Plugin Newsletter - June / July 2011
NOISECONTROL 1.01 FOR WINDOWS: Various improvements and fixes
PHOTOWIZ WINDOWS UPDATES: All plugins and standalones were updated
POLL RESULTS: Which operating system do you use for processing images? What kind of CPU do you use?
NEW POLLS: Do you use Photoshop
plugins less or more often than in the past? Do you use more or less Photoshop
plugins than in the past? Do you invest more or less money on Photoshop
plugins than in the past?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Surface
Mottle Plugin, Modern CAD software
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Popuload, Filter Forge Freepack 6, Rosenman Plugins, Unmask, Cybia Plugins, Vicanek Plugins
GRAPHICS NEWS: ACDSee Pro 4, Rays, Snapseed
After the long wait for the last issue, here is a new issue of the Plugin Newsletter only one month later. After 10 months we now did another mega update of all PhotoWiz plugins and standalones with many improvements. The NoiseControl Windows standalone and the Mac plugin are still under development, but will become available this summer.
In recent years image processing with Photoshop
and Photoshop plugins got a lot of competition. Many photographers now
use RAW Converters, e.g. Lightroom, instead or in addition to Photoshop.
Another market are mobile phones and tablets with built-in cameras, whose
image editing tools are improving steadily. So we thought we should do
a poll about the popularity of Photoshop plugins and see if some kind
of trend can be read from it. The results may be biased, because of many
the Photoshop plugins fans of this newsletter, but it is certainly worth
NOISECONTROL 1.01 FOR WINDOWS
Various improvements and fixes
Version 1.01 of our noise reduction plugin NoiseControl includes various smaller fixes and improvements. Additionally the NoiseControl plugin now appears on "The Plugin Site" sub menu of the Filters menu (and not on the "PhotoWiz" sub menu as before).
Here is what was improved among other things: There is a new standard title bar with the last opened preset being displayed on it. Window resizing is smoother and faster and shift clicking a tab button resets all controls of this tab sheet to default values. At more than 100% zoom all parts of the image can now be scrolled in the preview and the split views are displayed correctly. The grain effect does not exhibit a stripe pattern on multi-core CPUs anymore.
For more information and for downloading a demo version
The NoiseControl product page
PHOTOWIZ WINDOWS UPDATES
All plugins and standalones
Our ColorWasher, FocalBlade, LightMachine, B/W Styler and ContrastMaster plugins and standalones were updated to the version number ending with .06 (except FocalBlade which is still at .02). For backward compatibility FocalBlade 2.02 offers a new "v1 Logic" check box which gives you the same sharpening values as the old version 1. It also features a correctly working 200% and higher zoom.
All plugins have the following improvements in common: No artifacts with 16-bit images in PSP X3 SP3, one installation for the 32-bit and 64-bit plugins, the plugins now appear on "The Plugin Site" sub menu of the Filters menu and Plugin Installer supports new applications. The standalones support newer camera raw formats, received fixes for the "Logged Settings" and batch processing features.
All new releases contain the following enhancements: The old tab controls were replaced with standard ones, shift clicking a tab button resets its controls, the graphic title bar was replaced by a standard one (which also fixes the black check box backgrounds in PSP X2/X3), the last opened preset file is displayed in the title bar and window resizing got smoother and faster. Several visual fixes concerning Windows Vista/7 and new Fit and 100% zoom buttons were added.
For a full list of changes see the Version History page of each product. Registered customers receive these free updates by email within 48 hours.
For more information and for downloading demo versions
The PhotoWiz pages
Which operating system do you use for processing images?
287 votes were counted in the first poll about which operating system people use for processing images. And the results are:
Windows 7 46% (131)
Windows XP 26% (76)
Windows Vista 9% (26)
Windows 98/ME 1% (2)
Windows 2000 0% (1)
MacOS X 10.6 Snow Leopard 13% (38)
MacOS X 10.5 Leopard 2% (5)
MacOS X 10.4 Tiger 1% (4)
MacOS X 10.3 Panther 0% (1)
Linux 1% (2)
Other 0% (1)
82% of all voters use Windows. 54% use Windows 7/Vista and 26% XP. Almost 17% use MacOS X, mainly 10.4 to 10.6. Operating systems like Windows 98/2000/ME and MacOS X up to 10.3 are as good as extinct among image processing people.
What kind of CPU do you use?
243 votes were cast in the second poll about CPU types as the following results show:
Single-core (below 2 GHz) 7%
Single-core (2-3 GHz) 7%
Single-core (above 3 GHz) 2%
Dual-core (below 2 GHz) 5%
Dual-core (2-3 GHz) 25%
Dual-core (above 3 GHz) 11%
Triple-core (below 2 GHz) 1%
Triple-core (2-3 GHz) 0.3%
Triple-core (above 3 GHz) 1%
Quad-core (below 2 GHz) 1%
Quad-core (2-3 GHz) 26%
Quad-core (above 3 GHz) 10%
Hexa-core (2-3 GHz) 2%
Hexa-core (above 3 GHz) 2%
41% of all voters use a dual-core, 37% a quad-core CPU. Single-cores score 16%, hexa-cores 4% and triple-cores 2%. One quarter uses a dual-core processor with 2-3 GHz and another quarter a quad-core with the same clock speed. 60% of these processors work at 2-3 GHz, 26% are above 3 GHz and 14% are below 2 GHz.
With 84% of all users having a multi-core CPU, it makes sense to make Photoshop plugins work multi-threaded (if they require a fair amount of rendering) in order to support multiple CPU cores thus reducing waiting time. But even single cores with hyperthreading are faster by a factor of 1.5 with multi-threaded calculations.
According to our own tests older non-hyperthreaded quad-cores are not significantly faster than dual-cores. The latest hyperthreaded quad-core processors (Intel i7) are double as fast as non-hyperthreaded dual-cores.
For more poll results please visit the
Do you use Photoshop plugins
less or more often than in the past?
Do you use more or less Photoshop plugins than in the past?
Do you invest more or less money on Photoshop plugins than in the past?
We want to find out if Photoshop plugins are just as
popular as they used to be, or maybe less or even more popular. So there
are three new polls that ask you to compare your current usage and investment
in Photoshop plugins with the past, e.g. one or more years ago.
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Surface Mottle Plugin, Modern CAD software
Here are some interesting or unresolved posts from The Plugin Site forum:
Surface Mottle Plugin
mtraves wrote: "For a while now I have been looking for a plugin that can randomly mottle a surface with 2 or more selected colors. For example choosing 4 various shades of green would give a blotchy green surface comprised of the 4 chosen greens. Maybe the degree of blur (smudge) would be selectable also. I have searched ... for a plugin that will do this but in vain. If any person knows of such a pluging could they please tell me."
Modern CAD software
eleesha wrote: "What CAD systems are they teaching in colleges today? My company will be upgrading our CAD system this year. We have been using AutoCad since the early 90s. I was wondering what they are teaching in the engineering schools these days."
Feel free to post suggestions or start a discussion
The Plugin Site Forum
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Popuload, Filter Forge Freepack
6, Rosenman Plugins, Unmask, Cybia Plugins, Vicanek Plugins
Popuload for Photoshop
(for MacOS X) is a freeware application that display a new window below
Photoshop's progress bar window. This new window displays RSS news feeds,
so that you have some entertainment while waiting for Photoshop to finish.
Filter Forge Freepack 6 (for Win/Mac) is called
Patterns and consist of nine filters that generate patterns and backgrounds,
e.g. tartan, ripples, wrapping paper and pins.
Richard Rosenman released three new plugins
(for Windows) in the meantime. They are called Lorenz Attractor, Sierpinski
Triangle and Ascii Art. The Peter De Jong Attractor plugin was updated.
The Unmask script/plugin combination (for Windows)
copies the transparency information (the alpha mask) of a Photoshop layer
to a layer mask and removes the transparency information. So in fact the
layer mask replaces the alpha mask. As layer masks are easier to edit,
this can help a great deal.
Cybia updated its
free Photoshop plugin packs (for Windows), called "The Works"
and "Fotomatic". The updates fixes a DEP compatibility issue
which caused problems under some Vista/7 systems.
Various plugins from Martin Vicanek (for Windows)
were updated with 16-bit image support and resizable windows. There are
new major versions of Color Cube, Wire Worm and Perspective Transformations.
For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
ACDSee Pro 4, Rays, Snapseed
Digital Film Tools' latest
plugins called Rays (for Win/Mac) applies light ray effects to
photos or text layers. You can control ray length, brightness, direction
and color among others. It is also available for Lightroom and Aperture.
Nik Software released Snapseed for iPad. It
features various effects filters (Grunge, Drama, Vintage Films, Center
Focus, Black & White, Organic Frames), U-Point technology as well
more general features like crop and rotate.
ACDSee Pro 4 is an image editing, browsing
and organization software (for Windows). New features include lighting
and contrast enhancement (LCE) tools for improving the dynamic range during
raw conversion, real-time full-screen non-destructive editing and support
for ACDSeeonline.com, a new free photo sharing site.