December 31, 2012
A Short History of the GIF
When I first glimpsed an animated GIF on a Web site (Apple.com circa 1996), I felt like Galileo: “It moves!” Now I’m the cranky old man who says, “In my day, I could compose a whole trip to England [for British Airways] in 9.9kb! I was an LZW poet, I tell you!” And so, of course, Moving The Still is right up my posterized alley.
December 30, 2012
Short film: Old Norse
Filmmaker Andrew Telling followed street artist Conor Harrington around Vardo, “a half-abandoned fishing village” off the coast of Norway, “one of the most Northerly and isolated parts of Europe.” I dig the minimal, meditative results.
December 29, 2012
“Defining the fine line between catchy commercial jingles and mental paralysis”
I don’t know whether looping ads for The Clapper, deodorant, and more produces that “in sound,” but it’s certainly way out. You’re… welcome?
December 27, 2012
Cycloramic app uses vibration to auto-rotate your iPhone
Seriously? Neat! The app captures a 360º panoramic image:
December 26, 2012
Demo: Pressure-sensitive stylus + Photoshop Touch
It’s been a long time coming, but you can at last control your brush strokes by varying their pressure—and not just on a Wacom Intuos anymore. Here’s Photoshop Touch’s newly added support in action:
December 25, 2012
Peace & Love
Merry Christmas, everyone. Wherever you are, and whatever holidays you may celebrate this time of year, I wish you great peace and happiness.
I’m not quite sure when I’ll get back to regular posting. I’m visiting my folks in snowy northern Illinois, aka “The Land That Connectivity Forgot.” (Margot says AT&T’s EDGE network represents “The Edge of Civilization.”) As soon as I can push enough content through a cocktail straw, I’ll get back in business.
Thanks for reading & for making it possible for me to do this job.
All the best to you and yours, now and in 2013,
J. (+M & the Micronaxx)
December 23, 2012
Celebrating Illustrator through an iPad pub
Remember when Adobe was a hardware company, making software only to sell printers & peripherals? Okay, that imagined future never came to be (despite being the founders’ original business plan), but the company was, for its first five years, all about PostScript. Illustrator marked a big departure—into the creation of application software (crazy talk!).
To celebrate Illustrator’s 25th (!) birthday, Adobe’s Ton Frederiks & his brother Hans have put together a free iPad app that tells the story of AI’s early years. They write,
Adobe Illustrator shipped on March 19, 1987. It was Adobe’s first software application based on Adobe PostScript, the technology that changed the entire publishing industry. Illustrator not only altered Adobe’s course dramatically, it changed drawing and line art forever.
For a lot of the current users of Illustrator it’s hard to imagine the impact that Illustrator made in a world where designs and illustrations were done manually.
With the app ‘Adobe Illustrator, the early years’ we want to give some insight into the early years of Illustrator and celebrate the creative freedom that Illustrator brought to designers and illustrators.
Related: Here’s the video demonstration that co-founder/CEO John Warnock shot & included on VHS with every copy of the product.
December 22, 2012
“The Real Thing”
“There’s no replacement for displacement,” especially in this short film:
THE REAL THING is a short documentary about custom hot rod builder Bodie Stroud and his re-imagining of a classic Mustang by way of an extremely rare and powerful motor built specifically for legendary racer Mario Andretti’s 1969 Can Am series race car.
December 21, 2012
2012 Mayan Apocalypse Photo Survival Tips
Well, there’s still an hour and a half on the ol’ doomsday date, at least where I sit, so you never know… Maybe file these tips from Jim Goldstein away for horrible future reference:
Neat Kickstarter idea: A printable, pop-up dollhouse
“Doll houses are space hogs, dust magnets and insanely expensive to boot,” writes Katherine Belsey. “That is why I designed this pop-up paper house. Knock it down and fold it up for storage or travel, and if you’re willing to put in a little sweat equity it can be yours for under $15.”
December 20, 2012
Wow! Adobe & Behance are getting together
I’m thrilled that Adobe & Behance announced today that Behance (a million-member creative community, in case you’ve been living under a rock) is becoming part of Adobe.
Adobe thrives only when our customers do, and it’s not enough just to build—or to use—great tools. Making a living as a designer involves much more than making designs: it of course demands making connections, finding jobs, promoting your work, and getting paid. There’s a big world before “File->Open” and a big one after “File->Export.” Adobe’s bet is that if we can help you more effectively engage with your clients & your peers, your business will improve—and thus so will ours.
As with every acquisition/merger, people will say “I love [Behance]. Please don’t ruin it.” That’s totally understandable, but I wouldn’t worry. Behance co-founder Scott Belsky writes,
Adobe deeply respects the sanctity of the Behance community, and will preserve the philosophy and values that drive it. Adobe’s acquisition of Typekit is a recent example; the service has remained intact while also being incorporated into Adobe’s Creative Cloud offering for better accessibility and value for users.
Adobe’s tech will make Behance better. Scott says,
We’ve got a long-term vision for serving the creative community that is greatly advanced by Adobe’s reach, and what we have planned will also improve Adobe’s services in the process… There are so many things we’ve always dreamed of doing but lacked the resources, data scientists, and PhD’s to figure it out.
Creative Cloud has just started rolling, and it’ll only get more valuable. (Just last week, we added new digital publishing services and training features, and launched file sync and sharing.) Now, Adobe VP David Wadhwani writes,
All Creative Cloud members will soon gain access to the base Behance capabilities (like portfolio creation and community features) while paid Creative Cloud members will also have access to premium capabilities (like Behance ProSite).
I’m just incredibly excited about this, and when you see what we already have cooking, I think you will be, too. Stay tuned!
One seriously dedicated animator
Artist INSA “creates elaborately painted walls that are photographed in sequence to create amazing, psychedelic animated GIFs.” Check out the gallery.
CS6: Photoshop 13.0.3/13.1.1 Updates Now Available
Jeff Tranberry writes,
Today we released Photoshop update version 13.0.3 (for Mac Perpetual customers) and version 13.1.1 (for Creative Cloud Members, Mac and Windows), resolving the following bugs:
- Certain PSD files fail to open when they have layer FX applied to layers
- The application crashes when opening certain EPS files
- On Retina machines, the application crashes when the Navigator panel is displayed in some workspaces
To get the update, from within Photoshop choose Help > Updates, causing the Adobe Application Manager to launch. Select Adobe Photoshop CS6 and choose Update.
December 19, 2012
Interesting UI o’ the day: Samplr for iPad
Check out the multitouch music-making interface for Samplr:
I imagine myself trying to compose some Christmas music using this app, then having to quote Norm MacDonald: “Happy birthday, Jesus–hope you like crap!” [Via James Roche]
December 18, 2012
Adobe Revel Goes Free, Adds Premium Level
Adobe Revel lets you organize your photo library, sync your photos among devices (Mac, iPhone, iPad), apply non-destructive edits, and share Web galleries. Whereas you previously had to pay a $5.99 monthly subscription, you can now use the app for free—or pay a subscription for premium service.
Everyone can now download the app & import their entire photo libraries for free. You pay only if you use the app enough to import more than 50 photos per month. Details from the team:
Here is a summary of the changes we are making to Revel:
- We are eliminating the 30-day trial and replacing it with a free version of Revel that you can use for as long as you like.
- You can still upgrade to Revel Premium as an in-app purchase in the Revel App.
With the free version of Revel you get:
- The ability to import as many photos as you want in the first 30 days
- After that you can import up to 50 photos every month
With Revel Premium you get:
- Unlimited photo import for US$5.99 per month – import as many photos as you want, anytime you want
- The ability to automatically import new photos added to the Camera Roll on your iPhone and iPad
Apple names Lightroom Best of 2012
In addition to Photoshop Touch, Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom app was also named to the Mac App Store Best of 2012. Lightroom was named as one of the “Best Apps of 2012,” and is currently averaging a 4.31 out of 5-star user rating on the Mac App Store.
Thanks to all of the fans who have supported Photoshop Touch and Lightroom for the past year. Recognition like this wouldn’t come without the support of our customers. We’re looking forward to another great year in 2013!
New Photoshop brushes from John Derry
John’s Impasto! for Adobe Photoshop CS5 & CS6 is a set of expressive brushes and layer styles providing an interactive three-dimensional surface appearance to your brush strokes. John’s Impasto! provides both paint and clear varnish styles.
John’s Impasto! tool presets are divided into depth-applying brushes and depth-removing erasers. Using one of the erasers on an Impasto! layer is like inscribing into wet gesso. A wide variety of surface appearances can be created using a combination of additive and subtractive strokes. And, any Photoshop brush can be used on an Impasto! layer.
The package comes with a set of 12 Impasto and 12 Varnish Layer Styles. Create art from scratch or apply virtual varnish to existing art. Each set has 4 surface styles: Matte, Satin, Gloss, and Smooth and is further sub-divided into Light, Medium, and Heavy. Impasto! layers can be interactively changed with a single mouse-click.
December 17, 2012
in5: InDesign-to-HTML tool now available
Design: The BLAZE Bike Light
Check out this rather brilliant (pun intended) Kickstarter project:
BLAZE is a front light with super-bright LEDs, but it also projects the symbol of a bike down onto the road ahead of the cyclist. It’s adjustable, but ideally about 5m in front. It alerts road users ahead of the cyclist of their presence, helping to prevent them turning across their path (especially the big ones like buses and trucks!). Making the cyclist more visible and increasing their footprint on the road.
December 16, 2012
Foldify: 3D printing you might actually do
This app looks incredibly charming:
[Via Mark Kawano]
December 15, 2012
Siggraph 2012 highlights
Buckets of inspiration, including a bunch from Adobe researchers & collaborators (HelpingHand & more):
(Now I kinda want to use the pseudonym “Laplacian Eigenfunctions.”)
December 14, 2012
Apple names Photoshop Touch “Best of 2012”
Demo: Non-Destructive Burn/Dodge in Photoshop
Ah, handy. I do the bulk of my local adjustments in Lightroom (where they’re inherently non-destructive), but sometimes I need a little more granular control.
December 13, 2012
Lightroom, Camera Raw updated; LR adds Retina support
I’m pleased to say that updates to Lightroom (version 4.3) and Camera Raw (version 7.3) for Photoshop CS6 are now available. Choose “Help->Check for Updates” from within each app to download the updates.
Camera Raw 7.3 adds support 20 for new cameras, including the Canon 6D, Nikon D5200, and Sony RX1. The full list is below.
In addition, Lightroom also includes HiDPI (Retina display) support within the Library and Develop Modules. Camera Raw does not yet include this support. (Unfortunately I don’t have an ETA to share as the PMs are out of the office.)
- Canon EOS 6D
- Canon PowerShot S110
- Canon PowerShot G15
- Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
- Casio Exilim EX-ZR1000
- Casio Exilim EX-FC300S
- Leica M-E
- Nikon 1 V2
- Nikon D5200
- Nikon D600
- Olympus PEN E-PL5
- Olympus PEN E-PM2
- Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS
- Panasonic DMC-GH3
- Pentax K-5 II
- Pentax K-5 IIs
- Pentax Q10
- Sony DSC-RX1
- Sony NEX-VG30
- Sony NEX-VG900
Demo: New features in Adobe Ideas v2.5
As I noted last month, Adobe’s vector-based drawing app for iPhone & iPad recently added speed-sensitive line thickness, a paint bucket, layer merging/flipping/duplications, and an eyedropper tool. Here PM Takashi Morifusa shows off the new tools:
December 12, 2012
Photoshop CS6 Extended gains new 3D features
The CS6 update (13.1) posted yesterday gives Creative Cloud members new features in Photoshop Extended. The team writes,
- Improved 3D effects: Save time and steps with improved live (OpenGL) previews of shadow effects as well as reflection roughness and refraction. Also, get more control over illumination by using a 32-bit color picker to create amazing glow effects.
- Image-based lighting enhancements: Get enhanced lighting when you illuminate your scenes using 32-bit HDR images as light sources or create other image-based lights (IBLs).
- Enhanced details for textures: Improve the lighting of bumps and textures on 3D objects by automatically generating a normal map.
Here’s a 2-minute tour from PM Zorana Gee:
December 11, 2012
Demo: New CSS export from Photoshop CS6
Photoshop PM Stephen Nielson shows you how you can quickly export CSS code for text and shape styling, and also import color swatches from HTML, CSS, and SVG files.
These features are available now (check Help->Updates from within Photoshop), exclusively to Creative Cloud members.
Demo: New Photoshop CS6 features for Creative Cloud subscribers
Julieanne Kost shows off her favorites (cropping improvements, support for Liquify on Smart Objects, improved type styles, and more):
Live stream: Create Now event
Starts at 10am Pacific time: The event was recorded & is available for viewing below:
Animation: “The real purpose of your life”
“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” And if so, by whom? It’s hard not to relate to some of this short, rather charming video.
December 10, 2012
Interested in photography? Adobe research wants to talk to you.
If you have an interest in photography, the Adobe research team would like to talk to you. Here’s a quick screening survey. Thanks in advance!
Decorating for Christmas the Photoshop way
“I thought myself too lazy to decorate the house this year,” writes Corey Barker of NAPP, “so I just did it in Photoshop.” Enjoy.
Demo: Exporting Images from Lightroom 4
Good to know:
In this Episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne demonstrates the advantage of setting up presets in Lightroom to simultaneously export images to multiple file types, sizes, compression settings etc. You might find even find this method more powerful than Photoshop’s Image Processor!
December 09, 2012
Amazing Anamorphic Illusions
Ready for your brain to hurt? PetaPixel writes,
YouTube illusion and science channel Brusspup recently did an anamorphic illusion project in which he photographed a few random objects resting on a piece of paper (e.g. a Rubik’s cube, a roll of tape, and a shoe), skewed them, printed them out as high-resolution prints, and then photographed them at an angle to make the prints look just like the original objects.
December 08, 2012
Animation: “It’s A Bad Brains Christmas, Charlie Brown”
Enjoy it now, before the copyright cops kill the joy!
[Via Bruce Bullis]
December 07, 2012
Apple names Photoshop Touch to the Hall of Fame
Cool! The team writes:
Adobe Photoshop Touch has been inducted into the Apple App Store Hall of Fame! Thank you to all our fans for supporting Photoshop Touch.
Excellent. Here’s my favorite customer review o’ the day:
I absolutely cannot believe what this app can do. My faith in Santa Claus and all his little elves has now been restored. Surely in a world where an app like this is possible, they are real.
Restoring childlike wonder on a daily basis: that’s just how we do.
MoGraph: Musselman’s Pop-Up Book
I like the straightforward charm of these animated illustrations. This kind of thing wins my heart over the disposably trendy every time.
Reminder: Sign up for Adobe Create Now, coming Monday
Sneak peek at Photoshop features to be unveiled:
At Create Now Live, you’ll:
- Be one of the first to hear what’s next in Adobe® Creative Cloud™.
- See what’s next in Adobe Photoshop®.
- Explore ways to take your design skills from print to online and mobile.
- Learn how teams can work better together with Creative Cloud.
- Learn from creative innovators.
- Iconic design agency Karlssonwilker talks about taking their unique design sensibility to the web.
- Go behind the scenes of “A Liars Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman” with Animation Director Justin Weyers.
- Scott Kelby shows off hidden gems in Photoshop CS6.
December 06, 2012
Help me help a good cause
Remember AJ Brockman, the Photoshop artist who got to meet President Obama after painting a portrait of the First Family using just a couple of fingers? Now he & his production company, No White Flags, would like to make a documentary about his life and work, and they’re asking for support via Indiegogo. I’ve contributed mine:
Courage & enthusiasm are contagious, and I’m honored to say that AJ & team have asked me to sit on the board of No White Flags. I’m really looking forward to helping them tell interesting, inspiring stories about creators & their art.
Inventors, screwing around with mortality
I’ve been enjoying David Friedman’s series of short interviews with inventors (e.g. this one with video game pioneer Ralph Baer). Now he’s creating a new PBS “Inventors” series, kicking off with the screw-in coffin*:
And I’m pleased to say that he’s now switched from Final Cut Pro X to Premiere Pro. This bittersweet piece on Batter Blasters is the first result:
*”What’s that, Death? Screw me? No, *screw you*!! (No, wait, you were right the first time.)” I will be here all week.
December 05, 2012
Video: Remix Photoshop using Configurator
Did you know that you can create your own panels for Photoshop & InDesign simply via drag & drop—no coding required? Sure, of course you did. But here Jonathan Ferman shows how to take things to the next level & submit those creations for sale/sharing:
Learn about the different applications available to let you create or package content and products for Adobe Exchange. This video also shows the product submission process, to easily submit your products to Adobe Exchange. Start submitting products today.
Jonathan has also written a post about integrating HTML to drive Photoshop from a panel.
Design: “The Most Badass Tumbleweed I’ve Ever Seen”
“At first I though it was going to be about a 14 yr. old kid escaping the country by riding inside of a tumbleweed,” my friend quips. It’s even better than that. Upworthy writes,
Massoud Hassani was smuggled out of Afghanistan when he was 14-years-old. Watch his story about returning to Kabul and putting his product design skills to work to build a tool for cheaply surveying and raising awareness about the hundreds of thousands of land mines still hidden in Afghanistan.
December 04, 2012
SF: Stu Maschwitz talks Lightroom tomorrow evening
Stu embodies, perhaps needless to say, quite the unique mixture of technical excellence & offbeat humor. Should be a great event (starting at 6:30pm Wednesday at Adobe San Francisco):
Join us on Wednesday, December 5th for the last Lightroom User Group meeting of 2012! This meeting will feature special guest presenter Stu Maschwitz.
Stu Maschwitz is a filmmaker, photographer, and writer. He has overseen visual effects on films from Star Wars to Sin City, and has directed numerous TV commercials. He designed the Magic Bullet color correction tools for Red Giant Software, and pushes Lightroom’s capabilities to their limit when processing his still photos. Maschwitz will demonstrate his advanced Develop module workflow for achieving a cinematic look.
We will meet at 6:30 for pizza and socializing, and the presentation will begin at 7:00. Limited parking will be available in the Adobe garage. Hope to see you all there!
Designers: Come design Photoshop itself
“Yo dawg, I heard you like using design tools to make design tools, so…”
Ever wish you could make Photoshop work exactly the way you want? Ever wish Adobe designers would walk a mile in your shoes? Ever wanted to stand up & champion the needs of the millions of creative people whose livelihoods depend on these tools?
I know I did; that’s exactly why I came to work here. And now there are two openings for designers to shape Photoshop & the next generation of imaging tools.
These are not easy gigs, but you’d be bored if they were, right? You have to want to learn (and learn, and learn) what a crazy-diverse range of customers needs, then combine your transformative vision with fortitude & exacting attention to detail. You don’t change an industry standard overnight, but keep sweating the details & you’ll be amazed at what’s possible.
Now then, the listings (the first applies specifically to Photoshop; the second to “bold new iOS multi-device applications”):
- Senior User Experience Designer, Photoshop (18722): Adobe’s Photoshop team is looking for a motivated, creative, senior-level User Experience Designer who shares our passion for design and the urge to make better creative tools for real people. In this role you will be tasked with generating the design of new product features, interactions, and visuals, for Adobe Photoshop.
- Senior User Experience Designer (18723): Adobe’s Experience Design team is looking for a motivated, creative, senior-level User Experience Designer who shares our passion for design and the urge to make forward-looking creative tools for real people. In this role you will be tasked with driving the design of new products as well as new features, interactions, and visuals for bold new iOS multi-device applications.
Click through on either for more details. The team looks forward to meeting you soon.
Cute animations I probably shouldn’t show the kids
First up is Malcolm Sutherland‘s Umbra, drawn using paper, pastels, and Toon Boom Studio, then assembled in After Effects. Lovely, perplexing, mind-bending?
And then there’s one (or more) to grown on. Behold, the ever so winsome Dumb Ways To Die:
[Via Christine Kerby Fitts]
December 03, 2012
Presenting “Extraneous Lyrics 2012”!
Our own Dave Werner is not just a kickass designer, he’s a musician with a penchant for goofing on popular music. His Extraneous Lyrics series, “where some of the year’s most popular songs are given a wordier acoustic mashup treatment,” is closing in on 1 million YouTube views (!).
Now that he works at Adobe, Dave’s traded his guitar-in-front-of-tablecloth aesthetic for After Effects motion tracking and more. So without further ado, check out “Extraneous Lyrics 2012”:
Includes Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen, Boyfriend by Justin Bieber, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift, Gangnam Style by Psy, Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye, What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction, and We Are Young by Fun.
Event: Inside “Waiting for Lightning,” the new Danny Way documentary
Oh, this should be interesting: On Thursday, December 13 at 10:00am Pacific, filmmaker Jacob Rosenberg will be talking about creating Waiting for Lightning, the new documentary about skater Danny Way. You can register here.
See how the video pros behind Waiting for Lightning used high-performance Adobe post-production tools to document the life of Danny Way, one of the world’s most visionary skateboarders. This presentation will cover Bandito Brothers’ digital workflows which relied on After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and other Adobe Creative Cloud tools to tell the story about how much abuse the body can sustain, how deep you have to dig to survive family troubles, and how high and far dreams can fly.
Join director, filmmaker, author, and digital media expert Jacob Rosenberg of the studio Bandito Brothers for a webinar where he walks you through the making of this remarkable new, feature-length documentary and some of the breakthrough cinematography used in its creation.
December 02, 2012
We’re hiring a Sr. Product Manager, Consumer Multi-Device Applications
Want to build great mobile apps, bringing great imaging tech to a broad audience? “Most importantly,” says the job description, you’d “act as the product champion and be the passionate voice of the customer.” Read on:
The Sr. Product Manager, Consumer Multi-Device Applications, plays the critical leadership role for a future core, high-profile app. Critical to the success of the Product Manager will be their entrepreneurial ethos and focus on the customer and user experience. This individual should be knowledgeable in the needs of the broad consumer market across domains, including web, desktop, and mobile.
A key success factor for the ideal candidate will be their ability to rapidly iterate and learn from the customer, traditional research, but most importantly, the ongoing and real-time engagement of the user community. You will be a close partner and advocate for the customer, while balancing the needs of other internal stakeholders in engineering and experience design. You should be comfortable with interacting with customers in informal settings gathering feedback, and at the same time, scale to internal audiences at all levels.
December 01, 2012
Nice props for the new Photoshop Touch
- “The finely crafted interface of the app lends itself extremely well to those who want to go full throttle into creating content on their iPad and conjure up fantastic and vivid works of art.” — Redmond Pie
- “Photoshop Touch has blossomed into a great mobile rendition of the world’s most popular and extensive image editing suite.” — Phandroid
- “For those who haven’t yet used Photoshop Touch, the app serves as a significantly more consumer-friendly counterpart to the popular Photoshop desktop application.” — The Next Web
- “The app’s finger-friendly user interface makes it ideal for tablet users.” — Android Authority