June 30, 2012

Valve Source Filmmaker

They’re just giving away this new storytelling tool?? From the site:

The Source Filmmaker (SFM) is the movie-making tool built and used by us here at Valve to make movies inside the Source game engine. Because the SFM uses the same assets as the game, anything that exists in the game can be used in the movie, and vice versa. By utilizing the hardware rendering power of a modern gaming PC, the SFM allows storytellers to work in a what-you-see-is-what-you-get environment so they can iterate in the context of what it will feel like for the final audience.

These are the days of miracles & wonder.

8:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

June 29, 2012

Echographs: An easy app for creating cinemagraphs

Looks like fun:

8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

June 28, 2012

The Sydney Opera House, Animated

Check out URBANSCREEN’s giant projection work, “Lighting of the Sails”:


8:36 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

June 27, 2012

What if Photoshop became a game?

I think it was Scott Kelby who used to jokingly refer to Photoshop as “a video game for grown-ups.” Truth can be stranger than fiction, though, and now you can “play” Photoshop to improve your skills, learn new features, and actually win prizes.

LevelUp for Photoshop encourages people to explore the app, using features they may not know in order to complete various missions.  The first mission starts with removing redeye, and they get progressively more elaborate from there.  By accumulating points you get entered into drawings to win Creative Cloud membership and Amazon.com gift certificates. You also earn points by sharing your progress on Facebook and Twitter, passing quizzes, and more.  The game runs until July 15th.

My colleague Bruce reports that his 13-year-old son Noel is addicted to the game & now passes challenges with a Team America-style cry of “Photoshop, [Heck] Yeah!” So, we’ve got that going for us. :-)

3:51 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

HTML5 animation: Edge session this Friday

Live demo/Q&A this Friday at noon Pacific:

Raghu Thricovil and Sarah Hunt, experts from the Adobe Edge team. This session is intended to introduce Adobe Edge, its features and outline how Edge can make your HTML5 motion and interaction design simple and powerful.

2:27 PM | Permalink | No Comments

Slicy facilitates Retina graphics support

MacRabbit’s $20 Slicy PSD-to-PNG conversion app (see previous) has been updated with greater CS6 support plus 

You design at 1x, but need high-res artwork? One annotation, and Slicy magically enlarges your vectors and layer styles to build a high-quality 2x version. For 2x designs, it fills in missing 1x versions by scaling down.

I haven’t tested the feature myself, and as always I’d welcome hearing others’ thoughts about what’s successful and/or what Adobe apps themselves should change to better support this kind of work.

[Also, to preempt questions about Photoshop & other apps being revved to support Retina screens: sorry, I don’t have any new info. I will share more once details are available.]

8:16 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 26, 2012

Developers: A new Adobe Exchange is coming

The extensibility team writes,

Adobe is creating a brand new Adobe Exchange, which will enable developers, trainers, and community experts to promote, distribute, monetize and track their CS6 solutions. These products will be made visible to potential CS6 customers within the “Adobe Exchange” panel in most CS6 applications.

They’re looking for launch partners, so check out their full post for more details.

The team has also created a new Adobe Exchange Packager that encapsulates content for distribution via this new channel.  You can get it by signing up for the Exchange prerelease program.

2:26 PM | Permalink | Comments [3]

Lightroom 4 arrives in Creative Cloud

I’m delighted to say that Lightroom 4 is now available via Creative Cloud subscription.

If you’re a member of Creative Cloud, log into your account to download, install and start using Lightroom 4 today. If you’re not yet a member to Creative Cloud, you can get Photoshop, Lightroom, and other apps for as little as $29.99/month; here’s more info

As Photoshop PM Jeff Tranberry writes,

Lightroom coming into Creative Cloud is a good example of why we think people will really love Creative Cloud — we can add new creative tools and members just get them at no additional cost – it’s as simple as that. We’ll be adding even more great stuff to Creative Cloud over time; Lightroom is just the beginning.

If you’re new to LR4 or CS6, check out the list of free learning resources that Jeff has pulled together.

12:43 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 25, 2012

Adobe introduces Brackets, “A free, open-source code editor for the Web”

Think Adobe’s just about Dreamweaver & Flash?

The new Brackets app offers inline editors & tight browser integration:

Today we’ve all gotten used to doing the save-reload-copy-paste dance… Brackets opens a live connection to your local browser and brings some of those in-browser tools back into the editor where it makes sense. When Live File Preview is enabled your browser shows real-time changes to CSS classes and properties as you type. Because the code lives in your editor but runs in your browser there is no need to save-reload-copy-paste. w00t!

Brackets is built in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, meaning that “if you use Brackets, you have the skills necessary to customize, extend and contribute to it.” Check out their introductory blog post, and see some of the features in action:

3:08 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

What’s new with patterns in Photoshop CS6?

In 3 minutes Dave Cross demos the new “scripted fill” options that can apply an object randomly, symmetrically, in a spiral, and more:

[Via Andrew Kavanagh]

9:06 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

Video: BMW Bullet

“The world’s fastest sedan,” say the creators, “recreates super slow-motion bullet footage on a much grander scale. The result: High Performance Art.” Works for me:

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 24, 2012

Can 6/7 year olds draw Mona Lisa’s smile?

Marion Deuchars puts a bunch of kids (and a few grown-ups) to the test:

[Warning: Content may include brief glimpses of Bart Simpson, Uncle Sam, and boobs.]

8:37 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 23, 2012

Video: Installing Multiple Languages of a CS6 Desktop App

Also: You can install a single license on both Mac & Windows.

[Via Jeff Tranberry]

8:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

June 22, 2012

Monkeygram & Jittergram: Animation in your pocket

I’m a fan of the joyful iPad app Toontastic, saying last year:

The other day I said that creation on tablets would be more about fun, about speed, and about the unbridled pleasure of creation than what we know today. Toontastic is the sort of thing I have in mind.

Now its creators have created Monkeygram, a way to create animations (featuring your face, if you’d like) from your phone. It’s “Toontastic for the rest of us”:

Will “the kids” now start sending each other animations instead of texts? I don’t know, but I dig that these guys are trying.

Elsewhere, Jittergram helps you “make a 3D sterogram or a long stop motion animation… Jittergram makes it easy by showing your previous frame on top of the current camera view so you can line everything up perfectly. It then automatically creates a GIF and makes it super easy to share.”

As soon as my lads are old enough to start creating the stop-motion Lego videos they so enjoy, I think we’ll be all over this one.

8:25 AM | Permalink | No Comments

June 21, 2012

Photoshop makes a Quarter Pounder more “Royale”

I found this peek into the making vs. photographing of McDonald’s food surprisingly down-to-earth & refreshing:

[Via Adam Pratt]

5:42 PM | Permalink | Comments [8]

Hand lettering

I dig Pablo Delkan’s hand-drawn lettering portfolio:


12:24 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Now available: Adobe Shadow Preview 3

Preview 3 of Shadow, Adobe’s new mobile preview & inspection tool for Web designers & developers, is now available for download from Adobe Labs.  This release includes a cool batch-screenshoting feature, cache management, and SSL support.  Here’s a quick tour from PM Bruce Bowman:

And here evangelist Paul Trani goes into more detail:

8:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

June 20, 2012

Creating 32-bit (HDR) images in Lightroom 4.1

In this Quick Tip, Julieanne Kost quickly demonstrates how to create a 32-bit file from multiple exposures in Photoshop and then, using the Develop module in Lightroom 4.1 refines the image’s color and tonality both globally and selectively – all while still working in 32-bit!

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

This Friday evening: Making photo books in Lightroom

6:30 PM To 8:30 PM at Adobe San Francisco, hosted by members of the LR team:

Making Photo Books in Lightroom! — SF Bay Area Lightroom User Group: This month’s meetup will be in San Francisco, and we’ll discuss the new Book module in Lightroom 4. We’ll go through the complete process of making a book in Lightroom, from start to finish. The presentation will include a description of how to use Auto Layout Presets, which are a powerful tool for quickly and easily making the book you want in as few clicks as possible.

Check out the site to RSVP and for additional details.

12:20 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

June 19, 2012

Video: Blade Runner as watercolor

“This animation is made of 3285 aquarelle paintings,” writes Anders Ramsell, “and form the very beginning of my paraphrase on the motion picture Blade Runner.” Nothing the god of watery pigments wouldn’t let you into heaven for.


8:37 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Demo/Q&A: Dreamweaver improves standards support, mobile dev

Friday at noon Pacific:

Join Dreamweaver PM Scott Fegette for an informative session where you can see the latest features of Dreamweaver CS6. There is more packed in the feature set this time around for mobile and standards based web design. There is advanced integration with jQuery Mobile and improved PhoneGap support.

Register here.

8:15 AM | Permalink | No Comments

June 18, 2012

Feedback, please: Next steps for Creative Cloud?

Adobe’s just-launched Creative Cloud is off to a tremendous start.  Right now it offers access to Adobe’s line of desktop apps, plus 20GB of storage, Typekit access, and Web site publishing.

So… where to from here?

Right now I think most customers aren’t thinking “cloud” at all; rather, they’re thinking “a different way to purchase Photoshop et al.” That’s fine for now, but we could do so much more. For example, for the past—my God, eight?—years I’ve been pushing the notion of making one’s Photoshop “fingerprint” (preferences, brushes, etc.) portable & network-synced. Creative Cloud provides an architecture & business model to really make that possible. Similarly, it opens all kinds of possibilities for publishing (tablet publications & apps, video), commerce (photography, etc.), team collaboration, and more.

We have a ton of ideas on ways to make Creative Cloud even more compelling, but it’s critical that we get your opinion.  Here’s a brief survey (which should take just a minute or two to complete), and we’d love to hear your thoughts via comments.


11:58 AM | Permalink | Comments [32]

Photography: “Fora do Tempo”

Our friend Mike Hill shot 2043 photos at 1-second intervals on New Years Day at Xangri-la, Brazil, producing this lovely result:

He gives a hat tip to Lightroom & Premiere Pro for the adjustment & editing.

8:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

June 17, 2012

Blown Away

“Turns out that video of people in front of really powerful fans,” writes Kottke, “is better than just photos.” I can’t disagree:

From Tadao Cern.

8:29 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 16, 2012

Creating the Iron Man HUD for The Avengers

The VFX team at Cantina Creative sat down with Adobe to discuss the incredible attention to detail they put into creating on-screen graphics for Marvel’s The Avengers. From consulting with an A-10 pilot about his “ultimate HUD” to animating thousands of Illustrator elements in After Effects, their process makes for a really interesting read. The move to 3D demanded even tighter craftsmanship:

We focused a lot of time on how widgets and graphics would actually function because everything was clearly readable. Everything in the HUD, even down to the tiny micro-text, relates precisely to the current story-point.

9:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

June 15, 2012

CSS Hat converts Photoshop shapes & styles to CSS

The $20 panel “CSS Hat turns Photoshop layer styles to CSS3 with a click,” promises its Web site, and in my limited experience it works rather well. It doesn’t map type layers to CSS font tags, but it’s clever enough to express the corner radii of rounded rectangles to CSS values. In many ways it’s similar to the CSS conversion features in Fireworks CS6.

What do you think—useful, accurate?

10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

June 14, 2012

Video: Multi-GoPro skateboarding mayhem

“What would you do with 50 GoPros at the touch of a button?” Hopefully (though not likely) something this cool. Check out Ryan Sheckler in action, and if nothing else, check out the neat burst effects that show up about 1:33 in:

A couple of weeks ago my friend Bruce & I did strap a couple of GoPros to the belly of a B-24 bomber that took us for a spin. I’ll try to share the footage soon. [Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes]

[Previously: A Skateboard’s-Eye View of Manhattan]

2:35 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 13, 2012

Photoshop PMs & Scott Kelby chatting tomorrow

Winston Hendrickson, the VP of engineering for Photoshop & Lightroom, along with Photoshop PMs Bryan Hughes & Zorana Gee, will be sitting down with Scott tomorrow at noon Pacific.  They’ll be demonstrating tips & taking audience questions.

If you register in advance, you’ll have a chance to win Photoshop CS6 as well as a ticket to Photoshop World (Las Vegas, Sept. 5-7) or membership to NAPP or KelbyTraining.com.

2:33 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

The World’s Tiniest Police Chase

“100% projected and filmed FOR REAL without CGI trickery, Speed of Light features an escaped convict, a determined cop and a fully armed police helicopter! Filmed on Canon 5d MkII + HD MiniCam,” then projected with MicroVision projectors.


7:54 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 12, 2012

Exaggerating motion in video

Normally we work so hard to reduce motion in video (e.g. bringing the awesome Warp Stabilizer from After Effects to Premiere Pro CS6). There are cases, though (e.g. monitoring a heartbeat, or the breathing of a baby) where one wants to do just the opposite. Here’s an interesting demo:

[Via Pedro Estarque]

6:57 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

June 11, 2012

Photoshop CS6 & Retina display support

From the Photoshop Facebook page:

What do the iPhone 4, new iPad and new MacBook Pro have in common?  Awesome Retina displays. Photoshop CS6 appeared onstage at WWDC, showing how we’ll soon provide unparalleled fidelity, power and precision on this exciting new hardware. It’s not ready for prime time just yet, but the team is hard at work to bring what you saw on stage to the desktop in the future!

(Nice to see the prominent use of an eye.) I don’t have further details (date, info about other apps) to share at the moment.

[Update: The release is due this fall (i.e. within the next couple of months). It’s a big task.]

3:38 PM | Permalink | Comments [80]

Video: A brief history of video games

Here’s “an abridged history of video games in under three minutes. Made using only sounds, music and video from the video games themselves.”

Showing my age, I find the first half or so much more compelling than the latter. Hadouken!!

12:40 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

Join the Camera Raw/Lightroom engineering team

Camera Raw—the engine featured in both Lightroom & Photoshop—is the definitive raw-image processing pipeline for professionals. Now there’s a unique opportunity for a badass imaging engineer to join the team. Check out more details here.

[Cynically I sometimes think, “Eh, who reads this damn blog anyway?” But last time I posted something like this, genius Eric Chan saw it, and he’s the reason ACR/LR feature killer noise reduction & many other things. –J.]

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [3]

June 10, 2012

Levitation as UI

“What if materials could defy gravity, so that we could leave them suspended in mid-air?” ask the creators of ZeroN. “ZeroN is a physical and digital interaction element that floats and moves in space by computer-controlled magnetic levitation.” One could ask questions about precision and practicality, but… holy crap, levitating balls as UI!


9:02 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 09, 2012

Clever French performance art (wait, don’t click away)

Rather brilliant. (I won’t spoil anything by revealing what it’s about.)


7:25 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 08, 2012

(rt) Illustration: Honest movie posters, intricate skulls, & more

Having recently been chided for not posting enough non-Adobe links (funny, I used to get nailed for just the opposite), I respectfully submit the following.

8:08 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

June 07, 2012

Inside perspective on how PS CS6 came to be

  • Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes has written the cover story for this month’s Photoshop User magazine. In it he & many other members of the Photoshop team share their perspective on what went into this release (especially after having cleared the hurdles of 64-bit and Cocoa conversion), who exactly builds the app (engineering, QE, localization, user research, etc.), what the heck we PM-types actually do, and more.  The issue isn’t available in HTML form, but you can grab a free copy here and read it through your browser.
  • Photoshop QE manager Jackie Lincoln-Owyang shares some Reflections on the Photoshop CS6 Beta, sharing some interesting stats (312 cases of beer, 9 babies, 2 calls to the SF fire department—all independent, we’re told) and more.
9:42 AM | Permalink | Comments [4]

Reflection app brings iPad mirroring to Windows

Reflection has been a godsend to those of us who demo iPad apps (no more lugging around an overhead cam!), and now it’s available on Windows as well as Mac:

With Reflection, we’ve been able to bring over all the features of the Mac version to Windows, including recording, full audio streaming, support for multiple devices, and full screen display.


[Remember that if you’re demoing Photoshop Touch, you can go into preferences & invoke the “presentation mode” that displays red circles whenever you touch your fingers down. –J.]

8:19 AM | Permalink | No Comments

June 06, 2012

Time lapse: Venus flies past the Sun

Who just happens to have specially modified binoculars sitting around his office when Venus flies by the Sun for the last time in our lifetimes? Yes, Russell Brown, of course.

Yesterday afternoon I started hearing a growing crowd of Photoshop folks gathering near my door, excitedly chattering as they peered upwards. Below is a radically higher-res version of what we saw:


10:48 AM | Permalink | Comments [2]

Photoshop CS6’s “‘Cool Little Secret Features’ That Nobody is Talking About”

Scott Kelby provides a tour of his favorite hidden gems (and dang if I didn’t learn a couple of things):

8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [6]

June 05, 2012

CheatSheet app reveals keyboard shortcuts

CheatSheet is a neat (and free) little Mac utility that presents all your foreground app’s shortcuts (or at least all of them that appear in menus) in a temporary overlay. Hold down the Command key for more than a second & they’ll pop up.

I like the concept, though I wish I could change the timing. I now realize I habitually hold down Cmd, then take a while invoking my shortcut of choice.

[Update: See, kids, this is why you should re-check an app/site *before* posting about it: the requested control now appears in the lower right corner of the app. –J.]

12:54 PM | Permalink | Comments [6]

Friday demo: Liquid layout in InDesign

I know I already pimped a similar demo the other day, but this one features live Q&A.

Interested in learning how to efficiently create multiple versions of a document? Want to learn how to convert your traditional INDD layout for digital output (EPUB or DPS)? You’ll learn all these things, and much, much more at this Ask a CS Pro! Ben Trissel, Lead Quality Engineer on the InDesign team, will show you some of his favorite tricks – big and small – in InDesign CS6!

Friday at noon Pacific.

8:15 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

June 04, 2012

Security update for Photoshop CS5, 5.1

Adobe has released a security update for Adobe Photoshop CS5 & CS5.1 for Mac & Windows. This update addresses vulnerabilities that could allow an attacker who successfully exploits these vulnerabilities to take control of the affected system. For an attacker to exploit these vulnerabilities, a user must open a malicious TIF or DAE file inPhotoshop CS5.1, Photoshop CS5, and earlier. Adobe is not aware of any attacks exploiting these vulnerabilities.

You can grab it here. [Update: You can get the Illustrator update here.]

1:54 PM | Permalink | Comments [1]

Snapseed is free until Thursday

I really enjoyed using Nik Software’s Snapseed while traveling in Guatemala, and now I see that it’s free for iPad & iPhone until Thursday. It’s a great companion to Adobe Revel & Photoshop Touch.

1:47 PM | Permalink | Comments [2]

Heads-up for Adobe developers

Adobe is launching a new Adobe Exchange shortly, and

We are actively seeking launch partners for this program and are taking applications now for partners who would like to be added into our beta program.  Launch partners that commit to providing distributable CS6 content in the next 8 to 10 weeks will receive valuable benefits as charter members of the new Adobe Exchange.

You can also sign up for the prerelease program.

8:57 AM | Permalink | No Comments

June 03, 2012

Tab through layers to rename them in CS6

All the juice is in the last 10 seconds:

As you might expect, Shift-Tab also works, letting you rename a layer, then rename the one above it.

On a related note, Illustrator CS6 now lets you rename layers inline in the Layers panel (i.e. you don’t have to look away to a little dialog box). The same change was the second biggest applause-getter in Photoshop 7, right behind the (then-new) Healing Brush. Details count.

8:11 AM | Permalink | Comments [5]

June 02, 2012

(T)ether: A spatially-aware system for animation & annotation

Hey, it’s the return of my (not at all) beloved Nintendo Power Glove!

Cynical take: “Oh, you were bitching that UIs requiring you to lift your hands & touch a screen would make you tired? Wait’ll you have to hold up an iPad in one hand just so you can re-create Lawnmower Man! You’ll be built like Jeff Fahey in no time, tuffy!”

Actual take: Cool!

Check out the project site for more info.

[Via Dave Simons]

8:22 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]

June 01, 2012

Messing with Photoshop users’ heads (literally)

Yes, sometimes we just want to see whether you’re paying attention. A Photoshop CS6 “JDI” feature was to show, at long last, a badge on layers that had “Blend If” properties assigned. Before the final artwork was available, the team put in a placeholder image—which, for reasons never explained to me, featured PM Jeff Tranberry’s head. Man did this freak out the beta testers. “There’s a dude’s face in my layers?!” Mission accomplished. :-)

[Previously: The toast/coffee easter egg.]

11:55 AM | Permalink | No Comments

Demo: Optimizing your InDesign portfolio for the iPad

I find the whole subject of “liquid layout” intriguing:

Use alternate layouts and liquid layout rules to optimize your portfolio for the vertical and horizontal orientations on the iPad. Learn about the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite workflow and how to prepare your portfolio for the iPad.

8:34 AM | Permalink | Comments [1]
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