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What's New in PD Pro 8.2

(Skyock's Egret)

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v9 new!  | v8 | v8.2(Skyock's Egret) | Showcase | Howler | other versions new!    

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Skyock's Egret has taken off and is flying fast, the big bird is aloft!

PD Pro Howler v8.2 was released on February 16, 2013. It is a free update for current users of PD Howler 8.0 / 8.1. This release enables the use of the GPU for some of its plugins, when the system requirements are met. This release also works well on Windows 8, but still supports Windows XP and Vista as well, albeit without GPU acceleration. It's still very fast though, able to leverage the CPU's special features, going beyond MMX with GDI+, SSE2, multi-threading and more.

Scroll down to read the list of changes made in 8.2.

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PD Pro 8.2 is Skyock's Egret

Here's what's new in PD Pro 8.2:

  • There is now a button to swap images next to the interactive undo button on the context strip. (same as keyboard shortcut 'j' to jump between Main image buffer and Swap image buffer.)
  • You can now set a default frame rate when creating an animation.
  • 3d Designer is now optimized by using a lower tessellation level for previews. It returns to full resolution when you release the mouse.
  • The soft contrast filter now has a level slider and is animatable.
  • Overhauled custom blur tool.The custom blur tool has been around since version 1, but at the time we didn't have the processor power needed to really accomplish what we wanted.  Custom blur now uses the GPU for a tremendous amount of number crunching.
  • The custom blur tool can now use the alpha channel to determine the size of the blur radius.  This is a very useful effect for creating very realistic blurs. There is also a bloom option that can be used to create a "Bokeh" effect.
  • Updated 3d designer now supports more realistic lighting, anti-aliasing, improved speed, fog, output of zbuffer to the alpha channel, etc.
  • A greatly wrangled plugin folder and browser, also adding support for tooltips for plugins.

GPU support.

  •  The enhanced 3D Designer is the first to make use of new GPU support. The Mandelbrot filter and the Bokeh blur filter also use it.
  • GUI improvements and cosmetic changes for Windows 8.

Updated plugins.

  • In 8.2, we're adopting an "everything down to the raw loader" philosophy, meaning we're dusting off a lot of old plugins, internalizing some, refreshing the GUI of ones that haven't been updated to the newer look, and just generally making a lot of little updates and polishes.
  • There are some notable changes on the settings panel.  Previously there was a lengthy and involved refresh of all the controls and panels in the program when hitting use or save.  This has been eliminated since GUI themes are handled elsewhere (window/layout) now.  So you don't have to be afraid of the setting panel anymore.
  • Some GPU information is added to the threading area on the setting panel.  Right now, it is mostly true or false if there is a supported GPU.  The panel is also redone.
  • Setting the ruler or window or background color on the setting panel now updates immediately instead of waiting until you click save or use.
  • There is now a GPU benchmark under the threading and GPU area on the setting panel.
  • There's also now the ability to save a default media in the settings panel.
  • There's a new force-field type that can be used to create gravity/explosion fields.
  • Non-photo blue removal plugin now has a menu item under filters.
  • Plugin panel is back out in the open on the window menu.
  • Remembers ruler state.  Remembers ruler metric/US status.
  • 3d designer filter on the timeline can now bring up the 3d designer panel whenever needed and not just at the time the filter is selected.
  • Significant speed improvements to 3d designer on the timeline.
  • The 'fullscreen' state is now remembered, as well as the sidebar telescope state.
  • There's a more informative message now warning of multiple instances.
  • The unit calculator, aka "Other units" has been updated to support non integer numbers, and extended as a general purpose dialog box that can be used elsewhere.
  • Other Units is now available on the image size panel, and the render/grid filter.
  • The foliage tool now supports force-fields(!)
  • Cosmetic changes to better support the flat look of Windows 8
  • Interface tweaks for more usability.
  • Fixed an error in saving pigment profiles.
  • Fill settings panel has button misformatted (fixed)
  • Saving Avi's now remembers the last filename during a session, and there's an updated panel.
  • Grid and Artist guide settings are now saved and restored.
  • The ruler is now positioned relative to the upper corner of the image and not the screen space.
  • A couple of fixes on the animated brush timeline.
  • Fixed a problem where memory wasn't correctly displayed after saving memory settings.
  • The plugin panel now supports tooltips for each plugin.
  • Changes to the plugin panel now also allow date and size of plugin creation, author and information about the plugin, plus pattern matching and opening the Explorer.
  • The plugin panel and lua browser are now more functionally and visually similar.
  • Fixed 'numeric select' not activating from the alpha panel.
  • fixed "store brush as image" feature to not crash if a brush is not defined.
  • GUI_Server, hence lua scripts with a GUI, now use the new visual style.
  • The Brush/Transparency/Transparency tool now uses the new visual style.
  • The brush keyframer now uses the new visual style.
  • Frame Painter now uses the new visual style.
  • Fixed some layout problems with the print panel.
  • fixed crash if entering numbers above 255 in gradient panel.
  • The tritone filter now supports rendering to an animation.  The "multicolor" animated lua script version of it has thus been removed from the filters/animated category.
  • The spherize tool now supports rendering directly to an animation so the multiframe_spherize' plugin has been removed.
  • There's a new 1 bit per channel filter under Color/1 bit dither...  Possible uses, preparing a graphic for pixel for pixel output to a printing device maybe.
  • the Mod dog player plugin is updated to run under 64 bit Windows.
  • A number of plugins have been updated.  For example, the RYB mixer plugin now operates more smoothly.
  • The installer no longer auto-launches the program after installation. This change was done for technical reasons. It should be run from the start menu or desktop shortcut, if any.
  • The "Undo buffer to animation" feature was leaving out 1 undo step. Fixed.
  • The tool panel is now adjusted on start-up to always be on the right side of the sidebar if both are located together on the left side of the main panel.
  • Eliminated all lua script usage from main functions, replaced with internal code.
  • Pointer info is no longer agressively displayed when repeating a brush stroke. 
  • This should speed up the stroke player a bit.  Also the same thing goes for the post process on the foliage system.
  • Addressed gradual darkening issue with the foliage brush system.

Some things renamed...

  • "Unit calculator" on the image re-sample panel is renamed "Other units" to sound less mathy.
  • "Store image" is renamed "Store image copy" to be clearer.
  • The brush key menu is renamed "Transparency" and reorganized.  Most of the items have been internalized.
  • For Developers: added Dogwaffle.Dog_ColorToRGB(c, r, g, b) subroutine in the plugin interface. It is not a function, but a subroutine.  The return results are in r,g,b which is converted from the color value in c, such as "&HFF4422" - This routine is added to support .net framework plugins that often have functions that accept colors in R,G,B values instead of packed format.
  • Added the bmp image sequence to avi converter plugin to the misc utilities menu.
  • The wallpaper plugin now asks before applying a new wallpaper.
  • Our brush sets had some duplicate bitmaps, and needed organizing.  The images have probably changed order some.  This may affect some media.
  • Among numerous improvements to the setting panel, clearing registry keys now sets a flag so that they are not saved again when the program exits (which would negate the effort).  This is useful if you loose a window off screen, or have some other unexpected error related to an incorrect registry setting.  It is also possible to do the same thing via a plugin on the plugin panel.  If you need to rescue a window, there is also a menu item under the Window menu to do so as well.
  • Rescuing a window now warns that only windows that are currently open will be rescued.  Rescuing a window that lived in negative screen space may not have worked.
  • The Graphics pen filter is now animatable.
  • Animatable Mandelbrot zoom.
  • Some changes and fixes on the quick color picker.
  • speed improvement to the Crystallize and cellular filters.
  • Filters that previously supported an animation button (3d designer, 3d Perspective, sky filter, shift, sunset, tritone...) now are rendered without flashing.
  • cosmetic updates to grayscale by lens, tint, and color fx panels.
  • Custom blur no longer gets dark borders.

More internalized plugins...
  • Red eye removal
  • Scale_Alpha_pm.exe
  • ExploreTempDir_pm.exe
  • 8 bush keying plugins internalized.
  • a number of quantizing (color reduction) plugins have been internalized.
  • Load to stored
  • LoadbrushSet
  • loadpaper
  • systemColor
  • AverageFrames

Functions that have been threaded...
  • Render/grid.
  • Render/zrings.
  • Wave displacement.
And probably a few more hidden gems. Such as:

In 3D Designer, Distant Fog as well as Height Fog (Ground Fog) has been added, as well as antialiasing and pre-filtering.

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