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Photoshop Plugins

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  • Photoshop Plugins

    Hi , I'm curious about the range of additional plugins available to Ps & if they really can enhance the image editing process or are they generally just dressed up automations for what can already be achieved manually within Ps?

    Some of the plugins I've come across so far include ;
    OnOne , NIK , AlienSkin , LucisArt , Imagenomic

    Any opinions on any of these tools plus others would be greatly appreciated & also generally as re. plugins being worth the extra investment?

    Many thanks , Mark

  • #2
    Re: Photoshop Plugins

    It all depends on the plug in. Some are just more organized actions. Others use their own equations. And some even use both.

    When it comes to buying plugin's, you really have to have a use for it that you are going to use often to make it worth it. Most plugin's have a trial period and i suggest you use it to figure out if you like it or not. I have plugin's that I use often, sometimes, and never.

    Noise reduction programs will probably be used often and can be a worthwhile perchance. The photo manipulation programs are expensive and you will not use often unless you or your job plans to use it often.

    Hope it helps,


    • #3
      Re: Photoshop Plugins

      From a technical perspective, there is nothing that plugins do that you wouldn't be able to do with just Photoshop. Nothing.

      The value of the plugins revolves around two issues:
      • the amount of time it saves.
      • and the knowledge curve that it saves.

      To be able to fully reproduce in PS what some plugins do, you would have to spend a lot of time working on the image and in many cases you would have to be very, very, knowledgeable of how PS works and how to do certain things.

      Of the plugins that you mentioned: OnOne , NIK , AlienSkin , LucisArt , Imagenomic...

      I have tried all of them and all them will save lots of time achieving whatever look you are looking for.
      However, none of them do anything that you couldn't do with just PS. It is just a matter of how much time you have and how much knowledge you have of PS.


      • #4
        Re: Photoshop Plugins

        Thanks Frank , good to know that I'm not at a big disadvantage , have been through alot of the Ps learning curve & happy to perform work with know how & my own automations etc , will in time experiment with some plugins via the trial periods , thanks Keven for the suggestion , Cheers , Mark


        • #5
          Re: Photoshop Plugins

          Mark, I put a comprehensive free resource together focusing on plug-ins (see URL in sig). You can save a lot of time clicking each link and seeing screenshots and custom examples from many of the large and small developers.

          While it is true that a large number of these effects can be duplicated in Photoshop and/or other image editors, the statement is not totally true. Regardless, plug-ins (and their cousins, actions) will save you a lot of time and even teach you some tricks along the way!


          • #6
            Re: Photoshop Plugins

            I really like Topaz Simplify, and the other Topaz tools. Try the free demo and see what I mean. Some others here use this also to achieve certain looks.


            • #7
              Re: Photoshop Plugins

              I agree with everyone. It can all be done in PS, and yes it could take weeks or months to do it that way. Some of these new noise removal algorithms are getting quite complex. Some of the newer skin color matching processes are also complex, using subtle variations of actual skin samples from around the globe.

              I go for the ones that can have an impact in my workflow and help keep me on track with regard to whay I'm getting paid to do (or can invoice for). They are tools. You may have some really nice tools in your box, and some less important tools. But, you know which ones work the best for which situation. It is nice to have a small collection of tools to choose from.

              And of course, you may not need to pay for that extra GUI interface. There are many people writing individual actions to speed up repetitive tasks. Take a look at the many free actions that are available on Glenn Mitchell's site here. With a little reading you can find out how to better apply and manipulate the settings to achieve very professional results from these actions.

              Again, find what is useful for your workflow, try a few before you buy, try some free ones as well. Keep those that save you time and produce results you can be proud of.
              Last edited by TommyO; 03-28-2009, 08:41 AM.


              • #8
                Re: Photoshop Plugins

                OK so they can be beneficial & there's alot more to choose from than I had realised.

                It would be interesting to hear from people with specific recommendations for tools which can enhance the workflow & results for users already fully familiar with the Ps tools...

                for instance , I frequently isolate subjects from bg's via masking etc but there's a whole range of cutout plugins , one is Fluid Mask aimed at pro level offering more speed & accuracy , has anyone used this or similar ?


                • #9
                  Re: Photoshop Plugins

                  I am trying to find something on the Custom Impressionist plugin..

                  I have the regular Impressionist... but i have been hearing the word CUSTOM... is it something different? I love the watercolor techniques one can achieve with Impressionist, but ,i'd like to go further...

                  any info would be appreciated...



                  • #10
                    Re: Photoshop Plugins

                    Mark, I agree with everyone else too. Tommy pretty much nailed it. Plugsnpixels site is an awsome resource. I haven't been there for a while but I remember all the plugins seperated into free and pay catagories.
                    I would say to start there, keeping in mind the work that you do. Do you need something that creates custom frames for instance, then look at all those plugin or program options and pick maybe one or two of the best to try out. Most good plugins will have a free trial or even a free version. For me, I really like imagnomic (I always use it on a seperate layer because I always overdo it and I can dial it back). Onone has some great software. Alienskin does nothing for me, you may like some of thier stuff. Lucis art is crap unless you like that sort of thing (totally my opinion). If memory serves Nik makes a really handy plugin for patching that does a nice job sometimes where similar tools in photoshop fail. I also like kodaks plugins although I don't think they are still called that, a quick google should still find them though.


                    • #11
                      Re: Photoshop Plugins

                      Thanks , that kind of honest user experience does help towards guaging & filtering the massive choice , Cheers , Mark


                      • #12
                        Re: Photoshop Plugins

                        Make sure you do you homework and try the plug in prior to purchase. Some plug-ins are good others questionable for what you end up paying.


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