Wired News reports on Kodak’s efforts to develop high-volume scanning technology for old prints. These machines analyze the images, then categorize them & assign metadata by recognizing faces, print size & shape, handwriting, and more. Sounds like a cool & fairly painless way to get shoeboxes full of snapshots into a computer.
This reminds me of a little-known but powerful feature in Photoshop. The Crop & Straighten Photos command (“Lift & Separate” to its friends) is found under File->Automate in Photoshop CS and above. The command takes a bunch of photos scanned at once (like this) and turn each into a separate cropped, rotated image (like this).
I considered calling this post “Most Obscure. Feature. Ever,” but then I remembered the tweaky labyrinths woven as Russell Brown bribed various engineers for little improvements. In any case, knowing this tip would qualify anyone as Photoshop Illuminati:
When accessing File->Scripts in Photoshop, first hold down the Opt/Alt key. Instead of running the selected script, Photoshop will open it in the ExtendScript Toolkit (Mac/Win)–itself quite a well-kept secret.
Hey, I said it was obscure, but it could be a useful way to inspect anything from layers to PNG to Flash gallery creation. Thanks to Tom Ruark, Photoshop engineer & Russell’s collaborator on the Image Processor script, for pointing this out.
…yearning to blend free. We’d like to ask your help in improving HDR (high dynamic range) imaging in Photoshop. The halos produced by many current HDR conversion techniques (see the Flickr HDR pool for some examples) are kind of cool and wonky, but to make HDR more than a fad, we need to produce more reasonable results. With this in mind we’d like to get sample images–particularly ones with which you’ve gotten better results converting 32->16/8 bits using another package than you have using Photoshop. Photoshop engineer John Peterson writes,
I’m looking for cases where the “other leading brand” is doing a better job than Photoshop. I’d like to get three or four really good cases of this from customers that are (potential) heavy users of Merge to HDR. I’d be interested in JPEG or raw source files, plus the HDR result file from the other application. JPEGs should be generated by the camera, not via Camera Raw. f-stop should be held constant, exposure should differ by two stops or so, and resolutions in the 2-6 MP range would be sufficient.
If you’d like to work with us on this, please shoot me a mail & I’ll get you in touch with the right folks on our end. Thanks!
Dr. Woohoo is back, introducing After Effects 2 Flash: Audio Amplitude. This new ExtendScript exports the audio analysis data from AE 7.0 as an XML file and uses a component to map it to the Rotation and Scale Matrix transformations in Flash 8. “In other words,” he writes, “it makes objects in Flash dance to the music.” The scripts complement the recently introduced Transform Properties work, and each is on sale for $40. It’s cool work, and seeing it takes me back to a weird & ridiculous example I did, using AE to map audio data to rotation, then exporting XML to LiveMotion be made interactive.
I just wanted to say a quick thanks to the 200 (!) or so folks who trekked over to Adobe San Jose last night for Julieanne’s Photoshop & Lightroom session. And thanks especially to photographer/impresario Dan Clark for organizing the event. Attendance for this event was the best yet, overflowing the overflow room we set up after the 165-seat main room got packed. The “pizza rebate program” (whereby a percentage of your Adobe license fees is returned as cheese & sauce) is always a draw, but it was particularly great to see the huge interest in Julieanne’s presentation & the discussions that followed. If you have suggestions for future guests or topics, please let us know.
We’ve just posted the DNG SDK, a set of documentation and tools meant to help hardware manufacturers and software developers add support for the Digital Negative specification. From the download site:
The DNG SDK provides support for reading and writing DNG files as well as for converting DNG data into a format that is easily displayed or processed by imaging applications. This SDK can serve as a starting point for the addition of DNG support to existing applications that use and manipulate images or as an aid to the inclusion of DNG support within cameras.
Developers have been asking for this kind of support for some time, and we hope it’ll spur further adoption of an open, industry-standard raw image format. Every month some 20,000 photographers download the free DNG Converter from Adobe.com (Mac/Win), and broader native support across tools can only help this momentum.
[Update: PhotoshopNews has the press release, which notes that according to a recent InfoTrends study with 1,754 professional photographers, more than 18 percent of photographers use DNG as part of their imaging workflow.]
I’m putting the “Eh” back in “JNack” this week, heading up to the FITC show in Toronto on Thursday. If you’re planning to be there, please come say hey. Much as we did at Flashforward Seattle, a number of product managers are hosting a roundtable discussion on improving the integration of Adobe’s Studio, Creative Suite, & DV applications. The last conversation spawned some good thinking (e.g. a suggestion that Photoshop & Illustrator offer a “Flash-safe” working mode & enable preflighting images before export), and I’m looking forward to this one. I’m also planning to give a Photoshop CS2 presentation on Saturday morning (nothing too elaborate, but hopefully a good refresher in case you’ve missed what we’ve been doing in the last couple revs of Photoshop).
We’ve posted Disable VM Buffering, an optional plug-in for Photoshop CS2 (Mac only) that addresses painting pauses on machines with more than 4GB of RAM. From the ReadMe:
The Disable VM Buffering plug-in can be installed to eliminate pauses during painting on Macintosh machines with more than 4GB of physical RAM installed. It will have no effect on machines with 4GB or less of RAM. On machines with more than 4GB of RAM it can eliminate pauses during painting operations at some cost in performance with very large documents.
More details about the plug-in and why you may or may not want to install it are on the download page.