Friday, April 9, 2010

How To Use Photoshop Plugins On Linux

One of the complaints of Photoshop users  is not being able to work with its plugins in Linux. Photoshop has plugins for effects and filters that enhance its functionality, expanding the capacity of the program. On Linux, the Gimp has its own collection of plugins and scripts, but to satisfy the folks who look down upon Linux and Gimp, I will present not one but two ways to do the work of Photoshop plugins in Linux.

The Most Effective Way

Everyone who has had contact with windows should know a little program called Irfanview image viewer. This little program is a true Swiss army knife for viewing images, and one of its most remarkable features is to be able to make small edits on the images. Within these features, you can use 8bf effect filters  , the format of Adobe Photoshop filters. And, this feature is what we'll use to run Photoshop plugins in Linux. To be able to run Irfanview on Linux, we will need to install Wine.

So, let's get to work
  1. Install the latest version of Wine in the repositories of your distribution. Since Wine is present in almost all repositories of almost all the distros, there should be no problem about that.
  2. Search for the version 3.98 of Irfanview , which is a version that works exceptionally well with Wine, and therefore with Linux.
  3. Irfanview 3.98 can be downloaded  from the site http://www.oldversion.com/download_IrfanView_3.98.html, which is a specialized site  in storing old versions of programs from the Windows platform..
  4. Install Irfanview is very easy. Just run the installer, irfanview398.exe, with Wine and  go answering the questions of the installer.
  5. Once installed, in the fake drive c: \, which is inside the folder. / Wine, it will create several subdirectories in the directory of Irfanview. What interests us is Program Files /IrfanView/Plugins/Adobe 8bf.
  6. Inside this folder you should put the plugins you want to use. Websites like http://www.allgraphicdesign.com/graphicsblog/2007/10/1000s-of-free-photoshop-plugins-filters-megalist/ provide all possible links from where to download  8bf plugins compatible with Photoshop.
  7. Then go to menu Image, Effects, Adobe 8bf filters





  8. Something like this will appear :





  9. Click "Add 8bf filters"




  1. Indicate where the filters are



  2. Click "Ok"
  3. And you will have at your disposal all the Photoshop filters for use in Linux.

    Recalling that the images processed by the filters, through Irfanview, can be pasted / copied in Gimp, since the Wine provides smooth integration with the Linux environment. Thus, you can edit an image with Gimp and run all the Photoshop effect plugins, running in a sandbox on your Linux with Wine.





The Most Seamless Way

There is a more integrated way into  Gimp, which still requires Wine to run, but do not need an external program like Irfanview. It is a plugin for the Gimp that allows you to run the Adobe 8bf plugins  internally. This plugin is called PSPI, and was made for the windows version of Gimp to work with the 8bf plugins . Because Gimp is open source, it was a matter of time for it to be ported to Linux.

The PSPI plugin was created by Tor Lillqvist, and can be downloaded from the following link:
http://tml.pp.fi/gimp/pspi.html, with compatible  packages for many distros.


How to Use
Following the instructions of the author, the PSPI plugin consists of 3 files:

  • README.linux
  • PSPI, a small shell script
  • Pspi.exe.so, the binary that runs on Wine.
    Copy pspi and pspi.exe.so  to the  plug-ins folder of  the GIMP, usually in ~ / .gimp-2.6/plug-ins.
When you run GIMP it will issue a warning "wire_read(): error" as pspi.exe.so can't be started directly. (The pspi script can, though, and is from GIMP's point of view a GIMP plug-in.) This warning is harmless (GIMP just ignores that file then), but if you want to avoid it, move pspi.exe.so somewhere else and modify the pspi script to point to its new location instead.
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.
  Preferably 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.

Once installed, the plugins behave as if they were natives plugins of Gimp,  in the filters menu. In the example below, the plugin PTlens. is installed.

What should be noted on the PSPI plugin is that it is not 100% guaranteed to work with all Photoshop plugins (8bf), and can occasionally freeze or crash the Gimp.

But as we saw, we have options to use the plugins 8bf on Linux.




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