Monthly Archives: January 2006

New podcasts: Photoshop Killer Tips, InDesign Secrets

In a bit of synchronicity, two Adobe-related podcasters just announced their new offerings:

  • The NAPP‘s Matt Kloskowski has introduced Photoshop Killer Tips (Web/iTunes), described by its creator as “short and sweet–just a quick 60-90 second video tip each day (Monday through Friday).” It’s been running (‘casting?) for three weeks, so the site already features a number of tips.
  • InDesign Secrets (Web/iTunes) is a new resource from authors David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, covering all aspects of page layout and production in Adobe InDesign.

These new programs join the growing ranks of design-oriented podcasts, alongside The Russell Brown Show (Web/iTunes), Photoshop TV (Web/iTunes), Attention Photoshoppers (Web/iTunes), and more. If you’ve found related podcasts useful, feel free to pass along their info via the comments.

Tip: Make raw files' EXIF data searchable with DNG

My colleague Fergus Hammond made an interesting discovery while using Mac OS X’s Spotlight feature to hunt for EXIF data in his photos. It seems that Spotlight can’t find the EXIF in some raw formats, but dropping images onto the free DNG Converter makes their metadata readable by Spotlight (not to mention making the image data itself compatible with numerous DNG-aware applications).
I tried an experiment with a handful of Nikon NEF’s from a D2X, and sure enough, converting to DNG made their EXIF data visible to Spotlight; here’s a screenshot. Now, I should mention that I’m not an expert on Spotlight’s capabilities, but these results seem in line with a document on the Apple site that lists “GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, EXIF, DNG” as Spotlight’s supported image formats. On my system (OS 10.4.4) Spotlight can find EXIF data in some (but not all) CRW and CR2 files, so your mileage may vary.
In any case, converting the D2X NEFs to DNG cut the size of each from 19.3 to 11.1MB–a clear benefit in and of itself.

The Scanner Photography Project

Duct tape + a cardboard box + a cheap flatbed scanner = the surreal images of The Scanner Photography Project. Artist Michael Golembewski has combined a scanner with a large-format camera to produce a device that can mix still and moving elements into a single frame, producing some occasionally bizarre results. (Put that in your Lens Baby and smoke it.)
I especially like the molten vehicle shots, and the animation gallery shows how the camera makes a nice British bus ride resemble some kind of German Expressionist nightmare.
[Thanks to Adobe Edinburgh’s David Metzger for the link.]

Image authenticity & Photoshop

The topic of verifying image authenticity, covered well in the NY Times article It May Look Authentic; Here’s How To Tell It Isn’t, continues to draw considerable attention. Photoshop of course gets pressed into duty on the falsification side, so Adobe staff have been fielding a number of press inquiries on this subject.
What may be less obvious is Adobe’s interest in the other side of the coin: image analysis & authentication. Last summer Dr. Hany Farid (mentioned in the Times article) spent his sabbatical from Dartmouth at Adobe, collaborating with the Advanced Technology Group on tools & techniques for detecting image manipulation. Photoshop is heavily used by a wide range of government & scientific bodies, aiding in everything from detecting forged checks (you’d be amazed what a few adjustment layers can reveal) to cleaning up satellite imagery to analyzing the Dead Sea Scrolls (more info on that soon). At the request of image retouchers who need to document their work, we added the Edit History Log, making it possible to store a textual log of edits done to an image (essential for reproducibility). Combined with the ability to embed raw files as Smart Objects, this feature makes it possible for a Photoshop document to contain essentially the negative, the print, and a printable record of edits performed.
For more on Dr. Farid’s research & tools, see his own site as well as this National Geographic article on detecting forged artwork. For more on Photoshop in scientific imaging, now details how scientific features have grown over the last few releases, alongside white papers on best practices.

Panoramas in motion

If you’re interested in panoramic photography (see previous entries), check out World in Motion VR. The site features a technique I hadn’t seen before: QuickTime VR panoramas where the camera is moving, recording the scene over time. Here’s one of many examples (make sure to let it load a bit, and remember that you can click and drag as the video plays). It’s a trippy effect–“Double hand touch for drama!” The site also features more traditional but no less cool still panoramas (like this one from a glacier). Lastly, DIY gearheads may be interested in how to make a video panorama system on the cheap. [Via]

New open source Adobe imaging library

There’s a new Generic Image Library available for download from Adobe Open Source page. The developers write, “It is a library that abstracts image representations from algorithms on images and allows one to write the algorithm once and have it work for image in any color space, channel depth, interleaved/planar pixel organization, etc., with performance similar to hand-coding for a specific image type.” If image science is your bag, this might be worth a look.

American Trainwreck Awards, starring my blog

[Low news value here, but I’ve got to say it] If you’re reading this via RSS, great; if not & you’ve stumbled across the main page of my blog, my apologies for the Indiana Jones-style eyeball-melting that ensued. Changes to the CSS shared among several Adobe blogs have made the site look, uh, not so good. The IS folks are investigating, and hopefully the proper appearance (if not a better one) will be restored soon. [Update: Thanks to Tobias Hoellrich for settings things right. Now, I need to find something the Dreamweaver team needs so that I can swap it for some CSS-wrangling help…]