This site is all about Photoshop compatible filters for the PC. As you browse the site, you will discover over 300 pages packed with thousands freeware and commercial Photoshop filters available from the best authors on the Internet. Each page displays the “Master Image” of the lion and the result of each Photoshop filter has on the image.
What is a Photoshop Filter?
Photoshop filters and plugins started to come on to the market in the early 90s. Early Photoshop filter sets included KPT Power Tools Volume 1, Andromeda, Aldus Gallery Effects, Ring of Fire, Black Box plugins, and many others. Since then, Photoshop filters have appeared in ever increasing numbers, and there are probably now 3000 or 4000 filters available, many of them are mentioned on this site. A wide variety of different filter plugin effects exist, from super professional and wacky-interfaced KPT Spheroid Designers (from the legendary Kai Krause), all the way to more humble plugin (but still excellent) creative tools such as the Filter Factory Filters.
A plugin can take many different forms: image processing, text, file formats, selections, production filters, automation and more, but the most common is probably the special effect. The special effect can take the form of simply shifting a pixel to the left or perhaps adding a frame or a variety of frames or changing the color of a pixel or adding an emboss or fractal to an image.
Plugins are generally developed using the Adobe Photoshop SDK in Visual C++. Other plugin creating tools exist such as the Filter Factory tool (which used to come supplied with Photoshop) and the Filtermeister plugin. The end result of the creation of the plugin is a .dll that can be loaded upon startup by Photoshop or other application. If the application and the plugin fully support the Photoshop plugins format, the plugin will work in basically the same way in all applications though as with all things, the format and the host applications are always changing and so not all plugins support automation or actions say (even now).
Many applications have their own native plugins and these are generally not swappable between applications. Each application offers its own unique take on a plugin effect or might offer additional effects not found in any available plugin set.
A large number of plugins exist and I would suggest checking out a number of plugin websites and downloading their demo plugins, most offer 15 or 30 day trials.