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Photobie Design Studio 1.8 improves the filter support

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:08 pm
by photobie
Hi, guys

I'd like to let you know that I just published the Photobie Design Studio 1.8 which has great improvement for support Photoshop filter plugins. Most commercial/free plugins works fine in Photobie Design Studio 1.8.

I think you might be interested in this update since Photobie Design Studio is also a freeware. You can download it at and try out your plugin sets.

Best wishes,

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:10 pm
by HaraldHeim
Hi Cheng,

Thanks for letting us know about your tool. It is great to see another freeware tool that supports Photoshop plugins!

However, I found two problems with it:
1. Several tool bars are dark grey without any controls. I can send you a screenshot if you like.
2. Plugins that were copied to the Plugin sub folder of the Photobie folder are not immediately displayed on the Filter menu after restarting Photobie. You need to use the 8bf Manager to add them. It would be nice if all .8bf plugins from the Plugin sub folder would be automatically displayed on the Filter menu without having to add new ones.

I see you already included many FilterFactory plugins with Photobie. I hope you got permission from the authors of these plugins, otherwise you may get some problems. If you want you can include our Harrys Filters 3 plugin and out PhotoFreebie plugins with Photobie, please do so.

I will mention Photobie in the next Plugin newsletter and also add a link to it on the "Free Photoshop-Compatible Tools" page on The Plugin Site.

I also added support for Photobie to our Plugin Installer tool that is delivered with our plugins. So the installations of our plugins will support Photobie with their next update.


Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:30 pm
by HaraldHeim
Our ColorWasher and FocalBlade plugins crash Photobie. I suspect because they process images tile by tile. Seems Photobie has a problem with that. Our ContrastMaster plugin that processes the whole image (and not tile by tile) works fine in Photobie.

So if you want to improve the plugin host in Photobie even more, you should try to make ColorWasher and FocalBlade work.

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:39 pm
by photobie
Hi, Harry,

Great to have you try out the Photobie Design Studio!

I'd love to get the screenshots about the problem grey toolbars.
Keep in mind that the right top toolbars are reserved for specific painting tools. if you open any image and then click some of those paint tools those toolbars will be filled. I know it is not traditional way, but I figured it is best ways to leverage the right portion of horizontal bar and the top portion of the right vertical toolbar.

I suggest to use the embedded 8bf plugin manager, which will help you manage the .8bf plugin better. The idea is that
1. you can have your plugins resides in any folder (for example in photoshop's plugin folder). Photobie will automatically bring them into photobie's plugin/cache. If the cache is messed up, Photobie can always get those filters back into cache.

2. With the plugin manager you can chose whether to load some filters during the Photobie startup. During the photobie startup, it will check the filter management configure file to load the necessary filters. If the cache and the filter management configure file are consistent, then there is no overload during the startup.

3. filter plugin manager allows you to categorize the filters so you can efficiently organize thousands filters.

Regarding some FilterFactory plugins included in Photobie, I tried to contact the publishers or authors, and seems to me nobody is maintaining them. Those filters are distributes in hundreds download sites. Also I didn't see any distribution limitation in their original readme/license file. Anyway, I'd love to get in touch with those original authors. Photobie Design Studio is free, and I am not publishing it for commercial purpose.

It would be great to put some of your Harry Filter 3 plugin there. I will develop a dedicated page for your plugins and drive photobie users to your site to get the full package of your filters.


Could you please send me ColorWasher and FocalBlade plugins? I'd like to figure out why Photobie failed. Photobie is able to process the image tile by tile (A lot of filters I have tested successfully are doing tile by tile)

BTW, If there are some dependent files the two filters need to use, they should be copied into the Plugin/Cache folder manually :oops:

Thank you very much for your help and suggestions.

Photobie Design

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:03 pm
by photobie
Hi, Harry,

A quick update:

I tried the ColorWasher demo version, it works for the first time, and have problem for second run. And the FocalBlade Plugin prompt the Memory access error (which I suspect is in the preview i.e display_pixels callback). I will work on it later to figure out the fix.
Regarding the LightMachine, it works and fails in various settings, I will figure this out also.

Again, make sure you copy the subfolder of ColorWasher or FocalBlade into the Plugin/Cache directory.

Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:29 pm
by HaraldHeim
I know that it is a good idea to have a plugin manager included in Photobie, but all applications that support Photoshop plugins automatically display plugins that are located in their plugin folder. You could allow the user to deactivate a plugin in the plugin manager, but as long as the user does not do that, a plugin should automatically be displayed if it is located in the Plugin sub folder. This would make it less work for the user to install plugins.

I just sent you a screenshot of Photobie. The problem is that the background of some toolbars is not light grey but dark grey, which looks a bit ugly. Maybe it has to do with my system colors, but I suspect that you do not set this color correctly in Photobie.

I guess it is not easy to contact some of the FF authors as they created them years ago and most of their email address have changed.

Thanks for checking out my plugins. They were created with FilterMeister, so if you make them work, a lot of other plugins should work also. Harry's Filters 3 works, but B/W Styler hangs after pressing OK. I also tried the Luce plugin that is delivered with Photobie and Photobie only displays an error message.

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:50 am
by photobie
I agree I may need a specific feature for filter plugin installer to dump the .8bf and related files to certain folder and pick them up automatically.

Hmm, how about setup a folder called Plugin/Auto, when user put the .8bf files under this folder or subfolder, Photobie will pick them up automatically. :D

Regarding the Luce, I have tested many many times and it works great. I wonder whether you get failure message after you get B/W styler hang.


Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:50 am
by HaraldHeim
Yes, such a Plugin/Auto folder folder would do it.

Even after restarting Photobie I still get the error message for Luce. Strangely it is in German language (my XP SP3 installation is German). Here is a translation of the error message:

System.AccessViolationException: There was an attempt to read or write in protected memory. This usually means that another memory is damaged.
at Photobie.Kernel32.InvokeFunc(IntPtr funcPtr, Int16, selector, IntPtr filterRecord, Int32& data, Int16& result)
at Photobie.Plugin.Photoshop.Parser_8bf.PS_apply(PSPlugInEntry)
at Photobie.PhotobieMain.PSPlugInEntryMI_Click(Object sender, EventArgs e)

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:03 pm
by photobie
Ok, I fixed the plugin host to get ColorWasher, LightMachine working.
Due to some issues with filter preview, when FocalBlade get loaded, there is an error message "Memory Access Violation!" However, if you ignore that and set the preview Zoom to "Fit", everything works just fine.

I'd really appreciate if you can help me get the preview work correctly. :D

Regarding the Luce, I still couldn't reproduce the error. I suspect it could be something related to language pack. Anyway, I will find it out later. :D

In addition, I just added the new feature to load every .8bf in folder "Plugin/auto/" or its subfolder automatically without using the plugin manager. For filter plugin installer, it can simple dump the .8bf and subfolders into the plugin/auto folder.

I have put the above enhancement in Photobie Design Studio 1.8.1 version, and here is the download link. ... S1_8_1.exe

Let me know if you have any question or suggestions :roll:


Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:59 pm
by HaraldHeim
Thanks for the auto folder!

ColorWasher works now, but when I set it to 100% zoom, Photobies crashes. With my other plugins there are also problems with larger zoom values: sometimes the effect is not displayed and at other times I can scroll past the right border of the image. Let me know what you need to fix these problems. Better send me a private email.

FocalBlade is meant to be used at 100% zoom, because the sharpening effect can only be viewed correctly at 100%.

Posted: Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:29 pm
by photobie
Thanks a lot for the feedback.

I am looking into the preview issues, and I will contact you very soon.

Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:38 am
by photobie
Ok, I fixed the preview issues. Now all Harry's filters work nicely. I have put up the latest release "Photobie Design Studio 1.8.2" at following download link ... S1_8_2.exe

To test your filters, simply drop your filter files/folders under Plugin/auto folder of the Photobie installation directory.

There is only one minor issue with the preview, that is for some filters, if you zoom the preview to 100% or 50%, you may drag the image over the right most edge, which shouldn't be allowed. Anyway, it doesn't affect anything, the preview still works fine when you drag within the image bound. :oops:

Let me know if you have question or suggestion, thanks,

--Cheng :D