Plugin Newsletter - September 2005
COLORWASHER FOR MAC RELEASED
NEW USER REVIEWS SECTION + PHOTOWIZ GIVE-AWAY
POLL RESULTS: Selective Brightness Plugins
NEW POLL: Lens Correction Tools
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: ScanPrep Pro, Flash Glare, DreamSuite 2 Problem, 3D Shadow Effect, Solid Crisp Lines, Wave Filter, Erasing Tubes
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Vizros Plugins, Simpler Filters, Bullnose Mask & Transfer, Acrylic, LiveQuartz, Image Tricks
GRAPHICS NEWS: Repligator 12, QuickEnlarger, Photoworkshop.com Contest, STEP inside design, Enhancer
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
Sad news first. The Digital Photography Effect (DPE) magazine was closed down by Future Publishing. Seems they sold too few copies and didn't have enough advertisers. Writing columns for this magazine for two years was a nice experience, but it is also good to have a bit more time for other things now and to live without a stressing deadline. Anyway, I will start publishing some of my DPE articles on The Plugins Site soon. Ironically, Paragon Publishing will soon release a new magazine with Photoshop tutorials, so that may become an alternative to DPE. I will let you know as soon as I know more.
The latest AlienSkin interview created a lot of interest. Two to three times more participants took part in this give-away than in previous ones. The winner of Eye Candy 5 Impact prize is "thealghazi" from Argentina. Congrats! Unfortunately this month there isn't any interview, but there will be a new one soon. Probably someone from Adobe who can tell us something about how this whole plugin thing started...
Speaking of Adobe, I recently came across the following interesting report: "A Visit to Adobe, A visit with the Photoshop engineers in San Jose, CA.". So if you want to know more about the people behind Photoshop and see some of their face head over to
See below for more interesting news....
COLORWASHER FOR MAC RELEASED
Finally the MacOS X version of ColorWasher 2 is available. ColorWasher for Mac is a plugin that effectively corrects the colors, contrast, exposure and saturation of digital photos. It can be used in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Illustrator, Fireworks, Painter, Photoline and other MacOS X applications.
ColorWasher features a wide range of automatic, semi-automatic and manual tools for correcting, enhancing and restoring photos. It is very easy to use as it offers interactive explanations and hints for each feature, incorporates an Easy Mode and detailed step-by-step instructions in the manual. ColorWasher lets you do professional photo corrections within seconds and also offers a Cloak mode for processing dozens of images very quickly.
ColorWasher was developed because of the lack of color correction tools that combine precision, speed and ease of use. Many available tools have insufficient automatic modes, don't manage to remove color casts completely or demand expert knowledge to be used properly. Some even make photos look worse or seduce the user to overdo the correction. ColorWasher is the first tool that performs 100% precise corrections within seconds and is flexible as well as very easy to use. It also guides the user with interactive comments and explanations.
For more information and for downloading a demo version please go to
NEW USER REVIEWS SECTION + PHOTOWIZ GIVE-AWAY
The Reviews section at The Plugin Site has been completely renewed. Previously the reviews were written by myself and a few other people, but now everyone can add new products and post his own reviews. Currently there are 37 products and 24 reviews posted, because many of the reviews from the old Reviews section have been added to the new review system. Some of the other contect of the old Reviews section was moved to the Know-How section.
To motivate you a bit to post your owen reviews we decided to throw in a copy of ColorWasher, FocalBlade or LightMachine as a prize for the three people who posted the largest number of meaningful reviews until September 29, 2005. All you need to do is to login with your user name and passwords from The Plugin Site Forum and you can start posting. If you haven't subscribed to the Forum yet, you can do it with the Register link directly from the Reviews page.
Check out the new Review section at
160 people voted in the poll with the question "Which is your favorite tool for selective brightness corrections?". Here are the results:
1. Photoshop (Elements) Shadow/Highlight 32%
2. Other 24%
3. PaintShopPro Highlight/Midtone/Shadow 13%
4. LightMachine 10%
5. ColorWasher 6%
6. PaintShopPro Fill Flash/Backlighting 5%
7. Digital SHO Pro 4%
8. FredMiranda SR Pro 1%
9. Shadow Fixer 1%
9. Shadow Illuminator 1%
9. AKVIS Enhancer 1%
9. Dynamic Range Compression 1%
10. LittleInkPot Xpose 0%
10. FiddaFilters Luminosity 0%
10. Digital SHO 0%
10. ChromaSoft Shadow/Highlight Control 0%
This poll indicates that tools from graphics applications are used by more people than plugins even if the plugins produce better results. For example, the three tools from Paint Shop Pro usually produce less good results than most of the mentioned plugins. Also interesting is to see that many of the mentioned plugins are unknown to most people or not that popular. Only the two ThePluginSite plugins and the Kodak plugin seem to be seen as alternatives to the tools in Photoshop and PSP. Of course, there is again a large group of people who seem to use other tools, which probably includes various other applications, RAW converters and a few other plugins.
For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section at
Our latest poll lets you vote for your favorite lens correction tool. There are 17 software products for your choosing plus an "Other" option if your favorite is not among them.
Please vote at the bottom of the page at
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
malo asked: "Does anyone know of a replacement for this plugin that was no longer updated after PS 5.0 on the Mac?"
Edh asked: "Can anyone please tell me how to get rid of camera flash glare on a persons face?"
DreamSuite 2 Problem
CantikFotos wrote: "When using the 4x5 frame action, I get a weird background under my image. ... Anyone know what settings need to be applied to avoid this?"
3D Shadow Effect
Duby wrote: "I have this picture ... Could someone, please, help me to determine what effects (plug ins) are used?How can I get that kind of 3D shadow in the center of the picture?"
Solid Crisp Lines
buddah30 wrote: "I'm a bit behind the times and use photoshop 5.5 and was wondering if there are any easy way or filter(s) that can take a scanned drawing or pencil sketch and turn it into nice solid crisp lines."
Filters To Make Waves?
chaitereye wrote: "I want to make an image of a surfer on the ocean. Is there a filter or plugin that makes realistic waves?"
chaitereye wrote: "... when I click on the picture tube tool the tool options box comes up displaying dozens of tubes from my folders I don't want in there (PSP7). I tried cleaning out my cache. I deleted the path in the preferences/file locations & I even deleted the tubes folder & made a new empty one. However, I still can't get them out of there."
For more interesting discussions please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
The commercial Vizros Plugins (for Windows) have now been made freeware. They let you do sophisticated 3D page wrapping effects. They let you use non-rectangular selections for page warp effects and you can load additional images on the plugin dialog and map them to different pages.
The Color Space Converter, Gray Scale Mixer and RGB Channel Mixer plugins (for Windows) from Simple Filter have been updated and localized to English. There are also commercial Pro version of the two Mixer plugins available.
Bullnose Mask for After Effects (for creating rounded rectangular masks) and Transfer for Avid (for compositing video tracks using blending modes) are available for free from DMN. However, to download them you need to register to the DMN Forums user or subscribe to their one of lists. Both plugins are available for Windows and MacOS.
Microsoft offers a preview version of Acrylic (for Windows XP). Acrylic is a graphics application that is based on MS Expression. It claims to bring bitmap and vector graphics together.
LiveQuartz is a simple image editor (for MacOS X 10.4). It offers a layer feature, filter effects as well as brush, clone, text, crop and eraser tools. LiveQuartz is localized in English, Chinese, German and French.
Image Tricks is a free image editing application (for MacOS X 10.4). With the program you can easily edit and apply various effects and filters to your photos and images.
Repligator 12 Pro
The Pro version of Repligator 12, a standalone program with 100 image effects, is now also available as Photoshop plugin. The new version offers a preview which doesn't make adjusting sliders guesswork anymore.
Mehdi QuickEnlarger Plugin
Mehdi recently released Version 1.1 of the QuickEnlarger plugin. Its innovative Crispy Zoom method claims to deliver more crisp and sharp image enlargement than other available tools.
Photoworkshop.com Digital Imaging Contest
Photoworkshop.com calls for entries in their Fourth Annual Contest. Prizes worth $12,000 in total are waiting for the participant, who can submit up top three photos in two categories called Photo Illustration and Lightly Manipulated.
The STEP inside design Magazine announced two competitions. "STEP inside design 100" looks for the 100 best designs and "Best of Web Design 2006" looks for the most innovative web sites. The winners of both competitions will be featured in special issues of the magazine.
AKVIS Enhancer 2.1
AKVIS announced Version 2.1 of Enhancer, a Photoshop plugin for Windows and Macintosh. AKVIS Enhancer is a tool for revealing details in a picture.