Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - November 2005





POLL RESULTS: Your Favorite Photo Effects

NEW POLL: Your Favorite RAW Conversion Tools

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Polaroid Frame, Rain Effect, Align Multiple Images, Sensor Dust Remover, 35mm Frame, Etched Look, Brush Effect

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: JNG Format Plugin, DOF Master, Picture Cooler, Batch AutoCorrector, DV Capture Live

GRAPHICS NEWS: Rectilinear Panorama, DOF Pro 2, Aperture, RAWShooter premium, Portfolio 8, Xara Extreme





Dear Reader,

Some of you may wonder why they didn't received the November issue of the Plugin Newsletter earlier. I decided to publish it during the first 5-10 days of every month. Maybe that date will again slowly move to the end of the month as times goes by, but I will try to do my best to release 12 issues per year and not 11.

While there have been a lot of new freeware plugin released during the year, the output seems to stagger a bit now towards the end of the year. Hopefully the situation will improve soon. Our latest poll results should deliver some inspiration in that direction. In contrast to that there have been two new major RAW Converter releases recently. So I thought it was time to investigate the popularity among these tools with a new poll that is more detailed than the one from last year.

Enjoy this issue!

Harald Heim



Version 1.01 of LightMachine offers many features and improvements, which make it much easier to perform shadow/highlight and light correction tasks.

For example, selections from your graphics application can now be seen in the LightMachine preview, there is a new Fade slider for weakening the overall effect and a new Preset button menu with a list of all presets. Brightness, Contrast and Size sliders let you easier select smaller values and when entering a value in the edit box of a slider, the preview now updates automatically. The new Instant Sliders check box on the Prefs tab sheet instantly updates the preview while dragging a slider.

In the Virtual Studio modes you can find a new Spots button menu for selecting a certain spot and pasting spot properties to other spots. The numeric and cursor keys now allow you to select and move spots. LightMachine 1.01 also lets you use the same settings with images of different sizes without having to readjust the spots. You can now precisely see the area that is affected by an oval spot from its spot circle.

The LightMachine dialog was also localized to German, although the manual and setup are still in English. Like the other PhotoWiz plugins, LightMachine now also includes the Plugin Installer tool which is executed during setup and lets you copy the LightMachine plugin to the plugin folder of up to 25 graphics applications.

Registered users will receive the 1.01 update free of charge within the next 24 hours. Thanks for your patience.

For more information about LightMachine and for a demo version please visit:



The latest ColorWasher update for MacOS X includes some bug fixes that concern 16bit images. If you previously had problems with 16bit images in ColorWasher for Mac, please check out the new version.

The "Standard" and "Standard Light" Cast Type options previously didn't color correct the shadow areas of 16bit images, which was fixed. The transparency grid is now correctly displayed for 16bit images and ColorWasher doesn't refuse to work on 16bit images anymore, if the Transparency Grid option in Photoshop's Preferences doesn't have its default value. Finally, the color picker from the Color tab sheet works correctly with 16bit images in ColorWasher 2.0c.

For more information about ColorWasher and for a demo version please visit:



POLL RESULTS: Your Favorite Photo Effects
More than 1400 votes from a few hundred people have been collected in the poll with the question:"Which of these photo effects do you like best?". Here are the results:

1. Soft Focus, Blurry, Diffusor, Dreamy 127 votes
2. Skin Softening, Skin Cleaning 120 votes
3. Painted, Painting, Brush, Pencil, Sketch, Drawing 115 votes

4. B/W 98 votes
5. Photo Frame, Vignette 97 votes
5. Fog, Mist, Dust 97 votes
6. Colored B/W, Sepia, Monotint, Duplex 87 votes
7. Selective B/W, e.g. Red Rose in B/W photo 78 votes

8. Colorize, Creative Color, Color Filter, Color Tint 66 votes
9. Film Grain, Old Photo, Faded Photo 63 votes
10. Cool/Warm, Color Temperature Effects 62 votes
11. Selective Color, Color Replace 60 votes
12. Diffuse Glow, Highlights 59 votes
13. Light Beam, Light Spot, Light Ray 55 votes
14. B/W Infra-Red, Color Infra-Red 54 votes
15. Polarizer 50 votes
16. Creative Contrast, Extreme Contrast, High-key, Overexposure 47 votes

17. Color Gradient Filter, ND Grad Filter 40 votes
18. Solarization, Posteriation, Thermal Camera, Nightvision 30 votes
19. Cross Processing, Bleach Bypass 16 votes

Although you shouldn't apply them to all of your photos Soft Focus and Painting effects seem to be very popular. Skin cleaning tools are considered very useful, too. Classic effects like B/W, Colored B/W, Selective B/W and photo frames are also quite popular. A bit surprising is to see that Fog & Mist effects are regarded highly. Much less popular are color gradient, solarization, thermal camera, cross processing, bleach bypass and similar effects.

For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section at


NEW POLL: Your Favorite RAW Conversion Tools
During the next 4 weeks you will be able to vote for your favorite RAW conversion tool. There are 18 sofware products plus two more general choices.

Please vote at the bottom of the page at



Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:

Tenerife wrote: "Hola, i am looking for some frames that it looks like an old photo with frame. Old 13/18 planfilm photo, Polaroid... Some ideas...for plug ins?"

Robsmom wrote: "... I want to make it rain. I can get the effect I want with Eye Candy but not apply it..demo copy! I sure cann't afford to buy Eye Candy... Any other free plugins for rain?"

ColinBanfield asked: "Is there a good plugin available to automatically align and stack multiple images?"

kthch asked: "Is there any plugin available working with Photshopselements 4.0 I can remove the dust coming from camera's sensor? Because I have a lot of such pictures this remover should work as batch run."

steinr98 asked: "Does anyone know of a plug-in or a border for a 35mm frame or border that I can use in PhotoShop. It makes your photo look like a neg or slide in 35 mm with the sprocket holes."

benben wrote: "i am attempting to produce a logo that looks etched similar to how money and bonds look. i want it to look similar to an antiquated looking piece of art or currency from the 19th and early 20th century. so far i have been unsuccessful ..."

rachnasingh asked: "If I want to start a line with 22 pixels and end the line with 11 pixels ie when i try to make a vein in the leaf or want to make a line that ends in a point how can i do it in adobe photoshop cs"

For more interesting discussions please visit



The JNG (JPEG Network Graphics) Format encapsulates a JPEG datastream in PNG-style chunks. Although JNG was primarily a MNG sub format, standalone JNG files are also possible now. The JNG file format plugin for Photoshop (for Windows) from T. Philipp doesn't have a web site yet, but can be downloaded from:

DOFMaster is a depth of field calculator (for Windows / Palm OS) that produces depth of field scales for use in the field. Just set the focus distance, focal range and aperture and read the near and far focus distances. Aditionally a Hyperfocal Chart tool is available, too.

PictureCooler is another noise reduction tool (for Windows). The unlocked free version only lets you save the results as high-compressed JPG files and renders slower. Unfortunately PictureCooler doesn't stick to some Windows standards, so it behaves a bit annoying at times. It is rated as Nr. 3 of all noise reduction tools at and seems to be able to remove noise from soft image areas especially effectively. If you don't like it and need a free noise reducer, I recommend that you take a look at the Freeware version of Neat Image (

Batch AutoCorrector (for Windows) from Vicman lets you batch correct the contrast, brightness and colors of photos. It works in a wizard-like style and lets you choose one of three automatic correction options, which will be applied to all files. Unfortunately, you can't choose a different option for each file and there are no options for fine-tuning the correction. So it can only be recommended if you have little time and many photos with similar and easy-to-fix contrast problems.

Exsate DV Capture Live (for Windows) is a program for capturing DV video from Firewire and recompressing it to various AVI and WMV formats in realtime. It can automatically display the DV date time stamp, operate the camcorder, detect scenes and writes them to single or multiple files.



Distortion Correction Wizard
Altostorm Software released the Rectilinear Panorama plugin for Photoshop and compatible applications. It corrects lens, perspective and panorama distortions with a wizard-like approach.

DOF Pro 2
Richard Rosenman made Version 2 of his DOF Pro plugin available. The major difference to Version 1.5, which is still purchasable, is the price and a new batch processing / animation feature.

All-in-One RAW Conversion
Apple decided to enter the RAW conversion market with their new product Aperture. It lets you import, edit, catalog, organize, retouch, publish, and archive your images. From capture to output, you work directly with your RAW files, never having to first convert them into another format before viewing, adjusting, organizing, or printing them.

Commercial RAW Solution
Pixmantec finally released the commercial version of their RawShooter software. RawShooter premium 2006 includes features such as cropping and rotating, curves and levels, integrated downloader, FastProof, batch renaming, support for Canon 5D and 1D Mark II N and other new features.

Extensis Portfolio 8
Extensis announced Portfolio 8, a digital asset management system. Portfolio 8 allows instant viewing, sorting and managing of images and photos, including RAW files.

Xara Reacts To Increased Competition
Xara has shipped the latest version of its flagship Xara X, a Windows illustration software, which is now called Xara Extreme. As a reaction to the Adobe/Macromedia merger and the development of MS Expression Xara announced that the Xara Extreme source code will be made Open Source. With the help of open source developers Xara intends to release a Mac as well as a Linux version of Xara Extreme.

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