Photographer Peter Krogh has just published The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers. I haven’t seen a finished copy yet, but I’ve attended Peter’s lectures & can vouch for his insight into how new technologies like DNG facilitate open workflows (e.g. batch-adjusting color in Camera Raw, then passing DNGs with embedded previews and metadata to iView Media Pro).
[See also: Peter’s related DAMUseful.com and the publisher’s site for the book.]
Sometimes in the course of development, you find that a feature design can flex to accomodate things you didn’t plan at the start. We devised Smart Objects to enable a new level of Suite integration (letting Illustrator data stay live and editable inside Photoshop (see demo)), to allow non-destructive scaling/rotation/warping of layers, and to enable parent-child relationships (edit one, update many). We knew the design had legs, but we didn’t know if we’d have time to extend it to raw camera data in CS2.
Fortunately Chris Cox and Thomas Knoll were able to make it possible to place a raw file into Photoshop, and the technique is becoming a sleeper hit. When placed as a Smart Object, the raw file is embedded behind the scenes. The upshot is that you retain access to the full complement of raw data (and the Adobe Camera Raw feature set) even while applying adjustment layers, dodging and burning, adding masks, healing dust spots, etc.
Ben Long’s latest article on CreativePro.com covers the technique (“It’s a non-destructive dream!”–nice!). You can also see Russell Brown demonstrate it in this video, and you can download Russell’s scripts that facilitate integration here.
So, the next time you hear someone crowing about non-destructive editing, remember that not only have we been doing this for the last three years with Camera Raw; we’re now taking it to a new level, letting you keep data intact while leveraging the unique power of the Photoshop tool set.
Maybe I’m addled from downing too much of the turkey fixings (and it’s barely even noon), but I’ve been thinking about restaurants’ penchant for adding absurd descriptors to otherwise ordinary food. On a roadtrip out east last week, I noted menus offering:
- Pan-Seared Chilean Sea Bass
- Lamb Lettuce with Toasted Goat Cheese
- Iowa Caramel Custard
Okay, the fish may be neither Chilean nor bass (discuss!); I have no idea what lambs have to do with lettuce; and having gone to high school in Iowa, I can tell you it’s not synonymous with gourmet desserts. But now that Photoshop CS2 supports menu customization, I’m thinking we should take a cue from restaurateurs. How about:
- Puréed Liquify filter
- Vector Confit on a Bed of Merged Layers
- Braised Shank of Smart Object
- Dodged & Burned Creme Brulée
- CCD-Fresh Megapixels in a Chromatic Noise Reduction
Or perhaps not. 😉 Really I just wanted to say thanks for reading, and to wish you and yours an extraordinarily happy Thanksgiving.
El Tryptophan (master of the Sleeper Hold)
The LayerMatch 2005 site takes a novel approach to depicting the evolution of Photoshop Tennis matches. A Flash interface makes it possible to shuttle back and forth through the evolution of a PSD (sort of like clicking among states in the History palette, or switching among Layer Comps).
And if this kind of collaborative design exercise is up your alley, see also Designologue.com, a site that combines written & visual dialog.
Photographer Thomas Mottl deploys the underused QuickTime VR to show the world from inside a 2-litre water bottle. [via] For plenty more VR science, see VRMAG.
I’d heard Todor and Jeff talk about plenoptic camera research, but it wasn’t until reader Joe Lencioni mentioned this Stanford work that I followed up. Wow. If nothing else, check out this video demonstrating how images can be refocused after the fact. (For background, Todor notes the word “plenoptic” was coined by Ted Adelson in this 1992 paper.) Wired News coverage is here.
Being more an Arts & Letters guy (read: math Cro-Mag), I tend to dwell on the social aspects of technology, and I wonder how photographers might react to these developments. There’s already a vocal minority of strident anti-raw shooters who say, “Raw is for when you plan to get the shot wrong.” That is, the post-processing flexibility that raw enables lets bad photographers sweep ever more mistakes under the carpet. What would they say about something that forgave flaws in focusing? It’s also funny to note that as technology like this makes it possible to keep more items in focus, technology like Photoshop’s Lens Blur works in the opposite direction, letting you add a “Bokeh” effect to otherwise crisp shots.
Personally, I’d love to see the concept of taking multiple captures in single pass used to enable greater dynamic range. Wouldn’t it be great to effectively auto-bracket shots simultaneously, instead of in quick succession?
Among other fixes and improvements, this update adds a check to confirm that Camera Raw is correctly installed (something that had been a source of confusion). Go to Adobe.com to grab the installer for Mac and Windows. Let us know via the Bridge forum how it goes.
If you ever find yourself living in a post-apocalypic, Mad Max-style hellscape *and* needing a new macro lens–or if you just like to tinker–know that evidently a Dremel, a can of Pringles, and some elbow grease are all that stand between you and that sweet new glass. No word, however, on the efficacy of Jalapeño vs. Spicy Cajun flavor… (Going to these lengths somehow reminds me of Jack Handey’s observation, “Most people don’t realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer.”) [via Tobias Hoellrich]
I’d heard long-time author David Biedny, creator of the Attention Photoshoppers podcast, mention that his out-of-print work was commanding a premium, but it wasn’t until today that I saw what he meant. A photographer on the ProDig list noted that Photoshop Channel Chops is selling for $495 at a used book store. Some quick Googling reveals that the title commands $199 and up on Amazon. Dang; I haven’t read the book myself, but it must be quite the resource.
Of course, this sets my mind in motion. I tend to accumulate samples from lots of publishers, so I wonder what gems linger on my bookshelf. Psst, buddy, how much’ll you give me for this sweet Illustrator 6 Visual QuickStart Guide? Flash 4 Magic, maybe? Or how about a vintage LiveMotion Classroom in a Book? (Anyone, anyone? Bueller…?)
Not quitting my day job,