When it comes to the workflow I like to have control over the outcome as much as possible. My Adobe Photoshop UI is, therefore, a good compromise of having enough screen real estate and all the tools I use on a regular basis.
For my tools of the trade, there are a number of hardware and software solutions that I rely on and it might not be a surprise that Photoshop is still leading the pack.
However, since Photoshop is still not perfect, I also rely on a number of Add-Ons that fill the gap for me. You can view these Plugins as similar to Browser Add-Ons; they are not necessary but provide a better user experience.
In this post I want to highlight my favorite plugins starting with:
#5 Perspective Tools V2.0 ($15)
Perspective Tools is a small but smart panel developed by Sergey Kritskiy. He has a number of tools and tips published on his website: https://gumroad.com/kritskiy
This one tool is especially useful for digital artists and concept artists working with environments. But it is also very useful for graphic artists and designers who often need to place designs or text in perspective – say on products – on a regular basis.
#4 GuideGuide (Free)
GuideGuide is perfect for any graphic artist. (I said I would never need this until I wanted to print a 5-Panel-Canvas-Piece 😉
#3 ColorFriends Adobe (Free)
ColorFriends Adobe is a nifty plugin that allows you to pick colors and see correlated warmer or colder swatches around your current color. Works with hue, saturation, and brightness. Developed by Vasiliy Kuznetsov in 2012, published with source code on Github: https://github.com/vasiliy-kuznetsov/coldwarm
Even though it is fairly old, it still works like a charm in the current version of PS (2019).
#2 Brutus Symmetry ($10)
Actually obsolete in Adobe Photoshop 2019, so why is it on #2 in your list?
While it’s is true that Photoshop has real-time symmetry since 2018, there are many situations where it comes in handy to rotate or mirror a layer with just one click of a button or to find the center point of a document with one click. Or sometimes you find a layer would benefit from being symmetrical afterward because real-time symmetry requires that you use it intentionally, right?
Its use goes far beyond just painting with symmetry even if the gif above does not reflect that!
The list of actions in this simple panel is something I use at least once a day and many other plugins go away after a few weeks, banned from the user interface, not AD Brutus Symmetry. Since the very first day of its installation, I use it daily and don’t want to miss it. Awesome job Mr. Dukal!
MagicSquire is a brush organization panel. (Actually, Adobe has updated PS with new features to organize brushes more efficiently, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.) From coloring different sets to having different brush previews, MagicSquire also helps to organize and import both, TPL and ABR files. In addition, you have access to Mixer brushes and an eraser by clicking the ALT key is a bliss.
There is an alternative out there by Sergey Kritskiy called Brusherator, but personally, I find it a bit too chaotic. For someone who likes a tidy workspace, MagicSquire with all its features, is the way. But maybe you try out both and find Brusherator better, who knows?
Why is it #1? Because I use it not just every day, but every time I use a brush in Photoshop, which is often. Having a reliable tool to find and organize all my gems is an important asset and worth every penny.
Since I always like to improve my workflow, I like to read about your favorite plug-ins or panels for Photoshop. Let me know your thoughts. (Leave your comment or submit a question on the form below.)
To see more of Fantasio/Oliver Wetter’s work, please visit his page on Altpick.com.