Plugin Newsletter - March 2003 - B
HYPERTYLE 1.02 UPDATE:
Several Bug Fixes
THE PLUGIN SITE WIKI:
Add your own content to The Plugin Site
UPDATES OF THE PLUGIN SITE:
ColorWasher 1.01b Update, Polls 2002/2003 page
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS:
Graphic Designer Needed, Photo Repeat, Shadow plugin, Grainy Photos
How much would you maximally pay for a good plugin product?
LATEST PRODUCT REVIEWS:
Photoshop 7, Speed Up Your Site
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
xero plugins 3, Filter Foundry, Burger Transitions, PixelNhance, Buttonmania
GRAPHICS NEWS from www.Graphics.com
PSP Album 4, Expo Digital Art Contest, Digital GEM, Montage, XFile
PRODUCTS FROM THE PLUGIN SITE
ABOUT THE PLUGIN SITE
This issue is sent out a few days later than planned, because of several problems and things that came in between. So I'm glad it is finally published.
Version 1.02 of HyperTyle was released because some plugin hosts (PSP8 Beta, PhotoImpact 8, Fireworks MX) don't behave according to the Photoshop SDK under Windows XP and cause dialog problems for some plugins. In the case of HyperTyle the most obvious problems were the black and unreadable check boxes, but there are still some minor visual problems which I wasn't able to fix, because it would cause trouble in Photoshop. These problems are caused because the mentioned hosts display the plugin dialog in XP style instead of Classic style. Unfortunately there are several other plugins from other companies that have similar problems. In the end these problems arose because Adobe restricted access to the Photoshop SDK. So Jasc, Ulead and Macromedia didn't seem to have known that they should only turn on XP style for plugins with a special property that was introduced in the restricted Photoshop 7 SDK. I doubt it, but I hope this will the last problem that will occur because of Adobe's new policy.
Secondly, as promised last time, a new section, a Wiki, was opened at The Plugin Site which lets all visitors edit the web pages, add their own content and even create new web pages. This is more or less an experiment, so I hope that there will be a general interest and that it will succeed.
Please read below for more details ...
HYPERTYLE 1.02 UPDATE
Version 1.02 of our HyperTyle plugin has been released. HyperTyle produces sophisticated texture, surface, paint, erosion, transparency, edge, frame and shadow effects with the help of seamless textures.
This Version is mostly a bug fix release. For example, the Black-Checkbox-Problem under Windows XP was fixed and the tab sheets aren't displayed mixed up anymore after exiting HyperTyle with Cancel. A new mouse cursor was added for placing the preview cross more precisely and the preview cross is now placed when you release the right mouse button, which gives greater control of the placement. Last, but not least, a busy cursor is now displayed during the preview calculation and the Zoom slider doesn't produce unwanted results anymore under certain conditions. All registered users will soon get the update with a separate email.
For more information and the latest demo version please visit
THE PLUGIN SITE WIKI
You can now create your own web pages in new Wiki section of The Plugin Site. A Wiki is basically a web site whose pages can be edited by its visitors. That means that you can edit any page of the Wiki section directly on the web site and even create new Wiki pages. If you use Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher (which up to 85% of all people do), you will be able to use a visual WYSIWYG editor to enter your text. People with other browsers will have to enter html code or plain text in a simple text box. For detailed information on how to edit pages, create new ones, upload images, please read the "How to Use" page.
The Plugin Site Wiki already has a predefined structure with the five major sections: News, Resources, Reviews, Tips and Tutorials, Personal Pages. So it is ready and waiting for content and for your contributions.
The Plugin Site Wiki is waiting at
UPDATES OF THE PLUGIN SITE
A mini update of ColorWasher has been released some time ago. The 1.01b Update is only relevant for registered users and fixes two bugs that have sneaked into Version 1.01. All registered users should have received an email about this update.
The Polls 2002 page in the KnowHow section of The Plugin site has been updated with the Color Correction Plugin poll from last year. A new Polls 2003 page has been created and the results of the two previous polls about your favorite digital cameras and plugin companies have been added to it.
THE DISCUSSION FORUMS
Nevil asks "We are looking for a young graphic designer (20-25) who has an excellent motion graphics and design background using Photoshop, After Effects and possibly some sort of 3D to work in London. Does anyone know where the best place to post an advertisement is?"
rubyburns asked "Does anyone have this plugin (Photo Repeat by HumanSoftware) ? I bought and downloaded it last week and I swear, I can't make head nor tails of it! I read the .pdf manual that it comes with and still can't figure out how to make this thing work! And, I don't consider myself a dumb person..."
Michael asked "I'm looking to find a plugin that will automatically give auto shadow to my images - particularly jewelry images that are original silo'd. Also would love if it works for photo-paint too. Any suggestions?"
"I have a question. ... Some of my photos have a grainy appearance which is very noticeable when I zoom out. when I resize the photos (to the same size as the zoom) this disappears. other photos are as clear when zooming as they are when resizing. what is the cause of this and how can I fix it?"
For more discussions and comments visit
Our latest poll is asking the question "How much would you maximally pay for a good plugin product?". Please answer the poll as honestly as possible. We won't use the result of this poll to increase or lower our prices :-). This poll has already been conducted three years ago, so it will be interesting to compare the results.
Please cast you vote at
LATEST PRODUCT REVIEWS:
Better late than never, here are the summaries of two new reviews that have been added to the Review section of The Plugin Site:
Photoshop 7 Review Summary: "Photoshop 7 has once again proved to be the most versatile and effective image editing application that is available. Although the improvements were not as dramatic as with Version 6, the latest version offers a lot of useful enhancements." For the full review, please visit
Speed Up Your Site book review: "A very detailed overview over optimizing web sites for speed. Many different aspects are discussed and explained. Because of the complexity of the topic, this book is more aimed at web design professionals." For the full review, please visit
More reviews can be read at
FREE PLUGINS AND TOOLS
Set Three of the free xero plugins (for Windows) was just released. It contains 10 new Photoshop-compatible plugins called bad dream, duochrome, emphasis, fuzzifier, improver, lineart, pastellise, tekstya and tweaker. The effect range varies from
color effects, art effects, grain effects to noise removal and image enhancement.
Telegraphics offers a beta version of Filter Foundry, which is basically a Filter Factory plugin clone. It works with Photoshop 3 - 7 on Power Macs (OS X, Classic, OS 9 and earlier), 68K Mac and under Windows. That means that it supports more platforms than the original FilterFactory from Adobe who dropped its development years ago. Th current beta version already lets you open AFS file, but not create plugins. The author asks for a donation if you use this product.
Mr. Burger offers 20 free transition plugins for Ulead Video Studio, MediaStudio Pro and Adobe Premiere on his web site. They let you produce artistic transitions between two video clips. The effects are called Crossfade, Bubble, Waves, Rays, Colors, Twister, Shaft, Spiral, Dream, Chars, Curtain, Airport, Radar, Mosaic, Marbles, BW Flash and Cuboids.
Although Caffeine Software has suspended operation, they now added a link for downloading their latest software. The download size is 56MB and also includes the PixelNhance tool. PixelNhance (for MacOS X) is a free image enhancement application. PixelNhance offers controls for adjusting brightness, contrast, levels, color, saturation, tone, sharpness and noise reduction. It features a split-screen window with the original settings on one side and the current settings on the other. The dividing bar can be adjusted horizontally, vertically and rotated.
Buttonmania allows you to create button images of various styles and shapes. You can choose from a variety of available styles and customize them to your preference. The button styles range from simple form-style web buttons to graphical shapes and 3D style push-buttons. Additional features include a text tool, gradient options, effect buttons, mouseover styles, Mac style buttons and more. Buttonmania also comes with a Java script tool for creating mousover code for buttons. Some button styles look a bit unprofessional and the dialogs are somewhat confusing, but overall it lets you quickly design some nice buttons.
GRAPHICS NEWS from www.Graphics.com
Release of Jasc Paint Shop Photo Album 4 Raises the Bar on Digital Imaging
Designed for those relatively new to digital photography, this app helps you manage your images and has of course close integration with Paint Shop Pro 8. Windows only, with a trial version available.
Macworld Conference & Expo Digital Art Contest
Feeling lucky? If so, why not submit some of your best 2D or 3D art and keep your fingers crossed? You could win graphics goodies and get some serious exposure.
Applied Science Fiction (ASF) Introduces Digital GEM Plugin
Known for their automatic photo restoration tools, ASF has released a new plugin that provides automatic noise and grain reduction for digital images. A Windows version and demo is currently available, with the Mac version to follow.
Montage 1.0: OS X Native Multimedia Software
Looking for an alternative to Apple's iMovie software? Montage was built specifically for OS X and claims "the free manipulation of video, audio, stills, and text in an infinitely expandable window". Sounds promising and a demo is available.
HumanSoft XFile Photoshop Plugin Offers Multiple Image Resampling Tools
The latest plugin from the prolific Human Software is designed to let you dramatically change the size of your images while maintaining the maximum possible image quality, choosing from a range of resampling algorithms, including their own Xfile version. For Mac and Windows. No demo available, alas.
For daily graphics news updates, visit