Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - August 2002





PLUGINS UNPLUGGED: Where Have All the Plugins Gone?
NEW POLL: Which is your favorite online school?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Aqua Buttons, Plugins make it too easy, Knit Design




Dear Reader,

this issue is a week sooner as usual as I want to go on vacation soon. Nevertheless it is packed with features and news. I have managed to do a larger update of the Resources and Know-How section of The Plugin Site and there will be even more new stuff in the upcoming months. I'm also a bit proud of the first article I wrote which is published the column I have started at I hope you will like it.

The Discussion Forum on The Plugin Site finally seems to begin to thrive. More and more people have obviously become aware of it and some interesting topics are already posted there. If you have some problems and need help, it is certainly a good place to post to.

Stay creative and have a great summer time!
Harald Heim

Three tutorials have been created for HyperTyle, our latest Texture FX plugin. They are called "Eroded Text", "Creating Seamless Textures" and "Painted Photo" showing you how to create these effects with HyperTyle. Additionally the demonstrated effects are also available as 15 preset files, so they can be reproduced with just two mouse clicks.

In addition to the Plugin Galaxy / HyperTyle Bundle we now also offer a CD bundle of Plugin Commander Pro and HyperTyle. By ordering both products you can save $20 compared with the individual prices, which is a 17% discount.

For more information visit the HyperTyle page at

The Free Tools and Free Plugins pages of the Resource section of The Plugin Site have been updated and restructured by using different categories to make it easier to find the needed software. Several new pages about commercial plugins and other effects have also been added to the Resources section. If you have some other link that can be added, please let us know.

The Know-How section of The Plugin Site has been updated, too. In addition to the update of the Polls 2002 page, some new pages have been added. The new pages contain links to sites with Plugin Tutorials, Paint Shop Pro Tutorials, Graphics Newsletters and Online Classes. If you think your site fits one of these pages, please email us.

The Galaxy Contest 2002 has been running for 50 days now. More than 800 images and animations have been submitted so far. That's already more than twice as much as for the Galaxy Contest 2000!

Some problems seem to persist: Some people upload too large images, use copyright material without permission or submit more than one image per category. So I can only recommend to each participant to read the contest rules closely. If you find any images that violate the contest rules, we appreciate notifying us. Additionally there are still a few images in the Contest Gallery without an author name and email address. Please add your name to your creation if you haven't already done it, because at the end of the contest these anonymous images will be removed.

As said some time ago you can increase your chances of winning one of the 70 great prizes by submitting an image to the less popular contest categories. Good chances of winning are available in "Nicest Interface Design" and also in the "Best Cover", "Best Greeting Card" and "Best GIF Animation" categories. I know these image types or animations require more skill and consideration, but it is certainly worth the effort.

The Galaxy Contest 2002 page is located at

PLUGINS UNPLUGGED: Where Have All the Plugins Gone?
I have just started a column at called "Plugins Unplugged" which will cover various plugin topics. The first article is about Adobe's policy of restricting the access to SDK which is required to create Photoshop-compatible plugins. I tried to come up with an explanation for that step, some background information and possible consequences. There's also a poll at the end for expressing your opinion about it. I would appreciate any feedback or comments about it.

You can read "Where Have All the Plugins Gone?" at


NEW POLL: Which is your favorite online school?
As a new page about Online Classes was added in the Know-How section of The Plugin Site, it would be good to see which of them you like best. That is why our latest poll asks you for voting for your favorite online school for learning graphic software skills.

If you are not familiar with these online schools, you can visit them from
and get an impression of them before you vote for one. If you have already made some experiences with one of them, please describe them on the message board of the poll.

Please cast your vote at

Previous poll results can be viewed at

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Aqua Buttons, Plugins make it too easy, Knit Design
A guest wrote: "hello anybody have a tutorial to create Mac style gel button ?". I posted links to 23 tutorials for creating aqua buttons with different applications. The links can be found at:

There have been some new posts in the interesting topic "Plug-ins - do they make it too easy?". Have a look at them at

newbie wrote: "I'm a photoshop, illustrator user working in the apparel industry. There are many over priced programs used to create sweater knit designs and weaves. I want to try to create my own but don't know where to start. I know once I know where to begin I will be able to create something... I have to at least try! Would there be a mentor out there??? Would greatly appreciate any tips or hints!!!". If you can help him, please post a reply at

There are a lot of forums about plugins, graphics application, digital video as well as our products, so feel free to have a look and write some lines at



The Xero Plugins (for Windows) are a collection of 9 freeware plugins created with Filter Meister. "Skycleaner" cleans up washed-out skies, "Greyscaler" converts layer to greyscale, "Moonlight" creates moonlit nights , "Lithograph" outputs lithography-like effects, "Greytinter" is for tinted grayscales, "Mistifier" generates a hazy, soft-focus effect, "Porcelain " makes an image look as if it was painted on porcelain, "Seasons " changes the coloration of the image and "Alienmist" produces a colorful mist effect. It is a bit hard to get used to the pink dialog of these plugins, but otherwise they look quite useful.

Dreamy Photo (Win/Mac), a free Photoshop-compatible plugin and standalone tool from AutoFX, adds a soft-focus effect to photos. The effect is configurable with seven controls and by using presets. The interface looks like that of AutoFX's commercial DreamSuite product. The package also includes a PDF manual and promises technical and customer support. Dreamy Photo requires a serial number which can be obtained by submitting your e-mail address from a web form.

Sean Sedwards offers five Filter Factory plugins (for Windows) on the XaraXone web site. "Spherical Mould" which produces a sphere wraps effect is the most interesting plugin in this collection. However, it does not do any interpolation, so the effect is quite rough. The three Emboss filters create simple gray, white and black emboss effects and the Light Gaussian Blur plugin applies a blur effect with a small radius. The filters are available as freeware and shareware versions. The shareware versions contain some controls while the freeware versions apply the effect without showing a dialog.

Timo Mann made two simple Filter Factory plugins available at the Adobe Exchange. "Tymoes Colorizer" colorizes your image or changes transparency and "Tymoes Gridmaker" applies a black grid. Nothing spectacular, but the grid looks quite nice.

QFX LE 8 (for Windows) is a shareware application which combines the features of both a paint and a draw program by working with objects, text and images in a resolution independent way. QFX makes it easy to build complex layouts with transparent and soft edge masking, multiple complex effects and real time photographic compositing. QFX LE supports Photoshop plugins and a few file formats like BMP, PCD and TIF. The QFX LE shareware version does not include e.g. layers, draw mode, queuing, warping, color separations, additional file formats and lasso tracing, but otherwise contains many activated features and is not time limited.

Download it from:

Xi-WARP (Windows) is a freeware tool for bending, distorting and morphing any image simply by drawing two outlines - one around the part you want to distort and another to define the shape to be molded into. You can do that with many parts of the image and animate these parts simultaneously.

P3dO Explorer (for Windows) is a free Explorer-like graphics browser supporting 38 images files formats plus Poser and Vue d'Esprit file formats. It features selectable thumbnail image size, slideshow, zoom, Favorites menu, Zip through browsing, various plugins and more. 3D viewing is not supported yet, but the 3D engine is under construction.

3D Canvas Standard (for Windows) is a free real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates a drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling. Complex models can be constructed from simple 3D primitives or created using 3D Canvas' Object Building Tools. Modeling tools are provided to deform, sculpt, and paint 3D objects. Creating an animated scene is as simple as positioning the objects within your scene for each point in time in your animation. Your animation can be stepped through a frame at a time, viewed in real-time or recorded to a Video (AVI) file. The enhanced Pro version of 3D Canvas costs just $70 and also supports Photoshop-compatible plugins.




New Learning Season at LVS
New online classes for various graphic, web and office applications are starting on August 31, 2002 a LVS. Registration is closing on August 28, 2002. So do not waste any time if you would like to enhance your software skills. There is always a course at LVS that fits your needs.

Microsoft Introduces Picture It! Digital Image Pro
Picture It! Digital Image Pro attempts to combine advanced photo-editing tools, professional-quality photo projects and simplicity. The battle for the hearts and minds of digital photographers is growing fiercer.

ACD Systems and Sanyo Release New Panoramic Imaging Software: ACD Photostitcher
This plugin for the popular ACDsee program lets you take a series of digital images and stitch them into a single panoramic image. There's now quite a collection of ACDsee plugins available.

ArKaos VJ 2.2
ArKaos VJ is the first real-time multimedia program offering an innovative way to edit and manipulate a visual performance while it is running. Cool stuff.

Sapphire Innovations After Effects Plugin Set: Sapphire Effects Vol 1.1
This effects set consists of 12 plugins (2 new plugins): colour gradient effects, ring effects, starburst colour gradient effects, posterisation, solar colour effects, greyscale, and inverse plugins. These folks keep cranking out the plugins and addons.

BlackMagic Professional 2.2
BlackMagic may be used to colorize Black & White, Sepia, or IR (infrared) photos, or to color-correct such with faded or inappropriate colours. Expensive, but interesting.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 Available
Photoshop Elements 2.0 software delivers increased power and simplicity to photo hobbyists and amateur photographers. What walks like Photoshop, talks like Photoshop but isn't Photoshop?

Adobe Digital Video Collection Updated
Now compatible with Macintosh OS X and Microsoft Windows XP, this powerful editing suite delivers a set of tightly integrated, cost-effective, award-winning Adobe applications for professional digital video production. I want this for Christmas!

PhotoSpray Plugin
PhotoSpray offers the ability to spray pictures on top of any RGB photos or layers, within Photoshop or a compatible application. Don't tell them this is like a nozzle.

n_Gen Design Machine
n_Gen allows non-designers to make high quality images quickly... but it can also be used by trained designers as a rapid prototyping and brainstorming tool. Too much fun.

Xara Launches Xara3D 5
A major new upgrade to Xara's popular 'slimware' 3D package, Xara3D can be used to create 3D headings and logos, animated or static, in seconds. Now exports to Flash. This is a mighty sweet little app. Now if they would only update XaraX.

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