September 30, 2008
Hughes You Can Use & More
Despite my being "the Rachael Ray of Photoshop PMs" (chatty & overexposed), I’m hardly the only one helping to steer things around here. Just last week my fellow PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes was talking with hundreds of journalists, photographers, and partners at Photokina, alongside Tom Hogarty from Lightroom and our boss, VP Kevin Connor. Meanwhile Photoshop PM Zorana Gee was on tour in Japan, demonstrating Photoshop to several hundred local journalists–even drawing some audible oohs & aahs from a normally very reserved bunch.
Bits you might find interesting from Photokina:
- Bryan spent about 10 minutes demoing CS4 to Dave Etchells of Imaging Resource. It’s a nice tight overview that shows off things like the ability to select, then hide part of a 3D model (in this case to paint the interior of a car).
- He also sat down with Thorsten Wulff for a brief interview.
- Elsewhere on the show floor, Kevin chatted with the guys from Calumet Photographic about Photoshop and Lightroom.
Grim corporate design humor o’ the day
My wife now has the distinction of being (an obviously unwilling) part of the largest bank failure in US history. (As their ads would say, “Woohoo!”) The Design Fail blog predicts the natural evolution of the Washington Mutual logo and brand.
Meanwhile Adobe HQ apparently features what appear to be gallows up on the roof. Talk about some killer Halloween spirit. (Too bad I could never talk building management into using all those LEDs up there to spell out Jenny Holzer’s messages. Now that would unnerve people.)
Julieanne talks Camera Raw, CS4
In addition to the Bridge resources mentioned yesterday, Julieanne Kost has posted some detailed overviews of Camera Raw 5.0 and the rest of Photoshop CS4:
- ADOBE TV The Complete Picture – Episode 08
Let Julieanne show you the power behind the new features in Camera Raw 5. Discover how to make non-destructive localized corrections as well as create special effects using the Adjustment Brush, Graduated Filter, Post Cropping Vignettes and more!
- What’s New in Camera Raw 5 (PDF)
Discover the unlimited possibilities with Camera Raw 5.
- Photoshop CS4 – But Wait, There’s More! (PDF)
Master the important but often overlooked refinements and adjustments in Photoshop CS4.
These entries join the wealth of info already posted on her site.
September 29, 2008
What’s new in Bridge CS4?
In this cycle our goal was to unlock the power of Bridge. Bridge was already a highly capable, feature-rich application, so instead of slathering it with new features, our first task was to get more people to discover and use what’s there. That meant changing the bang for the buck: raising the discoverability & usability of existing features while lowering the barriers to use (speed, launch time, memory usage). We also wanted to add some key features that would help photographers while broadening the appeal of Bridge for all creative professionals–things like Web gallery creation & upload, and PDF contact sheet creation.
Adobe evangelist Julieanne Kost hast posted a great 30-minute tour of the new version:
Photoshop Extended upgrade options
A couple of folks have written to ask whether it’s possible to upgrade from Photoshop CS3 Extended to Photoshop CS4 (the non-Extended version), or whether once you’ve bought Extended once you can only buy Extended in the future. The short story is that you have a choice.
It turns out there’s an oversight in our pricing and upgrade mechanisms, and CS4 pricing materials don’t list a way to go CS3 Extended->CS4 standard. We’re working to get that corrected now. You’ll need to call Customer Service if you’d like to go down this route, but you might want to wait a few days for them to get the details squared away.
Ultimately, if you choose to buy Photoshop Extended, we want it to be because it’s the version that you’ve determined best fits your needs–not because you don’t have options.
September 28, 2008
“Dear After Effects…”
A few weeks back I noted that the Dear Adobe site had generated lots of discussion within the company. Now the After Effects team has worked with the site creators to address the top 25 comments posted there. If you’re interested in AE, you might find the list a worthwhile read.
September 26, 2008
- My wife: “What’s the hardest part of your job?”
- Me, instantly: “Waiting.”
Edison’s bit about genius–maybe now we’d say innovation–being “1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” is as true now as when he coined the phrase. Put simply, it sometimes takes a hell of a long time to get things done. Whatever the reasons, it’s worth celebrating when you’ve finally sweated your way to victory.
Flash Panels for All
Eight years, man. Eight freakin’ years it took me to get Flash panels into a mainstream app. In summer 2000 we cloned the Flash Player, then used it to let scripters extend the LiveMotion authoring environment (dropping in new panels that could build animations, draw shapes, etc.). Two weeks after becoming the first app to ship such support, however, we got cancelled. (Flash and other Macromedia apps introduced their own support soon after.)
I put the vision on ice until 2005, when we learned Adobe was acquiring Macromedia. A few days later I met Macromedia CTO Kevin Lynch at an event and said, “I know we can’t discuss anything non-public yet, but do you guys offer any documentation about embedding the Flash Player?” Since then I’ve ranted, cajoled, browbeat, and wheedled to bring this support to Photoshop and the rest of the Suite. It got to the point where PS engineers said I’d have to put five bucks in a swear jar each time I brought up “the F word.”
You may be skeptical about the impact and merit of Flash panels, but I predict you won’t be for long. No one will care about it as a feature per se. They’ll care when we start using it to do really interesting things–making the Suite UI dramatically more flexible, tying community and collaboration into the apps, delivering better features faster through shared code, and more.
The Photoshop Nation, Inside Photoshop
Once you have a lightweight way to make an application skin network-aware, all kinds of interesting things can happen. I’ve always wondered why, when there are millions of active Photoshop users, you’re on your own inside the app. Why can’t we make it ridiculously easy to add your knowledge to the tools, and to benefit from others’ wisdom? We’re at the threshold of making that a reality.
Flash & After Effects Love Each Other
Back in 1999, long before I came to work here, I started lobbying my contacts at Macromedia and Adobe to create something I called the “Flash Interchange Format”–some XML representation of at least the basics of an animation (object name, position, scale, etc.) so that I could use Flash and After Effects together. Unfortunately Flash remained locked to the inscrutable FLA format.
Now Flash is moving to XFL (no, not the one with pro wrestlers playing football). By dusting off some code we wrote in ’01 (I know, I know–move on already), AE has enabled XFL export for Flash to import. InDesign also exports XFL, and the format should enable much greater integration with Photoshop and third-party apps in the future. Vindication.
Flash Gets a Real Timeline, More
Suffice it to say I’m very, very pleased to see Flash CS4 to add a more After Effects-style approach to animation, complete with editable automatic motion paths, animation presets, control over individual parameters, and much more. I always believed Web animators deserved these things, and now they’ll get ‘em. Check out Lee Brimelow’s video demo for a great run-through. [19-minutes]
It’s a long road sometimes, and it never ends. I’ve planted seeds over the last ~30 months that’ll still take years to bear fruit. (Cue Cake’s The Distance…) But dammit, I’m not just whistling Dixie, and we’re going to make things happen come hell or high water. Always outnumbered, never outgunned.
Postscript: I hope the text above doesn’t come off sounding too self-congratulatory. I’m sure that plenty of other people thought of and requested the same things I’ve wanted, which is why we’re now seeing these features become reality. And just as Flash is doing things that LiveMotion introduced years ago, Photoshop is introducing some features that have long been in Fireworks, Painter, etc. The key thing, of course, is that the features get to the customers who need them, by hook or by crook. That, at the end of the day, is the whole reason I came to Adobe.
September 25, 2008
Illustrator CS4 goodness
Among the comments on my list of details polished in Photoshop CS4, a number of people wished for a similar list for Illustrator & suggested that the Illustrator team start a blog. As it happens, my friend & former Illustrator PM Mordy Golding runs the great Real World Illustrator blog, and he’s posted some illuminating resources:
- Illustrator CS4 – The Facts is a pretty comprehensive round-up of what’s new in this release. (The Appearance panel is killer–everything I always asked that it be.)
- His interview with Illustrator PM David Macy offers good perspective on the team’s thinking & discusses other points of polish in CS4.
In the past I’ve said "I swear because I care," and caring a lot about Illustrator, I’ve directed some well-intentioned swearing in their direction over the years. I distinctly remember sitting at my desk at Agency.com some nine years ago and hearing a (long since departed) Illustrator PM dismiss my request by saying, "Oh, customers don’t want multiple pages." (At that point I started wondering, "Now, is it still murder if it wasn’t premeditated, and can I claim temporary insanity…?") That’s why I’m delighted that they’ve both addressed some eternal requests (yay, multiple
pages–er, artboards!) and have polished lots of existing functionality. As Mordy writes,
In the past, Illustrator had a reputation of adding new features, but never really going back to refine them in subsequent versions (i.e.,gradient mesh, 3D, brushes, graphs). With an improved Appearance panel, more capable graphic styles, a revamped gradient feature, better clipping mask behavior, isolation mode, and Smart Guides in CS4, it’s refreshing to see the team adding much needed polish to some of these "older" features.
The more I’ve played with the new Illustrator, the more I’ve found the "little" changes to have a big impact. I think you will, too.
September 24, 2008
OS X Widgets in CS4
A few comments I’ve received from curious readers (plus the occasional enraged wingnut ;-)) indicate a small point of confusion: some Mac users believe that document windows in CS4 on OS X use non-standard red/yellow/green “gumdrop” widgets for closing, minimizing, and maximizing documents. They do not. I just used Snapz Pro to compare the widgets in Photoshop to those in iTunes, NetNewsWire, and other apps; they are identical. Just thought we should clear that up.
- Deke McClelland has posted an overview of the tabbed document UI at Lynda.com.
- The Adobe XD (Experience Design) team plans to launch a new blog next week, and they tell me they’ll be offering more details about how the CS4 UI came to be.
September 23, 2008
Photoshop CS4 videos from Adobe
Adobe’s own Russell Preston Brown has posted a number of new video tutorials demonstrating features in Photoshop CS4. He’s taken a particular shine to the 3D features in Extended. Russell writes,
- Content-Aware Scale: Once you learn about this new, intelligent, scaling technology in Adobe Photoshop CS4, you’ll be tempted to never use the standard Transform tools again. Russell Brown says, “This new feature is down right amazing!”. Check it out!
- Spherical Panorama: Learn about one of the new 3D features in Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended. In this tutorial you will discover how to wrap any image around the inside of a sphere, to create a panorama. Then simply step into this digital space and use some of the new CS4 tools to look around your new world.
- 3D Quick Look: Get ready for an incredible 3D experience, as you view this quick-look at some of the new 3D features in Adobe Photoshop CS4. This tutorial will take you through some of Russell Brown’s favorite new tools for working, and experimenting, with 3D objects.
- 3D Mesh from Grayscale: Bring 2D images back to life with this new Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended technique for converting grayscale images into 3D objects. This tutorial will also demonstrate how to generate 3D depth maps directly from the image itself.
- 3D Eclipse Animation: Learn about some of the advanced features in Adobe Photoshop CS4 Extended for animating 3D objects. In this project we will create a solar eclipse simulation from 2D images of the earth and moon.
Meanwhile my fellow Photoshop PMs Bryan O’Neil Hughes & Zorana Gee offer some solid overviews of CS4 via Adobe TV. Bryan gives a 10-minute quick tour of the meat & potatoes features, while Zorana focuses on what’s new in Extended, including direct painting onto 3D objects.
September 22, 2008
CS4: Sweating the Details
I’m a perfectionist, and I deeply, viscerally want to smooth & polish every aspect of Photoshop. Doing it all in any one cycle is impossible, but I’m proud to say we’ve put a ton of effort into sweating the details in CS4.
You’re going to see tons of flashier features in other write-ups, and of course I’ll cover them here, but for this cycle I want to lead with the little stuff–things you might not read about otherwise, but which can make a big difference while working. Read on for the details.
(CS)4 On The Floor!
I’m delighted to say that Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended, along with the entire Creative Suite 4 lineup, have been officially announced! I’ll have a ton to share over the days and weeks ahead, to be grouped under the new CS4 category, and the big product webcast is due shortly; there’s still time to sign up to watch. In the meantime, tons of good resources are going live as I type:
- The Photoshop User guys have posted a comprehensive set of videos showing off what’s new in Photoshop.
- Imaging Resource posts an in-depth set of descriptions & screenshots.
- Rob Galbraith posts a nice, concise list for photographers.
- I spoke to CNET’s Stephen Shankland about GPU acceleration in CS4, among other things, and I recorded a podcast with ZoomIn’s Aanarav Sareen.
- Uwe Steinmuller of Outback Photo brings his photographer’s eye to the release.
- Former Illustrator PM Mordy Golding has posted a detailed overview of AI CS4. (At first glance I didn’t think they had a lot planned for this rev, but dig a little detail and you’ll find a lot to like. I say this as a very long-time Illustrator user.)
- Deke McClelland has posted CS4 Buy Or Die, “a sassy, no-holds-barred, is-this-thing-worth-buying-or-not review.”
- Colin Smith of PhotoshopCafe has posted a Photoshop CS4 Learning Site.
- Chris Orwig has posted an overview of the release.
- Lynda.com is adding CS4 content, including an effective demo of Content-Aware Scaling.
- Richard Harrington & crew have posted a couple hours’ worth of video training plus other materials at CSFour.com.
I’ll keep updating this list as I see new links appear (and feel free to suggest good ones via the comments).
Monday Photography: Bright lights, big pixels
- From the Big Picture:
- The NYT features a nice interactive panorama from yesterday’s final game at Yankee Stadium.
- [Emit low whistle] Boy, cameras are good these days. The Online Photographer makes that point in a really concise way.
- "Strobist Jet Pack" or "Dignity-B-Gone" machine? You decide.
- A group in Israel is teaching photography to the blind. [Via Adam Pratt]
- In "The Process-Enacted Mutoscope," 987 Polaroids make up a (short) original film.
- Blowed-up pretty: Beautiful toner explosion. [Via]
September 20, 2008
New Pixel Bender hotness
At Photoshop World I demonstrated Photoshop running a plug-in that houses Pixel Bender, Adobe’s new cross-platform, cross-application technology for running filters silly fast on GPUs & CPUs. Because it also runs in the upcoming Flash Player 10 (due in conjunction with CS4) and in After Effects, I expect Pixel Bender to usher in a whole new era for Photoshop filters. It radically lowers the barrier to entry (all you need is a text editor–which Adobe happens to provide)–and did I mention that it’s fast?
I’m seeing plenty of interesting examples popping up online. To check them out you need to install the Flash Player 10 beta.
- Petri Leskinen is cranking out interesting experiments, including a crazy tunnel test. [Via Mike Chambers]
- Frank Reitberger has made cool fisheye and smudge (or what I’d call "The Chuck Close Effect") filters.
- Flash 3D expert Mr. Doob has posted a number of examples; I like rays in particular.
- Adobe’s Lee Brimelow has posted a pair of PB creation tutorials and an interactive sample, while Mike Chambers shows how to build ActionScript libraries of PB filters.
- More samples can be downloaded from the Adobe Exchange.
A couple of other notes:
- Kind of a technicality: Pixel Bender won’t be supported in the box in the next version of Photoshop, but we plan to offer a PB plug-in as a free download when CS4 ships. Therefore it’s effectively part of the release.
- I expect the ability to run filter in the Flash Player to have a big impact on what Flash-based RIAs like Photoshop Express can do.
September 19, 2008
Lightroom 2.1 RC on Labs
The ‘release candidate’ label indicates that this release is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing to validate the corrections and changes included in this update. The goal of this release is to address bugs that were introduced with the release of Lightroom 2.0 and provide additional camera raw support [matching Camera Raw 4.6].
September 17, 2008
Camera Raw 4.6 available on Adobe Labs
The Camera Raw 4.6 and DNG Converter Release Candidates (RC) are now available on Adobe Labs. As Lightroom/Camera Raw PM Tom Hogarty explains,
The “release candidate” label indicates that the plug-in is well tested but would benefit from additional community testing before it is distributed automatically to all of our customers. The Camera Raw team would like the community to help verify the quality of the plug-in through normal usage as this will ensure that the plug-in is tested on a diversity of hardware and software configurations not available internally at Adobe.
This release includes official camera support for the following cameras:
Fuji Finepix IS Pro
Nikon Coolpix P6000
It also adds preliminary (unofficial) support for these new camera models:
Canon Rebel XS
Olympus SP-565 UZ
Tom explains a bit about what unofficial support means later in his post.
Photos in motion; DNG sprouts wheels
- As you probably don’t need me to tell you, Canon has just announced the 5D Mark II, complete with the ability to record HD-resolution (1080p) video. This follows on the heels of Nikon’s D90, itself capable of 720p video capture. My initial thought was that DSLRs capturing video is kind of like dogs walking on their hind legs–not done well (e.g. no autofocus), though interesting to see done at all. Nikon’s sample videos, however, have gotten me thinking about the possibilities, and film effects pro Stu Maschwitz sees lots of promise. (He calls Canon’s decision to shoot at 30fps instead of at 24 "almost unbearable," however.)
- On the other end of the tech spectrum, I’m a big fan of the little Flip video camera. Now a guy named Reid Gershbein has given a tilt-shift appearance (how, he doesn’t say) to footage from the wee cam. Hmm–this may motivate me to try applying Lens Blur as a Smart Filter on video using Photoshop Extended.
- Ikonoskop’s rather potent-looking, weirdly named A-cam dII is, it would appear, first to support DNG for motion capture. "The buzz at IBC is DNG," they write, "so people seem to understand and start to follow our lead in DNG together with Adobe." [Via Scott Sheppard]
- Interesting video of an SLR: Nikon D3 Shutter Release in Super Slow Motion. [Via Zalman Stern]
- Photojojo’s got some ideas on making flipbooks from your video content.
- Photographer Jill Greenberg is under fire for doing a cover shoot with John McCain for The Atlantic Monthly, then using the outtakes to create harshly anti-McCain photo illustrations. The magazine has disavowed her actions, and Mark Tucker asks a number of questions (while linking to more commentary). Greenberg has posted her images at manipulator.com.
- On a much lighter note, I’d vote Tauntaun any time. (Not so much actual Hope, though.) [Update: Also, McCain gets the Frank Miller treatment. (Via Steven Johnson)]
September 16, 2008
So, how is the world’s most popular 64-bit Mac software built? At the recent Mac-dev C4 conference, Lightroom project lead Troy Gaul presented an inside look at the structure of the application. Hopefully a recording of his talk will be posted soon to flesh out the details, though I don’t have an ETA for that.
September 15, 2008
Cool recent tech: Lifelike 3D, image detection, & more
I’m more than a little snowed under right now with preparations for next week’s announcement, but I wanted to share a few interesting finds:
- Photographers are always asking for better ways to prevent misuse of their works, and TinEye promises to help by using image-recognition techniques to find images in the wild. Ars Technica’s got details.
- I’m delighted to see that Cooliris, the very cool browser technology formerly known as PicLens (see previous raving), is available once again for Safari. I’d forgotten how much I missed it until it returned recently. The developers are also offering an embeddable Flash-powered version for use on your own sites.
- 3D technology is getting waaay too realistic these days. [Via Daniel Presedo & Zorana Gee] Tangentially related?: Disney Lab Unveils Its Latest Line Of Genetically Engineered Child Stars.
September 14, 2008
- "Dyna Moe" has produced the excellent series Mad Men illustrated. (Yes, I resisted watching that show for a long time, then gave up. You should, too.) Love Peggy, Sal, and Joan, but Don looks too generic & happy. Useful bonus: Sally Draper’s Cocktail Cheat Sheet. [Via]
- Veerle rounds up numerous classic movie title sequences. The premium-blend mentholated Thank You For Smoking would fit right in on Mad Men.
- Gene Gable’s posted a great collection of letterheads.
- Motortype: Adam Polselli rounds up a set of lovely vintage car logos.
September 12, 2008
Photoshop 3D is not about 3D
Or rather, it’s not just about 3D. But let me back up a second.
Remember the Newton? My first week at Adobe, I attended an outside "how to be a product manager" seminar at which the Newton was held up as a cautionary tale. The speaker pointed out that the product’s one critical feature–the thing on which everything else depended–was a handwriting recognition system that sucked at recognizing handwriting. Among many other things, the Newton also featured a thermometer. Customers, according to the speaker, had a conniption: what the hell were the product designers thinking, getting distracted with stuff like a thermometer when they couldn’t get the foundation right?
The moral, obviously, is that if you’re going to branch into new territory, you’d better have made your core offering rock solid. And even if it is solid, some customers may perceive any new work as coming at their expense.
I worry a bit about Photoshop users seeing the app branch into 3D and thinking we’ve taken our eye off the ball. Earlier this week reader Jon Padilla commented, "Some of my disgruntled co-workers grumbled ‘oh great! a bunch of cool features we’ll never learn to use…’" No matter what Photoshop adds specifically for your needs, the presence of other features can make it easy to say, "That looks like a great product… for someone else."
Obviously we care about improving the way Photoshop gets used in 3D workflows, especially around compositing and texture painting. If that’s all we had in mind, however, I think we would be overdoing our investment in 3D features relative to others. As it happens, our roadmap is broad and ambitious, so let me try to give some perspective:
- At root, Photoshop’s 3D engine is a mechanism that runs programs on a layer, non-destructively and in the context of the Photoshop layer stack. At the moment it’s geared towards manipulating geometry, shading surfaces, etc., but shader code can perform a wide range of imaging operations.
- Features that work on 3D data–being able to create & adjust lights, adjust textures and reflectivity, paint on transformed surfaces, etc.–work on 2D data as well. (Wouldn’t it be nice to have Lighting Effects written in this century?)
- As photographers finally tire of chasing Yet More Megapixels, cameras will differentiate themselves in new ways, such as by adding depth-sensing technology that records 3D data about a scene. The same infrastructure needed for working with synthetic 3D objects (e.g. adjustable lighting, raytracing) can help composite together photographic data.
- The field of photogrammetry–measuring objects using multiple 2D photos–is taking off, fueled by the ease with which we can now capture and analyze multiple images of a scene. The more Photoshop can learn about the three-dimensional structure of a scene, the more effectively it can manipulate image data.
I know I’m not providing a lot of specifics, but the upshot is that we expect Photoshop’s 3D plumbing to be used for a whole lot more than spinning Coke cans and painting onto dinosaurs. Rather than being a thermometer on a Newton, it’s a core investment that should open a lot of new doors over many years ahead, and for a very wide range of customers.
September 11, 2008
Photoshop GPU advice
We’ll have more to say once the new version is announced, but very generally I can say
you’ll want at least 128MB RAM on a card that’s Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0 compatible. Of course, more brawn is always welcome, and if you anticipate working with numerous large documents and/or 3D, having 512MB RAM on your card is a good idea.
For what it’s worth, I’ve been demoing by tossing around an enormous image on a 2-year-old ATI Radeon 1600 card (256MB) in a MacBook Pro, and it does just fine. If your GPU doesn’t meet Photoshop’s requirements, you won’t lose any features you have today, but certain new things won’t be enabled. As I say, we can get into more details soon.
September 09, 2008
Colliding hadrons, sinking subways, & more
- Casas de sciencia:
- Image manipulation isn’t just for political candidates anymore: even the weather isn’t safe.
- No fakery needed: Environmental Graffiti hosts the 30 Most Incredible Abstract Satellite Images of Earth.
- The British Library’s Bodies of Knowledge online exhibition is loaded with great imagery, exploring how the body has been viewed through history. [Via]
- The NYT reports on a deep-sea home for subway cars. I wonder whether global warming will someday make the idea of deliberately flooding subways seem quaint.
September 08, 2008
PS World keynote features more PS.next sneaks
Adobe’s Terry White traveled to Photoshop World and recorded a video podcast of the keynote presentation, during which Adobe VP Johnny Loiacono and I offered some sneak peeks of the next version of Photoshop, as well as a few Adobe Labs projects expected to follow closely behind the new release. [Via] Photographer, artist, and author John Paul Caponigro summarized the demos, and the Photoshop-specific content starts around the 16-minute mark, running 20 minutes or so.
September 07, 2008
Obscure shortcut tips o’ the day
At Photoshop World this week, an attendee asked me why, after switching from Windows to Mac, she was having trouble changing layer blending modes via the keyboard. It turned out the choice of OS had nothing to do with it. Rather, she was missing a subtlety in how these shortcuts work: their target depends on which tool is active.
- With the Move tool (V) selected, you can:
- change a layer’s blending mode by hitting Shift-plus/minus, cycling forward/backward through the available options;
- apply a specific mode via Shift-Opt/Alt-letter (e.g. Shift-Opt-O for Overlay);
- change layer opacity by hitting number keys: "5" sets it to 50%, "6" to 60%, etc., while "55" sets it to 55%, "66" to 66%, and so on. (Insert joke about "666" erasing your hard drive.)
- With other tools selected (Brush, Eraser, Gradient, Clone Stamp–anything that can be applied with its own blending and opacity options), these shortcuts apply to the tool options instead of to the layer. Therefore you can quickly alter your brush opacity by tapping the number keys, but to change the opacity of the layer, you’ll have to switch to the Move tool.
- For completeness I should point out that you could also switch to another tool that doesn’t have it’s own blending options, such as Crop, and have the shortcuts apply to the layer. Really, though, it’s easier to say that Move = layer, and brush = brush where these shortcuts are concerned.
Hopefully that’s of some value/interest. For reference, here (bottom of the page) is a list of the specific blending mode shortcuts. For further geekery I recommend scoring a copy of the Photoshop Power Shortcuts book on which I collaborated with Michael Ninness. Skim it and you’ll quickly see why finding shortcuts for new functions in PS is, ah, non-trivial.
September 06, 2008
New infographics: Hockey Moms to Wu-Tang Clan
- The NYT visually represents word usage at the Democractic & Republican conventions. Hmm, the Dems must really want "four more years" of this "Bush" character… [Via Ken Lawson]
- DIY 411: MIT’s Mycrocosm is "a Web site that makes it possible for people to use statistical graphs and other visual language tools for expressive social communication. In particular it provides an alternative to purely text based micro-blogging software." [Via]
- Reader "PW" (presumably not PW Herman) points out Pratt’s interesting mechanism for navigating classes & faculty.
- Mission Creep illustrates US troop presence worldwide by country over the last half century. [Via]
- Slate’s got a short history of information visualizations. It’s good to be reminded of beautiful work like Ben Fry’s Genome Valence (video). [Via]
- It’s not an infographic per se, but it riffs nicely on their familiar shapes: Sony’s new Walkman ads play with the forms of famous subway maps. Zooming in on the Sydney piece, you can see that station names have been replaced by bands.
September 05, 2008
Other random graffiti-ish bits:
- Big mugs: Wooster Collective turns up some very cool huge faces in Carthagena, plus even more massive faces projected in Quebec City.
- CNET talks about "Green graffiti"–using various forms of technology (lasers, LEDs) to create paint-free messaging. I love this little safetyman busting out.
September 04, 2008
CS4: Nearing the door
The cat is officially clawing its way through the bag: Adobe has announced that the next version of the Creative Suite will be announced* just three weeks from now, on September 23rd. The company plans to host a webcast (for which you can register here) covering the new product line-up at 1pm Eastern time Tuesday the 23rd. Meanwhile we plan to show off a few more bits tomorrow morning at Photoshop World, so perhaps some interesting info will make its way online.
*Announcing an announcement–getting very meta, eh?
September 03, 2008
Wednesday Photography: X-rays, fire, and ice
- From the WTF Dept: Li Wei makes some eyepopping images. [Via]
- Roasting here in Vegas makes chillaxin’ with Nele Azevedo’s ice people sculptures look pretty cool.
- I’m not sure whether to file this under photography or illustration, but Josh Poehlein combines the two by scratching into the surface of his prints. Inspired by this, Photojojo shows how to "vandalize your photos in the name of art."
- The poles of photo tech:
- Images of daily life in Afghanistan make me feel very privileged–and very soft.
September 02, 2008
Spraygun Mona Lisa, hipster anatomy, & more
Recent illustration finds:
- At the Nvision conference across from Adobe last week, the Mythbusters guys showed how to paint the Mona Lisa in 80 milliseconds. [Via]
- "Part medical and part American Apparel": Hipster anatomical drawings. [Via]
- Hot cartographic action:
- National Geographic offers a map o’ the day feature, displaying high-res maps through what appears to be Zoomify. [Via]
- Adding perspective to maps: Mark Mayers demonstrates how to give flat Illustrator maps a third dimension by using the Free Transform tool and a custom perspective grid.
- Mark Simonson surveys the cartographic typography of the Indiana Jones series.
- This poop-scooping illustration doesn’t stink. [Via David Macy]
September 01, 2008
Chinese political illustration, then & now
- Ethan Persoff has gathered a collection of anti-US Chinese political cartoons c.1958-1960. Without translations or other context, many are baffling, but I find this one especially creepy. [Via]
- Drawing your own political messages in China is less welcome: James Powderly of the Graffiti Research Lab (see previous) was detained for six days for attempting to display Tibet-related protest messages during the Olympics. He tells the story in a series of interviews.
- History repeating as farce: Now you can get a hand-painted version of your face in a Chinese propaganda poster. [Via]
- As you’d expect, The Big Picture offers up a sampling of terrific Olympics photos.
- TotallyCrap offers their own collection, juxtaposing some excellent bits with bizarre loss of dignity. Feeling overwhelmed, I haven’t even gotten to check out parts 2 and 3. [Via]
- Vincent Laforet talks about shooting world records from above.