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Plug ins

Started by Marydh, March 14, 2010, 12:28:01 PM

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Hi all,
I would love to know what plug ins you have found most useful for restoration work .... free or otherwise.  (Noise Ninja?, Fluid Mask?)

I'm on a Mac Pro.


Hi Mary,

I have tried a few filters myself over the years and I came to the conclusion that I don't really need them.  It can all be done with Photoshop  (assuming that is what you use) and even better, it can be done in a non destructive way.

Since Photoshop CS2 introduced smart objects you can have non destructive dynamic filters that don't physically alter the pixels in any way.  Very easy to go back and change it or remove the filters. 
CS3 also has smart filters, if you don't know how to use them here is a tutorial:
(There are a lot of other tutorials available on the net, even videos.)

It is better not to use any sharpening filters, Photoshop or otherwise.  We have seen photos that have been sharpened and the prints come out looking terrible.   :(

Hannie Scheltema
Distribution Coordinator


Hi Mary,

I agree with Hannie about the filters.  Most of the ones I've tried both at work and on the restorations tend to make gross adjustments that distort the image too much for my purposes.  I'd rather have control of not only the filter or effect but also of the area being affected.  I know that some volunteers have found filters for removing texture and spots, and their restorations have looked great.  One thing I've also discovered is that many of the tightly-controlled filters (like the FFT - I think it's called) are developed only for PCs.  Since I have a Mac, I had to send one of my early images to a volunteer with a PC, and he was kind enough to run the filter for me.  It did a fine job.

I'm also using CS2, so there may be more tools available for CS3 and CS4.  I discovered recently that CS4 has a great clone menu by which you can rotate your cloning tool, among other things.  It gives much more control.  I'd recommend checking Katrin Eismann's web site, NAPP, Deke McClennand, and I-Tunes (they offer some great free tutorial series for Photoshop - one of which is Deke's Top 40 - excellent!)

There's so much information out there.  It's just knowing where to find it - that's tricky!  I joined facebook and have found that in joining the Photoshop and the gurus' pages (including Katrin and Deke), I've been able to check out references that they post.

So much to learn - it boggles the mind! Good luck!

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. ~Albert Pine

(Photoshop CS5 /Mac Pro)


Glenna, check out ImageJ. Can't remember the url right now, being an old lady, but it's easily Googlable. It's not a plugin; rather a standalone program. It will run on a Mac, however. It's free, developed at the National Institutes of Health for analyzing medical and scientific images. The interface is daunting - takes some playing to wrap your head around. It does a lot more than FFTs, but I use it mostly for those. It also has a bandpass filter that's sometimes useful.


Hi lurch

I'll definitely check out ImageJ.   Sounds as if it's quite a piece of software if I can wrap my brain around it.  I never could understand exactly how the FFT worked, but it definitely is amazing.  Am about to Google now.  Thanks for the great information.


What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. ~Albert Pine

(Photoshop CS5 /Mac Pro)


I must admit that I use a lot of plug-ins. I've found it a great time saver but I won't use them till I can fully understand their use.

I use regularly the Kodak Plugin suite, neat Image, Noise Ninja but there are more I'm experimenting with but only use on my images as commonly they look iffy.

I've probably tried tens of different plugins and some I don't use any more like Fluid Mask & Mask Pro - since I learnt to mask hair better and use the pen tool.

A good book to see for plugins having just read it - is CTEIN's book about photo restoration - it has a chapter about plugins.



Paul, I have Ctein's book, and I'll have to revisit it to check out the section on plug-ins.  I'm very impressed with that book.  His and Katrin Eismann's are the best!  I'm with you on some of the more popular plug-ins like Mask Pro.  Between the pen tool and channels, there are very concise means by which to mask without spending extra cash.  (I'm still trying to be able to afford CS4!)

lurch, I downloaded ImageJ and started reading through the documentation.  Holy crow!  Right brain and left brain are having a knock-down, drag-out!  Daunting is an understatement! The filters look as if they have potential, but it's definitely a developer's haven, because there's more about scripting and Java than there is about applicable uses for the functions.  I'm fascinated, however, and as I have time, I'm going to check some of them out.  Thanks for the reference.

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. ~Albert Pine

(Photoshop CS5 /Mac Pro)