Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - October 2006





POLL RESULTS: Which application do you mostly use for correcting and enhancing your photos?

NEW POLL: Which version(s) of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro are you using at the moment?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Photo Restoration, World with Faces Effect, Geotiff Plugin, Illustrator Swatches in Photoshop, SuperBladePro Problems, Ink Mixer Plugin

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: 8bf Plugins, FirTree for AE, ShiftN, NDNoise / AbsoluteDeNoiser, Autostitch, Photo to Sketch

GRAPHICS NEWS: LensDoc 3, Better JPEG, Camera RAW 3.5, Lightroom Beta 4, Photoshop Elements 5, Corel Acquires InterVideo, PhotoImpact 12, Corel PSP XI, Mask Pro 4






Our latest B/W Styler product is finally released. With 20 months of development it took longer than any of our other products. We also packed more features into it than in any other of our previous products. Although there are many other B/W tools already available, we think that we managed to make it stand out from the crowd. It offers more features and precise control than any other B/W plugin and that at a reasonable price. I hope you will like it. For more information see below.

There have been a lot of new and exciting product releases this month as you can see from the Graphics News section below. One of them is that Corel now got control over Ulead and its graphics applications. Whereas there has been a great variety of graphics software companies in recent years, now it almost comes down to only two: Corel and Adobe. Both companies have been acquiring other companies and in the process a lot of nice applications have been buried.

This process has its good as well as bad sides. On the one hand more people use the same software, but on the other hand there is less variety to choose from. Additionally smaller companies are usually more innovative than big ones, so hopefully such companies will get their chance to develop their full potential before they are bought up by either Adobe or Corel. Otherwise we, the users, may lose more than we win.

Kindest regards,
Harald Heim



Finally we have released our latest B/W Styler product. B/W Styler is a Photoshop plugin for B/W conversion, creating traditional B/W effects and styling B/W photos. B/W Styler works in dozens of graphics applications including Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro, Photoshop Elements, Photo-Paint, IrfanView and PhotoImpact under Windows. It supports 8bit and 16bit RGB images.

B/W Styler simulates the whole workflow of B/W photography from shooting a photo to processing it in the lab and framing the end result. It recreates the look of films, lens filters, lab effects and photo papers that are popular in traditional B/W photography, but even goes beyond that. Starting with a color photo B/W Styler lets you produce stunning B/W images that are not possible with B/W film. B/W Styler uses the whole contrast range of color photos to achieve dramatic B/W images. B/W Styler transforms dull color photos into interesting B/W pictures. Additionally you can enrich the B/W images by colorizing them, manipulating brightness and contrast, masking certain image areas, adding soft focus and glow effects, simulating film grain, adding special effects and framing the image.

For more information, image examples and downloading a demo version please go to



POLL RESULTS: Which application do you mostly use for correcting and enhancing your photos?
More than 800 people voted in the recent poll about their favorite photo editing application. Here are the results:

1. Photoshop 46%
2. Paint Shop Pro 21%
3. Photoshop Elements 9%

4. Serif PhotoPlus 5%
5. Corel Photo-Paint 4%
6. Other 4%
7. IrfanView 3%
8. PhotoImpact 2%
9. PhotoFiltre 2%

10. Picassa 1%
11. GIMP 1%
12. FastStone Image Viewer 0%
13. XnView 0%
13. Mediachance PhotoBrush 0%
15. MGI Photo Suite 0%
16. Fireworks 0%
16. Corel Painter 0%
16. PhotoExpress 0%

Two thirds of all people use Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, but almost half of all people prefer Photoshop. Serif PhotoPlus is used by a surprising 5% of all people whereas Photoshop Elements is used by almost 10%. Photo-Paint, IrfanView, PhotoImpact and PhotoFiltre are worth mentioning, but don't play a big role.

Please note that this poll is very specific. It is conducted among people who are interested in Photoshop-compatible plugins and photo enhancement. The results may be somewhat different under different conditions.

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



NEW POLL: Which version(s) of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro are you using at the moment?
The new poll is more or less a continuation of the previous poll. This time you are asked to tell us which version(s) of Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and Paint Shop Pro you are using. You can vote for more than one item in case you are using more than one version of an application or use two or all three of these applications.

Please cast your vote at the bottom of



THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Photo Restoration, World with Faces Effect, Geotiff Plugin, Illustrator Swatches in Photoshop, SuperBladePro Problems, Ink Mixer Plugin
Here are some of the latest messages from The Plugin Site Discussion Forums:

Photo Restoration
Robsmom wrote: "I am collecting very old photos of my family, taken before 1940 and as far back as 1880's. I am using PSP for corrections. Is there something better? Some have a lot of scratches, tears and severe fading as well as stains. Some I can repair ok but some end up worse than what I startd with!"

World with Faces Effect
bbto wrote: "Hi, i'm looking for a plugin that i don't know the name. I'll try to discribe it: i remember in same time around late 90's a poster or a mag cover representing a world globe builded with many faces... that's the plugin i'm looking for, a plugin that create a hlaftone image with lot's of diferent faces."

Geotiff Plugin
lolarennt wrote: "I am looking for a specific plugin ... that keeps Geotiff information embedded in the tiff. ... I know of a program called Geographic Imager, but that is way too expensive... Anybody aware of another plugin that would do this?"

Illustrator Swatches in Photoshop
rachnasingh wrote: "I have downloaded few zipped files which have pantone colours as illustrator swatches . How can I upload this in photoshop cs as swatches"

SuperBladePro Problems
pewterpoppy wrote: "Hi,have 'lost' my favorite plugin ... the problem is superBlade not running at all,it was installed and worked perfectly at first,then I installed a new program(Photo-Brush)which I allowed to search for plugins,When I tried to run SuperBlade within the new program I got a Visual Runtime error message and Photo_brush shut down.... When I then tried to run SuperBlade in PaintShopPro nothing happened apart from error messages ..."

Ink Mixer Plugin
marizmendi wrote: "... any body knows another plugin similar to [Esko Ink Tools]. This is a wonderfull prepress tool but it's too expensive for me. What i need is to replace for example the ink magenta for a Pantone 485, without making tedius and time consuming manual adjustments, Esko plugins do this automated and perfect..! but, as I said before, I can't buy it.. Some help appreciated... thanks"

For more interesting discussions please visit



FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: 8bf Plugins, FirTree for AE, ShiftN, NDNoise / AbsoluteDeNoiser, Autostitch, Photo to Sketch
The 8bf plugin collection (for Windows) has been updated again with a few new plugins: The old Foto Fix plugin seems to be replaced by the Multi-Filter plugin, which offers various image correction sliders. The Color Blur plugin blurs the colors of the image while keeping the luminosity channel untouched, the Smooth Operator plugin creates an ink and watercolor effect and the Blot and Smudge plugin produces washed out strokes.

FirTree from AlphaPlugins is plugin for After Effects (for Windows). It creates animated fir tree branches for decorating your Christmas and New Year videos.

ShiftN 2.2 is a freeware tool (for Windows) from Marcus Hebel for correcting perspective distortions. What makes it special is that it can perform perspective corrections automatically by detecting the direction of certain lines in the images. You can also manually adjust the correction with a Shift, Rotation and Distortion slider. The Distortion slider lets you correct barrel and pincushion lens distortions. Unfortunately there is no live preview for the manual adjustment, but ShiftN offers a batch processing option. It only supports JPG and BMP files.

NDNoise is a Java-based freeware (for Win/Mac/Linux) that removes noise in digital images. It offers three sliders for noise removal, smoothing and retexturing. Another noise reduction tool called AbsoluteDeNoiser (for Win/Mac/Linux) is from the same programmer and works quite similarly.

Autostitch (for Windows) is an image stitcher that fully automatically creates a panorama image from photos taken of the same scene. It is free currently, but it expires, so you always need to redownload the latest version from time to time.

Photo to Sketch 3.5 Standard is a simple tool for automatically converting photos into sketches and manually painting with two brush types. Photo to Sketch supports BMP, JPG and WMF files. There is a commercial version of the program, too.



GRAPHICS NEWS: LensDoc 3, Better JPEG, Camera RAW 3.5, Lightroom Beta 4, Photoshop Elements 5, Corel Acquires Ulead, PhotoImpact 12, Corel PSP XI, Mask Pro 4

Version 3 of Andromeda LensDoc corrects barrel and pincushion lens distortions in 8bit and 16bit images. LensDoc 3 offers curves for many zoom and wide angle lenses, but you can also create your own lens correction curves.

The Better JPEG Lossless Resave plugin avoids recompression loss when editing and resaving JPEG images in Photoshop. The plugin does not recompress JPEG blocks that don't have to be changed.

The Adobe Camera RAW 3.5 update for Photoshop CS2 and Elements 3 - 5 (for Win/Mac) now supports the Kodak EasyShare P712, Nikon D2Xs, Panasonic DMC-FZ50 and DMC-L1 and Sony A100 cameras.

Beta 4 of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (for Win/Mac) offers improved workflow tools, a white balance selection option, a new tone curve adjustment feature, a reworked user interface with customizable controls and several other improvements.

Version 5 of Adobe Photoshop Elements (for Windows) includes new flexible layout options, new photo animation features,
built-in photo services, enhanced support for raw files, flipbook functions, online photo backup features and more. There are also new features for color adjustments, lens distortion correction, sharpening blurred edges and many more.

Corel acquired InterVideo, who acquired a majority interest in Ulead last year. Corel now has access to software like WinDVD, WinDVD Creator, Ulead Photo Impact, Ulead VideoStudio and Ulead DVD Movie Factory.

Ulead announced PhotoImpact 12 (for Windows), which features an ExpressFix mode for adjusting color, exposure and focus with one-click presets and a SmartGuide panel. There is also a new white-balance tool, an enhanced Reduce Noise feature and raw file support for more camera models.

Version XI of Paint Shop Pro (for Windows) has just been released. Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI offers a fully-integrated photo organizer, a new Color Changer tool, enhanced crop, level and curve tools as well as new Time Machine, Depth of Field and Skin Smoothing, Film and Filter effects.

onOne Software announced that Version 4 of the Mask Pro image masking plugin (for Mac/Win) will be available in October 2006. The new version offers built-in training videos that demonstrate each tool. There is also a new Keep/Drop detail view, support for Wacom tablets and a multiple view display for masking. A free update with support for 16-bit images is promised after the October release.

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