April 19, 2009

BlendFu: Brushing + previews

Numerous sites (including Adobe’s own Exchange) facilitate the sharing of Photoshop brushes, but BlendFu caught my eye for its inclusion of a cool Flash-based preview engine. You can load up a brush tip, then vary brush engine settings (e.g. size, scatter) & lay down some sample strokes. Groovy. [Via Freddy Wang]
Incidentally, I continue to long for a day when a background synchronization agent (a la the one that syncs contacts & bookmarks between a desktop & an iPhone) would observe the creation/modification of all Adobe app files (brushes, swatches, actions, styles, etc.) and sync them with an online repository.

  • Your settings–i.e. that little layer of DNA that makes your copy of an app yours–would be backed up at all times, period.
  • To share any bit of content (e.g. a set of brushes), you’d simply check a box, then optionally add some metadata (keywords, description, etc.).
  • You could browse & use others’ shared content right from within your app. For example, in the Brushes panel you could type “airport signage” to get matching brushes–no need to leave the app, start downloading & installing files, etc.

Note: I’m not hinting at anything specific, just sharing a very long-standing desire to plug the “Photoshop Nation” that much more directly into the software itself, helping people continuously improve the tools for themselves & for others.

Posted by John Nack at 11:29 PM on April 19, 2009


  • Peter Geil — 6:11 AM on April 20, 2009

    Great idea! I find myself very often in manually syncing workspaces, brushes and other presets between my workstations at work and at home.

  • Alan Hess — 6:56 PM on April 20, 2009

    I use a laptop and a desktop depending on where I work.
    I constantly have to go and make sure that the brushes / fonts / presets / styles are all current across both machines.
    It would be great to have the two sync somehow.

  • imajes — 10:05 PM on April 20, 2009

    I’ve feature requested many, many times, a tidying up of the mess that is Adobe product’s personalisation with settings and presets all over the place. Which is even worse if you use both Mac + PC as things are not even stored in the sme places. Even sharing ACR settings between LR and ACR is something you have to do manually and very painfully. It simply seems amateurish and ignored.
    I use several programmes that handle this so much better. I also use Plaxo which keeps all my contacts/clendar and such like online and continually synced between various computers/devices and also allows/informs you of updating of other people’s details, if they are also Plaxo users – optional of course. Very useful.

  • thinsoldier — 8:08 PM on April 21, 2009

    Really Adobe should have beat blendfu to the punch with the flash based brush preview system.
    Another one to try is ABR Viewer.net
    …and I’m still waiting for image-pipes… :(
    I’m not saying you should try to compete with Painter but there are a great many 2-d brush features in Paint Shop Pro, Z-Brush, and Maya’s Paint Effects that I though we would have seen in Photoshop by now. Where’s the innovation?

  • Alan Hess — 11:30 PM on April 23, 2009

    The more I think of it, the more I want a way to look at the stuff I have added to photoshop.
    Think of this, a function of Bridge that shows you the brushes, styles, actions, even plugins, etc that you have added to your adobe products. (think dreamweaver extensions and illustrator plugins, even lightroom user presets)
    Then it gives you the ability to sync that info between machines, add stuff, delete stuff and archive stuff.
    That would rock…

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