April 30, 2011
Kinect wants to kill you
Seriously, meatbag: you’re going down.
April 29, 2011
Parisian time lapse
Student Luke Shepard used 2,000 still images to create a time lapse of Paris.
April 28, 2011
Illustrator Appearance demo/Q&A tomorrow
We’re all creatures of habit, and too few people use the powerful, efficient Appearance panel in Illustrator. If you don’t use it, or haven’t looked at it since CS4 (when it went from “meh” to really fulfilling its promise), check out tomorrow’s “Ask a Pro” session with Rufus Deuchler (12-1pm Pacific time):
Learn about what Rufus defines the “coolest feature” in Adobe Illustrator: the Appearance panel. The Appearance panel gives you full control over the appearance of paths, objects, texts, and much more, and lets you easily repurpose appearances you create by saving Graphic Styles.
Video: Experience Human Flight
April 27, 2011
Photosmith, the Lightroom iPad companion, is now available
We’ve had the pleasure of using Photosmith during its beta period and it has already joined our list of must-have photography apps for Apple’s tablet. If you use Lightroom and own an iPad, we strongly recommend checking out Photosmith.
Tangent: I’ll kick the tires once I find my tablet’s Camera Connection Kit, which is… somewhere. Apple must surely recognize the frailty of such a solution, and I’m waiting for them to do to it what the iPad 2’s Smart Cover did to the original’s recycled-mousepad of a cover: enable incredibly easy pairing & transfer between devices (e.g. cameras, phones, and tablets). Hints about AirDrop in Lion make me hopeful.
Haunting animation for World Water Day
Beautiful, affecting work from Clément Beauvais:
April 26, 2011
Lightroom 3.4 & Camera Raw 6.4 are now available
- Canon EOS 600D (Rebel T3i / Kiss X5 Digital)
- Canon EOS 1100D (Rebel T3 / Kiss X50 Digital)
- Fuji FinePix S200 EXR
- Fuji FinePix F550 EXR
- Fuji FinePix HS20 EXR
- Fuji FinePix X100
- Hasselblad H4D-40
- Kodak EasyShare Z990
- Nikon D5100
- Olympus E-PL1s
- Olympus E-PL2
- Olympus XZ-1
- Samsung NX11
The releases also add support for dozens of new camera profiles, add new tethered camera support, & fix a number of bugs. For a complete list, see Tom Hogarty’s post on the Lightroom Journal.
Keep your stylus on a swivel
The interesting little PenMoto project aims to let you switch between stylus & keyboard use more easily. Check it:
Photography: Chernobyl, 25 years later
It’s a season of sometimes grim anniversaries (e.g. 150 years since the start of the American Civil War, 100 since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, one since the Gulf oil spill), and today marks 25 years since the beginning of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The Big Picture hosts a haunting image collection, and the NYT’s Lens blog goes into more detail on the few who’ve stayed behind.
April 25, 2011
A giant wooden xylophone plays Bach
Amazing & rather excellent:
April 24, 2011
Virgin ad drawn, animated (!) all in Photoshop
Every so often I think, well, we pretty much know the limits of what people can do in Photoshop. And then something like this happens:
Check out the making-of story from the team at Three Legged Legs. Amazing work, guys! [Via Stéphane Baril]
To defuse a possible criticism: I can imagine someone saying, “Whoa, see, Photoshop is trying to be everything to everyone, and now it’s a poor man’s After Effects.” That’s not the case & was never our intention. Rather, video layers & onion skinning enable using Photoshop’s unique paint tools frame by frame. PS complements, rather than competes with, AE’s motion graphics chops.
April 23, 2011
Video: High-speed mountain climbing
I share this not just because of the inordinate badassery of speed climber Ueli Steck, but to showcase the filmmakers’ amazing visual storytelling (full-screen HD recommended, naturally).
If you’re short on time, make sure to jump ahead around 2 minutes & at least see him running up that mountain (Kate Bush-style). [Via]
April 22, 2011
Photosynth panorama maker for iPhone
I haven’t played with a lot of mobile panorama-creation apps, but I find Microsoft’s free Photosynth app for iPhone pretty amazing. It captures still images as you pan around, automatically stitching (and optionally uploading) the results.
The example of an aviation museum is especially well chosen: I distinctly remember my deep, painful frustration trying to photograph rockets at the Air & Space Museum as a kid. I’d have found something like this unspeakably wonderful.
Aside: How do companies like Microsoft & Adobe profit by developing advanced technology & then simply giving it away? It’s like First CityWide Change Bank: Volume.
Do-it-yourself huge multitouch
Is it or is it not a great time to be alive?
April 21, 2011
SliceMaster lets Photoshop save multiple slice sets
Ever wanted to switch among multiple slice sets in Photoshop (e.g. to manage multiple pages within a single PSD)? If so check out SliceMaster from Electric Iris. As the quick demo video shows, the tool lets you associate slices with layers, then switch among them easily. [Via Jeff Tranberry]
April 20, 2011
Animation: My Favourite Animal
As children talked about their favorite creatures, Songeun Lara Lee drew their descriptions frame by frame. It’s totally charming, and now I want to rip off the idea with our kids.
Tutorial: Using the Tych panel in Photoshop
A few weeks ago I mentioned Tych, a free panel for creating diptychs, triptychs, and other multi-image layouts in Photoshop. Now the nice folks at Faded & Blurred have produced a four-minute tutorial on using it:
April 19, 2011
Watch an iPad-based magazine control Photoshop
Philip & team have really embraced Configurator, distributing interactive panels with the magazine, and I love to see them taking this next step so quickly. I’m eager to hear what readers think.
Time Lapse: “The Mountain”
Terje Sorgjerd (see previous) has produced another lovely time lapse, this time taken atop Spain’s highest mountain:
A large sandstorm hit the Sahara Desert on the 9th April and at approx 3am in the night the sandstorm hit me, making it nearly impossible to see the sky with my own eyes. Interestingly enough my camera was set for a 5 hour sequence of the milky way during this time and I was sure my whole scene was ruined. To my surprise, my camera had managed to capture the sandstorm which was backlit by Grand Canary Island making it look like golden clouds.
[Via Mark Kawano]
April 18, 2011
Brief thoughts on the Photoshop CS5 Touch apps
- Please remember that these efforts are just part of a bigger picture that has yet to be revealed. I’ve seen comments along the lines of “Nice, but I want Lightroom for tablets”; “Why are you doing these apps instead of making improvement X to Photoshop?”; “I’d like to see more support for Android”; etc. The feedback is welcome, and none of these things are mutually exclusive.
- “Nav is one of the most exciting of our three new applications IF you think beyond Nav itself,” writes Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes. “We’re showcasing one of the most powerful pieces of the new Photoshop SDK – the ability to drive Photoshop from a device.” See the rest of his comment for more perspective.
- You can indeed watch these videos via HTML5 on an iPad. Here’s a link to all of them plus a few I haven’t yet gotten to blog. For some reason embedded Adobe TV vids don’t work on iOS devices, but I’m told a fix is in progress.
Got CS 5.5 questions? Tune in Thursday.
Live Q&A this Thursday, noon to 1pm Pacific time. Check it:
Join Adobe Creative Suite Evangelists, Terry White (Design), Greg Rewis (Web), Paul Trani (Flash Platform) and Jason Levine (Digital Video & Audio) to learn more about the new features in Creative Suite 5.5 and get your feature related questions answered. This a great opportunity to see our very latest technology in action and to find out how it could benefit you. The Evangelists will be covering a range of features across multiple products so there will be something for everyone. Please RSVP and we hope to see you then!
In case you can’t attend live, the session is to be recorded for later posting.
(rt) Scientific Photography: Sunspots, satellite images, & more
- “Melty roads”: Clement Valla collects unintentionally bizarre results from Google Earth. [Via]
- NASA shows “The extraordinary image of a large sunspot emitting cascades of glowing gas.” (That caption sounds like a Pink Floyd song title.)
- Sonar imaging reveals a submerged WWII German bomber.
- “Luminant Point Arrays” show tube televisions at the moment they are switched off. [Via]
- In case you were wondering what it looks like when lightning strikes the tallest building in the world, well, wonder no more.
April 17, 2011
Trimensional: 3D Scanner for iPhone
Nifty, even if I’m not sure how & why it would be practical:
[Via Mike Orr]
April 16, 2011
Demo: Adobe Nav for iPad for Photoshop CS5
Having devised Adobe Configurator, I’m clearly a fan of tailoring large, complex apps to be more “everything you want, nothing you don’t.” The newly announced Adobe Nav fits in that vein, enabling use of a customizable toolbar on a tablet. Designer Geoff Dowd offers a quick tour:
I’m expecting apps like this to work best for people who have a hardware dock (e.g. the little keyboard one can get for an iPad) at their main work areas. A dock lets you can plug in the tablet, then forget about battery drain or propping it up yourself.
April 15, 2011
How to set up & tune a great Photoshop machine
Photoshop gets used in a huge variety of ways, from editing tiny icons laying out multi-hundred-layer Web designs* to wrangling gigapixel photos. The optimal settings depend on the work you do. Now the Photoshop performance team has posted a white paper on Photoshop CS5 performance, explaining various cache & GPU settings, discussing the impact of 64-bit and multicore, and more. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful.
* Web guys: Try the “Tall & Thin” option (yes, there is such a thing) under Preferences->Performance.
Watercolor effects in Adobe Eazel for iPad
Here’s a quick look at Adobe’s forthcoming Eazel painting app for iPad, including a peek at its integration with Photoshop CS5:
April 14, 2011
A look at Color Lava for Photoshop CS5
Last year engineer (and DJ) Christoph Moskalonek & I were talking about what viscerally pleasing creation experiences one could bring to tablets. Having just shipped some great paint-mixing technology in Photoshop CS5, we hit on the idea of mixing colors with multitouch input, then sending the results to Photoshop. In this video clip, Christoph shows the outcome of that investigation:
April 13, 2011
Eye-Fi enables direct-to-tablet transfer
As I noted last year, photographers have been incredibly clear in wanting wireless tethering between their cameras & tablets. Forget about using tablets for storage: the big win is using a tablet’s big screen for “chimping” (reviewing & flagging one’s shots).
Thus I’m happy to see that a new 8GB Eye-Fi card enables a direct connection between cameras & tablets. I’d love to put my iPad in my backpack & transfer to it while hiking around. Two snags, though:
- The card is SD format, and my SLR uses Compact Flash. Something tells me a solution isn’t imminent.
- Wireless transfer requires one’s tablet to be switched on. Long battery life or no, I’m not going to leave the iPad on constantly while hiking, driving, etc. Solving this problem very likely requires support from Apple, Google, and hardware makers.
Still, the development is very encouraging.
Photography: Shallow depth of field on iPhone
Stanford professor & occasional Photoshop team collaborator Marc Levoy has created SynthCam, an interesting tool for simulating large-aperture photo effects using a tiny-aperture cell phone camera:
April 12, 2011
Happy 50th anniversary of human space flight!. Healing Brush creator Todor Georgiev, noting that April 12 is World Cosmonautics Day, somewhat ruefully observes:
If 50 years ago we had a state-of-the-art spaceship, and if we launched a flight to the nearest star (at the same time as Gagarin’s flight), where would we be now? Already there and back, right? No. Or maybe halfway there? No! The answer is: We would have travelled 0.03% of the way. I just did the math. It would take us 150,000 years to get there. And I am not counting the costs.
Lest that get you down, here’s NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and Jethro Tull founder Ian Anderson in an earth/space flute duet playing homage to Yuri Gagarin. (Also, you might like Chopping Block’s Above Earth t-shirt, commemorating 23 historic flights. The little chimp & dog silhouettes make it for me.)
Creative Suite 5.5 has no impact on the Camera Raw plug-in
I’ve seen a bit of misinformed concern that the arrival of Creative Suite 5.5 applications means that in order to keep getting Camera Raw updates, one must upgrade Photoshop (of which there’s no 5.5 version) and/or obtain a subscription. That’s not the case: Camera Raw 6 will support Photoshop CS5 for the entire cycle. Now you have more options, not fewer.
Video: Meet digital camera inventor Steven Sasson
Russell Brown demos a couple of useful panels
Apropos of the blending modes panel I mentioned the other day, Russell Brown has put together a quick video demonstrating some uses for this panel. He also demos a panel that sets the stack mode of Smart Objects (good for running the “tourist remover” trick on video, etc.). Download the panels here.
April 11, 2011
Demo: Painting with Adobe Eazel for iPad
Adobe evangelist Mike McHugh shows off the unique interface, watercolor-style drawing chops, and Photoshop CS5 integration in Adobe’s forthcoming Eazel app:
CS 5.5 introduces subscription options
As an alternative to paying upfront for Photoshop and other Adobe applications, you can now subscribe to them. This video nicely summarizes things in under four minutes:
For detailed questions, please see the subscriptions FAQ on Adobe.com.
Photoshop CS5 gets tablet-savvy
I’m pleased to say that the Photoshop team has announced three new iPad apps that work closely with Photoshop CS5:
- Adobe Color Lava allows you to mix colors on the iPad, creating custom color swatches and themes to transfer back into Photoshop.
- Adobe Eazel lets digital artists create rich realistic paintings with their fingertips. These paintings can then be sent directly to Photoshop CS5 for compositing or for taking the artwork further.
- Adobe Nav allows you to select and control Photoshop tools using the iPad as the input surface, customize the toolbar, browse and zoom in on up to 200 open Photoshop files or easily create new files.
Here are some glimpses of the apps in action, plus perspective on what it means:
April 10, 2011
Get blog updates via email
As an alternative to RSS, Twitter, and Facebook updates that accompany new blog posts here, you can now opt to get notifications (including context excerpts) via email. I’ve added a widget to the right-hand nav area. If you sign up & run into any problems, please let me know via comments. (In case you’re curious, I’m using the Subscribe2 plug-in for WordPress.)
Lightroom 3 ACE exam available
Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty points out that the Adobe Certified Expert exam is available for Lightroom 3, as are certifications (and re-certs) for Photoshop CS5 and many other Adobe apps.
April 09, 2011
CS5 panel can update multiple layers’ blending modes
Photoshop lets you select more than one layer at once, but unfortunately it doesn’t let you simultaneously change the blending modes of those layers (good JDI suggestion). Scripter Mike Hale has whipped up a panel for Photoshop CS5 (made with the help of Configurator 2) that plugs the gap. (An earlier version remains available for CS4 as well.)
April 08, 2011
(rt) Illustrations: Tommy guns, switchblade combs, & more
- Interesting infographic: The History of Web Browsers, though to borrow from AJ Soprano, “What, no friggin’ Mosaic?” [Via]
- “A Neverending Volley of American Justice!!” In “I Always Wondered,” Jarrett Green answers and beautifully illustrates his own most pressing questions.
- The designers at Fubiz take a swing at making minimalist packaging. (“How about we add a feature to dial out extraneous BS in one’s designs?” asks my colleague Bruce Bullis.)
- Switchblade combs! What a throwback. Check out the fun “Mediumcore” illustration & others from Leon Ryan.
April 07, 2011
“Tych,” a free diptych-maker for Photoshop
Reimund Trost has created what looks like a cool panel for Photoshop:
Tych Panel is an extension to Adobe Photoshop that automates diptychs and triptychs creation. It supports an arbitrary number of layouts using the compositing feature making it the perfect tool for your photo blog… Tych Panel is released as open source and can be used, modified and redistributed in any way you want.
Check out the demo:
Sneak peek: After Effects Warp Stabilizer
You might remember that Adobe researchers have been developing next-generation technology for stabilizing shaky video. Now the tech is getting closer to being real-world ready, as After Effects PM Steve Forde demonstrates:
[Update: See comments for some additional info & links from AE brainiacs Dan Wilk & David Simons.]
April 06, 2011
(rt) Illustration: Movie posters, fractal meat, & more
- Here’s a rather wonderful birthday card from a dad to his 1-year-old son.
- David Lynch’s hair gets compared to various works of art. [Via]
- Mandelbratwurst: A fractal meat treat!
April 05, 2011
(rt) Typography: Spam ASCII art, ligature charts, & more
- “Almost Extinct” is a gorgeous set of animals formed from wooden type.
- This spam’s use of ASCII art charms me. Time to meet the Russian ladies!
- How great is this word-puzzle wrapping paper? Margot ordered some immediately.
- The intriguing Chartwell font uses ligatures to make charts from text. See what I mean. [Via]
April 04, 2011
(rt) Photography: War, science, & enormous panoramas
- The NYT features an amazing jet crash image & other photos from Libya.
- Eric Guth makes some beautiful, otherworldly glacier cave photography. (I feel like the Alien queen might be lurking around a corner.) [Via]
- Bubble boy: Dig these subtly offbeat photos from Alex Kisilevich.
- A “pancake with a nose” makes for a nifty scientific image: Stingray X-ray.
- This 40 gigapixel 360º panorama taken inside the Strahov Philosophical Library, Prague, claims to be the world’s largest indoor photo. [Via Don Z.]
April 03, 2011
(rt) Illustrations: Famous logos evolved & more
April 02, 2011
Connection (light sculpture)
I’ve long dug the beautiful light work of United Visual Artists. Check out some recent loveliness:
April 01, 2011
What’s this about “Photoshop for iPad”?
No fooling: A couple of days ago, Adobe exec John Loiacono briefly demonstrated some tablet-based imaging technology from our labs. Here’s an audience member’s recording:
[Update: Video was pulled from YouTube, but it’s still live here]
Tons of media outlets have picked up & sometimes embellished the news, calling it “a fully-fledged Photoshop Image Editing software,” even saying (rather breathlessly) that it heralds “the End of the Desktop Computing Era.”
The director of our group, Maria Yap, has posted some clarification on the Photoshop.com blog:
While this likely won’t make it into a product for a while, it served to give Photoshop fans a glimpse of what we’re exploring… It’s equally exciting for us, as we’ve enjoyed playing with these devices and dreaming up new possibilities. What we showed at Photoshop World was an experiment with a visual representation of compositing that allows any user to understand Layers.
Maria goes on to give a peek at the kind of Photoshop companion apps we’ve discussed here.
For my part, I don’t subscribe to the hype about tablets eliminating desktop OSes & tools, any more than I think that TV will replace radio. The technologies & experiences are complementary. As John Gruber notes, “It’s the heaviness of the Mac that allows iOS to remain light.” Neven Mrgan writes, “The iPad attempts to simplify computing not by some stroke of magic, but by doing less.” As I put it earlier this year,
Tablet apps have to be about something else–about a different spirit, a different ethos–to be worth doing. Otherwise it’s just the same stuff dumped onto more feeble hardware.
I feel incredibly fortunate to get a chance to bring Adobe imaging technology to tablets, all while rethinking what an interface can be. Thanks for all the feedback, and stay tuned.