Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - March 2010




NEW PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK: "Nude & Portrait Photography" by Harald Heim and Kay Michael Kuhnlein

SPECIAL EASTER OFFERS: LightMachine and HyperTyle Reduced

POLL RESULTS: From which companies do you own commercial plugins?

NEW POLL: From which companies or developers do you regularly use freeware plugins?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Grayed-out Plugins, Photoshop Path Problems, EyeCandy 3 & Windows 7, PSP & NoiseNinja, Windows Plugin on the Mac

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: PhotoTools & PhotoFrame Lite, Neat Image plugins, Photoshop Filters, Unicontel, Freepack 3 Frames, DepthDither

GRAPHICS NEWS: Paint Shop Pro X3, Photoshop CS5 Announcement, Magic Bullet PhotoLooks, CorelDRAW X5



Dear Reader,

I am proud to tell you that the photography book that I was working on last year was finally released. It was a lot of work but also a lot of fun writing the book. At the moment I still think that it was my first and last one, but who knows... See below for more details.

After PSP X3 was released a few weeks ago Photoshop CS5 will be announced in two weeks. It promises to bring useful new features, which may save quite some time. I already prepared an update of the "Plugin Essentials" article, which will be released after Photoshop CS5 was officially launched. It mainly concern Mac plugins, for which some things have changed. So have a look at our web site on April 12 for it.

You will see some exciting new software releases very soon from us. Unfortunately we did not manage to release one of them this month, although that was planned. But it should be ready by mid April on our web site if you cannot wait for the next newsletter.

Wishing you a Very Happy Easter,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site




"Nude & Portrait Photography" by Harald Heim and Kay Michael Kuhnlein

My book about portrait and nude photography has finally been released. It deals with various photographical topics and also demonstrates various Photoshop techniques and plugins. It is only available in German language so far and was released by a German publisher. Well, even if you do not understand the German text, you still get more than 200 exquisite photos and 30 light diagrams on high quality paper :-). The photos are from 16 photographers, including 40 photos of my own.

You can view the cover, contents and two full chapters here.

You can order the book at who send the book all over the world for a relatively low postage fee. If you are located in Germany, Austria or Switzerland it is better to order the book with

It would be nice if you would post a review at Amazon if you like our book.



LightMachine and HyperTyle Reduced

After not having offered any official special prices for quite a long time, we thought it was time to do it again, especially as Easter is near. So we are offering a 30% discount for LightMachine and a 40% discount for HyperTyle until April 15, 2010.

In case you do not know: LightMachine is a plugin (for Win/Mac) for performing all kinds of light adjustments in photos. It combines shadow/highlight, virtual lighting and color-based correction tools for sophisticated corrections without the need of time-consuming selections and layer stacks. It lets you selectively correct photos taken under bad light conditions or with inadequate camera settings and achieve results that rival photos taken under the best circumstances. Additionally LightMachine can achieve special effects like glows, sunsets, high key and selective b/w effects, replace one color with another and simulate polarizing filters.

HyperTyle is a filter plugin (for Windows) for generating texture, surface, paint, erosion, transparency, edge, frame and shadoweffects. These main effects are based on seamless textures. Additionally there are also zoom, rotation, metal, chrome, pop-art, warp, mirror, blur, noise, blending and other secondary effects which can be simultaneously applied to the seamless texture which is used for the main effect.

For more information visit the LightMachine and HyperTyle product pages.

For ordering please go to the Order page.




From which companies do you own commercial plugins?

2126 votes were collected in this poll. As it was possible to cast more than one vote, we estimate that several hundred people took part. Here are the results.

1. Nik Software 206 votes
2. Alienskin 199 votes
3. The Plugin Site 178 votes
4. OnOne Software 167 votes

5. Flaming Pear 155 votes
6. Auto FX 150 votes
7. Other 142 votes
8. Topaz Labs 140 votes

9. Imagenomic 99 votes
10. Andromeda 85 votes
11. Kodak/AFS 83 votes
12. Tiffen / Digital Film Tools 72 votes
13. Fred Miranda 70 votes

14. Digital Anarchy 64 votes
15. Pixel Genius 58 votes
16. PowerRetouche 54 votes
17. Human Software 53 votes
18. Fixer Labs 52 votes
19. BenVista 50 votes
20. PictoColor 49 votes

It is no surprise to have nik, Alienskin and onOne among the top ranks. It is nice to see us on Nr. 3, but we had the bonus that the poll was done on our own web site, so our votes in the poll are not representative.

It is interesting to see that Flaming Pear is still popular, even though no new product has been released for years. Additionally we would have expected Auto FX a bit higher ranked. Quite a lot of votes went into the "Other" category, which indicates that there are more plugin companies to consider. No surprises with the rest of the plugin companies.

For more poll results, please visit the
Resources section



From which companies or developers do you regularly use freeware plugins?

The next poll is similar to the old one but deals with freeware filter plugins. You can vote for up to 20 companies and developers of freeware plugins. If you cast as few votes as possible the results will be more distinctive. Thanks for participating!

Please vote here...




Grayed-out Plugins, Photoshop Path Problems, EyeCandy 3 & Windows 7, PSP & NoiseNinja, Windows Plugin on the Mac

Here are the latest interesting posts on forum:

Grayed-out Plugins
jaytea wrote: "I have PSP 9 and quite a few plugins/filters. Sometimes the Plugins option under the Effects menu is greyed-out and sometimes it is not. Why is this?"

Photoshop Path Problems
patience wrote: "I have just tried this (selected the Path icon), then drew a rectangle with Path, it doesn't seem that I need to paint over it for some reason. Then I pasted the picture onto the page and the rectangle frame that I have created actually sits on top of the picture that I've pasted eventhough I pasted the picture at a later stage..."

EyeCandy 3 & Windows 7
pspbrita wrote: "How do I get this one to work together ?? I have tried to install, but install stops by Windows. I know EyeCandy 3.1 is old, but when other Windows 7 users get it work without problems.. Then I should do that too."

PSP & NoiseNinja
okiebirdnerd wrote: "I am using PSPX2 ultimate. I have spent hours trying to figure out why my Noise Ninja camera profile info won’t show under the annotation tabs within Noise Ninja. ... I will be terribly disappointed if the Noise Ninja program won’t work ... Any help would be appreciated."

Windows Plugin on the Mac
jones wrote: "Alas, I must give up my trusty old (emphasis on "old") PC for a new Mac. I will really miss a couple of the utilities that are available only to PC, most notably some of the Xero filters for Photoshop. There must be a way to duplicate some of the effects, if I say which ones can anyone help me figure it out?"

For more discussions and asking questions see
The Plugin Site Forum




PhotoTools/PhotoFrame Free, Neat Image plugins, Graham White filters, Unicontel, FilterForge Freepack 3, DepthDither

onOne Software offers free versions of its PhotoTools 2.5 and PhotoFrame 4.5 plugins (for Win/Mac). Both offer only approx. 20 effects whereas the full versions contain several hundreds or more than one thousand effects.
Visit website...

Neat Image is an effective noise reduction software (for Win/Mac). Its free demo edition is available as a standalone and 32-bit/64-bit Photoshop plugins. The limitations are that the standalone only saves JPEG files with 91% quality and does not support batch processing. The demo plugins are not enabled for smart filtering and only process up to 1024x1024 pixels in an image and 8 bits/channel images. To overcome these limitations you need to get one of the commercial versions. Still, the demo plugins can be useful for editing images for the web. The standalone is also nice for larger images if you do not mind outputting to JPEG with good although not maximum quality.
Visit website...

Graham White offers a few Filter Factory plugins with various blur, threshold, grayscale conversion, gradient and noise effects. They are called Bleach Bypass, Blur Threshold, Dual Threshold, RGB to Grayscale, Blur Color, Blur Custom, Channel Noise, Channel Shift and Plain Gradient. To run these filters on the Mac you need to use Filter Foundry (
Visit website...

Unicontel developed three free Photoshop filter plugins (for Windows). "Hi ISO Noise Reduction" reduces color noise in photo while respecting the contours of image objects. "EdgeCrement" increases or decreases the white/black edges in the image, which creates some kind of blur or sharpen effects. "Multiple Histogram Equalization" increases the contrast, but also produces visible artifacts. All plugins only have few options, so it is hard to properly adjust their effects.
Visit website...

Filter Forge Freepack 3 Frames is now available for Mac OS X. It offers seven filters for creating frame effects.
Visit website...

Graphest DepthDither is a free filter plugin (for Windows) that dithers images in order to display them accurately on mobile phones which usually do not support standard 24 bit images. DepthDither uses 3 dithering methods. You can choose a destination color depth of 2 bit, 4 bit, 12 bit, 15 bit, 16 bit and 18 bit. As its home page is not available anymore you need to download it from one of the following sites:
Visit website...
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For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
Resources section



Paint Shop Pro X3, Photoshop CS5 Announcement, Magic Bullet PhotoLooks, CorelDRAW X5

Corel Paint Shop Pro X3 (for Windows) was finally released. It includes an enhanced Photo Organizer, a new RAW Lab tool, support for multi-core processors, an enhanced Express Lab, Smart Carver and Object Extractor tools for seamlessly removing objects from the background, a Vibrancy filter, on-image text editing (Wow, what a revolution!), HD video slideshows and Windows 7 compatibility among many other new features. Also contained in the package are Painter Photo Essentials 4 and some KPT plugins.
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Adobe announced the launch of Photoshop CS5 and the rest of the Creative Suite 5 on April 12. Although several videos about new features are already on the web, e.g. about content-aware fill, Refine Edge enhancements and the new brush system, a complete list of new features will not be announced before the mentioned date. For more information see
Visit website...
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Magic Bullet PhotoLooks is a standalone and Photoshop plugin (for Win/Mac) that makes it easy to control lighting conditions and create stylized effects. It contains 36 tools for manipulating exposure, lighting, color and lens effects as well as 100 presets that range from simple exposure and film process emulation to radical color changes.
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Corel Corporation introduced CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X5 (for Windows). Among the more than fifty new and enhanced features is Corel CONNECT, a new application that synchronizes with both CorelDRAW and Photo-Paint.
Visit website...



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