New Version of Photoshop FITS Liberator 2.2 Released

Photoshop FITS Liberator screenshot
Photoshop FITS Liberator screen shot

A new version of the free ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator plugin for Photoshop was released earlier this month. This plugin makes it possible to open FITS files with Photoshop. For you Photoshop users who are not familiar with FITS, the Flexible Image Transport System is the standard file format for astronomical data, like that of the Hubble Space Telescope for example. For more FITS information visit my Making Astronomical Art with your PC Resources page which I created for students in the astronomical art class I taught at the Adler Planetarium.

According to the release notes, the following enhancements are in this new release:

  1. Universal Binary for Mac allows native CS3 operation on Intel-based systems
  2. Flip image checkbox allows image orientation to be selected on import
  3. Stretch Root functions now operate antisymmetrically about x=0
  4. Version 1.1 of the Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM) standard is fully supported. For more information see
  5. Improvements to importing coordinate metadata from the FITS header

I went to the version 2.2 download page and downloaded this new version. There is also a Photoshop action called Colour_composite.atn that can be downloaded. This action automates the production of color images from the individual RGB grayscale layers. I've never used their action preferring to use one I created myself. I installed the plugin without difficulty. On opening a FITS file (M27 for the curious among you) I observed that the main dialog for this new version was essentially the same with the only modifications being to the Stretch Function dialog (item 3 in the list above) and the addition of a Flip Image option (item 2 in the list above).

You can learn more about the plug-in, how to use, and even get some sample FITS files from the ESA/ESO/NASA Photoshop FITS Liberator Home Page.

Ad Astra, Jim

| Return to the Blog Index | This entry was posted on Friday, March 28th, 2008 at 10:39 pm and is filed under Astronomy, Graphics Software, Photoshop.