October 31, 2009
(rt) Photography: Biggest tree photo ever & more
- Interesting iPhone photography roundup (and images) from Phil Coffman. Includes use of Photoshop.com app
- Thinking of digitizing old photos? Macworld compares scanning services. [Via]
- National Geographic:
- A photo essay in TIME covers history’s Top 10 Doctored Photos (many predating Photoshop).
October 30, 2009
(rt) Illustration: Friday Infographics
- Man, what a gorgeous space infographic. See also the lovely Race to the Moon.
- A three-year-old’s view of the NYC subway. (I have to get my illustration mojo back & start doing things like this for our boys. I keep wanting to do a diagram of baby Henry scootching around his crib, a la the sailing stones of the Racetrack Playa.)
- A Graphic History of Newspaper Circulation Over the Last Two Decades. [Via]
- Map of how long it takes to get to a ‘major’ city (+50k people). [Via]
October 29, 2009
New Adventures in Slow-Mo:
October 28, 2009
(rt) Interesting Miscellany: Slick designs, terrible demos, & more
- “Horrifically bad software demo becomes performance art.” Oh God, I’ve been so close to being the podium-gripping guy…
- What *possible* demographic buys Playboy (faux) Hot Wheels? (I’m pretty sure I don’t want to know.)
- This forkless cruiser bike looks like a Photoshop job but isn’t.
October 27, 2009
How goes the war?
- The Big Picture’s Afghanistan, September 2009 gallery is full of striking, often heartbreaking images.
Adobe TV: Removing distortions, using Quick Select
These recent posts on Adobe TV might be up your alley:
Photoshop With Matt Kloskowski: Removing Distortion from Wide-Angle Photos
Wide-angle lenses often introduce distortion into photos. Tall buildings look like they’re leaning over, and, depending on how close you are to your subject, some things may look like they’re bulging or curved. This tutorial will show how to fix that.
Photoshop for Digital Photographers: How to Train the Quick Selection Tool
Improve the quality of your selections by first training the Quick Selection Tool. This simple technique shows you how to make better, more accurate selections in half the time.
October 26, 2009
(rt) Photography: Glaciers from space, famous Legos, & more
- The natural world:
- Famous images:
- Striking aircraft photography from Josef Hoflehner [Via Christina Wiley]
- “Two Weeks in Forever” is the NYT’s interesting 3-minute photo essay about a Marine unit in Afghanistan.
- Here’s a 360-degree pano of some Photoshop & Lightroom guys meeting w/customers last week in NYC.
October 25, 2009
(rt) Offbeat sculptures: Micro Hulk, Bizarre balloons, & more
- Microsculptor’s Incredible Hulk Fits in Eye of a Needle. [Via]
- Buddha sculpture made from 20,000 dead bugs. (I always love hilariously overwrought Japanese narration.) [Via]
- Skeletons made from melted cassette tapes. [Via]
- Weirdest. (And Biggest.) Balloon. Sculptures. Ever. [Via]
Creating contact sheets in Bridge CS4
I still see a fair number of people searching for info about Photoshop’s semi-retired Contact Sheet feature. This 1-minute video shows how it’s been replaced with a better alternative in Bridge CS4:
October 24, 2009
New Filter Forge 2.0 for PS beta
- Support for unlimited HDR colors (including negative colors!) across the entire rendering pipeline.
- Bomber component for spraying image particles in a controlled manner.
- Gamma correction options — our first step towards a gamma-aware workflow.
- Instant filter search for people with large filter collections.
- Median, Maximum, Minimum and Percentile components — the latter allows custom-percentile filtering.
- Polygon and Ellipse components (“sounds boring but they are very flexible”).
October 23, 2009
Share your screen for free, via CS4
Ever wanted to quickly show an art director or client a work in progress in Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.? Here’s how to do it (1-minute demo):
Be honest: you had no idea you could do this, right?
(rt) Illustration: Martians, killers, and more
- Cool: Sketchbook Mobile for iPhone now emails layered PSD files. [Via]
- The recent evolution of various logos (Hilton, Hertz, more).
- Chris Haines makes some amazing photo illustrations (Thom Yorke & others). (They get better as you scroll down.)
October 22, 2009
Adobe Windows 7 FAQ
Adobe has posted an FAQ discussing Creative Suite support for Microsoft Windows 7. For more detailed technical info, see the technote on “Installing and using Windows 7 with Adobe applications.”
Adobe’s support policy for Windows 7 is the same as it is for Mac OS X Snow Leopard: test and focus on the currently shipping versions of software, while also performing some testing on older versions. Hopefully the wording of this FAQ is clearer than the Snow Leopard version was initially.
October 21, 2009
Lightroom 3.0 public beta arrives!
I’m delighted to report that the first public beta version of Lightroom 3.0 is available for download from Adobe Labs. According to the press release, the LR3 beta offers “more intuitive importing, unparalleled noise reduction and sharpening tools, enhanced slideshow capabilities and direct publishing to online photo sharing sites like Flickr.” Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty writes,
For this latest release we went back to the drawing board and revisited what we believe are the fundamental priorities of our customers: Performance and Image Quality. Lightroom has been stripped down to the “engine block” in order to rebuild a performance architecture that meets the needs of photographers with growing image collections and increasing megapixels. The raw processing engine has also received an overhaul right down to the fundamental demosaic algorithms that now allows unprecedented sharpening and noise reduction results.
He also writes, “We’re not even close to finished in terms of features, performance, or image quality, but we want early feedback on our improvements so that we have time to make sure Lightroom 3 is your ideal workflow assistant.” Check out the rest of Tom’s post for a wealth of feature details.
PS–Can it really be nearly four years since the first Lightroom public beta? Wow.
Update: Here’s Adobe’s Julieanne Kost introducing some of the new features:
Check out parts 2 and 3 as well, plus Scott Kelby’s Top 10 favorite changes & a wealth of other LR3-related posts & resources.
October 20, 2009
Video: New from Adobe Labs, Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop
You like? :-) (Here’s some more background on the technology.) To see higher-res detail, I recommend hitting the full-screen icon or visiting the Facebook page that hosts the video.
As with all such sneak peeks, I have to be really clear in saying that this is just a demo, and as such it’s not a promise that a technology will ship inside a particular version of Photoshop. (As the late Mac columnist Don Crabb told me years ago, “There’s many a slip ‘twixt cup & lip.”) Still, it’s fun to show some of the stuff with which we’re experimenting.
Next versions of AE, Premiere Pro to be 64-bit only
This morning Simon Hayhurst from Adobe’s video group announced that the next versions of Adobe After Effects & Premiere Pro will be 64-bit native & will require a 64-bit system to run (meaning a 64-bit processor and operating system). See Simon’s post, as well as this one from AE PM Michael Coleman, for more details.
If you’re running these apps today on a Mac, you’re probably already set (as CS4 is Intel-only). The only 32-bit Intel Macs were the first-gen MacBook Pros, iMacs, and Mac minis. On the Windows side, chances are again good that you’re running on a 64-bit processor, but you’ll want to make sure to move to a 64-bit version of Vista or Windows 7 if you haven’t done so already.
Does this news mean that the next version of Photoshop will carry the same requirements? No. Photoshop.next will still support 32-bit operating systems and processors (alongside 64-bit ones). It’ll be nice to go 64-bit-only someday (just so that we can focus all our development and testing time on this setup), but Photoshop’s user base is diverse, and the time isn’t quite right. In the meantime, supporting both flavors doesn’t compromise Photoshop.
October 19, 2009
Monday Photos: Dark n’ Lovely
- Take a look at the marvelous intricacy of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Lightning Fields. The photographer “uses a 400,000-volt Van De Graaff generator to apply an electrical charge directly onto his film.” [Via]
- I love the understatement of Carlos de Spinola‘s “Drive In” series. Somehow I’m taken back to driving across northern Indiana (where Gary could double as the backdrops for Blade Runner) at night. [Via]
- The NYT tells the story behind (and features a gallery of) Walker Evans postcards.
- To quote our little son Finn seeing whirling blades, “Makeitturn makeitturn makeitturnturn!”: Helicopter taking off–in 1949 [Via]
- Last Suppers is “A series of photographs documenting former Death Row prisoners’ requests for their last meal before execution.” Happy Monday! [Via]
October 18, 2009
Photoshop.com Mobile downloaded over 1 million times
Wow–on behalf of the team, thanks again for the warm reception! Here’s the official blurb:
Adobe today announced that its Photoshop.com Mobile for iPhone application has been downloaded over 1 million times from Apple’s App Store, a milestone reached in less than one week of availability. Additionally, the application has held the No. 1 position for all “Top Free” applications as well as the “Top Free” application in the Photography category for 10 consecutive days. Thousands of iTunes reviews have provided Adobe with positive feedback, insight and suggestions that will be considered for future versions of the application.
The application is currently available in the U.S. and Canada only. I know that’s frustrating to folks in other locations, and the team will keep working to broaden access.
Video: The creation of the CBS Eye logo
Funny to think that the work was expected to be just a one-season item. [Via]
October 17, 2009
Video: Photoshop used for age progression
A brief video from CNN shows how the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children uses Photoshop as part of their age-progression efforts (where reference photos of missing kids are digitally altered to reflect the passage of time). The video is light on specifics, but it’s great to be reminded of the positive uses of technology:
Embedded video from CNN Video
I had the chance to visit the NCMEC folks in Virginia a couple of years ago, and I came away deeply impressed with the thoroughness & passion they bring to their mission. Photoshop team members like John Penn continue to work closely with them in hopes of improving how Photoshop for their needs. [Via Adam Pratt]
[Tangentially related: a tutorial on performing age progression in Photoshop.]
October 16, 2009
(rt) Type: German chronographs, Photorealistic 3D type, & more
- Looks like a cool tutorial on “extreme typography” in Illustrator (full reading requires site membership).
- Gollum-flavored license plate spotted at lunch: PRSHSSS. We likes it…
- “IT IS TEN PAST NINE…” Cool German timepiece. Even comes as an iPhone app! [Via]
- Nerd-tastic Cmd-Z necklace.
- Quiz: So you think you can tell Arial from Helvetica?
October 15, 2009
(rt) Illustration: Mickey D’s to Decapitated KFC’s
- I love the excellently simple Decibel Fest poster.
- Check out the nifty retro illustrations from Lab Partners. More are on their blog. [Via]
- The best flag in the world. [Via]
- Filed under Stuff You Were Previously Unlikely To See Today: A
dogfox eating Col. Sanders’ head, courtesy of graffiti artist Banksy. Brainstem-lickin’ good.
October 14, 2009
Photoshop.com Mobile is the most popular free iPhone app
…at the moment, and it has been just about continuously since launching last Friday. Channeling that team for a second, thanks for the warm reception!
October 13, 2009
Videos: Photoshop, 3D, Web design at MAX
Last week’s Adobe MAX conference featured some great Photoshop-related sessions. Here are a few picks that might be of interest. (Full-screen viewing is always recommended.)
Photoshop CS4 Hidden Gems…including Configurator, Pixel Bender, DNG Profile Editor and more with Bryan O’Neil Hughes
How To Work Creatively With 3D In Photoshop CS4 Extended with Zorana Gee [Actually starts at the 9-minute mark; I don't know why these things aren't trimmed at all before they're posted]
The Essentials of Image Enhancement for Web & Flash Designers
with Michael Ninness
October 12, 2009
(rt) Photography: Nobel Prizes, Lightroom plug-ins, & more
- “Masters of light”: 2009 Nobel Goes to Digital Photography Pioneers. [Via Todor Georgiev]
- Hot aerospace action:
- Here’s a fairly substantial introduction to available Lightroom plug-ins. [Via]
- Clever: A vase that mimics a Polaroid.
- The venerable German magazine Brigitte is stopping the use of professional models: all too skinny. They to use Photoshop to make them “thicker.” [Via Roey Horns]
October 11, 2009
New Adobe Community Help available on Labs
The new Adobe Community Help AIR application is a preview of Adobe’s next-generation product help experience. According to the download page on Adobe Labs,
This beta release is configured to work with Flash Builder and Flash Catalyst content. The Community Help AIR application lets you:
- Access up-to-date definitive reference content online and offline
- Find the most relevant content contributed by experts from the Adobe community
- Comment on, rate, and contribute to content in the Adobe community
- Locate code examples with integrated code search
- Download Help content directly to your desktop to use and search offline
- Use dynamic navigation based on search results to find related content
- Enjoy content updates and feature enhancements without reinstalling the AIR app
Check out the Community Help beta and send us your feedback. Please keep in mind that this is a beta release and it contains bugs and incomplete features. For known bugs, please see the release notes. We suggest that you use it for testing and exploratory purposes only.
October 10, 2009
(rt) Illustration: Bold type, controversial covers, & more
- Dang–artist Eric Natzke keeps raising his game: “Is it made with Paint or Code?” [Via]
- How to Create Vintage Vector Bottle Caps In Illustrator CS4.
- Dig the bold 3D type in this poster tutorial.
- “Is God Dead?” The Most Controversial Magazine Covers of All Time. [Via Jackie Lincoln-Owyang]
- Getting clever:
October 09, 2009
Death, shooting, & other diversions
Despite essentially never taking vacations ever (heck, despite barely leaving throbbing San José*), I’m actually getting out of the house for once and am headed to Death Valley with my buddy/fellow PM Hughes**. Laden with heavy artillery (photographic & otherwise), we’re off to shoot Bodie, the racetrack playa, and other sites; four-wheel through the infamous Goler Wash; make stuff blow up real good; and generally consume mass quantities of meat, propane, beer, and road flares. Last time I caught some shrapnel in the lip; this time, who knows?
I’ve scheduled a few posts during my absence, and provided we’re not kidnapped by hillbilly cannibals/ex-hippies/black helicopters, I’ll be back next week. Provided we are kidnapped by hillbilly cannibals/ex-hippies/black helicopters, well, so long & thanks for all the pixels.
* The Hose/The Ho’
** Couldn’t get Hogarty from Lightroom this time as he’s busy pounding the app
Adobe’s Photoshop.com iPhone app goes live
I’m pleased to see that Photoshop.com Mobile for iPhone has gone live on the App Store (see screenshots).
[Update: Don't be confused by the name: the app is useful for on-phone editing, not just uploading/sharing.]
According to the product page, with the app you can:
- Transform your photos with essential edits like crop, rotate and flip.
- Correct and play with color by adjusting the saturation and tint, enhancing the exposure and vibrancy, and converting images to black and white.
- Use the Sketch tool to make photos look like drawings, and Soft Focus to give photos a subtle blur for artistic effect.
- Apply dramatic changes with effects such as Warm Vintage, Vignette and Pop. Edits or changes can be undone or redone so you can experiment without the worry of losing your original photo.
- Upload photos to Photoshop.com. The app provides the ultimate digital photo wallet, providing access to your entire Photoshop.com library. Photoshop.com offers 2GB of free online photo storage (equal to more than 1,500 photos).
The app is free. Happy shooting!
Sneak peek: Illustrator + Flash + Dreamweaver -> CANVAS
Check out this demo of Illustrator handing vector art to Dreamweaver, and DW binding the artwork to data so that it can be displayed via the HTML5 CANVAS tag:
Mordy Golding summarizes the demo as follows:
[The engineer] starts by taking art drawn in Illustrator and copies it to the clipboard. Then he goes into Dreamweaver, selects a DIV and chooses a function called Smart Paste. Dreamweaver then pastes an FXG conversion of the Illustrator art directly into the page. If you aren’t familiar with FXG, it’s basically a better SVG* (you can get more information on the open source FXG spec here). In other words, you draw in Illustrator, copy and paste into Dreamweaver (which converts it to code), and the art displays as vector art in a web browser. What’s more, the engineer proceeded to actually bind XML data to the chart.
After that, the presenter copies an animation in Flash Professional as XML, then pastes it in DW as a CANVAS animation.
It’s kind of funny to see this demo now, as Illustrator could export XML vector graphics (SVG) to the Web some 10 years ago. Later people made various efforts to display & manipulate SVG using Flash. This new demo uses different tools & a different display engine to do similar things.
I think this is a key point: Adobe makes money selling tools, not distributing viewing software. Those tools must address customer needs. If Flash Player is the right choice for some projects & HTML/CANVAS for others, no problem: we get paid to help you solve problems, not to force one implementation vs. another.
* I have no idea whether FXG is “better” than SVG overall & don’t want to get into a debate on that subject. FXG is based on SVG but maps more closely to the Flash drawing model.
October 08, 2009
Chuck & John & Barack
As was announced a couple of weeks ago, Adobe co-founders Charles Geschke and John Warnock have been honored with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. Though adding my two cents is obviously just a bit anticlimactic, congrats & thanks again, gentlemen.
Thanks to Andrew Keith Strauss for the inspired photo illustration (see larger, or see the untouched original).
October 07, 2009
PhotoSketch: Internet Image Montage
Oh, that’s rather cool, then:
I’ve seen various experiments at Adobe that fetch & automatically composite images, but the idea of basing searches on sketches is new to me. Details are in the researchers’ paper (PDF).
Almost completely unrelated, but in the spirit of cool image science, during last night’s sneak peeks at Adobe MAX, Dan Goldman showed a little taste of “PatchMatch” (“content-aware healing”) integrated into Photoshop. (As always, no promises, this is just a test, yadda yadda.)
Hats off to Seetha
Adobe engineering heavy hitter Seetharaman Narayanan was honored last week at Photoshop World, becoming the newest member of the Photoshop Hall of Fame. Congrats, Seetha! (Somewhere in the depths of the PS code base, his hands caked with Cocoa, he nods a quick acknowledgement.)
I like to imagine Seetha walking through the show floor in slow mo, firing double finger-guns like the engineer featured in this Intel ad*. I couldn’t help but notice the similarity between the lens flares added in the video and in “Seetha’s fan club,” juxtaposed here (slightly larger version). And no, I didn’t touch either image besides resizing them.
Well, whether it’s old-school filters, Don Julio, or something else that keeps Seetha’s mojo flowing, we’re grateful for his efforts & wish him more success.
* I’m a little sad to learn (via Wikipedia) that the “Ajay Bhatt” featured in the Intel spot is an actor. Here’s the real guy. Perhaps someone should set to work lens-flaring (and mustache-ifying) him. [Update: And, what do you know, 20 minutes after I posted this, John Eakin sent me this image. Nice.]
October 06, 2009
Adobe’s first iPhone app now available
It’s certainly not the flashiest (no pun intended) application, but I’m happy to see that LiveCycle Workspace Mobile for iPhone is available via the iPhone App Store. This simple app gives customers an easy way to review & approve items (expense reports, purchase orders, loan applications, etc.).
Now that the ice has been broken, look for more iPhone apps from Adobe to show up soon.
October 05, 2009
Flash CS5 demo + many more vids from MAX
Being an old-school Flash user, I like seeing this preview demonstration of the version in development:
For some odd reason the first 20 or so minutes are empty, so just click ahead to reach the demo content.
I don’t yet see a video for today’s session on How to Write a Plug-in for Photoshop, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled.
Use Flash to build native iPhone apps
Today at Adobe MAX, the company announced that Flash tools will be able to build applications for iPhone that can be distributed through Apple’s App Store. A beta version of Flash Professional CS5 with this new capability is planned for release later this year. These aren’t Flash SWF files, they’re native iPhone apps.
My first question was, “Wait–so how native are these apps? Do they feel right, or do they seem like crappy ports?” The good news is that you can judge for yourself:
As of today, participants in the Adobe pre-release program have submitted 8 applications and all of them have been accepted into the App Store. The applications are: Digg Pics, South Park Avatar Creator, Chroma Circuit, Just Letters, Trading Stuff, Red Hood, Fickleblox, and That Roach Game.
Following the announcment at MAX, additional applications have been submitted including the Acrobat Connect application.
So, what about running Flash SWF files directly on the iPhone? The iPhone SDK License does not currently allow runtimes such as Flash Player or Adobe AIR. Hopefully Apple & Adobe will be able to work together on a solution in the future.
Before I get an earful about the Flash Player’s CPU & battery usage, note that on mobile devices, “engineers have increased Flash’s operating performance by 87 percent and reduced memory consumption by 55 percent” (more info). Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch said that Flash performance on mobile was “not very good,” and that video was “more like a slideshow than a video.” He then demonstrated excellent new hardware acceleration for Flash Player 10.1 on mobile, as well as solid multitouch support.
I’m not directly involved with these efforts, so your best sources of details are likely to be Adobe evangelists like Mark Doherty, Ted Patrick, and Mike Chambers. I’ll try to share other interesting details as I come across them.
(rt) Photography: Red skies, Robo-bama, & more
- Spooky: Dust storm in Australia on the Big Picture. (Cue up The Fixx…) Make sure to check out the interesting crossfades (e.g. image 4) that juxtapose dust-occluded & normal views of their subjects. [Via]
- Great plane-from-above photo (from a blimp over LaGuardia). More images are in the rest of the post.
- Lovely recycled camera lens wrist cuffs. [Via]
- New Strata tool lets you make 3D models using just a camera. Includes Photoshop plug-in for further tweaks.
- President Roboto: Remix of 130 State Department Flickr photos showing the unvarying Obama smile. [Via]
- Focalware, a cool iPhone app to assist in outdoor photography, has been updated to v2.0.
October 04, 2009
A little Adobe-flavored bloodletting
Longtime InDesign PM Will Eisley has decorated his inner forearms with some bold type (larger image). Replying to my sharp-eyed wife, he says, “Yes, the marks are color and grayscale bars which are part of InDesign’s printing marks.” Hard core.
[Photo courtesy of John Cornicello]
October 03, 2009
New iPhone-based Photoshop training apps
The folks from Adobe Press have introduced Adobe Photoshop CS4: Learn By Video. The application introduces the most essential topics in Photoshop CS4. Users can:
- Take a quick tour of the Photoshop CS4 interface
- Mark any movie for later viewing
- Share tips and comments with others
- Quizzes: Test yourself! Track your progress and review problem topics.
- Stay up-to-date on Adobe Press news through the Twitter group
The companion video package features 19 hours of training from Gabriel Powell and Mikkel Aaland, as well as quizzes & review materials.
In a similar vein, Richard Harrington’s Understanding Photoshop: Quick Fixes (iTunes link) offers the following:
- Includes 17 training videos edited specifically for the iPhone or iPod Touch.
- Offers easily viewable screens, with zooms and close-ups of the action.
- Includes hands-on files & interactive quizzes.
- Includes search, a quick reference guide, commenting, and a Twitter client.
These are just the apps I’ve encountered so far. If you know of other good ones, please mention them via comments.
October 02, 2009
Watch MAX keynotes, streamed live from LA
At risk of driving you criminally insane via ceaseless MAX/PSW references, let me plug the live streaming of the MAX keynotes. I’m not kidding when I tell you there’ll be some very interesting news.
Join 10 minutes early and participate in the backstage behind the scenes action. Seats/connections are limited, so registration is required. Participants will also be able to connect with the community during the webcast through Twitter at #adobemaxgs
- Monday, October 5, 9:20 A.M -11:00 A.M. PST–Technology as the Engine of Reinvention
- Tuesday, October 6, 10:20 A.M.-12:00 P.M. PST–The Flash Platform and the Community
October 01, 2009
Video: Sneak peek of new Photoshop technologies
Russell Brown showed off some new “from the labs” painting and warping technology during today’s Photoshop World keynote address, and now he’s posted a recording of the demo on Facebook. Check it out!
[Update: Terry White has posted videos of the keynote itself.]
[Update 2: I've belatedly figured out how to embed a Facebook-hosted vid, so it's now inline in this post. Use the fullscreen option to see it in higher resolution.]
PS World keynote live blogged; MAX Companion app
The Photoshop World keynote is going on right now & getting live blogged on the Photoshop World site.
And if you’re attending Adobe MAX, check out the MAX Companion AIR application. It lets you view session info, see your personal schedule, view a map, and tweet session highlights. [Via Kevin Lynch]