December 17, 2006

In Memoriam: Bruce Fraser

I’m terribly sorry to relay the news that our dear friend Bruce Fraser passed away yesterday.  His friend Stephen Johnson says that Bruce was resting in his own bed,
surrounded by people that loved him.  It was a very peaceful passing.  It remains awfully rough for those left behind.

I’m not sure what to say, and I know that others will write better, deeper remembrances than this one.  Bruce’s work touched untold thousands of people, whether directly through his teaching and writing, or indirectly through his guidance of Adobe, Epson, and other companies towards better, smarter solutions.  The outpouring of well wishes in response to news of Bruce’s illness only hints at the reserve of goodwill and gratitude that so many feel towards him. As one of those many beneficiaries, I can share a few thoughts.

Many of the merits of Camera Raw owe a debt to Bruce. The move from ACR 2.0 to 3.0 was a huge one, filled with twists, turns, and tradeoffs.  Bruce was among a handful of folks to whom I could drop a line at nearly any hour, asking for guidance.  Back would come a deep, thoughtful, often impassioned reply, making his arguments plain.  We’d often disagree, but that’s part of what made the dialog fun and valuable.  No matter how well Bruce got on personally with many folks at Adobe, I never had to worry that we’d get a free pass on anything.  I will always, always be grateful for that.

This whole past product cycle, we’ve felt Bruce’s absence as he battled his illness. Any number of times I thought of him and wished we could duke it out about favorite topics–DNG, Camera Raw editing JPEGs, color management for the Web, and so much more. I write this through a shifting blur of emotions–anger and sorrow at the loss, sympathy for Bruce’s wife and loved ones, gratitude to have known him, relief that he is now at peace.

A tribute to Bruce’s life and work is planned for Macworld, to be held Macworld on Janurary 10th, 2007.  PhotoshopNews will post more details as they become available.

[Update: Rick LePage and Jason Snell have posted rememberances of Bruce.]

12:04 PM | Permalink | Comments [30]

77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno

“What I’m really doing when I work generatively is I’m making seeds," says musician and visual artist Brian Eno, in this profile on Then I’m planting them, in the case of ‘77 Million Paintings,’ in your computer.  Then the seed grows into all the different kinds of flowers it can produce.”  The result is his 77 Million Paintings project, visual and sound art created with the help of Adobe Director, Photoshop, and Illustrator, and designed to be experienced on one’s own computer or via a live, ever-changing installation.  This three-minute video from the project site gives a taste of the work & the ideas behind it.

According to the Apple site, more than 300 Eno paintings — most of them scratched or inked onto slides — were digitized for 77 Million Paintings.  Collaborator Nick Robertson painstakingly scanned and retouched every one using Photoshop and a Mac.  Of the travelling installation they write, "Eno and his team have designed and constructed several configurations for the live shows, including a massive pyramid of monitors enveloped by mirrors. ‘The floor and sides of the room were mirrored and the pyramid was effectively turned into a diamond,’ says Robertson."  A few additional photos of the live installation are here.

[For more on generative art, see this post on Josh Davis’s work with Illustrator scripting.]

10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

Is it real, or is it ILM?

As you may know, Photoshop co-creator John Knoll has been a visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light and Magic for many years.  (My friend Phil says, "It’s a little intimidating to use Photoshop in front of one of the guys who wrote it."  I know your pain, man.) Now ILM has produced a beautiful Flash piece showcasing their work on the latest Pirates of the Caribbean, detailing some of the processes & techniques that bring scenes and creatures to life. [Via]

8:28 AM | Permalink | No Comments
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