Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - November/December 2012




: The color effects plugin is now available for MacOS X

FILTERHUB 1.01: Support for Photoshop Elements and Photoshop 7-CS3 under Windows

THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Pages about Free and Commercial Photoshop Panels, New Plugin Essentials Chapter

POLL RESULT: What kind of Photoshop extensions would you like to see from The Plugin Site?

NEW POLLS: Which versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements do you use under Windows and MacOS?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: B&W to Color, Plugin Crashes On New Computer, Opening PSP Files with Bridge

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Fine Touch, Photoshop CS6 Optional Plugins, ShiftN, SmartDeblur, GIMP for Mac, Carapace

GRAPHICS NEWS: German Plugin Magazine & Retouching eBook, LaunchBox 2, Corel PSP X5, Photoshop Performance Advice, CS7 Speculations






Dear Reader,

Our FilterHub extension panel has been complemented with an automation plugin for Windows, which works almost identically to the extension and also supports Photoshop Elements and Photoshop 7 to CS3. Adobe claims that such a thing is not possible in a FAQ, but we managed it anyway. As far as I know, FilterHub is the only available flash panel that supports other applications besides Photoshop CS4 to CS6.

The technology behind FilterHub 1.01 would also allow running Photoshop extensions in Photoshop Elements 6-11 and Photoshop CS1-CS3. Maybe we will make such a feature available in a future product. In the meantime as promised in the last newsletter we added two new pages to The Plugin Site that list almost all available Photoshop extensions. Additionally information about actions, scripts and extensions and automation plugins added were the Plugin Essentials article. See below.

Also do not miss checking out the Mac version of our ColorStyler plugin...

Kind regards,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site





The color effects plugin is now available for MacOS X


The MacOS X version of our ColorStyler plugin is now available. ColorStyler provides impressive photo effects, recreates traditional film effects and allows you to enhance and stylize your photos. It features more than 20 effect types, 600 presets and plenty of masking options, including a masking brush for affecting specific image areas only.

ColorStyler reproduces the whole workflow of color film photography from shooting a photo to processing it in the lab and framing the end result. It recreates the look of color films, lens filters, lab effects and photo papers that are popular in traditional color photography, but it goes even further. With the help of more than 600 built-in presets you can transform dull photos into interesting color pictures. ColorStyler enables you to enrich images by colorizing them, manipulate brightness, contrast, color and saturation, mask certain image areas, add soft focus and glow effects, simulate film grain, add special effects, frame the image and more.

For more information and downloading a free demo version visit
ColorStyler product pages

Have a look at a video tutorial of ColorStyler on the
ColorStyler video page



Support for Photoshop Elements and Photoshop 7-CS3 under Windows

The FilterHub automation plugin in Elements 11   The FilterHub extension in Photoshop CS6

Apart from various smaller improvements for both the Win and Mac version of FilterHub, we added a FilterHub automation plugin for Windows. As a result FilterHub now also runs in Photoshop 7-CS3 and Photoshop Elements 2-11 under Windows. The Mac version still only works in Photoshop CS4-CS6 at the moment. FilterHub 1.01 makes up to six new filters (e.g. Curves, Channel Mixer and Black & White) available in Photoshop Elements that are not accessible otherwise.

FilterHub is a powerful replacement for the Filter menu of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements and offers numerous advantages over it. It supports built-in filters (from the Filter, Adjustments and Enhance menus), filter plugins and third-party automation plugins. The FilterHub 1.01 panel now runs in Photoshop under Windows and MacOS X as well as in Photoshop Elements under Windows.

Registered users will receive an email with the update within the next one or two days.

For a full feature list, screenshots and a web demo see the
FilterHub product pages



Pages about Free and Commercial Photoshop Panels

New pages with links to free and commercial extensions were added to the Resources section of The Plugin Site. All available Photoshop extension panels should be mentioned there now. If you know one that is missing, please let us know.

Free Panels Page
Commercial Panels Page

New Plugin Essentials Chapter

In the "Plugin Essentials" article there is a new chapter 1b called "Other Types of Photoshop Add-ons" about actions, scripts and extensions. In chapter 14 "Running Plugins" FilterHub is mentioned and it is explained how to run automation plugins and extensions.
Plugin Essentials page




What kind of Photoshop extensions would you like to see from The Plugin Site?

434 votes were collected in the poll about Photoshop extensions that you would like to see from us. Here are the results:

1. Masking panel: Various masking options 10.37%
2. Actions panel: Improved Actions panel 9.22%
3. Frame panel: Apply frames and edges to the image 7.83%

4. Collage panel: Place multiple images in one image according to certain patterns 6.9%
5. Layer Edit: Edit, manipulate and position multiple layers 6.68%
Texture panel: Applies textures to image 6.68%
External Editor panel: Process images with other programs from within Photoshop 6.68%
Font panel: Applying, previewing, adding and removing fonts. 6.68%
Watermark panel: Add watermarks to your images 6.68%
6. Batch panel: Improved Batch Processing 6.22%
7. Print panel: Print multiple images on one page etc. 5.99%

8. Image panel: Switch between opened images as well as close and save them in one step 4.84%
9. Other 4.38%
10. Image Browsing panel: Displays thumbnails of images in certain folders and opens them 4.1%
11. ImageInfo panel: Displays size/depth, color profile etc. plus EXIF/Metadata of an opened image file 3.69%
12. Histogram panel: More histogram types, more options 3%

Masking still seems to be something that means a lot of work, so effective tools of high demand. If we do a masking tool in future, it will definitively include a filter plugin that does the masking work. But it could be a combination of an extension/automation plugin with a filter plugin. Actually the Action panel in Photoshop is quite feature-loaded, so it is hard to come up with new features for it. But we will keep it in mind. Creating a framing panel is certainly a nice idea, especially as an addition to our Edge & Frame Galaxy collection.

For more poll results please visit the
Resources section



Which versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements do you use under Windows and MacOS?

As we produced a Photoshop/Elements specific product lately, namely FilterHub, it is time to get some hint about which versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements are still used by the majority of users. Actually there are two polls - One about Windows and one about MacOS - so that the results can be better differentiated. The last poll of this topic is three years ago, so its figures are not up-to-date anymore.

Click here to vote...




B&W to Color, Plugin Crashes On New Computer, Opening PSP Files with Bridge

Here are some of the latest posts on the forums:

B&W to Color
fandeboris wrote: "I am looking for a plugin that changes a black and white image to color based on the different shades of grey in the original image. I think it was originally used by astronomers to get small details from their photographs."

Plugin Crashes On New Computer
Donw wrote: "I have a free plug-in that was created with FilterFactory. It worked untill I had to reload all of my software onto a newer computer. ... Now some of my other 8bf files also no longer work. ... These files cause Photoshop to lock up and I have to reload it."


Opening PSP Files with Bridge
Someone wrote:
"Can anyone pretty please help me and tell me if there is anything I can do to get Adobe Bridge CS6 to open Paint Shop Pro .psp format files?"

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



Fine Touch, Photoshop CS6 Optional Plugins, ShiftN, SmartDeblur, GIMP for Mac, Carapace

Redfield Plugins offers the free Fine Touch plugin (for Windows), which produces a similar effect like Topaz Simplify and the now-unavailable Buzz Simplifier plugin. It lets you reduce the image details in order to make the image look like a painting. Fine Touch only offers a Radius control, but works surprisingly well.
Visit website...

Some plugins not installed with Photoshop anymore are still provided as a download by Adobe. This optional plugins package for Photoshop CS6 includes the Alias, ElectricImage, SGIRGB, Softimage, Wavefront RLA format plugins as well as the HSBHSL and Lighting Effects Classic filters. Additionally you can download the Twain, Matlab and ScriptingListener there.
Visit website...

ShiftN is a freeware tool (for Windows) that automatically corrects converging lines in photos, which occur when you tilt the camera upwards to capture a whole building. ShiftN basically detects vertical lines in a photo and makes them run parallel to each other. Apart from the automatic mode it also allows fine-tuning the correction settings.
Visit website...

SmartDeblur is a standalone program (for Windows) that tries to restore blurred and defocused images. Full quality deblurring can take several minutes for one image. It can result in wave patterns or other artifacts in the deblurred image, but that may also be used for special effects.
Visit website...

GIMP 2.8 for MacOS X (10.4.11 and higher) now runs natively under MacOS X. GIMP is an free image editing application that is also available for Windows and Linux. It supports layer and other advanced features including Photoshop plugins, although it has problems with various Photoshop plugins.
Visit website...
For the Windows version of GIMP see

Carapace is a free tool (for Windows) for placing up to nine vanishing points in order to produce a perspective grid. This perspective grid can be exported to Photoshop, so that you know where to place other elements while staying perspectively correct. Unfortunately Carapace is not that easy to use as it is controlled by keyboard shortcuts only. Press F1 to see its key commands.
Visit website...

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




German Plugin Magazine & Retouching eBook, LaunchBox 2, Corel PSP X5, Photoshop Performance Advice, CS7 Speculations

Kay M. Kuhnlein who, wrote several plugin reviews for The Plugin Site, now published his reviews in German language in issue 1 of his "Plug-Ins und Pixels" magazine. It includes the original unedited versions of the reviews. He also published a German ebook called "The Dream of Beauty with Photoshop", in which he explains Photoshop techniques for retouching portraits and turning photos into glamour shots in 39 chapters.
Visit website...

AlphaPlugins LaunchBox 2 (for Win/Mac) was released. It lets you run Photoshop plugins from different editors like Lightroom, Aperture and iPhoto as well as run 32-bit Photoshop plugins in 64-bit-only applications like Photoshop CS6 and Corel Painter/Photo-Paint 64-bit. Version 2 now supports selections, grayscale mode and Andromeda plugins. Additionally LaunchPad 2 works quicker and more stable.
Visit website...

Corel released PaintShop Pro X5 (for Windows). It offers a new Instant Effects palette with presets and styles, a Retro Lab with old-school color/contrast effects and a Graduated Filter effect. The HDR tools, layer styles, the paint brush and the Corel Guide received enhancements. HDR from a single RAW photo is now also possible. As usual there is also an Ultimate edition, which bundles Nik Color Efex 3 and Face Filter 2.
Visit website...

Adobe released guides on how to tune Photoshop CS5/CS6 for peak performance. You can access them here:
For Photoshop CS5...
For Photoshop CS6... speculates about Adobe's release cycle, especially about "When Will Adobe CS7 – and CS6.5 – Be Released?" and what features may become available in future releases.
Visit website...



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