Plugin Newsletter - April/May 2014
PLUGIN GALAXY 3 FOR WINDOWS: Filter Factory Support, Faster rendering, Higher effect quality, Improved UI
PLUGIN COMMANDER 1.62 FOR WINDOWS: Improved control scaling and bug fixes
SPECIAL OFFERS: Plugin Galaxy 30% off, Plugin Commander 40% off
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Filter Factory links updated
TUTORIAL VIDEOS: 4 new videos for ElementsXXL, Photoshop (Elements) Training Videos
POLL RESULT: Do you use other standalone programs in addition to your main image editing application?
NEW POLLS: In which types of plugins are you most interested in?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Paint Shop Pro Plugin Problems
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: XnRetro/XnSketch, Type light, Expression Web 4, USB Disk Ejector
GRAPHICS NEWS: CorelDraw X7, PhotoPlus X7, Focus 2 Pro, Camera Raw 8.4 / Lightroom 5.4
Plugin Galaxy was our first commercial Photoshop plugin and offers improved versions of the free Harrys Filters among many additional effects. Version 1 of Plugin Galaxy was released in 1999, Version 1.5 in 2002, Version 2 in 2007 and now finally Version 3 in 2014. The Plugin Galaxy effects were initially developed with Filter Factory, but grew way beyond it, especially in the new version 3, which uses floating point calculations and bicubic interpolation for high effect quality. So it seemed only natural trying to elavate Filter Factory effects to the same level. As a result Plugin Galaxy 3 supports Filter Factory effects and renders them with previously unknown high quality.
Plugin Galaxy 3 also helps to keep the old Filter Factory effects alive, because it allows using them in 64-bit applications and even apply them to 16-bit/channel images. Well, many Filter Factory effects appear experimental or modern-art-esque on first sight, but there are quite a lot of really nice and useful ones among them. To give you access to the 3000 available Filter Factory plugins the links of the Filter Factory page on our web site were updated. See below for more details as well as the special offer for Plugin Galaxy.
PLUGIN GALAXY 3 FOR WINDOWS
Filter Factory Support, Faster rendering, Higher effect quality, Improved UI
Plugin Galaxy is a plugin for creating special effects and enhancing images with the help of 160 filters. Version 3 of Plugin Galaxy renders up to twelve times faster and supports smart filtering and action recording. 45% of all native Plugin Galaxy effects produce a much smoother result. 5 new native effects (e.g. Anaglyph 3D, Outburst Shift), 9 new presets and various new effect options were added. The preview can now be zoomed up to 3200% and double clicking a slider label sets a default value. A new Skin feature imitates the user interface of Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro.
Plugin Galaxy 3 now supports Filter Factory filters. 245 Filter Factory effects are already included and you can import 3000 more from the web. Plugin Galaxy renders these filter effects with a higher quality than any other Filter Factory engine by using bicubic interpolation and floating point precision. It even makes sure that they produce the same effect independently of the image size. You can also apply Filter Factory effects to 16-bit images in 64-bit applications as well as stack multiple filters as effect layers and save them as a preset. Blending the effects with the original image according to 20 different blending modes and adjusting their brightness is possible too.
Registered users will receive an upgrade email within the next 48 hours.
or more information and a demo version (with three
free effects) see the
Plugin Galaxy Product Page
PLUGIN COMMANDER 1.62 FOR WINDOWS
Improved control scaling and bug fixes
Plugin Commander is a tool for dealing with various image formats, plugins and effect types from various graphics applications. It allows you to manage and preview your Photoshop-compatible plugins, tubes and add-ons. Plugin Commander is available as a free Light and a commercial Pro version. Plugin Commander is our oldest product and dates back to 1997.
The latest 1.62 update offers improved control scaling when enlarging the main window thus avoiding too large controls. Previously the Adaptive Wide Angle 64-bit plugin of Photoshop CS6/CC produced a crash, which is now fixed. Additionally a few smaller bugs were fixed.
Registered users will receive an update email within the next 48 hours.
For more information and a free Light version see
Plugin Commander Page
Plugin Galaxy 30% off, Plugin Commander 40% off
Until the end of May 2014 you can order Plugin Galaxy (for Win/Mac) for 30% off the regular price and Plugin Commander (for Windows) at a 40% reduced price. If you order Plugin Galaxy 2 for MacOS X now, you will receive version 3 for free once it becomes available.
To make use of these special offers go to the
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES
Filter Factory links updated
Many links on the Filter Factory page in the Resources section were broken. It seems that many web site hosting the free Filter Factory plugins went offline over the years. Now most of the links work again.
For best results we recommend importing Filter Factory plugins into Plugin Galaxy 3 for Windows. Under MacOS X you can open them with the free Filter Foundry 32-bit plugin in Photoshop CS2 to CS5 and in Photoshop Elements 6 to 11. For using them in Photoshop CS6/CC and Photoshop Elements 12 on the Mac you additionally need AlphaPlugins LaunchBox (as long as Plugin Galaxy 3 for Mac is not available).
4 new videos for ElementsXXL, Photoshop (Elements) Training Videos
The ElementsXXL Video page contains 4 new videos
produced by Ken Payne. They demonstrate the Vector Masks, Puppet Warp
and Quick Mask Mode features as well as the Preferences dialog of ElementsXXL.
See the ElementsXXL Videos Page...
If you like the ElementsXXL and MetaRaw videos by
Ken Payne, have a look at his web site. Ken Payne offers training
DVDs for Photoshop CS4 to CS6 as well as Photoshop Elements 10 and 11 with
160 to 240 videos that cover all aspects of each application. You can
also view some of these videos as well as new videos for Photoshop CC,
Photoshop Elements 12 and Lightroom directly on his web site.
Do you use other standalone programs in addition to your main image editing application?
More than 200 people voted in the previous poll. Here are the results:
1. Yes, I use one or more additional programs for
special image processing tasks. 73%
2. No, I only use plugins in my main image editing application. 17%
3. Yes, but only Lightroom or another raw converter. 8%
4. No, I use neither plugins nor other additional programs. 2%
Almost 3/4 of all voters use standalone programs for image processing in addition to their main image editing program. When looking at the names of some of these programs (which were posted as comments), it seems that some of them are standalone versions of plugin products. So some users probably prefer standalone versions, probably because it is more convenient for certain tasks. However, some standalone tools are not available as plugins and thus can not be used from an image editing application. Furthermore, 17% of the voters only use plugins and 8% only use a raw converter as an additional program.
For more poll results please visit the
In which types of plugins are you most interested in?
The latest poll asks you to vote for the types of plugins that you are mainly interested in. You can vote for one or more of the following 9 choices: Photo Enhancement Plugins, Special Effects Plugins, Workflow Enhancement Plugins, Raw Conversion Plugins, Graphic Design Plugins, Web Design Plugins, Texture Creation Plugins, 3D Effect Plugins and Others.
Please participate in this poll by visiting
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Paint Shop Pro Plugin Problems
Here is an interesting post from The Plugin Site Forums:
Muriel wrote: "I am using PSP X14, running Windows
8.1 64bit, with i7 processor. Half the plugins that worked in Vista no
longer work for me. In some cases they simply crash the program. Otherwise
they freeze the program with this display or some variation thereof..."
Feel free to post comments or start a discussion topic
The Plugin Site Forum
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
XnRetro/XnSketch, Type light,
Expression Web 4, USB Disk Ejector
XnRetro & XnSketch (for
Windows/Android/iOS) are standalone tools for applying vintage photo
and sketch effects. XnRetro features 20 color effects, 15 light effects,
e.g. bokeh, leaking, and 28 frame borders. Additionally you can adjust
contrast, gamma, saturation, vignetting and add noise. XnSketch includes
18 sketch effects and allows adjusting the Edge strength, opacity,
contrast, brightness and saturation.
Type light is a free font editor (for
Windows) that lets you design, edit and convert OpenType, TrueType and
PostScript fonts. It is free for personal and limited commercial use.
There is a commercial version with more features and full commercial
usage available too.
Microsoft Expression Web 4 (for Windows)
is a web design tool that is relatively similar to Adobe Dreamweaver
but free. It supports the dynamic web templates of Dreamweaver and offer
various other equivalent features, but a some things are a bit less convenient
to use. All in all, Expression Web is an easy to use and feature-packed
web editor. Microsoft also offers a free vector graphics tool called
Expression Design. Unfortunately there are no plans to further develop
USB Disk Ejector (for Windows) is
a small tool that allows you to quickly remove drives. It can eject USB
disks, Firewire disks and memory cards. It is a quick alternative to
using Windows' "Safely Remove Hardware" dialog, which sometimes
takes ages to appear.
For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
CorelDraw X7, PhotoPlus X7, Focus 2 Pro, Camera Raw 8.4 / Lightroom 5.4
Version X7 of the CorelDRAW Graphics Suite (for
Windows) is available. The three main programs of the suite are CorelDraw,
a vector graphics DTP application, Photo-Paint, an image editing tool
similar to Photoshop, and Website Creator, a web design application.
CorelDraw offers six new workspaces, two of them named after Photoshop
and Illustrator. Additionally various fill features were added as well
as multi-monitor, high DPI and touch support. Photo-Paint now includes
liquid tools and camera effects. The X7 suite can be purchased with a
one-time fee as well as a subscription.
Version X7 of Serif's image editing application PhotoPlus (for
Windows) offers the following new features: a lab color mode, a lens
correction feature, a Halftone Screen filter, a smart brush, a gradient
mask, an improved Clarity filter, an improved clone tool, three new blend
modes, Warp Studio and improved raw compatibility. PhotoPlus can also
run 32-bit and 64-bit Photoshop plugins.
Macphun Focus 2 Pro is a standalone
program as well as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture (for
MacOS X). It produces selective focus, lens blur, motion blur and tilt-shift
effects with a real-time preview.
Version 8.4 of Adobe Camera Raw and DNG Converter as
well as Lightroom 5.4 was released. They offer support
for new cameras, e.g. Canon EOS 1200D, Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II,
Fujifilm X-T1, Nikon D3300, Nikon D4S, Olympus OM-D E-M10, Sony Alpha
a5000/a6000. From this version on Camera Raw and DNG Converter do not
work under Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OSX 10.6 anymore. Users
of these OSes have to stay with version 8.3. Camera Raw can only be updated
through the Adobe Application Manager since Version 7.2.
Visit Adobe Downloads...