Plugin Newsletter - October/November 2016
ELEMENTSXXL 4 FOR WINDOWS: Up to 207 new features and 30 speed enhancements
ELEMENTSXXL 1 FOR MACOS X: 130 useful features for Photoshop Elements 11 to 15
LAYERSXXL 1.52 FOR WINDOWS: Support for Photoshop Elements 15, multiple monitors and ElementsXXL 4
METARAW 2.05 FOR WINDOWS: Enhanced XMP support for DNG Converter, German manual, New raw file formats
POLL RESULTS: Which vector graphics application(s) do you use?
NEW POLL: Which is your favorite application for batch processing dozens or hundreds of photos?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Grayed Out Filters, Simple Quicktile Filter
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: FFT plugin, Joofa Plugins, Vintager, Shortcut Video Editor
GRAPHICS NEWS: Photoshop Elements 15, Paintshop Pro X9, Flood 2, Alien Skin Exposure X2
Quite some time has passed since the last newsletter. The Mac release of ElementsXXL in July reduced the available development time for ElementsXXL 4 for Windows, so our time budget was tight. But ElementsXXL 4 nevertheless received another 200 new features and many speed enhancements. Even better, ElementsXXL now offers many features that are not even available in Photoshop itself, e.g. 13 additional curve channels, a Color Replace adjustment layer, 7 additional content-aware options, a saturation selection and the ability to record filter effects as color lookup files. I hope you will like ElementsXXL 4 as much as we do.
Concerning Photoshop CC I came across two interesting
articles at graphics.com about solving problems with uninstallation and
what kind of user data Adobe collects from CC users. Read here:
Removing all CC applications
CC user data collection
The Plugin Site
ELEMENTSXXL 4 FOR WINDOWS
Up to 207 new features and 30 speed enhancements
ElementsXXL 4 adds up to 625 powerful features to Photoshop Elements for Windows that were previously only available in Photoshop. It now supports Photoshop Elements 15 as well as multiple monitors.
Among the 200 new features of ElementsXXL 4 are a brush panel with up to 80 features for 22 different tools, Content-Aware Crop as well as Content-Aware options for various tools, a new Replace Color adjustment layer, a Color Lookup filter and adjustment layer as well as a highly improved Warp tool. The Curves filter received 13 new channel options and a 11-zone grid, there are new Calculations and Focus Areas features for creating selections, linked smart objects can be created and filters can be applied to the filter mask of a smart object. Additionally you can now use real 16-bit layers (in the shape of smart objects) with the help of the Render commands. ElementsXXL 4 offers even more new features, speed enhancements for up to 30 features and more than 30 other changes as well as bug fixes.
Unfortunately the Mixer Brush, Ruler and Slice tools cannot be used in Photoshop Elements 15, because Adobe removed an internal feature that allowed their activation. The slice and ruler tools will be reimplemented in a future update (There are already new menu items to compensate for the missing slice tools). But to still use the mixer brush tool you should keep Photoshop Elements 11, 12, 13 or 14 installed on your computer.
For more information and a 14-day trial versions visit
ElementsXXL Product Page
ELEMENTSXXL 1 FOR MACOS X
130 useful features for Photoshop Elements 11 to 15
ElementsXXL was finally released for the Mac back in July 2016. In the meantime version 1.02 is on the market and supports Photoshop Elements 11 to 15 under MacOS X 10.6 and higher. ElementsXXL for MacOS X adds up to 130 useful features to Photoshop Elements known from Photoshop.
The most prominent features are 10 new filters and 7 new adjustment layers, e.g. Curves, Exposure, Vibrance, Color Balance, Channel Mixer, Black & White and Selective Color. There are also Auto-Align/Auto-Blend Layers features, a Soft Proof option, new text layer features, a Fill Opacity option, Fade and Trim commands, conversion to 16-bit, a Quick Mask Mode and an Apply Image feature. Moreover, ElementsXXL lets you create smart objects, apply smart filters, edit channels individually, apply vector masks and a lot more.
For more information and a 14-day trial versions visit
ElementsXXL Mac Product Page
LAYERSXXL 1.52 FOR WINDOWS
Support for Photoshop Elements 15, multiple monitors and ElementsXXL 4
Version 1.52 of LayersXXL offers support for Photoshop Elements 15, multiple monitors and ElementsXXL 4. Additionally the Layer > Layer Style > Create Layer menu item was enhanced and some bugs were fixed.
LayersXXL adds up to 180 powerful features to Photoshop Elements for performing image processing tasks with multiple image files, using layer compositions, applying new layer effects as well as adjusting blending and layer effect options.
For more information and a 14-day trial versions visit
LayersXXL Product Page
METARAW 2.05 FOR WINDOWS
Enhanced XMP support for DNG Converter, German manual, New raw file formats
MetaRaw 2.05 does finally offers a German manual as well as XMP support when opening multiple raw files via Adobe DNG Converter. 43 new cameras are now officially supported by MetaRaw Converter.
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 as a filter 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 some advantages over Adobe Camera Raw.
For more information and a 14-day trial version visit
MetaRaw Product Page
Which vector graphics application(s) do you use?
180 people voted about their favorite vector graphics application and casted 295 votes. Here are the results:
1. CorelDRAW! 30%
2. Xara Designer Pro 25%
3. Adobe Illustrator 22%
4. Inkscape 20%
5. Other 13%
6. Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 12%
7. Serif DrawPlus 8%
8. Corel Designer 5.5%
9. Sketch 5%
10. Microsoft Visio 4%
Real-Draw Pro 4%
11. Affinity Designer 3%
LibreOffice Draw 3%
12. Macromedia FreeHand 1.66%
13. Microsoft Expression Design 1.1%
ACD Canvas 1.1%
14. Creative Docs .NET 0.5%
Serif DrawPlus SE 0.5%
CorelDRAW! is the number 1, but if you combine the votes for the commercial and free applications Xara clearly surpasses it, even if you throw the Core Designer votes in the ring. Adobe Illustrator receives a bronze medal only. The open source tool Inkscape is the fourth competitor. In the 15 years since a similar poll was conducted on The Plugin Site CorelDRAW! stayed the same, Illustrator went down by 5% and Xara went up by 18%. The voters cast two votes in average, so we can assume that most use at least two vector graphics tools.
For more poll results visit the
Which is your favorite application for batch processing dozens or hundreds of photos?
In the latest poll we are asking about the task of batch processing and editing dozens or hundreds of photos. You can vote for the application that you like best for performing this task. You can choose between standard image editors, raw converters and image organizing tools as well as an Other option. Also feel free to leave a comment about your choice.
Please participate in this poll by visiting the
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
Grayed Out Filters
craftydink wrote: "I'm tearing my hair out. Have
installed a few plugins (Simple, Macurl and MuRa's copies) using the file
location method in PSPX on my laptop. When I go into effects, plugins,
the plugin folders are there but all the plugins are greyed out and I
can't use them. Can anyone help?"
Simple Quicktile Filter
Mara Kincade wrote: "I have Win 10 on my computer
now. (Upgraded from Win 7) I can't get my Simple quick tile filter to
work. I have used FM Patcher, but it still crashes my program. (Corel
Paint Shop Pro X8) Can anyone give me a suggestion please?"
Feel free to post comments or start a discussion topic
The Plugin Site Forum
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
FFT plugin, Joofa Plugins, Vintager, Shortcut Video Editor
A 64-bit version of the FFT Photoshop plugin
(for Windows) by Alex Chirikov was made available by Cadencia. It allows
you to use the Fourier Frequency Separation on images. Firstly the image
is transformed into the Fourier domain, where it can be edited by painting
over some areas, then converted back to a normal image.
Joofa offers four plugins
(for MacOS X) called FFT/IFFT, Raw Import and Image Detail Measure. The
FFT/IFFT plugins allow Fourier transformations similar to the above mentioned
Windows plugin. There is also a video tutorial about it. The Raw Import
plugin lets you open unsupported camera raw files as unprocessed grayscale
images, but there is also a demosaicing option. Finally, the Image Detail
Measure plugin returns a number from 0 to 1 indicating the sharpness or
level of detail in the image.
Vintager is a freeware tool (for Windows)
that applies retro and vintage effects to one or more photos. It lets
you apply color, frame and texture effects, edit brightness/contrast,
hue and saturation as well as rotate and crop images. There is also collage
feature, where you have to drag and drop other images into a template.
Nice is also the random icon at the mid bottom of the dialog. Downsides
are the non-resizable window and the minimalistic saving options, which
only allow saving all opened images together as JPEGs and at a maximum
image size of 2048 pixels. For larger image sizes you have to register
for at least $5.
Shortcut is an open source video
editor (for Windows, Mac and Linux), which offers a wide format
support including 4K as well as external monitoring. It includes many
audio and video filters as well as native timeline editing. Unlike many
other free video editors that we tested it was able to process our special
video files without crashing.
For more free plugins and tools, please visit the
Photoshop Elements 15, Paintshop Pro X9, Flood 2, Alien Skin Exposure X2
The 15th release of Adobe Photoshop Elements
happened at the beginning of October. It offers many new guided edits
for less savvy users, new one-click effects in Quick mode, a reworked
Filter panel, smart tags and the ability to edit multiple images at the
same time in Organizer. But the more interesting features are a new Adjust
Facial Features filter, the ability to use layer groups and colorize layers
in the Layers panel as well as a Perspective Crop tool. Layer groups as
well as a Perspective Crop tool were already available from the ElementsXXL
plugin, but the option to expand layer groups in the Layers panel makes
them more comfortable to use in Photoshop Elements 15.
The specifications of Photoshop Elements 15 have been ramped up above those of Photoshop CC 2015.5. As a result there is no 32-bit version of Photoshop Elements 15 available for Windows. This seems a bit extreme as the latest Photoshop version still includes a 32-bit version. So if you still use a 32-bit version of Windows 7, 8 or 10, you cannot run Photoshop Elements 15. The minimum supported MacOS X release is 10.10.
The Adjust Facial Features filter and the expandable layer groups are the biggest plus of Photoshop Elements 15 and justify upgrading to the new version. If you are additionally a user of ElementsXXL, the missing mixer brush tool is nevertheless a downside.
Corel already released Paintshop Pro X9
in August. It offers new project templates and text presets, a Smart Capture
screenshot mode, a gradient fill tool, an improved text tool, real-time
update for 10 filter effects, improved graphics tablet support, a new
Batch Smart Photo Fix option, enhanced scripting, an Export History feature
as well as XDM and Intel RealSense support.
Flaming Pear released version 2 of its Flood
plugin (for Win/Mac), which promises improved 3D realism of the
water surfaces that it adds to images. The original Flood effect from
version 1 can still be produced too.
With versions X and now X2 of Exposure
the retro effects plugin of Alienskin has evolved into a Lightroom clone.
It misses a few options of Lightroom's Develop module, but adds many more
color and b&w effects and presets. Unlike Lightroom you do not need
to import photos into a catalog in order to edit them. The X2 release
adds Lens distortion correction, PSD file support, a spot healing tool
and several new image organization features.