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Plugin Newsletter - April / May 2011

 

CONTENTS


EDITORIAL


NOISECONTROL 1.0 FOR WINDOWS: New noise reduction plugin

THE PLUGIN SITE PANEL 1.06: Support for NoiseControl

PLUGIN GALAXY FOR AE: Special offer with 50% reduced price

PHOTOWIZ STUFF: Interview and Example Images


POLL RESULTS: What types of photo enhancement plugins do you prefer? Would you use the 64-bit or Standalone/Lightroom version of a commercial Photoshop plugin?

NEW POLLS: Which operating system do you use for processing images? What kind of CPU do you use?

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Missing Plugin Support in Corel Painter 12, Turning B&W to Colour, Color Shift Solution for FocalBlade


FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Chasys Draw IES, Colour Surprise, Hot Spot Studio, Imagelys Picture Styles

GRAPHICS NEWS: PSP X3 Service Packs, Photoshop CS5 12.0.4, Lightroom/Camera Raw Updates, Super Snap & Urban Graphic, Creative Software Review Magazine, Graphics.com May Challenge

 

Dear Reader,

Sorry for the delayed release of this newsletter issue. The main reason was the work on our new NoiseControl plugin, which took longer than expected, but unfortunately there was also a hard drive failure on our main computer, which cost a lot of time.

I know, there is already a wide range of existing noise reduction tools, but I think NoiseControl has something unprecedented to offer, because we avoided the shortcomings of available tools. NoiseControl offers various methods for achieving a good result and provides full control over all aspects of the process. Even better, it filters out noise very effectively, so that you do not need to strike a bad compromise by either keeping too much noise or smoothing away too many image details.

NoiseControl also supports processing 16-bit/channel images in Paint Shop Pro X3. Corel released a Service Pack 3, which finally allows Photoshop Plugins to work on 16-bit images. Although they needed many years for adding this simple feature, they implemented it wrongly, which means that you may get ugly artifacts depending on the used image and plugin. In anticipation that it may take months or even years again until this bug is fixed by Corel we adjusted NoiseControl to work around it. We will soon update our other plugins with this fix. See the Graphics News section below for a download link for the PSP X3 service packs.

Speaking of Corel, there are bad news about the plugin support in Painter 12. See the Discussion Forum section below.

Sincerely Yours,
Harald Heim

The Plugin Site

 

 

NOISECONTROL 1.0 FOR WINDOWS

New noise reduction plugin

After almost three years here is a brand new image processing product from The Plugin Site. It is called NoiseControl and removes image noise as well as other artifacts while keeping image edges and details intact. At the same time it applies sophisticated sharpening without amplifying noise. It is able to achieve a superior detail/noise ratio by keeping indispensable details while filtering noise. For best results it internally operates with 16-bit and 32-bit precision, even when processing 8-bit images.

NoiseControl offers two methods for automatically choosing effective denoising parameters: The Auto Sample feature finds and evaluates a noise sample, a uniform image area without details, whereas the Auto Preset feature chooses an existing preset according to the embedded EXIF data, mainly the camera model and ISO value.

There are also various possibilities to manually fine-tune the denoising settings. You can manually select a noise sample in the preview by drawing a sample area, visually compare split views with different settings and select one of them or you can manually adjust the denoising controls. The ability to view luminance and color channels separately is an additional aid for manual fine-tuning.

In order to selectively adjusting the denoising for various image areas, NoiseControl allows you to alter the denoising parameters in shadows, midtones, highlights and nine color areas of the image. These selective adjustments can be performed with the help of sliders or by clicking on the appropriate image area with the eyedropper tool and dragging left or right.

For further information, example images and a demo version see
The NoiseControl product page

 

THE PLUGIN SITE PANEL 1.06

Support for NoiseControl

ThePluginSite Panel is a free flash panel for Photoshop CS4/CS5 for Windows and MacOS X. It allows you to apply all Photoshop plugins of The Plugin Site in a very convenient way. Version 1.06 of the TPS Panel now support the new NoiseControl for Windows plugin. Additionally a bug was fixed the kept FocalBlade 2.01 for Windows from being executed. Mac users of the panel do not need necessarily need the upate.

Get the panel for free from
The TPS Panel page

 

PLUGIN GALAXY FOR AE

Special offer with 50% reduced price

Until the end of June 2011 we offer Plugin Galaxy AE, the video edition of Plugin Galaxy for $49.95 instead of $99. Plugin Galaxy AE is a set of 21 plugins with more than 150 animatable filters for creating stunning video effects. They work with After Effects, Premiere, Premiere Pro and Premiere Elements under Windows and MacOS X.

For more information see
The PG AE Product page

 

PHOTOWIZ STUFF

Interview and Example Images

I have recently processed some stock images from pixmac.com with our plugins to demonstrate what they can do. Here are the examples for B/W Styler, ContrastMaster and Plugin Galaxy, which were already posted:

B/W Styler Examples
ContrastMaster Examples
Plugin Galaxy Examples

Here is a short interview with me: FamousWhy.com Interview

I was also interviewed for a plugin article in the German Foto Praxis magazine (Issue 14) and the British Photo Professional magazine. Watch out for them.

 

POLL RESULTS

What types of photo enhancement plugins do you prefer?
Would you use the 64-bit or Standalone/Lightroom version of a commercial Photoshop plugin?


The results of the recent three polls are as follows:

Poll 1 (285 voters): What types of photo enhancement plugins do you prefer?
1. Both types are equally important to me. 53%
2. Individual plugins that apply only one correction (e.g. color or brightness or sharpness) but offer many adjustment options. 29%
3. All-in-one plugins that apply many general corrections (color, brightness, sharpness etc.) but offer few adjustment options. 18%

Poll 2 (187 voters): Would you use the 64-bit version of a commercial Photoshop plugin?
1. Yes, but only if it was offered for free. 38%
2. No, I only use 32-bit plugins and do not need 64-bit ones. 34%
3. Yes, even if I would have to pay an upgrade fee for it. 28%

Poll 3 (157 voters): Would you use the Standalone/Lightroom version of a commercial Photoshop plugin?
1. Yes, but only if it was offered for free. 42%
2. No, I only use plugins and do not need Standalone/Lightroom versions. 36%
3. Yes, even if I would have to pay an upgrade fee for it. 22%

To summarize the results: Specialized plugins are more popular, but there is also a market for all-in-one plugins. One third of all users still only use 32-bit plugins, more than one third would only use 64-bit plugins if they were included and less than one third would even pay for them. It looks similar for Standalone/Lightroom versions, but there are fewer people who would pay extra for them and rather use the Photoshop plugin versions.

For more poll results please visit the
Resources section

 

NEW POLLS

Which operating system do you use for processing images? What kind of CPU do you use?

This time there are two polls. One about your operating system and one about your CPU. This kind of information helps plugin developers to concentrate their development efforts on the main operating systems and CPUs.

Please vote here...

 

THE DISCUSSION FORUMS

Missing Plugin Support in Corel Painter 12, Turning B&W to Colour, Color Shift Solution for FocalBlade

Here are some interesting posts from The Plugin Site forum:

Missing Plugin Support in Corel Painter 12
HaraldHeim wrote: "It seems that the 64-bit version of Corel Painter 12 does not support Photoshop plugins ... Can anyone confirm? How about the Mac version of Painter 12? ... It could mean that Corel will not add support for 64-bit Photoshop plugins to its other applications (Paint Shop Pro, Photo-Paint) when they become available as 64-bit versions."
Read More...

Turning B&W to Colour
djhg wrote: "I believe I once had a free photoshop [plug-in] which would 1) turn a black and white images into an image using a limited palette a few different shades of grey (resulting in sharp divisions between the shades) and then 2) one could ascribe a different colour to each of those hues. ... It may have been two separate plug-ins. I believe the computer-name for the first step (sometimes called colourization) is quantizing. ... Thanks for any suggestions."
Read More...

Color Shift Solution for FocalBlade
Matterhorn wrote: "I'm using windows 7 64 bit with Focalblade 2.01 in Photoshop CS5 and have noticed a pronounced colour shift on the sharpened portion of the image in Focalblade. I would appreciate your help in understanding what is happening and seeking a 'cure'. Thanks"
Read More...

Feel free to post suggestions or start a discussion topic at
The Plugin Site Forum

 

FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS

Chasys Draw IES, Colour Surprise, Hot Spot Studio, Imagelys Picture Styles

Chasys Draw IES (for Windows) is a suite of freeware applications. It contains a layer-based image editor called Chasys Draw IES Artist with Photoshop plugin support, animation, icon editing support and super-resolution via image stacking. There is also an image file converter, an image viewer and a RAW camera file processor. The whole suite takes advantage of multi-core processors, touch-screens and pen-input devices.
Visit website...

Cybia Colour Surprise (for Windows) randomizes the colors in your images to create fun and experimental effects. It works best with color-rich images and opens and saves jpg, png, gif, tif, pcx, bmp and tga formats.
Visit website...

Hot Spot Studio is a freeware toy (for Windows), which lets you position spots on a canvas in order to create colorful patterns and graphics.
Visit website...

Imagelys Picture Styles is an application for seamless texture creation (for Windows). It features layers, one thousand presets and various effects. Unlike the free Lite edition the commercial version lets you apply Photoshop plugins and is also available as a Photoshop plugin.
Visit website...

For more free plugins and tool, please visit the
Resources section

 

GRAPHICS NEWS

PSP X3 Service Packs, Photoshop CS5 12.0.4, Lightroom/Camera Raw Updates, Super Snap & Urban Graphic, Creative Software Review Magazine, Graphics.com May Challenge

Corel offers four service packs for Paint Shop Pro X3. Service Pack 3 finally lets you apply Photoshop plugins to 16-bit/channel images. Warning 1: Please check the images for artifacts if you do that. Warning 2: Under XP the service pack installations corrupted our PSP installation, so we did not manage to use them. No problem under Vista and 7.
Visit website...

The Photoshop CS5 12.0.4 update enables specially designed apps on tablets, smartphones and PCs to communicate with and control Photoshop CS5. Adobe designed three new iPad apps called Nav, Color Lava and Eazel, which are available on the App Store. Third party developers are also able to design such apps with the new Photoshop Touch SDK. Additionally some security, crash and performance problems have been fixed.
Visit website...

Adobe released Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4. They provide RAW support for 13 new cameras including the Canon EOS 600D/T3i and 1100D/T3, Nikon D5100 and Fujifilm X100 plus profiles for more than 25 lenses.
Visit website...

Cybia released two low-cost image effects applications (for Windows). Super Snap adds a touch of retro colour with a selection of styles that recreate a traditional 35mm film look. Urban Graphic creates a flat-colour effect by reducing the amount of colors in a photo, thereby achieving screen-printed style, pop art, graffiti style and cartoon effects.
Visit website...

Steve Upham, the guy behind Cybia, is now also publishing a magazine called Creative Software Review. It contains reviews of creative graphics software. Issue 1 takes a look at tools and plugins that produce traditional media effects like drawings and paintings.
Visit website...

The Graphics.com May challenge asks you to creating an original work from a series of cloud images by May 31. The winner receives a one-month Pixmac subscription, worth $199, and a T-shirt.
Visit website...

 

 

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Copyright (c) 2000 - 2009 by Harald Heim