Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - August 2003






THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Bleach Bypass effect, Gel text, Chrome and plastic effects, Bubbles effect

POLL RESULTS: Which of these commercial plugins do you use?

NEW POLL: Your Favorite Commercial Plugins - Part 2

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Water Ripples, Fotomatic, GraphicXtras, G5 Plugin, Alive Colors Free

GRAPHICS NEWS: ArtistZone Competition, AutoFocus, Texture Anarchy, Andrew's Plugins, MatchLight, iCorrect, Image Genius



Dear Reader,

I hope you had a nice summer holiday (in case you live on the northern hemisphere) or have a nice holiday if you are still having one. We didn't have any time for a holiday, because FocalBlade turned out to be our most successful product so far which kept us busy. Nevertheless we still have several new ideas on how to improve FocalBlade as well as ColorWasher which are planned to be added as free updates soon.

A lot of interesting digital image software and hardware seems to become available this summer and autumn. Below you can find the latest news about free and commercial software as well as news from The Plugin Site.

Yours Sincerely,
Harald Heim


FocalBlade, our latest sharpening plugin, recently received five fantastic reviews. Luminous Landscapes stated that FocalBlade "completely redefines its category", Digital Outback Photo wrote "that FocalBlade is one of our top sharpening filters (it might end up even in the #1 spot)", wrote that it is "highly recommended if you're serious about your images" and GoInside Magazine said that "it's the best value sharpening plugin available, beating others ... hands down in terms of features for the money". A Swedish reviewer wrote that "it is not so often I get as impressed by a new program as I did with FocalBlade".

Additionally the FocalBlade Comparison page has been updated with image samples from 7 other sharpening tools. So you can now compare FocalBlade to 18 other sharpening plugins and tools.


Some new companies and products were added to the Commercial Plugins page at The Plugin Site. With more than 100 plugin companies and descriptions of several hundred plugins it is certainly the largest link list of Photoshop-compatible plugins.


Issue 3 of the DPT magazine is now on sale. In some parts of the world you will probably still get issue 2 and will have to wait some weeks for issue 3. Anyway, this issue shows you how to improve your holiday snaps, produce creative lighting effects, how to solve lighting problems and some PSP and PhotoImpact tutorials. The cover CD features ACDSee FotoSlate 2 plus over 40 minutes of Photoshop tutorial videos, 15 essential plug-ins, demos of Ulead PhotoImpact and SilverFast DC. In my two-page column "Harald Heim's Essential Plugins" on page 96 I'm reviewing a dozen plugins that produce lighting and glow effects.


retroman asked "Anyone know how one would go about simulating the film effect of "Bleach Bypass" in Adobe?"

Johan wrote "I am looking for a Paintshop Pro 8 tutorial on how to make Gel text or even better a plugin for that purpose that is freeware."

user wrote "I need a plugin with Chrome and plastic warp effects"

chaitereye wrote "I have a picture of a friend holding an empty glass. I want to fill that glass with foamy champagne & fizzy bubbles. Does anyone know of a tube/filter or easy way to do this?"

For more discussions and comments please visit


Here are the results of the latest poll about your favorite special fx plugins. More than 1700 votes were submitted by several hundred people.

1. AlienSkin EyeCandy 10.9%
2. FlamingPear BladePro 8%
3. AlienSkin Xenofex 7%

4. Corel KPT 6 5.6%
5. Corel KPT 5 5.1%
6. AutoFX Dreamsuite One 4.6%
7. FlamingPear Lunar-/Solarcell 4.3%
8. Corel KPT 3 4.3%
9. Corel KPTeffects 4.2%
10. FlamingPear Designer Sextett 4.1%
11. ThePluginSite PluginGalaxy 3.9%
12. AutoFX Dreamsuite Two 3.8%
13. AutoFX Mystical Lighting 3.7%
14. AlienSkin Splat! 3.5%
15. FlamingPear Creative Pack 3.4%
16. Extensis PhotoTools 3.1%
17. AutoFX Dreamsuite Gel 3%
18. XaosTools PaintAlchemy 2.8%
19. XaosTools Terrazzo (48) 2.7%

20. Andromeda Photography Filters 2.2%
21. ThePluginSite HyperTyle 2.1%
22. Andromeda Techtures 1.9%
23. Andromeda ScatterLight Lenses 1.8%
24. Andromeda Velociraptor 1.4%
25. Andromeda Etchtone 1.3%
Andromeda Cutline 1.3%

In additon to product quality there are several other factors that influence this ranking, e.g. product price, product age or effect range. So less expensive products that are available for a long time and offer different types of effects are more likely to gather a top place. The results can also be used for comparisons, e.g. only two out of three EyeCandy users also use Xenofex and only every second Xenofex user uses Splat!. But you have to be careful with these values. For example according to the results, Plugin Galaxy is used by almost twice as many people as HyperTyle. In reality the ratio is 4:1 which rather represents the fact that Plugin Galaxy has been available for four years now whereas HyperTyle has only been available for one year now.

For more poll results please visit:


The poll question of the new poll remains the same, only the items change. You are asked which of the offered 46 plugins you are using. This time the plugins are from companies that are less known according to a past poll. You can select more than one plugin, but selecting all 46 plugins doesn't make sense.

Please cast your votes at the bottom of the main page at


Plaid Lite (for Windows) by namesuppressed is a shareware plugin for creating seamless plaids and tiling tartan patterns. It extracts colors and patterns from any digital image to create a color coordinated plaid pattern. You can spin the plaid to any angle, zoom in and out, change the pattern and modify the colors. The Plaid Lite demo version is fully functional, but displays several nag screens. Other than the demo version the purchased version also lets you create random plaids. So if you like this plugins, you should consider paying the small registration fee.

Water Ripples from Redfield is a freeware plugin (for Windows). It creates realistic water ripples and offers a lot of options. A random settings generator produces unlimited variations of rippled surfaces.

Cybia offers three free plugins (for Windows) with its new Fotomatic series. Hi-Spot creates high-contrast B&W effects as well as monochrome tints, G-Force is for B&W grain effects and Techni-X produces high contrast effects by bleaching out the midtones.

8 freeware plugins (for Windows) with different effects from are available at the Adobe Studio Exchange. It is an updated set of previous FilterFactory plugins.

The Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1 G5 Processor Plug-in update for Mac OS X is now available. This free plugin for Photoshop delivers performance enhancements for the new Mac G5 systems.

The Standalone Freeware version of Alive Colors lets you apply some color effects to your images, but doesn't offer the more sophisticated options of the full version. The Casino options apply random color effects, the Image Correction options let you apply simple brightness, contrast, sharpness and blur effects and Matrix produces simple color effects. More useful is the Two Keys option for shifting one color towards another by selecting a source and target color.


The Pluginz ArtistZone Competition is a design and special effects competition focused on taking 2-dimensional design to the 3D level. Artwork can range from simple and clean to bleeding edge and complex. The final format can be either still images or animated clips. The categories for entries are broken down into 3 areas: science fiction, fantasy and action. The only rules are that your work must be your own, unique and imaginative. Entries can be submitted through September 21, 2003 online at

AutoFocus Denoise, Deblur and Sharpener Plugin
Human Software's latest Win/Mac plugin combines denoise, deblur and sharpening tools to get the most out of your digital photos. The sharpener is said not to add grain to the sharpened image.

Digital Anarchy Releases Texture Anarchy For Photoshop
Created by the team responsible for the original Kai's Power Tools, Texture Anarchy includes three plugins designed to create infinite, seamless textures and borders. For Win/Mac, with a demo available.

"Blurring the Edges" Update of Andrew's Plugins vol 4 for Photoshop
You get blurring, smearing, smudging, out of focus, camera shake, color effects, line effects, emboss, gradient effects, dotty effects, and more in this updated plugin collection. For Win/Mac, with a demo available.

MatchLight Software Announces New Release of Image Compositing Software
The new version of this interesting approach to matching lighting conditions in foreground and background images for compositing includes a plugin for Photoshop 7. For Win/Mac, with a demo available.

Pictographics Releases Stand-Alone Version of iCorrect EditLab Color Correction
Previously available as a plugin, the Win/Mac standalone version adds some functionality to its color correction toolkit, such as a batch file processing feature. Demo available.

Image Genius 2.0 Released
This Windows utility is designed to ease the burden of batch processing images, with the new version adding new features such as folder watching and batch image renaming. Demo available.

For daily graphics news updates, visit



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