Plugin Newsletter - March/April 2012
COLORSTYLER PREVIEW: More screenshots and examples images of our upcoming product
SPECIAL EASTER OFFER: FocalBlade 30% Reduced in Price
POLL RESULTS: For which application(s) are you interested in buying plugins and add-ons? Do you edit photos on a mobile device?
NEW POLL: What is the pixel
size of the screen that you use for image processing?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Corrupted
Super Blade Pro Presets, PSP X4 Plugin Folder, Plugin Problems
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Ximagic Plugins, LRTimelapse, FreeHDR, WebP Format Plugin, Photo Plus Starter Edition 2.0
GRAPHICS NEWS: Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6 Public Beta, Corel Draw X6, Motion Blur Lab, AVBros Polaris, Graphic Styler, Motion Blur Lab PRO
Adobe released Lightroom 4 and reduced its price almost to half of what it cost before. These are great news for users, but you inevitably ask yourself why a company reduces the price of one of its products so dramatically. It is hard to imagine that it was done, because the competition got too strong. So did Lightroom not sell as expected and Adobe wants to gain more amateur photographers as customers? This seems much more likely. So at its much lower price Lightroom will certainly become more popular in future. Hopefully it will be able to keep up its professional reputation.
It seems that almost all products of major plugin companies are not developed as native Photoshop plugins anymore, but as standalone programs that use a bridge plugin for launching them and transferring the image data. This certainly has to do with the fact that companies want to develop a single piece of software that works with Photoshop as well as Lightroom and Aperture. This means less work and lower production costs. Among other problems, the main downside of this strategy is that the "plugin" starts up slower and that transferring the image back to Photoshop is also slowed down. Especially for users who want to apply various plugins to an image it can be quite annoying if they have to wait several additional seconds each time (even with the latest and fastest computer). At The Plugin Site we decided to develop plugins and standalones as different pieces of software in order to deliver the best performance possible. It would be nice to see other companies get back to the roots again.
More screenshots and example images of our upcoming product
We sincerely regret the delay, but reworking the effects of ColorStyler and adding several new features has taken more time than expected. Nevertheless it was worth it. Now several bugs still need to be fixed before releasing it. It is planned to make ColorStyler available in April and we are very confident that it will not be delayed anymore.
In the meantime we expanded the example section of the ColorStyler pages with 14 new before/after images that demonstrate its effects. There are also two new screenshot added. I hope this will give you a better idea of it.
If you did not check out the ColorStyler preview pages yet, here is a short description of it: ColorStyler will enable you to enhance your photos in numerous ways to make them look their best and add your own personal style. The most remarkable features, which have not been available in our other products so far, are preset thumbnails, a curve tool, a masking brush tool and a more flexible UI, including a menu bar. ColorStyler will feature more than 20 effect types and more than 500 presets for simulating traditional photography effects, e.g. color films and lens filters, as well as many special effects.
For more information about ColorStyler
and for subscribing to the release news go to
ColorStyler product page
SPECIAL EASTER OFFER
FocalBlade 30% Reduced in Price
As a special offer for Easter we are selling our FocalBlade product at $49.95 instead of $69.95, which is a $20 (almost 30%) reduction in price. This offer is valid until April 15, 2012 and you can benefit from it on our Order page.
FocalBlade is available as a Photoshop-compatible plugin for Windows and MacOS X as well as a standalone application and Lightroom external editor for Windows. It effectively sharpens photos for display and print, reduces noise and produces great looking blur, soft focus and special effects. FocalBlade is ideal for sharpening and enhancing all kinds of photos, e.g. snapshots, landscape photos, portraits as well as high-ISO shots.
For more information, a demo version and ordering
FocalBlade product page
Poll 1: For which application(s) are you interested in buying plugins and add-ons?
660 votes were cast in this present poll. Here are the results:
1. Photoshop (25%)
2. Paint Shop Pro (13%)
3. Photoshop Elements (11%)
4. Lightroom (8%)
5. GIMP (5%)
6. Photo Filtre (4%)
Irfan View (4%)
7. XnView (3%)
Bibble/After Shot Pro (3%)
8. Paint.NET (3%)
9. Photo-Paint (3%)
10. Other (3%)
11. Aperture (2%)
12. Nikon Capture (2%)
13. PhotoPlus (2%)
14. PhotoImpact (2%)
15. Photoline (1%)
Users of Photoshop are mainly professionals and experts that need control, flexibility and efficiency, and also invest quite some money to get it. That is why they are more interested in plugins than users of other applications. But the users of Paint Shop Pro and Elements together have a similar high demand for plugins. All three make up almost 50% of all votes. Although Lightroom already offers an arsenal of tools, there is still quite some demand for expanding its functionality. Furthermore there are several applications, e.g. GIMP, Photo Filtre, IrfanView, which probably makes sense to support. Surprisingly, with PhotoPlus and Photoline there is little demand for plugins.
Poll 2: Do you edit photos on a mobile device?
131 people took part in this poll and the results are
1. No, and I am not interested in doing that in future 54%
2. No, I do not do that, but may do in future 30%
3. Yes, from time to time 11%
4. Yes, I do that often 5%
More than a half of all voters do never edit photos on mobile devices nor are they interested in doing so. A further large group does not exclude mobile device photo processing in the future, although at present photos are still edited on desktop computers. Only 11% admit that they use mobile devices from time to time for this task, a very small minority (5%) does this regularly. As we can learn from this poll, photo editing on the desktop computer still dominates among the visitors of The Plugin Site by far. More than 80% prefer this option.
For more poll results please visit the
What pixel size does the screen have that you use for image processing?
Although many tools require a screen height of at least
768 pixels, so far we have made our plugins also support screens that
are 600 pixels high. This is increasingly getting a limiting factor, so
we would like to know what screen size you use when processing your images.
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Corrupted Super Blade Pro Presets, PSP X4 Plugin Folder, Plugin Problems
Here are the latest posts on the forums:
Corrupted Super Blade Pro
Ariez Moon wrote:"I just had to reformat my computer and lost a lot of my presets because they got corrupted on my external some how. A lot of these presets are no longer hosted and I want them back. My question is, is there any way to OPEN a .q5q and .q9q file say in like notepad or something so that I may be able to view the settings used along with the names of the bitmaps and textures?"
PSP X4 Plugin Folder
Lovetullys wrote: "I have W/7 64 bit and X4...I've tried to install plugins/filters but no luck..Where do I put them ?? In the older versions there was a place to install that said plugins, not so in X4...."
luckyv wrote: "I have got a new laptop with Windows 7 64bit and PSPx3. I have problems with the filters as some of them doesn't work. I have downloaded all the correct dll, put them in the relevant folders as instructed etc. I have still have the following problems: 1. When I open some filters, it's just white box (e.g. Eye Candy, VM), 2. The PSP crashes (e.g. with Mura Meister), 3. When I tried to load up HarrysFilter, it gives me an error message 'memory access violation'"
Please feel free to post suggestions or start a discussion
The Plugin Site Forum
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Ximagic Plugins, LRTimelapse,
FreeHDR, WebP Format Plugin, Photo Plus Starter Edition 2.0
Ximagic offers four
Photoshop plugins (for Win/Mac). One is for denoising images and three
others are for reducing the number of colors. Denoiser offers various
noise reduction algorithms, but is a bit inconvenient to use. The Quantizer
and ColorDither plugins provide various methods for color reduction with
the help of various quantization and dithering methods. The GrayDither
plugin does the same for grayscaled images.
LRTimelapse is the tool (for Win/Mac) for making
time lapse movies with the help of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Camera RAW or
Adobe After Effects. LRTimelapse allows you to continuously change Lightroom
or Camera RAW development parameters over time enabling key-frame animations.
It allows you to alter the white balance over time, deflicker, Ken-Burns
effects, fade in/out effects and more. The software is donationware. The
developer also offers a timelapse ebook and templates for sale.
FreeHDR is a free set of Photoshop add-ons (for
Win/Mac) that produces an HDR image by aligning and blending multiple
images. It combines images without exaggerated contrast and saturation
effects. There is also a commercial version with more options available.
The WebP format plugin (for Win/Mac) opens and
saves 24-bit WebP images. The WebP image format makes images 28% smaller
in size than PNGs and up to 34% smaller than JPEGs. At the moment these
images are only supported by Google Chrome and with a plugin by Internet
Explorer and Opera.
PhotoPlus Starter Edition 2.0 (for Windows) is
a free version of the commercial PhotoPlus image editing applications.
New in version 2 is the support for Photoshop plugins. PhotoPlus Starter
offers the basic tools that are known from all image editing applications,
but it also lets you repair old and damaged photos, remove red eyes and
unwanted objects from pictures, smooth skin, whiten teeth, paint with
artistic brushes and much more.
For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6 Public Beta, Corel Draw X6, Motion Blur Lab, AVBros Polaris, Graphic Styler, Motion Blur Lab PRO
Adobe Lightroom 4 (for
Win/Mac) only costs half the price compared to previous versions. It contains
a book creation module, support for video files, soft-proofing capability
as well as a geo-tagging module powered by Google Maps among various other
things. Unfortunately many users report that it runs slower than the previous
version, which will hopefully be fixed soon.
Adobe released a public beta version of Photoshop
CS6 (for Win/Mac) for everyone to test. Photoshop CS6 offers a slightly
redesigned user interface (with a dark look as default), content-aware
patch and move tools, new blur filters, improved video editing capabilities
and auto/background save options. Additionally Liquify runs faster, the
maximum brush size was increased to 5,000 pixels and the crop tool was
improved among many other things.
Corel Draw X6 (for Windows) features improvements
to color management, drawing tools, page layout functionality and many
more bonus materials like templates, cliparts, photos and fonts. There
are new applications included like the Corel CONNECT application, a full-screen
content browser, and Corel Website Creator.
AVBros released a set of four Photoshop CS5 extensions
(for Win/Mac) called Polaris. Guider Core adds, moves and removes
guides within a document or selection. Guider Template allows any document
to store an unlimited number of guide layouts. Array makes copies of layers
and relocates them with a document's boundary or selection. Circumscriber
creates a circular selection around two or three points and adds guides
Cybia Graphic Styler is a standalone application
(for Windows) that turns your photos into artistic illustrations. Graphic
Styler combines two separate programs (Pulp Styler and Urban Graphic)
from the same developer into a more flexible application with more settings.
It lets you recreate a similar style of B&W interior artwork from
the old pulp magazines, limited color 'poster print' effects and a mixture
Motion Blur Lab PRO is a 32-bit Photoshop plugin (for Windows) that produces multi-directional motion blur effects from user defined motion vectors.