Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - April/May 2019




ELEMENTSXXL 6.04 FOR WINDOWS: Many Improvements and Bug Fixes

METARAW 3.05 FOR WIN/MAC: Support for new cameras

POLL RESULTS: Which product updates from The Plugin Site would you like to see released soon?

NEW POLL: Which image editing application(s) do you mainly use?

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Long Shadow Generator, The Fader, PhotoScape X, MTF mapper, ClickMonitorDDC

GRAPHICS NEWS: EngraverAI, Old Adobe CC Apps May Be Illegal, Higher Adobe Fees Possible




Dear Reader,

Adobe recently warned its customers that by using older CC software, e.g. Photoshop CC to CC 2017, Lightroom CC 6 and older, they "may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties". Wait. Really? How is this possible? Who fucked up here?

Ok, let me reconstruct the events for you as I understood them: Last year Dolby sued Adobe and claims that Adobe had not paid enough license fees since the Creative Cloud started and did not let them audit records to determine the correct fees as contractually agreed. Apparently the law suit is not going in Adobe's favor, because Adobe has recently removed all the downloads of older CC apps. This makes sure that Adobe does not have to pay Dolby anything in future. Newer CC apps use the Dolby code via the OS. So let Apple and Microsoft pay Dolby instead, which they have already been doing anyway, and that without beeing sued first.

Could Adobe have done anything differently? Well how about reaching a friendly agreement with Dolby and keeping the old CC apps available? No way, would have cost even more license fees. They could have removed all Dolby code from old CC apps, but again too much effort and costs. So why not simply let costumers bear the costs of e.g. upgrading computers for using the newer CC versions or training employees for using them? Additionally Adobe saves bandwidth, cloud space and avoids support requests, which again means fewer costs and more money for the beloved Adobe shareholders. What a great solution for everyone!

By the way, if you think of subscribing to the Creative Cloud, please read this article: adobe-test-replaces-10-month-photography-plan-with-1tb-20-month-option.

Adobe would like to double the price of their Photography plan, so they randomly presented every n-th person on their site with a double price offer that includes more (cheap) cloud space. What does this mean? It means that if enough people go for the higher price, then the higher price will become effective for everyone.

You really have to love these guys. They are so clever. No wonder they are the best! And I still did not buy a single Adobe share yet. What a negligence of me.

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site



Many Improvements and Bug Fixes

Photo Credits: Opolja, Chunhahca / Dreamstime

Version 6.04 of ElementsXXL offers many improvements and bug fixes. The following features were improved: Curves, Lighting Effects, Split Layer, Color LUT, Replace Background, various filters and the Photoshop Elements skin. Luminar 3 is now supported as a smart filter. Additionally the crop presets and layer context menu items are now deactivated by default for new installations to avoid problems on some computers.

ElementsXXL for Windows adds up to 1080 powerful features to Photoshop Elements that were previously only available in Photoshop. These features are included as new menu items, icons, buttons, key shortcuts and dialogs, so they seamlessly integrate into the user interface of Photoshop Elements. ElementsXXL bridges the gap between Photoshop Elements and Photoshop and greatly enhances the image editing experience in Photoshop Elements.

For more information and a demo version visit the
ElementsXXL Page


Support for new cameras

MetaRaw 3.05 supports DNG Converter 11.3 and the MetaRaw Converter correctly converts raw files from various new cameras. The converted raw files of the Fujifilm X-T3/30 now receive 34 more pixels at the bottom and a cropping problem was fixed for them. Cropping was also improved for Olympus cameras with a high mexapixel count. The color result has been improved for 12 cameras and 10 new cameras were added to the compatibility list.

MetaRaw extends the functionality of the Adobe Camera Raw plugin in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements. It lets you open camera raw files with Adobe Camera Raw, which are normally not supported by it, and allows applying Adobe Camera Raw to image layers. In Photoshop Elements MetaRaw provides automatic lens correction and chromatic aberration removal features for Adobe Camera Raw. Additionally MetaRaw includes its own raw converter, which has several advantages over Adobe Camera Raw.

For more information and a trial version visit the
MetaRaw Page


Which product updates from The Plugin Site would you like to see released soon?

We asked you to vote for next major product updates that you would like to see from The Plugin Site. Here are the results:

1. ElementsXXL 7, 36%
2. FocalBlade 3, 32%
3. CameraXXL 2, 27%
4. LayersXXL 2, 23%
    ContrastMaster 2, 23%
5. ColorWasher 4, 20%
6. ActionsXXL 2, 16%
    FilterHub 2, 16%
    LightMachine 3, 16%
    Plugin Galaxy 4, 16%
7. BWStyler 3, 14%
    Harrys Filters 5, 14%
8. Edge & Frame Galaxy 2, 11%

There will definitely be an ElementsXXL 7 this year, that's for sure! It is also nice to see that people ask for more of our most recent new product CameraXXL. The FocalBlade 3 votes are not surprising, but also a great motivation to start planning it. LayersXXL definitely deserves a version 2 and there are already various ideas for new ContrastMaster effects. Edge & Frame Galaxy, our first commercial product in 1999, received the least votes, but we already have thousands of new edge/frame files in the drawer and a plugin for applying them is close, so there is a big YES.

For more poll results visit the
Resources section


Which image editing application(s) do you mainly use?

The new poll asks you to vote for the image editing applications that you mainly use. You can choose between 19 applications and an Other option.

You are welcome to participate in this poll by voting at
Main page...


Long Shadow Generator, The Fader, PhotoScape X, MTF mapper, ClickMonitorDDC

Long Shadow Generator
(for Win/Mac) lets you add a long shadow effect to text. It consists of a PSD file with two smart objects. By double clicking a smart object a new document is opened with a text layer, which you can edit. By saving the changes, the text is added to the smart object in the first document and a long shadow is applied. Photoshop CS4-CS6 or CC is required. Unfortunately the smart object is not editable with ElementsXXL in Photoshop Elements.
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The Fader (for Win/Mac) is a plugin for Adobe Lightroom that adjusts the opacity or effect intensity of presets. It works without payment, but has s starting delay and locked advanced controls in this case.
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PhotoScape X is an all-in-one photo editing software (for Windows) which provides photo-related features such as Photo Viewer, Editor, Cut Out, Batch, Collage, Combine, Create GIF, Color Picker, Screen Capture, RAW images and more. The UI looks more like a mobile app than a typical desktop application. There is a free and a commercial version.
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MTF mapper is an open source tool (for Windows/Linux) for detecting the sharpness of camera lenses with the help of test charts.
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ClickMonitorDDC (for Windows) is a tool adjusting the brightness and contrast of DDC-compatible monitors. Multiple monitors are supported too and there is a bonus volume slider. Screen parameters can also be swapped quickly with key shortcuts.
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For more free plugins and tools, please visit the
Resources section


EngraverAI, Old Adobe CC Apps May Be Illegal, Higher Adobe Fees Possible

EngraverAI from Alpha Plugins (for Win/Mac) utilizes artificial intelligence for split background and foreground objects. The plugin converts images into realistic-looking engraving art. Applying different effect parameters to automatically cut-out objects allows more sophisticated looking results.
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Adobe told their users that using old versions of CC applications could lead to infringement claims from third parties. It seems that Adobe did not pay enough license fees to other companies for software included in older CC applications. As a result these older CC applications are not available for download anymore.
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Adobe is testing higher subscription fees by displaying a higher price for their Photography plan to very n-th user on their web site. The higher price includes more cloud space as a compensation.
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