January 31, 2009
Logos n’ details
- Alex Trochut creates wonderfully intricate images. (His site’s navigation is clever, though I wished I could just flip through his work more easily.)
- The WWF has commissioned some beautifully detailed illustrations from Ogilvy & Mather India. Commenters point out the similarity to Albrecht Dürer’s rhino.
- PSDTUTS has some cool ideas for How to Simulate Fractals in Photoshop.
January 30, 2009
- Adobe XD dude Ethan Eismann rounds up some good animated infographics. (Sorry, but the Royksopp song will be getting into your head; nothing I can do about it.)
- Lernert Engelberts & Sander Plug “built a duo glass harp and learned to play this 18th-century musical instrument in less than 8 weeks. Instead of a classical piece or suchlike, we have chosen the classic 20th-century pop song ‘No limit’ by 2unlimited — easily the worst song ever!” [Via]
- Yuval and Merav Nathan have made a terrific stop-motion piece for Oren Lavie’s “Her Morning Elegance.”
- What is up with Cadbury these days? In any case, let’s hear it for advanced eyebrow stylings. (The balloon scratching makes it.)
January 29, 2009
Pixel Bender contest extended; new examples
By the way a couple of developers have pointed out that contest entry is restricted to US residents. I don’t know why that is, and hopefully it’s something that can get changed. (The same limitation has popped up in various Adobe contests. I don’t know why it does, but everyone agrees that it sucks & would like to change it.)
Elsewhere, Paul Burnett shared some more PB coolness: a spinnable globe (complete with source) featuring a spherize filter + throw physics, as well as the bizarre Dancing Dudes demo (see screenshot). (Me, I would’ve gone with some vintage Rockwell for the soundtrack.)
And one more thing: Adobe announced today that Flash Player 10–needed to run Pixel Bender in a browser–is now installed on more than half the Net-connected PCs & Mac in the world, and that’s after just two months of availability. If you think browser-based image editors like Photoshop.com are powerful now, wait til they really start embracing PB.
January 28, 2009
Photos from 100 meters to 1mm
- Oh man: Jason Lee makes me feel bad as a photographer, a Photoshopper, and a dad. He’s posted some terrific images of his girls, many turned into photo illustrations. [Via Tobias Hoellrich]
- The 100-meter photo: To create We’re All Gonna Die, Simon Hoegsberg set up shop in a single spot on Berlin’s Warschauer Strasse, capturing 178 people in all. [Via Tony Patricelli]
- In 1mm a day, Chris Hornbecker set himself a challenge: “Take a brand new photo each day. Beginning with 14mm, each day I zoom the lens by 1 millimeter and force myself to use that focal length to shoot and post a photo before going to sleep that night.” [Via]
- Shimon Attie projects images from the past (e.g. from Berlin’s pre-WWII Jewish quarter) onto the current versions of those scenes, then photographs the results.
- Hot avian action:
*Alliteration credits go to the wonderful Calef Brown.
January 27, 2009
I periodically get questions about whether Adobe-oriented groups exist in a certain region, about how to start up such a group, etc. Now the company has launched groups.adobe.com, a resource meant to "give the Adobe community a place to connect, find one another, and locate communities of people who share their interests." Community mgr. Rachel Luxemburg talks about how the site works & how to get started.
Tuesday Illustrations: Killer movie posters, RUN-DC, & more
- Retro remixes:
- The continuing Obamarama:
- Mac bits:
January 26, 2009
Pirated Photoshop carries badness
“Mac trojan horse discovered in pirated Photoshop,” reports Macworld. Yeah, well, what can I say? I’m just mentioning it an an FYI (and so that everyone can stop sending me variations on the link ;-)).
New Pixel Bender bits
- Pixel Bender engineering manager Kevin Goldsmith rounds up a whole set of PB experiments. David Lenaerts’s smoke sim makes me long to reinvent what it means to paint in Photoshop.
- Brooks Andrus shows off the performance of Pixel Bender in Flash Player 10, letting you choose from a set of filters to run on video in real time.
- Adobe evangelist Paul Burnett demonstrates how to use PB filters in Flash.
- And, of course, there’s still time to enter the NVIDIA-sponsored Pixel Bender creation contest.
January 25, 2009
Sunday Photography: A free utility, giant photo, & more
- Inaugural bits:
- David Bergman shows how created a 1,474-megapixel photo during the inauguration.
- The Washington Post stitched together thousands of inaugural photos into one zoomable mosaic. [Via]
- Chuck Kennedy used a remote-controlled 5D Mk II to capture a unique low-angle shot of the swearing-in. [Via John Cornicello]
- I just used Jeffrey Friedl’s groovy (and free) little “Export to Facebook” Lightroom Plugin, and it worked without a hitch. Thanks, Jeffrey. [Via Eric Scouten]
- PhotoCliches.com is full of, well, just that. (Who knew the Lynndie England pose was so popular?)
- Viva Cheap:
- Photographers Roth & Ramberg show how they recreated Antarctica in April with the help of a leaf blower, among other things. [Via]
- People In Commercial Having More Fun With Camera Than Humanly Possible, says the Onion. (“They just high-fived, for Christ’s sake.”)
January 23, 2009
Feedback, please: What next for Adobe Bridge?
I think the title pretty much sums it up. We have lots of ideas, but rather than lead with those, I’d really like to hear what you want. The floor is open. [PS: When commenting, it would be helpful to know what version you’re using today.] –Thanks, J.
[Update: Wow, thanks for all the great feedback so far. I’m hoping to get a chance to go back in and reply to various comments, but I may end up rolling info into a new post.]
Camera Raw 5.3 and Lightroom 2.3 Available on Adobe Labs
- Nikon D3X
- Olympus E-30
The Lightroom update addresses some reported problems:
- In the Windows 64-bit version of Lightroom an sFTP upload process could cause Lightroom to crash
- Slideshows could return to the first image randomly during playback
- A memory leak could cause Lightroom to crash while attempting to process files with local adjustments
- Canon EOS 5D Mk II sRAW files could process with artifacts in Lightroom 2.2
- Lightroom 2.2 could cause disc burning to fail for Windows customers
Lightroom 2.3 now provides language support for Chinese (Simplified),
Chinese (Traditional), Dutch,
and Swedish. Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty has posted some additional notes regarding language support on the Lightroom Journal.
Layer Tennis to return shortly
Layer Tennis, the online Photoshop/Flash battle series, is gearing up for another season, starting on Feb 13th and running for twelve weeks. At the end of it all, there will be a single elimination championship tournament. Sign up for season tickets to keep informed and to be able to vote on the outcomes of matches.
In the meantime you can check out "volleys" from previous matches (e.g. this one).
January 22, 2009
Notes on a Flash CS4 update
In response to my mention of a pending update for Photoshop CS4, I got a few reports of problems that have turned up in Flash CS4. I forwarded them to Richard Galvan, the Flash PM, and he’s now posted some info on his blog. If you’re a Flash user and have questions or comments on this subject, you may want to read Richard’s notes.
January 21, 2009
At pain of reaching complete burnout on this subject…
- As usual, The Big Picture hosts some excellent galleries:
- The Newseum hosts hundreds of front pages documenting the events. [Via Marc Pawliger]
- Pranksters in SF have changed Bush St. to Obama St. (I remember hearing after the 2000 election that people had changed “Bush” to “Puppet.”)
January 20, 2009
Hail to the Chief, from space
“For those about to Barack… We salute you!”
- The GeoEye-1 satellite took a high-res photo of the inaugural proceedings from 423 miles overhead, whipping by at 17,000 mph. Here’s a version of the whole thing (but not full-res).
- The NYT hosts a zoomable photo (via Flash) showing the new president addressing the crowd. (You know you can create things just like this straight out of Photoshop, right? File->Export->Zoomify.) [Via Ken Lawson]
- CNN features a 360-degree panorama showing the stand before the ceremony. [Via Adam Pratt]
January 19, 2009
Photoshop CS4 update in development
[Feb. 24: The update is now available.]
In the time since Photoshop CS4 shipped, we’ve heard from some customers about various things not working as designed. In particular, various Windows XP configurations can exhibit slowdowns. A number of problems can be traced back to problems with video card drivers, but there are changes that Photoshop needs to make to improve the situation, and we’re working on an update that’ll be released soon.
Photoshop performance QE lead Adam Jerugim writes,
In an effort
to ensure that this change addresses the issues we hope it does, we’ve
created a small pre-release program that we’re opening to public volunteers.
So if you’re a CS4 user who is experiencing performance issues and would
like to help us test a potential fix, please email me @ adam dot jerugim at adobe dot com.
Thanks for your patience with this and understand that we’re working as fast
as possible to deliver a solution.
The Photoshop Engineering Team
I’m sorry we weren’t able to catch and fix all the issues that people have encountered. If you’ve experienced problems and have some time to help bang on the fixes, we’d greatly appreciate your help.
January 18, 2009
Interesting Inaugural bits from the NYT
- The New York Times features an interactive photography portfolio called Obama’s People, offering portraits of key staffers. The audio commentary (via the link below the photos) is worth a listen, describing the subjects’ choices in what to bring to the shoot (e.g. a chocolate chip cookie for David Axelrod). The separate making-of piece features Kathy Ryan talking about how shooting digitally has enhanced the collaborative aspects–and maybe the time pressures–of portraiture. [Update: Ellis Vener points out a hilarious “Real Behind-the-Scenes” take on the shoot, followed by some good discussion in the comments. “Blue Steel…”]
- The paper (that term seems more than a little outmoded, doesn’t it?) also features an excellent overview of the Inauguration Day goings-on via a 3D-rendered map and timeline.
- Looking back, another piece depicts the changing configuration of the White House.
I’d love to be in DC in person, but that map triggers a memory of having gotten stuck on the Metro under the Potomac on a sweltering July 4 years ago. With Tuesday temperatures due to hover around freezing, maybe I’m okay with TV after all.
January 17, 2009
Saturday Illustrations: Stalactites, stained glass, & more
- Speak freely: I love Experimental Jetset’s Loose Lips poster. [Via]
- Stained glass gets frisky in these ads for Bishop’s Finger beer.
- Miquel Barcelo used more than 100 tons of paint on the 16,000-square-foot elliptical dome for the UN’s Geneva offices. The BBC has details. [Via]
- Jon Hicks shows the sketch-to-final-rendering evolution of his icon design for Font Explorer Pro.
- Svenska Karamel! The packaging for these Swedish candies is pretty darn cute.
- Shoot the Baddies has fun with some familiar silhouettes. (Roll over each for its name.) [Via]
- RISD is hosting a symposium on dazzle, the World War I/II camouflage technique meant to confuse enemy submarines. The site points out that a Greek billionaire recently commissioned Jeff Koons to dazzle his yacht.
January 15, 2009
Obama via Photoshop
Photographer Pete Souza has captured what’s billed as the first digital presidential portrait. Folks have nerded out and parsed the EXIF metadata, learning that the image came from a Canon 5D Mark II and was edited in Adobe Photoshop CS3. NPR features a piece on Souza’s history photographing presidents. [Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Adam Pratt, and Klaasjan Tukker]
Quick-thinking Photoshop team member Adam Jerugim has shot Pete a note and is working on setting him up with a copy of CS4 (hey, we can’t have the White House lagging in technology). We just have to make sure we’re not breaking any rules that would get him in trouble as a government employee. (It’s not Jan. 20 yet!)
January 14, 2009
Wednesday Illustrations: Presidencies to video games
- Milky Way Transit Authority: Samuel Arbesman has mapped our galaxy in the style of a subway map. [Via]
- Korean designers Zero Per Zero have created a beautiful heart-shaped map of the NYC subway system. They’ve likewise done Seoul as Yin-Yang, Tokyo, and more. [Via]
- Also check out the NY subway map in ASCII! [Via]
- 2D gone 3D:
What, exactly, does CS4 offer photographers & others?
- Scott Kelby writes, "We were kind of surprised, but again on my blog last week, people are still asking the same questions, ‘What’s in CS4? Should I upgrade? Is it worth the upgrade? etc.,’ so we went into the studio to put together a comprehensive discussion on all of CS4’s new features." Check out the crew’s video discussions on the subject.
- Do you know about (and use) Bird’s-Eye View in Photoshop, or the Targeted Adjustment Tool in Camera Raw? If not, give Derrick Story’s Five Adobe CS4 goodies for photographers a quick review.
- Anita Dennis has pulled together an excellent list of Bridge CS4 tutorials.
January 13, 2009
InDesign Cmd-H issue fixed in 10.5.6
The InDesign folks asked me to pass along the news that a problem that bedeviled ID CS3/CS4 users on Mac OS X 10.5–namely, that the Cmd-H keyboard shortcut wouldn’t work (or couldn’t be undone)–has been fixed by Apple’s 10.5.6 update. Thanks to all the folks at Apple and Adobe who worked together to get things sorted out. [Via Michael Ninness]
Artist-vandals in Berlin have rather brilliantly hacked a set of subway posters, overlaying them with stickers showing the Photoshop UI. [Via Mark Stern, Serge Jespers, Jeff Lietz, and others]
I have a soft spot for the trippy impromptu public art projects that subway posters often become–everything from Van Dycks & puke lines to political commentary. I got an unreasonably big kick out of a Bourne Identity poster in the NY subway that featured three images of Matt Damon on which someone had scrawled, respectively, “Loner… gun owner… stern taskmaster.” (Told you it was unreasonable.)
[Previously: Real-world Photoshop.]
January 12, 2009
Frailty & Jibber Jabber
I sure extract value from the MacBooks Adobe has bought for my use: as I log 12 hours/day on them (sad? impressive? both?), my hands tend to wear crescent-shaped marks into the finish. Now, however, my 17″ MBP’s ability to take a charge has crapped out, meaning that the slightest jiggle to the power cord means instant system shut down. Gooood times! Thus I type this from my wife’s 13″ MB. It makes me realize how dependent I am on a single piece of machinery.
I’m excited about the 17″ system Apple announced last week. The ability to stuff in 8GB of RAM is particularly welcome, though for the $1200 price of adding those last four gigs, you could buy two complete Mac Minis (or a regular MacBook plus an AppleTV!). Mmm, yeah, gonna sit tight on that option for a little while. I was also a little disappointed not to see a quad-core processor option (Acer will sell you one with an 18″ screen for $1800). On the other hand, I suppose I don’t need Whopper-style grill marks on my thighs (hard to explain at swim lessons).
In any case, here’s hoping my regular machine can be brought back to life soon (as it contains all my blog drafts), and that the new ones start shipping soon. In the meantime, Jason D. Moore has just posted an interview we did over the weekend, in case you’re interested.
January 10, 2009
Saturday Type: Zoos, “Buckets of Fail,” and more
- Design Won’t Save the World…: Wow, that’s some bracing feedback.
- Jamie Gregory has made a super fun Zoological Typeface, specifically for zoo signage. [Via]
- Just My Type constructs the entire alphabet using just linear & radial gradients.
- Fabio Sasso shows how to create “smoke type” in Photoshop in 10 steps. (See PSDTUTS for lots more PS/smoke-related inspiration.)
- Here’s a large set of the opening titles of B-movies. (Buckaroo Banzai was a B-movie? And Dune?) [Via]
January 09, 2009
Pixel Bender comes to your Web cam
Rich Tretola has created FotoBooth 2, a free Adobe AIR app that applies Pixel Bender effects on the fly to data coming in from your Web cam. To check it out, make sure you’ve installed AIR 1.5, then download FotoBooth. (Here’s a deeply unflattering screenshot.)
The app idea & features aren’t new–in fact, it’s nearly a clone of Apple’s Photo Booth–but it’s neat to see how the Flash/AIR platform has evoloved. All these fast Pixel Bender effects could be run in Photoshop via the free Pixel Bender plug-in for CS4.
By the way, in case you missed it over the break, NVIDIA is sponsoring a Pixel Bender creation contest. Give it a shot and win some great loot.
Kuler adds Community Pulse
The team behind Kuler, Adobe’s color harmony creation & sharing site, has introduced a neat new feature:
Explore the Kuler global community with Community Pulse, a big picture view of color usage. This is a beta feature, using data visualization (screenshot) to show the relative popularity of colors across a sampling of countries, time periods, and tags.
To check it out,
- Sign in with your Adobe ID to play around with it
- Mouse over the histogram to see the hues on the color wheel
- Try the granularity slider to see more/less color detail
- Use the comparison icon (two circles) to compare/contrast
If you have questions, check out Kuler Help. And don’t forget to check out the Kuler panel in Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and InDesign CS4 (see Window->Extensions->Kuler). Here’s a couple of screenshots, plus a video demo. [Via]
January 08, 2009
Mo’ good events
- Mordy Golding & the crew at MoGo Media are putting on The Adobe Creative Suite 4 Launch Tour, featuring presentations from Adobe & independent creative professionals. They’ll be in NYC Jan. 16, Chicago Jan. 21, and LA Feb. 19.
- Next Wednesday the 14, the Professional Photographers
of Santa Clara Valley are hosting my fellow PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes, talking about Lightroom 2 and Photoshop CS4, starting at 7pm.
New Woohoo tutes
Dr. Woohoo is back with more useful tutorials for Flash/Suite scripters:
Follow along with this tutorial to expand on what we created in the previous tutorial, with the objective of using a framework that embraces running our Flash plug-in in multiple Creative Suite applications (Photoshop and Illustrator). When we are done, our Flash plug-in will work in all three CS applications using code that is appropriate for each host application
Follow along with this tutorial to create a simple Flash plug-in that gets the RGB, CMYK and HSB values of the foreground color in Photoshop CS4.
Incidentally, if you’re interested in how Adobe’s app automation layer came to be (and where it might be headed), check out Drew’s 2 Interviews: The guys behind ExtendScript ToolKit, SwitchBoard + PatchPanel.
Browser in a camera: I think it’s serious
Years ago, my bizarre friend Higgins told me and another buddy that his girlfriend had mysteriously dumped him. He was visibly shaken and seemed truly down in the dumps. He said, “I… I just don’t get it. The whole thing inspired me to write a song. Do you guys want to hear it?” Well sure, of course we did. “Okay, here goes,” he said. Closing his eyes, clearing his throat, he leaned back and paused. And then, bursting into a Pete Townshend air-guitar windmill, and doing his best Axl Rose devil-woman wail, he screeched,
That was is, end of song. :-)
Ever since then we’ve “busted out the ‘Whatstrument*'” for bizarre news. The arrival of the Sony Cybershot G3, World’s First Camera You Can Surf the Web On, seems worthy.
Okay, maybe it’s not that weird. As Gizmodo puts it, “Sony’s seeing this more as a flexible, fast way to dump and check your photos and videos online, direct from your camera, not so much as a way to compulsively watch YouTube videos or read Gizmodo, even though that’s exactly what we want, and will try to do, practicalities aside.”
I dig the instant sharing possibilities, though I’d explicitly keep them out of my wife’s hands: she’s all for uploading before I’ve had time to crop, retouch, and otherwise noodle around. [Via Jerry Harris]
*Other suggested air-instrumental possibilities for the song: Trombone, sax, harmonica, sextant, astrolabe, and finger snap (Beatnik edition).
January 07, 2009
The MacBook Wheel
“One button. Endless possibilities.”
I look forward to hearing that Adobe is “dragging its feet” for not abandoning keyboard shortcuts and fully embracing The Wheel by noon yesterday. ;->
[Update: Reader Don Tardiff points out that the Simplex typewriter was doing the wheel thing a century ago. (“Notice no screen, hard drive, or battery.”) Reached for comment, Jonathan Ive said, “That’s. How. We. Roll.”]
New Photoshop contests
Lately I’ve come across some Photoshop-centered contests that might be up your alley:
- Planet Photoshop has kicked off their first Planet Design Contest, offering a pass to Photoshop World, among other prizes. Corey Barker writes,
You are presented with three tutorials that have been selected from the vast library of tutorials here on Planet Photoshop. After watching the tutorials, your assignment is to use the techniques you learn from one or all of them to create an original piece of artwork. Feel free to be as creative as you want. Just think of these tutorials as a springboard as you proceed to create your original art.
The entry deadline is January 15.
- Meanwhile PhotoshopCafe is running “Photoshop — The Concert,” with CS4 Design Premium, an NVIDIA Quadro CX card, and more up for grabs. Colin Smith writes,
Make a poster for a concert with a Photoshop-themed band! The twist? You have to use a tool from Photoshop as the title of the band. (Think of a concert poster with a band that has a Photoshop-themed name, such as “The Healing Brushes,” etc…) Props for wit and cunning! Use any original artwork you desire. You may use any tools or platform you choose, but you must use Photoshop for at least 50% of the Image editing/design.
The deadline for is January 31.
- Lastly, PSDTUTS is showcasing the winners of their recent movie poster design challenge.
January 06, 2009
Airtight Flash galleries come to PSCS4
Felix Turner’s excellent Flash galleries (SimpleViewer, PostcardViewer, AutoViewer, and TiltViewer) have been integrated with Photoshop for some time. Now with a little assist from PS scripter Jeff Tranberry, the processing module is compatible with CS4. You can download the CS4 versions (self-installing via Extension Manager) as well as the CS3 versions from Felix’s Airtight Interactive site.
Tuesday Type: A great utility, more tiny Obamas, & more
- Flipping Typical is a beautifully simple, browser-based way to compare words set in the different typefaces installed on your computer. Awesome. The “WTF?” (About) page contains more info. [Via]
- Type from novel objects:
- Talk about “The tyranny of choice”: YouWorkForThem rounds up “300 of the best digital Blackletter typefaces.” If there are 300 “best” ones, how many must there be in total? And how many could a person need?? (My logotype above is a mash-up of two.)
- Paris-based nobrain has created a whole series of groovy 5-second identities for France’s TF1. [Via]
- Ecofont claims to use 20% less ink than other fonts. [Via]
January 05, 2009
New tutorials: Masking in CS4, Bridge CS4
Russell Brown is presenting some new techniques at Macworld on Wednesday, and he’ll be handing out a CD containing all his latest tips and tricks. In the meantime he’s posted a pair of new videos:
- Masking in CS4 shows off the on-canvas adjustment tool for Hue/Saturation, new feather/density options for masks, and more
- My favorite new Bridge features covers the Output module, enhanced loupe tool, and more
Fellow evangelists Terry White, Julianne Kost, and others will be on hand as well, so check out the theater schedule for complete details.
PUGs (Photoshop User Groups) in SJ, SF this week
The PS User Groups in San Jose and San Francisco are busy this week, holding a pair of events. Tomorrow night the San Jose group meets:
- Explain color management thought process and workflow and importance of screen to print matching.
- Convert raw files.
- Open images to be worked on in CS3 and prep for print.
- Explain printer drivers and cover color management options.
- Discuss different paper types and their characteristics.
We’ll have pizza and drinks at 6:30, and the meeting will start at 7:00, in the Park Conference Room of Adobe Systems’ East Tower, 321 Park Avenue, San Jose. If the security guard at the parking entrance asks for an Adobe contact, use Bryan O’Neil Hughes’s name. Please RSVP to Dan Clark.
On Thursday the group in SF meets:
Come join the 2009 kick-off of “Photoshop till you drop” – a San Francisco-based user group for Photoshop fanatics. We’ll kick off these meetings with Photoshop Product Manager, Zorana Gee who will take us through a tour of all the new features in Photoshop CS4 and even a taste of 3D in Photoshop CS4 Extended. Her demo will include (but not limit to) new GPU enhancements, time-saving workflow improvements with the new adjustments and mask panels, greatly improved stitching capabilities for both panoramas and a stack of images and a whole bunch of little things that make a huge difference.
January 04, 2009
Mo’ betta Star Wars text
Adobe’s Russell Brown has one-upped (ten-upped?) my suggestions for creating Star Wars crawl-style text in Photoshop. He’s created a video demo that shows off the whole process and adds some new twists.
January 02, 2009
The ins & outs of extending CS4
It’s never been this easy–not even close–to extend Photoshop and the Creative Suite to do new things. You can now write cross-platform, network-aware code that can drop into nearly all the CS4 applications, and you can use AIR applications to drive Suite apps. If you’re a developer, this can mean new opportunities to solve problems and make money.
To learn more about what’s possible in CS4, check out Mark Niemann-Ross’s presentation from Adobe MAX. It’s an hour long, but I think you’ll find it clear and informative–good stuff to watch over lunch. I’m also drawing together related resources in a new "Suite Development" category on this blog.
January 01, 2009
Pen Zen for 2009
Mordy Golding offers 10 Illustrator Resolutions for 2009–ten great suggestions for getting more out of this amazingly powerful app. My notes:
- If you do nothing else, try double clicking your artwork to enter “isolation mode.” It’s just like editing a symbol in place in Flash. Stop doing the whole lock/unlock, group/ungroup dance. Isolation mode is your friend, particularly in CS4.
- Mordy is right on about the power of the Appearance panel. In CS4 the panel is at last just what I’d hoped it could be–namely, a killer one-stop shop for adding and editing object effects and parameters.
- My personal addition to the list? Envelope distortions. Create some artwork, then choose Object->Envelope Distort, then either Make With Warp or Make With Mesh. I like choosing the latter, then selecting the Free Transform Tool (E), clicking and dragging on one corner, and then while still moused down holding Cmd/Ctrl to do a perspective transform. Bam, instant re-editable Star Wars text.
If you really want to brush up on your fundamentals & really wrap your head around the Pen tool, I recommend a couple of great resources:
- Sharon Steuer’s Zen of the Pen PDF goes back a few releases, but it remains clear and relevant today.
- To learn more about the pen in PS, check out Ian Yates’s Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide from PSDTUTS.
And oh yeah, Happy New Year! We’ll see whether my blogging can hold up under not one but two bambinos. Bring him/her on! ;-)