Archive for August, 2011

Picture Package is dead? Long live Picture Package!

Many miss the old Picture Package feature from Photoshop CS3 and earlier. But did you know there are several ways to create packages in current Adobe apps?

Photoshop legend Michael Salinero provides several options, including a clever technique that uses Smart Objects to create flexible package layouts.

Refine Edge = Extract on steroids

So you’ve installed Photoshop CS5 and started looking for that familiar Extract command. You could get it back by downloading an optional plug-in, but why take the time?

The new Select > Refine Edge produces far better results and is way more flexible. Fine detail like wispy hair is quickly captured, often without requiring any touch up. It’s really pretty stunning. If you want to fine-tune the results, however, non-destructive processing lets you revisit things at any time, simply by tweaking the related mask. (In contrast, the old Extract command permanently erased pixel data. Bad news when you want to revert a saved file.)

Here are a few online resources to get you started with Refine Edge:

Required Camera Raw reading

One of the most common tech support questions we get is, “Why doesn’t Lightroom recognize my camera’s raw photos?” Or, similarly, “Why can’t I open my camera’s raw photos in Camera Raw?”

Jeff Tranberry answers these questions in his blog Why doesn’t my version of Photoshop or Lightroom support my camera? Read it to learn how to open your files.

Help on publishing from Lightroom to Facebook and other websites

When it comes to exporting photos from Lightroom 3 using the Publish Services panel, our traditional Help documentation wasn’t working for you, feedback showed. Typically, Adobe provides simple feature definitions and explains basic UI functionality—“This button does X, that slider does Y.” But that structure lacks context, and it seemed to be a particularly unhelpful way to document how to export photos to web-sharing sites from Lightroom. So I recently revised the topic according to (gasp!) how you actually use the panel: to publish photos to Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug, and Pick your website, follow the steps to upload your photos to it. Makes much more sense.

So check out the new-and-improved Exporting using Publish Services topic. You will also notice another positive change on the page: The addition of new, “Adobe recommends” links to the best-of-the-best community videos and tutorials on how to export photos to the web. The links were actually on the page before, but we’ve applied a new, more visual treatment to help you discover this great content–in some cases, we’ve actually embedded tutorial videos on the Help page. I rolled out the “Adobe recommends” links on a few other popular topics as well: