StarSpikes Pro 4 8BF Filter Plug-in Version Detail / Download

Release Notes

Version 4.4.12 - April 11, 2018 

This version only runs on Windows 7 and later. See version 4.2.7 below if you have Vista.

No feature changes, just minor bugfixes and performance improvements:

  • Fixed a problem where running the plug-in could cause Photoshop to drop out of GPU-accelerated mode.
  • Minor improvements in star detection, better effects centering.
  • Slightly faster startup times due to improved OpenGL context management.
  • Check for minimum texture unit count to ensure an OpenGL implementation meets minimum requirement.
  • Reduction of sequentially displayed error messages in uncommon conditions for a clearer user experience.
  • Better control-C/X/V copy/paste handling in Edit boxes.
  • Fixed bug causing "Report Plug-in Problem" not to show in the Windows Start Menu on some systems.
  • Improved HDR handling with 32 bit images.
  • Elimination of preview image display artifacts at high zoom levels when "Display appears smoother".
  • Fixed a bug in color-management that could have caused inaccuracy in dark parts of 32 bit images.
  • The progress bar during initial image analysis is now a bit more fluid/accurate.
  • Minor efficiency improvements and bugfixes throughout.

Version 4.4.9 - February 12, 2018 

  • Worked around a problem with an ATI display driver not retaining shader source code for recompilation, resulting in an error message and plug-in abnormal exit.
  • Worked around a problem with an ATI display driver version not conforming to the OpenGL specification with regard to error reporting, resulting in a plug-in abnormal exit.
  • Corrected a problem where operation a dual Intel/ATI GPU system was being set up for Intel OpenGL operation when the ATI GPU was actually the one that was active.

Version 4.4.8 - January 21, 2018 

  • Fixed a problem where a negative Angle value could cause display corruption near the Angle edit box.
  • Worked around a customer-reported problem with Intel HD 4000 GPUs where the plug-in would run very slowly, taking literally minutes to do anything.
  • Increased OpenGL compatibility and peformance through code refactoring, addition of new shaders, and update of usage hints.
  • Increased performance of zooming and scrolling by making code that doesn't need to be executed every preview update cycle conditional.
  • Made resizing the plug-in dialog a little smoother / more responsive.
  • Made canceling the plug-in more responsive / quicker to complete.
  • Fixed a problem where pasting a value into an edit box would cause a "system error" sound to be emitted.
  • Reduced the cases where Photoshop emits an extra error message after the plug-in itself pops up messages describing a problem then exits.
  • Fixed a low probability bug where the preview display might not update after moving a control rapidly.
  • The installer can now be run successfully over a Remote Desktop connection, though running the plug-in over RDP is still subject to OpenGL availability as defined by Windows.
  • Added a message describing a way to work around OpenGL difficulties when running the plug-in via RDP.
  • Increased robustness of preview display code to prevent errors from being unnoticed and causing incomplete or corrupted displays.
  • Fixed a problem where a password could not be pasted into the activation dialog.
  • Fixed a low-probability problem where an activation attempt with a valid License ID and Password could fail.
  • Installer and communications libraries used under the covers have been updated to include the latest security patches.

Version 4.4.4 - December 18, 2017 

  • Fixed a bug that could result in a crash of the plug-in while calling a function in an older ATI driver.

Version 4.4.3 - December 17, 2017 

Many bugfixes and reliability enhancements under the covers:

  • Added installer support for latest Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro releases.
  • Changed single-click Hide/Show tools to make them consistent with dragging a rectangle around stars.
  • Bugfix for Hide/Show for confusing operation in advanced mode with some Length controls at 0.
  • Corrected a problem with shader compilation that would lead to a driver incompatibility message.
  • Corrected a problem where tabbing between fields would fail and some keys would not be recognized.
  • Fixed an issue where the bottom of the plug-in dialog could be hidden behind the Taskbar.
  • Corrected stalls seen with some Intel display drivers.
  • The plug-in will now detect an internal stall and not lock up Photoshop for a long time.
  • Refactoring a lot of internal OpenGL code to improve reliability, compatibility, and performance.
  • Disabled MipMapping, which is no longer required to achieve good preview display quality.
  • Corrected a low-probability crash during initial image analysis.
  • Added a missing ToolTip for the Help icon.
  • Incomplete read of parameters no longer leaves an unread parameter at 0, but uses default value.
  • Libraries and Visual Studio build environment updated for the latest security and reliability enhancements.
  • Improved reload detection logic so that if one of our plug-ins fails it won't block our other plug-ins.
  • Corrected a small resource leak on exit.
  • Some minor help manual corrections and wording updates.

Version 4.4.0 - October 17, 2017 

  • Correction of a serious problem that would block the installation on a dual GPU system.
  • Code refactoring and upgrade to full Unicode operation to support international character sets.
  • Built on the latest Windows SDK and OpenGL libraries.
  • This release will allow another evaluation even if an earlier version was installed and the trial period expired.

Version 4.3.8 - October 6, 2017 

  • Corrects a failure to install because of extended characters in usernames. Initial installation is more robust.
  • Made the use of color profiles more reliable under more different host image editors.
  • Color-management operations are 5% to 20% faster; this yields faster plug-in startup with bigger images.
  • Some code refactoring to increase efficiency in interacting with the host editor.
  • Fixed a small bug in star detection logic; small stars are now more reliably detected.

Version 4.3.7 - September 25, 2017 

  • Corrected a problem where the plug-in would not do proper color-management using the document profile when run under Photoshop CS5.
  • Lengthens the BACKGROUND_TASK_TIMEOUT to 30 seconds to accommodate slow GPUs (e.g. Intel with software rendering).
  • Removed extra glFinish() calls that caused stalls with some Intel display drivers resulting in a failure after pressing [OK].
  • Lowered the maximum number of quads to be drawn in one iteration when in compatibility mode from 65536 to 4096 to correct sluggishness with some Intel display drivers.
  • Re-factored the system identifiers so that Windows 10 systems with the "Randomize MAC Address" feature enabled won't de-activate the installation and resolving "not the system for which the plug-in was originally licensed" errors.
  • OpenGL setup and checking logic is consolidated for installation, normal runs, and the customer support dialog, and the installer can now invoke the problem reporting mechanism if problems are detected.
  • Added integrity checking of the records the editor provides to make startup more reliable.
  • Removed GPU selection exports added in the last version that didn't help with dual-GPU installations.
  • Made the default OpenGL drawing mode OPTIMIZE_FOR_QUALITY to ensure new installations provide the best quality preview displays.
  • Added trace and stack walk logging to help diagnose customer-reported problems more quickly.
  • Improved 32 bit stack tracebacks for helping diagnose reported crashes. XMM registers and offsets within functions now shown.
  • Now allows a bug report to pop up immediately if there is a crash in a sub-thread.
  • Improved processor logging so APIC ID is always shown.

Version 4.3.6 - September 21, 2017 

  • An initial attempt is now made to get the display driver to switch to the higher performance GPU on dual GPU systems. This may avert installation failures on some laptops.
  • Adjustments have been made to the internal OpenGL pixel formats requested to avoid triggering failures in some older display drivers.
  • A problem that caused the error "This software is not licensed to run on this system" or "This is not the system for which the software was originally licensed" with certain hardware configurations has been corrected.
  • Reduces the load on the GPU shader compiler in the display driver during startup, to speed the initial display of the main dialog and avert failures in older drivers.
  • Inaccuracies when interacting with the host editor to display the final progress bar after [OK] are corrected.
  • For new installs, the license file is now stored in a user profile subfolder per Microsoft's recommendation to avoid disparities in activation status between privilege-escalated and non-escalated runs and between 32 and 64 bit runs.
  • The plug-in will no longer allow another run without restarting the host editor if there is an unexpected failure during shutdown. This avoids compounding problems and possibly de-stabilizing the user's editor.
  • Buffer security checks are added for 32 bit builds to improve robustness and security of operation.
  • Improved user-submitted problem reports to better document issues in installation, startup, or shutdown.

Version 4.3.2 - August 19, 2017 

  • Corrected a problem where the plug-in could crash when used with older Intel G41 GPUs.
  • Fixed a low-likelihood failure to analyze very large images on systems with lots of cores.
  • Added ToolTips for UI color selection buttons.
  • Updated secure communications to use latest OpenSSL release.

Version 4.3.1 - July 8, 2017 

  • Due to more stringent Microsoft code signing requirements, we can no longer support Windows Vista.
  • Added 30 bit color display for systems with graphics cards that support it (e.g., nVidia Quadro).
  • Improved RAM management. The 32 bit variant can now work on slightly larger images.
  • Better user notification if something goes wrong because of a lack of available memory.
  • Fixed a low probability crash after pressing [OK] or [Cancel].
  • You will now regain control of the plug-in if an extremely high Quantity control value is selected and the plug-in appears to lock up, then the Quantity control is slid back back to a lower setting.
  • The installer now recognizes the ACDSee image editor and installs the plug-in into it.
  • Will no longer suggest saved settings file names derived from "Default Settings" or "Initial Settings".
  • Corrected a low probability problem where the plug-in could report it has become deactivated.
  • Improved integration with Photoshop 6.0 and CS2 for Control-F operation and action recording.
  • Plug-in dialog startup is a fraction of a second faster.

Version 4.2.7 - May 3, 2017 

This is the last release that will run on Windows Vista.

  • Corrected a crash when used with an ancient version of Photoshop.

Version 4.2.6 - April 4, 2017 

  • Used a more sophisticated bicubic upsampling technique for zoomed-in previews when "Display Appears Smoother" is selected.
  • Changed the product activation dialog to allow an immediate retry of a web activation if an offline activation has already been requested. This should help new users to avoid being locked out of doing a successful activation.
  • Security enhancements to ensure problem reports can be successfully submitted via the "Report StarSpikes Pro 4 Problem" feature in the Start menu.

Version 4.2.5 - February 10, 2017 

  • Made installer aware of Corel PaintShop Pro X9 and (future) XX releases.
  • Corrected an issue that could cause the initial preview display on a nVidia-equipped system to be delayed.
  • Improvement in logging so that if a crash report is sent in it'll help pinpoint the problem.
  • Minor bugfixes.

Version 4.2.3 - January 12, 2017 

  • Added a workaround that prevents a crash when run under Paint.Net's 8BF filter interface (PsFilterPdn.dll).

Version 4.2.2 - January 10, 2017 

  • Fixed a problem where the plug-in could crash under some conditions when run by editors that provide buffer allocation suite services.
  • Increased accuracy of color-management logic.
  • Improved speed a little for final rendering.

Version 4.2.1 - January 3, 2017 

  • Fixed a problem on small (e.g., single core) systems where the initial analysis could stall.

Version 4.2.0 - December 13, 2016 

  • Completed support for 32 bit floating point HDR images.
  • You can now drag effects around to reposition them with the Edit cursor.
  • Increased the image size limit from 32,767 pixels on a side to 96,000 pixels.
  • Now uses newly available full 64 bit buffer allocations from Photoshop to handle larger images.
  • Added a new Start Menu function with which you can easily report a bug and send in logs.
  • Improved exception handling throughout, to better protect against Photoshop crashes.
  • Cleared up a problem where under some conditions canceling the plug-in could cause an error.
  • Fixed failure to render effects if only one type of effect is given a non-zero intensity.
  • Improved logic for recovery after an out-of-memory condition and effect controls have been reduced.
  • Increased responsiveness of code that handles Cancel during initial analysis.
  • Tweaked initial analysis so as to better differentiate stars in bright nebulae.
  • Made drop down list longer to handle a larger number of saved settings files.
  • Adjustments to the multithreading subsystem to improve reliability and efficiency.

Version 4.1.10 - September 24, 2016 

  • Corrected a startup bug that could cause a -108 "memory full" error on systems with 4GB or less RAM.
  • Bugfixes and a sneak peek at several new 4.2 features, including effects drag and drop and HDR support.

Version 4.1.8 - September 10, 2016 

  • Refactored code to not overuse RAM resources after selecting [ OK ].
  • This version reworks the multi-threading processes to use multi-core CPUs more effectively.

Version 4.1.7 - August 28, 2016 

  • Corrects a crash when run on systems with CPUs that don't support the SSE 4.1 instruction set.

Version 4.1.4 - July 8, 2016 

  • Corrects a crash when a software update is available on the 8th and 9th of the month.

Version 4.1.3 - July 8, 2016 

  • Corrects an inability to show the Software Purchase Activation dialog to facilitate activation.
  • Fixes a minor internal problem running on Vista. This would not normally be seen by the user.
  • Corrects a problem where OpenGL support isn't properly checked during installation.
  • Shaves a good portion of a second off the plug-in startup time.
  • Fixes an internal estimate that could cause more RAM to be used than necessary.

Version 4.1.2 - June 28, 2016 

  • Better analysis of images where the brightest thing in the image is not pure white.
  • Better error handling in cases where insufficient RAM is available.
  • Reduced resource usage after clicking [ OK ], especially with large effects.
  • Reduced the size of the secondary spikes vs. primary in Basic mode as they could be overwhelming.
  • Optimization for better performance, especially on multi-core machines.
  • Improved subpixel positioning of Soft Flare effects.
  • Improved responsiveness on [ Cancel ] of long operations.
  • Installer now has a SHA256 signature.
  • Bugfix: Possible crash after clicking [ OK ].
  • Bugfix: Settings selector label could disappear after loading a saved preset.
  • Bugfix: Progress bar after [ OK ] could regress near the end.
  • Bugfix: Minor RAM leak.
  • Bugfix: Incompatibility between 32 and 64 bit saved parameters when used as Smart Filter.
  • Bugfix: Slight brightness change if editing effects and no change to Brightness control.
  • Bugfix: Missing "Out of RAM" error pop-up for editors other than Photoshop.

Version 4.1.1 - May 15, 2016 

  • On-screen controls updated to provide a crisper, more polished user experience.
  • Improved display performance, quality, and compatibility with more GPU models.
  • Previewed effects now better match the final rendering, especially spike sharpness.
  • Improved control appearance with high DPI displays and scaling other than 100%.
  • A number of bugs have been fixed and the code has been optimized for maximum speed.
  • Support in the installer has been added for anticipated Photoshop releases.

Version 4.0.10 - October 5, 2015 

  • Corrected a compatibility problem with Vista. No functional changes.

Version 4.0.9 - September 15, 2015 

What's New In Version 4

  • Fully integrated support for Photoshop Smart Filtering.
  • Advanced editing mode provides unprecedented creative control.
  • Optimizations for manual effect editing.
  • Effects scale to image size.
  • Smoother zoomed displays.
  • Improved effect appearance all around.
  • Usability improvements.
  • Better preset file handling.
  • Improved color accuracy.
  • Better highlight analysis.
  • Fast startup and rendering times.
  • UI updates to support Windows 10.

StarSpikes Pro version 1 through 3 Users