Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - June / July 2012




: New Skin feature that simulates the UI of Photoshop, Elements, PSP and Lightroom

COLORSTYLER SPECIAL OFFER: Get ColorStyler for almost 30% less within the next 14 days

COLORSTYLER CHALLENGE: Send in your ColorStyler presets until July 28

THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Plugins Essentials Article and Free Photoshop Plugins Page Updated

POLL RESULTS: Photoshop plugins of which companies do you regularly use?

NEW POLLS: What user interface do you prefer for Photoshop plugins? From which companies have you purchased a Photoshop plugin (or its upgrade) during the last three years?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Photoshop CS6 Not Compatible With Vista, Photoshop Plugin Limit

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: VueScan, Fhotoroom HDR, VideoPad, VirtualBox

GRAPHICS NEWS: Photoshop LevelUp Game, ACDSee Pro 2, Lightroom 4.1 & Camera Raw 7.1



Dear Reader,

As Photoshop CS6 now uses a dark UI by default (although you can switch to the old light gray UI), I thought it would be time to add such an UI to our plugins and standalones. But unlike other plugins who only offer a fixed dark UI, I decided to give users a choice. There is still the usual standard UI, but a dozen more skin styles. You choose skin styles that look similar to the dark and light UIs of Photoshop CS6, like Photoshop CS4/CS5, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and like the workspace color options of PaintShop Pro X3/X4. Even more, you can add skinned sliders to the standard UI, select a dark version of the Vista/7 Aero UI and a special PhotoWiz mid gray UI.

The new skin feature is now available in ColorStyler 1.01 for Windows. We will add it to the other Windows products with the next updates and later on the Mac. So with the new skin option our plugins and Lightroom editors will give you the impression that they are part of your preferred host application and provide a seamless user experience.

Almost unnoticed and hidden in tech specs of Photoshop CS6 it is mentioned that it supports Windows 7 and XP. No word about Windows Vista. This may appear strange as Vista is quite similar to Windows 7, but if you look at web statistics you see that only around 5% of all users still run Vista. If you use Vista, you should test the Photoshop CS6 trial extensively, before you decide to buy it. A user reported problems on the forum (see below).

Even more, Lightroom 4 does not support Windows XP and Photoshop CS6 for Mac is 64-bit only and does not run 32-bit Mac plugins. Adding these things together, it would not be a surprise if Photoshop CS7 for Windows will only support the 64-bit versions of Windows 7 and 8. So if you are a big Photoshop fan, you better only install these Windows versions in future.

Sincerely Yours,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site




New Skin feature that simulates the UI of Photoshop, Elements, PSP and Lightroom

Version 1.01 of ColorStyler for Windows is available. It includes a new Skin feature that imitates the user interfaces of Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro and offers a total of 14 skin styles. A one-step Undo/Redo feature was also added. Many bugs were fixed, so we highly recommend that you get this update.


For more information and downloading a free demo version visit the
ColorStyler product page



Get ColorStyler for almost 30% less within the next 14 days

You can now order the ColorStyler plugin or standalone for $49.95 (instead of $69.95) on our Order page. Both the plugin and standalone can be purchased at $69.95 instead of $89.95. This offer is valid until July 18.

ColorStyler provides impressive photo effects, recreates traditional film effects and gives your photos a special style. It features more than 20 effect types, 600 presets and plenty of masking options for applying the effect only to selected areas of a photo.

For more information about ColorStyler see the
ColorStyler product page

The special offer is available on the
Order page




Send in your ColorStyler presets and win prizes

The ColorStyler Challenge, which asks you to present your own ColorStyler effects, was prolonged until July 28, 2012. So you have even more time to play with ColorStyler now.

All you need to do is to download the ColorStyler demo (or use the full version if you already own it) and save your favorite effects or effect combinations as preset files and send them to us. The five people with the highest quality presets will win one of five software prizes ranging from the PhotoWiz Bundle to a copy of a PhotoWiz product of your choice.

If you participate, there is still a good chance that you will win something.

For more information and for registering for the contest visit the
ColorStyler Challenge page




Plugins Essentials Article and Free Photoshop Plugins Page Updated

In chapter 10 of the Plugins Essentials article I now mentioned that Photoshop CS6 for Mac does not run 32-bit plugins anymore. Additionally chapter 13 presents the LaunchBox software as a way to run Photoshop plugins from Lightroom.
Read the Plugins Essentials article

The Free Photoshop Plugins page has been updated. Broken links were removed and several non-working links were exchanged with working ones. Several new plugins that were mentioned in previous newsletters are added now.
See the Free Photoshop Plugins




Photoshop plugins of which companies do you regularly use?

280 people posted more than 1200 votes. Here are the results:

1. Topaz Labs 11.46%
2. nik Software 9.73%
3. OnOne Software 8.82%
4. The Plugin Site 7.83%
5. Alienskin 6.43%
6. Flaming Pear 5.03%

7. Redfield Plugins 3.87%
8. AutoFX 3.79%
9. Xero Graphics 3.3%
10. Akvis 2.89%
11. Mehdi Plugins 2.72%
12. Corel 2.64%
13. <Other> 2.31%
14. FilterForge 2.23%
15. Richard Rosenman 2.14%

16. Imagenomic 1.98%
17. Cybia 1.65%
18. Andromeda 1.48%
19. Tiffen 1.32%
19. DxO Labs 1.32%
20. PixelGenius 1.15%
20. Van Der Lee 1.15%

21. I C Net 0.99%
21. Neat Image 0.99%
22. EPaperPress 0.91%
22. AV Bros 0.91%
22. Lucis Art 0.91%
23. Fred Miranda 0.82%
23. Fantastic Machines 0.82%
24. Red Giant Software 0.66%
24. Mediachance 0.66%
24. FocusMagic 0.66%
25. DFT
25. Imageskill 0.58%
25. Digital Anarchy 0.58%
26. FixerLabs 0.49%
26. Human Software 0.49%
26. Panopticum 0.49%
26. PictoColor 0.49%
26. Picture Code 0.49%
27. PowerRetouche 0.41%
27. namesuppressed 0.41%
27. GraphicXtras 0.41%
28. Alpha Plugins 0.33%
28. BenVista 0.33%
29. Kodak ASF 0.16%
29. Two Pilots 0.16%
30. Frischluft 0%
30. Outbackphoto 0%

Some of the participating companies/developers also offer freeware plugins, so it is clear that they got a higher rank than they would have received in a poll that only askes for commercial plugins. As 4.33 votes per voter were collected in average, you could say that plugin users regularly use plugins from 4 different companies. This means that plugin companies share a lot of users and customers.

Nice to see that we were voted to rank 4, but as usual this is not a representative value as the poll was conducted on The Plugin Site itself. It is interesting that Topaz made it to the top, that Alienskin is only on the 5th position and AutoFX only on rank 8. As expected nik, OnOne and Flaming Pear made it to the top 6. The top 6 companies received almost 50% and the top 12 companies more than 2/3 of all votes.

Among the companies that mainly offer freeware plugins Xero Graphics on the 9th place seems to be the most popular. Redfield, which offers 50% freeware and 50% commercial plugins, is even more popular on Rank 7. It is also surprising to see Tiffen and DFT so low on rank 19 and 25. Even when combining their votes (because it is basically the same software), neither get higher than position 17.

Concerning the location of the voters: 51% of all votes came from the USA, 12% from the UK, 10% from Canada, 6% from Australia and 3% from Germany. Around 25% of the votes came from Europe.

For more poll results please visit the
Resources section




What user interface do you prefer for Photoshop plugins?
From which companies have you purchased a Photoshop plugin (or its upgrade) during the last three years?

This time there are again two polls. The first one relates to the new ColorStyler 1.01 release, which offers different user interface styles. We want to know what type of user interface you prefer for Photoshop plugins. You have the choice between standard, dark, mid gray, light gray and other items.

The second poll is similar to the previous poll, but this time it asks you to vote for the companies from which you have purchased a Photoshop plugin during the last three years. So the new poll removes freeware plugins from the equation.

Click here to vote...




Photoshop CS6 Not Compatible With Vista, Photoshop Plugin Limit

Here are some of the latest posts on the forums:

Photoshop CS6 Not Compatible With Vista
sw714 wrote: "... For the past two weeks I have been having problems with CS6 on my Vista computer and finally someone at Adobe gave me a link to the CS6 system requirements and sure enough, Vista was not listed. ... Fortunately, I had purchased the update from Adobe only 2 weeks ago and after I deactivated it, they said they would credit my credit card. This is a weird situation where an older and a newer version of Windows was ok but one in between was not. Just thought I'd put out a warning to those with Vista who are thinking of upgrading Photoshop."

Photoshop Plugin Limit
goldengoose wrote: "Is there a physical limit on the number of Filters that can be put into Plug Ins sub directory? I have reached a point where if I install another plug in, I lose one from the bottom of the list."


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



VueScan, Fhotoroom HDR, VideoPad, VirtualBox

VueScan (for Windows) supports over 1600 flatbed/film scanners. So if you have an old scanner, for which there is no new driver available, you can test if you can still operate it with VueScan. There is a free Basic version as well as two commercial versions. The Basic version adds watermarks if you scan at a higher resolution.
Visit website...

Fhotoroom HDR (for Windows) is a photo editor. Its free version only allows 8-bit image editing and adds a watermark when using the 16-bit RAW and 32-bit HDR features. It offers various transformation and panoramic filters, different image scaling methods and various special fx and standard image filters. You use it to share your images on social networks and you can export images from Lightroom into Fhotoroom HDR. Unfortunately the Photoshop plugins that this company provided in the past seem to have been removed from their web site.
Visit website...

VideoPad is a video editing tool (for Windows), which is rather easy to use with its timeline/storyboard, file/video previews and effect/transitions tab sheets. It supports VirtualDub plugins and exports the edited video to various common formats, including Video DVD. VideoPad also record narrations and captures video from external devices. To switch to the free version of VideoPad go to Start > Control Panel > "Uninstall a program" and double click the VideoPad item. On the next dialog you can choose the downgrade to the basic free version.
Visit website...

VirtualBox is a x86/x64 virtualization software (for Win/Mac/Linux) that is open source. It lets you run Windows 98 to Windows 8, Linux, MacOS 10.5/10.6, DOS/Windows 3, OS/2 and others in a virtual machine. So you do not need to partition your hard drive. Instead you can use a disk image file for installing other operating systems. These virtual OSes can then run at the same time as your main operating system, because you assign them a certain amount of CPUs and RAM. There is also a seamless mode, which makes the windows of the virtual OS look as if they were a part of the main OS. So VirtualBox is a nice way to e.g. run Windows programs on a Mac or run XP-compatible programs under Windows 7. VirtualBox can also run MacOS under Windows, but a special boot software is required for that. Additionally your MacOS license may not permit running it on a machine without the apple symbol.
Visit website...

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




Photoshop LevelUp Game, ACDSee Pro 2, Lightroom 4.1 & Camera Raw 7.1

Adobe released the LevelUp Extension for Photoshop CS5/CS6, which lets users compete with each other and earn points, which provides them with the chance of wining prizes while learning Photoshop.
Visit website...

ACDSee Pro 2 (for Mac) is a photo editing and management software. New features include: Improved UI with non-destructive real time editing tools, batch presets that are applied as photos are imported, full screen previews, LCE (Lighting & Contrast Enhancement) technology and much more.
Visit website...

Adobe launched Lightroom 4.1 and Adobe Camera Raw 7.1 that include support for various new cameras, e.g. Canon EOS 1D X, Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EOS 60Da, Fujifilm X-Pro1, Nikon D3200, Nikon D4, Nikon D800 and Sony SLT-A37/A57. Both feature advanced defringing tools and address performance issues. Camera Raw 7.1 can only be used with Photoshop CS6. It does not work with Photoshop Elements 10.
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