40 Useful Photoshop Free Plugins And Filters

Traditionally plugins are an amateurish photographer’s best friend who used to take photographs, fired up Photoshop, and applied some preset filters in order to have a realistically professional image. Skilled photographers have been acknowledged to bring plugins into play as a base and after that tweak and include effects to accomplish there own special proficient touch.

Plugins are essentially an essential tool that does not get the attention they are worthy of. The Photoshop community is chock-full of several free resources, tutorials, instructions and techniques, .psd files and even Actions.

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In this post of some free Photoshop plugins and filters, you will discover a handful plugins that are (more or less) as old as time itself but they will work flawlessly on all versions of Photoshop and the effect they create are just as valuable now as they were then.

VirtualPhotographer

virtualPhotographer lets you instantly apply high quality, professional photographic styles to your digital images with just one click. Adjust film grain, color, B/W, soft focus, high contrast and many other effects to achieve the same professional-looking images that used to take hours of photo editing. Get great results in seconds.

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BleachBypass

BleachBypass Professional is an advanced Photoshop-compatible plug-in designed to digitally simulate the traditional film “bleach bypass” technique.

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Filter Forge Freepack 2 – Photo Effects

Freepacks are free Photoshop plugins based on the Filter Forge technology. Each freepack is centered around a different theme. Freepacks are distributed free of charge and don’t have any time limitations. All filters included in the freepacks are also available from the Filter Library, so users of commercial Filter Forge can benefit from them as well.

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Wire Worm

This little plugin will help you remove wires and other unwanted objects from your images. There are, of course, other tools to achieve this goal, e.g. the good old clone stamp or the healing brush, besides a number of dedicated plugins and applications.

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Craquelure 3D

This filter creates a wide range of well known craquelure (krakloor) effects. The filter is useful in designing various abstract patterns, decorative surfaces and construction materials. Two independent craquelure layers can be controlled to achieve an amazing variety of texture effects, from etched metal and silk plaster to melted glass and water ripples.

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SuperPNG

SuperPNG is a free Adobe Photoshop plug-in for using PNG (“ping”) files. It has more comprehensive support for the format than Photoshop’s included plug-in and provides control over alpha channel handling.

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j2k

j2k is a free Photoshop and After Effects plug-in set for reading and writing the JPEG 2000 file format, the successor to JPEG. Also known as JP2, JPEG 2000 uses wavelet compression as opposed to the DCT compression used in standard JPEG. The end result is better image quality in a smaller file. JP2 also includes mandatory metadata such as information about an image’s color space.

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Curves

The plugin Curves proposes eight predetermined, interesting curves. Interface shows several miniatures of curves; select one and observe impact on the image.

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Absolute Color

Absolute Color is based on a hue wheel subdivised into 6 sectors of 60 degrees. Choose a sector to restrict the tints of the image to this one.

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Color MegaMix

Color MegaMix modifies the colors of any image. It is based on two rows of colors: 8 source colors and 8 target colors. According to these data, the plugin reconstructs completely the color space.

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Local Contrast Enhancement

This plugin’s main purpose is to bring out detail. This is accomplished by increasing the contrast between a pixel’s value and the mean value of the adjacent pixels in a local area of the photo. You can control the amount of the increase of contrast, the size of the local area and the amount of blending with the original photo.

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Photomatic

Fotomatic 1.4 : A collection of 8 plug-in filters for use with Adobe Photoshop or compatible host applications. They offer a series of effects based on traditional photography equipment and techniques. They are not meant to be complex or exact matches, merely a quick and easy method to achieve results that are similar to what can be produced via conventional non-digital formats.

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Hot Pixel

HotPixel is an Adobe Photoshop© compatible filter/plugin designed to remove “hot pixel” noise from digital images.

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ProcessFX2

Digitally simulate traditional film cross-processing techniques, creating skewed color effects that range from the subtle to the extreme.

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Fog

RPM Fog is a plugin for Photoshop (and compatible hosts such as Paint Shop Pro) that digitally adds blended graduated fog filter effects to your photographs.

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Technicolor

Quickly and easily simulate the old 2-color Technicolor process in Photoshop to produce an old-style film image.

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Beautifier

Produce outstanding images that really pop. Create flattering soft-focus, high-key and infra-red simulation effects… and do it all for FREE! This plug-in softens and enriches photographs in a way that brings them to life.

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Ulead ArtTexture Plugin

Ready-made library of 21 pattern templates and 61 color palettes for any 32-bit Photoshop compatible program. Ulead ArtTexture.Plugin is ideal for use with PhotoImpact!

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Auto Photo Mosaic

Mosaic makes your photos look as if they were created out of a mosaic tile. Photo-realistic depth and variable tile size and color options give this effect an infinite number of looks.

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Auto FX Dreamy Photo

Dreamy Photo gives images a soft romantic feel. This is a superb effect for enhancing stock photography, digital camera photos and any image you want to add a warm feel to.

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Redfield Water Ripples

Water Ripples is a freeware Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in filter. The highly realistic water ripples effect designer has numerous options as well as an impressive 3D quality. The random settings generator produces unlimited variations of rippled surfaces.

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Redfield Lattice 3D

Lattice Composer is a freeware Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in filter. It effectively designs grids and nettings. It produces a variety of weave patterns, fabric textures, body art tattoos and skeleton simulations. The 3D text effects are extraordinary.

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Redfield Jama 3D

Jama 3D is a freeware Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in filter. It’s the simplest way to create corrugated and cellular like patterns from 2D images. You can easily make various bricks and herring bone textures. Sequenced filtering produces bizarre unreal deformations of the original picture, crumpled paper effect, etc.

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Plug-In Switch

Plug-In Switch 1.3 : With hundreds of plug-in filters now available for expanding your host applications, it becomes essential to have an easy way of organising all the installed files.

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AlphaWorks – Transparency Effects

AlphaWorks quickly removes black or white values and making the region transparent. There are 6 different options, depending on the type of image you are working on (colour photo, mono photo, lineart).

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Selective Saturation

Quite often some parts of a photo require a saturation adjustment while others do not. If we increase the saturation globally, the most saturated parts get oversaturated and if we decrease it, the less saturated parts get undersaturated. We need a Saturation Mask based on the individual pixel saturation in order to adjust it just where it is needed. So this plugn, Selective Saturation, lets the user define a Saturation Zone by setting it’s center and range with two sliders

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Color MegaMix

Color MegaMix modifies the colors of any image. It is based on two rows of colors: 8 source colors and 8 target colors. According to these data, the plugin reconstructs completely the color space.

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Icon Plug-in

Icon Plugin for Photoshop enhances Adobe Photoshop with an ability to export and import Windows icons (.ico).

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Face Control

Face Control plug-in allows you to change facial expressions of people in the digital photos. It is very easy-to-use freeware program. Human, animal, alien, or any other faces are welcomed.

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AAA Options

This filter allows you to open a mask, texture, grunge, or paint layer and blend it with your image in any of 30 blend modes. You can even use it to simulate layers by blending it with the original or a modified version of the image you are editing.

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Camouflage

Now you can, with the Camouflage™ plug-in! Use the Camouflage plug-in to make army, fashion and animal camo. You can even make patterns not found anywhere else.

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Stereogram Lab Filter

Stereogram Lab Filter is a stereogram maker plug-in, which allows to generate Hidden Image Stereograms right in your Photoshop, which is quite convenient. This filter is free and you can use it both for commercial and non-commercial purposes, however, distributing the filter itself is not allowed.

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Mosaic Toolkit

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Smart Refinement Filter

Smart Refinement Filter is an Adobe Photoshop® plug-in for photographic images enhancement. This plug-in allows: sharpness and depth-of-field (DOF) enhancement, and noise (dust) reduction.

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Fur 2

The plugin Fur 2, disperse a simple figure (line or circle, configurable dimensions/thickness) over the whole image.

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Kaleidoscope 2.1

Kaleidoscope 2.1 is a plugin which proceeds to multiple symmetries to obtain beautiful patterns.

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Sinedots 2

This plug-in helps creating amazing wavy effects. And you will be surprised with the random results what you get.

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Night Vision

The NightVision plug-in can make any image like the ones from night vision goggles. By using the effects in this plug-in, you can make images look like they are from a black & white security camera or CCTV system. It’s also possible to make them look like infra-red photos. Or you can just use the interlace to make an image look like a TV picture. You can even use it to enhance real night images!

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Circle to Square

This photoshop plugin changes circle shapes into squares.

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Noise Shampoo

Noise Shampoo is an edge-preserving smoothing filter. It can help to reduce noise on some pictures.

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Fine Threshold

Unlike the traditional threshold command of Photoshop, the plugin Fine Threshold allows to get quickly, anti-aliased and sharp shapes.

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