February 07, 2014

I’ve Got My Ticket For the Long Way ‘Round…

From discovering Adobe my first week in college & sending away $10 for an ATM Light floppy disk, to teaching Photoshop in college & starting a Web design career, to joining the company itself in 2000, I’ve had a very special relationship with this place. It has enabled & enlivened my creativity on so many levels, from making beautiful images & animations to learning how to develop great products.

Our little sons were just asking the meaning of BIFURC8 (“Bifurcate”), as seen on our license plate. I explained that it’s about splitting into two pieces. If I could somehow bifurcate myself, I’d joyfully work at both Adobe & Google. Until we get that tech, though, I must step away.

It was real; it was fun; it was often real fun. I don’t want to get all Rutger Hauer, tears-in-the-rain on you (jeez, dramatic much?), so I’ll just say so long, and thanks for all the pixels. See you at my new digs, I hope.


PS—Quick housekeeping note: I’ve asked the blog admin to disable commenting site-wide soon, lest spam creep in, people feel their questions are being ignored, etc. I believe the rest of the blog will remain intact for the foreseeable future.

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The Blog Is Dead. Long Live the Blog!

(No, this isn’t quite my last post here. I think I’ve got one more left in me.)

I’m so pleased that many folks have asked that I keep blogging after leaving Adobe. I’ve therefore set up an embryonic new blog at—wait for it—jnack.com.


Yes, the design is a work in progress! (Tips & WordPress expertise are all most welcome.)

I plan to point out interesting news about Adobe products when I see news, useful tips, and so forth. (My primary interest has always been in creative people and the work they do, not to any particular company or product.) I won’t, of course, speak on Adobe behalf (not, technically, that I ever did) or disclose anything non-public.

And what about Google and its products? We shall see. Amazing as this sounds, I didn’t start blogging about Adobe until I’d worked here for more than 5 years. By then I clearly knew the lay of the land, knew what was okay to say & what wasn’t, etc. I’d never want to speak out of turn at the new shop, so I expect to take a pretty restrained approach for the foreseeable future.

Thus I can promise you an ongoing stream of the photography, videos, illustration, and other work that I find inspiring. If that’s up your alley, please join me at the new digs. (Here’s the RSS feed address.)

12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

A few of my favorite posts

Non-exhaustive, if perhaps exhausting, here’s a list of some posts that I think have held up:

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Come to ADIM 2014

If not for this man & this conference, I wouldn’t be here today.

Samurai Russ

In 2002 Adobe was poised to lay me off. I’d poured 12 hours per day for two years into LiveMotion, but it just wasn’t gonna succeed, and the project was canceled. We were given 30 days to find something new, and my attempts to create a role as Illustrator evangelist fell flat. Thus I’d resigned myself to leaving—but before I went, I figured, “Screw it, if these guys want to put me up in Monterey for a few days at the end [to demo at Russell Brown’s ADIM conference], why not? (And can I expense the kayaking?)”

I pulled out all the stops for what was to be my final demo, impressing Russell. Learning of my imminent demise, he reached out to the brass and said, “Really, we’re getting rid of this guy?” A day or two later on Friday—what was to be my very last day—as I sat in the Microsoft recruiting building I got a call from big cheese Bryan Lamkin saying, “How would you like to work on Photoshop? How about you come down here on Monday?” Three weeks later I’d flown back to Boston, packed up my cat & my crap, and leisurely driven across the country to start a new life in California.

Well, I can’t promise you that big a life change as a result of attending ADIM this year (March 9-12th in Boulder, CO), but I can promise you’ll have a ball & learn a ton:

Join art directors, designers, illustrators, photographers, and our own Russell Brown for ADIM14! You’ll learn advanced imaging techniques using the tools and services found in the Adobe Creative Cloud. This will be Russell’s final edition of the ADIM conference as he transforms into yet another creative character in the near future. If you’ve never been to an ADIM, then this is your final chance. It is not to be missed.

Register now to get $250 off and a one-year Creative Cloud membership.

Go forth & enjoy.

9:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

You wanted Photoshop faster, more efficient? You got it.

What if all we did was make apps faster?” I asked a few weeks back. I’m pleased to say that the latest update to Photoshop CC makes the app faster in two notable ways:

  • Sharpen images 5 to 20 times faster.
  • Make PSDs far lighter weight.

In the first case, an absolutely fundamental capability of the app—sharpening images—has been accelerated thanks to OpenCL. 

For example, using a test image on a machine featuring an NVIDIA GTX480, processing time went from 11.297 seconds to 0.693 seconds. Using the same image with an ATI Radeon HD7950, processing time fell from 12.529s to 0.419s*.

In the second case, linked Smart Objects can make your PSDs much lighter weight—and therefore faster to open, save, and manipulate. I just did a quick test, creating a 10-layer PSD that I then inserted into two other PSDs—one linked, one embedded. The parent containing linked SOs is 4.7MB, whereas the one with embedded SOs is 9MB (2x the size). Personally I’d make link-vs.-embed decisions more according to workflow & collaboration preferences, but it’s nice to know there are size & performance savings to be had, too.

* The PS performance guys note, “Performance times will vary on machines based on both CPU and GPU performance. For OCL-enabled GPUs with +512MB of VRAM, the results are always faster than CPU. Summary: Discrete GPU configurations show average performance gains of 5X to 20X faster. Newer-generation integrated graphics (Intel 5000 series and higher, AMD’s Trinity APU series) with OCL support show gains of at least 2X.”

7:59 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

February 06, 2014

Check out the new issue of Adobe Inspire

Lots of good stuff: 

8:21 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

I was… Major Mancandy

Did I put it all out there for Photoshop? Yes, from time to time I did. :-)

Scott Kelby posted a taste of the little Star Trek spoof/homage we filmed for Photoshop World a couple of years back. This is the one & only time in my life I’ve been dubbed “Major Mancandy”:


Update: RC Concepcion (er, “Warp”) found the video! My appearances are very brief, just after 3:20. (Man was I sick that day.)


1:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

February 05, 2014

“Ask Me About The Pen Tool”

Remember “The Girl With The Photoshop Tattoo?” Check out the commitment Edge Animate PM Sarah Hunt (@sarahwhatsup) made to her love of vectors & design:


Sarah writes,

Before joining Adobe I was a unicorn covering a broad span of disciplines related to design, code and animation. For years I weaved my way in and out of various design tools on a daily basis, and I’ve always had a strong affinity for Adobe design tools; I’m that person that has mnemonic throwpillows and slaps Photoshop stickers all over everything. Creating vector art with Illustrator has always been a meditative experience — I’m by no means an award-winning designer, but I’ve always felt in my element when creating digital art.

It was an interesting shift joining Adobe in that I’m no longer the designer. I’m the person helping influence tools people like me use every day. On the one hand, my job is AWESOME and I love it, though on the other I felt myself quickly disconnecting from my graphic design roots. This kinda bummed me out. I decided I wanted to brand myself as a reminder to keep in touch with my inner artist during the times I get caught up in the product development world.

Designing the tattoo was a quick process. When I thought of a symbol that represents design, the Fibonacci spiral was the first visual that came to mind — it captures both logic and beauty in a single picture. I also wanted to visualize the love I have for vector art as it’s consumed a significant part of my life. The curves of the spiral naturally lent themselves well to anchor points and bezier handles (which I meticulously designed to match the appropriate math of the curve) and topped it off with an 8-bit style pen tool. I couldn’t be happier with the result!

This reminds me of one of my first encounters with Adobe.

In 1999 I was an alpha tester for LiveMotion. PM Michael Ninness wrote me to say, “Hey, do you use the pen tool in Flash? If you think it’s important to have in LM, you might want to chime in on the prerelease forum.” I spoke up, and with surprising speed, a bunch of other testers immediately piped up as well. Little did I know that this was a big battle within the team, and that Michael had written to all of us individually, putting his finger ever so slightly on the scales of user feedback. He got his way, and when the team implemented the pen tool, he got them these commemorative shirts:

Pen Tool

[Big hat tip to LiveMotion Jedi Joe Bowden for still having the shirt after all these years!]

10:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Great Photoshop team blogs you should follow

A number of folks have asked where they can find timely updates about Photoshop once this blog ends. Check out the following:

  • Get daily tips from Photoshop evangelist Julieanne Kost.
  • The Photoshop team blog features a mixture of product info & great profiles of artists (e.g. an interview with astronaut-photographer Chris Hadfield).
  • The Lightroom Journal features updates & occasional tips from the LR team.
  • PM & Customer Advocate Jeff Tranberry’s Digital Imaging Crawlspace promises “Adobe Digital Imaging tid-bits, served in a dirty ashtray.”

On Twitter you can follow Jeff Tranberry and PM Stephen Nielson, as well as UX designers Tim Riot and Bradee Evans.

9:10 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

“Play games. Learn creative tools.”

Interested in gamification & Creative Cloud tools? Sign up for Adobe’s new Project Nimbus to learn about both:


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February 04, 2014

OT: Electric cars that get you HOV lane access

Now that I’ll have a >2mi commute for the first time in a decade, I’m considering cars that qualify for single-occupant use of California’s carpool (HOV) lanes. In case you’re in the market, here are some quick impressions:

  • Chevy Volt. It was like driving a $40,000 bowl of oatmeal (and it seats just four). Its unique powertrain apparently sucks energy right out of my soul.*
  • Toyota Plug-In Prius: “It drives about like it looks,” a Prius-owning friend once told me. Yep. “Can I pass this right-lane car on the freeway?” I asked myself during the test drive. Nope. But at $31,000, the price is reasonable.
  • Toyota RAV4 EV: $50,000, and I couldn’t drive to SF and back without planning my trip around a recharge in the middle. Pass.
  • Nissan Leaf: Same range problem, but at $29,000, it’s much more reasonable. I haven’t driven it, but my friend seems happy with his.
  • Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid: Attractive, but $45,000 for a cloth-seat Accord? Cripes. (Also, on our 7mi test drive it somehow managed 16.7mpg. Soooo…)
  • Ford Fusion Plug-in Hybrid: Same as above, but $42k. Really? Didn’t bother to drive it.

…which of course brings us to that baddest of boys, the Tesla Model S. “Don’t drive it if you don’t want to buy it,” cautioned a Tesla-owning friend. He’s right: We tried it yesterday, and the power & smoothness are as terrific as you’d hope. Ay, but there—along with the (to me) eye-watering price—may lie the rub: It would make me want to drive a lot, when I really should try to use mass transit (specifically the Google bus).

Thus the smart call (ecologically, financially, and in terms of productivity) is likely to sit tight for now & to try the bus. Meanwhile we’ll keep enjoying the VW** TDI Sportwagen we bought last year. It’s fun to drive & gets 45mpg highway (but no HOV access). I just wish VW’s plug-in TDI CrossBlue (89 MPGe, seats six) were shipping today.

By the way, people here sometimes debate the wisdom of “Lexus lanes” that would let people pay extra to use carpool lanes. We are of course doing this already: pay a huge premium on an unremarkable car specifically for that privilege. It’s just a question of where we direct the funds—to private companies or to the government.

* I kept thinking of There’s Something About Mary: “You said she was a real spark plug!!” “No, I said…”

** I with other companies gave half the damn VW/Audi does about interior details. My little design shibboleth is the window controls: Give me one-touch down and up all around and you’re good; fail that & you show you don’t care. Tesla of course gets this right.

6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [19]

February 03, 2014



Wow, guys—I can’t thank you enough for your incredibly kind & supportive words. I’m feeling all warm & emotional*, and blessed to have connected—even if just in small ways—with so many interesting folks. I’m trying not to let the well-wishing go to my head (I’m wary of going out like Yaphet Kotto in Live & Let Die. :-)), but if Google needs another Project Loon balloon, they can leverage my now-swollen cranium.

Joking aside, thank you. I’m feeling even luckier than usual, and that’s saying something.

*I finally had to teach my Mac spellchecker the word “verklempt,” I was using it so frequently.

11:00 PM | Permalink | Comments [12]

** Announcing a big change: I’m going to Google.

After nearly 14 terrific years at Adobe, it’s time for me to open a different chapter of my life, and next week I’ll be joining Google’s digital photography team.

I’m feeling a crazy mixture of emotions right now. Adobe has been & remains so dear to my heart—I mean, I’m literally made of Adobe icons, right? My wife (whom I met on a customer visit—of course I did!) works here, as do more great friends & colleagues than I’d have any business asking for. All around me I see exciting progress, and I’m dying for you to see what teams are cooking up.

So, why make this move?

Merlin Mann once asked me, “What do you want ten times more of?” I knew the answer: Impact. I’m so proud of the impact I’ve had at Adobe. From Smart Objects to Photoshop’s first-ever public beta* to countless little tweaks over the years (“I swear because I care!!”), I’m proud of that legacy. Now, though, I’ll get a chance to work on some new projects. It’s about doing something very different from, and I think complementary to**, the work I’ve done at Adobe.

So is this goodbye? Not at all. You’ll still be hearing from me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+***. It’s a small industry, so don’t get excited: you’re not rid of me yet. :-)

What about this blog? I hope to post through Friday, and I’ll try to wrap things up properly so you’ll know when it’s going quiet. (God, just typing that makes my screen go blurry…) The blog has been a labor of love (more than 4,200 posts & 33,000 comments over 8.5 years), and I find feedback & insights from readers invaluable in doing my job. Thank you so, so much for reading & often writing here.

Amazingly I have ~120 draft posts I’ve never quite gotten out the door, and while I won’t subject you to all of those, I’ll share what time permits. Beyond that, if you need anything or have any questions, please ask away. And I’m easy to reach outside of work: I’m my firstname.lastname@gmail.com.

I want to tell you—and I say this with all the sincerity in my body—thank you for giving me such an honor & privilege of making products for you for so long.


“‘Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.’—Goethe” I quoted back then, and I repeat it to myself now.

** Adobe & Google have enjoyed great collaboration for years, and I hope to take that even further. There’s so much we can all do to help photographers & storytellers of every sort.

*** I’m even giving thought to continuing a version of the blog via jnack.com. Once you put on these red shoes, you can’t stop dancing…

10:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [118]

February 01, 2014

Demo: Optimizing Photoshop Performance

It really depends on the kind of work you’re doing (e.g. huge, deep-bit-depth photos with relatively few layers vs. fairly low-res UI/Web designs featuring tons of layers). Here Bryan O’Neil Hughes shows some settings you can tweak:


8:51 AM | Permalink | No Comments

Call for entries: Adobe Youth Voices

The Adobe Youth Voices Awards are “a global challenge that invites youth to creatively express their vision for driving change in local communities, and to present potential solutions through visual storytelling.”

If you’re a young storyteller or know a good one, please check out the site & consider submitting work for consideration. Media must be submitted by April 18, 2014.

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January 31, 2014

Your Behance portfolio gets more beautiful, responsive

Good news from Adobe’s design community team:

  • Fully Responsive Profile: Your work looks great across phone and tablets
  • Simple Editing Tools: The way you edit and organize your work is easier than ever
  • Your Behance Presence, In One Spot: Your Profile now encompasses much more about you – from the collections you curate to the projects you appreciate
  • Focus on your work: The design changes bring your work more into focus. Notice a cleaner, more minimal profile that helps your work stand out
  • Consistency across platforms: Now, your Profile is consistent and professional across devices
  • No More Color Customization: We have simplified the profile view on the web to match what has already been very successful on the Behances iOS apps by replacing color customization with a more neutral set of tones that better showcase the portfolio work itself.

If you somehow haven’t yet set up your profile, you can do so for free right now. [Via Scott Belsky]

9:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Demo: Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files

Julieanne shows how to prepare hundreds of images and save them in different file formats at once using Photoshop’s Image Processor script. She demos entering and adjusting Image Processor options such as file location and type, and working with image size.

8:08 AM | Permalink | No Comments

January 30, 2014

Wrangle Photoshop layer comps with Composer

Jason Foral’s free plug-in promises to help you “Update multiple layer comps* in Photoshop with just one click. Less maintaining, more designing.”

  • Update Layer Style: Use to sync the layer style, opacity, and blending mode of selected layers across selected layer comps.
  • Update Position: Use to sync the position of selected layers across selected layer comps.
  • Update Visibility: Use to sync the visibility of selected layers across selected layer comps.
  • Update All: Use to sync the layer style, position, and visibility of selected layers across selected layer comps.

*And if you’re a designer who doesn’t know about layer comps, do yourself a favor & read this.

[Via Josh D.]

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January 29, 2014

“Flag” Kickstarter project promises free, museum-quality photo printing

I love the craftsmanship & vibe these guys bring to their project:

To make photo printing fun – for the first time by our reckoning – we’ve designed a photo finishing system ready for the 21st century. Museum quality (Giclée) printers, German 220 gram photo paper from sustainable sources, laser cutters, and robots with carbon fiber arms will allow Flag to deliver prints, for free, that are better than any you can pay for today. We want to turn your memories into mementos you can be proud of.

Our secret to making photo printing free? An advertisement on the back of each print. It will always be tasteful, and we are steadfast in our commitment to never sell or share your personal information with advertisers. [Via]

Tangentially related: The Impossible Instant Lab is a crafty digital-analog Frankenstein:

Select a picture, place your iPhone on the Instant Lab and within seconds it ejects your analog instant photo, ready to develop in the palm of your hand. It doesn’t matter whether your digital image was shot with your phone or created in Adobe Photoshop – any image on your phone’s display can be turned into a real analog instant photo. […]

Being a real camera, it uses a special four element coated glass lens to take a photo from your iPhone’s display and lets it develop inside the layers of the integral film. It’s a purely photochemical process

8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

January 26, 2014

Create custom toolbars in Illustrator CC

A click here, a mouse drag there—it adds up quickly. Now Illustrator lets you make your workspace more efficient by organizing your tools into custom panels:

I really like the ability to unbury certain tools (e.g. various shapes), especially as I’ve kinda never forgiven Illustrator for changing the way keyboard shortcuts work circa AI9. (In Photoshop, Shift+letter lets you cycle among tools that share that letter. In Illustrator, you can assign Shift+letter to a specific tool. Some people swear by one approach & some by the other.) I know, it’s been nearly 15 years, and I deeply need to get a life. (How am I not typing this from my parents’ basement?)

As for the inevitable, “So, where’s this feature in Photoshop?,” you can maybe blame me. I didn’t want to do just toolbar customization, or do it in just Photoshop. Rather I wanted to let people remix nearly any UI elements together (tools, menu items, etc.) and do so across apps. That’s where Adobe Configurator came from. Hundreds of thousands of people downloaded it, but only a few used it to create & share toolbars & other custom panels. Maybe I let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and I need to write up a post-mortem on that.

11:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

Lost Susan Kare Mac ad from 1983

I’ve known designer Susan Kare‘s work for 30 years, but I’d never seen the person herself until now.

Original Mac team member Andy Hertzfeld writes,

Here is another unused commercial for Apple’s original Macintosh computer that was produced by Chiat-Day in the fall of 1983. This one features brilliant Macintosh artist Susan Kare, who designed the Mac’s fonts and icons, extolling the virtues of the exciting new medium.

[YouTube] [Via Mischa McLachlan]

1:00 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

January 25, 2014

Quick demo: How to create animated GIFs in Photoshop

Hughes shows you how in just over 3 minutes:


11:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

January 20, 2014

Students: Become an Adobe rep

Back in college—in the daaark days for Apple (the lose-$700MM+-in-a-quarter days)—I was an Apple student rep, driving around a minivan full of swag & hipping people to the technologies I loved. It was a bumpy time, but the work experience complemented what I learned in school.

Students these days have a chance to learn while helping fellow students discover new creative power. Check this out:

What you’ll get:

  • Serious résumé building, featuring hands-on marketing, event planning, and social media experience with one of the world’s top brands
  • Opportunities to develop relationships with campus leaders and expand your network
  • Adobe swag and performance-based incentives
  • Complimentary Creative Cloud membership
  • Top reps will be eligible for additional incentives such as gift cards, portfolio reviews, and features on Adobe Students’ social channels

The ideal Adobe Student Rep:

  • Is creative and entrepreneurial, with strong online and offline social networks
  • Has a deep knowledge of and passion for Adobe creative applications
  • Is able to work independently to meet deadlines and reporting requirements

General responsibilities include:

  • Planning and executing at least one Adobe product training workshop
  • Promoting workshops through word-of-mouth marketing 
  • Forming partnerships with relevant campus organizations
  • Social media support and amplification

You can apply here. [Update: Evidently the program only exists in the US right now.]

10:30 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Photoshop talks with a Space Oddity

Col. Chris Hadfield—Space Station commander, orbital Bowie-player, high-tweeting photographer, and more—recently sat down with Photoshop’s Lex van den Berghe for an interesting & varied chat. As you’d expect they nerd out a bit about photography & touch on some interesting details—for instance:

“We keep about eight cameras in the main viewing module—or ‘cupola.’” Hadfield explained. “There are so many high-energy protons coming through the station—things that are usually absorbed by our atmosphere—that they destroy the camera sensor. Pixels start dropping out immediately. On some of my lower light pictures you can see the flaws in the imagery.”

Lex noted later, “Chris was THE MAN… super fun to talk to…fascinating. Killed me that we only had 60 minutes to chat… I could’ve spent all day talking to him, especially if cold beers were also involved.”

8:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

January 19, 2014

Adobe Kuler is up for an Interaction Award

People’s Choice voting is open until February 8. You can vote here and get the app here.

[Vimeo] [Via Gabriel Campbell]

9:42 AM | Permalink | No Comments

January 18, 2014

Photoshop Playbook: Removing Red Eye & Whitening Teeth

News you can use, from Hughes:


10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

January 17, 2014

Terminators, Flavawagons, Grandfalloons, & more: A podcast with me

“From Kierkegaard to breadsticks…”

unfrozen-caveman-lawyerI had a ball talking Photoshop development, craftsmanship, the Mac community, and more with developers Brent Simmons & Chris Parrish in their new podcast, The Record.

You can hear about me living in a halfway house, sleeping in a van, imbecile marketroids typing with their fists, and more (my God, look at the length of those show notes!). I hope you have as much fun listening as I did rambling.


2:49 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

NYC imagined as a giant playground

After filling Buenos Aires with fanciful ridesFernando Livschitz is back to take on New York City. Just try not to smile:



8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

January 13, 2014

Behold… “Tiger Train”

I had no idea that this is what my morning needed (how could I??)—but it so did. Brilliant madness from Liam Lynch:


9:43 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

January 12, 2014

Question: What if *all* we did was make apps faster?

After Effects Steve Forde asks a provocative question:

What if we did NOTHING else in After Effects during 2014 other than make it faster? I mean MUCH faster. I mean much faster without a specific hardware requirement (new CPU, GPU, disk, machine, etc., etc.)?

To be frank, that’s not what’s in the works currently for 2014. A lot of our developer resources are going to focus on performance, but also on workflow and creative capability. I am curious though what your reaction would be if we ditched the workflow and creative stuff for 2014, and put ALL of our resources on nothing but making After Effects killer fast. Great!, good, bad, ugly?

What do you think?

My knee-jerk reaction is, “Of course, make everything faster!” How important that is, however, varies case by case. Do I need my iPhone to be faster—or would I trade away additional speed to get better battery life? And of course “faster” depends on much more than operations per second: I’d generally prefer an app that asks me to perform fewer steps en route to a result, even if those steps are a bit slower to calculate. Net performance depends on computer efficiency plus operator efficiency.

What are your thoughts & needs, app by app?

10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments [27]

January 10, 2014

Track your time automatically inside Adobe apps

Oh God did I hate filling out time sheets at my old design agency. CreativeWorx TimeTracker was built by Adobe veterans to help take the drudgery out of that process: 


The basic extension (for individual use) is completely free & runs inside Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Illustrator, and Flash Pro. Other features (e.g. support for teams) start at $7.95/mo.


11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

January 08, 2014

Adobe Inspire Magazine for January 2014 is here

Check it out on the Web and the App Store (for free). Articles include:

9:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

My holiday break @ 120 frames per second

Expressive kid + coaster + iPhone 5s + RCHP = good times.


7:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

January 02, 2014

In memoriam: Thank you, Whit.


I remain, as do so many people in the extended Adobe family, in sad disbelief at the passing of our dear friend Whitney McCleary—warm wit, defender of the little guy, fighter for what’s right, twinkling soul—on New Year’s Eve following a long illness.

I struggle to find the right words—any words, really—to share here, and yet I just don’t feel like writing about anything else for a while. I think she wouldn’t want us to dwell too long in sorrow—I think instead of good Irish wakes, full of laughter and tears—but it’s right to pause for just a bit.

Perhaps you didn’t know Whit personally, but if you’ve spent any time as an Adobe customer, she probably touched your life in some small, positive way. To say just that she marketed InDesign, Creative Suite, and imaging apps seems like absurdly short shrift. As folks are pouring onto Facebook to say, Whitney was always quick to take a chance, support a new creative conference, find work for a promising designer. Her love of creative people & delight in helping them was infectious.

Big companies are inherently bonkers, I think, and I’d always look to Whitney to cut through fog & silliness. As my old Photoshop boss Maria puts it, “I don’t know what we’ll do when we can’t call her mobile in a crisis. I keep thinking ‘What would Whit do?’ and a silly smile comes to my face.”

Oh, Whit—we miss you terribly. Thank you for making things better, for so many people over so many years. May we all aspire to do the same, with even half the good cheer you did. God bless.

10:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [39]

December 31, 2013

“Final Cut 2013”: The year in films

Let’s send the year off right with this nicely edited montage of 2013’s moments in film:


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December 30, 2013

How many people post Vines?

Does anyone know? I’ve struggled to find any real info on the subject.

There’s no doubt that Vine coined an idiom (essentially animated GIFs + sound) that’s proven flexible & often compelling in the right hands. I’m less sure, though, that regular people create vines with any frequency. Of the 674 people I follow on Twitter, not one has shared a vine.co link in the time frame that Twitter searches.

For my needs Instagram video has been perfect for most cases, taking a huge bite out of my YouTube usage (though that’s changed a bit over the holidays; most Christmas carols won’t fit into 15 seconds!). I suspect that most people find it easier to make compelling content without looping & with more breathing room, and that for most video creation/sharing is a feature rather than a product unto itself.

[Update: If you routinely post vines, please speak up.]

8:24 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

December 27, 2013

Layrs Photoshop panel automates tedious tasks

Layrs looks handy. It promises:

  • Layer name editor
  • Remove unused layer effects
  • Flatten all layer effects
  • Delete empty layers
  • Rasterize all Smart Objects


[Via Eric Snowden]

12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 26, 2013


Check out this fun bit of urban art from Germany:

From the project site:

StreetPong is a concept about playful urban interactions. The starting point was the problem of waiting for a long time at pedestrian traffic lights. StreetPong can be played during the red phase at traffic light on a touchscreen display. The opponent can be anyone on the other side of the street who is also waiting to cross the street.


7:54 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

…and Festivumakwanzanukkah and everything!

Wherever you are & whatever you may celebrate*, I wish you a safe & joyous day. I am profoundly grateful for the chance to help creative people express themselves better. Thank you so much for that.

Ps toolbar

*No matter what, I hope & trust you’ll have a far cheerier day than this guy:


8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 24, 2013

“Our Drone Future”

Check out Alex Cornell’s dystopian vision:

In the near future, cities use semi-autonomous drones for urban security. Human officers monitor drone feeds remotely, and data reports are displayed with a detailed HUD and communicated via a simulated human voice (designed to mitigate discomfort with sentient drone technology). While the drones operate independently, they are “guided” by the human monitors, who can suggest alternate mission plans and ask questions.

Specializing in predictive analysis, the security drones can retask themselves to investigate potential threats. As shown in this video, an urban security drone surveys San Francisco’s landmarks and encounters fierce civilian resistance.

Ah, but as that’s a bit dark, let’s see the real-life Mistletoe Drone:


[YouTube 1 & 2 ] [Via]

8:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

December 22, 2013

Retrospective: Behance Portfolio Review Week

Behance Portfolio Review Week #4 wrapped up a few weeks ago, and Adobe’s released a video compilation reflecting back on some of the great moments from this week-long events series put on by the design community. I’m reminded that nearly 14 years into this gig, it remains such an honor & privilege to serve creative people like you. Thanks for letting me be a part of it.


8:09 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 19, 2013

A life-size Lego car powered by air


From the project site:

Super Awesome Micro Project Factoids

  • More than 500,000 LEGO pieces were used.
  • The car engine is made from standard Lego pieces and runs on air!
  • The engine has four orbital engines and a total of 256 pistons.
  • Top speed is not very fast, around 20-30km (We were scared of a Lego explosion so we drove it slowly)
  • It was built in Romania and shipped to a secret location in suburban Melbourne.
  • It’s a Hot Rod design, mainly because hot rods are cool.

Just as I was discovering this link, my boys were playing with their pneumatically driven Lego Unimog—which I previously would’ve called giant.

[YouTube] [Via Lin Kayser & Uri Ar}

2:29 PM | Permalink | No Comments

December 16, 2013

Some interesting findings about digital publications

To be honest I’ve been kinda skeptical about the viability of high-gloss, tablet-oriented publications. In a world of Buzzfeed & Flipboard, they’ve struck me as nouveau CD-ROMs. I’m pleased to see that evidently I’ve been wrong. Check out some recent findings from Adobe:

The number of downloads of magazine editions created with DPS since its launch in March 2011 passed the 150 million mark this month. Downloads have increased 115% year over year, and DPS-created apps have three times as many unique monthly readers as they did a year ago, Adobe announced. […]

Adobe found that subscribers spend around 50 minutes a month in a DPS app – a number that surpasses the 40 minutes per issue that GfK MRI found among print magazine readers in the fall of 2012. While that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison of engagement, it does indicate that digital magazines are replicating the lean-back print experience. […]

Social sharing tools are becoming increasingly popular, for example, as is the web viewer technology that Adobe added to DPS earlier this year, which lets readers sample tablet editions via their web browser.

7:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 14, 2013

BBC timelapses captures a train ride in ’53, ’83, ’13

It’s intriguing to see what changes over time & what doesn’t.

8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 12, 2013

“A Handy Tip for the Easily Distracted” by Miranda July

I’m deeply tempted to try this with my ever-whirring fleet of devices:


[YouTube] [Via John Maeda]

8:00 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

December 06, 2013

Short film: “The Record Breaker”

I noted the running time of 25 minutes and thought, “Oh, I’ll just watch for a sec”—but dang if I didn’t get sucked in. Try it just for a minute:


“The Record Breaker tells the life story of Ashrita Furman, the man with the most Guinness World Records of all time. [It] follows Furman as he trains to set a new record: climbing Machu Picchu on stilts.”

‘A swimmingly edited, life-affirming film. Genuinely touching.’— Robert Silva, IndieWire
‘Hands-down the funniest documentary of the year.’— Marianna Torgovnick, TED


8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 05, 2013

Behind the scenes: Wheelchair freestyle

Last week I linked to the amazing aerobatics of Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham. Now filmmaker Devin Supertramp has posted behind-the-scenes footage. (It’s probably not a great sign when one’s neck brace shatters on impact.)


5:52 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 04, 2013

New course: Optimizing Photoshop performance

Bryan O’Neil Hughes has recorded a new Lynda.com course on tuning Photoshop performance for your particular workflow. Watching the whole thing requires a membership, but Bryan points out that Lynda offers trial memberships.

8:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

December 02, 2013

Bringing Storytelling to Wedding Videos

“Wedding films should do the same as feature films or documentaries do. It’s never just about relaying facts: it’s about finding humanity – the real moments – in every story.” So says Jawad Mir, your host for a live demo/Q&A this Thursday at 10am Pacific. You can register here.

In this session you will learn how to bring storytelling techniques and feature film polish to your projects so that you can deliver great wedding films that stand out from the crowd. Discover how you can do more with Creative Cloud video applications, including:

  • How to organize content with Adobe Bridge CC
  • Building timelines that tell stories in Premiere Pro CC
  • Output to DVD with Encore CS6


10:20 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 28, 2013

A giant tot points skyward

British Airways (the first really big site I ever helped design) is running a clever new campaign. Per Engadget,

[T]he new advertisement, installed front and center at London’s Piccadilly Circus, uses “custom-built surveillance technology” to track incoming BA aircraft, prompting the screen to display a child pointing directly at the plane as it passes overhead. The adjacent text offers up the flight number and its origin or destination, along with a custom message, such as the lowest fare for that route or the current weather where that plane is headed.

[YouTube] [Via Al Mooney]

8:25 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

November 23, 2013

Fun with compositing: “Mad Men Without Smoking”

Just like it says on the tin:


10:02 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 22, 2013

GoldieBlox, Rube Goldberg, & Beastie Boys

Check out this fun commandeering of “Girls”:

And you might want to hurry before it’s gone: The sample-loving B-Boys have filed suit against the video’s creators.

[YouTube] [Via Talin Wadsworth]

12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

November 21, 2013

Get your own drone

…now cheaper, thanks to Russell Brown. If you’ve enjoyed his aerial photography tutorials from the last couple of days, check this out:

I teamed up with my friends at DroneFly.com to give you the special Russell Brown deal of the day. If you use my name “Russell Brown” as a discount code then you get $40 dollars off the price of a DJI Phanton 1, and you get a FREE battery! How cool is that?! My name is worth $40 dollars + Battery Power! This offer is good until November 28th and it is only good for the DJI Phantom 1 model, not the DJI Vision. I personally guarantee friendly service and great products from DroneFly.com. Be sure to enter the DJI Photo Contest.

8:09 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 18, 2013

Batkid, as seen by the SF Chronicle

Absolutely charming:

In case you’ve been living under a rock (or in a bat cave):

Make-A-Wish foundation grants 5-year-old Miles wish to become Batman. Turning San Francisco into Gotham City, Miles shows the community just how strong of a fighter he is. After being diagnosed at 20 months-old with Leukemia, Miles has beat cancer and is now in remission.

Here are more photos & coverage from the Chronicle.


8:09 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 17, 2013

Photoshop Playbook: Making Fine Hair Selections

Great tips from Bryan O’Neil Hughes:

Betcha didn’t know—or had maybe forgotten about—the ability to drag-resize your brushes.


8:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

November 15, 2013

Adobe Muse gets new Library, social chops, & more

Great upgrades to the highly popular visual page-design tool:

  • Access the new Adobe Muse Exchange providing downloads to over one hundred design elements submitted by the Adobe Muse community to-date. Includes starter templates, prototyping tools, interactive widgets, and more.
  • Collect reusable design elements like icons, buttons, headers, footers, styles, and grids using the new Library panel. These elements can also be shared with teams or other designers.
  • Easily connect sites to social media with a dozen new drag-and-drop social widgets including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google maps, Vimeo and YouTube videos.
  • An updated Scroll Effects panel offers more options including the ability to apply opacity and fading to scroll elements, and add scroll effects to Adobe Edge animations and slideshows.
  • Set a full-screen slideshow that adjusts to the width of the screen, whether viewing on a desktop or mobile device.
  • Plus additional enhancements and ongoing code improvements.

[Adobe TV]

1:02 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

November 14, 2013

Free vector icon search comes to Illustrator

I mentioned BlendMe.In, a panel that helps you search thousands of free icons & add them to Photoshop docs, a couple of weeks ago. Now I see that the company has extended support to Illustrator. All the icons are licensed via Creative Commons.

11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

November 13, 2013

Amazing quadrocopter ballet

There’s no way these aren’t CGI:

And yet, somehow, they’re real*:

Gizmodo writes,

The ad was made possible by the folks at KMel Robotics who’ve developed a whole suite of tools to program and control the swarm of quadcopters. They’ve even adapted an infrared motion capture system—typically used for computer animation—to keep track of all the drones mid-flight, and individually direct them to where they need to be.

*I’m still skeptical about the last portion.

8:04 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

November 09, 2013

Camera 8.3 RC for Photoshop CC & CS6 available on Adobe Labs

Camera Raw 8.3 is now available as a release candidate on Adobe Labs for Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC on Adobe Labs. For both versions it includes the new camera support mentioned below, and for Photoshop CC includes the following new features:

  • Whites and Blacks now support Auto Levels-like functionality via shift-double-click on the sliders.
  • Separate Auto Temperature and Auto Tint feature. Shift-double-click to invoke “auto temperature” and “auto tint” separately.
  • Ability to option-click shortcut in Synchronize, New Preset, Save Settings, and Copy/Paste (Bridge) dialog boxes. Option-click a checkbox to check that box exclusively. Option-click again to toggle previous checkbox state.
  • Set the background color of the work area. Context-click outside the image in the work area to select a background color from a popup menu.
New camera support:
  • Canon PowerShot S120
  • Fujifilm XQ1
  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Nikon 1 AW1
  • Nikon Coolpix P7800
  • Nikon D610
  • Nikon D5300 (*)
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Olympus STYLUS 1 (*)
  • Panasonic DMC-GM1
  • Phase One IQ260
  • Phase One IQ280
  • Sony A7 (ILCE-7)
  • Sony A7R (ILCE-7R)
  • Sony DSC-RX10 (*)

* denotes preliminary support [Via Jeff Tranberry]

8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

November 08, 2013

“Fitting In Cardboard”

A short life lesson, beautifully told through cardboard by Ze Frank:

8:14 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 07, 2013

Guerrilla marketing with a happy Coke machine

A rather brilliant bit of low-fi filmmaking:

[YouTube] [Via Bill Roberts]

8:03 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 06, 2013

Most profane. Photoshop plug-in. Ever?

“Built by slave fairies and unicorn horns, this Photoshop Plugin couldn’t possibly be any more f___ing amazing.”

That—and more—are the promise of the cheeky mofos making the Perspective Mockups Plugin for Photoshop. Check out the demo:

(“It really couldn’t be any more f___ing amazing,” notes PS UI designer Tim Riot.) [Vimeo]

PS—Apropos of profanity (hey, why not?), I dig the light projections in the video for this great Nada Surf track.

8:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

How Hogarth makes things efficient with Adobe Anywhere

Hogarth is a new media company that creates ads & versions them across languages & media (TV, radio, print), sometimes making hundreds of versions of each ad. They’re using the new Adobe Anywhere & Premiere Pro to manage video production around the globe. Here Mark Keller gives a peek into their process:

8:00 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 05, 2013

Adobe Inspire: CSS 3D, Ideas->Illustrator, and more

Lots of good stuff in the November issue of Adobe Inspire Magazine:

10:15 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 04, 2013

Framer makes PSDs interactive, animated

This prototyping tool sounds promising: 

Framer can help you to quickly build interactions and animations. Built for designers and integrates with Photoshop. Great alternative to Quartz Composer, Flash or Keynote.


Hmm—seems like a great match for the new Generator feature in Photoshop CC. Something tells me they might be working on integration…

10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

“Cyclique” aerial sculpture: Balloons + LEDs

Lovely. Colossal writes,

The array of 256 large white balloons was embedded with LEDs that blinked in sequence with various audio tracks and was further enhanced by the impact of wind which altered the layout and motion of the piece.



7:53 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 31, 2013

A couple of exciting new books

I’m eager to check these out: 

7:56 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 30, 2013

“We think it’s the best plug-in ever made for Illustrator”

Brave talk, but given Astute Graphics’ impressive track record, maybe it’s not so crazy. Check out their new VectorScribe 2, available for download as a public beta. The tools for making smart rounded corners & extending paths look especially promising to me.

[YouTube] [Via]

2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

October 29, 2013

Automatic videos: Do you care?

Google today unveiled a new “Auto Awesome” feature that’ll stitch together video montages with zero effort from you. It’s said to work like this.

By coincidence, Magisto got another $13 million in funding today to do essentially the same things, and they claim to have 13 million users. Plenty of others (Ptch from Dreamworks, Qwiki from Yahoo, etc.) are playing in similar territory. 

My question: If this stuff is so great (and free), why don’t we see anyone creating & sharing it? (Or do we and I’m just old/blind?)

You can read studies—not that you need to—that list the top reasons people say they don’t share videos: Watching it takes too long, it looks bad (shaky, poorly colored), and it sounds bad. Unsurprisingly, services like Google’s go after these problems: Automate everything (no creation time commitment), chop it into short segments (lower viewer time commitment), slap on some color looks, blow away the recorded audio, and apply stabilization.

Are the results something you value? What would you care about more? (I know what I want, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.)


4:09 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

USC’s Annenberg School teams up with Adobe

Great news from down south: Students & faculty get Creative Cloud free of charge, and we’re talking about more ways to support their initiatives.

Using the Adobe Creative Cloud as the centerpiece, the literacy effort has big plans to make headway in the technology-laden field of contemporary communication and journalism.

“Students will be able to become certified professionals in Photoshop and other tools, and can add this on their resume. We are also setting up a ‘genius bar’ in our new building for students to get software and hardware questions answered.” 

I recently got to spend a weekend in the desert with USC’s Animation & Digital Arts students, and I’m excited about how the new tools we’re developing can be used in their curriculum. More on all that soon.

10:42 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 28, 2013

Demo Thursday: How to make a great pitch trailer

Project Kronos is a documentary-style short film written and directed by Hasraf “HaZ” Dulull, following a mission to achieve interstellar space travel. 6 months later, it has been picked up for feature film development.

How did he get a green light? This should be an interesting talk (Thursday at 10am Pacific time):

Join HaZ to learn how he got his start in filmmaking, how he made Project Kronos, and how, as a first time filmmaker, he used the creative approach of pitch trailers to get the attention of studio executives and producers. Learn how to use Creative Cloud to create an impactful 2-minutes trailer that sells your idea, including:

  • Assembling your material and block out a pitch trailer.
  • Using After Effects to demonstrate the VFX ideas featured in the film concept
  • Using Speedgrade to create a finished Hollywood feature film look.
  • Using Adobe Premiere Pro to put it everything together, including additional secondary effects, and temp sound design
8:02 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 25, 2013

A great talk from Cabel Sasser

“Man,” said Cabel, shaking his head when he stopped by last summer, “I had a ‘John Nack Moment…'”

I was at once flattered & horrified: I’ve become synonymous with something—and that something is total existential breakdown. Damn… was that my special purpose?

I really enjoyed Cabel’s talk about starting small, freaking out vs. selling out, and doing what you love. I think you’ll enjoy it, too. (The big-company sad trombone effect after the 14-minute mark alone is worth it.)

My wife notes, “I like that he rated his own meltdown scene as ‘1-star.'”[YouTube]

8:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

SpecKing helps with Photoshop measurement & markup

Yesterday I mentioned Specctr for facilitating designer/developer hand-off. Reader Rick Johanson suggested SpecKing as an alternative:

Making the design specs in Photoshop can be a real time consuming task. SpecKing simplifies this process and lets you instantly measure any sizes, margins, and font properties in any PSD file. Your design specs can be ready in an instant, with just a few clicks.


8:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 24, 2013

Specctr simplifies designer/developer hand-off

Redlining print-outs of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks docs (specifying exact pixel dimensions, etc.) isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, yet I still see it done frequently. Specctr is plug-in that streamlines the process, adding a margin around your artwork & automatically writing out object dimensions. Check it out:

[YouTube] [Via Jeff Tranberry]

8:04 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 23, 2013

Feedback, please: Making magic with video

If my career is doing society any good at all, it’s probably in democratizing access to magic—that is, helping more people get tools to express themselves beautifully & effectively.

Now that I work in Adobe’s video group, I’m thinking hard about what kinds of awesomeness we could bring to the world. Think “high-end effects for the rest of us.”

What do you want to do with video? What would get you excited, make you want to create & share more, help you blow your friends’ minds?

For example, I wish I could…

  • instantly render any combination of effects
  • motion-track any object with a couple of clicks, then do X
  • create incredible animated titles
  • shoot tons of clips, then find the interesting parts fast
  • apply gorgeous color looks
  • automatically match color across a range of shots
  • go JJ Abrams-crazy with lens flares (well, maybe not that much)
  • insert myself into a music video

…and on & on. Yes, things like this can all be done in high-end tools, but I want to make it drop-dead easy for anyone to do, on any device.

What sounds good to you? Dream big & we’ll dream with you.


8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [15]

October 22, 2013

FAQ: Adobe apps & Mac OS Mavericks

Here’s the official word:

Adobe and Apple have worked closely together… All Adobe CC and CS6 products are compatible, but a few products require updates to the latest builds to work properly. Adobe Photoshop® CS5, CS4 and CS3 were also tested with Mac OS X Mavericks and there are currently no major issues known.

Notably After Effects requires an update (CC, CS6) to be compatible. If you see any weirdness, please let us know.

Update: If you see a message about “Adobe Creative Cloud” (the management/desktop sync app) being incompatible with Mavericks, you’ll need to reinstall it. [Via Keith Lang & Fergus Hammond]

2:21 PM | Permalink | Comments [51]

October 19, 2013

Recent Lego excellence



[Vimeo] [Via]

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 18, 2013

Art View previews InDesign docs, fonts, more in Finder

This Quick Look extension sounds useful (sort of like Adobe Bridge being more built into Finder):

  • Makes Quick Look Compatible with Graphics Documents (including .ai, .indd, .ase, .fh11)
  • Works with Adobe Illustrator Docs Saved with or without PDF Compatibility
  • Display Fonts, Images and Swatches used in CS3+ Documents 
  • Reveal Font Files and Linked Image Files in Finder

It’s $25 in the Mac App Store. [Via]

10:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

October 17, 2013

Feedback, please: How do you want to work?

Let’s build you some better tools:

The Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator teams need your help! We’ve been thinking about some ideas that could benefit all of our customers, but before we can move forward with these ideas we need to know more about how you, our customers, are working with our products now.

We have prepared a short questionnaire (should take less than 5 minutes) that will help us gather the information we need to get started. We would greatly appreciate your time in helping us by filling it out! As a special thank you, you’ll be eligible for a $50 Amazon Gift Card for taking the survey!

9:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

October 15, 2013

A Paula Scher interview, HTML5 video tips, & more on Adobe Inspire

The October issue of Adobe Inspire magazine is online and available for download on iPad. Deke McClelland talks Photoshop layer management, Ryan Kleeman talks high-quality audio recording, and more.

10:54 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 14, 2013

“Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise”

Rather brilliant. (“Time to F with some customers.”)

[YouTube] [Via Dave Werner]

10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 11, 2013

Do an in-person Portfolio Review with the Behance community

Happening worldwide November 4th–11th, 2013:

Behance Portfolio Reviews bring members together at events in cities and towns around the world—organized by members, for members. Attend a Portfolio Review to present and get feedback on your work, hear from experienced professionals, and meet your local creative community.

  • Welcome & Spotlight (20 minutes): Short and inspiring presentation, curated by your host.
  • The Portfolio Reviews (60 minutes): Attendees break into small groups to have their work reviewed.
  • Mingle, Network & Drinks: Stick around to mingle and connect with your peers and industry leaders.
10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 10, 2013

Feedback, please: What stories do you want to tell?

Adobe Research is investigating ways to help people tell great stories through video. If that sounds interesting to you, please take just a minute to fill in this survey. [Note: The idea is to bring more video storytelling power to people who aren’t using pro tools, so if you’re producing video professionally, you can skip this one.] Thanks!

9:24 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

“More than 10,000 vectors directly in Photoshop”

That’s the promise of Flaticon. You can check out a demo online, download the Photoshop extension panel, and download icons via your browser.


[Previously: BlendMe.in]

8:24 AM | Permalink | No Comments

Tonight in SF: “Photography and the Real World in the Digital Age” with Stephen Johnson

Master landscape photographer Stephen Johnson will be presenting his work & techniques Thursday evening at Adobe San Francisco:

Steve will concentrate on digital photography’s capabilities as a set of tools to capture and decode the visual wonder of the real world. Photoshop will be explored as a tool of revelation of our camera’s light capture, using raw processing and Photoshop as straightforward photo processing tools rather than instruments of image alteration.

This talk concentrates on the tools within Photoshop critical to Photographers for straightforward photography. It is a great chance to explore digital photographic finishing with Steve, and his use of interpretive and editing tools, which he works hard to execute with restraint and finesse…

ALSO: We’ve got 2 copies of X-rite’s ColorChecker Passport as raffle prizes. So be sure to bring your business cards in order to get your name in the raffle. 

12:52 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 07, 2013

Live-coding Photoshop enhancements

PM Stephen Nielson writes,

With the release of Photoshop CC, we’re able to address customer feedback more frequently than ever before. To demonstrate just how quickly we can respond to customer feedback, we stationed Photoshop team members, including three Photoshop engineers, on the Photoshop World show floor. The assignment: speak to customers, gather their feedback and enhancement requests, and code as many customer-requested Photoshop enhancements as possible during the show, in real-time. We called this event our “Photoshop Live Codeathon.”

Check out the team in action:



9:02 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 05, 2013

Dance your brains out with “Girl Walk//All Day”

This is so tremendously bizarre (in the most unassuming, DIY way), I kind of can’t get enough:

Girl Walk // All Day is essentially a 71-minute music video set to Girl Talk’s album All Day. There’s a loose story about three strangers who are inexplicably possessed by the spirit of Girl Talk’s music, presumably, and wander New York City dancing all the while, occasionally joined by passersby and sometimes crossing paths with one another. The most memorable of these is The Girl, performed by Anne Marsen, who clearly has some talent but is far from a technically perfect dancer; her go-for-broke moves are relatable, and what make her so compelling to watch.

[Vimeo] [Via Bianca Giaever]

8:13 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 04, 2013

Add Photoshop-style rules & guides to Web pages

Eh, why? Well, Webdesigner Depot says this “can be incredibly useful if you’re checking out the grid or other geometry of someone else’s website and don’t feel like pouring through the source code to figure it out.” Check out RulerGuides.js, available as a browser bookmarklet.

10:56 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 03, 2013

“It’s like the Photoshop eyedropper in real life”

Nix is an interesting smartphone accessory meant to accurately scan the colors of objects you encounter. The paint-color tie-in is clever, even if some of the examples (banana freshness detection?) are pretty wacky:

7:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

September 30, 2013

Quote o’ the day: “Take out steps”

From Evan Williams, of Twitter & Blogger fame:

Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company: Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.

The whole thing is worth a read.

8:48 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Design: Adobe 24 Hours

The team at Sagmeister & Walsh gave themselves 24 hours to design Adobe’s MAX identity, working with simple natural media & making the process part of the story. The project was live broadcast onto a billboard in Times Square. Check out how it went:

More stills are on Behance.



8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

September 29, 2013

Quote o’ the day

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw

[“One certainly hopes.” — Everyone trying to develop new products from scratch]

8:36 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

September 28, 2013

Russell Brown on “Making Monsters” tomorrow night


Our very own Russell Brown will be on the Travel Channel this Sunday!

Set your DVR to record “Making Monsters” this Sunday, September 29th 8/7c. You’ll see how Distortions Unlimited created a gigantic zombie podium for Russell’s ADIM13 Conference.

The project started with a sketch created in Photoshop by Rayce Bird and ended up as a giant sculpture. This is a must-see show!

Check out a quick video preview.


8:08 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 27, 2013

BlendMe.in: Search for vector icons within Photoshop

 Hmm—this sounds promising:

BlendMe.in is a Photoshop extension that allows you to quickly find a high-quality icon that you can simply drag and drop and then easily continue your ideation. All of the icons are vectorial and have been inserted as smart Photoshop objects, meaning that you get all the icon components as layers (vector objects, adjustment layers, etc.) so that you can easily tweak them to match your creation. [Via]

What do you think?

Search twitter mini

7:54 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 23, 2013

Michel Gondry’s new video

Commissioned by Gillette, more than a little Stomp-y, but I like it:

[YouTube] [Via]

9:25 AM | Permalink | No Comments

Glimpses of Photoshop World

Dang, the camera-equipped drones weren’t the only cool thing I missed. Looks like people had a ball:

[Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes]

5:46 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 20, 2013

Adobe salutes “The New Creatives”

From Design Taxi:

To commemorate the passing of 1 million subscribers on its subscription-based service Creative Cloud, Adobe—with the help of ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners—has released a new, eye-catching ad that pays tribute to “the new creatives”.

“Creatives today do a little bit of everything, from illustration to filmmaking to Web design,” said the agency’s associate creative director Will Elliot. “We wanted the spot to celebrate how all these different disciplines are coming together.”



9:30 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

September 18, 2013

Lightroom, Camera Raw get new features, camera support

Lightroom 5.2 and Camera Raw 8.2 (for use in Photoshop CS6 & CC) are now available for download. Each includes a number of feature improvements & bug fixes (please see the respective posts for details) as well as new lens profiles & support for the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS 70D
  • Canon PowerShot G16
  • Canon PowerShot S120*
  • Casio Exilim EX-ZR800
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS22EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix HS35EXR
  • Fujifilm FinePix S205EXR
  • Fujifilm X-A1
  • Fujifilm X-M1
  • Leica C (Typ 112)
  • Olympus OM-D E-M1*
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72
  • Pentax Q7
  • Pentax K-50
  • Pentax K-500
  • Sony DSC-RX100 II
  • Sony A3000 (ILCE-3000)
  • Sony NEX-5T

* denotes preliminary support

12:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

September 16, 2013

“Dear Hector”: Powerful storytelling on Radiolab

Before joining Adobe, my teammate Bianca took a cross-country bike tour in which she recorded an intense, gripping audio story that’s now featured on Radiolab:

Reporter Bianca Giaever brings us a story of forgiveness that’s nearly impossible to comprehend — even for the man at the center of it, an octogenarian named Hector Black.

It’s a difficult subject (I had to take a break) but a fascinating one.

11:35 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 12, 2013

Photoshop 14.1.1 update released

This update addresses a couple of urgent issues:

  • User preferences reset after applying 14.1 update
  • Inadvertent disablement of Graphics Processor Settings with some hardware configurations

There’s also the problem (introduced with Monday’s 14.1.0 update) of layers being deleted when you use the keyboard shortcut F5. The team is working on a fix. Meanwhile the workaround is to choose a different key command for showing/hiding the Brushes panel (via Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts). Sorry for the hassle.

10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [15]

Friday, live from IBC: New Adobe video app demos/Q&A

Starts at 10am Pacific:

Joining us from IBC in Amsterdam for this session, Jason Levine will present some of the cool new features coming to the pro video tools in Creative Cloud.


8:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 10, 2013

Vote on a video JDI feature to be coded this week

You can tweet your vote for one of these candidates to be live-coded at IBC in Amsterdam this week (include “#myJDI”). Voting’s open until 6pm Pacific time tonight.

7:35 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 06, 2013

Punking job applicants through the power of high def

Who says that absurdly high-res televisions won’t change the world? Not LG, whose little prank walks the brilliant/brutal line:

[Via Chris Regan]

Conceivably related: Store mirrors can now be programmed to make your prospective purchases look better—and make you look happier holding them up.

7:49 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 05, 2013

Demo/Q&A Friday: Designing for any screen with vectors

Lots o’ tips for Illustrator & beyond from Justin Seeley, tomorrow at noon* Pacific time:

  • Setting up Illustrator for a web workflow
  • Designing for mobile responsive layouts
  • Using & setting up grid systems
  • Web graphic optimization
  • New CSS & SVG features of Illustrator CC

* time zone convertor

7:34 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 04, 2013

Check out the Photoshop World keynote, live this morning

Streaming starts at 9am Pacific. You’ll get to hear about Adobe’s vision for the future of photography workflows. There will be news I think you’ll find interesting.

8:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

September 03, 2013

A storytelling app I want but can’t build; maybe you can.

The Micronaxx & I make up bizarre, freewheeling bedtime stories nearly every night, just as my dad did with me. Unlike in the old days, we at least occasionally record the stories, but it’s rare. What would change that, giving us a better archive of family memories? I’d like a mobile app that would:

  • Record you telling your kids bedtime stories (maybe after prompting you just before bedtime)
  • Transcribe the text
  • Organize the sound & text files (into a book, journal, and/or timeline layout)
  • Let you add descriptive metadata & tags to stories
  • Enable easy publishing from the journal to a blog, Tumblr, etc.
  • Maybe let you add other supporting media (illustrations, photos, links, etc.)
  • Maybe let you present those images, etc. at various times as the story progresses

I think the key thing is in the recording/transcription: Without that it’s dead in the water, even for a guy like me. Prompting & organization would be good, but I really want to see the output (even if rough).

I won’t get to build such an app anytime soon, if ever, so I’m throwing the idea into the ether in case you’d find it interesting (either as a user or as a developer). Maybe the “bedtime story” angle seems too niche-y, but you might be surprised: RapGenius started just by annotating rap lyrics & is now very well funded to socially annotate any kind of document. “Do one thing well” instead of starting with ocean-boiling.

If you’d pay for such an app, please speak up—and if you’d build it, I’ll happily be your first customer.

11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

August 30, 2013

Mario Andretti, brought to you through Premiere Pro

Nicolas de Toth changed from skeptic to convert while editing a new commercial featuring Mario Andretti:

I was aware of Premiere Pro for a long time, but I hadn’t given it a fair shot…

Overall, it was very nimble and I never found myself waiting for anything like I do on occasion with Avid… Editing is somewhat like writing. If your process is interrupted you can lose your train of thought, and with it your overall creativity. Premiere Pro was more fluid than I expected.

Check out the full interview here.

On a related note, this line from a DV Magazine review by Oliver Peters caught my eye:

Premiere Pro CC is definitely the best direct replacement for Final Cut Pro…It’s fast, handles a wide range of native media and is versatile in many situations…Adobe definitely has a winner in Premiere Pro CC.

12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 29, 2013

Adobe’s own Survivor


Adobe PM Lex van den Berghe makes me look pretty damn boring:

From fending for himself in the bush of Kenya during Survivor, writing in his local newspaper, being a motivational speaker and starting a new National Geographic reality television series, Lex has had a diverse career, to say the least.

Check out his offbeat career. (As he notes, “In a hundred years we’ll all be dead…what’s the worst that could happen?”)

8:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 28, 2013

Check out Adobe/Behance’s Pop-Up School in NYC

Sounds like a really interesting event, September 18-20th in New York:

We’re curating a killer program around three skill sets that should be in every creative’s arsenal: career development, entrepreneurship, and brand + digital strategy. Each day will feature an incredible lineup of talks and master classes from creative visionaries like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Adobe’s own Scott Belsky, and Facebook designer Ben Barry […]

We’re building out an incredible interactive space called the Playground that will feature a hand-crafted lineup of mentorship sessions, skill-building booths, interactive workshops, and creative tool demos.

Register by Sept. 4 with promo code “adobeschool99code” to get 30% the regular ticket price.

6:57 PM | Permalink | No Comments

August 26, 2013

Check out Adobe’s new “Inspiration Is…” gallery

Beautiful stuff—”creative work with a story behind it”:

The Inspiration.Is Gallery is devoted to great projects from the portfolios of Behance users that showcase the story behind the work.

7:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 24, 2013

What is it we value?

Oh, humans…

  • “Studies have shown that people prefer inexpensive wines in blind taste tests,” writes James Surowiecki in the New Yorker, “but that they actually get more pleasure from drinking wine they are told is expensive. If lobster were priced like chicken, we might enjoy it less.” [Via] See also “Veblen goods.” Maybe we should just quintuple the price of mobile apps & see what happens (though for most that’d be five times zero…)
  • Hmm, this Quora posting is anonymous, but interesting if true: “The loading screen exists because when the information is returned to the user as quickly as possible, he or she will often perceive it to be less valuable. It’s as if the server didn’t put much effort into really finding a great deal. No customer ever actually articulates that; but surveys, customer testing sessions, and most importantly conversion rates support the notion that when a seven or eight second loading screen tells the user that the numbers are being crunched just for this one query, the result is perceived to be more valuable.” [Via Geoff Badner]
7:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [14]

August 21, 2013

Lego’s 3,000-piece Sydney Opera House set

Epic. I spied this monster at the Lego store Monday & had to know more. “‘Considering it took engineers eight years to figure out how to make the real Opera House sails, I feel quite proud that it only took us three,’ [creator Jamie] Berard says.” I love the evident pride & joy these folks take in their work.

And hey, as long as we’re screwing around with Lego-related links…

6:51 AM | Permalink | No Comments

August 20, 2013

Wacom introduces new Cintiq tablets, stylus

Exciting news from our friends at Wacom: According to their site,

  • “The Cintiq Companion is a fully functional, Windows 8-based tablet that enables you to run full versions of creative software such as Adobe Photoshop.” With 8GB RAM & 256GB of storage it costs $1999.
  • “The Cintiq Companion Hybrid [$1499-1599] functions as a traditional Cintiq when connected to a Mac or PC. When unplugged, it is perfect for light, spontaneous work when on the go using Android apps.”
  • The $99 Intuos Creative Stylus for iOS [iPad 3-4, Mini] “sports a unique pressure-sensitive pen tip that recognizes 2048 levels of pressure.”

I can’t help but think of John Gruber musing, “How ironic would it be if the iPad becomes the dominant mass market computer and the Surface becomes the one for artists?”

9:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 18, 2013

Lean Startup books we’re using at Adobe

We’re working to start a new business within Adobe, and to that end my partner Chris Prosser has been reading books you might find interesting:

As an entrepreneur/intrapreneur you have to be able to lie to yourself a little. Otherwise you would just stay at home and not pursue the new idea that you have. But lying to yourself until you ship your product to the marketplace can be expensive and emotionally devastating.

For those of you new to the Lean Startup Methodologies, they are tools that help you stop lying to yourself and check in with reality at all phases of developing your business. My own path with these tools has been somewhat backward. I originally thought we were further along with our business when I picked them up. But as I applied a tool that I thought was appropriate for the phase of development (for instance a retention graph for our private beta), reality would come through and we need to go a step earlier in the chain to find the problem. We finally ended up all they way back at the beginning.

Here are the books I read and what I took away from them.

4:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 17, 2013

Demo: Interactive prototype creation using Photoshop

Following up on Thursday’s post, here’s a short video demonstrating Composite:

I’m really curious about what interface designers think of all this. Is it a promising direction—one that the Photoshop team should work to facilitate?

12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

August 13, 2013

“$13,238.86 left in an NYC taxi”

I really enjoyed this short, affirming story from Casey Neistat. I was immediately transported back to discussing faith & morals late one night with a great cabbie en route to Brooklyn. It’s those little moments, those little human connections—rare as they sometimes may be—that make city life possible.

[Vimeo] [Via Bianca Giaever]

8:54 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Matryoshka-doll theremins play Beethoven 

Man, this is some Russianness embedded in more Russianness:

[YouTube] [Via]

8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

August 12, 2013

Stop making crummy-sounding videos

“Nothing will take an audience out faster,” says DP of Saturday Night Live’s film unit Alex Buono, than bad audio. “They’ll sooner accept out-of-focus, underexposed shots” than bad sound.

Well-regarded audio engineer & trainer Larry Jordan agrees: “The best way to improve the quality of your picture is to improve the quality of your sound.” He recently recorded a session on demystifying Adobe Audition for video editors.

During this 45-minute presentation, you’ll discover:

  • Send files and projects between Premiere Pro and Audition
  • Remove hum from an interview
  • Remove background noise
  • Maximize audio levels without causing distortion
  • Do an audio mix of your project
  • Create “stems,” or submixes, of your dialog, effects, and music tracks
  • Test your final mix to be sure it meets all technical specs before submitting it to the client
7:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

August 09, 2013

108 Years of Herman Miller (in 108 Seconds)

“I will have that Noguchi table someday,” notes Margot, shooting me the people’s eyebrow.

[YouTube] [Via Talin Wadsworth]

8:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 05, 2013

Friday demo/Q&A: Controlling Time in AE & Premiere Pro

Live, this Friday at noon Pacific:

During this interactive webinar Richard Harrington will show how to craft dramatic visual sequences using the various motion effects & time-lapse tools in Adobe Creative Cloud.

3:57 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Demo: How To Use Adobe Camera Raw as a Filter in Photoshop CC

Photographers seem to be digging this one:

The beauty of Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is that it provides you with a non-destructive way of making several adjustments to your images easily. However, the problem has always been that once you were in Photoshop and you had an image open, if you wanted to edit that image in ACR you would have to close it first and reopen it in ACR. Now with Photoshop CC you can use ACR with ANY layer on any image without having to close it first. In this new episode of Creative Cloud TV I show how to use the new Camera Raw Filter in Photoshop CC.

8:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 03, 2013

“Wolverine: A Film By Woody Allen”


[YouTube] [Via]

2:23 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

August 02, 2013

“The path less traveled”

One of my favorite benefits of working at Adobe is the sabbatical program. Starting at one’s 5-year anniversary, you get an extra three weeks of paid vacation time (which grows longer on subsequent 5-year marks). Adobe Life Magazine has published a nice piece about a number of employees who’ve elected to spend time serving others during their sabbaticals. In it I talk a bit about the brief time I spent last year in Guatemala.

Tangentially related, I’m also proud that Adobe matches each employee’s charitable contributions up to $10,000/year. I think that speaks to the fundamental decency of the founders, Chuck & John.

10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

LayerVault enables copying text from PSDs

Ah, now isn’t this clever: Via a Web interface, you can mouse over PSDs you’ve synced with the LayerVault service, then copy text objects it contains. Check it out:

They write,

Enabling the type tool will allow you to click any text in a PSD and copy it to your clipboard. You’ll be able to use the Type Tool with some older PSDs and any PSD you work on going forward.


8:14 AM | Permalink | No Comments

July 31, 2013

[OT] One of the best Lego investments you can make

Apropos of nothing (well, except that I’m getting jazzed for our first-ever trip to Legoland next week!), $12.99 gets you a sack o’ wheels & axles. Our boys delight in making hilariously offbeat “vehicles” (incredibly long series of planks connected via random wheels, etc.), and you can never, ever have too many wheels and axles.

Glamorous? No. A catalyst for hours of good times? You bet.

12:16 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

July 29, 2013

Friday demo/Q&A: Improve your career via Behance

Sure, well over a million people use Behance, but there’s so much power yet to unlock. Check out this session at noon Pacific* on Friday:

Mell Perling, Community Manager at Behance, as she demonstrates how Behance can take your work directly from the cloud and into the creative community on Behance. In this Ask A Pro session, you will:

  • See how being on Behance increases the discoverability of your work
  • Share work on Behance easily using your files from Creative Cloud and in CC apps
  • Learn how Behance fits into your Creative Cloud workflow
  • Explore the activity and inspiration stream of Behance on Creative Cloud Desktop
  • Harness the power of the creative community on Behance

time zone convertor

10:31 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

Video: Every Photoshop filter packed into one animated tribute

Clinton-Dole… Toad the Wet Sprocket… “the Jennifer”… Oh, excuse me: During the seizure that this clip induced, I fell down a memory hole into the mid-’90s when I swiped the “Gallery Effects” set of filters from an Adobe CD. They were later bundled into Photoshop, and thus appear here:

“Photoshop CS5 Filters Animation” is a small tribute to Photoshop filters. We used the Ps logo and systematically applied the filters in the same way, seeking the essence of the software, exploring the aesthetic values of its resources but letting the spectator judge them. […]

[The video shows] every filter one after each other, with a custom sound design that uses the same sound for each filter but with a different distortion effect for every case, exporting the graphical concept to the sound.

[Vimeo] [Via]

8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

July 27, 2013

“They’re called ‘Millennials,’ and they’re terrible”

Heh–it doesn’t have much to do with this blog, but I got a kick out of it: the Millennials in the Workplace Training Video.

[Via the millennial Bianca Giaever]

8:21 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

July 26, 2013

Attend Photoshop World, get a free year of Creative Cloud

Very cool. To quote a very excited-sounding Scott Kelby:

As I’m writing this, I gotta tell ya — I can’t believe it myself, but Adobe is giving everyone who attends the upcoming Photoshop World Conference & Expo (Sept 4-6, 2013) in Vegas, a FULL one year Adobe Creative Cloud membership. I am just floored!

That’s a $600 membership, because you get it all!!! Photoshop CC, Lightroom, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Muse, Dreamweaver, and on and on, and it all comes with your paid full conference registration. […]

You can sign up right now for a full conference pass for $598 (or just $498 if you’re already a NAPP member). Here’s the link. This is you’re best deal….well…ever!

9:27 AM | Permalink | Comments [34]

July 23, 2013

HTML5 meet up at Adobe SF on Thursday

Tantek Çelik, Web Standards Lead at Mozilla, will be speaking at the SFHTML5 meetup, 6-9pm:

New HTML5 elements and microformats give us a simple way to represent web data without additional URLs, file formats, or callbacks. Microformats2 and HTML5 improvements bring better accessibility, simpler markup, improved semantics, and a direct mapping to JSON APIs for data consumers.

Millions of web sites use microformats to make their data available. Other approaches have emerged as well (e.g. RDFa, microdata, OGP, schema, Twitter Cards). Tantek will discuss which microformats to use for search engines and for public APIs.

2:04 PM | Permalink | No Comments

July 22, 2013

Thursday demo/Q&A: Build mobile apps with PhoneGap & Dreamweaver

10am Pacific (time zone convertor):

Description: Come join us to learn how to author projects using HTML (HTML5 forms, Enhanced JQuery support) CSS and JavaScript. You will also learn how to build and package native mobile apps for Android and iOS with Adobe PhoneGap Build support in Dreamweaver CC.

9:27 PM | Permalink | No Comments

July 20, 2013

Crazy person + GoPro + tower crane…

…equals compelling, if gut-churning:

What was James Kingston thinking? He’s here to tell you:


12:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

July 18, 2013

Apply to become an Adobe Student Rep

This would’ve been a good gig for me back in the day (when I was an Apple student rep):

If you’re passionate about design or video and want hands-on marketing and event planning experience with a company that is changing the world through digital experiences, this program is for you.

The ideal Student Rep will be creative, entrepreneurial, and well-connected, with strong online and offline social networks. A deep knowledge of and passion for Adobe applications is essential. This career-building position will potentially lead to a creative internship in a top advertising agency, so the ability to work independently to meet deadlines and reporting requirements will be hugely beneficial.

Check out the program page for complete details.

6:32 PM | Permalink | No Comments

July 17, 2013

Tippett Studios FX come to an app

Cool news from stop-motion legend Phil Tippett:

The Tippett Creature Shop, featuring downloadable, quality creature animations including dinosaurs, robots, dragons, zombies, monsters and penguins has just opened in the free app Efexio, a marketplace for special effects. Standard animations are priced between $0.99 and $1.99. Pro versions are available for between $4.99 and $9.99 for those users who wish to export videos at full HD resolution. Each animation is fully textured.

Efexio comes with one free effect and a new free effect will be released each month.

Check out the app’s community channel for more info. [Via Dan Goldman]

7:19 AM | Permalink | No Comments

July 16, 2013

Adobe brings GPU-powered video editing to the cloud

My wife’s team’s new collaborative video platform, Adobe Anywhere, began shipping last week. In this video Principal Scientist Enzo Guerrera talks how Anywhere brings scalable video editing workflows to the cloud with NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.

8:02 AM | Permalink | No Comments

July 15, 2013

Stay frosty, Star Wars

  •  Vesa Lehtimäki makes terrific images of Legos on Hoth. On Flickr he shares some of his techniques (e.g. creating snow by using ground plaster of Paris flakes underwater).
  • Adobe’s own Christian Cantrell makes tons of fun Lego Star Wars portraits (e.g. the pet AT-AT below).
  • Elsewhere on Wired Spencer Ackerman breaks down what Kottke calls “The hubris and folly of Darth Vader at Hoth.” (Pro tip: “Don’t place unaccountable religious fanatics in wartime command, and never underestimate a hegemonic power’s ability to miscalculate against an insurgency.”)
  • On Quora someone dares to ask, “Did the Rebel Alliance really blow up the Death Star, or was it all planned by Vader and the Emperor to drum up support for their war against the terrorists?”
  • And this… I don’t even know what to say about this. But I want to drive it, immediately.



8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

July 14, 2013

If Gondry tackled cheerleaders…

The trippy vid for Canadian DJ A-Trak’s “Jumbo” reminds me of Michel Gondry’s earlier, brilliant looper Come Into My World:


9:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

July 11, 2013

MirrorMe plug-in brings instant symmetry to Illustrator

Astute Graphics, makers of popular & powerful Illustrator plug-ins like VectorScribe, have introduced the cool-looking MirrorMe for Illustrator CS5 & above:

  • User-defined origin and axis angle
  • User-defined number of axes
  • Flexible live annotations to keep you informed
  • Pause and resume mirroring on layers
  • Copy and paste mirror axes in and across documents
  • Auto-trim and joining of paths across axes

The product costs £39 +VAT (approximately $58 / €45) and is part of their larger product bundle (£149/$225/€173).

9:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

July 09, 2013

What’s the most effective way to request product improvements?

In brief, tell product creators what you’re trying to accomplish, then give them a chance to figure out how to help you accomplish it.

Lightroom creator & longtime Photoshop leader Mark Hamburg puts things really well:

Lists of desired features are interesting because they let us know what it is you want. Descriptions of what these features should do are interesting because it provides clarity around how you think about the features.

But what really scores points are use cases. Tell us what you are trying to do because that tells us what problem we need to go solve.

For example:

“I shoot pictures of sunsets. Almost always this generates a lot of photos — 10, 20, 30, 100. I want to share the photos but I want to just share a few so as not to overwhelm my audience. I need Revel to make it easier to go from 10 to 100 photos down to 2 to 5 photos.”

Note that that didn’t specify particular features. It specified a problem and what it gave us was a use case that we can reference and judge features against. It sets us up to ask “how well does the image review feature work for solving the sunset problem”?

Sometimes the use case for a feature is obvious. But that’s not always true, and by couching requests and discussions in terms of use cases, we have another way to check and confirm that we are all on the same wavelength.

2:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [14]

July 08, 2013

Photoshop users, Jeff has your back

My friend Jeff Tranberry is one of the great unsung heroes of the Photoshop community. After working in design & photography, he joined Adobe, did many years of testing of Photoshop & ImageReady, and most recently became Chief Customer Advocate. He tackles what’s sometimes “an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about*” on behalf of customers, all while maintaining composure during his little daughter’s medical odyssey. You can read about Jeff & his work on the Photoshop team blog.

*Okay, Cameron Crowe’s words, not Jeff’s, but always kinda great

10:35 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

July 03, 2013

Behind the scenes of The Great Gatsby’s VFX

Visual Effects supervisor Chris Godfrey gives a peek behind the curtain:


8:04 AM | Permalink | No Comments

July 01, 2013

“We Are The Creative Class”

Adobe’s Experience Design department crafted this ode to all those who create:

8:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 29, 2013

Foregoing digital, exploring the physical

I love the way the team at Sagmeister & Walsh uses physical media (magnetized iron filings, exploding powder, braided hair, and more), as shown in this brief interview with partner Jessica Walsh. (Note: Very mildly NSFW due to very brief nudity.)

8:24 AM | Permalink | No Comments

June 25, 2013

Live demos/Q&A’s this week

Thursday at 10am Pacific, Creative Cloud for Video Pros:

  • Use the powerful new Creative Cloud Desktop for managing your CC applications, file access, Behance integration, and more.
  • Take your preferences with you with Sync Settings in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects
  • See the top newfeatures in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects Pro CC
  • Learn about Photoshop and Camera Raw workflows for video.

Friday at noon Pacific, Creative Cloud for Web Designers/Developers:

In this session Evangelist Paul Trani will take you through how Creative Cloud helps both web designers and developers work faster and smarter than ever before when building content for the modern, responsive web. Learn how to collaborate and share files and folders as well as new ways to work with web fonts on the desktop. See the latest in Photoshop, Illustrator and Reflow when creating web content, as well as discover the latest in Edge Tools and Services. A session not to be missed.

You can register here. (time zone convertor)

8:33 AM | Permalink | No Comments

Quick tips on optimizing Photoshop performance

Zorana Gee gives a concise set of suggestions:


7:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

June 22, 2013

Adobe Inspire Magazine arrives for summer

It’s available on the Web and for iPad in the App Store. Highlights include typographical portraits, tips on creating parallax scrolling, free access to Edge Web Fonts, and more.

8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

A cool-looking Creative Cloud promo video

Via art director Paul Clements, who’s posted some production stills on Behance:


8:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

June 20, 2013

Quote o’ the Day

Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.Walker Evans

After I first heard this, I’d find myself having scary-intense moment staring at, say, grout in the shower. Good times.

3:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

June 19, 2013

Friday demo for photographers: Photoshop CC & Lightroom 5

Noon Pacific:

Join Julieanne Kost as she demonstrates new features in Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, as well as sharing and collaboration features of Adobe Creative Cloud. In this Ask A Pro session, you will:

  • Learn how Creative Cloud brings additional capabilities to your workflow with Sync Settings, Sync Fonts, and sharing with Creative Cloud
  • See new features in Photoshop CC to enable more advanced sharpening than ever before with all-new Smart Sharpen, intelligent upsampling, and Camera Shake Reduction
  • Learn how to perfect your images using the new Upright and Advanced Healing Brush in Adobe Camera Raw 8 and Lightroom 5
  • See how to customize your photo books in the updated Book module in Lightroom 5
  • Share your images with the leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work using Share to Behance from within Photoshop CC

(time zone convertor)

8:32 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

June 14, 2013

Quote o’ the day

“If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.” — Montesquieu

I meditate on this frequently, especially in our industry where it seems everyone’s chasing the apparent validation that comes from making millions selling some some money-losing POS to a greater fool.

8:01 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 13, 2013

Check out the new CSS Designer in Dreamweaver

Tuesday, 10am Pacific (time zone convertor): 

Come join us to learn about the new CSS Designer feature in Dreamweaver CC. The new CSS Designer is an intuitive visual editing tool that helps generate clean web-standard code and let you quickly apply CSS properties such as gradients and box shadows.

Sign up here.

9:07 PM | Permalink | No Comments

June 11, 2013

From punk rock to Premiere Pro

This Thursday [update: here’s the recording] catch a demo/Q&A session with director Richard Jobson starting at 10am Pacific (convertor):

Wayland’s Song is an independent feature film that was completed entirely with Adobe CC production software. Please join us for a special session with director Richard Jobson where he will describe the whole process from planning through to final delivery, including scriptwriting and production scheduling with Adobe Story, ingest with Prelude, video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, audio editing in Audition, and final color grading with SpeedGrade. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.

About Richard Jobson
Richard Jobson is the former lead singer for The Skids, a popular punk band in the 1980s. From there he moved into broadcasting where he became a well-known film critic and television host in the UK. Jobson started writing screenplays in 2002 and moved into directing short films and game cinematics in 2003. His first exposure to Adobe production software was through working with After Effects –in fact one of his feature films was edited entirely in this motion graphics application! Scheduled to open in June, 2013, Wayland’s Song is Jobson’s sixth feature film.

No word on whether he’ll shoot a sequel to Don’ You Go Rounin’ Roun To Re Ro.

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June 10, 2013

Quote o’ the day

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — W.B. Yeats (via Gov. Jerry Brown)

So c’mon, baby, let’s light some fires.

4:59 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

“[Screw] it, we’re building a Corvette”

“Design means making decisions,” we’re told, instead of trying to be everything to everyone. Along those lines I enjoyed this bit of profanity-laced wisdom from Adam Carolla. (Context: He’s talking about cable channels’ decision to make interesting shows for specific audiences, instead of milquetoast “minivans” that fail to please anyone.) [Source]

3:11 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

June 05, 2013

“Stories We Tell”

Sarah Polley has released Stories We Tell, “a genre-twisting film that playfully excavates layers of myth and memory to reveal the truth at the core of a family of storytellers.” Our new resident storyteller Bianca Giaever writes, “I was half-laughing, half-crying the entire second half. If you get a chance, it is a must see!”

1:59 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Julieanne Kost: Creating Stunning Videos in Photoshop

Wait… why would you create & edit videos in Photoshop? Julieanne explains:

Discover how you can use Adobe Photoshop to easily create polished videos from your DSLR video footage and stills. Watch as Adobe Digital Imaging Evangelist Julieanne Kost demonstrates easy workflows and techniques to create great videos using Photoshop. In this session, Kost will cover:

  • What’s possible with creating videos in Photoshop
  • How to use the built-in video features introduced in Photoshop CS6
  • Step-by-step techniques for creating stunning videos
  • Understanding key techniques, tips, and tricks.
9:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 04, 2013

Photoshop CS6 updates now available

The Photoshop team has just made a Photoshop CS6 update (13.0.5 for Mac, for Win) available for perpetual-license customer (non-Creative Cloud subscribers). It addresses a small number of bugs on each platform. CC members can sit tight: Photoshop CC will be released on June 17th and will include any fixes that aren’t already in the current version (13.1.2) along along with all the new features.

11:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

Demo: Theories and Harmonies of Color

Given all the interest in the new Adobe Kuler, you might enjoy this talk from Stéphane Baril, an Adobe systems engineer and a graphic novel colorist. In this talk he covers:

  • How to understand and effectively use a color wheel in your design process
  • How to use Live Color and Recolor Artwork in Illustrator, both for color exploration and graphic production
  • Tips and techniques for using color in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign

Update/related: See CreativePro’s 10 Essential Tips for Kuler.

9:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 03, 2013

A Creative Cloud success story

I know that not everyone is sold on Creative Cloud, but I liked this comment from reader Nat Brown. This is why I harp on the importance of CC knocking down barriers to entry.

For some of us, the Cloud has been a game changer. […]

I was a solo Photoshop user who wanted to pick up Illustrator. I calculated the Cloud to increase my Adobe expenses over three years by a factor of two and to be a break even with purchasing the two packages individually. I picked up some cost offsets in storage and hosting. For that, I got access to the whole Creative Suite plus more.

The surprise for me was InDesign. I never would have spent the money on it but it is quickly becoming my most valuable piece of Adobe software. I’m currently wrapping up an InDesign project that takes 1000 pages of federal Department of Labor regulations & commentary and wraps them into an 80 page interactive PDF. This one project alone will pay for the whole Cloud purchase — not just this year but for the next two as well.

2:16 PM | Permalink | Comments [52]

Demo: Photoshop for Web Designers

Lynda.com’s Justin Seeley gave a comprehensive presentation at MAX:

Justin reveals image optimization techniques while debunking web resolution myths. He’ll also help you learn how to use Photoshop to work with HTML and CSS files, and show how these tools can help improve your workflow. He may even have time to sneak in a few new Photoshop features. In this session, you’ll learn how to:

  • Use layer comps to simulate interactivity and multipage layouts
  • Create Retina display–caliber graphics using actions and batch processing
  • Build UI libraries with shape layers
  • Create image sprites
  • Work with pixel grid alignment and design with grid systems
10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

MagicPicker 3.0 for Photoshop adds Tone Lock

Anastasiy Safari has updated his popular color-picking panel for Photoshop with, among other things, the ability to maintain colors’ tone while changing their hue:

8:04 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

June 02, 2013

Demos: One-Click Techniques & Expressive Painting in Photoshop

Jack Davis is a master Photoshop teacher. Enjoy the techniques he recently showed at Adobe MAX:

12:36 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

May 30, 2013

Demo: Photoshop Power Shortcuts

I can all but guarantee you’ll learn a lot & enjoy this presentation from the guy who brought me into Adobe, Michael Ninness.

This energetic, fun, and fast-paced session will leave you smacking your forehead and saying “I wish I’d known that years ago!” This session will reveal as many tips and techniques to boost your productivity as can be packed into 60 minutes. In this session, Michael Ninness, Senior VP of Product and Content, lynda.com, will cover:+ The top 20 power shortcuts every Photoshop user MUST know.+ Easy techniques for correcting color and tone and recovering image detail.+ Automating certain tasks — without recording Actions!+ Optimization tips for smaller and more efficient web graphics.

8:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

May 29, 2013

A turntable that “plays” the rings of a tree

Kind of fascinating:

Creator Bartholomäus Traubeck says,

It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.


11:04 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

May 28, 2013

Congrats to John Knoll

Dang… how strong must your résumé be that “Photoshop co-creator” doesn’t even get mentioned? Congratulations to John Knoll on his promotion to Chief Creative Officer of Industrial Light & Magic:

Knoll’s credits as vfx supervisor include the first three “Pirates of the Caribbean” pictures, the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy, two “Mission: Impossible” pics, two “Star Trek” films and the upcoming “Pacific Rim.” He won a vfx Oscar for the second “Pirates” pic and was co-leader of ILM’s production team on the Oscar-winning animated feature “Rango.” […]

“Folks tend to get very busy on their own shows,” said Knoll, “and don’t have time to periodically share with everybody else what they’re working on. ‘Have you thought about that?’ We have this wealth of talent that if we’re smart we leverage on all projects.”

My friend Philip worked at ILM and said, “It’s really intimidating to use Photoshop in front of a guy who wrote Photoshop.” On the upside, he reported, if a lens flare doesn’t look good, John will just go and write you a new one.

Here’s John re-creating his original demo of Photoshop 1.0.

7:59 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

May 26, 2013

Mad Men meets Daft Punk

There’s no justifying the amount of pleasure this gives me:

12:26 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

May 22, 2013

The Visual Storytelling Tour

This tour (hitting 31 cities around the US this summer) sounds pretty cool:

[The tour] delivers an intense educational overview of the artistic elements and core principles of cinematography. Taught by Oscar nominee and Director of Photography of the Saturday Night Live Film Unit, Alex Buono, this all-day class features training that will dramatically increase the impact of your films. 

I was talking about attending with a couple of teammates, only to discover later that Adobe’s a sponsor. Maybe I’ll see you there!

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May 21, 2013

Demo: Hidden gems in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes writes, “This presentation of Hidden Gems was popular enough to get a second session added and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I don’t touch CC (as that’s all still a “hidden gem”), and instead focus mainly on CS6 (though I also show some cool stuff in CS5 and CS4… and people really seemed to appreciate that).”

8:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

A Leap Motion- & Arduino-controlled marble labyrinth

“Strange,” mused the Director, as they turned away, “strange to think that even in Our Ford’s day most games were played without more apparatus than a ball or two and a few sticks and perhaps a bit of netting. Imagine the folly of allowing people to play elaborate games which do nothing whatever to increase consumption. It’s madness. Nowadays the Controllers won’t approve of any new game unless it can be shown that it requires at least as much apparatus as the most complicated of existing games.” [Brave New World]

[Via John Dowdell]

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

May 16, 2013

The Coen Brothers switch to Premiere Pro

How cool

The next version of Adobe video tools has been developed with features created in direct response to the needs of filmmakers, broadcasters and video professionals. In fact, the multiple Academy Award winning Coen brothers have been working directly with the Adobe Premiere Pro product team and are switching to Adobe Premiere Pro for their next feature film slated for late 2013.

I remember Apple demos at NAB featuring these guys. How times change. [Via]

4:27 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

May 15, 2013

Friday demo/Q&A: New Ways to Work with Creative Cloud

10am Pacific time with evangelist Paul Trani:

Creative Cloud is so much more than just the apps available. It’s about removing the clutter from work and focusing on producing great projects. It’s about sharing and collaborating. It’s about syncing more than just a file, and more than just with yourself. In this session, Paul Trani will take you through this new way of working and new ways of thinking about Creative Cloud.

8:05 AM | Permalink | No Comments

May 14, 2013

Welcoming a new storyteller to Adobe

I’m delighted to say that accomplished young storyteller Bianca Giaever has just joined my team at Adobe.

Bianca recently graduated Middlebury College, where she created her own program as an Independent Scholar in Narrative Studies. Her short film “The Scared is scared” (below) recently crossed the million-view threshhold on Vimeo, and in 2011 she conducted interviews with veterans across the country by bicycle for the War In Voice Project through a grant from Davis Projects For Peace. She’s been all over public radio, featured at TED, working at the New York Review of Books, and generally making me feel like an underachieving slacker.

Now, why exactly would Adobe want a storyteller on staff? I can’t explain in full yet, but it’ll make sense soon enough. (In the meantime, if that piques your interest, shoot me a note: tinyElvis at adobe.)

For now I’ll just say welcome, Bianca!

10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

May 12, 2013

Tuesday in SJ: Bert Monroy

Master digital painter Bert Monroy will be speaking at the San José Photoshop User Group Tuesday evening at 7pm:

Bert Monroy is an accomplished teacher and lecturer, having served on the faculty of a list of institutions that includes The School of Visual Arts (New York), Center for Creative Imaging (Maine), California College of the Arts, the Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging (California) and currently teaches at San Francisco State University. He also consults with and trains corporate clients, including Pixar and Disney Animation. His film credits include work for Industrial Light & Magic, Pacific Data Images, and R/Greenberg Associates.

Bert is a member of the Photoshop World Dream Team. In 2004, he was inducted into the Photoshop Hall of Fame.

Bert Monroy returns to show us some of his recent work, sharing techniques he has developed in the creation of his photo-realistic paintings.

Check out the event page for full details.

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May 06, 2013

Watch the Adobe MAX keynote live, starting in 10 minutes

Check it out here. Today’s going to be a very news-rich day.

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May 03, 2013

SpeedGrade’s new shot matcher

Color-correcting a single image can be a challenge. Correcting a video clip, even more so. Correcting a whole series of shots & making them look good together—well, that takes some skill, plus some tech like the forthcoming release of Adobe SpeedGrade:

8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

May 01, 2013

Reminder: “Adobe, photography, & the cloud” briefing in 1 hour

Starting at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific:

In this special live episode you can go right to the source and ask Tom Hogarty from Adobe your questions about their story for photographers and their photography roadmap. Also, Tom will sneak peek some future products and give us a look into the roadmap for photographers.

You can tweet questions to Tom via #thegridlive.

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LayerMiner: Photoshop script exports Layer Styles to JSON

Of LayerMiner Tom Krcha writes:

In the designer/developer workflow it often happens that you want to export the Layer Style out of a Photoshop layer for custom processing in app UI development – native, web, gaming… I wrote a tiny script that exports data like Drop Shadow, Gradient Fill, Stroke, etc to a JSON file next to your PSD file.

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April 30, 2013

Adobe, photography, & the cloud: Sneak peek tomorrow

As I type this, Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty is en route to Florida, preparing to talk live with Scott Kelby on The Grid tomorrow at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific. Scott writes,

Feeling like photographers have been left out of this whole “cloud” discussion from Adobe?

In this special live episode you can go right to the source and ask Tom Hogarty from Adobe your questions about their story for photographers and their photography roadmap. Also, Tom will sneak peek some future products and give us a look into the roadmap for photographers.

I think you’ll like what you see.

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April 29, 2013

Sneak Peek: QR Codes in InDesign

A treat for robots’ eyes:

10:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

April 25, 2013

An Interactive Forest of Musical Lasers

They had me at “Marshmallow Laser Feast”:

I would sure like to unleash some Micronaxx on this bad boy. [Via]

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April 24, 2013

Join Russell Brown at MAX May 3-5

Full-body, mixed-media free-for-all: That’s how I’d describe the Russell Brown at MAX sessions I’ve had the pleasure to experience over the years. This year’s in LA should be no different:

FrankSeven reasons to sign up for RussellBrown@MAX

  1. Classic Movie Monsters
  2. Amazing Photoshop Instructors like Julieanne Kost and Joel Grimes
  3. Meet the Wolfman and Frankenstein’s Monster in person!
  4. Print directly on to a t-shirt with a Brother Garment Printer!
  5. Print 60X40 inch Epson GIANT movie posters
  6. Learn cool things about Photoshop that you have NEVER been shown before!
  7. Photograph with a RED Epic camera!

What are you waiting for?! Sign up here.

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April 23, 2013

Page Layers app turns HTML into PSDs

Hmm—interesting concept (reversing what we normally see, i.e. PSD to HTML):

The app costs $28.99 on the Mac App Store. [Via Stephen Nielson]

8:59 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

More props for Adobe Anywhere

Bob Zelin writing for Creative Cow:

Adobe Anywhere was the most important product at NAB 2013 – more amazing than the Blackmagic 4K camera, or anyone else’s product. The reality that “one day soon” (and “one day” right now for CNN) that you can be in Iraq with a WiFi Connection and can access your company server’s 4K media and edit it over WiFi, and don’t need any other equipment – well that just makes me sick.

Anyone that can afford it will buy Adobe Anywhere, and anyone that has Adobe Anywhere will never use any other editing software other than what Adobe provides. […] As this product becomes more accessible to the regular production and post production companies, the only products that will survive will be the ones that tie in with Adobe Anywhere.

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April 22, 2013

The Invisible Bicycle Helmet

“If people say it’s impossible we have to prove them wrong.”

Design students Anna and Terese took on a giant challenge as an exam project. Something no one had done before. If they could swing it, it would for sure be revolutionary. The bicycle is a tool to change the world. If we use bikes AND travel safe: Life will be better for all.

[Via Maria Brenny]

8:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

April 21, 2013

Time Lapse: Creating the Adobe MAX logo

Last month the design team of Jessica Walsh and Stefan Sagmeister locked themselves away for 24 hours to create a new logo for Adobe MAX. Here’s a time lapse of what happened:

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April 19, 2013

Survey: What do you think of Creative Cloud?

From your lips to the Adobe brass’s ears. (And yes, there’s a sort of cheesy “push” aspect to the early set of questions, but there are legitimate questions and a free-text entry field at the end.) Thanks for your help!

[Update: I’m sorry that I didn’t read through the whole survey before posting it, and sorry that it comes off as self-promotion masquerading as a real invitation to dialog. I believe that the creators’ intentions were good, and that people really will listen to the answers you supply.]

9:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [49]

April 13, 2013

Nordstrom builds an iPad app in front of customers

Wow—talk about rapid iteration & being close to customers. In this short piece, Nordstrom’s Innovation Lab team shows how they conducted the 1-week experiment of building an iPad app that helped customers (and sales reps) pick the best sunglasses for them. The team set up workstations inside the Seattle flagship store so that they could tweak designs and code immediately based on customer feedback.

[Via Molly Ruf]

8:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

April 12, 2013

“Why Adobe Anywhere is the Only Tool That Will Actually Make You a Better Filmmaker”

High praise from Filmmaker IQ:

This. Changes. Everything. […]

While every product being marketed out there was about making the image better and more beautiful, or the workflow easier and more automated, Adobe Anywhere was the only thing I saw that enables better collaboration and communication on a fundamental and crucial part of the filmmaking process. Although I’ve been a die-hard Adobe fan since I started editing, I’m trying to say this as best I can without bias – this idea of collaborative editing is one who’s time has come. Even though the current Adobe Anywhere may require be a little too much for small shops to implement right now, I have no doubt Adobe or whoever will find a way to bring this idea to everybody.

It’s only a matter of time for this paradigm shift.

[Via Todd Kopriva]

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April 10, 2013

“So God Made a Zombie”

A little bizarre fun from Russell Brown:

[Via Ammar Al Midani]

8:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

April 09, 2013

What’s the Creative Cloud Packager?

If you’re not an administrator responsible for deploying Adobe apps, you can skip this one. If you are an admin, however, you may well be excited. According to PM Karl Gibson, “This new tool lets admins download all Creative Cloud products & updates; define custom installation behavior; and at the end have a native MSI or PKG that you use with your deployment tool.” See Karl’s post and product docs for more details, and check out the demo below:

8:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

April 08, 2013

What is Adobe Anywhere?

I’m so proud that my wife Margot gets to help deliver the next generation of collaborative awesomeness. Adobe Anywhere helps editors, VFX artists, and other video pros simultaneously access, stream, and work with remotely stored media. As the product site says, “There’s no need for heavy file transfers, duplicate media, or proxy files.”

Here’s how it works, in under 3 minutes:

And check out how CNN & others are putting Anywhere into action:

It’s fun for me to see some of these customers at last. Many are based in Europe, so I’ll often wake up to the sound of Margot dialing into early morning conference calls. One day Finn, age 4, asked me, “Dad-O, is Mom-O talking to Germans?” Yes, I told him. “No!” he said, “Nein nein nein nein!” :-)

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

April 07, 2013

“Pixel Rain”

Hmm—I’d never heard this metaphor when discussing the quantity vs. quality of pixels on a sensor, but I like it. Here’s HTC’s Symon Whitehorn talking about their move from 8 to 4 megapixels:

This debunks the so-called “megapixel myth,” which says that more megapixels equals a better image. “The old analogy that the industry uses is called pixel rain, so you can imagine photons coming down as rain—with photon rain being collected in buckets with the buckets being the pixel,” says Whitehorn. “Now you could put a lot of little cups out and try to collect the same amount of rain and you wind up getting noise between the cups as opposed to it all falling into one big bucket.”

Of course, now I kind of want to see some cheeky artist take this idea to its absurd extreme, producing a sensor that’s just 1 pixel in resolution—but oh man is that pixel’s quality ever high.

8:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

April 06, 2013

Creative Cloud for Students: Big discount until tomorrow

The special introductory price of $19.99 is good until tomorrow, April 7. Grab it here.

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Quadrocopters swarm to draw the Star Trek insignia

Frivolous, silly? Possibly. Cool, impressive? You bet.

Here’s how they did it. [Via John Dowdell]

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April 03, 2013

Today’s the 40th anniversary of the first cell phone call

From CNET:

Martin Cooper changed the world when he made the first cell phone call 40 years ago.

The former Motorola vice president and division manager made the call on the company’s DynaTAC phone while standing in front of the New York Hilton on Sixth Avenue. His first call: to the head of research at Bell Labs, a company that also was attempting to build the first cell phone.

Check out the rest of the article for a fun (albeit sadly Gekko-less) infographic.

7:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

April 01, 2013

How and When to Rename Files in Lightroom 4

Julieanne Kost shares her advice.

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Photoshop is yours to download & keep, for free

Completely legal! April Fool’s? Not so much.

  • The good news: It runs great in just 2MB of memory on an 8MHz machine.
  • The bad news: The version is 23 years old & requires use of a compiler.

According to CNET,

The Computer History Museum has made the source code for Photoshop 1.0.1 into an exhibit that lets the public, or at least programmers, appreciate the inner workings of the historic software.

The museum also published the Photoshop 1.0 user guide and tutorial documentation.


8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

March 30, 2013

Jack Dorsey on what succeeded for Twitter

Okay, let me be honest: I generally hate the veneration of tech successes, particularly very newly minted ones (i.e. maybe you got lucky, and now I’m told to sit enraptured at your knee). Dang, though, if I didn’t find this talk from Twitter creator Jack Dorsey interesting. Key points:

1) Draw: get your idea out of your head and share it, 2) Luck: assess when the time (and the market) is right to execute your idea, 3) Iterate: take in the feedback, be a rigorous editor, and refine your idea.

“Get it out of your head” has sure been true in my experience. Sketch ideas out yourself, and if need be pay someone to design/animate them. Aids to audience imagination make all the difference between blank stares & “let’s do this.”


8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 28, 2013

Ephemicropolis: A city of staples

British artist Peter Root is the god of office supplies, arranging 100,000 staples over 40 hours to create “Ephemicropolis.” He writes,

A shining monochrome mega-construction defies immediate identification of scale. Vulnerable, not to a rampaging Godzilla, but to the looming threats of a micro-apocalyptic light breeze or a ballistic projectile fired from the shoe of an unwitting passer-by.


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March 27, 2013

Creative Cloud members: Your beautiful portfolio hosting has arrived

Check out the first fruits of Adobe’s acquisition of social network Behance: You can now build a beautiful home for your photography, design work, and résumé—all for free (instead of the usual $100/yr.), and without writing any code, as a full Creative Cloud member.

Check out this quick demo of Behance ProSite, and take a look at some lovely example sites.

To get started:

  1. Log in and go to the Apps page on creative.adobe.com
  2. Find the ProSite icon under “Other Services” and click on the “Get Started” link
  3. You’ll be brought to the ProSite welcome page on Behance, where you can either log in or sign up for Behance to build your portfolio and launch your ProSite when you’re ready.


The Behance team hints at more good stuff to come:

We will start integrating some of Behance’s best community features into Adobe tools. Want feedback? Adding new work to your portfolio? We want to make this more efficient and more integrated into your everyday workflow. Stay tuned for updates in May!

We have grand plans for ProSite – and other “Pro” features – that will make Behance a more powerful utility for creative careers. We’ve got a long list of enhancements and features that will bring online portfolios to a whole new level.

Stay tuned, and meanwhile enjoy ProSite.

3:34 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

March 26, 2013

Join the Behance Portfolio Review Week, May 13-20

“If you don’t showcase your work because ‘it’s not good enough,’ don’t expect it to get any better.” Sounds about right to me. With that in mind, check out the Behance Portfolio Review Week, May 13-20:

Attend or organize an in-person Portfolio Review with the creative community.

Behance Portfolio Reviews bring members together at events in cities and towns around the world – organized by members, for members. Attend a Portfolio Review to present and get feedback on your work, hear from experienced professionals, and meet your local creative community.

Check out the site for full details (what goes on, how to find or start one, etc.). Last year nearly 4,000 people participated in 46 countries (80% of participants being outside the US). (Here’s an infographic.)

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March 25, 2013

24 hours to design a logo: Go!

Jessica Walsh and Stefan Sagmeister* are going to lock themselves into a photo studio starting this Thursday, March 28 at 6AM Pacific time in order to reinterpret the Adobe MAX logo. The session will be live streamed on the Create Now Facebook app and on a billboard in Times Square in NYC. Details are here.

*presumably clothed this time; sorry, weirdoes!

8:07 AM | Permalink | No Comments

March 21, 2013

Half a million people now subscribing to Creative Cloud

In less than 12 months:

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced that Adobe® Creative Cloud™ has exceeded 500,000 paid individual members. The company also reported that free and trial memberships have exceeded 2 million. Free subscriptions are a proven on-ramp for customers to move to a paid Creative Cloud membership.

I know this subject arouses a lot of strong feelings. I can’t always provide satisfying answers, but please know that people are listening. It’s totally valid to raise questions & concerns. I just want to note that a huge number of people have already migrated to Creative Cloud subscriptions and are, by all accounts, digging it (even if they’re not necessarily motivated to comment here).

1:23 PM | Permalink | Comments [40]

March 20, 2013

Welcome back, Bryan

I’m delighted that Bryan Lamkin, the PM of Photoshop back in its early days & later a key executive at Adobe, has returned to the company.


In a wide-ranging blog post he offers his take on the merits of Creative Cloud:

As a former product manager, I remember the team’s frustration when they were forced to hold back features to fit our 18-month Creative Suite product cycle. It was very difficult to deliver new innovations “off-cycle” due to our delivery and accounting model. (Every desktop software company struggles with this same challenge.) Nothing is more satisfying to one of our talented engineers than getting a new product feature into the hands of customers quickly, and now we can.

Creative Cloud… will be the hub for creativity worldwide and enable you to work when and where you want. It will be where creative communities gather to be inspired by each other’s work and collaborate on projects.

Right on. Glad to have you back, Bryan.

9:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

Apply for Adobe’s $1 million in youth scholarships

I’m pleased to see that Adobe is designating more than $1 million to the Adobe Foundation’s Creativity Scholarships for youth.

The Creativity Scholarships program was developed to support the next generation of creative thinkers and equip them with resources to apply creative confidence to advance their education in creative fields.

The scholarships provide financial support to high school seniors and students in their first year of post-secondary education who have participated in the Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) program and will be attending or continuing an accredited post-secondary degree or certificate program.

To apply, submit your application AdobeScholarship.com by March 31, 2013. Full details can be found here.

8:05 AM | Permalink | No Comments

March 19, 2013

“You are selling people *themselves*”

Apropos of the “holes-not-drills” example (focusing on customer goals), I liked this bit of advice from CopyHackers.com. It meshes exactly with what I say about Instagram, Paper, and other apps making people look cool and even feel loved. And it reminds me of the coarse but candid promise I heard back when my team was building the Gucci.com Web site: “This shirt will get you laid.”

You are not selling a product

…You are selling every visitor to your site the chance to see a better reflection in the mirror.

Don’t believe me?

  • Apple isn’t selling me an iPod. They’re selling me a happier, cooler version of myself.
  • SalesForce isn’t selling me a CRM. They’re selling me a more organized, more professional version of myself. They’re selling me a future of profiting from well-managed relationships, which is what I want.
  • DonorsChoose isn’t “selling” me a way to support schools. They’re selling me a more giving, more community-minded version of myself. They’re selling me the chance to influence the next generation, which is what I want.

What aspiration does your product address?

8:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 18, 2013

What’s the deal with Creative Cloud for Teams?

Glad you asked!

Join Creative Cloud Evangelist, Paul Trani and Director of Evangelism for Creative Cloud, Greg Wilson on Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 8AM Pacific for a Google Hangout to get the inside scoop on Creative Cloud for teams – our solution that makes working together — and managing licenses — easier than ever.

Be sure to submit your questions for the evangelists using #CreateNow.

For more information on Creative Cloud for teams, visit our official website.

9:30 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Adobe paid internship for art, design, & photography majors

From Julieanne Kost’s blog:

Adobe is looking for art student interns with expertise in any of Adobe’s Creative Suite products. These interns will interact with our user communities by answering questions and providing learning content to our customers. They will use Adobe’s products to create video tutorials, artwork, animations, and samples. Ideal candidates will have strong writing and communication skills as well as experience with social media, forums, or blogging.

Apply for the Digital Media Intern position at Jobs at Adobe and search for job number 20458.

9:24 AM | Permalink | No Comments

March 17, 2013

Happy St. Pat’s!

The Royal Irish Academy has used Adobe DPS* to create “a gift from the people of Ireland to the people of the world for St. Patrick’s Day to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union: ‘A History of Ireland in 100 Objects'” (available for iPad/iPhone, Kindle Fire, and Android tablets):

“Fintan O’Toole, a journalist from The Irish Times, launched the project in 2011 with a series of newspaper columns highlighting 100 objects from Ireland, the UK and Norway that connect with Ireland’s rich past,” writes Joe Zeff, whose design firm produced the app.  “Those columns became a hardcover book, and that book became the series of apps that we designed and developed for multiple platforms using Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.”

Elsewhere, the NY Times tells the story of the Jackie Clarke Collection, “an astounding treasure of more than 100,000 items that provide an intimate retelling of Ireland’s long struggle to free itself of English rule.” The collection was amassed by a fish merchant from County Mayo (home of my family). Check out the photos, audio & video.

* Did you know that if you subscribe to Creative Cloud, you can create an unlimited number of DPS titles for free? Just sayin’.

8:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 13, 2013

Promising tools for client reviews

I still have scars from making HTML “presents pages” at the very last minute for client reviews. Now some new tools promise to make things much easier.

Web service Flatsies bills itself as “a tool for designers to share their concepts with clients in a simple and elegant way.”

Elsewhere, Filefolio promises to help you “Share images, fonts, color swatches, documents and login codes. All on one gorgeous looking page.” It hasn’t yet launched, but you can sign up to be notified.

[Via Khoi Vinh]

4:19 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

March 11, 2013

Think On My Sins

This blog used to be better. Instead of posting just a bunch of semi-random content finds, I used to talk more about ideas that matter. Since incurring the vocational brain damage that is fatherhood, however, I’ve struggled to find time to compose meatier thoughts. I want to try to change that.

Silicon Valley loves to talk about the importance of celebrating failure. It’s mostly crap (when’s the last time you saw the Pets.com CEO speak? or WebVan, or Excite@home, or…), but there can be real value in reviewing what’s worked & what hasn’t. I plan to share some constructive reflections over the next days & weeks. Stay tuned.

11:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

March 10, 2013

A charming blue crochet quadropus

I think you’ll enjoy “the tale of a crochet quadropus, who journeys throughout the land turning things blue… All stop motion animation, painstakingly made by Oh Yeah Wow.”

You can check out some behind-the-scenes photos on Flickr. [Via]

8:12 AM | Permalink | No Comments

March 09, 2013

Iron Man 3 gets Sweded

Check out Dustin McLean’s painstaking handiwork:

According to PetaPixel:

McLean used an entry-level Canon DSLR and an iPhone to capture the 67 shots in the trailer (some of which only appear on screen for half a second).

Here’s the original alongside the remake:

12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Turn Dropbox into a Web server with Site44

Here is an admirably simple (and free) way host static Web sites via simple Dropbox folders:

I found it incredibly simple to set up, though for my team there’s a significant limitation: we can’t share the Dropbox folder used to host the content. That’s not the end of the world, and it might actually be wise to have a single person be responsible for pushing all changes live. In any case it’s neat stuff. [Via Brian Nemhauser]

8:21 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 07, 2013

Goodness gracious, the papers…

New paper-based cleverness:
8:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 05, 2013

Meet BMW’s new design chief

In this brief but interesting video, 42-year-old Canadian industrial designer Karim Antoine Habib pays homage to design history & talks about what inspires him.


  • I love that he drives a vintage 2002, though in his shoes I’d try for a 3.0 CS.
  • For a guy who cares so much about detail (and who hangs out in a room full of people sporting poncey scarves), it’s interesting that he uses such a humble (even crappy) pen. It’s nice to be reminded that tools are just tools.


8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

March 04, 2013

Adobe Create Now coming to San Jose

Via Sally Cox:

Join us at the San Jose Tech Museum and Adobe San Jose for CreateNOW, an Adobe Camp full of hands-on and lecture-style sessions. This event is geared toward photography, video, graphic design. Featured speakers are Colin Smith, Jeff Foster, Chana Messer, and Sally Cox. Our keynote speaker is the amazing Rufus Deuschler, worldwide Adobe evangelist.

Two tracks held simultaneously at the two locations, and you can pick/choose which tracks you wish to attend. All-day event includes breakfast and catered lunch for $35.

Adobe is raffling off Creative Cloud licenses and we will have other surprise raffles, as well. First 120 guests to arrive get an Adobe goodie bag, as well.

Learn more and register here.

9:01 PM | Permalink | No Comments

Funny people turn to Premiere & After Effects

Specifically, the Saturday Night Live crew that makes Digital Shorts, and the folks behind Cartoon Network’s Annoying Orange.

  • The SNL team has ridiculously tight deadlines, even re-cutting shorts between dress rehearsal & the live show. “We don’t ever have time to see a ‘spinning ball’ on the screen while we’re editing. It just can’t happen. Leveraging the tight integration between Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects and Photoshop makes the spinning ball go away.” Check out how they work.
  • The Annoying Orange crew ditched Avid & chose an all-Adobe workflow, as you can hear them describe in the clip below. (Photoshop integration & no transcoding of RED footage were key.) “I’m happier than a talking piece of fruit with a weird mouth,” says Premiere PM Al Mooney. “And that is HAPPY, obviously.” Check it out:

8:03 AM | Permalink | No Comments

March 02, 2013

Five Years of Fatherhood

“I promise not to turn the blog into JNack’s Kiddie Kavalcade,” I promised five years ago today as Margot & I welcomed young Finnegan Liggett Nack into the world. I think I’ve kept my word, though my Twitter account (which didn’t even exist back then*!) hasn’t fared quite so well.


My God, do I ever love these little guys (Finn & his sequel Henry, codenamed “El Segundo” in utero & thus dubbed Goonie by his bro). A few sleep- and oxygen-deprived thoughts (as we’re celebrating Finn’s Fifth at 10,000ft):

  • I’ve heard it said “It’s not amazing that adults make children, so much as that children make adults.”
  • A friend remarked that when it comes to raising kids, “The days are long but the years are short.” Yes, days can be so long indeed—and yet, dang, five years??
  • Work-wise, I’ve sometimes likened having kids to having suffered some kind of traumatic brain injury. I used to work all. the. time. Now I’d guess we spend ~40 hours per week kid-wrangling. “Work smarter, not harder,” blah blah. Whatever: there’s no potion to just restore that time & energy. Things do seem to be getting better, little by little. It’s a game of inches, man…
  • “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Bingo. (And no, Steve Jobs didn’t coin the phrase.)

And lastly I’m reminded of some Paul Simon:

Well, that was your mother
And that was your father
Before you was born dude
When life was great
You are the burden of my generation
I sure do love you
Let’s get that straight

Well said, Paul. And happy birthday, my magnificent little Finnster. Thanks for everything :-)

*to say nothing of theirs

10:44 PM | Permalink | Comments [10]

March 01, 2013

Exciting hints from Wacom

From their Facebook page:

We’ve heard you shouting out loud for a Wacom mobile tablet for creative uses. Well… we’re listening. We’ve read your email and spoken to many about an on-the-go dream device. It will come. This summer. We’re working 24/7 on it. And yes, it has a real pressure-sensitive professional pen, smooth multi-touch, an HD display, and other valuable features that you haven’t seen in other tablets.

Hmm… Truly stylus-savvy tablet hardware that could run in mobile-optimized mode while on the go, then plug into a keyboard & run full Photoshop? That would be kinda epic, no? (Note: I’m out of this particular loop these days, so I’m just saying what I personally would love–which seems in line with many of the comments on the post.)

TechCrunch adds a little more detail.

[Via Jerry Harris & Scott Valentine]

PS–John Gruber made an interesting comment the other day: “How ironic would it be if the iPad becomes the dominant mass market computer and the Surface becomes the one for artists?”

12:56 PM | Permalink | Comments [22]

February 28, 2013

Adobe at SXSW

Aaaand, once again I wish I were going to South by Southwest. If you’re luckier than I, check out Adobe Creative Camp Sunday, March 10th. Sessions include:

  • Introduction to Adobe Edge Tools and Services
  • Concept to reality: Creating Adobe Edge Reflow
  • What’s new in Adobe Creative Cloud?
  • Responsive Design, from every angle
  • The content-shaped elephant in the room
8:18 AM | Permalink | No Comments

February 27, 2013

Case study: Going from print to Web design

As I customer I always found it so much more interesting to hear from fellow designers than from toolmakers. On Friday at noon Pacific, Aaron Macdonald, the principal of A3 Creative Solutions, will talk about how his shop used Adobe Muse to broaden their skills:

A year ago A3 was specializing in print and brand design and turning web design work over to other agencies. When he became a Creative Cloud member, Aaron began experimenting with Adobe Muse to leverage his print design skills to design his first website. Aaron will discuss how this has changed his business, discussing his evolution from a traditional print designer into cross-media design agency utilizing Creative Cloud, Adobe Muse and Business Catalyst to design for the web and provide an enhanced service to his customers.

You can register here.

9:49 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 25, 2013

Sign up for ADIM13

“The Adobe Creative Cloud, Zombies and Beer – It doesn’t get better than that,” says Russell Brown. He points out that his ADIM13 show (April 7-10 in Boulder, CO), features some great speakers, including

  • Julieanne Kost
  • Chris Converse
  • Mordy Golding
  • Sandee Cohen
  • Katrin Eismann
  • James White

According to the show site,

You’ll begin with still images to create monster-themed beer packaging, then you’ll create an online beer advertisement utilizing advanced Photoshop video features. In the process you’ll master many of the wonders of Adobe Creative Cloud… You’ll follow your very own monster-themed project from inception to completion, including: printing, laser engraving a glass bottle, and hand assembly. Your finished packaging will be displayed in class for all to see.


8:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 24, 2013

What It’s Like to be a Dog Toy

Did you ever wonder? Well, me neither, but it still makes for a kinda entertaining little film:


8:25 AM | Permalink | No Comments

February 17, 2013

Quote o’ the day

I’m going to try holding myself to this:

My mother made me a scientist without ever intending to. Every other Jewish mother in Brooklyn would ask her child after school, “So? Did you learn anything today?” But not my mother. “Izzy,” she would say, “did you ask a good question today?”

That difference – asking good questions – made me become a scientist.

— Isidor Isaac Rabi, Nobel laureate


8:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine’s Day from Adobe



[Via Andrew Kavanagh]

8:10 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

QOTD: Walt Disney on storytelling

“It is a curious thing that the more the world shrinks because of electronic communications, the more limitless becomes the province of the storytelling entertainer.” — Walt Disney

[Via Ron Green]

1:36 PM | Permalink | No Comments

February 13, 2013

Great Adobe license plate o’ the day

This joins PXLPFCT, TYPENRD, & LIGHTRM on my growing list of faves. [Update: Other winners include 24P (After Effects), RTFM (support), and ADOBE PS.]


[Photo courtesy of Dan McSweeny]

10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

February 12, 2013

Photoshop Cafe’s free CS6 Superguide is now available

“WOW!!!” writes Russell Brown. “This is a fantastic set of Photoshop CS6 tips and techniques for FREE! Really fantastic stuff.” 

In the free 77-page CS6 Superguide eZine, “The new features of most of the CS6 Products are covered in depth, with articles from industry leaders such as Jack Davis, Colin Smith, David Blatner, Janine Warner, Stephen Burns, Chana Messer, Weston Maggio and more.”

3:22 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Friday demo/Q&A: Get started creating video with Creative Cloud

Friday at noon Pacific:

If you’re currently using Photoshop or Lightroom and want to go the next step to create video, join this session to learn the basics of video capture, editing and delivery with Adobe Creative Cloud. Adobe Evangelist Jason Levine will show how creative pros can get started with Adobe Prelude, Premiere Pro, and Adobe Media Encoder, all included in Creative Cloud membership. You’ll be amazed at what you can create with a little coaching!

8:36 AM | Permalink | No Comments

If you want to know what it’s like to work on improving the Photoshop UI…

…check out this post from XKCD.


I’ve compared working on mature apps to so many things—changing the wings of a plane while it’s in flight, building Johnny Cash’s Frankenstein car, and more. People always say, “Stop adding anything new… except this handful of things for me, personally.” And they always push us to “simplify” and “just reduce” the apps, yet they flip out if you take away their cherished anachronism. I always think of the Onion article, “98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others.”

Ah well—still good fun. [Via Foster Brereton]

8:35 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

February 11, 2013

Come to great Adobe events this spring

  • The Create Now World Tour is underway, likely coming to a city near you (check the site for details). If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, there’s likely so much more you could be taking advantage of; if you’re not, come see what you’re missing.
  • Russell Brown’s ADIM conference is set to take place in Boulder, CO, April 7-10. I’ve always had a blast at ADIM. “You’ll begin with still images to create monster-themed beer packaging, then you’ll create an online beer advertisement utilizing advanced Photoshop video features. In the process you’ll master many of the wonders of Adobe Creative Cloud… You’ll follow your very own monster-themed project from inception to completion, including: printing, laser engraving a glass bottle, and hand assembly. Your finished packaging will be displayed in class for all to see.”
  • Adobe MAX goes down May 4-8 in Los Angeles & features more than 300 sessions and labs taught by industry leaders and Adobe experts, covering everything from Web & design to digital publishing, gaming, and video. Note that attending also gets you full year membership to the Creative Cloud, so admission is actually a lot cheaper than it seems. (Oh, and if you attend the Create Now tour, they knock another $200 off MAX attendance.)
8:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

February 09, 2013

2,000 pieces of PVC make a music video

I don’t share this because it’s beautiful. It is, but I share it because of the obsessive insanity that Polish duo Kijek/Adamski must have put into creating the animation.

The Fox Is Black writes,

Made with approximately 2000 silhouettes extracted from PVC plates using a computer-controlled cutter, the video is a rush of color and a parade of movement. For Kijek/Adamski, the video is “an everlasting chain of convulsive memories”.

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February 07, 2013

Help my wife nag me (in a good way!)

Okay, enterprising coders, here’s your free million-dollar (or at least multi-dozen-dollar) idea o’ the day: I need a way for my wife to assign me a task/reminder & geofence it.

For example, yesterday she sent me to the kids’ preschool with a tuition check in hand—which I promptly forgot to deposit. I wished she could have sent me a reminder that was associated with the school’s location. 30 seconds after arriving I could have gotten a notification. Then this morning she forgot her phone & asked me to bring it to work. I wanted to turn her text message into a reminder pegged to my current location: if I try to leave here, ask me about that phone.

I did a little poking & I see that the iOS Reminders app lets me geofence items (i.e. remind me either when I arrive somewhere or when I leave), but I can do this only if I have my phone handy. Via iCloud.com you can add people to reminders—but then you can’t (as far as I can see) make those location-specific.

So, who’s gonna code up not “Find My Friends,” but “Remind My Friends”? (This seems like a great addition to the fun couples’ app Avocado.) C’mon, it’ll be fun to get Sherlocked at WWDC, won’t it? ;->

5:33 PM | Permalink | Comments [9]

The most charming video you’re likely to see all week

“I asked a six year old what my movie should be about,” says Bianca Giaever, “and this is what he told me.” Just watch: 

(Now I really want to step up my bedtime storytelling game.) [Via]

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 06, 2013

New Adobe Inspire Magazine comes to iPad & Web

Photoshop 3D features, CSS transitions, InDesign alternate layouts, and much more are featured in this month’s Inspire Magazine, both online and in the App Store.

11:32 PM | Permalink | No Comments

Photoshop’s fans are in the top 10 most loyal


Brand Satisfaction compiled millions of responses from Facebook Fans of over 15,000 Facebook pages to determine the Top 20 brands with the most loyal Fans.

Photoshop is #10 out of 15,000+. Take that, In-N-Out Burger—and Starbucks Frappuccino, watch your back! ;-) Thanks to Photoshop’s awesome fans!

[Via Tom Hogarty]

5:06 PM | Permalink | Comments [10]

February 05, 2013

Students & teachers: Get 60% Creative Cloud membership

You can get the whole shebang—Master Collection, publishing, storage, and more—for $19.95 per month. Get in on it here.

11:35 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

Premiere Pro at the Super Bowl

My little sons drew enormous enjoyment from this piece:

Adam Pertofsky, award-winning editor and partner at Rock Paper Scissors, recently cut the “Got Milk” Super Bowl spot for the advertising agency Deutsch NY with Adobe Premiere Pro.



3:23 PM | Permalink | No Comments

February 02, 2013

Contest: Design a birthday cake for Photoshop


From the team:

Photoshop’s 23rd birthday is coming up and we want YOU to be a part of the celebration!

We’re asking our fans to create a birthday cake design using Photoshop! We’ll choose one submission to be created into a REAL cake to be delivered to Adobe HQ on our birthday, Feb. 19!

We’ll also share your artwork in a photo album right here on our Facebook page. Submit your photo here before Feb. 8.

8:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

January 29, 2013

Tonight at Adobe SJ: The Art of Photography in the Photoshop Era

(Sorry for the late notice; I just found out about the event.)

The San Jose Photoshop User Group is hosting Harold Davis tonight at 7 PM in the Park conference room at Adobe HQ. Pizza will be served at 6:30 PM.

Harold Davis is an award-winning professional photographer and the author of many bestselling books on photography and image processing including Creating HDR Photos: The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography (Amphoto), Photographing Flowers: Exploring Macro Worlds with Harold Davis (Focal Press) andCreative Black & White: Digital Photography Tips & Techniques (Wiley Publishing). His images are widely published, collected and commissioned, and his popular photo workshops are often sold out. Harold is a Moab Paper Printmaking Master. Learn more about Harold and his photography at www.photoblog2.com. Harold lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife, Phyllis, and their four children.

2:28 PM | Permalink | No Comments

January 28, 2013

Adobe & Sundance, Part 1

Final Cut vets talk about overcoming their disbelief about Premiere Pro—and the limitations of FCP—in these interviews from the show.

11:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

January 26, 2013

How Lego Hobbits are sculpted

I love that Lego has started featuring their product designers in these short pieces. Here Gitte Thorsen (and you just knew Legos were designed by someone named “Gitte Thorsen,” right?) shows how she sketches out Hobbit characters, then sculpts them at large scale:

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

January 25, 2013

A TED talk on the power of image

At some point I lost track of (and most interest in) all the hand-wringing articles about Photoshop & body image. Even so, I found this talk by model Cameron Russell interesting. She’s unusually sharp (her mom founded ZipCar, it turns out) and compares images of her with the real person.

Her points about models’ insecurities remind me of life in Silicon Valley: the more fortunate one is, the more one feels compelled to do & achieve even more (and the worse for not doing it). When I’m touring a potential kindergarten I think, “What kickass disruptive badassery am I missing out on?” I never think “I was 26 and living in Palo Alto and working on Photoshop”; it’s all “Facebook was taking shape down the street; what kind of loser misses out on that?” Talk about kindergarten… [Via]

9:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

January 24, 2013

Boss Wave! 8-bit mayhem in the real world

“If you don’t watch this music video,” writes io9, “you’re robbing yourself of an opportunity to see a particularly fantastic video of a guy in an awesome robot suit blasting real-life videogame enemies (along with a few innocent bystanders). Just sayin’.” Indeed.

Fungus Time!!

12:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

January 21, 2013

The Photoshop “Faking It” Contest: Show Off Your Image Manipulation Skills

To celebrate the Met’s exhibit Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop, the Photoshop team has created a contest:

We’d like to invite the Photoshop community to share their photo manipulations with us for a chance to win some special prizes. Every week, from now through February 7th, we will post an image from the Faking It exhibit that will serve as inspiration for that week’s submissions. Photoshop fans can submit their own altered photograph showing their interpretation of the theme, and at the end of each week, a random winner will be chosen to receive a print copy of the 296-page exhibition companion Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop by Mia Fineman.

In addition to the weekly winners, participants who submit a video screencast of their entry, showing how their image was created, will be eligible to win the grand prize; a trip for two to see the Faking It exhibit in person at either the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. or the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.

10:36 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

January 19, 2013

An incredibly rare Lego holiday gift

Mission accomplished, Invisible Creature: now I totally want to be your client, if it would get me a bitchin’ bespoke Lego creation.

We love our clients. We love Lego. So why not combine the two? For our annual Client Holiday gift this year, we decided to design a custom Eye Creature Lego kit. Edition of 6 sets. 444 pieces. 4 instruction booklets. 8 different mouth combinations – and a hinged top that allows the owner to store all kinds of fun items (as shown below). We even found 2 extremely cute kids from 1972 in my house that wanted to participate in the box design. Disclaimer: This product is NOT affiliated with Lego, folks – this was a gift. Oh, enough already. Check out how we made it below:

The fun little storage compartment reminds me of the Lego “peanut” car I fashioned while courting Margot. It continues to hold some quietly disintegrating Peanut M&M’s. [Via]

11:00 PM | Permalink | No Comments

January 17, 2013

Quick tip: Pasting content into layer masks

Spoiler: Opt-/Alt-click the layer mask! Yeah, I knew that; sure I did…

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

January 11, 2013

Who designs the Photoshop interface?

Meet Tim Riot & Matthew Bice, the Experience Designers on point for PS. They talk about the gig itself, some goals & challenges for CS6, and what they hope the future holds.

If that sounds like work you’d like to do, remember that the team is looking to hire a Senior Experience Designer.

2:05 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

January 08, 2013

What’s up with Adobe “giving away” CS2?

Here’s an explanation from the corporate blog:

Effective December 13, Adobe disabled the activation server for CS2 products and Acrobat 7 because of a technical glitch. These products were released over 7 years ago and do not run on many modern operating systems. But to ensure that any customers activating those old versions can continue to use their software, we issued a serial number directly to those customers.  While this might be interpreted as Adobe giving away software for free, we did it to help our customers.

8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [30]

January 03, 2013

Video: Boardwalk Empire VFX Breakdowns of Season 2

The crew at Brainstorm Digital is killin’ it once again:

Previously: The effects in season 1 of the show. [Via George Penston]

6:28 AM | Permalink | No Comments

January 02, 2013

Demo: “The Difference Between Duplicating a Smart Object and Creating New Smart Object via Copy”

When devising what became Smart Objects in Photoshop, we had several goals:

  • Enable non-destructive transformation & filtering
  • Tighten integration with Illustrator & other apps
  • Facilitate “edit one, update many” parent-child links among layers (a la “symbols” in Illustrator, Flash, etc.).

The last of these is far & away the most obscure and, frankly, confusing. Photoshop doesn’t present any indication about which layers are linked to which others, and it doesn’t offer a Library panel for managing SO’s. (There’s so, so much potential yet to be unlocked here.)

In any case, Julieanne Kost uses a real-world example to demonstrate how to link Smart Objects together (simply duplicate them on the Layers panel) and how to duplicate & unlink them.

8:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

December 31, 2012

A Short History of the GIF

When I first glimpsed an animated GIF on a Web site (Apple.com circa 1996), I felt like Galileo: “It moves!” Now I’m the cranky old man who says, “In my day, I could compose a whole trip to England [for British Airways] in 9.9kb! I was an LZW poet, I tell you!” And so, of course, Moving The Still is right up my posterized alley.

9:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

December 29, 2012

“Defining the fine line between catchy commercial jingles and mental paralysis”

I don’t know whether looping ads for The Clapper, deodorant, and more produces that “in sound,” but it’s certainly way out. You’re… welcome?


6:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

December 25, 2012

Peace & Love

Merry Christmas, everyone. Wherever you are, and whatever holidays you may celebrate this time of year, I wish you great peace and happiness.

I’m not quite sure when I’ll get back to regular posting. I’m visiting my folks in snowy northern Illinois, aka “The Land That Connectivity Forgot.” (Margot says AT&T’s EDGE network represents “The Edge of Civilization.”) As soon as I can push enough content through a cocktail straw, I’ll get back in business.

Thanks for reading & for making it possible for me to do this job.

All the best to you and yours, now and in 2013,
J. (+M & the Micronaxx)

8:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

December 20, 2012

Wow! Adobe & Behance are getting together

I’m thrilled that Adobe & Behance announced today that Behance (a million-member creative community, in case you’ve been living under a rock) is becoming part of Adobe.

Adobe thrives only when our customers do, and it’s not enough just to build—or to use—great tools. Making a living as a designer involves much more than making designs: it of course demands making connections, finding jobs, promoting your work, and getting paid. There’s a big world before “File->Open” and a big one after “File->Export.” Adobe’s bet is that if we can help you more effectively engage with your clients & your peers, your business will improve—and thus so will ours.

As with every acquisition/merger, people will say “I love [Behance]. Please don’t ruin it.” That’s totally understandable, but I wouldn’t worry. Behance co-founder Scott Belsky writes,

Adobe deeply respects the sanctity of the Behance community, and will preserve the philosophy and values that drive it. Adobe’s acquisition of Typekit is a recent example; the service has remained intact while also being incorporated into Adobe’s Creative Cloud offering for better accessibility and value for users.

Adobe’s tech will make Behance better. Scott says,

We’ve got a long-term vision for serving the creative community that is greatly advanced by Adobe’s reach, and what we have planned will also improve Adobe’s services in the process… There are so many things we’ve always dreamed of doing but lacked the resources, data scientists, and PhD’s to figure it out.

Creative Cloud has just started rolling, and it’ll only get more valuable. (Just last week, we added new digital publishing services and training features, and launched file sync and sharing.) Now, Adobe VP David Wadhwani writes,

All Creative Cloud members will soon gain access to the base Behance capabilities (like portfolio creation and community features) while paid Creative Cloud members will also have access to premium capabilities (like Behance ProSite).

I’m just incredibly excited about this, and when you see what we already have cooking, I think you will be, too. Stay tuned!

4:34 PM | Permalink | Comments [9]

December 17, 2012

Design: The BLAZE Bike Light

Check out this rather brilliant (pun intended) Kickstarter project:

BLAZE is a front light with super-bright LEDs, but it also projects the symbol of a bike down onto the road ahead of the cyclist. It’s adjustable, but ideally about 5m in front. It alerts road users ahead of the cyclist of their presence, helping to prevent them turning across their path (especially the big ones like buses and trucks!).  Making the cyclist more visible and increasing their footprint on the road.


8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

December 14, 2012

Demo: Non-Destructive Burn/Dodge in Photoshop

Ah, handy. I do the bulk of my local adjustments in Lightroom (where they’re inherently non-destructive), but sometimes I need a little more granular control.

8:04 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

December 11, 2012

Live stream: Create Now event

Starts at 10am Pacific time: The event was recorded & is available for viewing below:

9:46 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 07, 2012

Reminder: Sign up for Adobe Create Now, coming Monday

Sneak peek at Photoshop features to be unveiled:

At Create Now Live, you’ll:

  • Be one of the first to hear what’s next in Adobe® Creative Cloud™.
    • See what’s next in Adobe Photoshop®.
    • Explore ways to take your design skills from print to online and mobile.
    • Learn how teams can work better together with Creative Cloud.
  • Learn from creative innovators.
    • Iconic design agency Karlssonwilker talks about taking their unique design sensibility to the web.
    • Go behind the scenes of “A Liars Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman” with Animation Director Justin Weyers.
    • Scott Kelby shows off hidden gems in Photoshop CS6.
Please RSVP on the site, where you can find a more detailed schedule.
8:02 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 06, 2012

Inventors, screwing around with mortality

I’ve been enjoying David Friedman’s series of short interviews with inventors (e.g. this one with video game pioneer Ralph Baer). Now he’s creating a new PBS “Inventors” series, kicking off with the screw-in coffin*:

And I’m pleased to say that he’s now switched from Final Cut Pro X to Premiere Pro. This bittersweet piece on Batter Blasters is the first result:

*”What’s that, Death? Screw me? No, *screw you*!! (No, wait, you were right the first time.)” I will be here all week.

8:33 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 04, 2012

Designers: Come design Photoshop itself

Yo dawg, I heard you like using design tools to make design tools, so…”

Ever wish you could make Photoshop work exactly the way you want? Ever wish Adobe designers would walk a mile in your shoes? Ever wanted to stand up & champion the needs of the millions of creative people whose livelihoods depend on these tools?

I know I did; that’s exactly why I came to work here. And now there are two openings for designers to shape Photoshop & the next generation of imaging tools.

These are not easy gigs, but you’d be bored if they were, right? You have to want to learn (and learn, and learn) what a crazy-diverse range of customers needs, then combine your transformative vision with fortitude & exacting attention to detail. You don’t change an industry standard overnight, but keep sweating the details & you’ll be amazed at what’s possible.

Now then, the listings (the first applies specifically to Photoshop; the second to “bold new iOS multi-device applications”):

  • Senior User Experience Designer, Photoshop (18722): Adobe’s Photoshop team is looking for a motivated, creative, senior-level User Experience Designer who shares our passion for design and the urge to make better creative tools for real people. In this role you will be tasked with generating the design of new product features, interactions, and visuals, for Adobe Photoshop.
  • Senior User Experience Designer (18723): Adobe’s Experience Design team is looking for a motivated, creative, senior-level User Experience Designer who shares our passion for design and the urge to make forward-looking creative tools for real people. In this role you will be tasked with driving the design of new products as well as new features, interactions, and visuals for bold new iOS multi-device applications.

Click through on either for more details. The team looks forward to meeting you soon.

8:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

November 26, 2012

Sprechen Sie Adobe?

We’ve just launched the Adobe Translation Center. As the team explains,

The translation community represents the voice of the customer. This program enables the user community to provide quick, direct feedback about our products and content.

We created this program to achieve two key objectives:

  1. Enable user feedback to improve the quality of translations of “Adobe languages” (those already supported).
  2. Help users contribute to new “community languages”. Those are languages that individual Adobe products don’t currently support and where community contributions may give us an indication which languages Adobe should consider for product inclusion.

You can connect with the team via Twitter and Facebook, and on the globalization team blog.

8:27 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

November 25, 2012

The Onion skewers social media buffoons

“I’m a successful social media consultant, even though I’ve never had a thought or original idea in my life. But, because my firm charges lots of money, we’ve put social media on some of the tongues of some of the biggest companies in the world.”



8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

November 22, 2012

Design goodness: One World Futbol

Sting (yes, that Sting) says, “When Tim Jahnigen came to me with his idea for a football or ‘soccer’ ball that could be played on any surface and would never need a pump and never go flat, I immediately thought of all the millions of children and young people who could use the ball in refugee camps, conflict zones, and poor communities all over the world.” What a cool problem to attack with design.


9:26 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 21, 2012

Adobe Create Now Live now set for Dec. 11

The event we initially announced for Dec. 5 has been pushed back one week. As a reminder,at Create Now Live, you’ll:

  • Be one of the first to hear what’s next in Adobe® Creative Cloud™.
    • See what’s next in Adobe Photoshop®.
    • Explore ways to take your design skills from print to online and mobile.
    • Learn how teams can work better together with Creative Cloud.
  • Learn from creative innovators.
    • Iconic design agency Karlssonwilker talks about taking their unique design sensibility to the web.
    • Go behind the scenes of “A Liars Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman” with Animation Director Justin Weyers.
    • Scott Kelby shows off hidden gems in Photoshop CS6.
Please RSVP on the site, where you can find a more detailed schedule.
3:26 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Download the Adobe Creative Cloud Connection

Today Adobe’s previewing the Creative Cloud Connection (download it here), a utility that syncs files on your computer with those in the Adobe Creative Cloud. (Remember, you get 20GB of storage when you subscribe to Creative Cloud, and you get 2GB for free just for signing up.)

So, who cares? Don’t you already get something similar with Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.? Yes and no. It’s true that the basic concept is familiar, but Adobe will roll out some really unique capabilities over time. (Trust me, I’m working on some.) For now we’re starting with the basics. VP Jeff Veen writes,

Any file you place into the Creative Cloud folder on your desktop will be available at creative.adobe.com, where it’s easy to browse, get links to share publicly, and leave comments. In fact, if the files were created by one of the Creative Suite apps, you can do even more: manipulate layers on a Photoshop document, page through an InDesign file, or generate a PDF of your work to share with others.

We’ve got lots to come, as well. Up next, we’ll add even more collaboration features, including the ability to share privately with workgroups as well as browse and restore previous versions of files.

For more details please see Getting started with Creative Cloud Connection and the Creative Cloud Connection FAQ. [Via Pierre-Etienne Courtejoie]
9:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

Zapped to the beat

Think they could give me riddim? Fast Company explains:

During the synth intro, you see five sets of arms wiggle listlessly. When the beat kicks in, they pump with a bit more rhythm. But the faceless performers aren’t dancing–well, at least not of their own volition. Instead, they’re serving as a human visualizer, shocked into action (literally) by carefully placed electrodes.

9:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

November 19, 2012

A Friendly Photoshop Forum

Julieanne Kost writes:

If you or someone you know is in the early stages of exploring Photoshop, there’s a new learning destination that’s worth a visit. Photoshop for Beginners is a sub-forum on Adobe.com that is tailor-made for newcomers to the powerful but complex software.

Ask any question in Photoshop for Beginners and you’ll receive an answer that emphasizes visuals — including video how-tos — and steers clear of unnecessary jargon.

9:34 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

November 18, 2012

Wes Anderson’s Star Wars

I’d ride in Chewie’s sidecar anytime. (We could go avenge the deaths of his relatives at the hands of this lady.)


8:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

November 17, 2012

A giant “Lego pop-up book” temple

Seriously? Wow.


9:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

November 15, 2012

Sculpture: Aluminum casts of ant colonies

Nothing tells someone “I’m a huge fan of your work & want to share it with others” like pouring a vat of scalding liquid metal into their home, incinerating their whole tribe. But if you can get past that, Walter Tschinkel’s aluminum casts of ant colonies (see photos) are pretty amazing. 


9:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

November 14, 2012

Design principles worth noting

I like this list from Gov.uk:

  1. Start with needs
  2. Do less
  3. Design with data
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again.
  6. Build for inclusion
  7. Understand context
  8. Build digital services, not websites
  9. Be consistent, not uniform
  10. Make things open: it makes things better


Check out the whole post for details & examples of each.

3:15 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

November 08, 2012

Interactive designers: Tell us what you need

Adobe has posted a quick (7-question) survey to learn a bit more about your needs. If you’re doing interactive design work, please take a minute to help us help you. Thanks much.

9:53 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 05, 2012

Golan Levin makes art that looks back at you

“Half performance artist, half software engineer, Golan Levin manipulates the computer to create improvised soundscapes with dazzling corresponding visuals.” Well, that sounds about right. Kick off your Monday with some offbeat tech:

10:40 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

Demo/Q&A: Switching to Premiere Pro, Part 2

This Thursday, 10am Pacific:

As you make the switch to Adobe® Premiere Pro, you’ll find many ways to get things done. What you may miss are some hidden gems you don’t know to look for. In this fast paced webinar, join Richard Harrington as he shares the advanced techniques that will speed up your workflow. This webinar is designed for experienced editors who want to jump in and get results.

8:11 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 04, 2012

Photoshop/Lightroom tour of Asia/Pac

Julieanne Kost writes,

Russell Preston Brown and I set off this weekend for the Adobe Eclipse Tour! We’ll be stopping in Korea, Singapore and Australia for a full day of Photoshop and Lightroom training. Click the links below for more information.

9:55 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 01, 2012

Premiere Pro & co. clean up on Readers’ Choice awards

I try to keep self-congratulatory posts to a minimum, but it’s nice to see the momentum around Adobe Premiere Pro & other Adobe video tools. Streaming Magazine just announced a number of Readers’ Choice Awards:

  • Adobe Premiere Pro — Best Product of the Year Award for Desktop Video Editing Software
  • Adobe Auditude – Best Product of the Year Award for Video Advertising Management Platform
  • Adobe Media Server – Best Product of the Year Award for Server Hardware/Software
  • Adobe SiteCatalyst – Best Product of the Year Award for Reporting and Analytics Platform
4:45 PM | Permalink | No Comments

October 29, 2012

Live demo/Q&A: Learn to switch to Premiere Pro

This Thursday, 10am Pacific:

Join Robbie Carman as he guides you through the essential aspects of making the switch to Adobe® Premiere Pro. Designed for experienced editors, this webinar will help you get more comfortable and to work faster–allowing you to implement your current editing knowledge quickly. Specific topics will include: starting a project, setting up sequences, accessing essential preferences and keyboard shortcuts, ingesting media, marking and trimming clips in the timeline, and adding audio and effects.

8:08 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 25, 2012

Adobe wins an Emmy for Adobe Pass

This is one of those things you’ve probably never heard of (nor should you have to), but that enables all kinds of cool experiences. If you subscribe to cable or satellite TV, there’s a good chance Adobe Pass helps you be able to watch shows on other devices:

Adobe Pass is now supported by more than 150 US operators as they deliver hundreds of millions of authenticated streams for major live events such as The Olympic Games […] 

Approximately 98 percent of pay TV households in the U.S. are now able to view TV content via the Adobe Pass authentication service and consumers are pushing TV Everywhere adoption to an all-time high. Given the track we are on, we expect every major TV show to be available via a TV Everywhere app within the next two years.

Here’s a brief overview:

Congrats to the team! [Via]

9:39 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

October 23, 2012

MediaStorm: “Why I’m Switching to Adobe Premiere, not Final Cut X”

MediaStorm is comprised of expert digital storytellers, pushing the craft especially through use of DSLRs. They write,

After seven years working with Apple’s Final Cut Pro, we have decided to begin using the Adobe Production Suite. We were early adopters of FCP 7 and considered making the switch to FCP X. In the end, we felt more comfortable with Adobe’s product than Apple’s FCP X. We know that many people in the industry are struggling with the same decision, so our producers have agreed to share their reasoning for the switch.

[Via Tom Hogarty]

8:01 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 20, 2012

“Human-powered helicopters are hard to build”

NPR has put together interesting proof that human-powered helicopters are hard to build: Kottke writes,

A team at the University of Maryland are building a human-powered helicopter in an attempt to win the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition. To win the $250,000 prize, the helicopter must fly for 60 seconds, reach a momentary altitude of 3 meters, and stay within a 10 meter square. This is surprisingly difficult.

I’d call it unsurprisingly difficult!

8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

October 18, 2012

Filmmaker Philip Bloom talks about switching to Premiere Pro

“It is simply better than anything else out there.”

8:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

October 15, 2012

A Lego version of Felix Baumgartner’s jump from space


The original:


10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

SNL Film Unit editor switches to Premiere Pro

 Digital Shorts, fake commercials, and more are now going through Adobe Premiere Pro:

The turning point, says Epstein, came when Apple released Final Cut Pro X. “We thought, ‘Well, this just isn’t going to work at all.’ So much of what I do is After Effects-specific, so when CS5.5 came along with Dynamic Linking—definitely the killer feature for me thus far—we decided to try that out on a simple piece featuring Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrelltoward the end of last season. It went so smoothly that once CS6 came out, we decided to dial the full workflow in and make sure it fit our needs. So far, it really has.”

I’ve loved SNL’s ad parodies since I was little, so it’s fun to get an in-depth look at the crazy-quick way they all come together.

[Update: I should clarify that the article refers to editor Adam Epstein, not to all of Saturday Night Live. Sorry for any inadvertent confusion.]

8:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

October 13, 2012

Youth Media Festival today in Oakland

I’m a fan of democratizing storytelling, and this event (2-5pm today) helps uncover otherwise hidden voices:

For its first public festival, the Bay Area Youth Media Network (BAYMN) will be showcasing youth-produced videos about social change with two specific categories on The 2012 Presidential Election and The High School Dropout Crisis on Saturday, October 13 at the Kaiser Center in Oakland from 2-5pm. It will be an afternoon dedicated to celebrate the great work of young people. There will be awards for the filmmakers as well as raffle prizes for the audience.

To attend the event, you must RSVP here.

[Via Matthew Williams]

10:20 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 10, 2012

I need to hire a server ninja

Engineers: I’m part of a seriously cool new project at Adobe, working with a rather kickass team (brave talk, but you’ll see). If you have skills like these, we should talk:

  • Experience with developing and deploying applications and infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Chef
  • Experience with scaling data storage with MySQL and non-traditional data stores (preferably Redis, Mongo or Elasticsearch)

Here’s the complete job listing. Ideally you’d work from Seattle, but we can discuss that.

Let’s do this thing!

[Update: Another server-savvy position is open in Creative Cloud engineering.]

2:13 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

October 09, 2012

The VW BBQ Bus

 Check out a rather brilliant creation from ad agency Achtung:

The Volkswagen BBQ-VAN is a full-scale model of a Volkswagen Transporter T1 that’s a specially-built barbecue pit. It has a grill under its roof and fits 10 burgers, and also has battery-powered headlights.

Sadly it’s a one-off created for a contest, so it won’t be driving around my back yard any time soon.


8:17 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

October 05, 2012

Photoshop User Group next Tuesday in SJ

 Coming soon to Adobe’s San Jose HQ:

We will have two speakers for this meeting. One will be Sharad Mangalick, Lightroom Product Manager, talking about new features available in the 4.1 and 4.2 versions of Lightroom. These include tone mapping of 32-bit HDR images, new controls for eliminating chromatic aberration, new camera support, etc.

Our other speaker will be Jeff Butterworth, the founder of Alien Skin Software. He will give an overview of some of their products, such as Exposure 4, Snap Art 3, Blow Up 3, and Bokeh 2, including many before/after sample images. You can find out about their Photoshop plug-ins, along with lots of examples and videos, at www.alienskin.com.

Pizza and drinks start at 6:30, and the meeting will start at 7:00, in the Park Conference Room. To park underneath the Adobe building (345 Park Ave.), use the Almaden Avenue entrance, under the East Tower. If the security guard at the parking entrance asks for an Adobe contact, use Stephen Nielson’s name.

Please RSVP here.

8:01 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 02, 2012

What’s your favorite tool for app prototyping?

I’m kicking off a new project (so exciting; can’t wait to tell you more), and we need to make interactive iPad prototypes to test ideas. What tool(s) do you find effective for such work?

12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments [11]

September 26, 2012

Educators: Adobe wants to talk to you

Adobe will be conducting research over the next several months, seeking to better understand students’ needs:

Adobe is looking to talk to teachers, professors and instructors to gain a better understanding about student assignments, software and technology use.  This unique and fun opportunity will allow educators to work with Adobe and share how technology is being incorporated in the way students complete assignments in their classrooms.  There will be several paid research opportunities.  If you’re interested in these opportunities, please fill out a preliminary screener. You’ll be contacted if you are eligible to participate!

This wave of research is happening in the US only.

4:13 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

September 25, 2012

Vimeo introduces “Tip Jar”

Let’s hear it for anything that helps independent artists sustain their craft:

More info is in the staff blog post.

8:01 AM | Permalink | No Comments

September 19, 2012

Game of Thrones Season 2 FX reel

I always love these things.


10:28 PM | Permalink | No Comments

September 14, 2012

Video: “From Sketch to Scary” at Photoshop World

At Photoshop World, Russell Brown & co. went from Wacom sketch to a real live monster.

Russell brought together a team of makeup artists to create a monster that would be part of the Adobe booth at Photoshop World in Las Vegas. The original design was sketched on a Wacom Cintiq by Rayce Bird and then the prosthetics were fabricated in LA. The team of artist applied the makeup in the Adobe booth, and the monster came to life. Finally, the monster was photographed in the Westcott booth and then attendees edited their photos in the Adobe booth with Lightroom 4 and Adobe Photoshop CS6. The final results were amazing.

As Russell Brown always says “There is nothing better then creating a cool monster and letting our users take great photos.”

Check it out:

Russell writes, “Special thanks to TEAM MONSTER for making this possible. Rayce Bird, Ian Von Cromer, Frank Ippolito, Brianna Bird Kirkham, Thomas Willeford, Aaron Grimes, Amber McCoy, Weston Maggio, and Joel Grimes.”

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 08, 2012

Taylor Mali: What teachers make

It’s off topic for this blog, but this three-minute celebration of teachers is too good not to share:

8:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

September 07, 2012

In-depth info on Adobe Anywhere

“It’s a bit of a tough concept to get across,” writes fxguide, “but once you have that ‘aha’ moment, you realize how cool the tech is.” Check out this in-depth interview with PM Michael Coleman. He talks about how the system keeps people unblocked (no lock-outs during collaboration; automatic background upload of footage; etc.), able to collaborate across locations, and more.

10:27 AM | Permalink | No Comments

August 29, 2012

Old Spice Muscle Music

This is… I… what?? Play it (or jump) to the end, then notice that on the Vimeo page you can drive the performance via your keyboard. Insane.


(I’m watching a table full of people watch this clip, and now I wish there were a genre of reaction videos for it.)

3:47 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 23, 2012

John From Cincinnati titles

Apropos of nothing, I’ve always loved the titles for HBO’s late & un-lamented John From Cincinnati. What a great evocation of time, place, and flavor. RIP Joe Strummer.

10:42 AM | Permalink | No Comments

August 18, 2012

Horse taking it to the limit

Is there any reason that, at age 37, I should find this horrible animal puppetry so hilarious? No, but I’m not letting that stop me; I’m pushing to the limit!

8:18 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 14, 2012

Gotye remixing people remixing Gotye

If the sheer scale & diversity of artistic expression going on here—from beatboxing to shredding to whistling on plastic bottles; from body-painted video to homemade animation—doesn’t bring a smile to your lips, well, I probably can’t do much for you, my friend. :-  [Previously: Five people playing a single guitar]


8:21 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 07, 2012

Thursday in SF: “Lightroom 4 to CS6 Workflow”

The San Francisco Photoshop Users Group will be meeting at Adobe SF Thursday evening starting at 6:30:

With the advent of Lightroom 4 a new Develop Module has been introduced with completely renamed sliders. Fine art photographer William Palank hopes to clarify some of these changes and propose a workflow completely different than in Lightroom 3 or its predecessors, bringing forth even more control with Shadows and Highlights on a single image.

Check out the event page for more details.

10:22 AM | Permalink | No Comments

August 06, 2012

A new chance to join Photoshop Engineering

I’m not kidding when I tell you these things come along rarely. People really like staying on the Photoshop team, and one “new guy” just moved on after seven years. If you’re a smart, seasoned computer engineer who loves crafting tools & productizing cutting-edge research, we’d love to talk with you. Please read on for details.

8:26 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 01, 2012

It’s a small (design) world, after all

Not long after I started this blog, a student design portfolio started making the rounds & generating lots of buzz. Dave Werner had skillfully combined illustration, music, and photography with video (still a novel feat as this was pre-YouTube) to do some solid storytelling. The site generated all kinds of responses (“Brilliant!” “It’s just Flashturbation!”), but I was very impressed.

Six and a half years passed & I never met Dave, but right before the Fourth of July he dropped me a line to say he was looking for a new gig (something more stable than perpetual startup-land). I was glad to hear of his interest, but offhand I didn’t know of any good fits. Two days later–and equally out of the blue–a team at Adobe reached out & told me about a really cool project they’re starting that needed design talent.

Long story short, Dave just accepted Adobe’s offer & will be starting shortly. Let’s hear it for serendipity! We can’t wait to get started working together.

11:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

July 31, 2012

Photography session tonight at Adobe San Jose

Sorry for the late notice, but this event (starting at 7pm) should be interesting:

Our speaker for this meeting will be Brad Polt-Jones, from Future Light Digital Workshops. He has more than 20 years experience as a pro photographer and 10 years as a digital media artist. In addition to developing the Future Light workshops, Brad continues to teach digital photography classes for UCLA Extension and San Francisco City College.

Brad would like some input in terms of what topics he should cover in his presentation. These could include detailed workflows with the Content Aware Move / Patch, Adaptive Wide Angle, new tools in Camera Raw with Smart Objects, even basic Photoshop preferences and setup, or … you tell us!

“My philosophy is simple; I am passionate about the future of art and photography and want to bring the power and elegance of a new generation of tools to a wider audience. Digital photography allows everyone to participate in the image making process with an unprecedented ease of use and with total control.” –– Brad Polt-Jones

And, yes, There Will Be Pizza.

2:27 PM | Permalink | No Comments

July 25, 2012

Engineers: The Photoshop team is hiring

Over the last couple of years, the Photoshop team has had great success turning promising research projects (Content-Aware Fill, Content-Aware Scale, Puppet Warp, etc.) into practical, transformative features for everyone. They’d like your help in taking things further:

The Adobe Photoshop team is looking for a highly motivated senior engineer who will develop state-of-the-art imaging features for Photoshop. The successful candidate will be working with a very dynamic customer-focused engineering team and will be responsible for productizing research ideas. The position will be located in San Jose.

Check out the complete job listing for more info. We hope to meet you soon.

7:52 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

July 24, 2012

How To Use Photoshop Files in Your Adobe Muse Website

Efficiently converting PSDs into Web content can be an enormous time-saver*. Here Terry White shows how to put two great tastes together for HTML:

* Back in the day, to get a 20-layer PSD ready to animate, Flash required 168 steps. With LiveMotion we took that down to 2 steps. I’ll never let that one go. :-)

8:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

July 21, 2012

“The Wire” in Lego

My God, has anything ever been more in my wheelhouse than a Wire homage rendered in Lego stop motion? (Nope!)


8:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

July 19, 2012

Learn about the Adobe Web hosting you’re already getting

If you’re subscribing to Creative Cloud, you’ve got access to Web hosting powered by Adobe Business Catalyst. (Bet you didn’t know!)  Check it out tomorrow in a live demo/Q&A at noon Pacific:

Build everything from stunning website to powerful online stores, without server-side coding. Learn about Business Catalyst’s tight integration with Dreamweaver CS6.

  • Create and publish BC websites online right from within Dreamweaver
  • Insert dynamic modules such as blogs, photo galleries and more, without server-side coding
  • Customer lead capture with database integration, in just minutes
  • Set up a a fully-featured online store with payment integration in a few clicks 
  • Easily host your site online with a few simple steps
1:13 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

July 14, 2012

Gorgeous “Kinetic Rain”

This just drew audible gasps from Nacks age 4 to 40.


“Kinetic Rain” is composed of two parts, each consisting of 608 rain droplets made of lightweight aluminum covered with copper. Suspended from thin steel ropes above the two opposing escalators, each droplet is moved precisely and seemingly floating by a computer-controlled motor hidden in the halls ceiling. The drops follow a 15-minute, computationally designed choreography where the two parts move together in unison, sometimes mirroring, sometimes complementing, and sometimes responding to each other.


2:35 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

July 12, 2012

Inventor portrait: Ralph Baer

David Friedman sat down with 90-year-old inventor Ralph Baer, creator of the pioneering Magnavox Odyssey video game system, to reflect on his life’s work & on why he’s still inventing to this day.

Incidentally, if the Odyssey gives you a taste for ancient computer fonts, check out this.

8:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

July 10, 2012

Graphics awesomeness, circa 1990

Ian Moss juxtaposed an interesting pair of vintage videos. First there’s “The mighty Quantel Paintbox with its custom hardware and 10 years of knowhow behind it…”

“…versus version 1 of Adobe Photoshop, running on a Macintosh Classic for a 10th of the cost.”

The second vid’s a bit misleading as it shows PS 1.0 running on Mac Plus (from 1986) “with 1-bit (black&white) display, 8MHz CPU and 4MB RAM.” Here’s Photoshop co-creator John Knoll re-creating his original Photoshop demo:

8:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

July 07, 2012

Bill Gates inspired the name “NeXT”

Awesome. (Also, “MacMan”? We dodged a bullet there.) [Via]

3:21 PM | Permalink | No Comments

“Uncle Drew”

I find this ridiculously great: NBA rookie of the year Kyrie Irving spent four hours in make-up getting disguised as an old man, then headed to courts in New Jersey to devour the “youngbloods.”


8:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

June 25, 2012

What’s new with patterns in Photoshop CS6?

In 3 minutes Dave Cross demos the new “scripted fill” options that can apply an object randomly, symmetrically, in a spiral, and more:

[Via Andrew Kavanagh]

9:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

June 18, 2012

Feedback, please: Next steps for Creative Cloud?

Adobe’s just-launched Creative Cloud is off to a tremendous start.  Right now it offers access to Adobe’s line of desktop apps, plus 20GB of storage, Typekit access, and Web site publishing.

So… where to from here?

Right now I think most customers aren’t thinking “cloud” at all; rather, they’re thinking “a different way to purchase Photoshop et al.” That’s fine for now, but we could do so much more. For example, for the past—my God, eight?—years I’ve been pushing the notion of making one’s Photoshop “fingerprint” (preferences, brushes, etc.) portable & network-synced. Creative Cloud provides an architecture & business model to really make that possible. Similarly, it opens all kinds of possibilities for publishing (tablet publications & apps, video), commerce (photography, etc.), team collaboration, and more.

We have a ton of ideas on ways to make Creative Cloud even more compelling, but it’s critical that we get your opinion.  Here’s a brief survey (which should take just a minute or two to complete), and we’d love to hear your thoughts via comments.


11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [32]

June 13, 2012

Photoshop PMs & Scott Kelby chatting tomorrow

Winston Hendrickson, the VP of engineering for Photoshop & Lightroom, along with Photoshop PMs Bryan Hughes & Zorana Gee, will be sitting down with Scott tomorrow at noon Pacific.  They’ll be demonstrating tips & taking audience questions.

If you register in advance, you’ll have a chance to win Photoshop CS6 as well as a ticket to Photoshop World (Las Vegas, Sept. 5-7) or membership to NAPP or KelbyTraining.com.

2:33 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

The World’s Tiniest Police Chase

“100% projected and filmed FOR REAL without CGI trickery, Speed of Light features an escaped convict, a determined cop and a fully armed police helicopter! Filmed on Canon 5d MkII + HD MiniCam,” then projected with MicroVision projectors.


7:54 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 09, 2012

Clever French performance art (wait, don’t click away)

Rather brilliant. (I won’t spoil anything by revealing what it’s about.)


7:25 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 05, 2012

CheatSheet app reveals keyboard shortcuts

CheatSheet is a neat (and free) little Mac utility that presents all your foreground app’s shortcuts (or at least all of them that appear in menus) in a temporary overlay. Hold down the Command key for more than a second & they’ll pop up.

I like the concept, though I wish I could change the timing. I now realize I habitually hold down Cmd, then take a while invoking my shortcut of choice.

[Update: See, kids, this is why you should re-check an app/site *before* posting about it: the requested control now appears in the lower right corner of the app. –J.]

12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

May 24, 2012

A Brief History of John Baldessari

I’m a little chagrined to admit that I didn’t know about artist John Baldessari prior to seeing this short film narrated by Tom Waits. Now I’d like to know more:

[Via Sam Potts]

6:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

May 19, 2012

Adobe MAX moves from fall to spring

The next show will be hosted on May 4-8 in Los Angeles, writes CTO Kevin Lynch. According to Kevin, it’ll focus on

  • Design and creativity
  • Web sites, including the latest on HTML5, JavaScript and CSS
  • Digital publishing, video, and gaming, including the latest on Flash
  • Applications, particularly for mobile platforms

More details will come out in the months ahead.

10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Vinyl-tossing trick shots

Does this have anything to do with this blog’s focus? No, it does not. Will you dig it? If you’re not dead inside, I think so. :-)

I plan to show it to our boys–but first I’ll have to explain what “records” were. [Via]

8:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

May 10, 2012

A classical flash mob in the Copenhagen Metro


According to the YouTube caption,

In April 2012 Copenhagen Phil (Sjællands Symfoniorkester) surprised the passengers in the Copenhagen Metro by playing Griegs Peer Gynt. The flash mob was created in collaboration with Radio Klassisk. All music was performed and recorded in the metro.

[Via Margot]

8:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

May 09, 2012

LayerVault adds new features for Photoshop collaboration

LayerVault is a PSD-savvy service for versioning & collaborating on design work, and it’s just added a swath of cool new features (the “Wormhole” mechanism for inspecting changes being especially neat).  News site BetaKit writes,

Users can now view edits happening in real-time, and open compatible files directly in the browser, meaning less popping in and out of apps just to make a few minor tweaks. Tools added now let them pick colors and create transferable palettes on the fly, for instance, as well as measure design components with a click.

Here’s a 1-minute tour of what’s new: 



8:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

May 06, 2012

“It’s a nightmare for old people”

How pitch-perfect is this parody of speeds-and-feeds-based marketing?

[Update: Non-US folks, try this link. (Via Peter Steeper)]

The other day I heard some carrier/handset combo boasting about “wielding the Android 2.2 platform.” It’s so weird: they burned airtime noting a detail that would confuse most people while (I would think) alienating those geeky enough to grok it.

8:25 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

April 30, 2012

Giant pixel-art animation on 5-story LCD glass

“The thing is, I can’t figure if it’s the fish that are cooling me out, or all those uncut diamonds in the bottom of the tank, there.” (Wait, that’s something else.) Check out Patterned by Nature, “a 10 ft. wide by 90 ft. long sculptural ribbon that winds through a five story museum atrium and is made of 3600 tiles of LCD glass. Animations are created by independently varying the transparency of each piece of glass.”


8:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

April 28, 2012

Waves: A motion & sound installation

The Waves project from Daniel Palacios “is made up of two turbines, supported by a tuning fork structure between which the waves are created.” The strings whip through the air, creating both sound and visuals, and they react to passersby:


8:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

April 24, 2012

Photoshop CS6 Live Webinars all week

The NAPP guys are hosting live demos/Q&A’s all week (all at noon Eastern time):

  • Tuesday: Photography
  • Wednesday: Design & JDI Features
  • Thursday: Video
  • Friday: 3D & Performance Features
  • Saturday (all day): Week in Review

Check out the site for complete details.

7:05 AM | Permalink | No Comments

April 20, 2012

Beautiful high-speed film from India

Poor form to blog Phantom Flex ultra slow-mo two days in a row? Not when the images are this lovely:

I do kind of wonder whether even my staring into my monitor could look epic & meaningful if captured through one of these fly-bys. [Via]

1:47 PM | Permalink | No Comments

April 13, 2012

Neat: Automatic speech alignment in Audition CS6

The Fremont troll makes a cameo to help demonstrate this new tech:

11:14 AM | Permalink | No Comments

April 12, 2012

What should we talk about?

I’ll be speaking at the RE:DESIGN/UX conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 1. It should be a really interesting show, featuring a lot of savvy designers & creative directors. Each session lead speaks for about 10 minutes, followed by 30-40 minutes of group discussion.  Here’s my idea in brief:

TheFuture of Creation

Everyone’s a maker; everyone’s a sharer.  Great design software costs a buck.  When things are common, we value them less. (No one celebrates breathing.) How do we keep creation special?  Let’s talk about what it all means to designers & their tools.

Is that a conversation you’d find interesting? Feedback & ideas are most welcome.

8:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

April 11, 2012

Photoshop CS6 in Seattle next Monday

Photoshop PM Stephen Nielson will be presenting CS6 at Adobe Seattle on Tuesday the 17th Monday the 23rd [please note change of date]:

Photoshop CS6 is one of the biggest releases yet, and there is truly something for everyone. The team has been working hard on new features like Blur Gallery, new Content-Aware tools, the Mercury Graphics Engine, new and re-engineered design tools, and so much more!

We’ll have pizza at 6:30, and the meeting will start at 7:00.


10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

April 06, 2012

Bay Area Photoshop meetings next week

  • PM Stephen Nielson will be showing off the CS6 beta at Adobe San Jose Tuesday evening starting at 7pm. The registration list is already full (200+ signed up), but you can join the wait list.
  • PM Zorana Gee will be presenting CS6 at Adobe San Francisco Thursday evening starting at 6:30. Looks like a few spots remain open on the registration list.
8:01 AM | Permalink | No Comments

April 04, 2012

Imaging geniuses: Photoshop wants you

If you’d like to develop amazing tech like Content-Aware Fill & bring it to millions of people, the Photoshop team may have a job for you.  They’re looking for an experienced imaging engineer to fill the role of Senior Computer Scientist (req. #13612).

I love working with brainiacs like this, and we have a great track record or productizing research (off the top of my head in the last couple of revs of Photoshop: Content-Aware Fill, Content-Aware Scale, advanced blurring, improved sharpening, Puppet Warp, Auto-Align/Auto-Blend Layers, adaptive wide-angle lens correction, and more).  I think you’d really enjoy working with the Photoshop team to put cutting-edge ideas into practice.

12:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Photoshop CS6 demo/Q&A tomorrow

Friday’s demo/Q&A (recorded here) was a hit, and more than 400 people have already RSVP’d for this session at noon Pacific on Thursday:

Downloaded Photoshop CS6 beta and got questions? Join Sr. Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes this Thursday, 4/5 for a LIVE demo! He’ll take you on a tour of the new features and share expert tips and tricks. If you have any specific questions for Bryan about the beta, leave a comment below – you may see it answered during the demo session! Sign in as a guest for a special tour of the new features and some expert tips and tricks.

8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

April 03, 2012

Photoshop CS6 demo/Q&A recording now available

In this Ask A CS Pro session, Photoshop PM Zorana Gee shows every major feature in the new public beta release. She not only provides detailed tips, but also addresses common questions from the large live audience. Dozens more questions are covered in the interactive chat pod. [Via]

6:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

March 28, 2012

Photoshop CS6 beta: 500,000+ downloads & counting

I’m delighted to see that the Photoshop CS6 beta has been downloaded more than half a million times in less than a week!  The response I’ve seen so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

Nice press quotes:

  • Gizmodo: “Photoshop CS6: The Best Update In Recent Memory
  • PC Magazine:
    • “The future of creative image editing is upon us.
    • “You would think that after a program has been the leader in its field for over 20 years, there wouldn’t be much to add. But quite the opposite is the case with Adobe Photoshop CS6.
    • “The new version will thrill nearly all categories of users, from photographers to designers.
    • “All of this adds up to a superb upgrade that should make anyone serious about image editing salivate over Photoshop CS6.”
  • Wired: “Content-aware brushes, Liquify filter and new Blur tool will amaze. In-app search is a huge time-saver for sifting through giant stacks of layers.”
  • USA Today: “We’ve been testing CS6 for the last week, and having lots of fun with the new tools. The new interface is a huge improvement — the images really do look sharper and more pronounced.”

And from some designers I follow on Twitter:

  • “I’ll use it for a few days so I can give a better assessment, but so far: ball out of the park.” — Neven Mrgan
  • “I’ve been using PS CS6 for a while, and it’s been sweet… The truth is that CS6 has a bunch of changes that make my life a lot better but may piss off some users. Which is great. Adobe did well.” — Sebastiaan de With
  • “I think the community at large agrees: PS6 is an incredible update.” — Cameron Moll

Thanks for the kind words, guys!

10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

March 27, 2012

Video: The Adobe Digital Imaging Team at Photoshop World 2012

Straight from the show floor. (I can vouch for background saving drawing cheers.)

9:50 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Hitchcock on happiness

Unfettered creative impact; yep, seems about right.

8:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

March 24, 2012

PS CS6 drops Vista, 32-bit Mac support

I know it’ll seem odd, but Photoshop CS6 supports Windows XP and not (officially) Windows Vista. It’s all about spending finite resources wisely, and Jeff Tranberry explains the thinking in “Photoshop CS6 Operating System Support…and beyond.”

11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

March 23, 2012

Great places to learn about Photoshop CS6

More great content is going live all the time, so feel free to mention good things we may have missed.

11:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

Check out new Content-Aware tech in CS6

Artificial intelligence + your intelligence = good things.

9:28 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

March 21, 2012

Metadata can kill you

How’s that for a salacious, click-baiting title? But this bit from the US Army is eye-opening:

A real-world example from 2007: When a new fleet of helicopters arrived with an aviation unit at a base in Iraq, some soldiers took pictures on the flightline, he said. From the photos that were uploaded to the Internet, the enemy was able to determine the exact location of the helicopters inside the compound and conduct a mortar attack, destroying four of the AH-64 Apaches.

[Via John Dowdell]

9:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

March 19, 2012

Come help us make WebKit more kickass

“The better the web, the better tools we can build, and the happier our customers.” With that in mind, Adobe’s putting more & more muscle into advancing HTML standards & helping rendering engines support them.

Adobe’s WebKit Contributions group is improving the web as a platform for applications by implementing features that enable new classes of applications, new levels of application richness, and by improving the tools web developers use to create, debug, profile, test and maintain applications. Features are developed in the open and contributed to WebKit trunk. This group works closely with web application developers and the web standards community to identify opportunities for improvement.

Currently open positions:

  • Engineering Manager – WebKit Development — 11843
  • Sr. Computer Scientist – WebKit Development — 11836
  • Computer Scientist – WebKit Development — 11835
  • WebKit Engineering Intern — 13714
  • QE developer for WebPlatform/WebKit — 13989

Just type in the corresponding job number, or simply search for “WebKit.” Hope to meet you soon!

8:56 AM | Permalink | No Comments

March 17, 2012

[OT] Bay Area Lego shindig tomorrow

On Monday at Pixar (where the lobby is adorned with giant Lego Woody & Buzz), I overheard not one but two groups of fellow nerds excitedly discussing Bricks By The Bay, happening this weekend in Santa Clara.  Our boys have been counting the days ever since. Hope to see you there!

6:41 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

March 16, 2012

A kid’s Rube Goldberg monster trap

So great.


10:26 PM | Permalink | No Comments

March 15, 2012

Do not taunt Angry Time Machine

He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.Not Jack Handey

If you’ve had trouble backing up your Mac via Time Machine–as I did once I installed Lion–do not, for the love of God, push your luck and try to use Time Machine to migrate data from one Mac to another. Just don’t.

Details if you want ’em:

Post-10.7, I couldn’t update my backups on my Drobo and Time Capsule, nor could I get one to work on the new USB 3.0 drive I bought for the job. When I tried a fresh FireWire drive, however, everything seemed cool. Thus when my new Mac arrived, I tried transferring apps & data via the Migration Assistant.

And now begins the screamin’ & the wailin’: The apps that made it over were all zero KB, and files never transferred. Not a big deal, I thought: I can just re-install apps & move files manually.  The trouble is, when I tried to install Apple Motion, I got a series of errors about missing files (ProKit). I tried various work arounds, including installing the FCP X trial.  Soon, though, all the Apple apps, as well as iPhoto, were crashing on launch.  It seems that the failed app migration stomped a bunch of critical libraries.

Here’s the excellent part, though: Lion’s airbag works great.  At the advice of my exhausted Apple friend (who’d been supplying would-be fixes), I finally reinstalled the OS. Fearing the worst (bare-metal, nuke-from-orbit, dogs-and-cats-living-together stuff), I backed up my files and blocked off a bunch of time. I still cannot believe how well it went: restarted the machine, held down Cmd-R, okayed a couple of prompts, and half an hour later 10.7.3 was up and running as if nothing had happened.  Everything (open docs, browser history, passwords, etc.) was restored.  I’m still kind of holding my breath, but so far, so amazingly good.  Hats off to the Apple folks behind this capability.

9:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

March 14, 2012

Behind the Splash Screen: Bryan O’Neil Hughes

So, how does one become a Photoshop product manager, and what does one actually do? Bryan briefly tells his story:

11:39 AM | Permalink | No Comments

Brad Bird on morale

Via his Pixar colleague Michael Johnson:

In my experience, the thing that has the most significant impact on a movie’s budget—but never shows up in a budget—is morale. If you have low morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about 25 cents of value. If you have high morale, for every $1 you spend, you get about $3 of value. Companies should pay much more attention to morale.

8:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

March 13, 2012

Who do I fear being at work?

This guy.

[I find myself making this joke when I actually do connect people who wouldn’t otherwise talk (different teams, engineers with customers, etc.). Still, it’s an odd job where one doesn’t often *build* anything specific.]

9:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

March 03, 2012

Star Wars Rorschach

Oh yes:

Does anyone know what software produces animations like these? [Via ]

7:59 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

February 29, 2012

“Confessions of a Printmaker” tomorrow eve in SF

Mark Lindsay will be presenting at Adobe San Francisco tomorrow night starting at 6:30. Mark will discuss:

  • Ink Gamut: Knowing the limitations of printed color
  • Soft-Proofing: How to anticipate print appearance before printing
  • Print Options: Photoshop workflows for inkjet, digital, and offset lithography
  • Sharpening: Advanced sharpening techniques for fine printmaking
  • Paper Profiles: How to make them, where to get them, how to use them
  • Color Management: The best color settings for Photoshop
  • Color Correction: Solving basic and tricky color problems
  • Special Print Problems: A bag of tricks for a world of problems
  • CMYK: The other color space
  • Paper: Best selection for outstanding prints
  • On Press: Effective press checks
4:13 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

A Photoshop engineer vs. the exploitation of kids

A few years ago, John Penn was invited to attend the Internet Crimes Against Children Conference and share his knowledge as a Photoshop engineer. The experience changed his life. Now he’s a Senior Solutions Architect helping law enforcement agencies around the world use Photoshop to combat the exploitation of children.

9:03 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

February 25, 2012

“Browser UI” action for Photoshop

Looks interesting:

Browser UI is an action that creates a browser window around any size Photoshop document you can throw at it. Simply install the action, choose a browser and play it. Check out the quick screencast if you don’t believe me.

9:50 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

February 23, 2012

A really arcane blogging/tweeting tool request

[Warning: Probably of zero interest to non-nerd bloggers, and even then…]

I like sharing links quickly via Twitter (and thus Facebook), and later–time permitting–I copy, paste, and sort those links into groups that I can share here. Other times I’ll use Instapaper to capture links that I’m not quite ready to share.

Trouble is, it takes a non-trivial amount of time to scan back through either list, then copy/paste/etc. Thus my sharing of links via the blog has dropped dramatically. (Sorry/you’re welcome, depending.)

Would you by chance know of a way to automate converting tweets and/or Instapaper (or similar) links into blog-ready form, making it easy to sort them into piles? Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

12:46 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

February 22, 2012

Photoshop.next sneak: Automatic preset migration & sharing

Also, Cmd-J duplicates multiple selected layers & layer groups; woo! (“JDI,” for the uninitiated, stands for “Just Do It.”)

5:34 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

Behind the Splash Screen: Seetharaman Narayanan

Meet the Photoshop hall-of-famer with his own fan club:

[Via Andrew Kavanagh]

10:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 19, 2012

What’s the point of having an Adobe ID?

I know, I know: you need another username/password combo like you need a hole in the head. There are real benefits to having an Adobe ID, though (e.g. keeping track of your serial numbers). Jeff Tranberry quickly lists details. [Via John Dowdell]

8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [12]

February 16, 2012

Pixelapse: PSD backup & sharing

Pixelapse promises “Visual version control done right”:

Hit save in Photoshop. Your artwork will be on the Web, ready to be shared in seconds.

Share and get feedback from your team members, or anyone you share the design with.

[Previous/similar: LayerVault.]

10:17 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

February 15, 2012

Friday Demo/Q&A: Mission Mobile

Check it:

Learn how to create mobile apps or websites using Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium software. Join Evangelist Paul Trani and discover the latest tips and tricks on Adobe Dreamweaver and Adobe Air for going mobile fast. We’ll cover how to customize content for different screens, create galleries, optimize graphics, and more.

Prior to joining Adobe, Paul led a team of interactive designers and developers at Starz Entertainment producing multimillion dollar web and mobile campaigns.

8:34 AM | Permalink | No Comments

February 14, 2012

Valentine’s Special: Remove Your Ex with Photoshop.next

Artificial intelligence: Good.
Your intelligence: Better.
The two together: Best.

To reduce instances of “Content-Aware Fail,” the Photoshop team has been working on ways to let you guide the Content-Aware Fill algorithm. Check out this two-minute preview:

2:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [16]

February 13, 2012

RED/Premiere Pro webinar Feb. 23

Join Ted Schilowitz, one of the founders of RED Digital Cinema, and Adobe’s Wes Howell, 10AM PST:

Adobe and RED have collaborated to bring a truly native, color-rich, 4K tapeless workflow to Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5. Join this webinar to learn how you can enable a robust workflow for editing, grading, and delivering native R3D footage in real time using Premiere Pro.



7:15 AM | Permalink | No Comments

February 12, 2012

Video: Future Hipsters

Now I’m kind of tempted to get a QR code tat that links to “un gato vomitando.”

[Via Bruce Bullis]

9:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

February 10, 2012

A North Korean Photoshop tutorial

“Rotting misery pumpkin”? “Catify” command? Where can I get this version?? [Note: Contains a little off-color humor]

[Via the *actual* Bryan O’Neil Hughes]

8:49 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 09, 2012

Photoshop.next sneak #3: Dashed & dotted lines

Note the presence of controls for “real” stroke & fill (not dependent on the modal layer style dialog) on the options bar.

[Via Rob Cantor]

8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

February 08, 2012

You can put 16GB of RAM in a MacBook Pro

I mention it A) because I just ordered a new machine*, and B) people seem not to know about this capacity. Adobe’s Jason Levine says the upgrade is fast, easy–and now cheap.

I’ve always been a sucka for tons of memory, having jammed an eye-popping 512MB into my first PowerBook at Adobe (2000!). When I priced an 8GB upgrade on Apple.com 3 years ago, it cost $1200–as much as a MacBook + Apple TV. Now Apple will let you go from 4 to 8GB for $200. Strangely, though, they don’t list a 16GB option–which OWC offers for $249.

*This is part of my perverse effort to bring you high-DPI laptops: by ordering a current machine now, I ensure the arrival of a better option moments later. (See also my sales of ADBE and pretty much any other stock or commodity, ever.) I am, if nothing else, a man who *gives*.

9:01 AM | Permalink | Comments [11]

February 06, 2012

Photoshop events in NYC this week

  • Thursday, February 9 Event Meetup: Hosted at the School of Visual Arts with special guest SVA alum and pro photographer Sarah Silver. Bryan O’Neil Hughes, Photoshop Sr. Product Manager, will demo.
  • Saturday, February 11 Event Meetup: Hosted at pro photographer Sarah Silver’s NYC studio.  Bryan will demo.
11:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

February 03, 2012

Canada sends a (Lego) man to space

“A tip of the hat to America’s hat.” :-)


1:12 PM | Permalink | No Comments

February 02, 2012

Photoshop.next: Sneak peek #2

Background save, anyone? How about massively faster Liquify?

Both of these features have been in the team’s sights for a long time, but they kept getting derailed by things like the Carbon-to-Cocoa conversion effort. Nice to have that behind us.

6:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [19]

February 01, 2012

Scott Kelby: “Why I Think Lightroom 4 is Going To Sell Like Crazy”

He writes,

“Your photos look better processed in Lightroom 4. Period… The improvements in Lightroom’s Development module are so significant, and so much better than what we’ve ever had before, that I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find most anyone still using Lightroom 3 in just a few months from now.”

As Bryan demos & notes in the Photoshop sneak below, the same engine is coming to PS, and you can try it out in LR4 right now.

6:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

January 28, 2012

Photoshop in Romanian protests

“Text says ‘We want cheaper Photoshop! Down with Comic Sans!,'” reports the excellently named Marius-Remus Mate.

Jon Stewart one mentioned that American troops were teaching Afghan kids to play baseball. Whole families were really getting into the spirit of the game, he said, showing a dad in the stands holding a sign reading “ESPN: Execute Some Pashtuns Now!” Ah Photoshop, you do get around.

8:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

January 24, 2012

How warring rabbits led to 3D in Photoshop

Lagomorphs, man–lagomorphs.

8:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

January 22, 2012

A marriage proposal in Lego

Margot once sent me a stop-motion valentine involving Lego Chewbacca, so these kids are right up my alley:

9:15 AM | Permalink | No Comments

January 21, 2012

Glimpses of Guatemala

In brief, stand-out things I saw in my first few hours: A bus with the Virgin Mary on the side and a Confederate flag in the back window; a truck whooshing up on me and displaying a crowd of peeing cows with Stars of David branded on their rumps; another bus whose windshield featured a three-eyed graffiti smiley face above a bunch of unpatched bullet holes; and hopped-up paramilitary pickups laden with soliders and emblazoned with the word “Quiche” (gourmet troopers?).

I snagged photos (of very uneven quality) of some of this and hope to share them soon. I’m finding, though, that photo-editing workflows on iPad remain about as graceful as a toddler–full of both promise & constant painful wipeouts.

10:50 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

January 20, 2012

Robo-publishing engage in 3, 2,…

Well, the day has come, and I’m off to Guatemala. Thanks for all the kind wishes of support & great camera advice! (I ended up grabbing a Nikon 1 from the Photoshop QE folks, but clearly the market is full of excellent choices.)

I promise I’ll try hard to unplug and fully engage with the experience. I’m really trying to tell myself I can get by with just an iPad, though until I’m in the air my hand will keep flying up, Strangelove-style, to grab my Mac.

Regarding the blog, I’ve queued up daily content to carry through to the end of January. After that, it’s likely to be radio silence for a few days at least (well, unless I have some downtime and write up a–DOWN, hand!!).

Catch you on the flipside,

PS–Sorry if your comments get caught in the moderation queue for excessively long periods. I’ll try to check it when I can.

10:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

January 16, 2012

Recharging my spiritual batteries

I am a lucky, lucky man.

I’m blessed with a wonderful wife, amazing kids, and a great job. For the last 12 years I’ve somehow gotten paid to spend time with terrifically bright people (customers & colleagues), helping to build the tools I love.

I’m ashamed, though, that I don’t appreciate these things the way I should. Too often over the last few years, I’ve been fried or worse. How can I change that?

Adobe wisely encourages employees to take a sabbatical* every five years. I’ve decided to take a belated one starting today, and on Friday I’m heading to Guatemala to do a couple weeks of service work** through Cross-Cultural Solutions.  I have no delusions about saving the world myself, much less in two weeks.  If I can improve my perspective, though, making myself more grateful and perceptive, I’ll count this time as a great success.

I’m still figuring out just how active I’ll keep the blog in my absence.  I have this crazy fear of/aversion to the prospect of letting people down, of wasting your time by failing to keep content flowing. (I mean, what sane, balanced person would stoke this damn fire every day? ;-)) Maybe that’s part of the perspective I need to gain: the world won’t end without me or my blog. Still, though, I have a big backlog I can queue up…

I’ll ping you with a few travel photography ideas and questions over the next few days–then hit the trail.

Incidentally, I happened upon this quotation today (via Wordsmith) and found it appropriate:

I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. -Frederick Douglass, Former slave, abolitionist, editor, and orator (1817-1895)


*Sabbatical length depends on length of service; the longer you’ve worked here, the longer the time off. My current “10 year” one runs for five weeks.

**These things aren’t cheap, and I thought about soliciting donations to support my trip. Truth is, though, many people and causes need help much more urgently. If the spirit moves you, please consider supporting CCS so that another person can volunteer, or support another worthwhile NGO (Doctors Without Borders being my favorite). Thanks!

11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments [29]

Video: Cooking with Photoshop

Vintage fun, worth another look:

[Via Veronique Brossier]

10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

January 14, 2012

Minority Report-style window

Very cool, although:

A) I was just thinking “My windows are plenty fragile, but their carbon footprint is too low.”
B) What’s with the prominent “Don’t Touch” sign below this touch screen?

[Via Tobias Hoellrich]

7:11 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

January 12, 2012

Free Russell Brown photo workshops in LA

Russell Brown & artist Bonny Pierce Lhotka are presenting a couple of free half-day workshops next weekend (Jan. 21-22nd) in Los Angeles. [Update: I’m told that the classes are now sold out.]

Russell will lead the class in an introduction to using mobile software Apps with lots of opportunity for creative expression!  Props, costumes, tin-type backgrounds, printed backgrounds and a professional lighting kit by Westcott will be made available to help students take fantastic mobile photos. […]

Bonny will teach the “cooking” of aluminum plates to create antiques surfaces that look decades old.  After distressing, washing and cooking the plates, participates will compose and alter both the plate and the image that has been printed on a transfer film.

10:52 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

January 10, 2012

Fotoshop by Adobé

Fauxtanical hydro-jargon microbead extraction for the win!!

Behind the scenes:

[Via Jim Geduldick & Serge Jespers]

12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

January 03, 2012

Skitch: Beautifully simple screenshot markup for iPad

Free, too:

More info is on the Evernote team blog.

9:43 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 31, 2011

World’s Largest LEGO Christmas Tree

Seems like a nice way to ring out the year: The crew at Bright Bricks (“The UK’s only LEGO Certified Professional”–who knew there were such things?) has put together the world’s largest Lego Christmas tree. Check out a nice set of photos, or just the little vid below:

9:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

“Larger-than-life alveoli”

Kind of puts the “creep” back into “crepuscular.”

Check out more photos and details.

8:28 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 30, 2011

Crazy magnet-thing levitates your crap

“Isaac Newton just pooped his pants.” Oh my. (Or, as Core77 puts it, “Electromagnets Now Powerful Enough to Repel Good Taste.”) So, now this happens:

I’ll be sure to try one with my un-backed-up hard drive.

8:50 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

December 26, 2011

Mac nerd friends: A little help here?

“Hello, my name is John, and I practice unprotected computing…” (“Hello, John.”)

Until I upgraded my Mac to Lion, I was a rigorous user of Time Machine: I’d plug in a Drobo at work, and I’d connect to a Time Capsule at home. It paid off when my hard drive died & my bacon was saved.

Ever since moving to Lion, though, I’ve been unable to back up. Connecting to either backup produces a “Preparing to back up” cycle that can last for hours or even days. It’s unusable to the point that I think I should just wipe the backups and start fresh.

Here’s where more problems ensue, however:

  • Deleting the backup from the Drobo was incredibly slow, to the point that I reformatted the drives and thus somehow rendered them inoperable (!). I need to carve out time to work with Drobo tech support, but I haven’t been able yet.
  • I can’t wipe my Time Capsule (which contains other data), and due to space constraints, I can’t start a new Time Machine backup without trashing the first. I fear the process taking more hours or days.
  • Okay, fine–for now I’ll just buy a new, fresh, cheap hard drive. Without doing research (!), I grabbed a big Seagate 2TB USB 3.0 drive. “No prob,” I figured, “this thing should be USB 2.0-compatible and more future-proof.” Now, however…
  • After reformatting the drive, Time Machine backups continuously fail. Things seems to go great for tens or even hundreds of GB of data–then simply stall out forever. This has happened several times, always at different points, even across reformatting.
  • Okay, fine–forget Time Machine, let’s do Carbon Copy Cloner. Unfortunately, even after reformatting (again) per CCC’s instructions, the backup failed ~66GB in. Given the TM failures, I’m not inclined to try again.

So, here’s what I’m wondering:

  • Is there something wrong with the data on my Mac–something that would cause old backups to stall & new ones to fail?  And if so, is there a diagnostic I can run to find & hopefully fix the problem?
  • Is there something screwy with Mac OS support for USB 3.0 devices?
  • Is there something screwy with this particular drive?

My Google-fu has failed to provide a solution, so thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.

2:34 PM | Permalink | Comments [17]

December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, everyone

Wherever you are, and whatever holidays you may celebrate this time of year, I wish you great peace and happiness. Thanks for reading & for making it possible for me to do this fascinating, occasionally frustrating, often greatly rewarding job.

All the best to you and yours, now and in 2012,
J. (+M & the Micronaxx)

4:36 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

December 24, 2011

A marriage proposal via Internet memes

At Christmas (or almost), here’s something awfully sweet:

Of the shoot the groom’s co-conspirators write,

We went to venue a day before to scout the place, discuss how to hide those cameras and look at how to be invisible.

On that day, we were all dressed in black. Talked using walkies. Used wine bottles, glasses, cutleries, vases and flowers as cover. We sat around the restaurant as guests but with our cameras on. And yes, we achieved total invisibility. Audrey walked into the restaurant, sat with her friends and never noticed us.

Not until the prime time when Tim revealed himself with meme place cards that was part of his proposal. That was when all the cameras (all 4 in total) started rolling.

The bride shares an after-action play-by-play on her blog.

10:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 23, 2011

Globetrotting, robo-dancing Japanese businessmen

As Towelie might say, “I have no idea what’s goin’ on right now…” I kinda like it, though.

Read more about these guys here. [Via Bill Roberts]

8:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

December 21, 2011

Time lapse: Sydney harbor

Think we’ve beaten the tilt-shift faux miniature thing entirely into the ground yet? Me neither! Here’s another fun one:


10:32 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

December 09, 2011

Students: Enter the Adobe Design Achievement Awards

Check it out:

Students are invited to compete in 13 categories, including Game Design and Development, as well as Application Development and Mobile Design. Since the ADAA competition began in 2001, nearly 25,000 students from 73 countries have been involved; in 2011, a record 4,600 entries were submitted.

Free to enter and open to students, faculty and staff of higher education institutions worldwide, the 2012 ADAA will be judged by a panel of international design experts in three independent judging sessions. Submission deadlines are January 27, April 27, and June 22, 2012.

Semifinalists will be announced after each judging session, providing participants with early visibility into their competition status. In October, finalists will be invited to attend the ADAA awards ceremony in Los Angeles, Calif., where winners will be announced and awarded Adobe software and cash prizes.


8:48 AM | Permalink | No Comments

December 08, 2011

Hidden Gem: Editing Video in Photoshop CS5 Extended

Bryan O’Neil Hughes provides a 2-minute overview:

2:39 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

December 06, 2011

SF Photoshop User Group tonight: Creative Digital Post-Processing

Starts tonight at 6:30pm at Adobe San Francisco (see details):

In this presentation, master photographer Harold Davis explains his complete digital workflow starting with his digital photography techniques. He shows how he uses multi-RAW processing and hand-HDR with layering to enhance original photos.

Along the way, Harold will demonstrate how he uses the LAB color space to improve imagery and create special color effects.

Finally, Harold will discuss how his images are prepared for publication and archived in the books he packages for major publishers, including Focal Press.

There will be ample time for Q&A, so please bring your questions for Harold to this presentation.

10:08 AM | Permalink | No Comments

November 30, 2011

Alfred for Mac hits 1.0

The brilliant little utility Alfred has reached v1 status after a couple of years of public testing.  For me it’s an invaluable way to launch apps & start Web searches quickly (in my case I hit Opt-space from any app, then start typing a name or query) and to get multi-clipboard functionality.  For some reason I could never get into the command-line Quicksilver or other multi-clipboard tools, but Alfred hits a sweet spot.

The app is free, but the paid Powerpack (which enables multi-clipboard support and numerous other features) is well worth the £12 price.

2:28 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

November 24, 2011

The future of advertising? Cat videos.

(Come on, it’s Thanksgiving; you weren’t working anyway, were you? Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!)

[Via Sebastian Marketsmueller]

9:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

November 21, 2011

Gone fishing (for turkey)

I’m taking the week off to squire young dudes around chilly Illinois, but I’ve scheduled some blog posts to auto-publish over the course of the week. I mention it because I’ve seen a few comments asking questions or requesting feedback, and I didn’t want you to think that I was working normally & blowing off replying.

4:19 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

November 15, 2011

What’s Creative Cloud & why should you care?

View PSD layers, Illustrator artboards, and InDesign spreads on the Web; share files with teammates; and more. Here’s a 1-minute tour of the new Creative Cloud:

9:45 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

November 11, 2011

Happy Veterans Day from some Adobe vets

A few years ago I was giving some boo-hoo rant about my job’s frustrations to a co-worker when I noticed a little Abrams tank model on his desk. When I inquired he casually answered that he’d been a tank commander in Bosnia, modestly mentioning some of the responsibilities he’d shouldered in his early 20’s. Way to put my challenges in perspective, sir.

In this brief clip, veterans now working at Adobe share thoughts on how their military service experiences have helped shape their careers.

10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

November 09, 2011

SF Photoshop User Group meets tomorrow evening

Come hear photographer Mark Lindsay talk about “Inspired Compositing and Masking” starting at 6:30pm at Adobe San Francisco. Check out the MeetUp page for details & to vote on topics that Mark should cover in depth.

5:45 PM | Permalink | No Comments

November 02, 2011

Eye candy: Motion FX for OS X

I can’t claim I find this slick, free app from Autodesk useful, per se–but hey, who hasn’t wanted to spew fire from his eye sockets from time to time?

4:31 PM | Permalink | No Comments

November 01, 2011

Clarity vs. Obfuscation: Steve Jobs & Occupy Wall Street

I have no intention of making this blog a political one, but I did find interesting Frank Rich’s insight into the phenomenon of Occupy Wall Street protesters mourning Steve Jobs, a multi-billionaire:

Yet those demonstrators who celebrated Jobs were not necessarily hypocrites… Jobs’s genius… was his ability “to strip away the excess layers of business, design, and innovation until only the simple, elegant reality remained.” The supposed genius of modern Wall Street is the exact reverse, piling on excess layers of business and innovation on ever thinner and more exotic creations until simple reality is distorted and obscured.

Just food for thought. (Oh, and if you haven’t read Michael Lewis’s The Big Short, you’re missing out. I’m halfway through his follow-up, Boomerang, and it’s similarly compelling.)

4:54 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

October 26, 2011

Last chance to switch to Premiere Pro CS5.5 and get 50% off

This special offer ends Monday, Oct. 31.  It’s a great deal even for someone who just wants Photoshop, since the price of the suite is less than Photoshop alone (!). [Via Todd Kopriva]

1:15 PM | Permalink | No Comments

Sneak Peek: Automatic replacement of dialog tracks

Dwight Schrute gets outsourced using some clever technology that matches the timing of vocal tracks, letting you swap one for the other. Very cool.

8:18 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

October 24, 2011

Saturday: iPad Photo Workflow & Portfolio Design

If you’ll happen to be in New York on Saturday, check out this session at PhotoPlus (8:45-11:45 AM) from our friends Dan Marcolina & Matthew Richmond.

Dan plans to deconstruct some of his favorite interactive photo experiences including “World Without Photoshop” and the “iObsessed Companion“. He’ll show you how to create a portfolio for the App store by using Adobe Indesign and the new Adobe Digital Publishing Suite. (Here’s their iPad portfolio, Printeractivideo.) He’ll also explain the cross devices benefits of authoring with the unique, in the cloud, toolset called SlideRocket. As a bonus he’ll share some insights from producing the Book iPhone Obsessed, photo editing experiments with apps that includes the use QR Codes for triggering mobile formatted portfolios of work.

Matthew plans to show:

  • PhotoSmith and Lightroom workflow
  • A handful of mobile/tablet-friendly Web gallery solutions
    • Some mainstream options
    • Some just good frameworks/snippets for those crafting HTML (example)
  • Some non-Adobe photo portfolio apps & solutions for iPad
  • Eye-Fi card to iPad/iPhone workflow
  • How to build full-bleed Photo ePub files for iPad/iBooks
    • Essentially it’s CSS & HTML, hacking away at a example file. Not for the faint of heart but really cool.
1:42 PM | Permalink | No Comments

October 22, 2011

Video: AlphaDog robot

I propose some new government branding: “DARPA: Hey, What Could Go Wrong?” I’m going to dream of this thing c-c-coming to k-k-kill me:

It can haul 400 pounds of gear 20 miles on a single charge. Read all about it. [Via John Dowdell]

8:50 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 12, 2011

Photoshop User Group talks video, Tuesday in SJ

If you’re shooting video with a DSLR (or if you’d like to be), come check out this session (Tuesday, Oct. 18 starting at 6:30pm) at Adobe’s San Jose HQ:

Michael Lewis is a Quality Assurance Engineer at Adobe Systems, Inc.  He is currently a member of the Adobe Premiere Pro team, but began his career at Adobe on the Adobe Photoshop team.  While he enjoys working for a company that is continually at the forefront of digital imaging, he can still be found on weekends shooting with his favorite Super 8mm film camera.

Daniel Brown worked for Adobe Systems Inc. in the role of “Senior Evangelist” on the Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects teams applying his experience “in the trenches” to product development, demonstrations, and communication with customers at industry events worldwide.In 2001, Daniel got his first taste of both diving and, simultaneously, underwater photography and has been hooked ever since. He’s been a lecturer at numerous Digital Shootout events and regularly contributes to Stephen Frink’s week-long “Digital Immersion” classes in Key Largo, Florida.

For RSVP details, etc., please see the Evite (linked above).

8:15 AM | Permalink | No Comments

October 11, 2011

Lightroom 50% off, today only

Check it out. Offer ends tonight, October 11, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PT; valid in North America only.

1:44 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 08, 2011

Optimizing Premiere Pro performance

If you’re a serious video editor and want to know how to set up a great workstation, check out Dennis Radeke’s “Diving into NVIDIA GPU’s and what they mean for Premiere Pro.”

8:10 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 06, 2011

The Photoshop Team Remembers Steve Jobs

Great recollections from Russell Brown, Mark Hamburg, and many others.

10:19 PM | Permalink | No Comments

The Lightroom team on Steve & the Mac

From the team’s Facebook page:

Photoshop was invented on the Mac. The Mac is a key development platform for the entire digital imaging team, particularly Lightroom that was first launched at Macworld. Steve Jobs was a visionary who inspired tech innovation. We are grateful for his contributions and sorry for this loss. – The Lightroom Team


10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Adobe’s founders remember Steve Jobs

From John Warnock & Chuck Geschke:

“We met Steve Jobs about 3 months after we started Adobe. He called us and said: ‘I hear you guys are doing great things – can we meet?’ He came over to our tiny office in Mountain View and saw the early stages of PostScript. He got the concept immediately and we started about 5 months of negotiations over our first contract. Apple invested $2.5 million into Adobe and gave us an advance on royalties. This allowed us to help Apple build the first LaserWriter. Without Steve’s vision and incredible willingness to take risk, Adobe would not be what it is today. We owe an enormous debt to Steve and his vision.

“We have always had great admiration and respect for Steve. The world is a better place because of him, and his absence will leave a huge hole in the world of technology.”

And from the Adobe.com home page:

“Steve was a unique visionary and his influence as a technology innovator will be sorely missed. This is a sad day for the entire industry, and we offer our deepest sympathy to his family.”— Shantanu Narayen, president and CEO, Adobe Systems

9:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

LayerVault: “Simple version control for designers”

The service promises simple cloud backup & versioning of PSDs & other formats:

If the LayerVault guys can crack this particular nut, God bless ’em. Years ago Adobe Version Cue tried integrating check-in & versioning into Creative Suite apps, but designers didn’t bite. Later GridIron Flow arrived with what I thought was brilliant auto-versioning, but I haven’t seen it get wide adoption. It’s just hard to move people beyond the dirt-simple “final,” “finalfinal,” “finalfinal02,” approach they’ve used for 20+ years.

8:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

October 05, 2011

“What’s up, geeks?”

Not a bad way to spend an evening with a customer:

Thanks, Weezer, for rocking way the hell out.

1:47 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

October 02, 2011

Watch this week’s Adobe MAX keynotes live online

See what I and many others have been working on, live tomorrow & Tuesday:

Monday, October 3, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PDT)
Creativity unleashed

Join Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch and guests to learn how Adobe is transforming the creative process across mobile devices, personal computers, and the cloud.

Tuesday, October 4, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. PDT)
Creating the very best user experiences

Join us as we explore the best solutions for delivering highly expressive and usable experiences, both in the browser and as apps. We’ll look at a variety of technologies and products, highlighting current opportunities, and peering into the not-so-distant future.

12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Come see us at MAX

In addition to presenting some new technology in the Adobe booth, I’ll be on hand for the following sessions that you might find interesting.


12:29 PM | Permalink | No Comments

October 01, 2011

Video: Crazy legs

Utterly amazing dancing to “Pumped Up Kicks.” (Make sure to give it a minute.)

It reminds me of this Levi’s classic from ~10 years (!) ago:

8:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

September 30, 2011

Rivers Cuomo, Photoshop fan

Solid. Apparently he scans everything into Photoshop Elements & organizes it there:

2:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

September 29, 2011

Video: Using tool presets in Photoshop CS5

Julieanne Kost shows off one of the most perennially underused capabilities in Photoshop–namely, the ability to create & use presets that store settings for tools (e.g. common crop dimensions, type styles*, brushes with colors, etc.).

* It’s true, tool presets aren’t as powerful as live type styles (ones where changing the style changes layers to which it’s been applied), but they’re still handy.

8:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 28, 2011

Demo/Q&A Friday: Mastering the Premiere Pro Timeline

Live at noon on Friday:

The timeline panel in Adobe Premiere Pro is where the story comes together… In this session you’ll learn essential operations and advanced features like replace edit, creating custom transitions, and using Adobe Dynamic Link to exchange files with Adobe After Effects and Audition. The session is being run by Richard Harrington of RHED Pixel.

8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 27, 2011

Get 30% off Photoshop CS5, today only

Check it! (Offer applies in North America only through 11:59pm Pacific time tonight.)

4:01 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

Adobe teams up with Automatic Duck

The move will enhance Premiere Pro’s workflow integration. PM Al Mooney writes:

I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to say that Adobe and Automatic Duck are now partnering with the aim of bringing absolute best-of-breed workflow integration into Premiere Pro. This means that, as we work together, Premiere Pro’s ability to integrate with the industry’s other leading tools using technologies like AAF, XML and OMF will get stronger and stronger. And so Premiere’s ability to be a good citizen in all kinds of broadcast and post-production workflows will get better and better.

Recent/related: Adobe acquires IRIDAS video tools

1:39 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

September 25, 2011

Tom Selleck’s moustache makes every movie better

Now that’s some good image compositing.


8:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

September 22, 2011

Ooh eeh ooh, MAX looks just like Buddy Holly

Weezer’s playing Adobe MAX the week after next!  (If you haven’t yet registered, there’s still time.)

I used to joke that the one good thing I’d done at Adobe was to get Run-D.M.C. to play our party at Flashforward 2000.  Seems that once a decade, at least, we’re due for hosting a really good band.  (And this time I won’t embarrass myself by trying on shell-toe Adidas & a Kangol hat.)

8:41 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 20, 2011

Adobe introduces Photoshop Elements 10, Premiere Elements 10

The apps add a wealth of new features, including what looks like a really interesting “search photos by object” capability. Here’s a 1-minute overview:

For more on details like 64-bit video handling & AVCHD support for high-def output, check out an interview with PM Bob Gager. Each app has a list price of $99, and bundled together they’re $149.

2:20 PM | Permalink | No Comments

September 14, 2011

Muse (HTML authoring) demo/Q&A Friday

Check it out:

In this Ask a CS Pro session, Muse PM Dani Beaumont will show you how Muse allows you to include arbitrary HTML code in your project. We’ll take a look at how you can easily add elements like Google Maps, YouTube videos, Facebook ‘Like’ buttons and such. We’ll even get a little more edgy and look at embedding Flash slideshows and blogs from platforms like Tumblr.

Friday, noon Pacific time (converter).

10:04 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

September 13, 2011

Wacom introduces a new 24″ Cintiq

Looks lovely:

The Cintiq 24HD features a generous 24″ display (1920 x 1200 resolution), a 92% Adobe RGB color gamut, a wide viewing angle, and an adjustable stand for hours of comfortable and productive use.

Core77 writes,

The part of the 24HD we’re most excited about is a new physical design feature which incorporates solid industrial design thinking to solve an ergonomic issue: How can we get this massive tablet into multiple working positions that we favor? The answer comes in the form of a well-thought-out base and adjustable supporting arms that move and lock the tablet into a variety of positions.

4:40 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

Adobe acquires IRIDAS video tools

Sounds like some fast, powerful color grading & HDR tools are coming to the Production Premium suite. According to the press release,

The addition of IRIDAS technology includes SpeedGrade, an award-winning toolset for Stereo 3D, RAW processing, color grading and finishing of digital content. IRIDAS offers the only non-destructive tools for primary and secondary color correction that are optimized for multi-core CPU and GPU performance.

Adobe’s video apps have been on a tear lately, with more exciting developments to come. (My wife works in that group & I love getting peeks at what’s brewing.)

Update: The team requests (and is getting lots of) feedback on the acquisition.

3:36 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 11, 2011

Recent stop-motion goodness

This cleverness from down under reminds me of vintage Saturday Night Live titles:


Elsewhere, Joe Clarke’s Tchaikovsky Timelapse features stop-motion animation of the animator himself at work:


8:26 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

September 10, 2011

Fanhattan: Search for shows across Netflix, Hulu, etc.

A friend of mine is just about to start working at Fanhattan.  I’d never heard of the service, but having just signed up for Hulu Plus, I was wishing for a way to find out what shows are available there vs. on Netflix, iTunes, Vudu, Amazon, etc. Well, here we are:

The iPad app is pretty dope: Not only does it show you where program X is available, it can launch the needed app and start the show.  In my experience it’s not perfect (I can’t get Netflix to launch, and backing out of viewing a show’s details dumps me back at the top level of the app), but the search alone is invaluable–and free.

How these guys plan to make money, I have no idea (premium placements, referral fees?); happily I’ll leave that to my friend to sweat.

5:59 PM | Permalink | No Comments

September 09, 2011

A new Photoshop Hall of Famer

I’d like to extend warm congratulations to my friend and fellow PM, Bryan O’Neil Hughes, on his induction into the Photoshop Hall of Fame this week. Well done!

I spent my first two years at Adobe bouncing coast to coast (three times in 24 months!), and I found myself pretty strung out and lonely. Bryan & his family welcomed me to California and helped me start putting down roots–something for which I’ll forever be grateful. For my part I helped convince Bryan to turn his charisma & charm in a more public-facing direction, trying out the product management game. (I mean, if they let me do it, for God’s sake, how hard could it be? ;-))

Anyway, Hughes, congrats from all your friends & colleagues on the Photoshop team, and thanks for all you do.

[Related: Bryan’s Content-Aware Fill demo that’s drawn more than 4 million views–an even drawn a Hughes impostor from College Humor.]

8:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

September 07, 2011

Live Q&A on Adobe Carousel, tomorrow at 1pm

I’m doing my best to field lots of good questions coming in regarding Adobe Carousel, but if you want to talk with a real product expert and get a more in-depth demo, come back tomorrow at 1pm Pacific time for a chat with team member Christopher Quek.

2:53 PM | Permalink | No Comments

Watch today’s Photoshop World keynote, live

I promise it’ll be newsworthy. The show will air 9am-10:30am Pacific time on PhotoshopWorld.com.

7:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

September 04, 2011

Type/Illustration: Ridiculous sign pranks

Back in college I had a summer roommate named Johnny, a super bright guy who was studying Arabic en route to Georgetown Law. He was quite well versed in world affairs, able to talk at length about all sorts of crises, etc. That’s why it was all the more bizarre–and delightful–to see him coolly reading the Washington Post each morning, calmly taking out a ballpoint pen, and then drawing puke lines & mustaches on all the world leaders.

Clearly I’m a sucker for that sort of thing, though I’m still slightly embarrassed at how many times I laughed out loud at these sign hacks.

10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

September 03, 2011

Video: MÖBIUS stop-motion sculpture


Twenty-one large triangles animated by Melbourne, throughout Federation Square. MÖBIUS is a sculpture that can be configured into many cyclical patterns and behave as though it is eating itself, whilst sinking into the ground.

The result is an optical illusion and a time-lapse of people interacting with the sculpture and moving through Melbourne’s landmark location throughout the day.

MÖBIUS was animated over two weeks Friday, Saturday & Sundaybetween the 6th and 20th of May 2011.


8:36 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 19, 2011

Video: Stephen Colbert’s head goes to space

3D printer, weather balloon, GPS-enabled phone, & camera = good times.

Now, who’s up for giving my head a lift?

8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 18, 2011

A PSD for Lion

Jonatan Castro has created a layered PSD file for designers targeting Mac OS X Lion. HTH, as the kids say. [Via]

9:11 PM | Permalink | No Comments

Grill a Photoshop PM, live today

Bonus for me: it’s not me. ;-) Check out a live chat today at 4pm Eastern/1pm Pacific:

If you ever wanted some one-on-one time with Adobe’s Senior Product Manager for Photoshop, well…today’s your day. We’re doing a special bonus LIVE episode of ‘The Grid” today and Bryan is our in-studio guest, taking your questions on the air about….well…anything!

Send your questions now (and during the show) via Twitter—just include the hashtag #grillbryan, or you can just post a question on Scott Kelby’s blog. Hope you’ll join us for a history-making live event, today at 4:00 pm EDT, on “The Grid.”

[Via Andrew Kavanagh]

9:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 17, 2011

Demo/Q&A Friday: Introducing Muse

Join us at noon Pacific (time zone calculator):

In this Ask a Pro session, Dani Beaumont, Muse Product Manager, will show you how Muse makes designing websites as easy as creating print layouts. Muse (code name) is a preview of a new product from Adobe that allows designers to design and publish HTML websites without writing code. Dani will showcase the robust design tools, demonstrate how to add interactivity to your site and then show how easy it is to publish your site.

The Connect room will open up 15 minutes before the session starts. At that time please sign in as a guest to join.

7:54 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 16, 2011

Muse Hits 120,000 Downloads In One Day

Nice. Thanks for all the lively feedback here and elsewhere. I’m passing your comments along to the team. [Via]

3:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

August 14, 2011

LIQUID~DO: Experimental AV art

You can read all about making this art via the molecular-dynamic process of salvation solvation, involving a key component of milk fat, palmitic acid, and C12H25SO4Na (sodium dodetsilsulfonat)–or, like me, you can just zone out with some Sunday-morning prettiness:

[Via Mark Coleran]

8:24 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

August 11, 2011

Save $200 registering for Adobe MAX

Early bird registration has been extended until the end of August, so you can sign up now for the show (Oct. 1-5 in Los Angeles). I’ll be there, and I promise we’ll be showing some really exciting stuff. Here’s more info on MAX.

8:26 AM | Permalink | No Comments

August 08, 2011

Video: How Businessweek gets made

A fun, tongue-in-cheek, whirlwind tour of the making of a magazine:


2:45 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

August 07, 2011

[OT] Mac remote access & Mail advice?

Greetings from rural Illinois, “The Land Connectivity Forgot,” where I’ve just set up my parents’ new iMac. We’ve had some minor hiccups (e.g. repeatedly explaining that an “app store” is neither a physical place nor something that mails you CDs; realizing that N-finger gestures are going to be the source of many panicked “Oh, Jaahn, it disappeared” calls), but overall things are good.

In particular I’m delighted with how well FaceTime is running. I don’t know whether their ISP splurged and added a second upstream cocktail straw, or whether the combo of new hardware/compression has done the trick, but it seems to be a vast improvement over our excruciatingly laggy iChat sessions.

Two questions, though:

  • I want to connect to their machine, wake it up, and drive anytime, regardless of whether they’re around. (Yes, they’re cool with this.) iChat requires someone to accept my screen-sharing request. What’s a more robust alternative? Do I have to spring for Apple Remote Desktop? I’ve occasionally used VNC clients, but do those require me to know the other machine’s (static) IP address?
  • Why, for the love of God, can’t Mail on Lion import a mailbox (.mbox) from Mail on Leopard? I’ve tried every method I can think of (archiving, exporting), but I always get a “some [meaning all] messages could not be imported” error. I’ve even tried dragging everything into my mom’s Gmail account, thinking I could upload from the old machine & download it onto the newer one, but the messages never seem to reach the server. I’ve tried downloading the new Outlook, but it requires 10.5.8, and the old iMac won’t accept its admin password (needed to run a system update).

Yes yes, #firstworldproblems, to be sure, but any advice would be most welcome. Thanks in advance!

11:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [20]

August 04, 2011

Ask a Pro tomorrow: Creating demo reels

This week’s live Q&A:

Carey Dissmore will talk about the importance of demo reels, and provide an overview of the editing workflow in Premiere Pro from the perspective of an editor who is comfortable with Final Cut Pro. Carey will also share the similarities, differences and unique advantages of Premiere Pro, including its tight integration with other products in the Adobe Production Premium bundle such as After Effects, Photoshop and Audition.

We’ll see you Friday, August 5, at 12 p.m. Pacific (time zone converter) in our Connect Room. The room will open up 15 minutes before the session starts. At this time, please sign in as a guest to join.

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Video: The Photoshop Experience in San Francisco

(Sounds a little like some acid-rock holdover, doesn’t it?)

If you haven’t yet checked out the Photoshop store at 550 Sutter, you still have from now through Saturday to do so (see the remaining schedule of events). Here’s what it’s like:

3:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 03, 2011

Chat with Chris Cox this Saturday

How does Photoshop…?
Why won’t Photoshop…?
What does Photoshop mean by…?
When will Photoshop…?
Where does Photoshop…?
Could Adobe…?

Longtime Photoshop engineer Chris Cox will be answering questions as the featured guest on RetouchPRO Live, starting at 4pm Central time this Saturday. The cost to attend is $10. Chris’s brief bio:

Chris Cox’s education is in Physics with a minor in painting – and he’s still not sure how he got this deep into software. He is currently a senior engineer on the Photoshop team responsible for performance, color management, and other random large features. Things he’s done in Photoshop: presets, half the file formats, 16 bit/channel, 32 bit/channel, documents over 30k pixels, files over 2Gig, and more adjustments and filters than he can recall right now.

8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

August 02, 2011

Come to the Adobe HTML5 Camp in New York this Friday

Meet the folks building Adobe Edge, the guys behind the new Expressive Web showcase site, the founders of Ajaxian, and more this Friday starting at 9am at the Hudson Theater on W44th.

Sign up here.

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July 29, 2011

Reminder: Photowalk today at 3:30 in SF

Hope to see you there!

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July 23, 2011

First-person Pac-Man

If two minutes ago you’d asked me to imagine Pac-Man crossbred with the Karma Police video, I’d have kinda scratched my head. Well, that was two minutes ago.


8:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

July 22, 2011

Win a Leica, Canon, iPad, & more tomorrow in SF!

To celebrate tomorrow’s Photoshop store launch in San Francisco, the team is giving away Adobe software, Canon and Leica cameras, and iPad 2s.

“Get in early,” they write, “because the first 100 attendees will also receive iTunes gift cards, with some valued at up to $100.” Here’s the Facebook event page, and here’s the schedule of all that’s going on (including Scott Kelby’s “Light It. Shoot It. Retouch It.” session tomorrow).

10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

July 21, 2011

Experience “Photoshop & You” in San Francisco

Laser etching!
Giant posters!
T-shirt making!
Dogs & cats living together, mass hysteria!

Starting this Saturday & running through August 6, the Photoshop team will be in Union Square, taking over 550 Sutter Street in SF to conduct hands-on training & demos–and it’s all for a good cause.

Luminaries like Russell Brown, Scott Kelby, and others will be on hand to teach & consult.  The days are jammed, so check out the full range of events and register for what are going to be popular events.  (Russell’s laser-shirt-printing-lab-thing accepts 5 registrations per hour.)  Many engineers & other team members will be dropping in, and they write,

We’ll also have some cool Photoshop gear for sale, as well as a special 15% discount off regularly priced Adobe software. The best part? The net proceeds from the sale of Photoshop gear will go directly to Adobe Youth Voices (AYV).

Hope to see you there,

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July 19, 2011

Photoshop Elements joins the Mac App Store

I’m pleased to see that the #1-selling consumer photo-editing software, Photoshop Elements, has just become available for download via the Mac App Store for $79. According to the press release, new features include the following:

Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 Guided Edits offer easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for creating artistic effects such as Out of Bounds for making photos leap off the page, Pop Art for creating retro-style images, or Perfect Portraits for easy retouching. Users can instantly remove clutter from photos or repair imperfections with one stroke of the Spot Healing Brush, which uses powerful content-aware technology adapted from Photoshop CS5.

Check out the product pages for screenshots & more info.

10:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

Reminder: Attend Adobe’s HTML5 Camp, Friday in SF

Sign up here (and/or if you’ll be in Tokyo in August, look here):

  • 5:00 pm – 5:45 pm Food and Drink
  • 5:45 pm – 6:00 pm Welcome & Opening Remarks
  • 6:00 pm – 6:45 pm The State of the Web – Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith from Ajaxian
  • 6:45 pm – 7:30 pm Adobe Dreamweaver CS5.5 and HTML5 & jQuery Mobile – Greg Rewis
  • 7:30 pm – 7:45 pm Break
  • 7:45 pm – 8:15 pm Google Chrome Evangelist Topic Q&A
  • 8:15 pm – 9:00 pm Adobe Edge Demo and Open Discussion – Mark Anders and Doug Winnie
  • 9:00 pm – 9:45 pm Deconstructing an HTML5 Project start to finish – Big Spaceship Web Designer
  • 9:45 pm – 10:00 pm Wrap-up & Closing
    7:58 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    July 15, 2011

    Scott Kelby photo workshop July 29

    Our friend Dave Cross passes along news of an upcoming photo workshop in Florida:

    On July 29, a small group of people will get a very rare opportunity to learn from none other than Scott Kelby. Scott will be teaching a one day hands-on workshop in Tampa called Light it. Shoot it. Retouch it – Hands-on. Students will learn all about studio lighting and portrait retouching from the world’s best selling author on these subjects. Only 12 spots left!

    If you’re looking for small-group, hands-on classes on Photoshop, Adobe Certified Instructor Dave Cross has a full range of classes available at the Dave Cross Workshops.


    9:01 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    July 12, 2011

    YouTube stabilization: Nice!

    I read a few months ago that YouTube was planning to offer video stabilization for one’s uploaded clips. It’s not easy to find, but if you go to youtube.com/editor, you can drag a clip into the project timeline, then press the little magic wand icon to show the editing UI. The process is a bit convoluted: Why you can’t just set a flag to stabilize video on upload, or see this UI during the upload/tagging process, I don’t know. Perhaps that’s coming, and meanwhile it’s a little lame to pick nits with a free, fast service.

    I’ve tried only one test movie so far, but I’m quite pleased with the results. Here are before & after clips. (Note that stabilizing a clip will result in a second copy on YouTube, requiring you to copy over captions, tags, etc.)



    8:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    July 01, 2011

    Gone fishin’

    I’ll be taking the week of July 4th off work for some R&R with our family. I’ll try to queue up some interesting content before I go, but please note that I won’t be able to reply to comments (or to free any that get stuck in the moderation queue) until July 11th. Have a fire-crackin’, chip-dip-snackin’, bratwurst-packin’, artery-shellackin’ Fourth!

    12:13 PM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    Photoshop & body image

    You may have seen recent headlines like “Photoshopping Sends Unhealthy Message to America’s Youth, [American Medical Association] Says.”  The Photoshop team agrees, and you can see the AMA statement plus PM director Maria Yap’s thoughts on the Photoshop.com blog.

    8:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    June 29, 2011

    Help people with disabilities access your PDFs

    Check out a live demo/Q&A session this Friday at noon Pacific:

    Creating Accessible PDFs using InDesign CS5.5 .  In this session Noha Edell shows how to use new features in InDesign CS5.5 to create PDF documents that people with disabilities can access more effectively.

    With InDesign CS5.5, you can:

    • Ensure content flows in the expected order using the new Articles panel
    • More easily add, edit and view alt text attributes that are associated with an image or object
    • Be confident that accessible tables and lists are automatically generated

    With Acrobat X Pro, you can:

    • Add finishing touches to the exported PDF to ensure a successful accessibility full check
    • Never forget a step – guided Actions streamline the accessibility verification and checking process
    11:02 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    June 20, 2011

    Great Photoshop cloning tips you probably don’t know

    You’ve cloned & healed things in Photoshop, right? And you had no idea that you could scale, rotate, and flip the clone source before applying it, right? (Well, being the kind of weirdo who’d actually read this blog, maybe you did, but 99% of people seem not to.) If you spend any amount of time cloning or healing but haven’t used the Clone Source panel, do yourself a favor and spend 4 minutes with Brian Wood‘s overview:

    3:38 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

    June 16, 2011

    “Ask a CS Pro” recordings available

    It’s great to attend Adobe’s “Ask a CS Pro” sessions live, so you can ask questions of the presenters. The recordings remain valuable, however, and in case they’re of interest, I’ve linked to a whole stack that cover everything from Photoshop & Illustrator to Web & digital publishing to video workflows & optimization.

    Read on for the full list. (more…)

    1:55 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    June 15, 2011

    Ask a Pro: InDesign Explorations in Typography

    Check out a live demo/Q&A session this Friday at noon Pacific time:

    Join Carolina de Bartolo for Ask a CS Pro and learn how to take command of your text type and set it legibly, hierarchically and beautifully. Carolina will share some of the common and not-so-common ways to indicate paragraphs from her recent book, Explorations in Typography: Mastering the Art of Fine Typesetting.

    Please RSVP here.

    [Update: The recording is now available.]

    8:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    June 13, 2011

    Sign up for Adobe MAX

    Registration is now open to attend Adobe MAX, set to happen October 1-5 in Los Angeles. I’ll be there and… well, you’ll see. Hope you can join us.

    11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    June 08, 2011

    Ask a Pro: Illustrator color techniques on Friday

    On Friday at noon Pacific time, Illustrator PM Brenda Sutherland will provide a tour of useful color tips & techniques. She’ll cover how to:

    • Easily swap colors in any type of vector art, including gradients and patterns
    • Create new color combinations and experiment with different color harmonies
    • Save, organize and access your colors through libraries
    • Share color groups with Adobe Kuler, and learn about other amazing but little-known ways of working with color in Illustrator.

    You can sign up here.

      9:58 AM | Permalink | No Comments

      June 04, 2011

      “Lightroom Tips and Tricks” next Thursday in SF

      Photographers, if you’ll be in San Francisco on Thursday evening, this session might be up your alley:

      Join Lightroom product manager Tom Hogarty for a session on Lightroom tips and tricks. Learn important methods for speeding your workflow, getting the most out of your images and extending Lightroom with key plug-ins.  Tom will focus on real world workflows and will and share tips from his experience as the Lightroom product manager since 2005.

      9:33 AM | Permalink | No Comments

      May 28, 2011

      Video: Unspeakably masterful Tetris playing

      What on earth, besides a vague computer graphics connection, does this have to do with the general thrust of my blog? Not a ton, but it’s just a pleasure to see someone do something so well. As Jason Kottke puts it,

      It starts getting insane around the 3:00 mark and then, at 5 minutes in, all the blocks turn invisible and he keeps right on going! It’s like he’s playing blindfold speed chess on the hood of a stock car!! I mean, !!!!!

      Even more tangential: I love that someone has created “Bastard Tetris,” a game specifically designed to make you feel bad by choosing the worst possible block at any moment.

      9:07 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

      May 22, 2011

      Video: Terrific projection mapping for Hyundai

      What amazing options exist for visual storytellers these days.


      8:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      May 20, 2011

      Machiavellian thought o’ the day

      I’ve heard about totalitarian regimes using Facebook to promote “anti-government” rallies, then simply arresting whoever shows up.  Seems like a ruthless manager could take a similar cue: Invite employees to “training sessions” on things like how to use the new travel website, then fire anyone who attends–figuring that if you’re dumb & idle enough to attend such a thing, you mustn’t be worth keeping.

      Of course, if that test were applied to people with time to write blog posts like this… uh, forget I said anything.

      3:16 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

      May 19, 2011

      Potential JPEG bug in Lightroom 3.4 and Camera Raw 6.4

      Ugh. The bug seems quite rare (affecting JPEG files from one camera found to date), and it should be fixed by next week, but because it could lead to file corruption, the team wants to provide a heads-up. See Tom Hogarty’s post for more details.

      9:26 AM | Permalink | No Comments

      May 17, 2011

      Orchestral Daft Punk

      Just clearing the palate for a sec, enjoying some Irish kids enjoying the heck out of music:


      8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      May 16, 2011

      Let’s grab a beer Wednesday in SF

      Designer Shyama Golden (whose portfolio I’ve mentioned previously) has set up a happy hour for designers this Wednesday in San Francisco, 6-9pm. Interesting folks like Sebastiaan de With & former Adobe/now Apple UI designer Johnnie Manzari should be there, and I’m planning to attend. As always I’d love to hear what you’d like Adobe to be doing vis-à-vis mobile devices.

      Also a reminder that if you’ll be a bit south tomorrow night, you’re welcome to check out the San José Photoshop User Group meeting; see previous post for details.

      1:11 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      May 12, 2011

      PUG meeting next Tuesday in SJ

      If you’ll be in San José next Tuesday evening, drop by Adobe HQ (map) for a Photoshop User Group meeting featuring Lee Varis:

      Lee Varis is a photographer, educator and digital imaging artist, based in LA. He will present a brief overview of his 30 year imaging career and show some of the movie posters and other interesting projects he has worked on in the first portion of the presentation.

      For the second half Lee will demonstrate his “10 Channel Workflow”, a radical new image enhancement routine. The workflow is based on applying individual channel luminosity to the color image to manipulate tonal separation and contrast apart from the color. This approach can create sophisticated effects that could not be achieved any other way. Read on for more details.


      8:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

      April 30, 2011

      Kinect wants to kill you

      Seriously, meatbag: you’re going down.


      9:01 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

      April 26, 2011

      Keep your stylus on a swivel

      The interesting little PenMoto project aims to let you switch between stylus & keyboard use more easily. Check it:

      If nothing else I want to see a Kill Bill-style shot of design geeks coming down a hallway, flipping handfuls of these things like butterfly knives. (Bahm BAHM bum.) [Via]

      2:00 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

      April 21, 2011

      SliceMaster lets Photoshop save multiple slice sets

      Ever wanted to switch among multiple slice sets in Photoshop (e.g. to manage multiple pages within a single PSD)? If so check out SliceMaster from Electric Iris. As the quick demo video shows, the tool lets you associate slices with layers, then switch among them easily. [Via Jeff Tranberry]

      12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      April 10, 2011

      Get blog updates via email

      As an alternative to RSS, Twitter, and Facebook updates that accompany new blog posts here, you can now opt to get notifications (including context excerpts) via email. I’ve added a widget to the right-hand nav area.  If you sign up & run into any problems, please let me know via comments. (In case you’re curious, I’m using the Subscribe2 plug-in for WordPress.)

      1:03 PM | Permalink | No Comments

      April 02, 2011

      Connection (light sculpture)

      I’ve long dug the beautiful light work of United Visual Artists. Check out some recent loveliness:

      8:42 AM | Permalink | No Comments

      March 30, 2011

      Introducing the Photoshop Family Feedback Site

      I’m delighted to see the launch of the Photoshop Family Feedback Site (feedback.photoshop.com), a resource for learning about the app & influencing the team with ideas and requests.  PM Jeff Tranberry has written an intro & FAQ:

      Do you have an idea for a feature that would help your workflow? Is there a small change that could be made to make your life a little easier? Let us know!

      We will read every post and use the information and rankings you provide to help inform the future of our products.

      This feedback site in not an official support channel. We welcome you to use this site to post questions in search of answers – and hopefully – more often than not, your questions will be answered by either someone from the user community or someone from one of the product teams.

      Jeff notes that the feedback site won’t replace the user-to-user forums, but over time it may replace feature request and bug reporting form.  “The advantage,” he writes, “is that customers will have better insight on what requests have been made and will have the opportunity to help rate and rank those requests for future consideration.”

      And with that, please let us know what you think.

      8:35 PM | Permalink | Comments [12]

      March 29, 2011

      Video: The Most Useless Machine

      Delightfully simple & absurd:


      8:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      March 21, 2011

      Super Mario as a first-person shooter

      Heh–a novel visualization of classic computer imagery:


      8:00 AM | Permalink | No Comments

      March 19, 2011

      “Ask the Web Experts” panel discussion April 5

      Whether or not you’ll be in San Jose in a couple of weeks, this may be of interest:

      “Ask the Web Experts” Free Adobe User Group Meeting
      April 5, 2011 – 6 pm
      Adobe San Jose – broadcast live via Adobe Connect
      Our Experts Panel:
      • Sid Maestre, Developer Evangelist, Paypal, Manager, “Bay Area Mobile” User Group
      • Doug Winnie, Principal Product Manager, Interactive Design and Workflow Lab at Adobe Systems, Inc.
      • Richard Galvan, Product Manager, Adobe Flash Professional CS5
      • David Hogue, Vice President, Interaction Design, Fluid, Inc., Co-Manager, “Fire on the Bay” Fireworks User Group
      6:00-6:15 – Introduction, Raffle ticket sales
      6:15-8:00 – Discussion of trends in web, mobile, interactive design – examples of good/bad design
      8:00-8:15 – Break
      8:15-9:00 – Questions from the Audience, Raffle Drawing


      3:42 PM | Permalink | No Comments

      March 06, 2011

      Handsome HTML5 from BLITZ

      I’ve long admired the work of BLITZ Agency, from the Flash/Wiimote collaborative drawing tool they made several years ago to the lovely CS5 launch materials.  Check out their new site (“powered by #tigerblood,” they note) for a great pairing of graphic design with HTML savvy.

      Speaking of HTML5 (or “HTML,” as the cool kids now apparently say), there just may be some interesting news coming out this week. Stay tuned.

      11:17 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

      March 04, 2011

      SneakPeek for iPad previews AI, InDesign docs

      The $9.99 SneakPeek for iOS enables an iPad to preview Illustrator & InDesign documents, even showing fonts & colors used in the latter.  In a comprehensive overview, Adobe evangelist Terry White says, “This app is a must have for the InDesign and Illustrator users out there. It’s also an Art Director’s dream come true.”  Nice.

      5:06 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

      March 02, 2011

      “Mr. Stacks” automates storyboard layout in Photoshop

      Bryan Denman’s Mr. Stacks “is a Photoshop script that rapidly generates storyboards, stacks, and PDF(s) for CD check-ins, client-ish presentations, and whatever else it is you do. Helping to Nail some of the most monotonous tasks in art direction.” Check it out in action:

      8:51 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

      February 28, 2011

      DesignScene adds Instapaper integration

      I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that DesignScene for iPad, a tool for browsing feeds of visual inspiration, really needed support for saving links to Instapaper (critical for me as I surf around looking for ways to link-bomb you). I’m delighted to see that a new update adds just that; thanks, guys!

      9:11 AM | Permalink | No Comments

      February 25, 2011

      Video: Crafty CGI Sapporo commercial

      “A friend just emailed me this Sapporo commercial,” writes reader Trent, “and I thought, while watching it, that this is in John Nack’s wheelhouse.” I’m inclined to agree. (Full-screen viewing recommended.)

      9:59 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      February 24, 2011

      Behind the scenes with a foley artist

      Just as I was graduating from college & researching a design career, I found myself at the Chicago studio of JoBe Cerny, who’s (quietly) known at the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy & as the silent Cheer detergent pitchman from the 80’s. I found his foley (sound effects) setup fascinating. I similarly enjoyed this glimpse into the world of foley pro Gary Hecker:

      SoundWorks Collection: Gary Hecker – Veteran Foley Artist from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.


      9:44 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

      February 19, 2011

      Photoshop turns 21!

      The date almost got past me, but with a few hours left on this February 19th, I’d like to wish Adobe Photoshop a happy 21st birthday! This being the US, the app can now legally drink, and I trust it’s getting its bits sloshed at the Caravan. You can see the team hoisting a few glasses via Facebook.

      What a long, interesting road it’s been, as you can see in this infographic on The Evolution of Photoshop. Thanks as always to the Knoll brothers, Mark Hamburg, Russell Brown, and all the other unreasonably talented folks who’ve brought us the app over the years–and to all the customers who’ve let me play my small part in the Photoshop journey.

      10:06 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

      February 14, 2011

      Save 10% on CS5 apps for Valentine’s Day

      From today through Wednesday night (Feb. 16 at 11:59pm PST), customers in North America can save 10% on a full or upgrade version of CS5 Suites & individual CS5 apps for Valentine’s Day.  Please use offer code FEBCS10SM at check out on the Adobe.com store.

      3:35 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      February 11, 2011

      Funky music video generated using Kinect data

      …with a side of Processing & Cinema 4D:

      [Via Kim Pimmel]

      7:37 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      February 09, 2011

      Who’s driving the Photoshop ship?

      As I’ve mentioned a few times, ever since the CS5 release started coming in for a landing, I’ve been working to develop new mobile applications at Adobe. On Photoshop I always worked with a talented group of fellow product managers, but my blog audience may not yet know them well. I’m overdue in helping to set that right, so I asked them to introduce themselves:

      Bryan O’Neil Hughes is the Senior Product Manager for both Photoshop and Bridge and a pinch-hitter for the Lightroom team. Since 1999 he has helped to test, drive, demonstrate, and lead development of Adobe’s professional digital imaging applications. Bryan is the Photoshop team’s primary worldwide spokesman and can often be found leading seminars, user groups, and workshops. Before joining Adobe, he was a professional photographer and retoucher. Beyond Adobe, Hughes is a published photographer, editor, and author. He is also a driving instructor for the BMW Car Club of America. When he isn’t driving very quickly, he enjoys running marathons very slowly [Infinitely faster than I would. –J.].

      Zorana Gee, M.B.A, is a Product Manager for Photoshop and Photoshop Extended. She has been on the Photoshop team for over 10 years and involved with Photoshop Extended from the beginning. Zorana is instrumental in the 3D effort as well as driving many other feature improvements within Photoshop. She is a published author of 3D in Photoshop: the Ultimate Guide for Creative Professionals and the iPad app Photoshop 3D Guide. Zorana speaks worldwide representing Adobe and the Photoshop family line of professional products. Outside of Adobe, her time is often spent teaching the art of Capoeira to her community. She has been training and teaching Capoeira for over 12 years and holds a black-belt (equivalent).

      Pam Clark is the Group Product Manager for Photoshop where she helps define the future of the product, works with the teams to create each version and then ship it out the door to customers. She is also heavily involved in Photoshop’s social media activities on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. If you don’t see her in the office (next to mine), she’s probably out miss-hitting balls [Her words! –J.] on the tennis court.

      As for me, I still sit with the Photoshop team, and I remain passionate about helping info flow in both directions.  I’ll try to keep posting interesting bits, and I’m happy to help pass your thoughts to Bryan, Pam, Z., and the rest of the crew.

      12:52 PM | Permalink | Comments [17]

      February 07, 2011

      Russell Brown’s speaking in SF Thursday

      [Update: I’m brain dead, and the event is scheduled for Thursday, not Wednesday. Sorry about the confusion. –J.]

      Russell Brown’s presentation last month drew the biggest crowd we’ve ever had for a Photoshop User Group meeting in San Jose. In case you missed it and will be around San Francisco Thursday night (6:30 start), you’re welcome to come by Adobe SF (but please RSVP as remaining space is limited):

      Using your iPad, iPhone or Galaxy Tab as a Photography Portfolio

      In the first part of the evening, Russell will spotlight an collection of useful tips for publishing your photo portfolio to your favorite portable devices. Learn some techniques for exporting images from Photoshop CS5 as an album without having to navigate through iPhoto. Also discover the wonders of PDF export from Adobe Bridge CS5 and see how to publish your own portfolio books to share with others.

      Create Natural Toned HDR Images, and the Wonders of Camera RAW & Smart Objects

      OK, we have seen the classic over-saturated, and super-sharpened HDR photos, but now it’s time to move to the next level of HDR imaging. Russell will discuss some of his favorite new methods for a new, more gentle and realistic looking HDR toning. This process may have you revisiting some of your earlier HDR shots and processing them again. All these techniques will be done using HDR Pro in Photoshop CS5. Also covered in this part of the evening will be Dr. Brown’s Photoshop tips for working with Camera RAW images in combination with Smart Objects. Learn the true art of Photoshop creativity with these nondestructive techniques.

      And to top it all off, Russell will be graciously offering some great raffle items!


      10:02 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      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

      Vintage Photoshop quote o’ the day

      “If you have never seen Photoshop, you’ve missed one of those glorious rare moments when software approaches perfection. Adobe is humble about Photoshop, calling it a ‘photo design and production tool,’ but no one who’s used Photoshop is so reserved.”

      — Byte magazine, April 1993 [Via Kevin Connor, who’s been on the team nearly that long and who was cleaning some old boxes out of his office]

      5:33 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

      Video: What Would Neptune Look Like if it Orbited Earth?

      Brad Goodspeed used After Effects to create an interesting planetary visualization. “The basic idea is, each planet you see is the size it would appear in the sky if it shared an orbit with the moon, 380,000 kms from earth.”

      See his post for more details. [Via]

      10:09 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

      February 03, 2011

      Volkswagen: The Force!

      Too terrific not to share:

      (says the guy who, 10+ years on, still thinks that turning his key to roll all his Golf’s & Jetta’s windows up/down is kinda magical) [Via]

      10:31 PM | Permalink | Comments [13]

      I’ll be on The Big Web Show today

      If you’re interested in the intersection of Photoshop & Web/screen design, you might want to tune into The Big Web Show (hosted by Jeffrey Zeldman & Dan Benjamin) today at 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific. Improving the Web design & animation process is what drew me to work at Adobe, so it’ll be fun to get back to my roots.

      1:51 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

      January 28, 2011

      Video: Kids vs. old-school technology

      “I recently heard of a grade school child coming across a old corded telephone in a junk shop,” notes blogger Michael DiTullo, “and exclaiming to her parent ‘look, this way you won’t lose your phone!'” I feel this way whenever our little guys try to push a button on my laptop screen by, well, actually pushing it. Related cuteness/puzzlement ensues:

      1:45 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      January 26, 2011

      “In Soviet Russia, photo ‘shops YOU!”

      Somehow I never quite got to this 1987 gem when it made the rounds a few months back. Without further ado, then:


      7:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

      January 24, 2011

      Esprit de Corps, JNack Style

      Headed into the third day of passionate, contentious, and ultimately very rewarding conversations with a new team, I sent them this image. Seems to have struck the right chord.

      10:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

      January 19, 2011

      Video: “Minnesota Death Star”

      17 seconds very well spent. :-)

      7:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

      January 11, 2011

      Adobe employees: “It Gets Better.”

      I’m really pleased & proud to see so many friends & colleagues participating in the It Gets Better project. I found the piece below quite moving. Well done, guys, and thanks.

      4:45 PM | Permalink | Comments [13]

      Reminder: Russell talks HDR, iPad portfolios tonight

      Russell Brown will be speaking this evening at Adobe SJ. Please see previous entry for details & RSVP info. And yes, by popular demand we’ll plan to record & post the session for those who can’t attend in person.

      8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      January 10, 2011

      Video: The effects in Boardwalk Empire

      I’m always a sucker for behind-the-scenes peeks like this one from Brainstorm Digital:


      7:24 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

      January 05, 2011

      Quote o’ the day

      “Everything I did in my life that was worthwhile, I caught hell for.” — Chief Justice Earl Warren [Via California’s new AG, Kamala Harris]

      Plotting a hell-catching, ass-kicking 2011,

      2:52 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      Video: CMYKilla!

      “Please do not watch this video,” writes Scott Kelby, “if you’re one of those really serious types that’s going to post a ‘Mr. Kelby, I am very disappointed in you…’ comment.” I couldn’t put it better myself.

      I found this video funny and really well done, but it contains a Bad Word, so please skip it if that sort of thing bothers you.

      (Incidentally, Photoshop does have a dedicated red eye tool.) [Via Barkin Aygun]

      12:20 PM | Permalink | Comments [10]

      January 04, 2011

      (rt) Holiday leftovers: Assorted design links

      12:09 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      January 03, 2011

      Come see Russell Brown talk iPad portfolios, HDR Jan. 11

      If you’ll be around San Jose next Tuesday, the evening of Jan. 11, come see Russell Brown present a double session to the Photoshop User Group at Adobe HQ:

      Using your iPad, iPhone or Galaxy Tab as a Photography Portfolio

      In the first part of the evening Dr. Brown will spotlight an incredible collection of useful tips and techniques for publishing your photo portfolio to your favorite portable devices. Learn some techniques for exporting images from Adobe Photoshop CS5 as an album without having to navigate through iPhoto.

      Also discover the wonders of PDF export from Adobe Bridge CS5 and learn to publish your own portfolio books that you can share with others.


      Creating Natural Toned HDR Images, and the Wonders of Camera RAW & Smart Objects

      OK, we have all seen the classic over saturated, and super sharpened HDR techniques, but now it’s time to move to the next level of HDR imaging.

      In this presentation, Dr. Brown will discuss some of his favorite new techniques for a more gentle and realistic looking HDR toning. This process may have you revisiting some of your earlier HDR shots and processing them again. All these techniques will be done using HDR Pro in Photoshop CS5.

      Also covered in this part of the evening will be Dr. Brown’s  Photoshop techniques for working with Camera Raw images in combination with Smart Objects.

      Learn the true art of Photoshop creativity with these nondestructive techniques.

      As always we’ll offer free pizza and drinks starting at 6:30, with the session commencing at 7. Please RSVP online if you plan to attend.


      7:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

      December 24, 2010

      Not a creature is stirring…

      With Adobe taking a break for the rest of the year, I’m going to lay low for a few days, squire around a couple of rowdy tots, and generally enjoy Christmas with the family.  Thanks as always for reading the blog and for giving me the chance to work on interesting projects here.  I wish you and yours all the best for a peaceful, blessed holiday season.  I’ll soon return to pepper your consciousness with silly, bullet-listed ephemera. :-)  Until then…


      8:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

      December 22, 2010

      Video: It’s a bird, it’s a multi-plane airplane

      Oh, now this just doesn’t look safe:

      If you like the technique, see also Nike’s “Human Chain” ad:


      7:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

      December 21, 2010

      (rt) Entirely random design bits

      3:00 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      December 20, 2010

      Christmas iPad Choreography

      Rather delightful:

      11:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

      December 17, 2010

      Video: Holiday wishes from Adobe XD

      Heh: a little stop-motion fun from the design team in SF:

      Update: How could I omit the making-of vids? Thanks to Kim Pimmel (the guy in purple) for the pointer:

      7:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

      December 16, 2010

      Video: Modern Times

      According to PetaPixel, Modern Times “is a low/no budget film created entirely against a green screen with friends as actors.”

      As often happens, I find the making-of video more fascinating than the more polished outcome:

      [Via Mark Coleran]

      10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

      Learn to make iPad magazines, tomorrow at noon

      If using InDesign to publish to tablets is up your alley, check out this live demo/Q&A session:

      Upcoming Ask a CS Pro: Friday, Dec 17th,  12pm PST: Producing publications with Digital Publishing Suite! Learn how to use the tools and viewer technology of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite to produce publications for the iPad and other tablet devices.  Join Chris Converse from Codify Design to learn how to use the designer-friendly Digital Publishing Suite tools now available on Adobe Labs to create compelling content that combine the richness of print design with the interactivity of digital.

      Dave Dickson and other members of the Digital Publishing team will be fielding questions alongside Chris. [Update: the recording is now online.]

      9:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      December 14, 2010

      Video: Lego Antikythera Mechanism

      Apple software engineer Andrew Carol pieced 1,500 Lego Technic blocks together to recreate a Greek computer that laid lost on a sea floor for 2,000 years:

      [Via Deb D’Andrea]

      7:21 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

      December 13, 2010

      Urban Dictionary: PHOBAR


      PHOBAR: -adjective, Acronym for ‘PHOtoshopped* Beyond All Recognition.’ A play on the the more popular acronym FUBAR: ‘F’d Up Beyond All Recognition,’ PHOBAR** refers to an image, usually a photo of a person, that has been retouched and airbrushed with digital image manipulation software on a computer so significantly, that the person in the photo is barely recognizable.

      [Via Greg Geisler]

      *Sorry as always, Adobe Legal.
      **Not to be confused with a Vietnamese eatery, or CATOBAR, about which I was reading this morning

      11:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      December 11, 2010

      Video: “We Got More”

      Gondrian! Escheresque! Inceptionoid!

      I can’t help but think of Michel Gondry’s brilliant vid for “Come Into My World,” which you should see if you haven’t. (Give it a minute to get rolling.)

      9:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

      December 09, 2010

      Design students: Win a trip to Taipe