May 31, 2010

Video: Handmade Content-Aware Scale

“Taking photos of multi-lane monstrosities all around Los Angeles,” says Photojojo, photographer David Yoon “wielded the power of Photoshop, and he narrowed LA.” Check out his novel technique, which includes drawing lines on his camera’s LCD:

Find more images & projects on his Narrow Streets: Los Angeles blog.

6:52 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

May 30, 2010

Video: Athens Timelapse

Beautifully smooth imagery from Alexandros Maragos:

[Via Katrin Eismann]

2:28 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

May 29, 2010

The Knowledge panel arrives in Photoshop CS5

Sometime in the last 48 hours, your copy of Photoshop CS5 quietly sprouted some new functionality. We hope you like it, and we’d love to get your feedback.

Adobe is now delivering the Knowledge panel for Photoshop (see screenshots). This tool delivers interactive step-by-step guidance, walking you through some 70 tutorials written by expert authors. Unlike other tutorials, these can drive Photoshop: clicking links executes commands in PS (e.g. clicking “File->New” brings up the New Document dialog box).

To try out the new panel, make sure you’ve logged in using your Adobe ID and password (click the little “CS Live” icon in the upper right corner), then look for Knowledge under Window->Extensions. You may need to quit & relaunch PS after logging in. (Details below.)

So, why is this important?

In brief, it lets the community make Photoshop smarter & easier to use, leveraging the Web inside the app.

I’ve long been frustrated that Adobe applications–like most large, powerful apps–simply throw the user into the deep end of the functionality pool. Very little in the interface suggests how pieces can or should be used in sequence to achieve a goal. The apps are highly flexible & very general, but users tend to suffer from “the paradox of choice.” They know the app is capable of X, but they don’t know how to do it, and they may feel foolish & resentful.

I’ve long thought we could do better, and last year I presented some ideas for a more task-based Photoshop UI. As I wrote then, we had two goals:

  • Present a more streamlined interface (“everything you need, nothing you don’t”), showing only the tools and commands that are relevant to the task at hand
  • Present best-practice guidance on how to accomplish specific tasks (“not just yet another way to do something, but the *right* way”)

The Knowledge panel delivers on the second of these. Our plan was to deliver it together with a complimentary Toolbox panel (screenshot), tying the contents of both to workspaces. That way, when you’d click “3D,” Photoshop would not only rearrange your existing panels; it would also present just the tools needed for 3D work (plus contextual information), as well as step-by-step guidance on completing common 3D tasks. The same would go for painting, Web design, etc.

Unfortunately we ran out of time to deliver everything in the box. Thus we’re delivering the Knowledge panel as an update, and if you’d like to check out the (somewhat unpolished) Toolbox panel, you can download it here. The Knowledge panel auto-installs in English only, so if you’re using another language version of PS but would still like to use the panel, please grab it and install it. Relaunch Photoshop after installation, and then look under Window->Extensions for each panel.

Both panels were built in Configurator, so you’re welcome to grab the source files to see how they were made. I plan to post details soon on how to drive Photoshop from HTML. I hope to see many authors enhancing Photoshop in this way.

Because of the way the CS5 dev cycle played out, this release offers us a chance to test drive these enhancements without making them a marquee feature. We’re eager to hear what you think. Is this stuff useful? Should we take it further? Please let us know. [Update: here’s a very quick poll.]


PS–I’m incredibly grateful to the many authors (too many to list here) who contributed content, to the Adobe Learning Resources folks, and to Victor Gavenda and the excellent, patient folks at Peachpit who really tied the room together.

8:21 PM | Permalink | Comments [25]

May 28, 2010

Your eventual decapitation, demoed

Somewhere, a dude you kept at arm’s length in high school is preparing to “take a little off the top” of all of us:

Here’s a bit more info. [Via Mark Coleran]

10:49 AM | Permalink | Comments [10]

May 27, 2010

Feedback, please: PSD viewing on iPads?

As you may have read, I’m switching my focus from Photoshop to the development of tablet apps. I periodically hear requests for the ability to view Photoshop PSD files on devices like the iPad (for example, browsing files that one has synced via Dropbox).

I’d like to hear your thoughts on whether such a capability would be relevant to you. Some questions offhand:

  • What would you hope to accomplish? For example:
    • Would you be bringing your portfolio on the road?
    • Would you be taking the files somewhere to print them?
  • Would viewing just a flat representation of the files be sufficient, or would you want to interact with layers (for example, to switch among layer comps in order to show design iterations)?
  • Would you pay for such a capability? If so, how much?
  • This is obviously a capability that Adobe could build. The question of course is whether we should build it (as opposed, say, to building something else).

    3:13 PM | Permalink | Comments [235]

    Using Mixed Case panel titles in Photoshop CS5

    The ALL CAPS panel tabs in CS4 and later are one of the more polarizing aesthetic details of the applications. If you’d like to change Photoshop panel tabs to Mixed Case, grab this plug-in (Mac) or these registry entries (Win).

    On Mac drop the plug-in into the “Adobe Photoshop CS5/Plug-ins” folder; on Windows double-click the “DisableUppercaseTitles_ON.reg” file.
    [Update: You can do the same in InDesign CS4/CS5. Colin Fleming writes, “Create a folder, name it ‘noallcaps’ (one word, no spaces, no caps), put this folder in the InDesign application folder–done!”]

    10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [21]

    Video: Iron Baby!

    If this doesn’t make you grin, I don’t know what would:

    Apparent fatherhood/VFX rockstar Patrick Boivin makes my cheap-n’-cheerful parental Photoshoppery seem so anemic, but I love the work nonetheless. [Via Jim Geduldick]

    8:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    May 26, 2010

    Security update for Photoshop CS4

    The Photoshop CS4 11.0.2 update (download for Mac | Win) addresses a number of critical issues and vulnerabilities discovered after the product shipped. According to the download page,

    Critical vulnerabilities have been identified in Photoshop CS4 11.0.1 and earlier for Windows and Macintosh that could allow an attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities to take control of the affected system. A malicious .ASL (swatch), .ABR (brush), or .GRD (gradient) file must be opened in Photoshop CS4 by the user for an attacker to be able to exploit these vulnerabilities. Adobe recommends Photoshop CS4 customers update to Photoshop CS4 11.0.2, which resolves these issues.

    These issues do not affect Photoshop CS5.

    2:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [13]

    Script facilitates Photoshop-Maya integration

    3D artist/Ars Technica writer Dave Girard has created a “Go Photoshop” script that sends selected meshes from Maya to Photoshop CS4 or CS5 for texturing. If that’s up your alley, check out this quick demo:

    12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    Genuine Fractals goes 64-bit, CS5-native

    The hits keep coming:

    Owners of Genuine Fractals 6 can download the free update from onOne Software’s website... “My experience with Genuine Fractals running on Photoshop CS5 is that it is considerably faster due to the fact that it now includes 64-bit support,” says Douglas Dubler, a leading fashion, beauty and fine art photographer. “I make big prints, starting at 30×40 and 360 DPI, and so the time savings when I work with these large files is substantial using this newest release. It’s a big advantage.”

    8:55 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    Workspace import/export script for Photoshop

    I sometimes hear requests for an easier way to migrate one’s settings from one version of Photoshop to another, or to share settings among users. To that end, Photoshop engineer Tai Luxon has whipped up a little script you may find handy:

    I wrote a script to enable simple importing and exporting of Photoshop workspaces. This is a side project with limited testing, so the usual disclaimers apply. It should work in both CS4 and CS5 (although it is a little more robust in CS5), so you can use it to migrate workspaces from CS4 to CS5 in addition to using it to enable easier sharing of CS5 workspaces between machines/people. Please let me know of any snags that you run into and if this is useful.

    To run the script, choose “File->Scripts->Browse…” from with Photoshop, then browse to the script’s location on disk.
    [Update: Tai has revised the script to deal with an issue related to invalid font styles, and I’ve posted the revision at the link above.]

    6:53 AM | Permalink | Comments [26]

    May 25, 2010

    CS5 compatibility news about DeNoise, PixelNovel

    Topaz has revved their DeNoise plug-in to version 4.1. According to their press release, improvements include:

    * Complete 64-bit CS5 compatibility on both Mac and Windows.

    * Greatly improved processing speed for Mac – 100% increase for many configurations.

    * Better color handling – improved color edge recovery, new Clean Color slider.

    * Interface and preset improvements.

    Meanwhile the guys at PixelNovel are revising their version-control system (see previous), rewriting it using Adobe Flex and offering better integration with the Photoshop interface. A beta version should arrive in roughly two months. See their site for more details.

    8:38 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    Video: Working with DSLR video in CS5

    The 64-bit, GPU- and multicore-optimized Premiere Pro CS5 handles full-res HD footage with aplomb. The app features native support for video that comes straight off digital SLRs, as video evangelist Karl Soule demonstrates:

    Update: If this is up your alley, see also these videos from Jason Levine:

    7:13 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 24, 2010

    Julieanne Kost demoing CS5 this Thursday in DC

    This Thursday (May 27) the Washington DC chapter of ASMP is hosting a talk from Adobe evangelist Julieanne Kost. According to the Web site, the event will feature a giveaway of one copy of Photoshop CS5, plus Julieanne demonstrating the following improvements:

    • New selection technologies and tools
    • Content-Aware Fill
    • New tools for HDR imaging with HDR Pro
    • Automated correction of lens distortion in Adobe Camera Raw 6
    • Improved raw conversions, noise removal, additive grain in Adobe Camera Raw 6
    • Puppet Warp – Transform on steroids
    • New brush engine for a natural media look with Mixer Brush and Bristle tips
    • Integrated Lab B&W action for an easy and interactive way to convert color images
    • Accelerated workflow with GPU-enabled cropping and new, integrated Adobe® Mini Bridge panel
    • Improved integration with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® and much more

    PS–So take that, folks who complain that I never blog about East Coast Photoshop events. ;-)

    2:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [27]

    Tools to unlock Photoshop’s new painting chops

    The new painting features in Photoshop CS5 are incredibly powerful, but the app interface doesn’t provide much guidance as to what to use & when. Fortunately some painting experts have stepped up to the challenge.
    Adobe’s Russell Brown has used Configurator to create a Painting Assistant panel that steps you through common tasks in converting a photograph into a painting. Here are a demo video and the panel installer.
    Meanwhile painter John Derry is offering an excellent set of Artists’ Brushes, together with a texture library & six video tutorials, for $19.95. Maybe the idea of paying for content seems weird, but this is really well crafted, well vetted material that can make a big difference in what you’re able to accomplish with the tools. Check out the preview video for a sample of the tools & the techniques John shows.

    9:05 AM | Permalink | Comments [11]

    May 22, 2010

    Configurator 2.0 is here!

    I’m delighted to announced that Adobe Configurator 2.0–now supporting both Photoshop CS5 and InDesign CS5–is available for download from Adobe Labs.

    I characterize Configurator as a “bag of Legos,” letting you remix any/all of the tools & menu items in each application. The idea is to simplify the app interface by making it present “everything you want, nothing you don’t”–and to do it in a democratic, community-driven way.

    Highlights in Configurator 2.0:

    • Support for HTML content (thanks to WebKit being embedded in CS5) that can drive the host app (running menu items, actions, and scripts, and switching tools). If you can create simple Web pages, you can create interactive CS5 tutorials.
    • Support for containers (groups switched via tabs or menus, and accordions)
    • Improved layout controls
    • Support for popup windows. These can contain HTML, video, and/or other panels.
    • Localization support (e.g. create a panel in English & have it auto-switch to translated text strings, changing button sizes as needed)
    • Numerous “JDI”-style enhancements (e.g. being able to hide the script/action icon on buttons)

    I’ll try to put together a nice, polished little demo soon. In the meantime, if you’re willing to suffer through my scintillating, “wizard of aahs” public speaking style, you can check out this demo I did for developers last month. (Skip right past the first 5:40 or so.)

    I’m adding some fairly detailed notes & tips in this post’s extended entry. For that info, read on.


    3:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [22]

    Video: Optical illusion o’ the day


    Check out the inventor’s site for more info, including building instructions. [Via]

    2:41 PM | Permalink | No Comments

    (rt) Type: Asian excellence, Hebrew remixes, & more

    11:23 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    May 21, 2010

    64-bit/CS5 news from Alien Skin, Imagenomic

    The folks at Imagenomic have released a new 64-bit Mac version of Portraiture for Photoshop CS5:

    This new version adds native 64-bit support for running Portraiture from CS5 on Mac OS X (10.5/10.6 – Snow Leopard), and complements Imagenomic Plug-in support for 64-bit Windows Vista and Windows 7 operating systems, which were released in 2009. This new Portraiture Plug-in update is being provided free of charge to registered users of the Portraiture Plug-in for Photoshop edition, and can be downloaded directly from Imagenomic’s website.

    Meanwhile Alien Skin is working on a major update to Exposure, their plug-in for recreating classic film looks digitally. According to their site,

    Exposure 3 will be out in late June!… There are some frequently requested technical features in this upgrade, including Lightroom and 64-bit Photoshop CS5 support. The user interface has been completely rewritten and one result is that the preview updates much faster now.

    9:19 AM | Permalink | Comments [7]

    May 20, 2010

    Demo: Illustrator + HTML5

    Round 2 in “a little less conversation, a little more action:”
    Today during the keynote at Google’s I/O conference, Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch demoed Illustrator and Dreamweaver working together to create interactive Web graphics:

    I should hasten to note that although Illustrator has supported creation of interactive, open-standard SVG for 10 years, the exact capability shown here isn’t part of Illustrator CS5. HTML5 is a work in progress, and not everything could make it into the current release, but work continues and we’ll keep sharing details as they become available.
    See also from last fall: Sneak peek: Illustrator + Flash + Dreamweaver -> CANVAS

    9:54 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    Google brings Flash to TV


    Here’s more info.

    By the way, Hulu recently posted some info on why they prefer Flash Player to HTML5:

    We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user.

    10:28 AM | Permalink | Comments [15]

    May 19, 2010

    Dreamweaver adds HTML5 chops

    Hey, did you hear the one about how Adobe hates hates hates HTML5, and how the only thing that matters to the company is the advancement of Flash (to the exclusion of everything else)?

    I have, and the story is stupid, lame, and inaccurate–always has been. But honestly, talk in either direction is cheap, and I think people want to see “a little less conversation, a little more action.

    To that end I’m very happy to see the Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 HTML5 Pack made available for download. According to the development team:

    • The HTML5 Pack extension includes new code hinting for HTML5 and CSS3 elements to enable Dreamweaver users to easily make use of new HTML5 tags.
    • The extension also includes WebKit engine updates and improvements to support video and audio in Dreamweaver CS5’s Design View and Live View.
    • New CSS3 capabilities users can more easily design multiscreen web pages, with previews of how they will render across multiple browsers and devices.

    To see the features in action, check out this demo from DW engineering manager Jorge Taylor:

    You can also download a free 30-day trial of Dreamweaver CS5 here.

    9:57 PM | Permalink | Comments [20]

    Talking JDI, CS5, and more on Martini Hour

    In the second part of our conversation with Deke & Colleen (see previous), Hughes & I talk “JDI” and more. As Colleen writes,

    Deciding to upgrade isn’t just about wanting the state-of-the-art features. Sometimes, it’s those improvements to everyday tools that make your day-to-day work go more smoothly. Oh sure, it’s fun to play digital Stretch Armstrong with pictures of your friends with the Puppet Warp. But it’s also a downright relief to finally be able to simply drag-and-drop an image into a Photoshop composition.

    Check out the regular or high quality streams.

    6:30 AM | Permalink | Comments [9]

    May 18, 2010

    Optional plug-ins available for Photoshop CS5

    We’ve posted various optional plug-ins for Photoshop CS5 for Mac and Windows:

    • Picture Package (ContactSheetII)
    • Extract (Windows only*)
    • Pattern Maker
    • Photomerge UI (for interactive panorama creation)
    • Web Photo Gallery (WebContactSheetII) plus presets
    • Script for Layer Comps to Web Photo Gallery
    • Texture presets for Texturizer
    • TWAIN

    Additional file formats:

    • Alias
    • Electric Image
    • SGIRGB
    • SoftImage

    * Cocoa-related changes mean that Extract doesn’t run on OS X in CS5. Refine Edge in CS5 should now be able to address the image extraction needs for the vast majority of people who previously used Extract.

    9:47 PM | Permalink | Comments [32]

    (rt) Photography: Lightroom layouts, photographic history, & more

    6:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    May 17, 2010

    (rt) Illustration: The UIs of Iron Man, vintage ads, & more

    6:50 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 16, 2010

    (rt) Miscellany: Vintage space suits & more

    7:33 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 15, 2010

    Video: Volcanic time lapse from Eyjafjallajökull

    Great stuff from Sean Stiegemeier, particularly in the use of a motorized dolly. [Via Tom Moran]

    2:15 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    (rt) Type: Trees as giant letters, slick 3D, and more

    2:03 PM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 14, 2010

    Camera Raw 6.1 comes to Labs, adding lens correction

    Camera Raw 6.1 is now available in preview form on Adobe Labs. The release improves performance & fixes a crashing bug on OS X. The release includes camera support for the following models:

    • Canon EOS 550D (Digital Rebel T2i/ EOS Kiss X4 Digital)
    • Kodak Z981
    • Leaf Aptus-II 8
    • Leaf Aptus-II 10R
    • Mamiya DM40
    • Olympus E-PL1
    • Olympus E-600
    • Panasonic G2
    • Panasonic G10
    • Sony A450

    Release notes courtesy of the Lightroom Journal:

    • Camera Raw 6.1 includes new lens correction functionality that can apply profile-based corrections to accommodate geometric distortions, chromatic aberration and lens vignette effects. Manual corrections for geometric distortion as well as vertical and horizontal perspective transforms are also available. A handful of lens profiles are included for automatic correction and more can be created by the community with the Adobe Lens Profile Creator.
    • This release addresses a bug on the Mac platform that could cause Photoshop CS5 to quit unexpectedly when opening a file in the Camera Raw 6.0 plug-in.
    • This release contains performance enhancements designed to improve the responsiveness of the controls and the scrolling mechanism relative to Camera Raw 6.0.
    • The camera support provided in this release was previously provided in the Camera Raw 5.7 plug-in update with the exception of the Olympus E-600 which is new to this update. Please read this post for an explanation of why redundant support has been released.
    • Please provide feedback on the Camera Raw plug-in on the User-to-User forums.
    7:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    May 13, 2010

    Absolute Power vs. the Pirate Flag

    Today Adobe ran a full-page ad in various newspapers articulating key company beliefs, and company founders John Warnock & Chuck Geschke–whose PostScript innovations were instrumental in the adoption of the Macintosh & desktop publishing–posted their thoughts on open markets & open competition:

    Adobe’s business philosophy is based on a premise that, in an open market, the best products will win in the end — and the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors.

    I’d like to add a few thoughts of my own.

    First, all these conversations tend to get framed in terms of Adobe Flash. That’s a mistake. Apple’s decision to deny customers the choice of whether to use Flash on iPads/iPhones is just one part of a bigger, more interesting question: What maximizes innovation & ultimate benefit to customers?

    Let me note that I’ve loved Apple computers since before I could ride a bike. The introduction of the Mac was a life-changing part of my childhood, and in college I got waaay too into identifying with the company (during its darkest days). The pirate flag, “Think Different,” “Here’s to the crazy ones…”–it all spoke to me, and deeply.

    I love making great Mac software, and after eight years product managing Photoshop, I’ve been asked to help lead the development of new Adobe applications, written from scratch for tablet computers. In many ways, the iPad is the computer I’ve been waiting for my whole life. Discovering how to draw a car on cocktail napkins at the Algonquin Hotel at age 3 is among my earliest memories, and I can tell you exactly what I drew on my Etch-A-Sketch Animator in 1986. I can’t wait to create & share tablet experiences with my young sons.

    Put more simply, I want to build the most amazing iPad imaging apps the world has ever seen.

    But will I be allowed to do so? And who decides?

    Several years ago we decided to fundamentally rethink our approach to digital photography workflows. Lightroom (a Mac-first Cocoa app, let’s note) was born. Apple introduced Aperture around the same time, and I said “Welcome, Apple” (Seriously)–noting that competition makes us all better. Since that time, each team has pushed the other to innovate, making each one better. (Lightroom, for example, led on 64-bit, beating Aperture and all Apple pro apps to 64-bit by nearly two years.)

    Apple refuses to carry Lightroom in Apple retail stores. That’s okay; Lightroom is doing just fine against Aperture, thank you. But what if the Apple store were the only store? How would Apple customers get the benefits of competition?

    These aren’t idle questions. When the iPad was introduced, I asked what apps you’d like to see Adobe build for it. Among the 300 or so replies were many, many requests for a mobile version of Lightroom. I think that such an app could be brilliant, and many photographers tell me that its existence would motivate them to buy iPads.

    Would Apple let Lightroom for iPad ship? It’s almost impossible to know. Sometimes they approve apps, then spontaneously remove them for “duplicat[ing] features that come with the iPhone.” Other times they allow competitors (apps for Netflix, Kindle, etc.), or enable some apps (e.g. Playboy) while removing similar ones. Maybe they’d let Lightroom ship for a while, but if it started pulling too far ahead of Aperture–well, lights out.

    And let’s forget competition for a minute & talk innovation. We have some really interesting ideas for multitouch user interfaces–things you’ve almost certainly never seen previously. Of course, “groundbreaking” almost inherently means “inconsistent with what’s come before,” and Apple can reject an app if, say, it uses two-finger inputs in a new way. They do this to preserve consistency–until, of course, it’s time for them to deviate innovate. (Think Different, as long as you’re Apple.)

    The effect on product development & innovation can be chilling. Yes, it’s easy to point to 200,000 apps on the App Store; it’s harder to note all those that aren’t there–serious apps that will be created only if developers know they’ll get a truly fair shot to innovate & compete. Anything else strengthens alternative platforms while undermining the Apple platform.

    You shouldn’t care about this stuff because you love or hate Adobe*. You should care because these issues affect your choices as a customer & a creative person.

    Will my decision to speak publicly about these concerns harm our ability to deliver iPad apps? I don’t know; that’s up to Apple. But can you imagine a world where, say, constructively criticizing Microsoft could destroy your ability to ship a Windows application? It’s almost unthinkable, and yet that’s the position in which Apple’s App Store puts us.

    To borrow from the Think Different campaign, “You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them.” That’s what I ask for Adobe technologies: let them succeed or fail based on their own merits, as determined by customers.

    * None of this is specific to Adobe in the least. Just yesterday, the organizer of Mac indie developer conference C4, Jonathan Rentzsch, announced the cancellation of the conference, saying that “[iPhone SDK] Section 3.3.1 has broken my spirit.”

    8:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [247]

    May 12, 2010

    (rt) Illustration: Posters, old-school Mac art, & more

    6:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

    May 11, 2010

    (rt) Photography: The Sistine Chapel, Darth Vader, & more

    8:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    May 10, 2010

    Video: Using 3D stock objects in a Photoshop scene

    The guys from 3DVIA show what’s possible:

    9:01 AM | Permalink | Comments [11]

    May 09, 2010

    Work travel + toddler + iPad paraphernalia…

    I swear I didn’t pose this. Our little guy was a little sad that I finally got back in the work-travel saddle this week. His response on the other end of the trip made homecoming pretty sweet.

    7:18 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    May 08, 2010

    Video: Creating 3D “Iron Man 2” text in PS CS5

    I love seeing tutorials & projects getting better and better as people become more familiar with new creative tools. Over on Planet Photoshop, Corey Barker shows off how to create 3D text inspired by Iron Man 2, using the new Repoussé feature in Photoshop CS5 Extended. If that’s up your alley, see also his other tutorial on creating 3D text.

    2:17 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    Video: New blending modes in Photoshop CS5

    Digital artist Calvin Hollywood has been experimenting with two of the more obscure new features in Photoshop CS5, the Subtract and Divide blending modes. Here he shows how to use them to produce a pair of creative effects:

    7:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [12]

    May 07, 2010

    Vector painting hotness in Illustrator CS5

    I’ve posted some demos showing off Photoshop CS5’s new physics-simulating brush engine–but did you know that the same engine is part of Illustrator CS5 as well?
    Check out this painting
    and behind-the-scenes info from Greg Geisler, one of the artists behind A Scanner Darkly (see previous). Greg makes amazing use of the new Bristle Brush engine. I’m also digging this illustration by Joel Cocks, done using the same tools.

    Side note: When I met Greg in Austin a couple of years ago, he talked about how useful he’d find the ability to tell Illustrator to put subsequent strokes/shapes behind the current one, rather than on top of it. Apparently the Rotoshop artists use this technique extensively when tracing over imagery. I’m pleased to say that Illustrator CS5 implements the new Draw Behind mode. Here’s a brief (2-minute) demo of that feature, along with the related Draw Inside mode.

    10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments [8]

    (rt) Photography: Historic NYC, war, & more

    9:00 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    May 06, 2010

    Video: Deke McClelland covers Photoshop CS5

    In five new movies on, author Deke McClelland covers five of the most important new features in Photoshop CS5 & shows how you can take immediate advantage of them. Topics include:

    • Making sense of enhancements
    • Applying HDR Pro adjustments and effects
    • Refining masks
    • Using the Puppet Warp tool
    • Painting a photograph
    11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    (rt) Infographics & the like

    10:21 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    May 05, 2010

    My Decade at Adobe

    Looking out on the Lake Washington Ship Canal & drawbridge outside of Adobe’s Seattle office today, I’m hit by a profound sense of déjà vu: I looked at the same scene exactly 10 years ago, my first day at Adobe & working in this office.

    I’d given up my Flash & HTML design gig, moved out from New York, and joined a team that set out to make a great new Web animation product.

    • Back then the open-standard SVG was just about to take over the world (for real!), and we were getting set to support it. We’d export Flash SWF files, too, but fundamentally we wanted to support open standards.
    • The browser wars were still blazing away, bringing rapid innovation in HTML.
    • We were starting to see hardware-accelerated Web content, and it seemed inevitable that such support would soon be widespread.

    Well, you know, funny stuff happens… But here we are, exactly 10 years later, and I’m looking at today’s headlines:

    Interesting times, to say the least.

    In the intervening decade I moved coast-to-coast two more times with Adobe, hung up my flamed shoes & the flamed Volvo I bought in Seattle, met & married a great Seattle girl, had two most excellent boys, and got to help design, build, and support five versions of perhaps the most important graphics application in the world.

    And now I’m about to take on some brand new challenges. More details to come, soon.

    11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments [31]

    Video: Creating 3D shapes in Photoshop Extended CS5

    Artist Scott Valentine has created a short, interesting demonstration of how to create & style abstract shapes using the new Repoussé feature in Photoshop Extended:

    10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [13]

    Free online Photoshop eSeminar tomorrow

    My fellow PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes is presenting a couple of free one-hour eSeminars covering what’s new in Photoshop CS5. According to the event registration page, “This series is specifically designed to help professional photographers and design professionals who use photography and digital imaging in their work.”

    What’s New in Photoshop CS5 ›
    Thursday, May 6, 2010
    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

    Photoshop CS5 for Photographers ›
    Thursday, May 27, 2010
    10:00 AM – 11:00 AM US/Pacific

    10:19 AM | Permalink | No Comments

    Imagenomic plans free plug-in updates for CS5

    Good to know:

    Imagenomic will be providing FREE compatibility updates of its Plug-in Products (Portraiture, Noiseware and RealGrain) for Adobe Photoshop CS5. Furthermore, we will be providing a FREE update for registered users of the Portraiture Plug-in for Lightroom to ensure compatibility with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3… For Mac OS X: We will be releasing compatibility updates to make sure our Plug-in products are fully compatible with Photoshop CS5 in both 64 and 32 bit mode.

    [Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes]

    7:31 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    May 04, 2010

    Illustrator CS5 has excellent pixel chops (at last)

    When I started working at Adobe nearly 10 years ago, I got up in the Illustrator PM’s face. AI9 had just implemented Pixel Preview mode for Web and screen designers, but the feature was maddeningly incomplete. I made my point forcefully, and over the years Illustrator has made improvements (e.g. enabling inside/outside/center placement of strokes), but the job just wasn’t done.

    Until now.

    You can now set up a document so that all art automatically snaps to pixel boundaries, meaning that, for example, 1-pixel black strokes will remain 1 pixel in width instead of looking like blurry 2-pixel gray strokes. You can also snap objects selectively to the grid, and you can choose among anti-aliasing options on text. See the Illustrator help docs for more info, or better yet, watch this three-minute video:

    But don’t take my (or Mordy’s) word for it. Recently the noted Web designer Jon Hicks (creator of the Firefox logo, among other things) was unhappy with Illustrator for Web work. What a difference a month & a version make:

    • March 22: “Illustrator [CS4] in particular irritated the hell out of me with it’s pixel preview artefacts.”
    • April 30: After trying Illustrator CS5, “I’m rather smitten with it… Having pixels work properly in Illustrator is fantastic.”
    11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments [14]

    Video: Creating 3D text in Photoshop CS5

    Russell Brown, take it away:

    7:18 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

    May 03, 2010

    Nik plans free plug-in updates for CS5

    The folks at Nik Software report that they’re planning to issue free CS5 compatibility updates to their plug-ins:

    We are actively working to add 64-bit compatibility to the Macintosh version of our Viveza 2 product and expect to be finished mid-year. Once the update for Viveza 2 is released, we will deliver cross-platform 64-bit versions of our remaining products as they become available.

    Please see the Nik site for additional details.

    10:59 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

    MagicPicker color panel updated for CS5

    Speaking of color pickers, developer Anastasiy Safari has updated his excellent MagicPicker panel (see screenshot) for CS5. The non-modal (panel-based) color picker costs $14 and also supports Photoshop CS3 and CS4.

    3:29 PM | Permalink | Comments [5]

    Color-picking improvements in Photoshop CS5

    In Photoshop CS4, we added the ability to click & drag in order to resize one’s brush, and to change brush hardness in a similar manner (using a separate keyboard shortcut). Artists told us they wanted to perform these operations in quick succession, without having to use separate commands.

    Therefore in CS5 you can change both brush size and brush hardness via a single shortcut: on Mac, Control+Option click, and on Windows, Alt+right click, then drag left/right to change brush size and up/down to change hardness. We built in little “dead zones” between up/down and left/right to reduce the chance that you’d inadvertently change both parameters when you’re trying to change just one.

    Moving to a single shortcut had the side benefit of freeing up the shortcuts that were previously used to control brush hardness. Now you can invoke the new HUD (Heads-Up Display) color picker* by holding Command Control Option (Mac)/Alt Shift Right Click (Windows) when clicking.

    We also gave the eyedropper tool a color selection ring that shows one’s previous foreground color as well as the one being clicked. Because human color perception is notoriously susceptible to influence by surrounding colors (see this little demo if you need convincing), we included a gray ring around the previous/sampled colors. If for whatever reason you don’t like the ring, you can select the eyedropper tool, then uncheck the “Show Sampling Ring” on the Options Bar.

    One other tweak: You can now launch the color picker using a keyboard shortcut. To set this up, start by choosing Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Under the Shortcuts for “Tools,” scroll the to the bottom to locate “Foreground Color Picker,” and then type the letter you prefer.

    [Screenshot of the ring courtesy of digital painter John Derry’s blog.]

    *Detail: If you want to switch Hue without changing the Saturation/Value, you can hold down the space bar to stop the color sampler from moving. (I call up the HUD, then release the shortcut keys, which frees up my hand to select the space bar.) Once you move over the Hue strip or ring you can release the space bar and adjust the hue. It’s complicated to describe but rather simple to use.

    3:07 PM | Permalink | Comments [18]

    May 02, 2010

    CS user group meeting at Adobe SJ HQ on Tuesday

    User group organizer Sally Cox writes,

    The Adobe Creative Suite User Group of San Jose is holding their first of three CS5 launch party meetings on Tuesday, May 4 at Adobe San Jose. This meeting will focus on Design Premium CS5, and will be broadcast online via Adobe Connect Pro. They will cover all the Design Premium apps, raffle off great prizes and their guest speaker is Chris MacAskill from new sponsor SmugMug.
    June 1 is Web Premium, July 13 is Production Premium. Check out the site for more info about these and other exciting events, including an online-only InDesign workshop and a San Jose Photowalk. The best part? All their events are free!

    2:41 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

    “Use Legacy Shortcuts” option in CS5

    In Photoshop CS4 we changed a number of keyboard shortcuts related to selecting and targeting color channels. At that time I posted a plug-in (Mac)/registry entries (Windows) that one could use to switch many of these changes back to the CS3-and-earlier behavior. To make things easier to discover, in CS5, there’s an option in Edit>Keyboard Shortcuts… to “Use Legacy Channel Shortcuts” (screenshot). That is, you no longer need to use the plug-in/registry entries.

    Note that this option can’t change things entirely back to the old behavior. Moving adjustments from modal dialogs to a non-modal panel simply means that some commands would now conflict (e.g. hitting Cmd-1 can’t both display a channel & target a channel). See my earlier post for a more detailed list & explanations of why this is.

    10:14 AM | Permalink | Comments [32]

    (rt) Nature Photography: Apocalyptic vulcanism & more

    7:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

    May 01, 2010

    Adobe Lens Profile Creator now available

    I’m pleased to report that Adobe Labs is now hosting Adobe Lens Profile Creator, a free utility that enables the easy creation of lens profiles for use in Photoshop, Lightroom, and (very shortly) Camera Raw.

    Lens Profile Creator characterizes three common types of lens aberrations, namely the geometric distortion, the lateral chromatic aberration and the vignette.
    The general process of creating a custom lens profile for your lens involves capturing a set of checkerboard images using your specific camera and lens, converting the set of raw format images into DNG format, and importing the DNG files to generate the custom lens profile.
    You can also submit the lens profiles to share with the rest of the user community.

    Check out the Labs page for more info, and see the Lens Profile Creator user forum to discuss the tool & profiles.

    2:03 PM | Permalink | Comments [9]
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