Plugin Newsletter - October 2004
PHOTOWIZ CONTEST 2004
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES: JPEG Repair Plugins
POLL RESULTS: Number of Megapixel of your Digital Camera
NEW POLL: How many photos have you taken during the last 12 months?
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Grid Plugin, Your Favorite Plugins, PSP Sunburst Effect, Animated Flames, Video Speed
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Chalkaholic, eLin, Adobe DNG, cPicture, RAWDrop, PowerShovel, Photo Companion, Helicon Filter, Neat Image, NoiseWare
GRAPHICS NEWS: PSP Plus Contest, Camera RAW, PhotoImpact 10, Asiva, Aurelon, HumanSoftware, Corel Painter
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
As promised in a previous issue of this newsletter we have organized a new contest called PhotoWiz 2004. While our previous contests were more aimed at graphic design, this one is more about digital photography. To save us some work there are only three contest topics and each of them will only be running for one month. If this concept works out, there may be a new contest next year and not every two years as before. I hope you will enjoy participating in this contest and wish you much luck for winning something (even if only the consolation prizes :-).
The "Free Plugins and Tools" section of this newsletter concentrates mainly on free RAW conversion and noise reduction tools. We introduce 5 RAW tools and 3 noise tools. I hope you will find some of them useful. The next time more free plugins will probably be mentioned again.
Have a nice time,
PHOTOWIZ CONTEST 2004
PhotoWiz Contest 2004 is a challenge for all creatively minded photographers. It offers you the possibility to present the best samples of your work to the public and win several interesting prizes.
The contest will be conducted in three steps. Every month there will be a new contest topic for which you can post your photos. In October you will be able to send in your Best Photo. In November we will be looking for the Best Photo Composition. In December we will reward the Best Photo Correction. At the end of each month the jury will select the best contributions.
A total of 66 prizes worth more than $6400 are offered to the winners. The 16 best images of each contest topic will receive a prize. Additionally the 16 best participants across all three contest topics get an extra prize. The three best participants will even get a PhotoWiz Gold, Silver and Bronze certificate. Additionally the two images that receive the fewest points from the jury will get a consolation prize.
Here is a list of the prices that were contributed:
JASC Paint Shop Pro 9, Paint Shop Pro Studio, Paint Shop Pro Photo Album
Cerious Thumbs Plus
nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 Complete, nik Sharpener Pro! Complete
Auto FX Mystical Tint Tone and Color, Mystical Lighting
Extensis Mask Pro
LizardTech Genuine Fractals
Subscriptions to the Digital Photography Techniques Magazine
Reindeer Graphics Optipix
Kodak DIGITAL GEM Professional
ABSoft Neat Image Pro+
ThePluginSite ColorWasher, FocalBlade
As in our previous 2002 contest there is a contest gallery where each participant can instantly upload his image. Visitors can view the images as they are submitted. People who like to participate in this contest should carefully read the Rules page before submitting any image.
Please visit the contest page at
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES
Issue 17 of this magazine features a 10-page special project on how to turn your photos into artwork and there are Photoshop tutorials on how to create a pictorial family tree, how to add candlelight, how to sharpen images, how to add a touch of class to landscapes and how to use adjustment layers and masks. Eventually you'll also find a Paint Shop Pro tutorial on how to include our own family members in a stunning sci-fi scene. My Essential Plugins column covers 5 plugins that help you to remove JPEG compression artifacts from your images.
For more information, please visit
More than 670 people voted in the poll asking "How many megapixel does your digital camera have?". Here are the results:
1 Megapixel 1.6%
2 Megapixel 8%
3 Megapixel 20%
4 Megapixel 17%
5 Megapixel 20.7%
6 Megapixel 21.4%
7 Megapixel 0%
8 Megapixel 8.4%
9 or more Megapixel 3.2%
Almost 80% of all people have a digital camera between 3 and 6 Megapixel. Even more, the number of megapixel are evenly distributed in that range. On the other hand very few people have a camera with less than 2 and more than 8 megapixel.
For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section:
Since digital cameras are widely used the number of photos that are taken has quite increased. Digital cameras easily seduce people to take more photos, because they can see the result immediately and more photos don't cost more money with reusable media card. So this months poll poses the question: "How many photos have you taken during the last 12 months?". To include all groups from occasional snapshooters to professional photographers, the range goes from 100 or less to more than 20,000. I guess I myself took something between 10,000 and 20,000 photos.
Please cast your vote at the bottom of
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are just a few of the interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
gyllingdk wrote: "A couple a months ago I downloaded a very simple free plugin to create horizontal and vertical lines, with transparacy settings a.s.o. In combination this plugin was able to create some awesome grids on a background layer. Unfortunately I had a HDD Crash and lost the plugin. Is there anybody out there that could help me..."
Sierra asked: "I just got PS CS and I'm looking to get some sweet plugs. I've been out of the swing of things, so what are some of your favorite plugs? What are the most powerfull?"
EYE-lene! asked: "How can I make a sunburst effect in the upper right hand corner of my image? I tried using the sunburst option under effects but after fooling around with it for a long time it still didn't come out right at all. Is there another way that's easier?"
merlin777 asked: "Can anyone point me in the direction of a freeware plugin to create flames in premiere and after effects?"
leoono wrote: "wll, i need some kind of effect that makes the video slow down and after come back to normal speed, like, from 5s i slow down 50% and at 10s it come back to 100%, in adobe premiere, but any other program is welcome, tnx"
For more interesting discussions please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Chalkaholic Lite is a free Photoshop-compatible plugin (for Windows) for drawing-style effects. There is also a Pro Version which offer more possibilities.
The Orphanage, whose recent visual effects efforts include The Day After Tomorrow and Hellboy, released eLin, a suite of plugins and scripts for After Effects 6.5 (for Win/Mac). eLin allows users to work in the expanded photographic color space of film and creates more photographic results than After Effects alone. Even third-party plugins gain a color performance advantage with eLin. eLin can also be obtained free of charge for non-commercial use whereas the commercial version costs $499.
The free Adobe DNG Converter (for Win/Mac) translates raw files from many of today's popular cameras. DNG is supported by Photoshop CS with the latest Camera Raw update and by Photoshop Elements 3. By addressing the lack of an open standard for the raw files created by individual camera models, DNG helps ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future.
cPicture LE is a free image management tool (for Windows) that supports RAW conversion. There are several features like lossless cropping and rotation, red-eye removal, web page creation and color profile support. To add the RAW functionality you have to additionally download a free plugin for cPicture. There are only a few RAW options, so it is only recommended for people who don't want to be confronted with a lot of parameters when converting RAW files.
If you like an even more simple approach, have a look at RAWDrop (for Windows), which is a freeware tool (for Windows) for converting RAW images to TIFF and Photoshop file format by dragging and dropping files.
PowerShovel-II is a free RAW conversion program (for Windows) with integrated sharpening and color profiling for various Canon camera models. There is a Keep Highlights option that tries to rescue highlights. Although PowerShovel works relatively slow and seems like a patchwork of different tools, it may be helpful for people who don't have the money for more professional tools.
Photo Companion is a free image management tool (for Mac OS X) and meant to be an companion to Photoshop. It lets you rotate images, perform RAW conversion itself or through Photoshop, perform automatic batch processing of images with the help of Photoshop, download photos from cameras, batch rename files and burn images on CD-ROM.
Helicon Filter (for Windows) is an application for enhancing digital images. The Filter Free version only offers tools for noise reduction whereas the commercial Home and Pro version offers red-eye, sharpening, color adjustment and other features. The Pro Version is also available as a Photoshop-compatible plugin.
Neat Image (for Windows) is a digital filter application designed to reduce visible noise in digital photographic images. There are five versions of this software available. The Demo version is a free edition of the software with slightly-limited functionality for non-commercial use. The commercial Home+ and Pro+ Version also comes with a Photoshop-compatible plugin.
The Community Edition of NoiseWare (for Windows) is a freeware application for high/low ISO noise from photos, grain and moire patterns from scanned images as well as JPEG artifacts from digital images. It claims to work up to 3 times faster than available commercial tools. There are also two commercial versions of Noiseware with more features available.
The PSP Plus 2nd Birthday Contest will start on October 9. There are 4 categories with 3 prizes each and two door prizes. The total value of the prizes is $4000.
Updated Camera Raw Plugin For Photoshop CS Supports New DNG Format
The latest version of this free plugin from Adobe extends raw file support in Photoshop CS to more than 65 digital camera models and lets it handle files in Adobe's new Uber-raw DNG format.
Ulead Introduces New Version of PhotoImpact Image Editing Software
If you have just $100 to spend on a truly useful Windows image editing and creation app, then you should be checking out the latest version of PhotoImpact. Demo available.
Asiva JPEG Deblocker Plugin Released
The idea behind this new Win/Mac Photoshop filter is that the "blocks" within images created by JPEG compression result in problems if that image needs to be manipulated, for example by filter operations. Deblocker tries to smooth out the blocks, while maintaining detail.
Aurelon to Introduce Multicolor ICC Converter Plugin for Photoshop
The latest from Aurelon lets you choose a multi color ICC profile, then creates a separated file that can be post-processed in Photoshop and saved as a DCS file. For Win/Mac.
HumanSoftware Shipping Textissimo 3.5
Available just for Mac, this plugin comes with a library of more than 700 effects such as Chrome, Mercury, Glass, Bubbles and Fire, which can be applied to type, paths or graphics.
Corel Painter IX Unveiled
The latest version of Corel's well-regarded natural paint application looks better than ever. Available just for pre-order at this point, but you can snag a Win or Mac trial version.
For daily graphics news updates, visit