You cannot deny the fact that the use of Photoshop has increased rapidly over the years, all thanks to the memes creation for that! Anyway, I am sure you would want to know about the Photoshop plugins which can make the program more productive for you and you can also yield great results from it.
There are like plenty of options available when it comes to choosing the plugins for your Adobe Photoshop software. However, some of them are software provided but some are third-party apps. In fact, there are premium and free plugins too and I think this section is going to help you in choosing the right one out of them.
Top 10 Photoshop Plugins
In order to eradicate the confusion, I decide to step in and chose only 10 out of hundreds of Photoshop plugins. However, I made sure that I can pick the variety of plugins which are the most productive and useful ones. So, if you are feeling that the results are not desired ones even after using Photoshop for hours, you can now try the given plugins with it.
1. Nik Collection
The very major reason of picking Nik Collection on top of this list of Photoshop plugins is because firstly it is completely free to use this and secondly, it brings total of seven functions with it. This is like a completely win-win situation to use this plugin which is available as a standalone app.
Although the plugin is no longer in development for now which means it will become incompatible with Photoshop one day but I think in the meantime you should definitely use this.
You can say Nik Collection is the undisputed king of Photoshop plugins freeware and the collection has consisted of Analog Efex Pro 2, Color Efex Pro 2, Viveza 2, Dfine 2, HDR Efex Pro 2, Sharpener Pro 3 and Silver Efex Pro 2.
So, to summarize it, I can say that Nik Collection can be used for bringing analog looks, using multiple filters, natural HDR photos, high-end noise reduction, tone and color adjustments, black and white conversations, sharpening of pictures and much more.
Snapheal is like the best kept secret of Photoshop providing the feature of removing unwanted people, objects, shadows and other annoying things from your photographs. However, much to your dismay, Snapheal is going to cost you $58.99 bucks.
So, using Snapheal is actually pretty simple too where you just need to upload a picture, remove the objects by selecting them free-handed and you are done then.
You can also enhance the results by adding filters and other effects into the picture. So, the major part that you need to take care of is the way you select the objects or people you want to remove from your picture. This can be tricky at first but I think you will get more pro at it once you will start using it.
Snapheal is those kind of Photoshop plugins which are mainly used by image editors. Whether it is the small objects or even a person standing next to you, when you are using Snapheal, you can literally erase anyone you want without even making it noticeable in the final result.
3. Filter Forge 7
Filter Forge 7 is definitely a part of the must-have Photoshop plugins as it offers access to over 12,000 textures and effects. So, instead of picking so many plugins for different effects, you finally have the option to refer to just a single plugin for it.
However, Filter Forge 7 is not free to use as it has various versions which are priced differently. For example, Basic edition for $29, Standard Edition for $49, Professional Edition for $79 and Professional Plus for $308.
This is actually worth every single penny of yours as you cannot find such a huge range of effects and textures in any other Photoshop plugins at all. Apart from it, you can also access backgrounds, frames, distortions, watercolor paintings, patterns etc. through it.
Moreover, Filter Forge 7 also allows you to use its features for both commercial and non-commercial uses and you can also use its fully functional trial version for 30 days to know well about the features before investing in it.
4. Virtual Photographer
In order to bring out your creativity in the best way possible, you really need to use Photoshop plugins like Virtual Photographer. The plugin works exactly like its name and helps the user to bring out the best details of their pictures which actually makes them look unbelievable.
And this ideal plugin is available for free to use whose applications depend upon the ideas and imagination of the user.
However, this is ideal for the people who are beginner at using Photoshop because there are much better plugins available for Professional Editors. So, if you have just started using Photoshop, you can use this simple tool to transform your images into a sort of artwork.
Effects like infrared, cross process, polarize etc. can be applied through one-click solution and you have the option to access multiple filters available in the plugin. Other features of this plugin include split-screen preview, batch mode, handling of large image sizes, tabbed controls and much more.
5. Font Awesome PS
You would be glad to know that Font Awesome PS is not just one of the best Photoshop plugins but also free to use too. This plugin is the collection of 675 icons which are used for adding specific shapes and icons of popular brands or sites to your project.
You have complete control over the fact that which icons are going to be added to the plugin and which are to be removed.
For example, if you want to add the icon of a specific shopping website, then you can refer to Font Awesome plugin for it. Apart from it, you can also resize, edit and color the icon according to your choice. And for all these features, you are charged nothing from Font Awesome.
Such kind of Photoshop plugins is extensively used to manage the marketing of the user where you can add Facebook, Twitter and other social media icons to your images. However, this plugin is compatible with Photoshop CC only.
6. Pexels Plugin
If you are a regular at Photoshop and creating projects through it then you should know the importance of using Pexels for your projects. This is actually a site which provides stock images which impressive quality and you always have a huge library to choose your content from.
However, it can be kind of a struggle to keep on switching between Photoshop and Pexels in order to access the pictures and this is why you need a plugin for it.
The Pexels plugin helps you to access all the content of the site without ever having to leave the Photoshop at all. You have multiple options and filters to find the right image for your content and project which also saves a lot of time of yours.
Such kind of Photoshop Plugins are the simplest of all but instantly improves your productivity on the software. The process is pretty simple where you just need to click on a picture and it will be downloaded and will create a new layer into Photoshop where you can access it.
7. Topaz Adjust
You are never going to have a dull picture when you are using top Photoshop plugins like Topaz Adjust to improve every single detail of it. You should not refer it to as the correction kind of plugins which generally makes everything look more presentable without any error in them.
Topaz Adjust helps in bringing out the best in the picture where you can adjust the contrast, details, exposure, colors and other elements of a picture.
Actually, people generally focus more on adding various filters and effects on a picture rather than working on its basic elements. If you use Topaz like a pro then you won’t have to use any filter ever in your life.
However, Topaz is going to cost you $49.99 and if you are skeptical about the price, then you can use the plugin under the trial period too. Topaz is by far one of the best Photoshop plugins to make your pictures look more powerful.
8. Layrs Control 2
Where other Photoshop plugins are more oriented towards improving the features of the software especially related to image editing, Layrs Control 2 is the kind of plugin which improves the functionality of the software. And above all, this plugin is absolutely free to use.
Layrs Control 2 is compatible with Photoshop CC and CC 2014 which makes the process of editing simpler by making the multiple layers of Photoshop more manageable.
This plugin creates seven layers which work as options namely Layer Name Editor, Remove Unused Effects, Convert to Smart Object, Find Similar Files/Folders, Flatten All Layer Effects, Delete Empty Layers and Rasterize Smart Objects.
So, the time you spend on hopping from one layer of the software to another, you can simply manage it all by accessing this plugin. This plugin is displayed on lower side of the software from where you can access it as it opens the list of options when you click on it. This tool is perfect for heavy-duty users.
9. RH Hover Color Picker
If you are more into creative field where dealing with different color shades is a day to day business then you should really know about Adobe Photoshop plugins like RH Hover Color Picker. This plugin is a very light yet modern take on creating paintings out of a huge color palette option.
However, this is a bit heartbreaking that this plugin is not available for free, but you can buy it for $16 only which I think is a very nominal price.
I think such kind of Photoshop plugins are a must for artists and designers as it gives them creative liberty to showcase their work by visually representing their imagination in the best possible way. This is actually a great replacement for the built-in color picker of Photoshop.
It features a very clean interface and you can easily hide or pop out this plugin according to your requirements. In fact, the lightweight plugin does not affect the CPU working and you can easily use this for your creations.
10. 3D Invigorator
My motive for this list of Photoshop plugins was to pick all sorts of extensions for you people and I think keeping up with the modern technology, having a plugin providing 3D effects is really important. 3D Invigorator is best used for creating complex 3D objects of all types.
It is best for new age designers and artists who want to create something of their own by using Adobe Photoshop.
From logos to texts and then to creating simple objects, you can do it all by 3D Invigorator. However, you should better know that you cannot add the 3D effect to an existing image as the plugin is restricted to creating something new rather than adding effect to an existing picture.
All the features of the plugin are used by drag and drop method whether it is about making the object look transparent or reflective. 3D Invigorator is going to cost you $175 along with free trial option.
11. Photolemur 3
Photolemur is without an iota of doubt one of the Top 10 Photoshop Plugins in the industry. What does it do? “Make Photos Better, in one-click“, plain and simple. By better, we mean the Photos reach the next level of existence. The image attached on the left-side of this section probably explains its superpowers best.
It basically is an “Enhancement” plugin, and is used for Sky Enhancements making those Plane and Bird shots perfect, or just the sky in the background among other uses.
Also features color-recovery, Exposure Compensation as well as Foliage Enhancement. Going to the website and testing out the provided Demo/Samples gets you a fairly honest idea of the plugin’s capabilities.
Basically the natural elements of a photograph are elevated to the Masterclass level expected from Professional photographers and graphic designers. The primary benefit with Photolemur is that even absolute beginners, with 0 editing knowledge can use it to transform their photos.
The plugin isn’t free and costs USD $35.00 (approx) , it can be purchased with a Credit/Debit card.
12. Chameleon Adaptive Palette
If you’re a painter/artist who uses Photoshop, Chameleon Palette is made just for you. As the name suggests, it offers an adaptive pallet which auto-adjusts with your design/project and makes it look generic.
It boasts this unique feature of being able to automatically generate colour-palettes based on a specific colour selected by the user. This Photoshop Plugin uses only one panel to get everything done. It also is capable of recognizing vector shapes and solid colours, and adapting to the colours instantly and automatically without the user having to use color requesters.
The swatches can be locked to prevent drifting too far off from your base colour. Or, you can choose to lock only the palette, this prevents unwanted changes on the palette while at the same time still offering adaptations for your canvas.
The UI too is pretty user-friendly, the colour labels do not come in the way of the mouse and are legible. It even makes a rectangle-like shape appear when sliding on the colour scale offering a more detailed difference between the previous and the new colour.
If you’re more of a keyboard person, with additional scripts you can also control the plugin from your keyboard! The plugin costs USD $22.00 if purchased from the Adobe Add-on shop, or USD $16.00 on Gumroad. The difference is based on the auto and manual installations that each of those two options offer or need.
What Luminar does is, re-touch your photos and literally elevates them to a whole other level. For starters, its AI Sky Replacement algorithm flushes a bucket of water on your dead skies and wakes them up with extreme radiance. Its “Instant Looks” features as many as 70 presets, which just transform the entire mood and setting of the captured photo.
The Landscape Enhancer offers three simple sliders, “Dehaze“, “Golden Hour” and “Foilage Enhancer“.The before & after results would generally take hours to achieve, if done manually. Sure there’s also an advanced “object removal” tool. You don’t have to go clone-stamping, simply select what you wish to remove and it’s gone almost as if magic! The background and surrounding areas just blend-in automatically and no one’s the wiser.
It also boasts a “human-aware” tech, which makes a number of micro changes to the photo upgrading the overall look significantly. Specially effective for human-skin and closeup shots. Have natural photos to edit? Add ultra-realistic, auto-adjusting Sunrays which detect opaque subjects as well as gaps, and act accordingly!
Noise removal, filters and overlays as well as other image enhancers are totally available. Then there’s AI Structure is capable of automatically detecting parts of an image which require enhancing, and only enhances them. This keeps the rest of the image natural and edit-free.
Is also available as a Standalone application in addition to a “Plugin” for various editing software apart from Photoshop. Has three packages, each priced at (approx) USD $88.00, USD $97.50 and USD $165.75.
14. Ultimate Retouch Panel
What’s the one purpose Photoshop is most used for? Both by Beginners and Pros alike? Re-touching photos, obviously. Turning your average shots into magazine-worthy portraits is what Photoshop is best at (among other things).
Ultimate Retouch Panel offers just that, at a much more advanced and professional level, making it easy-to-use at the same time. It’s so extremely feature-rich, it may even become overwhelming for absolute newcomers. Even Pros can’t handle 200+ functions in one single panel!
65 blocks of color correction presets, multi tint, separate frequencies for 8 and 16bits and as many as 4 Doge & Burn methods are just some of its superpowers. Some of the quick-fixes it offers are white-teeth, tanner skin, nearly 15 tools for eyes and lips retouching, pore-removal, auto and manual HRLA etc.
A number of color and quality profiles such as HDR, B&W, Vintage, Candy, Matte etc. are available. Then there’s dual-vision, multiple help layers, and over a dozen detailed video tutorials really do make it easy to use. Bottomline, if you need to make a person look better, without a surgery there are but few tools which come close to Ultimate Retouch Panel.
It’s available at multiple portals, however purchasing it directly from the Adobe exchange costs just USD $29.95
15. Particle Shop
Brushes make a major part of creative Photoshop work, don’t they? Particle Shop is exclusively a “Brush” Photoshop plugin capable of giving your ideas and imaginations the flare they deserve. It’s pre-packed with 11 brushes. Each of these brushes have their own superpowers and dynamics.
If you’re even remotely interested in creativity or painting, Particle Shop will take your work to the next level.It sure is compatible with tablets, touchscreen and even mouse. So you do not need special drawing hardware in order to use Particle Shop.
The UI is pretty easy to use as well. You can just pick the brush you wish to use, and start using it. Or work from the layers. It’s crafted keeping first-timers in mind. So you do not need to “learn” how to use it, anyone with the most basic Photoshop knowledge can use Particle Shop with ease.
Moreover, apart from the 11 pre-included brushes,there also is an online shop which facilitates purchase of more brushes. It costs USD $39.00 but there’s a generous 30-day moneyback guarantee as well just in case you didn’t get what you expected. It’s a product of Corel and is Powered by Painter, two of the biggest names in the Digital design industry.
16. ON1 Effects
ON1 Effects is a collection of effects, presets, filters and much more. For starters, it boasts hundreds of filters and effects which you can apply to your photos. Then, it made them stackable. So, a total of 27 stackable filters are available, which can be stacked on top of one another to achieve the desired output. It consists of a RAW Processor, Layered work-flow, pixel editor etc. if you’re getting the idea!
Selective-application lets users choose specific areas to apply the effects, rather than having to smudge them all over. Moreover, found the right combination of effects, filters and the other elements? You can then save this as a preset, which can then be easily applied to all future projects!
Masking has been taken to the next level with its A.I masks! Luminosity masks also help use the mask based on highlight and shadow detection. Basics such as Blurs, chiseling, filling and cloning are some other possibilities. While there are specific and exclusive plugins for Skin-retouching, that also is possible with ON1 Effects.
Can be used as an application by itself or a Photoshop Plugin. It also can be integrated with Lightroom, Apple Photos, P.S Elements etc. There’s a free 30-day trial or can be purchased for USD $59.90
Considering the fact that how much experience do you have in Photoshop, you can go for freeware and premium plugins for this software. In order to move to the next level, it is important to get done with the previous one and I hope you would not want to invest so much of money even at the beginning stage of learning about Photoshop skills.
You can also refer to tutorials about using these Photoshop Plugins and I am quite sure you can then move on to the paid ones. Talking about this section, you have all sorts of options here which will totally liven up the picture and the results are surely going to be unbelievable.