Plugin Newsletter - February 2004
THE PLUGIN SITE NEWS: New Order Form and Affiliate Program
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES MAGAZINE: Freeware Photo Plugins
POLL RESULTS: Most Useful Free Plugins
NEW POLL: Selling Other Plugins on The Plugin Site
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS: Making Tiles, IrfanView Frame Effect, Cartoon Effect, Draping, Gears, Lattice XP, Studio Quality
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS: Fotomatic & Works, FilterFoundry, Zoner Draw, Thumb-Maker, JPGVideo
GRAPHICS NEWS: Workflow eBook, Grains & Grasses, Seamless Factory, Color Efex Pro, Camera Raw, Page Curl 2
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
Unfortunately the URL www.thepluginsite.com was not usable for more than 4 days from February 5 to 9, although the web site was still reachable at the URL we announced in the previous issue. Sorry for that! The reason was that our previous web hosting provider shut down the old copy of the web site sooner than they told us they would. Luckily we don't have to deal with them anymore.
Anyway, The Plugin Site is now hosted on its own new server, which is running smoothly and faster than the old one. We also plan to have a second dedicated server for hosting our downloads, because the current one proved unreliable from time to time. Especially users with dial-up connections seem to experience download interruptions from time to time.
If you are worried about the up-time of your web site, please have a look at www.httpwhere.com. They offer a web site monitoring service with features that would cost you up to $50 from a commercial service. They only ask for a voluntary $2/month donation, which they will certainly get from me after testing their service.
Wishing you all the best,
THE PLUGIN SITE NEWS: New Order Form and Affiliate Program
We now offer a main order form for ordering our products. Previously you had to order each product from each product page and were not able to order more than one product at the same time. The new order form lets you order several products at once and also automatically grants discounts if you order more than one product. Additionally we have provided a Order Information page which answers a lot of questions about the ordering process. If you have any questions or dislike a feature of the new order page, please let us know. We are always interested to improve it. Please have a look at the new order form at
The introduction of the new order page also gave us the chance to improve and relaunch The Plugin Site Affiliate Program. We increased the affiliate commission from 15% to 20% and programmed a new affiliate tracking system, which works more accurately. You can now offer all of our products as an affiliate and we can send you your revenue (regardless of the amount) each month if you have a Paypal account. For more information, please visit
DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES MAGAZINE
Digital Photography Techniques issue 9 is on sale now. My Essential Plugin column recommends a dozen freeware plugins which are especially suited for enhancing photos. Among other interesting tutorials for Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro, the cover story "10 Essential Photo Fixes" explains how to remove red eyes, balance colors, straighten perspectives and clone away unwanted objects. The cover CD of issue 9 contains 700 free and demo Photoshop plug-ins and over one hour of live video tutorials.
POLL RESULTS: Most Useful Free Plugins
The Free Plugins Poll was running during the last two months and attracted more than 2700 votes. The poll question was "Which of these free plugins do you use regularly?", so it was asked for the usefulness of almost 50 freeware plugins. Here are the Top 10 of the most regularly used free Photoshop plugins:
1. Harry's Filters 6.8%
2. EyeCandy4000 Free Filters 6.7%
3. Flaming Pear Freebies 6%
4. Ulead Free Plugins 5.2%
5. Xero Plugins 4.7%
6. Redfield Free Plugins 4.1%
7. Almathera Plugins 4%
8. Xenofex Free Plugins 3.9%
9. MuRa's Filters 3.6%
10. FantasticMachines Paint Engine 3.3%
There was a thrilling race between Nr. 1 and 2, but the release of Version 3 of Harry's Filters put it at the top. It is interesting to see the Xero Plugins on the fifth place and Mura on 9. Harry's Filters, the Xero and the Mura Plugins were created with FilterMeister (www.filtermeister.com), so it is nice to see that FilterMeister plays an important role in the world of free plugins.
For more poll results please visit
NEW POLL: Reselling 3rd Party Plugins on The Plugin Site
We had the idea to offer Photoshop plugins from other companies in the back of our minds for quite some time. The predecessor of The Plugin Site web site was hosted by a company called I/US, which had a nice online store with different plugins and graphics software. Unfortunately I/US was acquired and closed down by another company in 2000. We don't want to copy that concept, but thought of offering an online shop, probably called "The Plugin Shop", where you can purchase the best available plugin products from various companies. Anyway, we would like to know if you like the idea or not.
So the question of our latest poll is "Would you like to purchase Photoshop plugins from other companies on our web site?". Thanks for participating in this poll. Please cast your votes at the bottom of the page at
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Here are the latest interesting posts from The Plugin Site Forums:
lyhe asks "Can anyone advise where I can purchase a standalone or plugin software for making tiles. I have a photo of 6in by 6in and wish to enlarge it so that it can be paste onto 12 pieces of wall tiles of size 4in by 4in each. ... Thank you"
JBUDA54 asked "I have Irfan Viewer version 3.85 installed, and I would like to put a date stamp on the pictures of the date they were taken. Is there a plug in that would allow me to do this?"
JoeyD asks "Is there anything out there that will change a video to look like a cartoon that would work with Premiere 6.0 or 6.5?"
peri_tex asks "i would like to know about the plugins which will help in designs to drape it on a model/figure and see the look of it"
rawnkie asks "Has anyone seen a program or pluggin capable of creating 3D gears like what you would find inside a motor?"
Joyce wrote "I need help with Redfield Lattice XP plugin. Some have a "$-prefix" and when I try to use them, it says corrupted or not compatible. How can I make these work?"
ma9alem asks "I wanted to find out how to modify a pictures so that it looks like that it has been taken by in a studio by a professional with the correct lighting."
For more discussions and comments please visit
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
The new FastFix plugin from Cybia (for Windows) corrects with the help of the brightness, contrast, saturation, and three color parameters. It is also capable of opening and saving presets. Steve Upham, aka Cybia, also released Mac versions of his Works plugin collection and put the Windows version of the AlphaWorks, ColourWorks, EdgeWorks and ScreenWorks effects into a single plugin with a nice interface each.
Telegraphics has released Version 1.0 of FilterFoundry plugin (for Win/Mac), a FilterFactory clone that also works under OS X. If you want to convert some old FilterFactory plugins for OSX, it is the best choice. Toby Thain from Telegraphics also makes the source code of this plugin under a GPL license available. So if you want to help him improving FilterFoundry, you are welcome. If you find FilterFoundry useful, please donate $5 to support this tool.
Zoner Draw 3 (for Windows) is a free vector graphics application. It can be used to create brochures, leaflets, illustrations, business cards, vector animations and more. Beside a lot of other features it also supports Photoshop filter plugins. You have to save a .ini file before you can start adding plugins, which is a bit confusing. We tested a few plugins and noticed that ZonerDraw causes some problem with the preview. It cuts of a part of the image and sometimes produces problems if the image isn't fully displayed in the preview. If you have a look at ZonerDraw you can also download the free Zoner Media Explorer Classic, which is a nice image viewer with a simple image editor.
MediaChance offers a simple batch resizing tool called Oscar's JPEG Thumb-Maker. It only supports JPG files, lets you enter the JPG output quality, apply three simple filters and a few resizing rules. Still this tool is quite useful if you want to batch resize your digital photos to a certain size for displaying them on a device with a fixed resolution, e.g. with DVD player on a TV or on a pocket PC. If you are on that page, you may also read the interesting story about Kodak's Smart Picture Frame.
JPGVideo (for Windows) creates a video file from a series of JPG Files with the same image size. The frame rate of the video can be chosen. JPGVideo tends to create very large AVI files, so you have to recompress the AVI file or convert it to MPEG with another tool if you want video files of a reasonable size. On the same web site you can also find JPGAVI which is shareware, but offers more features.
DigiArts Software Announces the Release of Grains & Grasses
The included nozzles, tubes and lists spray foliage in common growth patterns, for use in Paint Shop Pro, Painter or Photo-Paint. No demos but some nice examples and tutorials on the site.
AV Bros. Page Curl 2.0 Released
If you think the classic page curl effect is boring, perhaps you should check out the latest version of this plugin, which breathes new life into an old effect. Mac and PC demo available.
DOP2000 Digital Photography Workflow Handbook
Uwe Steinmüller from the Digital Outback Photo web site published a new ebook called "DOP2000 Digital Photography Workflow Handbook". It teaches you on 360 pages how to solve digital workflow problems in Photoshop CS.
nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 Features 75 Pressure-sensitive Photo Filters
This collection includes 75 special photographic effects, all of which can be selectively applied to images with a Wacom pressure-sensitive pen. Available in April for Mac and PC.
Adobe Extends Camera Raw File Support in Photoshop CS
The new Camera Raw plugin for Photoshop CS extends raw file support to 14 additional digital camera models. It's a free plugin, people. For Mac and PC.
Seamless Factory 2.8 Released
The latest version of this Windows app for creating seamless textures adds a few new features. Demo available.
For daily graphics news updates, visit