What do Smokey Robinson, Copernicus and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) have in common? Other than just the right mix of science and creativity…they all share a February 19th birthday. ACR fits right in with this group of right and left-brained all-stars. Astrologists say that those born on February 19 have, “the ability to put ideas into form,” and are, “born builders.” Also on this date, the stars aligned for Thomas Edison to patent the first phonograph, for Cracker Jack to insert the first prize into a box and Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life” to win a Grammy for album of the year. Coincidence? Probably not.
Whether you believe in astrology or not, you can celebrate along with us at Adobe as we commemorate the 10th birthday of Adobe Camera Raw, a technology that has fundamentally changed the relationship between cameras and computers. More than 10 years ago, Thomas Knoll went on vacation to Italy and in classic overachiever form, came back with the beginning of a solution that would forever change the way Adobe products interpret information recorded by digital cameras.
It just so happens that Adobe is also celebrating the 23rd birthday of Photoshop and the 6th birthday of Lightroom on this same momentous day! Since ACR is a strong driver of continual improvements to Photoshop and Lightroom, it’s only fitting that the three coincidentally share a birthday.
To give you a better idea of what Adobe Camera Raw has meant to Adobe team members, I asked a few of them to share their favorite memories of the product. Here’s what they said:
“I count 42 official releases over those 10 years or 1 update every 2.8 months. However, when you include all of the public RC builds you could easily double that!”
– Tom Hogarty, Group Product Manager
“In my mind, the first ACR release was a breakthrough because up to that point you needed to use proprietary camera software for each different camera to process raw images, and often at lesser quality than ACR. It really helped many people understand what raw files were and what the advantage was of using those vs. camera JPEGs.”
– Adam Jerugim, Sr. QE Lead
ACR has been on quite a journey over the last ten years, evolving from one man’s vacation project into a vital part of the image creation process. To illustrate ACR’s first decade, we’ve compiled some information about the technology into a birthday graphic. Enjoy.