October 21, 2006

Colossal images through Photoshop & Flash

  • Jean-François Rauzier has developed techniques for creating "Hyperphotos"–panoramas that can be printed some 30′ x 10′. "When looking at a Hyperphoto," says his press release, "at first you think you’re
    looking at an enlargement of a panoramic photograph.
    Not quite. Look more closely and you absorb a strange
    atmosphere that distances the viewer from the real world
    and sucks you into a universe of dizzying amplitude.
    Each Hyperphoto is a gigantic hyper-realist puzzle,
    created by assembling hundreds of close-up shots
    taken with a telephoto lens." 

    Jean-François reports that although he tried other software, Photoshop was the only tool capable of handling his 30-40GB images.  He displays them on his site using Flash, though for sheer scale I’d love to see one in person.   More info (in French) on his process is here and here.

  • Rob Galbraith has the story of HAL9000, an Italian team that has created a whopping 8.6 gigapixel stitched photograph of an Italian fresco.  They won’t go into the details of how they stitched 1,145 Nikon D2X frames into a 96,679 x 89,000 behemoth, but it looks like they use the excellent Zoomify technology to make the results visible (a la Google Maps) via Flash.  Check out the results on their site.

Hmm–using Photoshop and Flash together to make sharing high-res imagery a snap; seems like something the Grand Unified Adobe might want to consider… [pulling chin thoughtfully]

2:30 PM | Permalink | Comments [7]

Hidden Illustrator<->Photoshop integration

Illustrator and Photoshop have been quietly growing tighter, and you may have discovered that it’s possible to export a very editable PSD file from Illustrator (preserving nested layers, masks, editable text along a path, etc.).  But what about going the other way–turning a layered PSD into a layered Illustrator composition?  It’s easy to do, though not at first glance.

Background: The compositing model (i.e. the layer blending modes & options) used by Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat is different than the one used by Photoshop. Therefore some blending options in Photoshop (for example, complex "Blend If" settings) can’t be replicated in Illustrator. As a result, when you place a PSD file into Illustrator, the blending is isolated.  That is, the PSD is treated as things a little world unto itself, and the blending modes within it don’t interact with anything else in the Illustrator document.  Objects like drop shadows (set to Multiply mode) only multiply against other things inside the PSD.

But here’s the trick: if you place the PSD and embed it in your Illustrator file (by unchecking the Link option in the import dialog), you can tell Illustrator to convert each layer into a separate Illustrator object. In that case the blending options should come through largely intact. Even things like text & vector layers (including text on a path & text in a shape) will be converted to the native Illustrator versions.

This is quite powerful but, ah, shall we say, non-obvious.  I don’t have a perfect solution in mind for making this capability more discoverable, but we’ll give it some thought.

10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]
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