Plugin Newsletter - March 2003 - A
COLORWASHER 1.01 UPDATE
Several Improvements, New Features and Bug Fixes
NEW PLUGINS UNPLUGGED ARTICLE
"The Devil's Advocate on Color Correction"
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS:
Marker Bleeding Fx, Photoshop Raw & JP2, Sepia Finish, Plugin Problems
LATEST POLL RESULTS:
Your Favorite Plugin Manufacturers
Learning to use Filter Factory
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
DC Filters, Life, Gridmaker, AnimationStand, PixelToolbox, trueSPACE
GRAPHICS NEWS from www.Graphics.com
Auto FX, Sapphire, Adobe, Extensis
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
I wanted to recommend a photo correction tool called PixelNhance for MacOS X in the "Free Tools and Plugins" section of this newsletter. A few days ago I visited the web site of the manufacturer and PixelNhance looked quite nice. When revisiting their web site again a few hours ago I had to notice that this company doesn't exist any longer. I tried to find a download link for this free tool somewhere without luck. This was quite annoying as I had to come up with a replacement item in a very short time.
Luckily not all companies that are mentioned in this newsletter cease operation :-))).
Unfortunately I didn't have the time to add new stuff to The Plugin Site or improve it during the last two weeks as I was busy with updating ColorWasher, writing a new article for graphics.com and several other things. But I plan to add a new section to The Plugin Site in about two weeks which will allow people to create own pages and add own content. These pages will be fully editable online by everyone without the need of an html editor. This will be more or less an experiment, but I think it will get quite interesting. Watch out for it!
COLORWASHER 1.01 UPDATE
None of our other products has ever had two updates within one month, but because of the overwhelming response to our ColorWasher product, we decided to improve it even further as fast as possible. For those who don't know ColorWasher yet, it is a plugin for perfectly correcting the colors, the contrast and the exposure of photos within seconds.
Version 1.01 includes some enhancements that make it consume 33% less memory and speed up rendering by approx. 10%. ColorWasher can now correct images that are larger than 50 MB (5000 x 3750 pixel) without problems and make the final result look exactly like the preview. A new default skin was designed which looks good under Windows XP as well as previous Windows versions. Split View now isn't automatically switched off when exiting ColorWasher 1.01.
New features include a zoom box for switching quickly between specific preview zooms, several key shortcuts for accessing features even faster, image selections visible in the preview and 25 new color presets. Additionally several bugs have been fixed, including visual, functional and compatibility issues.
For more information and downloading a demo version, please visit
NEW PLUGINS UNPLUGGED ARTICLE: The Devil's Advocate on Color Correction
In my latest Plugins Unplugged article for graphics.com I'm playing the part of a devil's advocate when speaking about various color correction tools and plugins. A devil's advocate is basically a person that points out the negative facts that some people would rather not like to hear. I hope that it helps people to get more insight into the area of color correction and motivates the mentioned companies to improve their products.
You can read this extensive article at
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are the latest interesting posts from the The Plugin Site Discussion Forums:
Gek asked "Can anyone tell me how I can achieve an effect similar to marker bleeding on paper. It looks like the effect of glass and or diffuse but not quite."
John Caldwell asked "Adobe now shows Photoshop Camera Raw & JPEG 2000 on the Adobe Store page for $99. No information is offered concerning the product. Any insight concerning this software ... ?"
fmahlman asked "I am new to photoshop and would like to know how can I create a SEPIA finish to my color/black photos. Love SEPIA. Please anyone HELP! "
Havoc78 said "see heres my problem i keep findind defective and useless filters i want some that work and can put out alot of nice images any one got any ideas please help"
You can reply to these postings or read the replies by using the URLs above. You can also post your own requests or messages at
LATEST POLL RESULTS
750 votes have been cast for the latest poll with the question "Which of these plugin manufacturers do you like best?". Here are the present Top 10:
1. Alien Skin 12%
2. Flaming Pear 11%
3. The Plugin Site 8.5%
4. Auto FX 7%
5. Andromeda 4.5%
6. Ulead 4%
7. Extensis 3.5%
Fantastic Machines 3.5%
8. procreate 2.8%
9. Xaos Tools 2.7%
10. Other 2.4%
Nice to see that you voted us on Nr. 3, even if we don't consider our rank representative, because the poll is conducted on The Plugin Site itself. It is interesting to see Fantastic Machines so close at the top. Their PaintEngine plugin seem to be quite popular.
You can vote in this poll during the next two weeks at
AgfaNet has some nice instructional tutorials about creating plugins with FilterFactory. If you are interested in that topic, please have a look at
Another nice and extensive tutorial about FilterFactory was done by Joachim Baur. The same page also includes download links for the Win and Mac version of FilterFactory. See
David Nagel is teaching you "How To Make Your Own Adobe Premiere Filters" with Filter Factory in one of his articles. Unfortunately FilterFactory for Premiere has not been included anymore with Adobe Premiere after Version 5.1, so you need that Premiere version to be able to create your own Premiere plugins.
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Improved versions of 14 of the DC Filters (for Windows) are now available. The old FilterFactory versions were recompiled with FilterMeister which made several new features possible. These 14 plugins include some nice pattern, edge and distortion effects. Check them out at
Toby has released another filter plugin called "Life" (for Win/Mac). It implements Conway's Life cellular automaton which produces patterns that own certaincharacteristics of life.
Timo released some new plugins. Gridmaker 2 (for Windows) is a slightly enhanced version of the previous plugin for creating simple grid lines. Big Gridmaker and Dotorizer (for Mac Classic) draw a grid and turn your image into a dotted pattern. These filter plugins produce quite simple, but sometimes useful effects.
Animation Stand Personal Edition (for Win/Mac) is a free cross-platform tool for computer-assisted pseudo-3D character animation, compositing and film quality special effects. Key features of Animation Stand are multiplane camera control, automatic cel painting, 3-D shading, audio editing, production cost reporting, and easy output to film, HDTV, video, QuickTime, and standard graphics files. The Personal Edition is limited to a 256 x 192 pixel resolution, which is still sufficient for web animations.
PixelToolbox (for Windows) is a kind of icon editor which lets you create, edit, and apply 1-bit patterns, wallpaper tiles, icons and cursors. PixelToolbox offers the several painting tools and some pattern and color effects. It takes some time to get used to the dialog layout, but it is nice for creating pixeled graphics.
Four weeks ago there was a link for trueSPACE in the Plugin Newsletter. Now Download.com is offering Version 3.2 of trueSPACE (for Windows) for free. So if you are looking for a nice 3D tool, check out this 21 MB download.
GRAPHICS NEWS from www.Graphics.com
Auto FX Software's Mystical Lighting
Auto FX says that this is "...the best, most feature rich and powerful product we have ever launched". Running as a standalone app or plugin, this provides 16 visual effects for controlling the lighting and shading of your images. Mac and PC demo available.
Sapphire Innovations Releases Andrew's Plugins Volume 1-10 Plugin Bundle
This collection of 190 plugin effects for Windows Photoshop and compatible apps includes emboss, gradients, color effects, line effects, warps, distortions, fuzzy, grain/paint effects, blurs, sharpening, grids, TV effects and more.
Adobe Delivers New Photoshop Plugin for Raw Image Formats
In fact, two commercial plugins are now available from Adobe, the Photoshop Camera Raw and JPEG 2000 plugins. The Camera plugin provides fast, easy access from within Photoshop to raw images created with a wide range of digital cameras.
Extensis Ships Mask Pro 3
We're told that key features of the latest release of this popular Photoshop masking plugin include new color decontamination technology and color selection tools, as well as a more robust and intuitive toolset.
For daily graphics news updates, visit