Plugin Newsletter - December 2004
SPECIAL CHRISTMAS OFFER: Get HTML Shrinker Pro for free
PHOTOWIZ CONTEST 2004: The First Winners
DIGITAL PHOTO EFFECTS: Edge/ Frame Plugins Reviewed
POLL RESULTS: How many of your photos do you print or present to people?
NEW POLL: Which is your favorite noise reduction tool?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Paint by Number, Silver Effect, PS Web Gallery, Monkeys Logo, PSP Problems, Brush Sets
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Wood Workshop, Duotone, BIMP, PIXresizer, Anim8or, DigiBookShelf, Slide Show Movie Maker
GRAPHICS NEWS: Path Styler Pro, Aureleon, File Juicer, PhotoKit Color, Andromeda, Calendar Templates
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
We are quite busy at the moment with finishing a new exciting plugin for the PhotoWiz series, which will become available soon. So there was not much time left to update the content of The Plugin Site. Nevertheless we decided to offer a special Christmas gift for people who will order something from us until Christmas. The PhotoWiz Contest is also going into the last round, so you'll have to hurry. The latest poll, which asks about your favorite noise reduction plugins, will be the start for more polls about specific photo-correction plugins. See below for more details.
By the way, you will probably see more web and magazine articles from me. In addition to my DPE column with plugin reviews, I will also start with tutorial articles about freeware plugins next year. Even more, I plan a series of interviews to give you a better idea about the people behind the scenes of the Photoshop plugin business. So if you have a question that you always wanted to ask a plugin company or plugin developer, just send it to me and I'll see if I can ask it for you.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas Season,
SPECIAL CHRISTMAS OFFER
If you order one or more products from The Plugin Site at a total value of at least $29.95 (without shipping costs), you will get HTML Shrinker Pro (Personal License) worth $30 for free. This offer is valid until December 23!
HTML Shrinker is a tool for reducing the size of various web, wap and script files. As a result your web or wap pages will load faster, need less web space and less bandwidth and you will save web hosting fees. It can also be used to reduce the size of HTML email newsletters, wap pages and HTML documents that need to be transferred to handheld PCs.
PHOTOWIZ CONTEST 2004
The 16 winners of the contest topic "Best Photo" have been elected. With so many good photos it was very hard to select the best ones, but we are confident that the right photos have won. You can view them at the URL below.
You can still submit your images within the next 24 hours to the November contest topic "Best Composition". Afterwards it will be closed and the winners will be selected within three weeks. Because there aren't as many images submitted as last month and the quality of the submissions differs, you may have better chances this time. Participating in all three contest topics will also raise your chances to win one of the 16 final prizes.
The final contest topic "Best Correction" is already open for submission. Please submit two photos: the original photo and the corrected version. Also, don't forget to add your name and email address as a comment after uploading.
DIGITAL PHOTO EFFECTS
From issue 19 on the Digital Photography Techniques Magazine is now called "Digital Photo Effects". Other than the more practical and clearer name the content is of the same high quality. Issue 19 includes tutorials for wintery Photoshop effects like giving your portraits a bright winter feel, adding snow and ice to your landscapes, creating lightning bolts and recreate northern lights. Other tutorials demonstrate how to create a fantastic city in the sky, design Christmas cards with Paint Shop Pro, create composite images in Elements, master blur effects in Paint Shop Pro and correct colors with Photoshop.
The Essential Plugins column reviews five quite different products for producing edge and frame effects. The cover CD features more than two hours of Photoshop lessons, and a full product for burning photos to DVDs with Hollywood-style effects. UK residents can now subscribe to the Digital Photo Effects magazine and save 40% with a special Christmas Offer.
More than 150 people voted for the poll asking "How many of your photos do you print or present to people?". Here are the results:
All of them (5) 3%
99% of them (2) 1%
90% of them (12) 8%
80% of them (11) 7%
66% of them (3) 2%
50% of them (17) 11%
33% of them (11) 7%
20% of them (21) 14%
10% of them (41) 27%
1% of them (29) 19%
So more than 60% of all voters use 20% or less of the photos that they have taken. Only fewer than 5% print and present almost all of their photos.
For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section:
This months poll asks the question "Which is your favorite noise reduction tool?". Now that the sun sets much earlier in the northern hemisphere there is a higher risk of getting grainy photos. So it is just about time to see which noise reduction tools are your favorite ones.
Please cast your vote at the bottom of
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are a few interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
Sandy wrote: "I am in search of a Photoshop plug-in or other MACINTOSH based application that will convert a four-color image to a paint by number line art outline drawing. I have found exactly what I need as Windows software, but not Mac (ImpressionX by Arnold Applied Logic and Segmation 1.0 by Xaos Tools...)"
Koro wrote: "... car ads (print and TV) tend now to have an almost silver, high contrast, low color saturation appearance reminiscent of a traditional gelatin silver print with undertones of full color. Im wondering if this effect can be achieved directly in PS 6 ..."
Dan wrote: "photoshop comes with a plugin to create web photo galleries ... one feature of the plug in is that it can take information from a picture's "file info" and plug it into an appropriate place ... however, the plugin is not documented... does anyone know if there are any standard variable names used for the datafields shown on the file info screen?"
Vambo wrote: "You know how the group The Monkeys have their name in the shape of a guitar? Is there a plugin or a technique to shape text to the outline of an object like that? ... I'd love to have a plugin that can do this quickly."
Ruth wrote: "I've been searching for an answer to this problem ever since psp 8 came out. I have Plugins, 1, 2, 3 & 4. The shoot-out list with the filter names is the problem. At the bottom of each list there are 3-4 filters that don't show. It's like they are invisible off the screen. The tiny scroll arrow at the bottom of the list doesn't scroll anything. I use a 1024/768 display (32bit)."
EYE-lene! wrote: "My computer continuously freezes whenever I try to access the layers or also when I am in the animation program & try to insert transitions or moving text. ... I thought it was the program (psp 7). So, I installed psp 8. Same exact thing. Could it be some setting in my computer? It's driving me nuts!"
cpl_hayes wrote: "How does one go about making SET's [in Photoshop]. ie: when i D/L brusehes or shapes. It's one .abr, or chs file."
EYE-lene! wrote: "I cut out a lot of my jewelry & accessories from photographers for doing makeovers. How do I get rid of the drop shadow that automatically inserts itself? I tried layers/layer styles & unchecking the box next to drop shadows. But it doesn't work & when I go back it's checked again. P.S. Also, I can't find where to lower the opacity of a selection. I looked everywhere!"
For more interesting discussions please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Wood Workshop is a freeware tool (for Windows) that specializes in the creation of seamless wood textures. It features over 100 preset textures as well as 200 options and more. You can add bevels, select mortar width and knot size, darken edges, use distortion effects and anti-alias the result. Unfortunately it only seems to support Windows 2000 and XP.
PCDCom offers a freeware tool called Duotone (for MacOS X). Duotone creates a colorized grayscale version of your photo. The Tritone option allows to mix up to four colors in the image.
BIMP (short for Batch Image Processor) is a free tool (for Windows) that can resize images, add a prefix and postfix to file names, flip or rotate images, apply anti-aliasing or bevel effects, convert between the file formats and output to a different folder. It supports various languages.
PIXresizer is a free tool (for Windows) for reducing the size of images. The reduced files are saved in a different folder and several resizing methods can be chosen from to calculate the best fit. Additionally it can convert between image formats, rotate images, convert to grayscale and resize multiple images in batch mode.
Anim8or is a free 3D modeling and character animation application (for Windows). It offers features like spheres, cylinders, platonic solids, mesh-edit, subdivision, splines, extrusion, lathing, modifiers, bevel and warps. It can create 2D and 3D extruded text, 3D scenes and animations and output AVI and images files. It imports 3D Studio, Lightwave and Wavefront object files and saves 3D Studio files.
The Freeware version of DigiBookShelf (for Windows) lets you create digital photo albums with photos, audios and movies. All albums are stored on a bookshelf in a real-life manner. Album skins, bookends and bookshelves are available as extra downloads. DigiBookShelf also lets you send a photo album without leaving the program.
Slide Show Movie Maker (for Windows) create AVI files from a series of images. Images can be faded-in/out and text can be placed on them.
Shinycore Releases Free Public Beta of Path Styler Pro
This Mac/PC Photoshop and Illustrator plugin for creating bevels provides control over metallic materials, textures, colored lights, procedural maps and reflections directly within Photoshop and Illustrator. Runs for 30 days only.
New Photoshop Plugins from Aurelon
Aurelon nColor Converter and PhotoPro Tools are Photoshop-compatible plugins for Mac and PC, with PhotoPro Tools providing image correction capabilities and nColor creating color separations using multi-color ICC profiles.
Mac Image Extraction Utility File Juicer 1.5 Released
This freeware OS X utility extracts JPEG, PNG, GIF, PDF, BMP and Flash images from PowerPoint slide shows, PDF files, Safari's cache, image attachments, and Flash animations saved as .EXE files. Not too shabby.
Pixel Genius Releases PhotoKit Color Plugin
The PhotoKit Color Mac/PC Photoshop plugin provides color correction, automatic color balancing and creative coloring effect capabilities.
Andromeda's Shadow Filter Now Mac OS X Ready
The Mac/PC Shadow Filter plugin uses 3D geometry for the creation of realistic shadows, with a preset library provided to quickly create popular shadow effects. Demo available.
Human Software 2005 Calendar Templates for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements
For Mac/PC Photoshop and Elements, this includes four separate monthly sets, as well as three templates for the full year 2005 in portrait and landscape format, supplied as .psd files.
For daily graphics news updates, please visit