Oh my God… Who is this Dave Werner guy and what kind of government lab built him? Simply put, this is the most effective portfolio site I have seen in years. Dave makes outstanding use of Flash video to tell the story behind each of his featured projects, ranging from print to Web to furniture design, filmmaking, writing, and game creation–sometimes all at once. As I browsed from the scrolling treasure map (see Illustrations) to “Ninja birds with Katana blades” (in “Cadence”), I felt my eyes re-open to the possibilities of technology & storytelling, much like they did when encountering From Alice To Ocean back in ’93. Damn. I just hope he doesn’t take a shine to product management… [Via Core77]
Webmonkey lists 10 great Flickr mashups, including Retrievr for Flash-enabled visual search and Tagnautica for visual tag browsing. You know people have been up to some good stuff when rad projects like Felix Turner’s Related Tag Browser and Mario Klingemann’s Flickeur don’t even get into the honoroable mentions! All this work keeps our juices flowing when thinking of ways to more effectively burrow through images via our desktop tools. [Link via Marc Pawliger]
We’ve obviously got integration on the brain, so if you’re attending next week’s Flashforward conference in Seattle, we’d like to talk in person. There’s a session on Tuesday, 5:15-6:30, that Mike Downey (Flash PM), Phil Guindi (Illustrator), Steve Kilisky (After Effects), I, and other Adobe folks plan to attend. If you’ve got time and want to give us a piece of your mind on integration, please swing by.
Now that Adobe and Macromedia have come together, we’re busily planning our next moves, and it would be great to get your input. Fireworks Product Manager Danielle Beaumont has posted a message saying that Fireworks is alive and well at Adobe, and we’re working to define the best course for each app.
It might help to define the players:
- Fireworks offers a hybrid raster/vector editing environment for creating and editing designs for use on screen (typically the Web). Rather than going as deep into vector or bitmap editing as Illustrator or Photoshop, Fireworks opts to bring together a mix of tools for each function, plus symbols (edit once, update many), slicing and optimization, CSS menu generation, and more.
- Photoshop is “the professional image-editing standard“–or, if you prefer, a ten-foot-tall, two-ton son of a gun who could eat a hammer and take a shotgun blast standing (or something like that*). Photoshop offers an unmatched range of capabilities for image manipulation, plus basic vector drawing tools, gallery and contact sheet creation, and a set of Web optimization functions.
So, some questions:
- If we could do one thing to improve the process of making graphics for the Web, what would it be?
- Are there tasks (e.g. rapid prototyping of Web and app interfaces) at which we should target Fireworks more than Photoshop? (Or, to take the other side, would you rather there be a single über-app with a customizable interface?)
- Do we need to improve integration between Fireworks and Photoshop (e.g. better file format compatibility, Jump To), or does it work well enough?
- What about compatibility with Dreamweaver? What tasks could/should we improve?
- Are there interface elements or ideas from one app that we should emulate in the other?
By the way, we’re not, as I’ve seen suggested a couple of times, going to rip out the Web features we’ve developed in Photoshop. I’m not sure what motivates this idea, but I’m guessing it’s based on 1) a desire to make the positioning of the apps more distinct, and/or 2) a desire to avoid/reduce “bloat” in Photoshop. Re: 1, rather than crippling Photoshop for the many people who use it all or some of the time for Web design, let’s make Fireworks stand out by adding kick-ass, never-before-seen features. (Of course, it’s to identify these that we need your help.) Re: 2, I have more to say, but in the meantime consider this.
And with that, I’ll wrap up and open the floor to discussion. We’re really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the future of these two applications.
* This is, of course, why I will never be allowed to write our marketing copy.
Michael Cina and Michael Young “ferret out” a host of critters to showcase their unique outlook.
- Domani Studios
Always pushing the envelope, Domani Studios’ 2100 pounds of creative muscle displays its playful side.
- Accurate Color between Photoshop and Flash
By Michael Ninness
Learn how to set up Photoshop and Flash so that colors in your images are consistent in both products.
- After Effects 7: Graph Editor
By Lee Brimelow
See—and edit—all the properties of your animations in one intuitive place with the new Graph Editor.
- After Effects 7: FLV Export
By Lee Brimelow
Discover how easy it is to export Flash Video directly from After Effects 7.
- Errol Morris: Revealing Unexpected Realities
By Megan Cunningham
From The Fog of War to Apple’s “Switch” campaign, Errol Morris describes the unique connections between his dual career as an award-winning filmmaker and advertising iconoclast.
- Buildings as Interfaces
By Peter Hall
Architects and designers collaborate to create digital skins that allow buildings to blink, wink, and breathe. Step inside.
Why is it that when you design an image in Photoshop, then move it to Flash (or Dreamweaver, or the Web in general), the appearance can totally change? If this issue has bitten you, spend ten minutes (9:19, actually) watching this new tutorial from our friend Michael Ninness. Myke explains the right color management switches to flip to change the out-of-the-box setup (geared towards a camera-to-print pipeline) to one that better suits Web output.
On a related note, if you’re frequently working between Photoshop and Flash (as evidently lots of people are), check out Myke’s full set of tutorials on the subject, and/or his Photoshop + Flash session at next week’s Flashforward conference in Seattle.
Of course, the fact that this stuff requires classes & tutorials gives us plenty of motivation to make it just work. More on that soon.
Though by now I’m sure it’s so six days ago, it’s been exciting to see all the discussions this week around the growing mainstream use of high dynamic range photography. Photoshop CS2 marks the app’s first steps into 32-bit imaging, enabling the creation of HDR files by merging multiple exposures (typically 10-12 bit for most raw files) into single images. While HDR editing has been immediately embraced by film and special effects pros, it’s only recently that a good number of photographers are taking notice. Flickr now features an HDR pool containing some striking stuff. [Via]
Chris Cox, the engineer who’s been implementing much of Photoshop’s HDR support, groans when seeing some of this early experimentation, concluding (rightly) that we need to improve the algorithms and interface to avoid weird halos when mapping from HDR to lower bit depths. I reply, however, that a good chunk of the appeal of HDR now is attached to the slightly bizarre results the techniques produce. I mean, look at the popularity of everything from Lomos to Lens Babies. Part of me thinks that when HDR is really mainstream (captured directly in a single frame, and easily manipulable), we’ll have lost some of the happy accidents occurring today.
For more on HDR, see this intro from Jon Meyer and this tutorial from Michael Reichmann. The best is yet to come.
A lazy Sunday morning means a chance to catch up with photography around the Web:
- French pastry chef/photographer team Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle play with food, creating miniature sculptures and tiny narratives. If you’re put off by their site’s dicey navigation, samples of their work can be found elsewhere. [Via]
- Michael Wolf’s Honk Kong portfolio goes exactly the opposite direction, throwing any sense of scale out the window (many thousands of them). [Via] The sense of unreality reminds me of these airborne shots from Mexico City. [Via]
- The NYT features Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin’s portraits of great performers of 2006.
- The Times also offers some great shots from the Olympic opening ceremonies.
- Retouchers at Fluid Effect present before & after samples of famous people. [Via] I’m always amazed that these folks permit their unretouched selves into the wild… See also the work of Glenn Feron, as well as Madonna before & after.
- Fine art photographer David Maisel explores geometry & color from the air. [Via]
Now that you can upload images from Adobe Bridge and have them turned into stamps, what’s next? How about motion stamps? A Dutch company has started creating plastic stamps that use lenticular technology to capture animation (sorry, cornball music not included in actual stamps… but give ’em time). Can DIY animated stamp creation be far behind?
[Related: HumanEyes software for capturing & printing images with depth.]
Mordy Golding, Illustrator expert and formerly Illustrator product manager (now living back in NY, never having been satisfied by CA bagels & lack of filthy-washcloth-style humidity), has posted an interesting interview with… himself. In it he muses on the future of Illustrator & FreeHand, among other things. I should be very clear in saying that I have no particular insights into any such plans (way too much going on in Photoshop-land for me to pester the vector guys right now), so I’m not endorsing or refuting any of Mordy’s points. I mention the article, however, as it may shed light on some of the questions & realities that are considered when planning a product roadmap.