Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - February/March 2015





LAYERSXXL 1.0 FOR WINDOWS: 180 new photo & design features for Photoshop Elements


METARAW 1.10 UPDATE: Support for many new cameras

THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Elements Bundle, Free Tools running Photoshop filter plugins

POLL RESULTS: Which new product(s) would you like to see from The Plugin Site in 2015?

NEW POLL: Which versions of Photoshop and/or Photoshop Elements do you use?


FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Xero 64-bit Plugins, Nikon ViewNX-i & NX-D, MS Image Composite Editor, Substance

GRAPHICS NEWS: Photoshop Elements 13.1, Photoshop's 25th birthday, Affinity Photo






Dear Reader,

Have a look at our new LayersXXL product mentioned below. It adds 180 new photo and design features to Photoshop Elements for Windows. Together with ElementsXXL you now get over 400 new features in Photoshop Elements. Most LayersXXL's functionality was originally planned to be added to ElementsXXL 2, but it required so much additional work that it was postponed and now released as a separate product. If you like to achieve great results with multiple photos (that are impossible with a single photo) or like to use layer compositions and over 100 new layer style features, you will love LayersXXL.

ElementsXXL received a 10-page article in the German magazine "c't Fotografie 2/2015" with several tutorials on how to use certain features and achieve special effects. The article also reviewed ElementsXXL and mentioned a few problems. The reproducible ones are now fixed in ElementsXXL 2.52, the remaining one or two were probably due to a very special system configuration. The article is a nice introduction to ElementsXXL, so definitely worth a look.

Lately I noticed a crash of Photoshop Elements 13 64-bit every few days when using it more extensively. Although these unreproducible crashes were rare, it is nice to see that Photoshop Elements 13.1 is available. So far there was no more crash, but the test period was too short to be sure yet. Anyway, I can only recommend to update to 13.1. See the Graphics News section below for more details.

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site






180 new photo & design features for Photoshop Elements


LayersXXL adds up to 180 photo and design features to Photoshop Elements for Windows that were previously only available in Photoshop. These features are available as new menu items, icons and dialogs, so they seamlessly integrate into the user interface of Photoshop Elements. LayersXXL works with version 6 to 13 of Photoshop Elements for Windows.

LayersXXL offers tools for performing the following tasks with the help of multiple image files: Denoising high ISO shots, Depth of Field Increase, HDR creation, combining Light Trail photos, preparing a manual composition, multiple exposure effects and panorama stitching. There are even seven action-like task items for doing these things in an automated fashion.

LayersXXL also includes a Layer Comp panel for creating and managing layer compositions like in Photoshop. Even more, there is a new Style Settings dialog similar to Photoshop's Layer Styles dialog with 5 new layer effects, 15 new blending controls and 90 layer effect options.

For more information and a 14-day trial version visit the
LayersXXL Product Page





Many Bug Fixes

ElementsXXL supplies 230 professional features for Photoshop Elements and greatly enhances the image editing experience in Photoshop Elements. The latest version 2.52 of ElementsXLL fixes seven bugs, e.g. a crash in PSE 13 with the Curves dialog, two problems of the "Render 16-bit Document" command, localization problems, and removes the Shift + N shortcut.

For more information and a 14-day trial version visit the
ElementsXXL Product Page





Support for many new cameras

MetaRaw extends the functionality of the Adobe Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements by opening unsupported raw files and providing several other features.

In Version 1.10 the MetaRaw Converter now supports 25 new cameras, e.g. Canon PowerShot G7 X, Fujifilm X-A2, Nikon D5500, Nikon D750, Olympus E-M5 Mark II, Panasonic DMC-CM1, Panasonic DMC-GF7, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Pentax K-S1, Samsung NX1, Sony A6000. It also offers better Fujifilm X-Trans conversion, support for many special raw formats and fixes an EXIF bug.

For more information and a 14-day trial version visit the
MetaRaw Product Page





Elements Bundle

The Elements Bundle consists of the following four products for Photoshop Elements for Windows: ElementsXXL, LayersXXL, MetaRaw and FilterHub. It costs $99.95 and you save 33% compared to ordering the products individually.

Elements Bundle Page

Free Tools running Photoshop filter plugins

The "Free Photoshop-Compatible Tools" page has been updated with new tools that run Photoshop plugins. If you do not own a commercial tool like Photoshop, Photoshop Elements or Paint Shop Pro, we recommend using, PhotoPlus SE, PhotoFiltre, XnView or IrfanView.

Free Plugin Tools Page





Which new product(s) would you like to see from The Plugin Site in 2015?

More than 150 voters took part in the latest poll about new products of The Plugin Site. Here are the results:

1. HDR Plugin 31.3%
2. Masking Plugin 30.7%
3. ElementsXXL 3 28%

4. FocalBlade 3 22%
5. Edge & Frame Plugin 21%
6. Action Recording (for Photoshop Elements) 18%
7. LightMachine 2 17%

8. ColorWasher 3 15%
    ContrastMaster 2 15%
    Other 15%
9. MetaRaw 2 14%
    External Editor Plugin 14%
10. FilterHub 2 11%

Interesting to see that there is so much demand for a HDR plugin. Our latest LayersXXL product contains a HDR feature, but as LayersXXL only works in Photoshop Elements, it would certainly be a good idea to do a more advanced HDR product that also works with Photoshop. A masking plugin always scored very high in similar polls in the past, but we are still collecting more ideas for producing something special. ElementsXXL 3 will definitely be released this year.

As FocalBlade is one of our most popular products, a version 3 is planned too. Surprisingly there seems to be some demand for an edge & frame plugin. We have constantly wanted to do such a plugin since 1999, but other projects always came in between and then we had the impression that such types of effects were not that popular anymore. An action recording plugin (maybe even as an ElementsXXL feature) will certainly come in future. Working on the HDR feature of LayersXXL brought a lot of new ideas for LightMachine, so a version 2 of it is certainly a possibility.

Thanks for participating in the poll and providing some things to ponder on...

For more poll results please visit the
Resources section




Which versions of Photoshop and/or Photoshop Elements do you use?

The latest poll is about the versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that you use. A similar poll was conducted a year ago, but several things have changed in the meantime, including new versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. You can vote for more than one version of Photoshop as well as for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements versions.

Please participate in this poll by visiting the
Main page...




PSP Plugin Installation

Here is the latest interesting post from The Plugin Site Forums:

Lila wrote: "I have PSP 9 and am trying to figure out how and where I should install the filter. its driving me absolutely insane. any help would be appreciated.."

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





Xero 64-bit Plugins, Nikon ViewNX-i & NX-D, MS Image Composite Editor, Substance

Xerographics now offers its 11 plugins as 64-bit Windows versions. Additionally the plugins that previously were shareware are now donationware, so they can be freely used, but the developer would be pleased about a money donation if you like them. It seems that the Xero plugins are the first free ones to become available as 64-bit versions since the first 64-bit alpha version of FilterMeister was made available a year ago.
Visit website...

Nikon offers a new free image browsing software called ViewNX-i as well as a free image editing tool called NX-D (for Win/Mac). ViewNX-i includes sorting and organization features, allows viewing photo and camera information and lets you add descriptions and ratings. A button runs the Nikon NX-D editing software on the selected files. NX-D supports NEF und NRW raw files as well as JPEG and TIFF images. It features floating palettes and various displays, e.g. comparisons of multiple images and adjustment of before-and-after images. Adjustments are saved as sidecar files for non-destructive editing.
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Image Composite Editor (ICE) (for Windows) is an advanced panoramic image stitcher created by the Microsoft Research Computational Photography Group. Given a set of overlapping photographs of a scene shot from a single camera location, the app creates a high-resolution panorama that seamlessly combines the original images. ICE can also create a panorama from a panning video, including stop-motion action overlaid on the background. Finished panoramas can be shared with friends and viewed in 3D by uploading them to the Photosynth web site. Panoramas can also be saved in a wide variety of image formats, including JPEG, TIFF, and Photoshop’s PSD/PSB format, as well as the multiresolution tiled format used by HD View and Deep Zoom.
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Substance (for Windows) is a free tool for creating 3D organic art. It uses an evolutionary algorithm to generate a continually evolving stream of shapes. The result can be saved as a HD image file, as 3D meshes or as an animated sequence. There is also an augmented reality feature, which places the 3D rendering in a photo.
Visit website...

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




Photoshop Elements 13.1, Photoshop's 25th birthday, Affinity Photo

Adobe released version 13.1 of Photoshop Elements. It includes UI & Elements Live improvements, stability-related fixes and a Camera Raw update. Additionally under Edit > Preferences > Display & Cursors you can now find an option for 200% UI scaling for 4K Monitors. To install the update choose Help > Updates from the menu in Photoshop Elements. We recommend installing this update.
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Photoshop turned 25 years old last month. It all started in 1987 when Thomas Knoll developed a program called Display, which was turned into Photoshop and released 1990 by Adobe. Today it is used by millions of people all over the world and has become the most popular image editing tool. By the way, its smaller brother Photoshop Elements will be 15 years old next year.
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So far Serif was known for its Windows-only PhotoPlus editor. Now they try to rival Photoshop on the Mac with a new image editing application called Affinity Photo. Affinity Photo will offer a CMYK mode, 16-bit/channel support, LAB color, RAW conversion, color management as well as compatibility with PSD files and 64-bit Photoshop plugins. Its planned price of 50 USD for a perpetual licence is certainly a big plus. However, Affinity Photos is still in beta stage, so you have to apply as a beta tester to try it out. Hopefully they will start working on a Windows version as soon as the Mac version is out.
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