Photoshop filter plugin is a GIMP plug-in that runs 3rd-party Photoshop plug-in filters. You can also use this plugin in GIMP Portable It was written in 2001, and it initially worked on Windows only. Then nothing much happened until now (March 2006) when it became available also on Linux. All that was needed, basically, was for somebody to try building it using winegcc. Possibly building and running it on Linux might have worked already years ago, but nobody tried. Thanks to Mukund for trying it on Linux and reporting the success!
Where to find Photoshop filter plug-in that are any good?
Google is your friend. You will find time-limited or functionally limited demo versions of commercial filters, and “freeware” filters. A lot of the 3rd-party filters that you can find on the net are mostly crap, though, and don’t do anything particularily exciting that one couldn’t do with GIMP already.
There are some exceptions though. I think that for instance many filters from Flaming Pear are highly regarded. You can find time-limited demo versions, and some giveaway fully functional ones from their site.
Some magazines that come with “cover” CD-ROMs, like Computer Arts, often include commercial Photoshop filters on the CD-ROMs. They might for instance be slightly older versions than those that you need to pay full price for.
Photoshop plug-in filters (for the Windows version of Photoshop, which is what we are talking about here) are actually Windows DLLs, which are dynamically loaded into the plug-in host process’s address space. They are files with the extension .8bf, though, not .dll. (GIMP plug-ins, on the other hand, are separate processes.)
Unlike GIMP plug-ins, 3rd-party Photoshop plug-ins don’t use any common user interface library. (GIMP plug-ins use GTK+, obviously.) This is because 3rd-party Photoshop plug-ins are usually available both for the Windows and Macintosh versions of Photoshop. Typically each company uses some homegrown widget library, with a look and feel that is widely different than the normal Windows common control look and feel, or the GTK+ look and feel.
What is in the binary packages?
The Windows package includes just pspi.exe. Put it in your GIMP plug-ins folder.
After starting GIMP, go to the Xtns:Photoshop Plug-in Settings and enter the folder where you are going to keep the 3rd-party Photoshop plug-ins (.8bf files) that you want to use in GIMP.
Preferrably you should use an initially empty folder for this, and then install (copy) Photoshop plug-ins there one by one, verifying that each works. It isn’t really useful to rush and install a shitload of Photoshop plug-ins at once and assume they all will work under pspi.
How to make the plugins work in GIMP
- Step 1. Download the Photoshop filter plugin (pspi) for GIMP here.Open the archive “Gimp_Ps_plugin_support.zip” and copy the plugin filter (pspi.exe) to the GIMP plugin directory:C:\Program Files\GIMP 2\lib\gimp\2.0\plug-ins
- Step 2. Download and install AKVIS plugins you want to use. Don’t worry that GIMP is not recognized by the setup files.
- Step 3. Open GIMP and select Photoshop Plug-in settings in the menu Filters. A new window will pop up: Click on the first folder (“1”). The button in the middle of the window will be highlighted in red.Click on the last folder (“2”) and find the folder with AKVIS plugins (C:\Program Files (x86)\AKVIS).Hint: You can copy all necessary plugins (.8bf files) to a separate folder and add only this folder to GIMP.Press “OK”.
- Step 4. After re-opening GIMP, you will find the newly installed AKVIS plugins in the menu Filters. They will become active when you open any picture.
- Bear in mind that not all AKVIS plug-ins are fully compatible with GIMP which works with selection in other way than Photoshop.