Plugins for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, PSP & others



Plugin Newsletter - January 2006




PLUGIN GUIDE #2: Cybia Plugins

POLL RESULTS: Your Favorite Image Viewer

NEW POLL: Which subjects do you like to photograph the most?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Pyramidal Style, Mirror Design, Plugin Problems, Plugins in ImageN, Text Style, Premiere Pro Plugins

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Kodak Freebies, Mosaic Toolkit, Mono Renditionizer, Make-a-flake, VDL, IrfanView 3.98, DNG Recover Edges

GRAPHICS NEWS: OldMovie, Lightroom, zMatte, DCF Full Spectrum, Vivacity, MS RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer





Dear Reader,

I hope you had a nice transition into the new year. This year promises to be very exciting, especially with the recent announcement of Adobe Lightroom, which will be an alternative to Photoshop for some people and bring some fresh wind into the RAW Converter market. It also seems that a new kind of plugin will be born with Lightroom, which hopefully will be better integrated in Lightroom than the current Photoshop plugins are in Photoshop.

The Mac version of FocalBlade is finally ready. It had been long awaited by many people, so I'm especially glad that it is available now. The Windows version is already used by thousands of photographers worldwide and has been recommended by dozens of experts and magazines, so I am confident that the MacOS X version will be of similar popularity.

If you are a fan of SF literature and art like me, you should have a look at issue 1 of Estronomicon, a monthly fanzine edited by Steve Upham, which is downloadable as a PDF file for free at starting tomorrow. Steve also created the Cybia Plugins, which are reviewed in my latest Plugin Guide article. See below for more details.

Sincerely Yours,
Harald Heim



After ColorWasher for Mac we have now released a MacOS X version of FocalBlade. FocalBlade is a plugin for sharpening digital images for screen and print. Additionally you can also produce interesting blur, soft focus and glow effects with it.

FocalBlade combines many methods for sharpening photos without ugly side-effects and offers a tremendous amount of control of the sharpening process. Unlike other tools it lets you enhance the finest details with radius values below 0.1 pixel and sharpen highly blurred details with sharpen amounts of up to 2000%. Many other tools don't offer an automatic sharpening mode, add clearly visible halos, increase noise, remove the photographic quality of photos, damage edges or need a lot of experimenting to achieve a good result. FocalBlade lets you sharpen photos without the risk of damaging them. It is flexible as well as very easy to use. Best of all, FocalBlade saves you precious time when sharpening photos and is available at an affordable price.

The Mac version 1.0 is based on the Windows Version 1.03. Some features and fixes from the Windows Version 1.04 are already available, e.g. visible selections in the preview. The remaining features of the Windows Version 1.04, e.g. interrupted rendering, will be included with the next free update.

For more information and a free demo version please visit



PLUGIN GUIDE #2: Cybia Plugins
Article Nr. 2 of the new Plugin Guide series deals with the plugins of Steve Upham, known as Cybia. This article was meant for issue 28 of Digital Photo Effects magazine, but the magazine was closed down after issue 27, so it was never published before.

The article reviews the 16 freeware plugins from Cybia, provides installation instructions and shows you how to achieve three useful effects with them: How to simulate ancient B/W photos, how to add some crazy colors to your images and how to enhance sunset photos.



POLL RESULTS: Your Favorite Image Viewer
592 people answered the question "Which is your favorite image viewer?". Here are the results:

1. IrfanView 29%
2. ACDSee 18%
3. Other 13%

4. Paint Shop Pro Browser 8%
5. Photoshop 7/CS File Browser 6%
6. Adobe Bridge 6%
7. XnView 6%

8. iView 4%
9. Thumbs Plus 3%
10. Photoshop Album 2%

The Top 3 results haven't changed during the last two years. IrfanView still remains the most popular image viewer followed by its commercial competitor ACDSee. Many Paint Shop Pro users seem to be satisfied with its built-in image browser whereas more people seem to like the old image browser in Photoshop 7 and CS than the new Bridge application of CS2.

For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section at



NEW POLL: Which subjects do you like to photograph the most?
The current poll should be quite easy to answer if you even had a camera in your hands. You can vote for the subjects that you like to photograph the most. Multiple choices are allowed, but please vote only for you most dearest photographic themes. Thanks for your participation.

For voting in this poll please go to



THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Pyramidal Style, Mirror Design, Plugin Problems, Plugins in ImageN, Text Style, Premiere Pro Plugins
Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:

creativejuicesheavypulp wrote: "I wonder if you guys can direct me to software that will allow me to create images such as this? EXAMPLE take several single veiws of purses...then use graphics to stock them in pyramid style (or something close)..."

lizgouz asked: "Is there a plugin to make repeat design, I mean when I move my design on the side of my working area how can it goes automatically on the opposite side? Can U help me."

jillster_3 wrote: "I have both the MSXCRT.dll and the pligins.dll installed and unzipped into BOTH my Windows System Folder as well as the folder where the plug-ins are installed. ... and yet - I still cannot get the filters to work. Any other suggestions PLEASE. "

shagger1 wrote: "I need to know how to get Filter Factory plugins to work in Imagen-it is supposed to be able to use them but I cannot figure out......"

Someone asked: "does photo-paint have any feature like photoshop to apply a non-destructive style to text AND allow the text to remain editable?"

3pleX asked: "where can i download a free plug-ins for adobe premiere pro. Pls. help!!!"

For more interesting discussions please visit



FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Kodak Freebies, Mosaic Toolkit, Mono Renditionizer, Make-a-flake, VDL, IrfanView 3.98, DNG Recover Edges

Kodak is giving away the standard version (a $50 value) of one of their three Photoshop plugins (for Win/Mac). You can choose between Digital GEM, Digital ROC and Digital SHO. You have to provide your name and email address to receive one of the mentioned plugins. This offer expires at the end of January.
Digital ROC is nice for color correcting scanned photos, but less useful for digital photos. Digital SHO lets you brighten up photos, but there are other tools that do a better job. So personally I would choose Digital GEM, because it offers a special and effective method for noise reduction, which can't be found anywhere else. For more information about these plugins please go to

Lance Otis asked us to host his Mosaic Toolkit plugin (for Windows) which applies mosaic effects to photos and other images. It provides 8 mosaic styles: Squares, Rings, Balls, Gears, Square Rings, Stars, Daisy and All styles. You can vary cell size and contrast, color tweak cells, ball glow and brightness and blend the effect with the original photo. There are gradient, radial gradient, color inversion and a row shift brickwork effects.

Pog's Mono Renditionizer (for Windows) is basically a channel mixer plugin with additional brightness and blur features. It shows blown highlight and lost shadow areas in the preview, lets you save and open presets and creates random effects with the Random button. It works on 8bit RGB images only.,15150425

The Make-a-flake plugin from Xerographics was updated. A few bug fixes were removed.

VanDerLee has updated some of his free plugins (for Windows). Camouflage 1.03 provides a better speed and a better interface. A bug which caused textures not to be seamless was fixed. Harmonix 1.1 offers increased performance and a new and improved interface.

IrfanView (for Windows) is an image viewing and editing tool, which is free for personal use. The latest Version 3.98 offers support for PS, EPS and PDF files as well as new sepia, rain drop, fragment and anti-redeye effects. The slideshow feature now allows image transitions.

The DNG Recover Edges tool (Win/MacOS X) was written by Thomas Knoll, the creator of Photoshop. It recovers all pixels that were recorded by a digital camera. These pixels can be found in hidden edges or intentionally cropped formats.
The hidden pixels can only be recovered from RAW files and not from JPG files. To use this tool you need to convert your RAW file to DNG Format with the free Adobe DNG Converter, which is available at After that you have to drag one or more of the DNG files onto the icon of DNG Recover Edges tool. The hidden pixels will then be resaved to the original DNG file, so please make sure that you have a backup of the DNG files in case something goes wrong.




GRAPHICS NEWS: OldMovie, Lightroom, zMatte, DCF Full Spectrum, Vivacity, MS RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer

Version 1.31n of the OldMovie plugin (for Windows) from VanDerLee slightly improves performance and brings a new interface with a larger preview.

Adobe made a beta version of Lightroom for MacOS X available to the public. A Windows version will follow later. Lightroom is a digital imaging solution for professional photographers. It consists of a modular interface for viewing, organizing, adjusting and printing digital photos. It supports RAW, JPG and TIFF image files.

Digital Film Tools released zMatte 2.0, a blue and green screen keyer for Shake, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Avid and Adobe Photoshop. zMatte creates mattes with minimal parameters even for fine hair detail, smoke or reflections.

Tribeca Labs offers DCF Full Spectrum, a Photoshop plugin (for Win/Mac) that claims to improve the color accuracy of digital cameras. The plugin lets you intensify colors and brighten shadows. Unfortunately there is no downloadable demo version, so you have to trust the examples you see on the web site.

Topaz Vivacity is a set of Photoshop plug-ins for image enhancement. It contains a filter for enlarging images by 200%, three filters for noise reduction, filters for removing artifacts from JPEG and JPEG2000 images and a sharpening filter. Many of them use wavelet technology to do their job, so you can also use them to produce some interesting painting effects.

Microsoft released an update of its RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP. Support for recent Canon and Nikon cameras has been added as well as a button for saving RAW images as JPEG or TIFF files. It also fixes a TIFF file locking issue and similar problem with 5D RAW files.

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