I’m hoping this will be the first of many “spotlight” blog posts. I think the forums have become, interestingly enough, an integral feature of Paint.NET (“Web 2.0 meets Desktop 2.0?”), where a large selection of user-generated tutorials and plugins have been made available for free. Free is always good, and can do amazing things for the virality of your product (yes, virality, not “virility”, although in this case the two are kind of related. And no I’m not sure if it’s even a word).

This first spotlight will be on a plugin that was just published yesterday by a new forum member, “MKT”. It is called Shapes 3D and has the most complicated user interface I’ve seen to date in a plugin:

Despite this complexity, and the fact that it’s in Japanese, it has quickly soared in popularity and already has 5 pages of responses. Everyone seems very excited about this plugin, and my hope is that it will inspire other new plugins and tutorials.

I can’t read kanji, but I played around a bit and was able to make the following based on a photo of Mandy Moore:

Pretty cool for about 30 seconds of “work”. You can get the Shapes3D plugin at the forum here: http://paintdotnet.12.forumer.com/viewtopic.php?t=5271&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0 . When combined with other plugins, such as Drop Shadow or the Object Reflections, this makes it very easy to do things like software boxes or other perspective-based designs.