September 17, 2012

Extensis offers access to 5000+ Web fonts inside Photoshop

The Web Font Plug-in for Photoshop supports CS5-6:

Extensis announced today it has updated its Web Font Plug-in with support for Adobe Creative Suite 6, providing web designers access to more than 5,000 WebINK and Google Web Fonts directly within Adobe Photoshop. These fonts can be used free-of-charge to mock-up any website.

Check it out. [Via]

8:16 AM | Permalink | No Comments

July 25, 2012

Adobe CS apps & Mountain Lion: No known issues

From the CS6 FAQ:

Adobe and Apple have worked closely together to test Adobe® Creative Suite® 5, 5.5 and CS6 editions and individual products for reliability, performance and user experience when installed on Intel® based systems running Mac OS X Mountain Lion (v10.8). Earlier versions of Adobe Photoshop® (CS3 and CS4) software were also tested with Mountain Lion and there are currently no known issues.

As with any new release of an operating system, there may be unexpected issues that arise that were not discovered during testing. If you encounter any issues, please report them on our bug reporting form.

Video team member Todd Kopriva notes,

Mountain Lion (Mac OS v10.8) upgrade improves performance and stability with Premiere Pro. Be sure to check for drivers for third-party I/O hardware and such, which may not yet be available for your accessories.”

11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments [151]

June 27, 2012

What if Photoshop became a game?

I think it was Scott Kelby who used to jokingly refer to Photoshop as “a video game for grown-ups.” Truth can be stranger than fiction, though, and now you can “play” Photoshop to improve your skills, learn new features, and actually win prizes.

LevelUp for Photoshop encourages people to explore the app, using features they may not know in order to complete various missions.  The first mission starts with removing redeye, and they get progressively more elaborate from there.  By accumulating points you get entered into drawings to win Creative Cloud membership and gift certificates. You also earn points by sharing your progress on Facebook and Twitter, passing quizzes, and more.  The game runs until July 15th.

My colleague Bruce reports that his 13-year-old son Noel is addicted to the game & now passes challenges with a Team America-style cry of “Photoshop, [Heck] Yeah!” So, we’ve got that going for us. :-)

3:51 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 04, 2012

Security update for Photoshop CS5, 5.1

Adobe has released a security update for Adobe Photoshop CS5 & CS5.1 for Mac & Windows. This update addresses vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities to take control of the affected system. For an attacker to exploit these vulnerabilities, a user must open a malicious TIF or DAE file inPhotoshop CS5.1, Photoshop CS5, and earlier. Adobe is not aware of any attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities.

You can grab it here. [Update: You can get the Illustrator update here.]

1:54 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

May 02, 2012

ACR 6.7 for CS5 supports D4, 5D Mk III, more

Camera Raw 6.7 [Win|Mac] and DNG Convertor 6.7 [Win|Mac] are now available as a final releases on and through the update mechanisms available in Photoshop CS5.  This release includes bug fixes, new lens profiles, and new camera support:

  • Canon EOS 1D X
  • Canon EOS 5D Mk III
  • Canon PowerShot G1 X
  • Canon PowerShot S100V
  • Fuji FinePix F505EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F605EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F770EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F775EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS30EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS33EXR
  • Fuji FinePix X-S1
  • Nikon D4
  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D800E
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5
  • Pentax K-01
  • Samsung NX20
  • Samsung NX210
  • Samsung NX1000
  • Sony Alpha NEX-VG20
  • Sony SLT-A57


For more details about lens profiles supported & bugs fixed, please see the Lightroom Journal. [Via Dave Howe]

9:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 06, 2012

Camera Raw 6.7 available on Adobe Labs

Camera Raw 6.7 (required for full compatibility between Lightroom 4.0 and Photoshop CS5) & the free DNG Converter (which can make your raw files readable by any DNG-capable app, including older versions of Photoshop & Lightroom) are available as release candidates from Adobe Labs. New cameras supported:

  • Canon EOS 1D X
  • Canon EOS 5D Mk III
  • Canon PowerShot G1 X
  • Canon PowerShot S100V
  • Fuji FinePix F505EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F605EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS30EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS33EXR
  • Fuji FinePix X-S1
  • Nikon D4
  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D800E

See the Lightroom Journal for a full list of camera profiles added.

11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

February 27, 2012

Skala Preview: Send from Photoshop to iOS

This is very cool. Skala Preview says it offers “The fastest way to send pixel perfect, color-perfect design previews from your Mac to your iPhone or iPad.” Here’s the neat bit:

If you’re using Photoshop CS5 12.0.4 or newer, Skala Preview can preview your canvas as you edit. No saving, no keyboard shortcuts, just lossless previews in realtime. It is the absolute fastest way to preview a design mock up on an iOS device.

I’ve just given it a try, and dang if it doesn’t work like a champ. Nice going, guys!

2:42 PM | Permalink | No Comments

January 25, 2012

Editing RED video on a MacBook Air (!)

This strikes me as a bit like jamming a V8 into a Miata, but it’s impressive: Adobe’s Dave Helmly beefs up a wee MacBook Air via the power of its Thunderbolt connection, using it to edit full-res RED video footage in Premiere Pro:

8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

January 06, 2012

Extension Manager updated for Lion

If you install panels or extensions for Photoshop or other CS5 products (e.g. stuff from Russell Brown; panels created with Configurator) and you run Mac OS X 10.7, you should update the Extension Manager utility to avoid installation errors.

10:30 AM | Permalink | No Comments

January 04, 2012

New Photoshop GuideGuide panel eases grid-work

Check it out:

Dealing with grids in Photoshop is a pain.

With GuideGuide, it doesn’t have to be. Pixel accurate columns, rows, midpoints, and baselines can be created based on your document or marquee with the click of a button. Frequently used guide sets can be saved for repeat use. Grids can use multiple types of measurements. Best of all it’s free. Honestly, if you haven’t started downloading it by now, you’re probably a masochist. Weirdo…

[Via Gary Greenwald]

10:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

November 18, 2011

Photoshop CS5 hidden gem: Mini Bridge

Browse visually from within Photoshop (and InDesign), run batch actions, start full-screen slideshows, and more; Hughes explains:

7:32 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

October 29, 2011

Photoshop CS5 automates lens correction

Here’s a one-minute tour from PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes:

He provides a deeper overview with examples (including iPhone shots automatically improved via this technology) on the blog.

5:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 24, 2011

Fotolia adds stock photo search to CS5 apps

Check it out:

14 million photos & vectors right inside InDesign, Illustrator & Photoshop!

Search stock images, save to lightboxes, create galleries, insert comps & automatically update to high res versions making stock image integration what it was always meant to be!

To build your own panels like this, grab the Creative Suite Extension Builder.

11:04 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 23, 2011

Video: Photoshop CS5 Instant Effects: One-click techniques for designers

Check out this hour-long session from Photoshop pro Jack Davis:

Learn techniques for making images look their best, fast, including everything from instant optimizing and enhancing of images to making Smart Filter recipes, custom actions, and tool presets.

8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

October 15, 2011

Video: A Deep Dive into Photoshop CS5 Hidden Gems

At Adobe MAX, Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes presented a 1-hour deep dive into the hidden gems of Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended:

Discover how to go places creatively that were impossible in Photoshop before CS5. Hughes will reveal many new techniques and enhancements to help keep your skills sharp and current.

Bryan has also posted a recap of MAX, thoughts on the new Adobe Touch apps, and more over on the blog.

9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

October 12, 2011

CS5 Hidden Gem: Combining Eazel with Photoshop

You can do watercolor-style painting on your iPad, then shoot the results right into Photoshop and combine them with other imagery. PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes shows how it’s done in this 3-minute video:

2:16 PM | Permalink | No Comments

Friday demo/Q&A: Perspective drawing in Illustrator CS5

My neighbor is an industrial designer & can’t stop raving about perspective drawing in Illustrator CS5. If that’s up your 3-point alley, check out this session Friday at noon Pacific:

Whether you are drawing street scenes, architecture, product concepts, packaging, or even infographics, being able to craft art in perspective consistently, and accurately, is a must-have skill. In this session we’ll learn how Illustrator CS5 makes this possible with the new Perspective Drawing tools. Learn how to map 2D vector art to existing perspectives, draw in perspective, and get the skinny on some tricks to help you work.

8:12 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 30, 2011

Stream Web fonts right into Photoshop

Extensis has released a free beta of their Web Font Plug-in for Photoshop CS5+. The plug-in (a panel) allows you to use fonts from WebINK (a web font rental service from Extensis) in the creation of website mock-ups in Photoshop. Using the plug-in requires downloading a trial version of the Suitcase Fusion 3 font manager, though it’ll keep running even after the trial period expires.

I haven’t yet gotten to try out the panel, but I’m intrigued. If you have feedback on it or just general thoughts on Web fonts & design tools, please chime in.

Update: Here’s an in-depth overview & demo video.

10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

September 29, 2011

Lightroom 3.5, Camera Raw 6.5 updates available

Lightroom 3.5 (Mac|Win) and Camera Raw 6.5 (Mac|Win) are now available as final releases on and through the update mechanisms available in Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3.  These updates include bug fixes, new camera support and new lens profiles. New camera support:

  • Fuji FinePix F600EXR
  • Hasselblad H4D-60
  • Leaf Aptus II 12
  • Leaf Aptus II 12R
  • Nikon Coolpix P7100
  • Olympus E-P3Olympus E-PL3
  • Olympus E-PM1Panasonic DMC-FZ
  • 150Panasonic DMC-G3
  • Panasonic DMC-GF3
  • Pentax Q
  • Phase One  IQ140
  • Phase One  IQ160
  • Phase One  IQ180
  • Phase One  P40+
  • Phase One  P65+
  • Ricoh GXR MOUNT A12
  • Sony Alpha NEX-C3
  • Sony Alpha NEX-5N
  • Sony SLT-A35
  • Sony SLT-A65
  • Sony SLT-A77
  • Hasselblad “FFF” files created by the Hasselblad Phocus software for currently supported models are also now supported. (FFF files created using the FlexColor software are not supported)


For a list of lens profiles added & bugs fixed, please see the Lightroom Journal post.

9:44 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

September 27, 2011

Photoshop CS5 hidden gem: Brush-based sharpening

Way back when–before you learned never to be caught dead near Photoshop’s Dodge, Burn, Sharpen, or Brightness/Contrast tools, as no Real User™ would ever give them a second look–didn’t those tools seem nicely simple & straightforward? Trouble is, over time better (if usually more complicated) alternatives emerged, so folk wisdom dictated that these tools be treated as obsolete.

We liked how direct the tools were, though, so in Photoshop CS4 and CS5 we updated the underlying algorithms. In the 1-minute video below, Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes shows how effective it can be to apply sharpening via painting:

8:50 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

September 23, 2011

Reminder: How to tune Photoshop CS5 for peak performance

A customer asked me today for Photoshop performance-tuning guidance, so I took a minute to track down the latest & greatest, most canonical guide from Adobe: it’s “How to tune Photoshop CS5 for peak performance” over on Photoshop PM Jeff Tranberry’s blog. Hope you find it useful.

11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

September 05, 2011

Demo: Acquire for Photoshop + iOS

Acquire for iOS (see previous) has been drawing lots of interest, so here’s a 3-minute demo of how it works:

(Remember, if you’re using Photoshop CS5 (and not 5.5), you’ll need to make sure you’ve updated to 12.0.4.)

8:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

September 02, 2011

Connect your iOS camera right to Photoshop

Check out this beautifully simple app:

Acquire is a simple, powerful utility for instantly ingesting images from your camera-equipped iOS device into Adobe Photoshop CS5. Using Adobe’s Remote Connect feature, an image shot with your device’s camera is instantly, wirelessly transmitted into Photoshop so you can work with it without delay.

Two bucks well spent!

11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

August 25, 2011

Puppet Love: Warping tips for Photoshop CS5

Bryan O’Neil Hughes steps up to the mic with another pair of 1-minute tutorials. Puppet Warp can be more subtle than you might think.

Use Puppet to straighten images

Puppet and Content-Aware Fill

7:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 10, 2011

Quick tips for improving Content-Aware Fill results

Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes has posted a pair of 1-minute tips on how to work with Photoshop CS5’s new technology:

Using the Pen to guide the Spot Healing Brush:

Using smaller selections to improve results:

8:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

August 09, 2011

Plug-in security fix for Photoshop CS5

Maliciously coded GIF files could cause Photoshop to crash, so the team has posted an update. If you open GIFs in Photoshop, please download the update for Mac, Win64, and/or Win32. They recommend making certain that you’re running the most recent version of Photoshop. To check/update, choose Help->Updates inside Photoshop CS5 and apply all of the updates listed under Adobe Photoshop CS5.

2:23 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

July 20, 2011

Lion: Known Issues with Adobe products

Adobe has posted a tech note, “Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion,” detailing incompatibilities discovered to date. The only Photoshop-specific issue noted is that droplets don’t work. Please see the document for other product details.

Update: Here’s the Creative Suite FAQ on the subject.

Update 2: I’ve seen mentions of “Licensing has stopped working” errors. These appeared in Snow Leopard as well. Please see this tech doc for details.

10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

July 01, 2011

Final Cut, Avid users: Switch to Adobe & save 50%

Get half off Creative Suite CS5.5 Production Premium or Premiere Pro CS5.5 when you move from Final Cut Pro or Avid Media Composer. As the press release notes,

Professional video editors can also utilize all the system resources on modern Macs with Thunderbolt, 64-bit, and multicore CPUs for increased performance. Adobe is continuing to lead in truly native editing solutions with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 as it saves users time and eliminates the need to transcode or rewrap file based and DSLR footage…

Premiere Pro CS5.5 includes Final Cut Pro project import and export so projects can be shared between both applications without conversion or re-rendering. Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 also includes many Final Cut Pro and Avid keyboard shortcuts to help users get up and running fast.

Game on.


10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [12]

June 27, 2011

Notes on Adobe video market share

In April 2010 Adobe shipped new, 64-bit, Cocoa-based versions of Premiere Pro & After Effects (along with, of course, 64-bit Photoshop). Premiere Pro notably included the new Mercury Engine, offering breakthrough performance by tapping into customers’ graphics hardware (GPUs).

How has the market–especially the Mac market–responded? Here’s what I gleaned from a presentation by Adobe VP Jim Guerard:


  • Adobe’s Professional Video business grew 22% year-over-year (compared to Apple’s stated 15% growth in pro video). The video industry on the whole grew on average of 7% year over year.
  • 30% growth of overall unit volume.
  • 45% growth on Mac unit volume; 44% revenue growth on the Mac.
  • Premiere Pro
    • Growth Premiere Pro of over 1.5 million seats to 2.3 million in 2010 (compared to Apple’s stated “just over 2 million” seats of Final Cut Pro).
    • This does not include legacy seats and is not based on upgrades. It’s completely new software seats of Premiere Pro.


If you’re interested in making the switch, check out these videos.

New After Effects PM Steve Forde is candid in writing about how he didn’t like Premiere & ignored it before coming to Adobe. Adobe’s commitment shown in the CS5 rewrite, however, and the results it yielded were part of what drew him to join the company.

“To all those asking me for comment on the launch of [Final Cut Pro X],” Steve writes, “I have none. What right do I have to publicly comment on the hard work any vendor does in creating software and bringing it to market?” I’d simply add that moving a large, powerful application to a completely different foundation is a major challenge. While moving Photoshop from Carbon to Cocoa, we always figured that if anyone could empathize, it was the Final Cut team.  Hats off to anyone who scales that mountain, wherever they happen to work.

3:24 PM | Permalink | Comments [13]

June 23, 2011

CS5/CS5.5 Printing Guide now available

Printers & production artists, this one’s for you:

The CS5 / CS5.5 Printing Guide (PDF) is an in-depth technical reference guide designed especially for printers and production artists to help them learn the best ways of handling and preparing CS5 and CS5.5 files for print.

8:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 17, 2011

Video: A clever use of 3D + text in Photoshop

Now *this* you don’t see every day: Check out Scott Valentine’s quick use of a 3D preset in Photoshop Extended to create a novel text effect:

7:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [16]

June 16, 2011

Props for the After Effects Warp Stabilizer

Well-known cinematographer Vincent Laforet has some kind words for the new tool in AE CS5.5:

What truly inspired me was the ability to shoot handheld footage at a high resolution, knowing full well that I could later stabilize it with technology such as Adobe CS 5.5′s Warp Stabilizer… Warp Stabilizer is truly AMAZING – and I’m not exaggerating here. This technology has the potential to change the way many of us shoot – allowing us to rely less on complex stabilization devices – and more on smaller less complex camera support platforms. This will allow filmmakers to shoot with a bit more freedom – which is exciting.

Vincent promises to share more details soon. In the meantime, enjoy the work he’s been capturing with the RED Epic 5K camera, bits of which were stabilized in AE:

7:47 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

June 14, 2011

Photoshop CS5 iPad companions get new features

The three companion apps have been enhanced, and for a limited time the price of Adobe Eazel has been reduced to $2.99. Details:

  • Adobe Eazel (watercolor painting) – You now have easy access to the paintings you create with the new Eazel image gallery, and you’re able to save and open artwork within the app.
  • Adobe Color Lava (color mixing) – Using the iPad 2’s built-in camera, you can now capture images from within Color Lava, then pick color inspiration from captured images to dab, swirl and mix into custom color themes.
  • Adobe Nav (tool & document control) – You can now transfer images directly from your iPad photo library into Photoshop CS5 for editing, designing and retouching.


Please let us know what you think.

9:59 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

25 Awesome Keyboard Shortcuts for Photoshop That You May Not Know

The title pretty well says it all: check out this list, especially the first few (new in CS4/5).

Having written a version of a book covering just Photoshop shortcuts, I pride myself on my knowledge here, and even I picked up a few good tips from this list.

8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

June 10, 2011

A new Photoshop-driving iPad mag ships

Philip Andrews & co. have again created iPad-based training content that not only describes Photoshop techniques, but that actually performs them:

DI Direct ProSharp contains everything you need to know about sharpening your digital images, from the Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen filters to a non-filter-based technique the professionals have been keeping a secret for years.

As usual, you’ll be able to tap the step entry on the iPad and see the technqiue performed instantly in Photoshop – it’s all part of our Read It–Tap It–Do It approach.


8:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

May 31, 2011

Photoshop 12.1 = Photoshop 12.0.4

What’s the difference between Photoshop CS5 and 5.5? Nothing besides subscription support. Here’s some concise clarification from Jeff Tranberry:

Photoshop CS5 (Version 12.1 – which comes as part of Creative Suite 5.5) and Photoshop CS5 (Version 12.0.4 – a free update for the version of Photoshop which came as a part of Creative Suite 5) are exactly the same in terms of functionality except that 12.1 will support a subscription license.

Both contain the same updates to fix issues, both have the same camera support with Camera Raw 6.x, and both work with the Photoshop Touch Apps.


    9:18 PM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    May 25, 2011

    Camera Raw 6.4.1, Lightroom 3.4.1 updates released

    These updates for Camera Raw (Mac|Win) Lightroom (Mac|Win) fix the rare but potentially serious file corruption bug (see previous) that was introduced in Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4.

    8:08 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 20, 2011

    Feedback, please: Photoshop-controlling iPad magazine now available

    DI Direct, the publication that can link with Photoshop CS5* and drive it via interactive tutorials, is now available as a free download. In case you missed it previously, here’s a demo:


    I find the concept very intriguing, but I’d really like your feedback.

    • As a reader, how compelling do you find this sort of interactive training? Would it make you more likely to buy a certain magazine or book? Do you (or would you) use your tablet & your computer together this way?
    • If you’re a writer, trainer, etc., how compelling do you find it? If we made it extremely easy to add such links via InDesign, then publish to a tablet, would you take the time to add them?


    * If you’re using CS5, don’t forget to update to 12.0.4 (via Help->Updates). If you’ve installed CS 5.5, you’re all set already.

    10:59 AM | Permalink | Comments [12]

    May 18, 2011

    Gradients & meshes in Illustrator, this Friday

    This session (noon Pacific on Friday) with illustrator Russell Viers might be up your alley. The point I’ve bolded sounds particularly interesting:

    • Adding light perception and depth with a basic gradient
    • Bringing your art alive with Gradient Mesh
    • The value of Gradient Swatches
    • A nifty hidden feature in CS5 that lets you finally add a gradient to live text
    • Understanding that crazy Gradient Tool
    • How the Gradient Panel can help
    • Non-uniform gradients with Gradient Mesh
    4:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 14, 2011

    Russell Brown demos Eazel for iPad

    Watercolor on a tablet becomes a Photoshop layer as Russell puts the proverbial chocolate in the peanut butter:

    Check out the Eazel product page for more info.

    7:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    May 13, 2011

    Save big Photoshop files up to 20x faster

    Time is money, and storage is cheap. If you use large Photoshop docs & don’t mind them becoming much bigger, you may be able to save them much faster.

    You’ll want to update CS5 to 12.0.4 (via Help->Updates), then grab this plug-in (Mac)/registry key (Win).  Photoshop PM Jeff Tranberry writes, “Saving the file can be much faster (20x in some cases), if you have a fast hard disk and enough disk space to hold the larger file size,” and performance expert Lloyd Chambers goes into detail on his site.

    8:49 AM | Permalink | Comments [15]

    May 12, 2011

    Creative Suite subscriptions Q&A Friday

    If you’re interested in Creative Suite subscriptions (new as of CS 5.5), check out this session Friday at noon Pacific:

    Group PM Yashodhan Gokhale will be talking about Adobe’s Creative Suite subscriptions. In this session you’ll be shown how subscriptions give you the latest features and functionality of Creative Suite 5.5 software for an affordable monthly cost. Yashodhan will walk you through the process and give you a better feel for the benefits, when you may need a subscription, and how easy it is to purchase, use, and manage.

    9:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    After Effects stabilization in the real world

    Photographer Uwe Steinmueller has posted a set of samples made using AE CS 5.5. They’re not crazy-dramatic, but that may well be the point: the new feature improves even what was already decent footage.

    In the accompanying article Uwe write, “This may be a situation where a new tool is really up to its hype and exceeded our expectations. Hard to describe how excited we are.”

    7:59 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 11, 2011

    Deke McClelland talks PS iPad apps

    Our friend Deke McClelland has posted half a dozen quick videos that cover setting up & using the new Photoshop CS5 touch apps. The videos are available free of charge from

    7:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 10, 2011

    Photoshop CS5 apps for iPad now available

    I’m happy to report that the three recently announced Photoshop companion apps are now available for download:

    Please note that to use them together with Photoshop, you’ll need to apply the Photoshop 12.0.4 update. We encourage developers to make their own Photoshop-savvy apps by downloading the Photoshop Touch SDK and optionally ActionScript source code.

    10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments [12]

    May 09, 2011

    TypeDNA enhances Photoshop font selection; now on Windows

    I’ve written previously about how the TypeDNA panel lets Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign select fonts by similarity, choose complementary fonts, etc. I’m pleased to see that the $49 tool is now available for Windows (as it was previously Mac-only). As a refresher, here’s a quick demo:

    Other developments are in the offing. Founder Darren Glenister is speaking at Google I/O this week, promising to show “some new features that extend Google web fonts direct inside of Adobe CS5.” Check out the TypeDNA site for details about attending in person or online.

    2:11 PM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 07, 2011

    Control Photoshop via AIR & Flash

    If you’re an ActionScripter who’d like to develop apps (tablet or desktop) that drive Photoshop CS5, check out Daniel Koestler’s post, “Want to create Photoshop apps with AIR, Flash, and AS3?” [Via]

    8:54 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 05, 2011

    New Image Processor Pro Script for CS5

    If you batch-process images in Photoshop, particularly via the Image Processor command or Russell Brown’s 1-2-3 Process, you’ll want to check out what Russell has been up to.  He’s looking for beta testers and writes,

    Just like the earlier versions, this script (download, see demo video) will batch process hundreds of images into any file type, or format, that you need.

    It’s the ultimate time saver and will eliminate the need for multiple exports from other Adobe applications.

    Here are some of the new features:

    1. Improved interface.
    2. Support for any number of  conversions during a processing run.
    3. Batch renaming.
    4. Expanded support for almost all file formats known to man.


    2:11 PM | Permalink | Comments [13]

    May 04, 2011

    Video: Thoughts on the Photoshop Touch SDK

    Photoshop engineer Tom Ruark & PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes talk about how the new Photoshop Touch SDK came to be & some of what it enables:

    You can read more about the project & see some real-world examples of its use on the blog. You’ll need to grab the latest CS5 update to enable connectivity, and the three iPad apps that rely on it should be available for download soon. (If you’d like we can notify you when they’re ready.)

    6:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    May 02, 2011

    Photoshop 12.0.4 update for CS5 arrives

    This update (choose Window->Updates from within Photoshop) enables remote connections between Photoshop CS5 and other apps, including the new Adobe Nav, Eazel, and Color Lava for iPad.  According to the release notes,

    The 12.0.4 update also fixes Liquify performance, type-related crashes, and other top customer issues. The most significant fixes include the following:

    • A number of potential security vulnerabilities have been addressed.
    • Liquify save mesh now works as expected.
    • An issue with Sharpen crashing has been fixed.
    • An issue with Quick Selection crashing has been fixed.
    • The Orphea Studio File Info issue has been resolved.
    10:39 PM | Permalink | Comments [26]

    April 26, 2011

    Lightroom 3.4 & Camera Raw 6.4 are now available

    Lightroom 3.4 (Mac|Win) & Camera Raw 6.4 (Mac|Win) are now available for download, adding support for the following cameras:


    • Canon EOS 600D (Rebel T3i / Kiss X5 Digital)
    • Canon EOS 1100D (Rebel T3 / Kiss X50 Digital)
    • Fuji FinePix S200 EXR
    • Fuji FinePix F550 EXR
    • Fuji FinePix HS20 EXR
    • Fuji FinePix X100
    • Hasselblad H4D-40
    • Kodak EasyShare Z990
    • Nikon D5100
    • Olympus E-PL1s
    • Olympus E-PL2
    • Olympus XZ-1
    • Samsung NX11


    The releases also add support for dozens of new camera profiles, add new tethered camera support, & fix a number of bugs. For a complete list, see Tom Hogarty’s post on the Lightroom Journal.

    9:45 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    April 20, 2011

    Tutorial: Using the Tych panel in Photoshop

    A few weeks ago I mentioned Tych, a free panel for creating diptychs, triptychs, and other multi-image layouts in Photoshop. Now the nice folks at Faded & Blurred have produced a four-minute tutorial on using it:

    8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    April 19, 2011

    Watch an iPad-based magazine control Photoshop

    Ah, now this is cool: DI Magazine is leveraging the Photoshop Touch SDK, making their tablet-based tutorials capable of driving Photoshop actions. Check it out:

    Philip & team have really embraced Configurator, distributing interactive panels with the magazine, and I love to see them taking this next step so quickly. I’m eager to hear what readers think.

    10:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    April 18, 2011

    Brief thoughts on the Photoshop CS5 Touch apps

    Thanks for all the feedback regarding the just-announced Adobe Nav, Eazel, and Color Lava. A few quick thoughts:

    • Please remember that these efforts are just part of a bigger picture that has yet to be revealed. I’ve seen comments along the lines of “Nice, but I want Lightroom for tablets”; “Why are you doing these apps instead of making improvement X to Photoshop?”; “I’d like to see more support for Android”; etc. The feedback is welcome, and none of these things are mutually exclusive.
    • “Nav is one of the most exciting of our three new applications IF you think beyond Nav itself,” writes Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes. “We’re showcasing one of the most powerful pieces of the new Photoshop SDK – the ability to drive Photoshop from a device.” See the rest of his comment for more perspective.
    • You can indeed watch these videos via HTML5 on an iPad. Here’s a link to all of them plus a few I haven’t yet gotten to blog. For some reason embedded Adobe TV vids don’t work on iOS devices, but I’m told a fix is in progress.
    4:41 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    Got CS 5.5 questions? Tune in Thursday.

    Live Q&A this Thursday, noon to 1pm Pacific time. Check it:

    Join Adobe Creative Suite Evangelists, Terry White (Design), Greg Rewis (Web), Paul Trani (Flash Platform) and Jason Levine (Digital Video & Audio) to learn more about the new features in Creative Suite 5.5 and get your feature related questions answered. This a great opportunity to see our very latest technology in action and to find out how it could benefit you. The Evangelists will be covering a range of features across multiple products so there will be something for everyone. Please RSVP and we hope to see you then!

    In case you can’t attend live, the session is to be recorded for later posting.

    3:31 PM | Permalink | No Comments

    April 16, 2011

    Demo: Adobe Nav for iPad for Photoshop CS5

    Having devised Adobe Configurator, I’m clearly a fan of tailoring large, complex apps to be more “everything you want, nothing you don’t.” The newly announced Adobe Nav fits in that vein, enabling use of a customizable toolbar on a tablet. Designer Geoff Dowd offers a quick tour:

    I’m expecting apps like this to work best for people who have a hardware dock (e.g. the little keyboard one can get for an iPad) at their main work areas. A dock lets you can plug in the tablet, then forget about battery drain or propping it up yourself.

    8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [34]

    April 15, 2011

    How to set up & tune a great Photoshop machine

    Photoshop gets used in a huge variety of ways, from editing tiny icons laying out multi-hundred-layer Web designs* to wrangling gigapixel photos. The optimal settings depend on the work you do. Now the Photoshop performance team has posted a white paper on Photoshop CS5 performance, explaining various cache & GPU settings, discussing the impact of 64-bit and multicore, and more.  Hopefully you’ll find it helpful.

    * Web guys: Try the “Tall & Thin” option (yes, there is such a thing) under Preferences->Performance.

    9:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    Watercolor effects in Adobe Eazel for iPad

    Here’s a quick look at Adobe’s forthcoming Eazel painting app for iPad, including a peek at its integration with Photoshop CS5:

    8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    April 14, 2011

    A look at Color Lava for Photoshop CS5

    Last year engineer (and DJ) Christoph Moskalonek & I were talking about what viscerally pleasing creation experiences one could bring to tablets. Having just shipped some great paint-mixing technology in Photoshop CS5, we hit on the idea of mixing colors with multitouch input, then sending the results to Photoshop. In this video clip, Christoph shows the outcome of that investigation:

    3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments [10]

    April 12, 2011

    Creative Suite 5.5 has no impact on the Camera Raw plug-in

    I’ve seen a bit of misinformed concern that the arrival of Creative Suite 5.5 applications means that in order to keep getting Camera Raw updates, one must upgrade Photoshop (of which there’s no 5.5 version) and/or obtain a subscription. That’s not the case: Camera Raw 6 will support Photoshop CS5 for the entire cycle. Now you have more options, not fewer.

    2:53 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    Russell Brown demos a couple of useful panels

    Apropos of the blending modes panel I mentioned the other day, Russell Brown has put together a quick video demonstrating some uses for this panel. He also demos a panel that sets the stack mode of Smart Objects (good for running the “tourist remover” trick on video, etc.). Download the panels here.

    If design & layout is more your thing, check out Russell’s tutorial on the use of Cameron McEfee’s GuideGuide panel (see previous for info, and download here).

    8:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    April 11, 2011

    Demo: Painting with Adobe Eazel for iPad

    Adobe evangelist Mike McHugh shows off the unique interface, watercolor-style drawing chops, and Photoshop CS5 integration in Adobe’s forthcoming Eazel app:

    5:15 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    CS 5.5 introduces subscription options

    As an alternative to paying upfront for Photoshop and other Adobe applications, you can now subscribe to them. This video nicely summarizes things in under four minutes:

    For detailed questions, please see the subscriptions FAQ on

    4:48 PM | Permalink | Comments [11]

    Photoshop CS5 gets tablet-savvy

    I’m pleased to say that the Photoshop team has announced three new iPad apps that work closely with Photoshop CS5:

    • Adobe Color Lava allows you to mix colors on the iPad, creating custom color swatches and themes to transfer back into Photoshop.
    • Adobe Eazel lets digital artists create rich realistic paintings with their fingertips. These paintings can then be sent directly to Photoshop CS5 for compositing or for taking the artwork further.
    • Adobe Nav allows you to select and control Photoshop tools using the iPad as the input surface, customize the toolbar, browse and zoom in on up to 200 open Photoshop files or easily create new files.

    Here are some glimpses of the apps in action, plus perspective on what it means:

    For more info, check out this post from Maria Yap, director of PS product management, plus details on the new Photoshop Touch SDK.

    11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    April 10, 2011

    Lightroom 3 ACE exam available

    Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty points out that the Adobe Certified Expert exam is available for Lightroom 3, as are certifications (and re-certs) for Photoshop CS5 and many other Adobe apps.

    12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    April 09, 2011

    CS5 panel can update multiple layers’ blending modes

    Photoshop lets you select more than one layer at once, but unfortunately it doesn’t let you simultaneously change the blending modes of those layers (good JDI suggestion). Scripter Mike Hale has whipped up a panel for Photoshop CS5 (made with the help of Configurator 2) that plugs the gap. (An earlier version remains available for CS4 as well.)

    7:00 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    April 07, 2011

    “Tych,” a free diptych-maker for Photoshop

    Reimund Trost has created what looks like a cool panel for Photoshop:

    Tych Panel is an extension to Adobe Photoshop that automates diptychs and triptychs creation. It supports an arbitrary number of layouts using the compositing feature making it the perfect tool for your photo blog… Tych Panel is released as open source and can be used, modified and redistributed in any way you want.

    Check out the demo:

    2:55 PM | Permalink | No Comments

    March 22, 2011

    Mac 10.6.7 fixes Photoshop CS5 conflicts

    The Mac OS 10.6.5 release introduced a few incompatibilities with Photoshop CS5. According to a tech note, these include:

    • The warning, “Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file?” appears when you open Photoshop.
    • The startup screen reads White Rabbit, instead of Photoshop CS5, and looks different.
    • Tools behave as if the Shift or Option keys are pressed.
    • Your cursor remains the plug sign (+).

    Adobe & Apple folks worked together on the diagnosis & testing, and updating to the newly released 10.6.7 should fix the problems. [Via]

    7:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    March 07, 2011

    A candid look at Photoshop CS5 development

    From planning to chaos (“We’re screwed”) to literal tears of joy, Photoshop team members talk about the single toughest cycle in the app’s long history. Just watching it is an emotional roller coaster for me, bringing back first heartburn & then the great pride and gratitude I have to have been associated with this team. I think you’ll find it time well spent.

    My own minor footnotes:

    • Having our names on the splash screen is a big deal to the team, going way back. After my name first appeared there, my mom carried a printout for years until it finally disintegrated in the depths of her purse.
    • Many of the engineers in the video have long associations with Apple, some having worked there. Russell Williams, who talks about Carbon vs. Cocoa, was a Mac OS system architect before joining Adobe.
    • At one point during conversion, the splash screen was literally drawing upside down. You can’t make these things up.
    • Designer Neven Mrgan got after Photoshop for its disparate range of UI sliders. That’s one of the things we intended to rectify via the too-ambitious “AHOD” process described in the video. Such controls include a great deal of subtle, custom behavior upon which customers depend, and it just wasn’t feasible to swap them all out in one release.
    • In case you’re wondering, AHOD wasn’t a rewrite effort that would make Photoshop magically twice as fast, etc. Rather, it was aimed at architectural changes that would make the codebase more efficient to develop. Such work remains underway, just not in a do-or-die, one-cycle shot.
    • 3:27 PM | Permalink | Comments [22]

    March 01, 2011

    Learn Photoshop 3D this Thursday in SF

    If you’re free Thursday evening in San Francisco,

    Come check out Zorana Gee, Photoshop Product Manager and author of “3D in Photoshop: The Ultimate Guide for Creative Professionals”, talk about 3D workflows. This is a must-see presentation!

    She’ll demonstrate an overview of the 3D capabilities in the latest Photoshop by targeting workflows, such as compositing a 3D object into a photo and how to create a 3D logo/text using Adobe Repoussé.

    As part of this presentation, we’d like you to send us questions that can be addressed by Zorana. Please post them on the wall related to this meeting in Meetup.

    Update: In response to a question from Rich MacDonald via comments, you can check out similar demos from Zorana via PSDTuts.

    9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    February 17, 2011

    Troubleshooting a couple of CS5 glitches

    If you’re a Mac user of the FinderPop utility, you might notice that Photoshop CS5 can crash when you choose Select > Inverse or other various menu items.  If that’s the case, try downloading the FinderPop Beta as it contains a fix for the problem.

    It’s also possible that you’re seeing some weirdness if running OS X 10.6.5 or 10.6.6 (e.g. seeing a “Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file?,” tools behaving as if the Shift or Option keys are pressed). Something got broken in the 10.6.5 update, and the Photoshop team is working with Apple on a fix.

    9:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

    February 05, 2011

    Slow performance in CS5 with optional plug-ins

    If you’ve installed optional plug-ins in Photoshop CS5 and are experiencing slow performance, please check out this tech note.

    8:40 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    February 04, 2011

    New OpenEXR plug-in for Photoshop CS5

    Photoshop PM Zorana Gee writes,

    People who work in the 3D and film industries and who use the OpenEXR format in Photoshop CS5 will be happy to know that we now offer a plugin which  preserves files’ alpha channel on import/export. Out the box, Photoshop bakes the alpha into the layer transparency. Users who are happy with this behavior don’t need to do anything. Others who find that they need to preserve the alpha channel should simply install this plugin to override the default behavior.

    3:24 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    January 26, 2011

    Ask a Pro: Setting up a killer video system

    If you’re doing video editing and/or effects and want to set up the optimal workstation, check out this Friday’s live presentation/Q&A session (12-1pm Pacific time):

    This session will show you how to configure After Effects, Premiere Pro, your computer, and your projects so that working and rendering take as little time as possible. Topics covered include memory and multiprocessing settings in After Effects, CUDA processing in Adobe Premiere Pro, OpenGL processing in After Effects, background rendering, and dozens of little tips to make things faster.


    • Al Mooney – product manager for Adobe Premiere Pro
    • Paul Young – software engineering manager for Adobe Premiere Pro
    • Chris Prosser – software engineering manager for After Effects
    • Todd Kopriva – technical support lead for Adobe professional video products


    2:09 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    January 15, 2011

    Painting with lasers & Photoshop (seriously!)

    Honest to God, I kind of live for seeing inventive people like Russell Brown combine the tools we make in really novel, unintended ways. Here Russell uses Pixel Bender CS5, a laser etching machine, a printer, and some old-school artistic media to create digital paintings with real depth:

    Russell’s also giving away ten copies of his book on the subject, From Reality to Renaissance; see more info if you’re interested.


    2:58 PM | Permalink | Comments [15]

    December 20, 2010

    A tiny tip on Illustrator anti-aliasing

    A reader today wrote, “Can anyone tell me if it’s possible to drag a one-pixel-width diagonal line in Illustrator without it forcing anti-aliasing?”

    My suggestion: Try choosing Effect->Rasterize, then choosing 72PPI and no anti-aliasing.  If you often need this technique, you can create a graphical style & then easily apply the look to multiple paths.  You can also get some funky lo-fi pixel-art looks by cranking the PPI setting way down.

    Fortunately it’s largely unnecessary to think about this stuff now that Illustrator CS5 has excellent pixel chops (at last).

    5:53 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    December 18, 2010

    Photoshop 12.0.3 update for CS5 Windows now available

    In addition to containing the fixes that were part of the recent 12.0.2 update, the 12.0.3 update for Photoshop CS5 for Windows fixes a tooltip problem that was introduced by 12.0.2, as well as a security vulnerability.  Photoshop CS5 for Mac doesn’t have these problems, so there’s no equivalent update for Mac.

    1:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [17]

    December 15, 2010

    Photoshop CS5 wins Macworld Editors’ Choice Award

    “From its new 64-bit capability on the Mac to details like drag-and-drop file integration,” writes Jackie Dove, “the CS5 upgrade is the most significant and impressive since the Creative Suite started shipping in 2003.”  Thanks, guys! [full article]

    11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    December 11, 2010

    Problems found in the Photoshop 12.0.2 update

    The Photoshop team has discovered a couple of issues that affect Windows users who installed the 12.0.2 update for CS5 that was released on December 6th, 2010.

    • Tooltips no longer display on Windows XP.
    • Photoshop reports that a .dll file is missing on start up or when accessing TWAIN/scanner device on Windows operating systems.

    We’re aware of the issues and are working to address the issues in the very near future.  I’m sorry these got past us, and we appreciate your patience.

    3:55 PM | Permalink | Comments [23]

    December 06, 2010

    Photoshop CS5 update (12.0.2) now available

    The Adobe Photoshop 12.0.2 update (Mac|Win) speeds up painting performance and fixes a number of problems discovered after Photoshop CS5 was released.  The most significant fixes in the update include the following:

    • A number of potential security vulnerabilities have been addressed
    • Crashing bugs related to typography & fonts have been addressed
    • Performance of various features has been improved
    • Crashes related to opening 3D layers, sharpening, color management, and scanning via TWAIN devices have been fixed
    • Problems with brush cursors, the histogram progress bar, the display of selection boundaries (“marching ants”), scrolling while using the shift key, and the use of action droplets have been addressed
    • Intermittent file format problems have been addressed
    • Metadata-related bugs related to focus distance and Orphea Studio JPEGs have been fixed


    In addition you can download a TWAIN plug-in update that includes fixes for multiple document scanning, and a that fixes a crash that could occur when attempting a second scan.

    11:28 PM | Permalink | Comments [21]

    VueScan 9 goes 64-bit

    I haven’t tried it & haven’t seen user feedback, but the new VueScan 9 scanning app promises 64-bit compatibility and the ability to create very large scans.  If you take it for a spin with Photoshop CS5, you’re welcome to post your impressions here. [Via Jeff Tranberry]

    3:35 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    November 17, 2010

    All Nik plug-ins go 64-bit

    Nik Software has updated their complete collection for 64-bit/CS5 compatibility.  Way to go, guys! [Via]

    Mac folks, is there anything keeping you running CS5 in 32-bit mode? I ask because the more legacy code we can lop off, the more we can focus on building for the future.

    6:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [23]

    November 10, 2010

    Learn to switch from Final Cut to Premiere Pro

    Hey, remember which company makes multiple* 64-bit, GPU-accelerated video tools for the Mac?  (Hint: it’s not Apple.)

    If you’re a Final Cut Pro user, check out live sessions next week in which veteran FCP users talk about how and why they’ve moved to Premiere Pro–and how you can, too.

    * “Any” would also work

    3:20 PM | Permalink | Comments [11]

    October 18, 2010

    Nik provides free 64-bit CS5 updates

    I’m pleased to see that Nik Software has updated Silver Efex Pro, Viveza 2, HDR Efex Pro, and Color Efex Pro to run 64-bit-native inside Photoshop CS5 for Mac and Windows.  The updates are free, and I’m told that updates to other Nik plug-ins are coming soon.

    10:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    October 16, 2010

    Photoshop CS5 paintings from Jack Davis

    Author Jack Davis has been producing some really nice work in CS5:

    6:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    October 12, 2010

    New Dry Media brushes for CS5

    Building on the success of his Artists’ Brushes for Photoshop CS5, digital painter John Derry has released John’s Dry Media for Photoshop CS5, a $19.95 set of brushes for Photoshop CS5. Here he demonstrates creating a painting from scratch:

    And here’s turning a photo into a pastel painting:

    Related: John’s tutorial, Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush.

    12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    Video: Real-world Puppet Warp

    “We can all do the stupid demo where you move the puppet around,” says Russell Brown, “but how does this apply to real-world projects?” Russell shows a couple of examples, getting most interesting around the 3-minute mark (demoing the various distortion modes, then correcting lens distortions).

    [Via Andrew Kavanagh]

    8:26 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    October 09, 2010

    InDesign magazine comes to iPad… via InDesign

    This is getting kind of meta: InDesign magazine has used InDesign CS5 to publish the magazine to iPad, making it available in free preview form.  Designed by Monika Wolff and Jennifer Wills of W+W Design, the iPad version features video tutorials on CS5 features and more.  Very nicely done. [Via Terri Stone]

    11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    October 05, 2010

    New Photoshop 3D book, iPad app

    Photoshop 3D PM Zorana Gee & lead engineer Pete Falco, working with expert digital artists, have created new new book 3D in Photoshop, together with a free interactive version for iPad. Zorana writes,

    Check out the only book of it’s kind that breaks down everything you need to know about working with 3D in Photoshop. Not only is it written directly by the Photoshop 3D Team themselves but also Photoshop masters, like Bert Monroy, have contributed useful and inspiring tutorials that will benefit any designer wanting to learn 3D.

    Further, the team has put together a companion iPad app that takes the first chapter of the book (basic 3D concepts) and added interactive animations to each page to help illustrate the concepts. Scrolling across will read as the first chapter of the book plus interactivity and scrolling down will introduce 15 unique tutorials (only found in the iPad app) that show you how to create all the animations directly in Photoshop CS5 Extended.


    6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    October 01, 2010

    Video: Creating a 3D logo using Photoshop CS5

    I meet a large number of people who are intrigued by the features in Photoshop CS5 Extended, but who are unsure about how to dive in and make something useful. Photoshop PM Zorana Gee endeavors to break that logjam with a simple, focused tutorial:

    See the PSDTuts site for downloadable source files & the second part of the video.

    6:46 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    September 23, 2010

    TypeDNA adds a clever fonts panel to CS5 apps

    The Plugged-In panel from TypeDNA adds font-browsing/selecting power to Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CS5:

    The easy-to-use interface provides several unique tools (Similar Fonts, Font Harmony, Attribute Filters and SmartChoice) . Each tool uses sophisticated character analysis and can be used independently or combined for extremely powerful browsing and font selection. Once a font is chosen, the plug-in sends your choices direct to the document.

    Check it out:

    Because the panel uses Flash, you can test drive it right on their site.

    8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    September 12, 2010

    Illustrator CS5 gains HTML5 chops

    Double rainbow ‘cross the sky, oh my God, so intense... Wait, that’s something else–but this is pretty great, too: the Illustrator team has just released the Illustrator CS5 HTML5 Pack, downloadable from Adobe Labs.  Highlights include the ability to:

    • Export named character styles as CSS
    • Export artwork appearances as CSS
    • Include selected Graphic Styles as CSS in SVG
    • Create parameterized SVG (vector graphics tagged with variables)
    • Create multi-screen SVG (leveraging media queries to serve up design variations)

    See the download page or Mordy Golding’s nice summary for more details. You can ask questions & provide feedback on the Labs user forum.

    I’m curious to see whether this news makes it onto the Mac sites that’ve beaten Adobe up for a perceived lack of enthusiasm about HTML5 (tough, as it just doesn’t fit that sterile, stupid narrative).  The funny thing is that these changes build on the SVG support that Illustrator has been shipping for ten years.  Sometimes it just takes a while for the world to catch up.

    Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch wasn’t kidding when he said, “We’re going to make the best tools in the world for HTML5.” These Illustrator developments have been in the works for a while; Dreamweaver has just made its HTML5 Pack for CS5 official; and you’ll see more from Adobe going forward.

    Update: Here’s a demo from evangelist Greg Rewis:

    11:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [27]

    September 08, 2010

    What’s “Adobe Player for Embedding” & why would I care?

    You might have seen this name pop up recently among CS5 updates. “APE” is essentially WebKit (the open-source, HTML-rendering engine behind Safari and Chrome) plus Flash Player.  Or, put another way, it’s Adobe AIR (which is WebKit + Flash) with modifications to support Suite extensibility (e.g. things like Configurator).  In any case, you’ll want to download the recent update (if you haven’t already) as it addresses bugs & security issues.

    9:27 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    September 07, 2010

    Pixel Bender revised for CS5

    I’m pleased to say that the Pixel Bender Plug-in for Adobe Photoshop CS5 has been revised to address a number of bugs discovered after the initial release.  It’s ready for download from Adobe Labs. [Via Zorana Gee]

    [Update: Thanks to readers for pointing out that the package version number was set incorrectly. The team has re-wrapped/re-posted the plug-in with the correct number (2.1.0). There’s no need to re-download, and sorry about the confusion.]

    2:58 PM | Permalink | Comments [18]

    September 03, 2010

    How to set up a great Photoshop machine

    At Photoshop World this week, performance testing lead Adam Jerugim presented a performance guide with hardware recommendations and information about the CS5 performance preferences.  I’ve put his notes in this post’s extended entry.


    7:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [33]

    August 30, 2010

    Photoshop “Ask a Pro” & DSLR recordings available

    In case you missed the Photoshop CS5 Ask a Pro demo/Q&A with Bryan O’Neil Hughes, you can check out the recording. In addition, video evangelist Jason Levine has posted part 1 of his SF presentation on DSLR Video Editing for Photographers.

    9:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    August 09, 2010

    Illustrator CS5 updated

    The AI 15.0.1 update (Mac, Win) fixes a number of problems, including the following:

    • Out-of-memory problems specific to Macs with RAM exceeding 4GB, including failure of shortcut keys, rulers, or file open.
    • Glyph Panel issues.
    • Several crashes occurring at launch or quit.
    • A crash when traversing a variable data set containing linked images.
    • An issue with white lines appearing on rasterized gradient mesh objects.
    10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [15]

    August 04, 2010

    Quick tip: Turning off the color sampling ring in CS5

    Photoshop CS5 introduced a color sampling ring (see screenshot) that shows one’s previous foreground color as well as the one being clicked. If for whatever reason you don’t like the ring, you can select the eyedropper tool, then uncheck the “Show Sampling Ring” on the Options Bar.

    11:52 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

    July 30, 2010

    Painting in Photoshop? Check this out.

    Digital painting pioneer John Derry has just released a title, Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush, going into depth on how to wring the most out of this new tool.  And building on the success of his Artists’ Brushes set for CS5, he’s previewing a set of Dry Media Brushes.  Should be some powerful, interesting stuff.  For more on John’s work and his take on CS5, check out this interview.


    12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    July 29, 2010

    GUI elements library for Illustrator

    If you do interface design work in Illustrator, check out this User Interface Design Framework, including 290 free vector icons. [Via]

    As I’ve mentioned previously, pixel rendering in Illustrator CS5 is much, much improved, so I highly recommend it to Web & screen designers (and not as an Adobe employee, but rather as someone who sweated over such details & who regularly cursed Illustrator’s old behavior).


    9:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    July 27, 2010

    Photoshop Automator Actions enhanced, revised for CS5

    Author, photographer, and scripter Ben Long has revised his popular set of Automator Actions for Photoshop:

    Version 5 brings compatibility with Photoshop CS5, as well as the final release of the CS4 actions… The new Diptych and Triptych actions automate the process of creating two-up, and three-up layouts. With full control over margins and spacing, diptych and triptych creation has never been easier.

    The new Contact Sheet action replicates most of the functionality of the Contact Sheet script that is available as an optional install from Adobe. Of course, the advantage of having such power within Automator is that you can now automate the production of your contact sheets. Contact Sheet produces a PSD (either flat or layered) and gives you the option of displaying up to two lines of metadata beneath each thumbnail.

    The free bundle includes 41 actions for day-to-day automation needs, and a $20 Pro bundle that includes 95 actions. The two packages are available for Photoshop CS4 and CS5.  Check out Ben’s site for download links & details. [Via]


    8:37 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    July 26, 2010

    Blistering benchmarks for CS5 video apps

    From Tom’s Hardware:

    After Effects: ” What took more than 44 minutes to finish in CS4 drops to a little more than one minute in CS5.”

    Premiere Pro: “A combination of shifting to a 64-bit environment and utilizing Nvidia’s Quadro FX 3800 drops a 3:40 render (in CS4) down to 19 seconds (in CS5).”

    Nice.  Read on for details. [Via]

    1:07 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    July 22, 2010

    Creating contact sheets & Web galleries in CS5

    Question (via comments just now): “How can you get a contact sheet using Photoshop CS5? Isn’t there an automated way to get this?”

    Answer: Yes. Check out the Output Module in Bridge.

    3:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

    July 15, 2010

    Controlling Adobe apps’ network connections

    I know exceedingly well how sensitive people are about their software making connections to the net, and that’s perfectly reasonable.  In Photoshop CS4 & CS5, you can choose Preferences->Plug-Ins, then uncheck “Allow Extensions to Connect to the Internet.” If you’re a system administrator & want more control over how and when Adobe apps can connect, these tech docs may be useful to you:

    3:33 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    July 09, 2010

    Video: Russell Brown shows oil painting via Pixel Bender

    Remember how I mentioned that the free, fast Pixel Bender plug-in for Photoshop CS5 includes a cool new oil painting filter? Now Russell Brown shows how to put it to good use:

    9:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    June 30, 2010

    Photoshop CS5 update (12.0.1) now available

    Nothing matters more than stability & performance. I’m glad we can report that based on crash reporter statistics, Photoshop CS5 is more than 10 times as stable as CS4* (that is, it generates fewer than one-tenth as many crash reports). That’s not yet good enough progress, however.

    Accordingly, Adobe has released an update for Photoshop CS5 (Mac | Win). You can also get the update by choosing Help->Updates from within Photoshop.

    The Adobe Photoshop 12.0.1 update addresses a number of high priority bugs with 64-bit Mac, Performance, User Interface, Type, Content-Aware Fill, HDR, 3D, Painting, GPU and Liquify. The most significant fixes in the Photoshop 12.0.1 update include the following:


    • A number of issues that could cause slow performance have been addressed.
    • Top crashers found in the field have been addressed.
    • 3D refractions, Ray Tracing and IBL workflows have been improved.
    • Out of memory error opening some TIFFs has been addressed.
    • A crash in Content-Aware Fill has been addressed.
    • Font related crashes have been addressed.
    • A number of user interface and workspace issues have been fixed.
    • A number of painting-related problems have been addressed, including video layer issues.


    We also addressed several issues that were result of the major architectural changes on the Mac side in the move to Cocoa/64-bit:


    • Right-click correctly selects the layer clicked on in the context menu.
    • Right-click to bring up the brush picker displays the picker under the cursor on the correct monitor.
    • Slow performance when using the Liquify filter has been fixed.
    • An issue where menus become disabled has been fixed.
    • Scrolling speed using Apple Mighty and Magic Mouse mouse wheel has been improved.
    • Double-clicking the document title bar now correctly minimizes the document.
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when generating font previews. Note: We continue working with Apple to address remaining issues related to fonts and font caches. For info on those issues, use the Troubleshooting Fonts in Photoshop CS5 tech doc here.
    • Fixed an issue with batch processes on open documents.
    • Droplets are now Intel-native to improve compatibility in 64-bit mode and to remove the requirement to run droplets using Rosetta.
    • Fixed an issue where a white pixel would show up on screen after invoking certain dialogs.


    Windows-specific issues of note:


    • Fixed an issue running on older AMD processors that prevent Photoshop from launching. (Application failed to initialize properly (0xc000001d))


    The team thanks everyone from the community who helped us identify issues and test several of the fixes prior to the 12.0.1 update being released.


    * Comparing 11.0.0 (CS4) to 12.0.0 (CS5) during the equivalent period following initial product availability

    9:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [103]

    June 23, 2010

    Adobe MAX, Russell Brown, coming in October; register now

    Adobe MAX is returning to Los Angeles, CA Oct. 23-27 and registration has just started. Early bird discount pricing gets you $200 off the full conference pass price if you register before 8/15/2010. Check out the schedule at a glance or browse the more than 300 sessions planned.

    Of special note is the Russell Brown@MAX lab, a three-day, hands-on course that brings together top art directors, designers, illustrators, and photographers to learn new techniques with Photoshop CS5. According to the event site,

    Starting with photographic portraits we will turn reality into renaissance. Participants will unleash the powerful combination of cameras, computers, and Adobe Creative Suite® 5 software to produce an original artwork on canvas.

    Hope to see you there.

    9:40 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    June 22, 2010

    New 64-bit Exposure 3 twice as fast in CS5

    The folks at Alien Skin have released Exposure 3.0, a 64-bit-native plug-in that faithfully emulates the look of numerous film stocks & techniques. According to the company, “Exposure 3 in Photoshop CS5 is over twice as fast as Exposure 2 in CS4 on the Mac and about 30% faster on Windows.” The plug-in has also been updated to work beautifully with the new Lightroom 3.

    Check out the product site for feature details, some neat interactive examples and much more info.

    10:58 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    June 16, 2010

    Adobe Lens Profile Creator updated

    The Adobe Lens Profile Creator, a free utility for creating lens profiles that work in Photoshop CS5, Lightroom 3, and Camera Raw 6.1, has been updated to fix a couple of bugs and improve batch processing. You can download the update from Adobe Labs, and you can read more details on the product user forum. [Via]
    Update: In case you haven’t seen the lens correction tools in action, or if you’d like more info on how to use them, check out this brief overview from Julieanne Kost:

    9:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    June 06, 2010

    The spinning progress indicator in Photoshop CS5

    I’ve heard a number of questions about the new spinning progress cursor (screenshot) that Photoshop CS5 uses. The cursor simply replaces the 1984-vintage MacApp watch cursor (non-standard in Cocoa), for which Apple provides no modern replacement on OS X.

    Pierre Igot and others are mistaken in thinking that the CS5 cursor is an alternative to (or, more damningly, an attempt to hide) the “spinning beachball of death.” Photoshop uses the beachball when it’s warranted–i.e., when the app is unresponsive. (The beachball is provided by the OS when the app doesn’t process user interface events fast enough.) It has always used the watch cursor in other cases, where the app is busy performing a task but isn’t locked up, and where the task should be done shortly.

    Let’s say we’d (inappropriately) started using the beachball in all cases where we’d previously used the watch cursor. Though it would have no impact (positive or negative) on performance, it would have a big impact on perceived responsiveness, and we’d start hearing “CS5 locks up all the time!” This would be especially profound given persistent misperceptions (arguably deliberately cultivated) of what 64-bit means.

    Let’s say that instead of using the watch cursor, we’d pop up progress bars all the time, where none existed in the past. Same result: same performance, unhappier customers.

    Let’s say we’d stuck with the 1984-era watch cursor (which I saw pop up the other day in Safari). We’d hear “Look, PS is still Carbon/32bits in places!” You don’t think so? I actually have commenters claim that the all-caps text in iTunes (and previously Finder) is somehow due to Carbon. (And arguably, given the decline in society’s use of wristwatches, I can imagine catching flak about relying on a floppy disk-like anachronism.)

    We gave this issue a lot of consideration, and ultimately there wasn’t a perfect solution, so we chose a route that modernized the app UI without misusing standard Apple UI or misrepresenting app responsiveness. Maybe it’s something we can improve in the future, and we’re certainly open to feedback.

    Of course, the real issue here has very little to do with one cursor vs. another. It has to do with a question of whether Adobe builds “real” Mac software. We do, and we’re making more progress all the time. There’s a lot of detail to unpack here, and being on the road, I can’t get into all of it now. I’ll try to do so soon, and in the meantime you might want to see my thoughts about platform consistency.

    2:55 PM | Permalink | Comments [44]

    Video: HDR from Lightroom 3 to Photoshop CS5

    Terry White shows how to use LR3 together with CS5 to create high dynamic range images:

    I had fun using this workflow to produce some very-poor-man’s Ansel Adams wannabe images in Yosemite.

    6:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    June 04, 2010

    CS5 enterprise deployment tool now available

    The Adobe Application Manager Enterprise Edition offers a customizable way to wrap Creative Suite applications as MSI or PKG for silent deployment via industry standard tools. It’s now available for download.

    If this kind of thing is up your alley, see also the Adobe installer team’s blog. The CS5 installers continue to make good progress in raising customer satisfaction while driving down support calls, and the installer team welcomes your feedback.

    4:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    Pixel Bender comes to CS5, adds Oil Paint filter

    I’m pleased to announce that the Pixel Bender Gallery plug-in for Photoshop CS5 is now available for download from Adobe Labs. Key points:

    • It runs filters really, really fast on your graphics card (GPU)
    • The plug-in is not one filter, but rather a harness into which you can drop Pixel Bender files (.PBK and .PBG)
    • Pixel Bender also runs cross-platform in After Effects & Flash Player 10
    • The filters people write for Flash will also work in Photoshop

    In addition, the plug-in now includes a very cool Oil Paint filter that produces some painterly results (see this pair of screenshots), nicely complementing all the painting enhancements in Photoshop CS5.

    The plug-in is essentially the same as the version that was available for CS4, but it has been revised for CS5 & 64-bit Mac compatibility. Here’s a one-minute demo movie that shows the plug-in in action. You can download additional filters from the Pixel Bender Exchange, discuss PB authoring in the user forum, and use the Pixel Bender Toolkit to create your own filters.

    2:25 PM | Permalink | Comments [23]

    June 03, 2010

    GPS Data panel now available for CS5

    We’ve just posted a GPS Data panel (download for Mac, Win) that extends the File Info dialog in CS5 applications (Photoshop, Bridge, Fireworks, Flash, Illustrator, and InDesign). The panel (see screenshot) offers a simple way to see parameters like latitude, longitude, and altitude.

    Installation notes:

    • On the Mac, make sure you install into the main Library path, not the user-specific one. (Somehow I often stumble on that one.)
    • Please make sure that the package files (“bin” and “manifest.xml”) go into a folder called “gpsData.”
    9:49 PM | Permalink | Comments [19]

    onOne posts free 64-bit, CS5-compatible updates

    I’m pleased to see that onOne has released 64-bit-native, CS5-compatible versions of Plug-In Suite, Genuine Fractals, FocalPoint, PhotoTools, PhotoTune, PhotoFrame, and Mask Pro–all as free updates. Check out PM Mike Wong’s blog for more info & download links.

    10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    June 01, 2010

    Adobe/Wired digital viewer for iPad coming soon for all publishers

    I’ve written previously that Adobe is not in the Flash business, or the Photoshop business, or the PDF or HTML5 business. Rather, it’s in the solving customers’ problems business, and any given technology is just a means to an end. Today you’re getting more proof.
    As you may have seen last week, Adobe and Wired Magazine have collaborated to bring a richly interactive version of the magazine to iPads. Here’s a 1-minute demo:

    I received quite a few questions about how regular Creative Suite customers can tap into these capabilities. Today Adobe announced that the ability to target the digital viewer technology it created for Wired will be made available soon on Adobe Labs. According to VP Dave Burkett,

    “We aim to make our digital viewer software available to all publishers soon and plan to deliver versions that work across multiple hardware platforms. It’s safe to say that if you are already working in InDesign CS5, you’ll be well on your way to producing a beautiful digital version of your publication.”

    Check out Adobe’s Digital Publishing Platform pages for more background & details.
    InDesign CS5 adds a bunch of simple, powerful tools for adding animation and interactivity to documents, and it can export those documents in a number of formats. That is, you can choose PDF, Flash, AIR, XML, etc. based on the needs of your project. Apple blocked AIR conversion on iPads, so Adobe simply built an alternative way to view the content.
    It isn’t about one runtime/format vs. another; never has been. It’s about getting results.
    PS–I’m really hoping that my inner cynic is wrong, and that this post doesn’t draw a bunch of counterproductive neener-neener jeering from Apple zealots. It would be so, so refreshing to hear instead that people are focused on what benefits them, and that they actually prefer cooperation & pragmatism to ideological finger-pointing.

    6:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [30]

    May 29, 2010

    The Knowledge panel arrives in Photoshop CS5

    Sometime in the last 48 hours, your copy of Photoshop CS5 quietly sprouted some new functionality. We hope you like it, and we’d love to get your feedback.

    Adobe is now delivering the Knowledge panel for Photoshop (see screenshots). This tool delivers interactive step-by-step guidance, walking you through some 70 tutorials written by expert authors. Unlike other tutorials, these can drive Photoshop: clicking links executes commands in PS (e.g. clicking “File->New” brings up the New Document dialog box).

    To try out the new panel, make sure you’ve logged in using your Adobe ID and password (click the little “CS Live” icon in the upper right corner), then look for Knowledge under Window->Extensions. You may need to quit & relaunch PS after logging in. (Details below.)

    So, why is this important?

    In brief, it lets the community make Photoshop smarter & easier to use, leveraging the Web inside the app.

    I’ve long been frustrated that Adobe applications–like most large, powerful apps–simply throw the user into the deep end of the functionality pool. Very little in the interface suggests how pieces can or should be used in sequence to achieve a goal. The apps are highly flexible & very general, but users tend to suffer from “the paradox of choice.” They know the app is capable of X, but they don’t know how to do it, and they may feel foolish & resentful.

    I’ve long thought we could do better, and last year I presented some ideas for a more task-based Photoshop UI. As I wrote then, we had two goals:

    • Present a more streamlined interface (“everything you need, nothing you don’t”), showing only the tools and commands that are relevant to the task at hand
    • Present best-practice guidance on how to accomplish specific tasks (“not just yet another way to do something, but the *right* way”)

    The Knowledge panel delivers on the second of these. Our plan was to deliver it together with a complimentary Toolbox panel (screenshot), tying the contents of both to workspaces. That way, when you’d click “3D,” Photoshop would not only rearrange your existing panels; it would also present just the tools needed for 3D work (plus contextual information), as well as step-by-step guidance on completing common 3D tasks. The same would go for painting, Web design, etc.

    Unfortunately we ran out of time to deliver everything in the box. Thus we’re delivering the Knowledge panel as an update, and if you’d like to check out the (somewhat unpolished) Toolbox panel, you can download it here. The Knowledge panel auto-installs in English only, so if you’re using another language version of PS but would still like to use the panel, please grab it and install it. Relaunch Photoshop after installation, and then look under Window->Extensions for each panel.

    Both panels were built in Configurator, so you’re welcome to grab the source files to see how they were made. I plan to post details soon on how to drive Photoshop from HTML. I hope to see many authors enhancing Photoshop in this way.

    Because of the way the CS5 dev cycle played out, this release offers us a chance to test drive these enhancements without making them a marquee feature. We’re eager to hear what you think. Is this stuff useful? Should we take it further? Please let us know. [Update: here’s a very quick poll.]


    PS–I’m incredibly grateful to the many authors (too many to list here) who contributed content, to the Adobe Learning Resources folks, and to Victor Gavenda and the excellent, patient folks at Peachpit who really tied the room together.

    8:21 PM | Permalink | Comments [25]

    May 27, 2010

    Using Mixed Case panel titles in Photoshop CS5

    The ALL CAPS panel tabs in CS4 and later are one of the more polarizing aesthetic details of the applications. If you’d like to change Photoshop panel tabs to Mixed Case, grab this plug-in (Mac) or these registry entries (Win).

    On Mac drop the plug-in into the “Adobe Photoshop CS5/Plug-ins” folder; on Windows double-click the “DisableUppercaseTitles_ON.reg” file.
    [Update: You can do the same in InDesign CS4/CS5. Colin Fleming writes, “Create a folder, name it ‘noallcaps’ (one word, no spaces, no caps), put this folder in the InDesign application folder–done!”]

    10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [21]

    May 26, 2010

    Genuine Fractals goes 64-bit, CS5-native

    The hits keep coming:

    Owners of Genuine Fractals 6 can download the free update from onOne Software’s website... “My experience with Genuine Fractals running on Photoshop CS5 is that it is considerably faster due to the fact that it now includes 64-bit support,” says Douglas Dubler, a leading fashion, beauty and fine art photographer. “I make big prints, starting at 30×40 and 360 DPI, and so the time savings when I work with these large files is substantial using this newest release. It’s a big advantage.”

    8:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    Workspace import/export script for Photoshop

    I sometimes hear requests for an easier way to migrate one’s settings from one version of Photoshop to another, or to share settings among users. To that end, Photoshop engineer Tai Luxon has whipped up a little script you may find handy:

    I wrote a script to enable simple importing and exporting of Photoshop workspaces. This is a side project with limited testing, so the usual disclaimers apply. It should work in both CS4 and CS5 (although it is a little more robust in CS5), so you can use it to migrate workspaces from CS4 to CS5 in addition to using it to enable easier sharing of CS5 workspaces between machines/people. Please let me know of any snags that you run into and if this is useful.

    To run the script, choose “File->Scripts->Browse…” from with Photoshop, then browse to the script’s location on disk.
    [Update: Tai has revised the script to deal with an issue related to invalid font styles, and I’ve posted the revision at the link above.]

    6:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [26]

    May 25, 2010

    CS5 compatibility news about DeNoise, PixelNovel

    Topaz has revved their DeNoise plug-in to version 4.1. According to their press release, improvements include:

    * Complete 64-bit CS5 compatibility on both Mac and Windows.

    * Greatly improved processing speed for Mac – 100% increase for many configurations.

    * Better color handling – improved color edge recovery, new Clean Color slider.

    * Interface and preset improvements.

    Meanwhile the guys at PixelNovel are revising their version-control system (see previous), rewriting it using Adobe Flex and offering better integration with the Photoshop interface. A beta version should arrive in roughly two months. See their site for more details.

    8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    Video: Working with DSLR video in CS5

    The 64-bit, GPU- and multicore-optimized Premiere Pro CS5 handles full-res HD footage with aplomb. The app features native support for video that comes straight off digital SLRs, as video evangelist Karl Soule demonstrates:

    Update: If this is up your alley, see also these videos from Jason Levine:

    7:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 24, 2010

    Tools to unlock Photoshop’s new painting chops

    The new painting features in Photoshop CS5 are incredibly powerful, but the app interface doesn’t provide much guidance as to what to use & when. Fortunately some painting experts have stepped up to the challenge.
    Adobe’s Russell Brown has used Configurator to create a Painting Assistant panel that steps you through common tasks in converting a photograph into a painting. Here are a demo video and the panel installer.
    Meanwhile painter John Derry is offering an excellent set of Artists’ Brushes, together with a texture library & six video tutorials, for $19.95. Maybe the idea of paying for content seems weird, but this is really well crafted, well vetted material that can make a big difference in what you’re able to accomplish with the tools. Check out the preview video for a sample of the tools & the techniques John shows.

    9:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [11]

    May 22, 2010

    Configurator 2.0 is here!

    I’m delighted to announced that Adobe Configurator 2.0–now supporting both Photoshop CS5 and InDesign CS5–is available for download from Adobe Labs.

    I characterize Configurator as a “bag of Legos,” letting you remix any/all of the tools & menu items in each application. The idea is to simplify the app interface by making it present “everything you want, nothing you don’t”–and to do it in a democratic, community-driven way.

    Highlights in Configurator 2.0:

    • Support for HTML content (thanks to WebKit being embedded in CS5) that can drive the host app (running menu items, actions, and scripts, and switching tools). If you can create simple Web pages, you can create interactive CS5 tutorials.
    • Support for containers (groups switched via tabs or menus, and accordions)
    • Improved layout controls
    • Support for popup windows. These can contain HTML, video, and/or other panels.
    • Localization support (e.g. create a panel in English & have it auto-switch to translated text strings, changing button sizes as needed)
    • Numerous “JDI”-style enhancements (e.g. being able to hide the script/action icon on buttons)

    I’ll try to put together a nice, polished little demo soon. In the meantime, if you’re willing to suffer through my scintillating, “wizard of aahs” public speaking style, you can check out this demo I did for developers last month. (Skip right past the first 5:40 or so.)

    I’m adding some fairly detailed notes & tips in this post’s extended entry. For that info, read on.


    3:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [22]

    May 21, 2010

    64-bit/CS5 news from Alien Skin, Imagenomic

    The folks at Imagenomic have released a new 64-bit Mac version of Portraiture for Photoshop CS5:

    This new version adds native 64-bit support for running Portraiture from CS5 on Mac OS X (10.5/10.6 – Snow Leopard), and complements Imagenomic Plug-in support for 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, which were released in 2009. This new Portraiture Plug-in update is being provided free of charge to registered users of the Portraiture Plug-in for Photoshop edition, and can be downloaded directly from Imagenomic’s website.

    Meanwhile Alien Skin is working on a major update to Exposure, their plug-in for recreating classic film looks digitally. According to their site,

    Exposure 3 will be out in late June!… There are some frequently requested technical features in this upgrade, including Lightroom and 64-bit Photoshop CS5 support. The user interface has been completely rewritten and one result is that the preview updates much faster now.

    9:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

    May 19, 2010

    Dreamweaver adds HTML5 chops

    Hey, did you hear the one about how Adobe hates hates hates HTML5, and how the only thing that matters to the company is the advancement of Flash (to the exclusion of everything else)?

    I have, and the story is stupid, lame, and inaccurate–always has been. But honestly, talk in either direction is cheap, and I think people want to see “a little less conversation, a little more action.

    To that end I’m very happy to see the Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 HTML5 Pack made available for download. According to the development team:

    • The HTML5 Pack extension includes new code hinting for HTML5 and CSS3 elements to enable Dreamweaver users to easily make use of new HTML5 tags.
    • The extension also includes WebKit engine updates and improvements to support video and audio in Dreamweaver CS5’s Design View and Live View.
    • New CSS3 capabilities users can more easily design multiscreen web pages, with previews of how they will render across multiple browsers and devices.

    To see the features in action, check out this demo from DW engineering manager Jorge Taylor:

    You can also download a free 30-day trial of Dreamweaver CS5 here.

    9:57 PM | Permalink | Comments [20]

    Talking JDI, CS5, and more on Martini Hour

    In the second part of our conversation with Deke & Colleen (see previous), Hughes & I talk “JDI” and more. As Colleen writes,

    Deciding to upgrade isn’t just about wanting the state-of-the-art features. Sometimes, it’s those improvements to everyday tools that make your day-to-day work go more smoothly. Oh sure, it’s fun to play digital Stretch Armstrong with pictures of your friends with the Puppet Warp. But it’s also a downright relief to finally be able to simply drag-and-drop an image into a Photoshop composition.

    Check out the regular or high quality streams.

    6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    May 18, 2010

    Optional plug-ins available for Photoshop CS5

    We’ve posted various optional plug-ins for Photoshop CS5 for Mac and Windows:

    • Picture Package (ContactSheetII)
    • Extract (Windows only*)
    • Pattern Maker
    • Photomerge UI (for interactive panorama creation)
    • Web Photo Gallery (WebContactSheetII) plus presets
    • Script for Layer Comps to Web Photo Gallery
    • Texture presets for Texturizer
    • TWAIN

    Additional file formats:

    • Alias
    • Electric Image
    • SGIRGB
    • SoftImage

    * Cocoa-related changes mean that Extract doesn’t run on OS X in CS5. Refine Edge in CS5 should now be able to address the image extraction needs for the vast majority of people who previously used Extract.

    9:47 PM | Permalink | Comments [32]

    May 15, 2010

    (rt) Type: Trees as giant letters, slick 3D, and more

    2:03 PM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 14, 2010

    Camera Raw 6.1 comes to Labs, adding lens correction

    Camera Raw 6.1 is now available in preview form on Adobe Labs. The release improves performance & fixes a crashing bug on OS X. The release includes camera support for the following models:

    • Canon EOS 550D (Digital Rebel T2i/ EOS Kiss X4 Digital)
    • Kodak Z981
    • Leaf Aptus-II 8
    • Leaf Aptus-II 10R
    • Mamiya DM40
    • Olympus E-PL1
    • Olympus E-600
    • Panasonic G2
    • Panasonic G10
    • Sony A450

    Release notes courtesy of the Lightroom Journal:

    • Camera Raw 6.1 includes new lens correction functionality that can apply profile-based corrections to accommodate geometric distortions, chromatic aberration and lens vignette effects. Manual corrections for geometric distortion as well as vertical and horizontal perspective transforms are also available. A handful of lens profiles are included for automatic correction and more can be created by the community with the Adobe Lens Profile Creator.
    • This release addresses a bug on the Mac platform that could cause Photoshop CS5 to quit unexpectedly when opening a file in the Camera Raw 6.0 plug-in.
    • This release contains performance enhancements designed to improve the responsiveness of the controls and the scrolling mechanism relative to Camera Raw 6.0.
    • The camera support provided in this release was previously provided in the Camera Raw 5.7 plug-in update with the exception of the Olympus E-600 which is new to this update. Please read this post for an explanation of why redundant support has been released.
    • Please provide feedback on the Camera Raw plug-in on the User-to-User forums.
    7:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    May 08, 2010

    Video: Creating 3D “Iron Man 2” text in PS CS5

    I love seeing tutorials & projects getting better and better as people become more familiar with new creative tools. Over on Planet Photoshop, Corey Barker shows off how to create 3D text inspired by Iron Man 2, using the new Repoussé feature in Photoshop CS5 Extended. If that’s up your alley, see also his other tutorial on creating 3D text.

    2:17 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    Video: New blending modes in Photoshop CS5

    Digital artist Calvin Hollywood has been experimenting with two of the more obscure new features in Photoshop CS5, the Subtract and Divide blending modes. Here he shows how to use them to produce a pair of creative effects:

    7:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [12]

    May 07, 2010

    Vector painting hotness in Illustrator CS5

    I’ve posted some demos showing off Photoshop CS5’s new physics-simulating brush engine–but did you know that the same engine is part of Illustrator CS5 as well?
    Check out this painting
    and behind-the-scenes info from Greg Geisler, one of the artists behind A Scanner Darkly (see previous). Greg makes amazing use of the new Bristle Brush engine. I’m also digging this illustration by Joel Cocks, done using the same tools.

    Side note: When I met Greg in Austin a couple of years ago, he talked about how useful he’d find the ability to tell Illustrator to put subsequent strokes/shapes behind the current one, rather than on top of it. Apparently the Rotoshop artists use this technique extensively when tracing over imagery. I’m pleased to say that Illustrator CS5 implements the new Draw Behind mode. Here’s a brief (2-minute) demo of that feature, along with the related Draw Inside mode.

    10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    May 06, 2010

    Video: Deke McClelland covers Photoshop CS5

    In five new movies on, author Deke McClelland covers five of the most important new features in Photoshop CS5 & shows how you can take immediate advantage of them. Topics include:

    • Making sense of enhancements
    • Applying HDR Pro adjustments and effects
    • Refining masks
    • Using the Puppet Warp tool
    • Painting a photograph
    11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 05, 2010

    Video: Creating 3D shapes in Photoshop Extended CS5

    Artist Scott Valentine has created a short, interesting demonstration of how to create & style abstract shapes using the new Repoussé feature in Photoshop Extended:

    10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

    Free online Photoshop eSeminar tomorrow

    My fellow PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes is presenting a couple of free one-hour eSeminars covering what’s new in Photoshop CS5. According to the event registration page, “This series is specifically designed to help professional photographers and design professionals who use photography and digital imaging in their work.”

    What’s New in Photoshop CS5 ›
    Thursday, May 6, 2010
    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

    Photoshop CS5 for Photographers ›
    Thursday, May 27, 2010
    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

    10:19 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    Imagenomic plans free plug-in updates for CS5

    Good to know:

    Imagenomic will be providing FREE compatibility updates of its Plug-in Products (Portraiture, Noiseware and RealGrain) for Adobe Photoshop CS5. Furthermore, we will be providing a FREE update for registered users of the Portraiture Plug-in for Lightroom to ensure compatibility with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3… For Mac OS X: We will be releasing compatibility updates to make sure our Plug-in products are fully compatible with Photoshop CS5 in both 64 and 32 bit mode.

    [Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes]

    7:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 04, 2010

    Illustrator CS5 has excellent pixel chops (at last)

    When I started working at Adobe nearly 10 years ago, I got up in the Illustrator PM’s face. AI9 had just implemented Pixel Preview mode for Web and screen designers, but the feature was maddeningly incomplete. I made my point forcefully, and over the years Illustrator has made improvements (e.g. enabling inside/outside/center placement of strokes), but the job just wasn’t done.

    Until now.

    You can now set up a document so that all art automatically snaps to pixel boundaries, meaning that, for example, 1-pixel black strokes will remain 1 pixel in width instead of looking like blurry 2-pixel gray strokes. You can also snap objects selectively to the grid, and you can choose among anti-aliasing options on text. See the Illustrator help docs for more info, or better yet, watch this three-minute video:

    But don’t take my (or Mordy’s) word for it. Recently the noted Web designer Jon Hicks (creator of the Firefox logo, among other things) was unhappy with Illustrator for Web work. What a difference a month & a version make:

    • March 22: “Illustrator [CS4] in particular irritated the hell out of me with it’s pixel preview artefacts.”
    • April 30: After trying Illustrator CS5, “I’m rather smitten with it… Having pixels work properly in Illustrator is fantastic.”
    11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [14]

    Video: Creating 3D text in Photoshop CS5

    Russell Brown, take it away:

    7:18 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    May 03, 2010

    Nik plans free plug-in updates for CS5

    The folks at Nik Software report that they’re planning to issue free CS5 compatibility updates to their plug-ins:

    We are actively working to add 64-bit compatibility to the Macintosh version of our Viveza 2 product and expect to be finished mid-year. Once the update for Viveza 2 is released, we will deliver cross-platform 64-bit versions of our remaining products as they become available.

    Please see the Nik site for additional details.

    10:59 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    MagicPicker color panel updated for CS5

    Speaking of color pickers, developer Anastasiy Safari has updated his excellent MagicPicker panel (see screenshot) for CS5. The non-modal (panel-based) color picker costs $14 and also supports Photoshop CS3 and CS4.

    3:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    Color-picking improvements in Photoshop CS5

    In Photoshop CS4, we added the ability to click & drag in order to resize one’s brush, and to change brush hardness in a similar manner (using a separate keyboard shortcut). Artists told us they wanted to perform these operations in quick succession, without having to use separate commands.

    Therefore in CS5 you can change both brush size and brush hardness via a single shortcut: on Mac, Control+Option click, and on Windows, Alt+right click, then drag left/right to change brush size and up/down to change hardness. We built in little “dead zones” between up/down and left/right to reduce the chance that you’d inadvertently change both parameters when you’re trying to change just one.

    Moving to a single shortcut had the side benefit of freeing up the shortcuts that were previously used to control brush hardness. Now you can invoke the new HUD (Heads-Up Display) color picker* by holding Command Control Option (Mac)/Alt Shift Right Click (Windows) when clicking.

    We also gave the eyedropper tool a color selection ring that shows one’s previous foreground color as well as the one being clicked. Because human color perception is notoriously susceptible to influence by surrounding colors (see this little demo if you need convincing), we included a gray ring around the previous/sampled colors. If for whatever reason you don’t like the ring, you can select the eyedropper tool, then uncheck the “Show Sampling Ring” on the Options Bar.

    One other tweak: You can now launch the color picker using a keyboard shortcut. To set this up, start by choosing Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Under the Shortcuts for “Tools,” scroll the to the bottom to locate “Foreground Color Picker,” and then type the letter you prefer.

    [Screenshot of the ring courtesy of digital painter John Derry’s blog.]

    *Detail: If you want to switch Hue without changing the Saturation/Value, you can hold down the space bar to stop the color sampler from moving. (I call up the HUD, then release the shortcut keys, which frees up my hand to select the space bar.) Once you move over the Hue strip or ring you can release the space bar and adjust the hue. It’s complicated to describe but rather simple to use.

    3:07 PM | Permalink | Comments [18]

    May 02, 2010

    “Use Legacy Shortcuts” option in CS5

    In Photoshop CS4 we changed a number of keyboard shortcuts related to selecting and targeting color channels. At that time I posted a plug-in (Mac)/registry entries (Windows) that one could use to switch many of these changes back to the CS3-and-earlier behavior. To make things easier to discover, in CS5, there’s an option in Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts… to “Use Legacy Channel Shortcuts” (screenshot). That is, you no longer need to use the plug-in/registry entries.

    Note that this option can’t change things entirely back to the old behavior. Moving adjustments from modal dialogs to a non-modal panel simply means that some commands would now conflict (e.g. hitting Cmd-1 can’t both display a channel & target a channel). See my earlier post for a more detailed list & explanations of why this is.

    10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [32]

    May 01, 2010

    Adobe Lens Profile Creator now available

    I’m pleased to report that Adobe Labs is now hosting Adobe Lens Profile Creator, a free utility that enables the easy creation of lens profiles for use in Photoshop, Lightroom, and (very shortly) Camera Raw.

    Lens Profile Creator characterizes three common types of lens aberrations, namely the geometric distortion, the lateral chromatic aberration and the vignette.
    The general process of creating a custom lens profile for your lens involves capturing a set of checkerboard images using your specific camera and lens, converting the set of raw format images into DNG format, and importing the DNG files to generate the custom lens profile.
    You can also submit the lens profiles to share with the rest of the user community.

    Check out the Labs page for more info, and see the Lens Profile Creator user forum to discuss the tool & profiles.

    2:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    April 30, 2010

    New Watermark Panel for Photoshop CS5

    Adding a previously unannounced goodie into the CS5 mix, Russell Brown has created a new Watermark Panel for use in Photoshop. He writes,

    Need to watermark a photo? You got it! Need to watermark 100 of them? No sweat. The all new Adobe Watermark panel takes all the hassle out of watermarking and let’s you get back to work (or doing the other things you like to do) a lot faster.

    Here’s a quick tour:

    A longer, more detailed video is available on Russell’s site. Here’s the panel installer itself.

    12:06 PM | Permalink | Comments [56]

    Configurator 2 for CS5 is coming soon

    Custom panels made with Configurator 1.0 for Photoshop CS4 need to be updated via the forthcoming Configurator 2.0 before they can run in Photoshop CS5. I’m pleased to say that we’re wrapping up work on the (very cool) new version, but it’s not quite ready to share yet. If you’ve jumped on CS5 and can’t wait to et your custom panel(s) back, drop me a line (jnack at adobe) and I’ll get you squared away.

    11:18 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

    April 29, 2010

    CS5 is shipping!

    Oh yes! And now for a little a little self-deprecating fun* (“Unicorn into a meteor sho-weer!”):

    You can download and/or buy CS5 apps here. (Here’s the link for Photoshop specifically.) Let us know what you think!
    *Oddly enough, I really did go crazy-bearded-ant-talker while fasting on Outward Bound years ago–but that’s a whole other story.

    9:06 PM | Permalink | Comments [60]

    Podcast: Hughes & I talk CS5

    Bryan & I sat down with Deke and Colleen for another well lubed installment of Martini (half) Hour (listen in regular or high quality). Among the content we discussed:

    64-bit: Not much more to say. Better, stronger, and in this case, faster. It’s Bionic Photoshop. OK, John has a little more to say. And it’s a cool look into what is really involved in creating a new version of something as mature and labyrinthian as Photoshop.

    PS–Hughes actually is a witch; good fun at team parties.

    1:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    April 28, 2010

    Using a dialog box to edit a Curves adjustment layer

    In response to my notes on how we’ve polished the Adjustments panel in Photoshop CS5, I saw a couple of requests for a way to edit adjustments (especially Curves) via a dialog box instead of via a panel. To do so in CS4 you can download and use this panel (screenshot). In CS5 the architecture that supports extension panels has changed, so you need to grab the CS5 version of the panel.
    In case you have trouble installing the panel via Extension Manager*, you can download this plain-zipped version (or the CS5 version). Unzip it and drag the resulting “Curves – Dialog” folder into your “Adobe Photoshop CS4/Plug-Ins/Panels” directory.
    * If you’re getting permissions errors on Windows Vista or Windows 7, try right-clicking the Extension Manager icon, clicking Properties, selecting the Compatibility tab, and checking the “Run this program as an administrator” checkbox.

    3:34 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    Guest post: Bryan’s favorite features in CS5

    Over on Scott Kelby’s blog today, my fellow PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes has posted a guest blog entry, sharing his thoughts on favorite features in Photoshop CS5, including HDR Pro, Mini Bridge, improved masking, Puppet Warp, the JDI initiative, and more. Lots to enjoy.

    9:43 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    April 27, 2010

    Yes, Lightroom 3 & ACR will feature lens correction

    Ah, we were trying to save this little bit to be “One more thing…” when the apps ship, but we can’t wait to share it: Both Lightroom 3 and Camera Raw 6 (part of CS5) will offer automatic lens correction. PM Tom Hogarty writes,

    The easiest application of lens correction is to apply the lens profile technology that encompasses geometric distortion (barrel and pincushion distortion), chromatic aberration and lens vignetting characteristics.

    A handful of lens profiles will be provided by default and a Lens Profile Creator Utility will be posted on Adobe Labs allowing photographers to create their own lens profiles using a simple procedure.

    Check it out:

    With the introduction of killer new noise reduction, demosaicing algorithms, and sharpening plus sophisticated lens correction, the Lightroom/Camera Raw duo put even more distance between themselves and the competition, and I’d expect them to keep mopping the floor with Aperture among pro photographers.

    [Update: I neglected to mention one detail: Lens correction in Camera Raw requires a free update that’ll be available soon after CS5 starts shipping.]

    10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [44]

    Info on the fonts that ship with CS5

    If you’ve ever wondered about prosaic but potentially important questions like

    • What fonts are installed by the basic font set
    • What additional fonts will be installed by the supplemental set
    • What font set(s) each product will install
    • What font set(s) each product will include on the product DVD

    then check out this post from Nicole Minoza in Adobe’s Type group.

    6:39 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    April 26, 2010

    CS5 help files now live for Photoshop, Camera Raw, Bridge

    If you want to dig into the details of CS5 features, you might find the product help files useful. You can check out a list of the new features in Photoshop CS5, as well as information about shared CS5 features, like Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw. Note that the content is also downloadable in PDF form. [Via]

    10:19 PM | Permalink | Comments [11]

    Polishing the Adjustments panel in CS5

    The introduction of the Adjustments panel in Photoshop CS4 marked a big step in making the Photoshop interface less modal, more browsable, and geared toward non-destructiveness. Unfortunately, in moving from dialog-based forms of the adjustments to a non-modal panel, we traded away a couple of niceties:

    • In the dialog versions of Levels, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, etc., the first available text field is either automatically selected (i.e. it has keyboard focus), or you can hit Tab to select it. From there you can hit Tab additional times to cycle through text fields.
    • In the dialog version of Curves, the eyedropper tool is automatically selected, so you can immediately click on the image to see/set points on the curve.

    Thus the feature was a bit polarizing. To make things a bit smoother in CS5, we’ve made some enhancements:

    • Auto-Select Parameter” (available via the Adjustments panel flyout menu) puts keyboard focus on the first field in an adjustment layer, much as you’d get with the dialog form of the adjustment. In other words, you don’t have to click onto a text field in the panel before you can start typing in numbers.
    • Auto-Select Targeted Adjustment Tool” (available via the flyout menu when a Curves, B&W, or Hue/Sat layer is active) automatically switches to the on-canvas adjuster (aka “TAT”) when you select a layer with which it can be used. With this option active, creating or selecting a Curves layer produces an experience more akin to using the modal dialog box, where you can immediately click and drag on the document surface to set/adjust curve points.
    • You can assign a shortcut to the Targeted Adjustment Tool via Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts.

    None of these options are active by default, because each has a downside:

    • We didn’t want PS to put keyboard focus onto adjustment parameters automatically, as doing so is very subtle and people would start saying, “Photoshop is buggy, because randomly I can’t select tools via the keyboard.” (They wouldn’t understand that having focus on the panel would mean that the letter they typed were being entered as adjustment values. Hopefully that makes sense.) We wanted this to be a conscious, opt-in behavior.
    • Same goes for auto-selecting the TAT: we didn’t want PS to be seen to be “randomly” changing the active tool based on changes to the active layer. (There’s no existing precedent for doing so.)
    • Keyboard shortcuts are in short supply, so the TAT doesn’t get one by default.

    Ah, and one other thing: To put keyboard focus onto the first field in Adjustments, you can hit Shift-Return on the keyboard. This is independent of the preferences mentioned above, and it offers a way to change focus without clicking. (Call this one the Deke McClelland memorial feature, as it was his suggestion. [Update: Deke isn’t dead–or if he is, he hasn’t told me! I was just looking for a funny turn of phrase and didn’t dream that anyone would read much into it.])

    7:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [30]

    April 25, 2010

    Photoshop CS5: What’s in it for designers?

    Photoshop CS5 obviously packs a wealth of big-ticket features, especially for photographers. It might be harder to see what all has been improved for designers. Here are ten enhancements I think everyone–but especially those working with lots of layers and/or designing Web/screen output–will like.

    • Multi-layer opacity/fill adjustment: Select multiple layers & adjust their opacity and/or fill simultaneously.
    • Mini Bridge: “MB” is a pocket-sized version of Bridge that runs as a panel inside Photoshop (and InDesign), making it easy to navigate & browse files without leaving PS. This feature really deserves its own coverage here & will get it soon.
    • Drag and drop of files: You can now drag one or more files onto a Photoshop document to place them as layers. This is especially useful when dragging in files from Mini Bridge, letting MB function as a sort of library panel. I recently had to lay out dozens of UI widget screenshots, each stored as a separate file, and I found this feature a godsend.
    • “Sticky” layer styles: See previous entry.
    • Paste in Place command: See previous entry.
    • Copy Color’s Hex Code command. See previous entry.
    • Deeper layer nesting (up to 10 deep): Sort of self-explanatory. It works just as you’d expect, though I’d shy away from using the feature if you’re expecting to send layered files to older versions of PS or older PSD-reading apps as they won’t be able to read the deeply nested data.
    • Animated GIF import: See previous entry.
    • Optionally omit “Copy” on duplicated layers: See previous entry.
    • Repoussé (3D extrusion & inflation): This Photoshop Extended feature also really deserves its own coverage here, so look for that soon.

    Bonus item: If you need to conduct design reviews with clients and/or colleagues, I think you’ll find the free CS Review service built into Photoshop and other CS5 apps compelling. More on that one, too, soon.

    6:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [27]

    April 24, 2010

    Paste in Place comes to Photoshop & Illustrator CS5

    Let’s say you copy some data in Photoshop & want to paste it in the same spot but on another layer. How do you do it?

    If you’ve kept the same selection active, no problem: PS will deposit your pixels into that spot. But what if you cut instead of copy, thereby deselcting the original pixels? Or what if you want to paste your pixels at the same coordinates in a different document? Sure, these things can be done (New Layer Via Cut, or Shift-dragging pixels between docs), but the solutions aren’t obvious.

    Photoshop CS5, along with Illustrator CS5, introduces the “Paste in Place” command (Shift-Cmd-V/Shift-Ctrl-V). If you’ve ever used Paste in Place in InDesign or Flash, you know what it does, preserving object coordinates when pasting (e.g. copy something in the upper-left corner, then paste it in just the same spot, even in other documents). The command appears under Edit->Paste Special in Photoshop. For bonus points Illustrator also adds “Paste On All Artboards” for pasting data in the same coordinates on each artboard (one of the numerous artboard-related enhancements made in CS5).

    There’s always more room for improvement, and I may as well mention that we hoped to make the command work between applications. That way you could, for example, set up a 1024×768 design in Illustrator, copy data to the same coordinates in a PSD of equivalent dimensions, and then copy data to the same coordinates in a Flash Pro project. We ran out of time to make those changes, but if you’d find them useful in the future, please let us know.

    2:55 PM | Permalink | Comments [30]

    April 23, 2010

    Demo: Making an iBook about iPads, using InDesign CS5

    Terry White shows off how to design & export a book that can be viewed in the iPad’s iBooks application as well as Adobe Digital Editions & many other book readers that handle the EPUB format:

    I’m anything but an an expert on page layout & publishing, but I still find this very cool. You can grab Terry’s short “25 Tips for the iPad” book here.

    12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    April 22, 2010

    Alien Skin plans for CS5 compatibility

    The folks at Alien Skin have shed some light on their plans for Photoshop CS5 compatibility:

    Exposure 3 and Bokeh 2 are almost done and will be 64-bit on both platforms. Exposure 3 will ship in June and Bokeh 2 will be about two months after that. Since these are major version upgrades with lots of useful new features, we will be charging for them, $99 each. Free upgrades will be sent to people who purchased Exposure 2 or Bokeh in April 2010 or later.

    Our other products will get free 64-bit and panel updates as quickly as we can do them. As they are done we will make announcements and the installers will be free to download from our web site. Most should be available this summer. We will be more specific about all these time frames as the work progresses.

    2:00 PM | Permalink | No Comments

    Video: Painting in Photoshop CS5

    Digital painter John Derry has been pushing the boundaries of computers & painting for 25 years, and he’s now created a great tour of his favorite painting features in Photoshop CS5. I love seeing how a real artist puts the tools to work.

    (Full-screen viewing recommended, naturally.)

    10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    April 21, 2010

    Videos: Great new Russell Brown CS5 tutorials

    Russell does what he does best, making a range of features more interesting & accessible:

    • Masking:
      • New Masking Basics: Get up-to-speed with the great new masking tools in Adobe Photoshop CS5.
      • New Advanced Masking: Learn some of my favorite tips and techniques for masking out a background from a really difficult image.
      • Advanced Motion Blur Masking: This tutorial will get you through the toughest motion blur with flying colors. Also learn some advanced blending techniques.
    • Content-Aware Goodness:
    • Puppet Warp:
      • Puppet Warp Basics: Learn the basics of warping images with precision and accuracy using the new Puppet Warp feature.
      • Advanced Puppet Warp: The Puppet Warp features isnt just for manipulating and warping little puppet figures. It can also be used to warp standard images as well as graphic typography.

    Update: In response to your feedback, Russell raised the volume in the vids and reposted them. Thanks for the heads-up (and thanks, Russell).

    6:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [12]

    April 20, 2010

    Just upgraded to CS4, and wondering about CS5?

    In case you recently bought CS4 and wonder whether you qualify for a free upgrade to CS5, you might want to consult the Post-Announce Upgrade Frequently Asked Questions document on, or simply call Customer Service (1-800-833-6687 in the US).

    1:40 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    Video: Selecting hair with Refine Edge in CS5

    Adobe evangelist Terry White has created an excellent 5-minute demo that shows off how easily the rewritten Refine Edge command in Photoshop CS5 can select tricky subject like blowing hair:

    Full-screen viewing makes it much easier to see the interface during the demo.

    I know it’s easy to knock Photoshop (or any mature tool) by saying, “You guys always just go add new stuff & never fix/improve what’s already there.” In the case of Refine Edge & many other spots within CS5, however, you’ll see that instead of adding something new, we’ve gone back and significantly overhauled what already existed. I think you’ll like the results.

    9:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [47]

    April 19, 2010

    “Copy Color Hex Code” added to Photoshop CS5

    Last summer, designer Sam Potts made a good suggestion:

    The Copy Color as HTML in the color panel is awesome. Everyone uses it all the time. However, times have changed and my guess is that most of the people who use this are writing their colors in CSS. So you always have to delete the color=”” part after you paste it into a style sheet.

    It would be awesome to simply have a “Copy Color Hex Code” option and get #CCFF00 instead of the full color=”#CCFF00″ tag.

    So it was written, and so it shall be:

    Thanks for all the feedback on the subject.

    10:28 AM | Permalink | Comments [23]

    Animated GIF import is back in CS5

    We’d previously lost this feature when merging ImageReady into Photoshop. (It worked in IR, but we’d never implemented it in PS.) It’s not something likely to be used all the time, but when you need it, you need it. Sorry that it took a while to bring to Photoshop.

    10:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [49]

    CS5 optionally omits “Copy” on duplicated layers

    In response to your feedback, we’ve added an option (screenshot) to the Layers panel flyout menu, making it possible to have Photoshop stop adding the word “copy” to layer names when duplicating layers. The preference is off by default to avoid breaking actions that rely on “copy.”

    Even for people who never discover the new option, we’ve changed the app’s behavior to stop adding “copy” to the names of layers inside duplicated layer sets. (That was just lame & needs no governing preference.)

    I’ve heard suggestions that Photoshop include more nuanced preferences to govern layer naming, so that duplicated layer names could include a sequence number or letter defined by the user. Those are good ideas, but they were beyond the scope of changes we could make in CS5.

    9:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    April 17, 2010

    Scott Kelby on what CS5 offers photogs, more

    Scott Kelby has posted a couple of good Photoshop CS5 FAQs on his blog. Handy sample:

    Q. As a photographer what is the most compelling reason to consider an upgrade from CS4 to CS5?

    A. That’s a tough one, because it will be different for different photographers. I think a lot of folks will naturally want it to create HDR images, but I think the built-in masking features (using Refine Edge) is even more compelling for most photographers. Content-Aware Fill is big (and it works amazingly well), but then the Noise Reduction in Camera Raw is just insane, so it’s a tough call to make. Luckily, any one of those is worth the upgrade alone, so if you get all four, this is an easy decision for a lot of photographers.

    He’s also got a funny (and useful) take on upgrade questions.

    6:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    April 16, 2010

    Photoshop CS5 64-bit benchmarks

    Running Photoshop in 64-bit mode produces some big improvements when using large data sets (scenarios where you’d otherwise run out of RAM and have to hit virtual memory). Here are benchmarks from a 2 x 2.66GHz quad-core Nehalem Mac Pro with 12GB of RAM (OS X 10.6.3):

    Running the Retouch Artists Speed Test:

    CS4: 36.09 secs

    CS5 64bit: 14.78 secs

    2.4 times faster*

    Running the diglloyd benchmark Actions for Photoshop:


    CS4: 38.05 secs

    CS5: 23.1 secs

    1.7 times faster


    CS4: 56.01 secs

    CS5: 26.48 secs

    2.1 times faster


    CS4: 120.15 secs

    CS5: 83.85 secs

    1.4 times faster

    Opening a large (3.75GB) PSB file

    CS4: 80.33 secs

    CS5: 52.43 secs

    1.5 times faster

    Obviously these are big, big wins for any Photoshop users working with large images. I do however want to be careful not to oversell the benefits of 64-bit. As I’ve said from the start, 64-bit is a really big deal when you’re using large amounts of memory. Otherwise it’s not likely to make a very noticeable difference (e.g. your Web design tasks won’t run twice as fast).

    What about other Creative Suite apps? As I’ve mentioned, After Effects & Premiere Pro are both 64-bit native on both Mac & Windows (64-bit only, in fact, unlike Photoshop). I haven’t seen benchmarks yet, but given the data-intensive nature of video, the wins should be huge. Meanwhile Illustrator has raised the limits on RAM usage, from 2GB in CS4 to 3-4GB (depending on system configuration) in CS5.

    * I’m using the same “times faster” nomenclature that Apple uses when talking about 64-bit performance on Snow Leopard. If you prefer to think in percentages, the operations are (from top to bottom above) 59%, 39%, 53%, 30%, 35% faster than CS4, respectively.

    3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments [97]

    onOne posts CS5, 64-bit compatibility notes

    Mike Wong from plug-in developer onOne has posted some details about their Photoshop compatibility roadmap. He writes:

    Windows versions of our plug-ins have been 64-bit now for months… We are converting our plug-ins over to be 64-bit compatible on the Mac OS X side… Our goal is to have Photoshop CS5 compatible updates for the current versions of our plug-ins available within 30 days of Photoshop CS5 being made widely available…. That means we should have everything out there for you to download by June 12, 2010.

    More generally, 32-bit Mac plug-ins should run just fine in Photoshop CS5, provided you choose the “Open in 32-bit mode” option in Get Info. That’s analogous to the situation on Windows, where you can run your older plug-ins in the 32-bit version of the app. (On Mac Photoshop is a single 32/64-bit binary, whereas on Windows it’s two discreet apps.)
    I’ll post news about other developers’ 64-bit migration plans as I get it, and I look forward to sharing some great Mac 64-bit benchmarks soon.

    9:51 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

    Sigma announces compatibility with Lens Correction in CS5

    The Photoshop team has had a great relationship with lens maker Sigma, and they’ve issued a short press release:

    The Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce that, through collaboration with Adobe Systems Incorporated, Sigma lenses will be compatible with the Lens Correction feature of the professional digital imaging standard, Adobe Photoshop CS5…

    Photoshop CS5 has applied the aberration information of the current Sigma lens lineup. When the improved Lens Correction filter is selected, it will provide accurate correction of aberrations automatically in accordance with each lens parameter.

    We look forward to sharing more details about how lens correction works in CS5, how you can create and share your own lens/camera profiles, and even how you can use some as-yet-unannounced goodness. [Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes]

    9:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    April 14, 2010

    Behind the scenes on the CS5 icons & branding

    Ever wonder what goes into the creation of Creative Suite product icons, splash screens, and other branding? Designer Veerle Pieters chats with Adobe design lead Shawn Cheris about project goals, the great designers who inspired their work, and more.
    I’m always kind of amazed at how much passionate commentary these designs tend to elicit. To this day no post of mine has drawn remotely as many comments as the one where I revealed the CS3 icons.
    For what it’s worth–my own subjective opinion–I think the CS5 designs are a great improvement over the CS4 ones, which I disliked relative to CS3. (I used to joke that we could “upgrade” various bits of CS3-branded swag–T-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.–simply by mailing people a Sharpie & telling them to blot out the white text.)
    Oh, and as with the past several releases, Photoshop remains the one team that insists on listing team members’ names on the splash screen. In the spirit of the original Macintosh team signing the computer case, we believe that artists sign their work. (Plus, when you have access to a name like Seetharaman Narayanan, you don’t hide that light under a basket!)

    11:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [16]

    April 13, 2010

    “Sticky” layer styles in Photoshop CS5

    We used to hear complaints about the default settings in Photoshop’s various layer effects, especially about strokes always starting out red. In CS4 we changed the stroke default to black, but that was just a stopgap measure that didn’t address the fundamental problem: No matter what we might pick, people want effects to start with whatever values they happen to prefer.

    For CS5 we thought about making layer styles sticky. That is, after you applied an effect with a particular set of values (e.g. Drop Shadow at 50% opacity), the next time you applied that effect, the dialog would start out using the last-used values. Sometimes that behavior works well, but just as often it can be confusing and annoying.

    We therefore opted to add a pair of buttons (see screenshot) to each effect–one to establish the default values you prefer (“Make Default”), and one to restore the “factory settings” for the effect (“Reset to Default”). The wording of the latter isn’t quite as clear as I’d like, but hopefully it’ll make sense to people.

    10:14 PM | Permalink | Comments [37]

    Video: In depth on Photoshop CS5’s new brush engine

    Photoshop CS5 is far and away the biggest step forward in the app’s brushing & natural media features in the last eight years (since PS7 introduced a new brush engine). In this episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne Kost shows off new painting features including the new Natural Media Bristle Tip Brushes.

    10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [16]

    April 12, 2010

    Great video customer testimonial for CS5

    I just saw the following unsolicited comment from filmmaker Linda Nelson & thought it deserved its own post:

    If you are editing a film shot with the RED camera, you’d be crazy to use anything other than CS5. Straight from the camera to the timeline – no rendering required to preview – incredibly fast load and export. We are beta testing with our feature film, DELIVERED. Shot on RED. Here’s the trailer. Great job Adobe!

    As BSN notes, “[C]ontent creators can now work with not just 4K files in real time, but with 4K files in much greater liberty than they ever were while confined in CPU-bound applications such as Final Cut Pro, Premiere CS4 or in Sony Vegas.” Macworld says, “The Mercury Playback Engine is 64-bit native and optimized for Mac OS X, multicore processors, and nVidia CUDA GPUs (graphics processing units) to provide fluid, real-time editing.”
    So, Lightroom led the way among 64-bit Mac apps (beating Aperture to 64-bit by nearly two years), and Adobe has now converted three major Mac apps–After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop–from Carbon to Cocoa 64. Meanwhile Final Cut Pro 64 and the rest of the FCP suite remain missing in action. Maybe–just maybe–we can now put that “lazy” talk to rest.

    9:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [33]

    Video: Russell Brown’s Top 5 New Photoshop CS5 Features

    Dig it:

    9:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

    CS5 is Alive!

    I couldn’t be happier in saying that Photoshop CS5 has been announced, along with the entire Creative Suite 5 family of products!

    Check out what’s new in Photoshop (images & quick videos) as well as the 3D functionality added to Photoshop Extended. I’m especially happy to say that Photoshop is now a fully native 64-bit application for both Mac and Windows (as are After Effects and Premiere Pro), letting you tap into all your computer’s memory.

    Man, where to begin… I already have two dozen blog posts in draft form (!), running the gamut from big new stuff to the many, many little tweaks we’ve made that I think you’ll really enjoy. I’ve started a CS5 category here that you can use to view all related info quickly; much more to come shortly.

    In no particular order, here are good resources you might want to check out:

    I’ll keep adding good ones as they appear (suggestions most welcome via comments or email).

    2:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [94]

    April 06, 2010

    Sneak peek: Painting in Photoshop CS5

    Digital painter John Derry writes,

    I’ve put together a quick video that simultaneously demonstrates Photoshop CS5’s painting capabilities as both a “from scratch” tool and photo interpretation tool. Which one is faster? Watch to find out!

    [Previously: Sneak peek of new Photoshop technologies, including painting.]

    2:05 PM | Permalink | Comments [10]

    April 02, 2010

    Sneak peek: Puppet Warp in Photoshop

    Russell Brown has posted a demonstration of the Puppet Warp technology being developed for Photoshop:

    Cool as everyone seems to agree the technology is, I know there’s a tendency to worry that it’s kind of frivolous–maybe useful only occasionally, and then for making some extreme change to an image. Fortunately that’s not the case. Stick with the demo to see Russell show (around the 5-minute mark) how the features can also be used to make subtle adjustments to photos. (Taken together with Content-Aware Fill, automatic lens correction, and the ability to address huge amounts of memory thanks to 64-bit, I think panorama creators will be very happy with what’s cooking.)

    9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [22]

    March 28, 2010

    More Photoshop CS5 sneaks: Bathing suit removal & more

    It’s one thing to hear company reps promote a product, but I’m always more impressed when someone with a solid, independent reputation speaks up. In this case it was Katrin Eismann, highly respected retoucher & educator, showing off how she uses Content-Aware Fill, new lens correction capabilities, and more.

    YouTube nerd tip: Here’s how you can tell an embedded video to jump right to a specific point. It’s a little less convenient than using a URL, but it’s still straightforward. Thanks to Rafael Fischmann of MacMagazine Brazil for the tip.

    9:28 PM | Permalink | Comments [17]

    March 26, 2010

    CS5 to be announced April 12

    Oh, it’s on (shortly). Lots and lots of good stuff to show. I’ve already got a couple of dozen blog posts in the works. Stay tuned.
    Note that CS5 isn’t shipping on April 12; rather, it’s being announced on that date. I know, the whole “announcing an announcement” thing is kind of funky/meta, so I thought it was worth trying to clarify.
    Also, before someone says, “You just shipped CS4 a year ago,” I’ll point out that CS4 shipped on October 15, 2008. Creative Suite releases have been on an 18-month cycle for several years, with CS3 shipping on April 15, 2007. Just thought I’d save somebody some typing.

    7:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [48]

    March 23, 2010

    Video: Sneak peek of Content-Aware Fill in Photoshop

    Bryan O’Neil Hughes shows off some rather eye-popping (if we may say so) technology for synthesizing texture inside a future version of Photoshop:

    The demo starts with some small pieces, so if you’re short on time, jump to about the 2:50 mark (halfway point) for the more impressive stuff. I’ve been getting great results filling in missing areas around a panorama, as Bryan shows at the 4-minute mark. Full-screen viewing makes it easier to see the details.

    2:13 PM | Permalink | Comments [147]

    December 10, 2009

    WebKit & Creative Suite extensibility

    Hey, what if I told you that to offer consistent, Suite-wide extensibility we’d ditched Flash Player and had gone with WebKit instead? Would we hear a bunch of attaboys about open standards, HTML5, etc.? Would Mac aficionados in particular cheer Adobe’s embrace of an open source, largely Apple-driven initiative?

    Good, because we are indeed embracing WebKit for extensibility. We just happened to keep Flash as an option, too. (The union of the two is at the heart of Adobe AIR, and that’s what we’ll leverage going forward.) Now, let the touch-of-gray-finding begin…

    6:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [73]
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