Anything Photoshop or Photography

Posts tagged “Free plug in

Great Free Plug-in for Lightroom – The Fader!

This week I was reading Matt Kloskowski’s Lightroom Killer Tips blog (the best blog around for Lightroom fans) about a new plug-in called “The Fader.”  In Matt’s words, “….it does exactly what it says. It fades presets. If you’ve ever applied a preset and like the effect, but just think it’s a little “too much” then that’s where The Fader comes in (insert deep echoed breathing here). You pick a preset and then move the slider to tone it down a bit. That’s it.”  I decided to give it a try.  I found out that sometimes it is better to apply the effect even more than what the basic preset allows.  Since this turned out to be a major cool plug-in, I wanted to share some of my results using the program.  Here is The Fader link to download the plug-in or download it from Adobe Lightroom Extension.  So lets get started.

To find The Fader in Lightroom, you must go to File > Plug-in Extras > The Fader. The plug-in has a slider that allows you to set the preset strength anywhere between (-50) and +150. The preset is actually applied from within the plug-in first by selecting the file folder containing the preset in one field, and then choosing the preset from a drop-down list of the folder presets in the next field. Any number of presets can be tried (just like looking at the Navigator in Lightroom) before you decide on a preset. Below I am showing just a simple example for comparison of what results you get with no preset applied, the regular preset applied at 100%, and the preset applied using The Fader set to 85%. For the last two images, I used a preset that comes with Lightroom when purchased called Color Creative – Yesteryear 1. For all images in this blog I did basically no processing of the images except for the presets shown and a bit of vignetting in some cases.

With the last image at 85% strength, there is a little less of that fake turquoise look but still has a bit of that old-fashioned feel in the image.

Next are three images which show, once again the original image first, then one with 100% strength of the preset applied, and finally one with 150% strength applied (the maximum that can be applied). I used a preset called Vivid Drawing Look that I created and can be downloaded here.

In this case, the image at 150% strength has a better look in my opinion. The photos below are of Wrecker’s Bar in the Bahamas. First the original, then one at 100% preset strength, 121% preset strength, and one at (-31) preset strength. I used the preset from Presets Heaven called YoshkiWarmGold. This site has fabulous presets for free download and may be the second best site next to Matt’s for Lightroom.

The negative setting created really stong blue and green tones – it seems the negative numbers bring out some very different results depending on the preset. I am not sure I like the blue but this is a good example of how different the same preset can make an image look at various strengths.

The final images are just a reiteration of what is above, but the effect is really nice in all cases. It just goes to show that if the image is photographed correctly, it is hard to make it look bad no matter what you do to it! This is an image of the Bank of Scotland’s dome in Edinburgh, Scotland. The first image is as shot in raw, the second used 100% strength of Matt’s 70’s Look, and the final image is of the same preset at 150%. This preset was created in Episode 227 of Photoshop User TV and is slightly different from the Vintage presets he has on his site. I really like this preset and use it often – if you want a copy, I have it posted here.

I believe I will use this plug-in all the time – it opens up a whole lot of new possibilities for effects in images. I hope the Adobe people will consider doing just what The Fader does in their next version of Lightroom. I would recommend you download and try this program for yourself. I think you will be surprised at how easy it is to use and how interesting the effects can become. Enjoy!…..Digital Lady Syd

Instant Mirror and Quick Mirror for Photoshop

Continuing on my current trend of looking into the various Photoshop plug ins available, I decided to explore the mirror effect.  I could only find three filters available.   Let’s start with the Mirror effect that is part of The PlugIn Galaxy 2.01.  This filter was originally called Instant Mirror in version 1.0, so I will keep this name to distinguish it from the others.   A demo, which displays print throughout the image, can be downloaded but is fully functional so you get a real feel how the filter works is available at  The Plugin Site.  There are 17 effects in this bundle that includes this one.  The really cool thing about Instant Mirror is that when applied,  it does change instantly -no waiting around or increasing canvas size.  And the resulting effects are pretty amazing.  Here are a few results of what can be achieved with very little effort.

The above image is a bush and mountains on Hana Highway that was taken on the back dry side of Maui, Hawaii. This is a pretty basic application of the filter – applied Mirror set to Vertical Left. The whole trick to this filter is that by right clicking and dragging on the center (+) mark, the best effects are achieved. A Nik’s Color Efex Pro Glamour Glow filter (Glow 63, Sat 27, Glow Temp 40) to make the bushes stand out more and OnOne PhotoFrame (Dave Cross 01) were applied to finish up the image.

For this image Instant Mirror was run in the Manual Mode (there are four different modes to try), setting the image to Horizontal Top, and Right Click dragging the (+).  I exited out of the filter and ran it again using Vertical Right and dragging the (+). A layer mask was applied so the leaves at the top left showed through from the layer below. I finished up with Topaz Simplify Sketch Hard Pencil effect. There is a book called “Photoshop Plug-ins” by Jim Zuckerman and Scott Stulberg that does a great job of discussing this filter in detail.

With this spica image, the Mirror Preset called Kaleidoscope No. 08 was applied to create the border. Kaleidoscope Vertical was applied next for the plant effect. Finally Topaz Detail was used to bring out the color and detail in the image.

The second mirror plug in is a free download and called Quick Mirror by Julia World.  The thing I like about Quick Mirror is the images are not distorted at all.   It is basically just a flip {that can be done in Photoshop with a Free Transform) but it is easy and more effects can be generated by selecting different part of the image.  Once again I used my London Eye image.  The basic steps to for using this filter are:   Duplicate the layer you are mirroring, create a selection around the areas you want to duplicate (I used the Rectangular Marquee Tool and made my selection from top to bottom around The Eye),  invert the selection (CTRL+ALT+I), erase selection (BACKSPACE), deselect the selection, and run the filter.  In this case, a layer mask was then added to give less of a total duplication look on the bottom and upper left.

This last London Eye image shows a creative effect that can be achieved by using the steps above but making the selection just around The Eye itself. Continue along with inverting the selection and deleting, deselecting and applying the filter. It is a pretty simple workflow to achieve very nice results – and it is FREE!  I also used Nik Color Efex Pro Reflector Filter (Gold, Light Itensity 64, Light Falloff 42, Position 48, Source Direction 0).

The last plug in I will mention is called Filters Unlimited 2.0 – a fully functional demo with 150+ effects can be downloaded but the results cannot be applied (the full version has over 350 filters).  There is a setting called Tiles and Mirrors with several different kaleidoscope and mirrored effects.  I used my original The Eye image and applied the Seamless Blend (horizontal) to the image.  The results gave great looking clouds but the fine lines were not clear, sort of a ghosting effect.  I do believe it is not that bad an effect, just not as good as the other two filters discussed.  My personal opinion is that both the Instant Mirror and Quick Mirror are great plug ins and easy to use.  You get more options with Instant Mirror but more distortion to the image when you use it.  Quick Mirror is pretty basic but gives great undistorted results.

Once again, this has been a blast putting this blog together.  There are so many effects with these filters that I did not cover.  Hope I can get time to play some more with these plug ins!