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February 29, 2008

Adobe unplugged: Greg Rewis, Jason Levine and Rufus Deuchler, Video-Interview

While Greg, Jason, and yours truly were in Frankfurt for the Adobe Masters Tour, we were interviewed by Create or Die, an online and offline new media magazine.
Here's the link to the video interview.

From the "Create or Die" website:

In the scope of the Adobe Masters Tour, the three international Adobe Evangelists Greg Rewis, Jason Levine and Rufus Deuchler made a detour to Frankfurt. Before their presentation they did not miss the chance to stand up to CREATE OR DIE's questioning.
What is life like during a Tour? What are the (spiritual) qualities of an Evangelist? What does it feel like to speed down the German Autobahn ...? The guys from Adobe answered all the questions, also regarding the competitive product Silverlight, the upcoming Adobe CREATIVE SUITE 4 und the Adobe AIR Tour in Europe.
"Rockstar" Jason Levine shows his real entertaining qualities at the end of the interview: with a small gig on the guitar he brought with him – Adobe unplugged

Thank you "Create or Die" for a very fun interview.
Yours truly.

Creative Suite for Cartographers at IMTA

Today I am in sunny Estoril, a small town just North of Lisbon (Portugal). Why am I here? Well, for the International Map Trade Association (IMTA) Annual Conference & Trade Show, of course.
The International Map Trade Association is the foremost worldwide organization of the mapping, geospatial and geographic information industry.
I presented three sessions on Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium, of which two were geared towards migrating from QuarkXPress to InDesign, and from Freehand to Illustrator. All sessions included information specific for cartographers, who, by the way, are users that tend to push Illustrator to the max.

During my research to prepare for the event, I had an information exchange with Ian Giblin (a Sr. Software Quality Engineer at Adobe) who pointed me to two very interesting solutions that may be of interest to cartographers. But they are very cool for designers too:
1. Concatenate is a plug-in filter for Adobe Illustrator that connects two or more paths into one continuous path. You can tell it how close the endpoints should be to combine the paths, how close to tangent the endpoints must be, and whether to average the endpoints and control handles together. It's especially useful for cleaning up CAD drawings and EPS files that have been converted to Adobe Illustrator or, for example, connecting and filling state/country borders in vector map files.
2. Then there are these Scripts by Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, who works at The Washington Post as a staff cartographer.
One of the Scripts that I find awesome, especially if you regularly open legacy AI files or convert documents from Freehand, is the "Fit to Text Box to Text Content" Script. This allows users to quickly reveal text that is overset or reduce text frames to the minimum.
There is also a very useful "Find and Replace Graphics" Script.
Thank you Ian for these useful links.
Yours truly.

February 27, 2008

Adobe Masters Tour: Vienna

Today in Vienna, there were just under 200 of our Austrian friends.
Now is also the time to look back upon the Adobe Masters Tour, and realize that more than 1500 users throughout Germany and Austria have seen us demonstrate cross-media / cross-applications workflows. The impression I got from meeting the audience is that this way of working, of thinking, or approaching projects really fascinates everyone.
The event was a full six hours, and I mean, this is almost like watching Sergei Bondarchuk's "War and Peace" (1968); but as during the other stops nearly everyone put up with us until the very end
As with everything, in the end is the reward; apart for having had the opportunity to go through all the applications with us, attendees were in for a lucky draw to win a Master Collection. So Jason picked a sheet out of the box... and the winner is Helmut W.! Unfortunately, Helmut was one of the few that left the room before the end. So Jason had to pick another lucky winner.
Thank you Austria.
Greg is off to Ireland, Jason to the Netherlands, and yours truly is flying to Portugal tomorrow morning.

[added on March 5]
I just came across this very nice post about the event by Stefan Kuzmanov of VOLLWERTMEDIA Panorama Productions. He also posted a cool panorama of the event. Thanks Stefan.

February 26, 2008

Adobe Masters Tour: Hamburg

Hamburg is sadly our last stop in Germany. As in the other cities, the audience (approximately 250) was glued to their seats for the whole six hours of our cross-media / cross-applications demo. This time the venue was too small to accommodate everyone and seating was organized outside the movie theatre.
Adobe Masters Tour Hamburg
Thank you Hamburg!
Greg Rewis, Jason Levine, and myself will take an early flight to Vienna tomorrow for the last show of the tour.

February 25, 2008


This week-end, I spent the Sunday at home to celebrate my son's 5th birthday. A party I sure could not miss. One of his presents was a Lego® airport (it even has a security check).
After spending much time building it, the kids started playing with it.
After a while, I sneak into their room and I overhear Rebecca (7) and Tommaso (5) while they were moving little figures around the structure (translated from italian):
"Hello Tim [Tim Cole], where are we going today?"
"Uh I don't remember, but in any case we have to go through security first"
"Very well Tim, then we go to the lounge"
"Oh wait they just called our flight"
View image
Ah, the kids of an Evangelist...

After the TOCA ME Design Conference

The theme of this year's TOCA ME Design Conference was "beyond surface". Who's the person behind the idea? What's the story behind the artwork?
The event had two parts, a conference, and an exhibition where selected works and projects from local and international artists were shown. And a lounge of course, with designer furniture, music drinks, and food.
The TOCA ME Lounge Area

The speakers were beyond awesome! The things that are made these days (either for the purpose of art itself or for commercial design) are truly amazing. It all started with dvein, a collaborative multidisciplinary design studio based in Barcelona, who showcased their motion graphics. Incredible stuff.
Then Erik Natzke took the stage. What this guy can do with Flash and Action Script still has me baffled. tocame_2.jpgAfter that, in succession, Mario Klingemann, Andy Cameron (from Fabrica), Andreas Müller, and James Paterson talked about their research, ideas, and work.
Adobe was one of the partners of the event and this is why yours truly had an opportunity to talk o this incredible audience of over 700 designers and artists. I chose to start with a blank page in InDesign CS3, and then import assets (images and movies I personally took) into Bridge. I would then use Photoshop CS3 to create horizontal and vertical panoramas using auto-align and auto-blend and get those onto the layout. I also created a background image that was elaborated through Illustrator's live trace and then re-colored with live color. I then used Photoshop CS3 Extended to edit and add text and animation to a short movie clip I took at the entrance of the exhibition hall.
With all these elements (including the movie clip) in place in InDesign I proceeded to create an interactive PDF. I was very pleased when one of the speakers came to me and said: "I did not know you could do all these things". My purpose here exactly.
The thought behind showing some of the more basic Adobe technologies at work was to reveal that you can also go "beyond surface" in our Creative Suite applications.
Thank you TOCA Me for a truly inspiring event, and for giving me the opportunity to showcase some of our solutions.

February 24, 2008

Font instalation in Adobe Creative Suite - Your feedback needed

Adobe needs your feedback on different options for font installation behavior in the Creative Suite and many of its component applications. Thomas Phinney's (Adobe's Product Manager for Fonts & Global Typography) blog post with background info is here, and the survey (which literally takes 2 minutes to complete) is here.
I personally completed the survey and it asked some very important questions as far as font installation and how conflicts with already installed fonts is concerned. If you are a type geek like me and enjoy having total control of your typographic assets, then tell Thomas how you feel about it.
Yours truly.

February 21, 2008

Adobe Masters Tour: Cologne

Third stop of the tour. 18 hours of presentations behind us; but the day was, again, action packed.
In Cologne we had an audience of approximately 480 participants; all glued to their seats for the six hour of our cross-media/cross-applications presentation.
This time, Greg even managed to throw in a good presentation of the Spry framework for Ajax. The Spry framework for Ajax is a JavaScript library that gives you designers easy-to-use yet powerful Ajax functionality to your Dreamweaver documents, and which allow you to build pages that provide a richer experience for your users. It is designed to take the complexity out of Ajax and allow designers to easily create Web 2.0 pages. And believe me, I am a print designer, I have used Spry in some websites I designed without a problem. It has changed the way I think about designing web pages; give it a try!
So, if you have not yet done so, proceed to download the Spry Updater for Dreamweaver CS3 now. The downloads also contain the JavaScript library, documentation about the framework, and sample files that show how you could use it.
Tomorrow is a traveling day. Back to Munich for TOCA ME Design Conference on Saturday.

February 20, 2008

Adobe Masters Tour: Frankfurt

Jason Levine in action at the Adobe Masters Tour in Frankfurt
Greg, Jason (depicted here while talking about the puppet tool in After Effects), and myself left Munich right after the show to catch the next flight to Frankfurt, where we arrived late in the evening.
At 12pm we started our second Maters Tour Show with an audience of approximately 250.
One of the attendees came to me and told me that the show was "spannend". That was probably one of the nicest compliment we could get. Spannend means "suspense-packed". And, yes, a cross-media workflows are enthralling. Something that only a few years ago was unthinkable, due to compartmentalized workflows and responsibilities, is now effectively a reality. I am personally thrilled to see that the audience recognizes the benefits of thinking outside of the box and embracing this new way of thinking about assets, design, and publishing in general.
This is the Adobe workflow we are showing. We just wish we had more time to show even more; although in the last two days we did over 12 hours of presentations.
Next stop Cologne; we hear rumors of a very large crowd... stay tuned.

Adobe Masters Tour: Munich

This first stop was impressive; just under 400 users came to watch Greg, Jason, and myself.
What we do, during this tour is a simulation of a creative workflow. We are the agency: Greg (Web), Jason (Video), and me in the Design department. We literally use the entire Creative Suite CS3 - Master Collection, including Bridge, Illustrator, OnLocation, Photoshop Extended, Fireworks, After Effects, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere, Flash, and Acrobat, to create, manage, and publish our assets. Cross-application and Cross-media. The whole enchilada!
Next stop Frankfurt.

February 18, 2008

1st InDesign User Group Chapter Meeting in Munich a success

The first InDesign User Group Chapter Meeting in Munich was a success thanks to the efforts of Wolf Eigner (the Chapter Leader, or Standortleiter, as they say in Germany) and to c/m/t Computer- und Managementtraining who kindly sponsored the event giving access to one of their extremely well equipped training room. It's never easy the first time, but even some unregistered participants showed up.

After a brief presentation by Wolf on what an InDesign User Group is and how it works, I had the opportunity to show some cool workflow techniques like creating an interactive PDF with a movie that was edited using Photoshop CS3 Extended, and then create a PDF with rollover buttons. I also talked about nested styles in InDesign and the PDF Print Engine (the next big thing in printing technology).
The next Chapter meeting is already scheduled. Make sure to become a member and register for it. It will be worth your time.
Thank you Wolf and Hans (c/m/t).

February 8, 2008

TOCA ME Design Conference 08

Wohoo! Germany sure is hot turf this month. Right in the middle of the tour with Greg and Jason, I will split for a couple of days to attend and speak at the action packed TOCA ME Design Conference on February 23 in Munich, and then home for a day (my son's 5th birthday party, cannot be missed).
Anyhow, TOCA ME is an event which gathers top designers from all over the world. Following this year's catch-phrase is "Beyond the Surface", designers will present their projects created in various creative areas such as print, web, product design, all the way to video and interactive installations.

Check out this interview of yours truly in Encore Magazine (select the Ausgabe #38 and go to page 62); it's in the German version of the magazine, but the interview is in English. I love the way the pages curl and turn, well done.

Yours truly.

Adobe Masters Tour - Germany and Austria

masterstour.gifFrom February 19 to 27, Greg Rewis, Jason Levine, and Yours Truly will be traveling across Germany and Austria on a tour to demonstrate a true cross-media workflow. We will be using most of the applications included in Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection and we will create, manage, and prepare various assets for publication on media which include print, web, video, and mobile devices.

Here are the tour dates and stops:

  • 19.02.08 München
  • 20.02.08 Frankfurt
  • 21.02.08 Köln
  • 26.02.08 Hamburg
  • 27.02.08 Wien

    Hurry up and join us at this free one day event (limited seating available).

    For more information and to register for the event, click here.

    Your truly.

  • Guten InDesignerAbend!

    On February 14, I will be in Munich to attend the first ever InDesign User Group Chapter Meeting there.
    You can find out all the details here. The Munich Chapter has been initiated and is run by Wolf Eigner, an InDesign power user since its version 1.5, now Adobe Certified Instructor for both InDesign and Photoshop.
    User Group meetings are a great way to meet new friends with similar interests, learn new things, share ideas, compare workflows, and talk about what the future holds.

    And, since this will happen in Germany, here is for my German friends:

    Am 14. Februar, werde Ich in München sein um dort am ersten InDesign User Group Chapter Meeting teil nehmen.
    Hier könnt ihr mehr erfahren. Die Münchner Gruppe wurde von Wolf Eigner, einem begeisterten InDesign-Anwender seit Version 1.5 und inzwischen jahrelanger Erfahrung als Adobe Certified Instructor (ACI) für InDesign und Photoshop initiiert und geleitet.
    Benutzer-Gruppen sind eine wertvolle Quelle von Informationen und auch eine gute Weise neue Freunde mit ähnlichen Interessen zu machen, neue Sachen lernen, Ideen tauschen, Arbeitsweisen zu vergleichen und ein wenig über die Zukunft zu plaudern.

    Come numerous! As they say: the party is where you are.

    Yours truly.