Although Adobe has constantly been enhancing Photoshop with some magical new tools and commands, there are a lot of pretty awesome third party plugins that can perform some serious stuff that you still can’t achieve with Photoshop itself. Fortunately some of them are absolutely free.
Take a look at this list of excellent free Photoshop plugins that will let you achieve some cool special effects and image enhancement.
ON1 Effects 10 Free Edition
Whether you like heavily post-processed images or simple and subtle elegant effects, this free plugin has something in it for you. On1 Effects 10 Free Edition is the next generation photo effects plugins from OnOne Software. This plugin features exciting photo effects, including some stunning retro and dirty grunge looks so popular now. Download MAC and WIN
Filter Forge Freepacks
FilterForge Freepacks are sets of outstanding free standalone texture and effects plugins. These sets don’t have any watermark or time limitation. Download for both Mac and Win. Download MAC and WIN
Subblue Fractal and Droste effects
FOR PHOTOSHOP VERSIONS UP TO CS5. Won’t work on newer versions!. Three absolutely amazing plugins that run under Pixel Bender Photoshop Plugin. Create out of this world 3d fractals with 3D Mandelbulb Ray Tracer. Fractal Explorer will let you create beautiful Mandelbrot and Julia fractals with your own images. Escher’s Droste Effect lets you transform your image into an endless spiral. These plugins require that you install Pixel Bender (MAC / WIN) first.
A plugin that creates beams of volumetric light. Download WINDOWS only
virtualPhotographer lets you instantly apply high quality, professional photographic styles to your digital images…with just one click. Download WINDOWS only
White balance plugin
Quickly set white balance and recover highlight detail that would otherwise be thrown away in the white balance process. Download MAC / WINDOWS
Redfield Water Ripples
Water Ripples is a freeware Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in filter. The highly realistic water ripples effect designer has numerous options as well as an impressive 3D quality. The random settings generator produces unlimited variations of rippled surfaces. Download WINDOWS only
Redfield Lattice 3D
Lattice Composer is a freeware Adobe Photoshop compatible plug-in filter. It effectively designs grids and nettings. It produces a variety of weave patterns, fabric textures, body art tattoos and skeleton simulations. The 3D text effects are extraordinary. Download WINDOWS only
Redfield Jama 3D
Jama 3D is a freeware Photoshop compatible plug-in filter. It’s the simplest way to create corrugated and cellular like patterns from 2D images. You can easily make various bricks and herring bone textures. Sequenced filtering produces bizarre unreal deformations of the original picture, crumpled paper effect, etc. Using different 2D shapes on a transparent layer produces complicated 3D border effects. The edge antialiasing option improves the dithering.The filter is extremely compact and accessible. Download WINDOWS only
Stereogram Lab Filter
Stereogram Lab Filter is a stereogram maker plug-in, which allows to generate Hidden Image Stereograms right in your Photoshop, which is quite convenient. This filter is free and you can use it both for commercial and non-commercial purposes, however, distributing the filter itself is not allowed. Download WINDOWS only