two-times faster 64-bit version plus scripting/smart filtering support

We also released Version 1.02 of ContrastMaster for MacOS X. It is available as a regular 32-bit version and a new 64-bit version for Photoshop CS5. The 64-bit version delivers better performance (more than twice as fast) and supports larger image files. ContrastMaster 1.02 also includes support for scripting, smart filtering and displaying selections in the preview. The UI was brought in line with the other PhotoWiz plugins.

For more information about ContrastMaster see
The ContrastMaster productpage



Free Photoshop Plugins page

The Free Photoshop Plugins page has been updated: New plugins mentioned in the previous newsletters were added, broken links were corrected and unavailable plugins were marked.

Free Photoshop Plugins page



Which is your favorite RAW Converter?

561 people voted in the last poll about their favorite RAW converter. Here are the results:

1. Photoshop (Camera Raw) 34%
2. Lightroom 17%

3. Photoshop Elements (Camera Raw) 6.4%
    Canon Digital Photo Pro 6.4%
4. Paint Shop Pro 6%
5. Other 4.3%
6. Nikon Capture (NX) 4.1%
    CaptureOne 4%
7. DxO Optics 4%
8. Aperture 3.2%
9. Raw Therapee 3%
10. Silkypix Developer Studio 2.5%
11. Bibble 2%

12. Pixmantec RawShooter 1.2%
13. Photo-Paint 1%
14. Breeze Browser 0.5%
15. LightZone 0.3%
     Lightbox/Sagelight 0.3%
     RAW Developer 0.3%

Compared to the poll three years ago Lightroom lost 5 to 6% of its users to Photoshop. Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro, RAW Therapee and Canon Digital Pro each gained 2 to 3% of the users. Aperture, DXO Optics and Silkypix kept their user base constant. The other RAW conversion programs have lost users. So the trend seems to move back to general image processing applications and freeware tools. Almost 50% of all Raw conversion seems to be done in general image processing and not specific RAW conversion tools. Adobe still holds more than 55% of the RAW processing market.

For more poll results please visit the
Resources section



Have you ever done HDR photography?

The current poll asks you if you have ever tried yourself on HDR photography. There are five possible answers from "I am not interested in it" to "I do it all of the time".

Please vote here...



New forum software with anti-spam meassures

Unfortunately the forum was quite spammed lately, so the forum software was updated to get this problem under control. At the moment the forum does not look exactly like the rest of the site. Please excuse this small cosmetic problem. Spam prevention had higher priority. We will be fixing it as soon as possible.

Feel free to post comments or start a discussion topics at
The Plugin Site Forum



Flaming Pear Freebies, FilterForge Freepack 3, AAA Options, Typefacer, PicPick

Flaming Pear Freebies (for Win/Mac) were updated with 64-bit versions.
Visit website...

Freepack 3 (Frames) of FilterForge is now available for MacOS X. It offers seven frame effects, e.g. a painted wooden frame or a vignette.The effects are fully adjustable and support seamless tiling.
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The AAA Options plugin (for Windows) was updated. It offers various effects, e.g. blurring, frames and art effects.
Visit website...

Typefacer (for Windows) is a freeware utility that displays all fonts that are installed on your system. It displays all characters of a font and a user-definable text in the selected font. Typefacer is a convenient way to search for a matching font.
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PicPick (for Windows) is an all-in-one program that provides a screen capture tool, intuitive image editor, color picker, color palette, pixel ruler, protractor, crosshair and a whiteboard. You can make it sit quietly in the system tray until needed. PicPick is freeware for only personal use. For commercial use a commercial license is required.
Visit website...

For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
Resources section



Softener 2, Aperture 3 Low Priced, Contest, PhotoZoom Pro 4, Photoshop CS5/Lightroom 3.3/Camera RAW 6.3 Updates

namesuppressed updated its Softener plugins (for Windows) to Version 2. Softener produces various blur and soft focus effects. Version 2 runs 10 times faster, supports 16-bit/channel, CMYK and Lab images, processes larger images and offers a larger preview. Also included is namesuppressed Photo Editor, a simple image editor that run all namesuppressed plugins.
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Apple Aperture 3, a photo processing and organizing software, is offered for $80 (instead of $200) as a download from the Apple's App Store. The App Store is installed on your Mac if you click on the Apple icon in the menu bar and choose "Software Update". Whether this price will be temporarily or permanent is not clear yet.
Visit website... started a new series of challenges, sponsored by Participants download an archive of six images and must use at least part of two of them to create a new image. Each month three winners who receive $300, $200 and $100 in DepositPhotos credits are picked.
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BenVista announced PhotoZoom Pro 4, a standalone as well as plugin for digital image resizing, which tries to tackle the challenge of creating acceptable image enlargements based on mediocre or even low quality originals. It not only cleans up JPEG compression artifacts and noise, it also tries to create a sharp and natural look. 64-bit support for both Win and Mac is included.
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An update for Adobe Photoshop CS5 was released for Windows and MacOS X. It fixes several high priority bugs including tool tips on Windows XP, painting performance and type-related issues. Adobe also released Photoshop Lightroom 3.3 and Camera Raw 6.3. It provides RAW support for fifteen new cameras, including the Canon S95 and G12, Nikon D7000 and D3100, Pentax K-5 and K-r, Olympus E-5, and Panasonic GH2.
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