December 26, 2006

Male-pattern baldness -> Great Photoshop feature

Sometimes it’s the smallest, weirdest things that drive feature development.  In the case of the new Quick Selection Tool & Refine Edge command*, hair loss played a key role.

As of this past summer, Photoshop engineers Jeff Chien and Gregg Wilensky had been cranking away on these tools for a while & had them working well for hard-edge selections.  As luck would have it, Jeff’s mane is a little thin on top, and Gregg is more folliclularly challenged.  So, when Jeff returned from vacation to Taiwan, he was rather unhappy to find that Quick Selection was selecting only his head, missing the wispy bits of hair on top.  As he proclaimed while making a quick whiteboard self portrait, "I need to keep all the hair I’ve got!"

The desire to do a better job with irregular edges like hair got the guys thinking about new solutions, resulting in new algorithms we’ve been calling TrueEdge.  You can see the kind of refinement possible via the Radius & Contrast controls in this screenshot. Pretty cool, eh?  Viva Mother Nature (sorry, guys!). ;-)

*For a video intro to the tools, you can consult Deke McClelland or Dave Cross.

Posted by John Nack at 11:02 AM on December 26, 2006

Comments

  • Bryan Counts — 11:38 AM on December 26, 2006

    You guys need to put a place somewhere for others to give fedback and ideas for the new photoshop.
    [Please check out the feature request form. –J.]
    I suggest tabbed areas so you can switch back and forth between mulitple open projects in photoshop. I always have a few open and like to transfer things between each projecct but it is always a hassel to minimize and find right one, ect.

  • Ab — 1:24 PM on December 26, 2006

    Hey John – I hope you had a wonderfull Christmas holiday ! I was gifted with a nice canon photo printer this year and the whole color profile thing has really got me confused.. are there any links you could recomend to help get the printer to play fair with cs2 on a mac ? – Cheers, Ab
    [Ab, I don’t know of anything offhand, but let me ask around. Maybe someone else here will chime in with a suggestion or two. –J.]
    [Update: Tom Attix from Photoshop QE writes,
    “The simple answer:
    – Calibrate your monitor to whatever degree possible (if you don’t have a hardware profiler try SuperCal http://www.bergdesign.com/supercal/)
    – On opening, your document color space may be any number of spaces, for the most part it’s not going to matter. If you’re creating a new file, ProPhoto RGB or AdobeRGB will provide the largest color spaces. Converting from one space to another is a lossy process, so converting from a smaller like sRGB to a larger space isn’t going to add anything.
    – The main thing you’ll need for a good print is a good color profile for the Printer and Paper you’ll be using. Canon may have pre-made profiles for your printer and various Canon papers. Other paper manufacturers also provide profiles for their paper and some popular printers. These are installed in Library/Colorsynch/Profiles.
    To Print:
    – Go to the Print with Preview window, pick the correct printer and page size in page set up
    – Set the popup menu below the preview image to Color Management
    – In Print Box, select Document
    – In the Options box select:
    Color handling: Let Photoshop Determine Colors
    Printer Profile: Select your printer and paper combo
    Rendering Intent: Relative Colormetric
    – Click the print button. You are now looking at the OS print dialog. Make sure the right printer is selected (it should be).
    – The third pop up is where all the printer driver setting can be selected, the contents of the menu will be different from printer to printer. Most of these settings aren’t important but some are critical. You need to, again, select the paper type, select the print quality and (very important) turn off the printers color management (this is because you told Photoshop to determine the colors in the Print with Preview window).
    – Now click Print (it’s just easy)”
    –J.]

  • Dave Story — 8:04 AM on December 27, 2006

    OK, as someone “follicularly challenged” myself, this cracks me up. I didn’t know this was a motivator, but hey, what a gift Mother Nature has given us. :)

  • keith — 7:13 AM on March 08, 2007

    Hey some sort of a “hair tool” would be great. And a welcome addition for those of us restoring photos at OPR (operationphotorescue)
    Hair is one of the most difficult ‘things’ to restore.

  • michael jahn — 8:07 AM on March 26, 2013

    the link behind “folliclularly challenged” – that link is broke…

    [Yeah, I know; can’t find the image now. –J.]

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