Plugin Newsletter - July 2004
EDITORIAL: Photoshop History, Software Piracy
COLORWASHER 2.01 WAS RELEASED
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES: Polls 2004, Free Plugins and Free Tools page updated
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES MAGAZINE: Soft Focus Plugins
POLL RESULTS: Should a graphics application be delivered and installed with plugins?
NEW POLL: Batch Processing Poll and RAW/JPEG Poll
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Sparkle FX, Space Junk FX, Cartoon Animation, Layer Rotation Plugin, Vision Methods Plugin
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Craquelure 3D, Photoshop CS Updates, Pentacom, Solid Border, Fast Fix, FlaminPear Freebies, XnView 1.70, FECSet, Jpegcrop
GRAPHICS NEWS: 2004 Art Contest, Graphics.com Contest, Bryce, EyeCandy5, MagicFrame 2, Photoshop Keyboard, Scrapbooking, Abneil
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
I came across two interesting articles lately which I want to share with you. One is about the history of Photoshop and its inventor from 1987 to 2000. It describes how Photoshop came into existence with comments from Thomas Knoll. You an read it here:
The second article is called "How to Spot and Avoid Software Piracy and Scams" and has a poll with the title "Is your software legal or illegal? Confess!" attached at the end. There are also links to several other articles, e.g. on how to get legal software at a cheap price. Here is the link:
Have a nice summer time,
COLORWASHER 2.01 RELEASED
Version 2.01 of ColorWasher offers exciting new features. Better results on more difficult photos can be achieved with a second sample area and the new sliders for adjusting the color correction in the highlight and shadow areas. The Highlights and Shadows from the Extra tab sliders were improved to allow more extreme adjustments and to avoid changing saturation. ColorWasher 2.01 now also allows you to create colored B/W images with the new "Apply B/W" option on the Prefs tab.
The new Log Settings feature uses the image name to automatically save preset files that can later be automatically applied when processing the same image again. Other new features are non-linear sliders, a Reset button context menu, a maximize window option, more startup options, a histogram zoom feature and new Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White histograms. Additionally a lot of bugs were fixed.
For more information and downloading a demo version please visit
THE PLUGIN SITE UPDATES
The Polls 2004 page of the Know-How section was updated with the results of the Image Application Poll 2004. The Free Plugins and Free Tools page were updated with the tools from the previous three issues of the Plugin Newsletter.
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES MAGAZINE
Issue 14 of the DPT magazine offers tutorials for doing party invites with PSP, improving landscape photos, fixing holiday photos in Photoshop, creating Art nouveau portraits and more. There is also a big review about the best underwater cameras and casings and a two-page article about using Photoshop plugins with Paint Shop Pro. My Essential plugins column deals with plugins that create soft focus effects and gives a few tips on how to apply them effectively. The cover CD of issue 14 offers full versions of Canvas 7 and Red Eye Pilot 1.0.
For more information, please visit:
139 votes were casted in the June poll with the question: "Would you want to have a simple graphics application delivered and installed with plugins?". Here are the results
1. I don't care as long as I also can install the plugins ... 27%
2. I don't need a simple graphics application installed ... 24%
3. I prefer to have a graphics application installed if it doesn't cost anything extra. 21%
4. I may find it useful to use the plugins in a simple application from time to time. 18%
5. I want to have a graphics application installed even if it costs extra. 10%
So 51% of all voters don't want or care about a graphics application being installed with Photoshop plugins. 49% of all people would like to have that. The result is a bit surprising as the poll was conducted on a web site about plugins. It seems that almost 50% of all people want to use plugins at least occasionally in a simple graphics tool instead of complex ones like Photoshop or PSP.
For more poll results, please visit the Know-How section which was recently updated with the latest poll results:
This month there are two polls on The Plugin Site. The first one asks you "How many of your photos do you correct via batch processing?" and the second poses the question "In what format(s) do you usually shoot digital photos?". It will be interesting to see if people prefer to manually or automatically correct photos and if they use the JPEG, TIFF or RAW formats when taking photos.
You can cast your votes at the bottom of the main page at
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
DaveO asks: "Can anyone tell me how to put a sparkle on a photo, for example a dimond ring or a candle flame, or even if there is a filter about that could do the job but as I only need it now and then doing it my self would be better."
cypher-neo wrote: "I am looking for a filter or plugin that can be used to create random space junk in a sci-fi picture. I am particularly looking for asteroids and planetoids."
DAwn asks: "Somewhere out there someone has a program that you can take a photo of someone and animate it to look like a cartoon character. Can anyone help me with this?"
NikonNanna worte: "Several years ago I had a neat free plugin that created multiple Photoshop layers with each layer rotated a few degrees. Does anyone know the correct name of this plugin and where I might download it?"
wskamoun asks: "I would like to know if there is a free plug for photosop that integrates all the adavces vision methods (from filtering to edge detection and seeded region growing ..)"
For more discussions and comments please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
The Craquelure 3D plugin (for Windows) from Redfield creates a wide range of well known craquelure effects. It is useful for designing various abstract patterns, decorative surfaces and construction materials. Two independent craquelure layers can be controlled to achieve an amazing variety of texture effects, from etched metal and silk plaster to melted glass and water ripples. A random settings generator helps you quickly and easily produce unlimited variations of craquelured surfaces.
Adobe recently released three updates for Photoshop CS (for Win/Mac). The Adjusted Refresh plug-in decreases the time it takes to update the preview of some filters. Overall performance may be reduced for users with multiple processors or more than 1 gigabyte of RAM. The 2.2 update of the Camera RAW plugin support for several new cameras, including the latest 8 MP and DSRL cameras. Last, but not least, the MultiProcessor Support Update addresses an issue that caused image corruption when rotating bitmap images and an issue that caused a program error when using the Magic Wand tool.
Pentacom.jp offers 11 free plugins created with Filter Factory (for Win/Mac) called Rounded Corner, Garbage Collections, penta's "VR Filter2", color dot and ToyCamera. Most of them create TV distortions. There is also 3Dtrans plugin for Illustrator.
Cybia has released the Mac version of its FastFix plugin for doing basic photo corrections.
The Kaleidoscope plugin from the Mehdi collection (for Windows) has been updated to Version 2. The update includes three new spinning effects called Mirror, Copy and Blend.
Rosenman has updated his Solid Border plugin (for Windows) to Version 1.1. It generates a solid border around an image.
The popular Flaming Pear Freebies plugins(for Win/Mac) have been updated to Version 1.20.
XnView is a very nice image viewer and editor (for Windows and Linux), which is free for personal use. The latest version 1.70 now supports Photoshop plugins. After running the program you have to double click on an image, choose Filter > Adobe compatible plugin and press Configure to add a path to your plugins. The plugin support looks quite good. We didn't find a problem when testing several plugins.
FECSet is a freeware (for Windows) that allows you to set the flash exposure compensation (FEC) level on a Canon EOS 300D. The camera has the ability to use FEC when taking a picture but Canon did not include any way to set it. In order to use this program you must have the Canon USB camera drivers already installed and working. The FEC setting applies to all flash photographs taken in P, Tv, Av, M and A-DEP modes and does not reset when the camera is turned off.
Jpegcrop (for Windows) is a tool for cropping JPG files losslessly without recompression. To do that you have to draw a crop selection and click the "Save Frame As" button. The crop selection will be restricted to the 8x8 pixel block necessary for lossless cropping. A grid can be displayed to visualize this restriction. Additionally the software losslessly rotates, flips, transposes and prints JPG images.
Last Chance for the 2004 Art Contest
You can send entries for the 2004 Art Contest until July 14. The Art Contest has been the most prestigious online art event since 1998. Contest categories are Realism, Modern, Mixed and Digital. There are no prizes for this event, but all entries gain exposure on the Art Dept site.
The Graphics.com Photography Contest
Had a chance to check out the current entries to this new Graphics.com contest? If not, why not take a few minutes and perhaps even enter one of your own photos for a chance to win a year of access to the Photos.com stock photo site (value $499).
DAZ Productions Acquires Bryce from Corel
No surprise that Corel has divested itself of Bryce, the capable 3D landscaping and animation app, as the company continues to focus on its core products. Let's hope DAZ can breathe new life into it.
Alien Skin Release EyeCandy 5: Textures
This collection of ten seamless texture generators for Photoshop-compatible apps is the first in a series of upgrades to EyeCandy 4000. Mac and Win demos available.
Human Software MagicFrame 2.0 Released
The latest version of this Win/Mac plugin lets you add more than 2,000 edges, frames, borders or special pattern effects to your images, and also includes 600 seamless tiles.
WorldTech Announces the Photoshop Keyboard
Having a hard time remembering all those Photoshop keyboard shortcuts? Then this keyboard is for you.
Jasc Releases Book On Digital Scrapbooking Using Paint Shop Pro
"Scrapbooking the Digital Way is a 300-page book designed to help folks do the scrapbook thing using Paint Shop Pro.
Abneil Software Releases Updated Illustrator Plugins Sets
There are thirteen volumes of Illustrator plugins, which now have updated dialogs, improved performance, cleaner interfaces and additional options. PC only, demo available.
For daily graphics news updates, please visit