December 14, 2008

Deke’s new Configurator-made panel

I’m delighted to see super Photoshop ninja Deke McClelland grabbing Adobe Configurator and using it to streamline the app for use with his forthcoming book:

 

Interested as I am in all things Photoshop, I decided to put Configurator and Flash panels through their paces. So very late in the creation of Photoshop CS4 Channels & Masks One-on-One, I created a custom palette (screenshot) to provide access to common selection and masking features from one convenient (but tall) location. The book should be out in a month, but members of dekeOnline can download the palette today, for free, and install it in about a minute.



Solid!  The panel is among the first of what I hope are many, many interesting remixes of the Photoshop UI, tailoring the work environment to specific needs & helping flow knowledge to right where it’s needed.

Posted by John Nack at 11:24 PM on December 14, 2008

Comments

  • MikeD — 7:49 AM on December 15, 2008

    Aside from the wasted space taken up with the ridiculous header on that panel, I noticed that the author has put a copyright line at the bottom. This begs the question: can a rearrangement of functionality that already exists be copyrighted? Seems silly to me…what do you think?
    …Mike
    [It doesn't strike me as silly. Don't most computer-related book just talk about how to recombine existing functionality? Don't most scripts (e.g. Photoshop's Image Processor) just manipulate existing functionality? (That's selling them short, but you know what I mean.)
    Making one's own panel can take a good deal of thought and care, and it's a creative work that extends another creative work. I think that creators should have the right to specify how their work may or may not be used. --J.]

  • MikeD — 8:16 AM on December 15, 2008

    Good point. But I think the difference between a book and a script vs. a reorganization of a UI is that a concept (for example, creating an image mask) can’t be copyrighted…but a specific implementation or description of that concept can be.
    So while a script can do X then Y then Z, it’s not the concept of that combination that is protected, it’s the actual implementation; that is, the creation of the “new work.” If this were not the case, software would be impossible, because the first guy to figure out the concept of “File Open” or “Copy and Paste” would be rich with royalties.
    But let me ask you this: If I make a panel with one button on it, can I copyright that? If so, that seems silly to me. But if not, at what point does a reorganization of existing elements become copyrightable? The same holds for actions BTW: an action with one step vs. many steps in a specific sequence.
    As a programmer myself I understand how copyright and software patents work. And I greatly respect the work that goes into creating something like this (and I sincerely do). Not to mention that I benefit from the protection that copyright affords me.
    But that has to be balanced against the obviousness of the “invention.”
    It’s the periphery of copyright law that interests me, which lead to my original question. No offense intended…I genuinely am curious on your thoughts.
    …Mike
    [All these good questions remind me of why I'm the black sheep in the family who didn't go into law. ;-) I don't know what percentage of work needs to be new/unique before it's open to being copyrighted. What about Duchamp's readymades? I don't claim to have any particular insights here. --J.]

  • Omke Oudeman — 1:11 PM on December 15, 2008

    I still want to find time to explore the Configurator forum to learn more that I can’t find in the help section. But there are a few things I can’t find or access easy:
    The action button is with a play symbol that can’t be removed and it can’t also not be moved to the far borders so it takes a lot of space.
    [We should add an option to remove those icons. --J.]
    Until now the only way to create a button I know of is to copy paste the action name an action set from the action panel in PS. It would be very nice to be able to drag and drop from the configurator.
    [Yes, that's one of the things we'd hoped to get into the first version, but we had to punt. We'll consider it for a future rev. --J.]
    Also assigning color to the buttons would be nice.
    I am trying to create an action panel with several small buttons (only with text as 10% – 15% etc) that will be placed next to each other but this is limited due to the play symbol).
    Besides this I find this a very promising feature! :-)
    Omke

  • Brian Berman — 2:02 AM on January 28, 2009

    Is there a way to add other palettes like the Adjustment palette within one of the configurator panels?
    [Not really. At the moment you're limited to calling menu items, so although you could replicate the Adjustments panel's "create new adjustment layer X" commands, you couldn't insert things like the curves display. We'd like to get to that point, though I'm not sure when it might happen. (There's lots of rearchitecture going on.) --J.]

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