January 28, 2008

Putting video inside the Photoshop UI

As I’ve mentioned a number of times, there’s huge potential in extending Photoshop via embedded Flash–something we’ve already prototyped in CS3.  Among the Flash Player’s capabilities, of course, is the ability to display video, including high quality H.264.

The idea of putting video inside Photoshop, however, sometimes draws blanks stares.  "Dude, why would I want to watch Transformers in a Photoshop palette?"  You wouldn’t, of course.  For a more practical example, look to the new MacBook Air.

Apple has posted a set of little videos that show off the gestures enabled by the laptop’s–er, notebook’s–new trackpad.  (Click the little arrow by the pictures of fingers.)  Each clip is short n’ sweet, showing just what’s needed to communicate the idea.

The thing they don’t mention here, though, and that I learned by watching a demo at Macworld, is that the videos appear inside the Keyboard & Mouse section of system prefs.  If you forget how they work, just pop open the controls & get a quick demo.

That’s more what I have in mind for Adobe applications.  Now, as with all the times I mention future ideas, I have to manage expectations: if you like the idea, don’t be disappointed if you don’t see video clips popping out of every dialog box in Photoshop.  Having said that, we hope to do things in a very Adobe way–opening the platform to the community.  Something tells me that more than a few of the savvy educators out there will see an opportunity to enhance the Photoshop user experience.

1:06 PM | Permalink | Comments [30]

Back to the Future with Illustrator 88

Pass the banana clips and fire up Less Than Zero: It’s time to visit the late 80’s with the promotional video for Adobe Illustrator 88.  It’s fun to see all that was possible even then, and to hear that the marketing message of “do more, and more easily, so you can focus on being creative” is eternal.  Now I shudder at visions of a besweatered James Spader dropping the French curves and grabbing a mouse.  [Via]

The timing is kind of spooky: for nearly a year I’ve been meaning to upload a copy of the John Warnock-hosted VHS tape that shipped in the Illustrator 1.0 box, and just last week I got serious about doing so.  Of the work Dr. Warnock says, “That video demo tape was shot live, with no editing. We didn’t have video production
tools at that time, and we didn’t want to pay for a professional to do it, so I did the
demonstration.”  Pretty cool that the company co-founder and CEO was not only one of four names on the product splash screen, but also the main demo man.  (“Everyone sweeps the floor around here,” said Chuck Geschke of that time.)

This posting lights a fire under me, so look for the Warnock video soon. [Interim bonus retro fun: the 1987 Apple Knowledge Navigator video. Everything old is new again, and self-serious yuppies will always be with us.]

8:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]
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