Monthly Archives: July 2006

Big Pixels: L, XL, and XXL

Computer displays are growing ever higher-resolution, with ever-tinier pixels. So how about going in the opposite direction–representing data in ever-larger chunks? Three takes:

  • The PingPongPixel project digitizes images, then re-creates them on a 64 sq. ft. surface using 2700 shaded ping pong balls (each a 38mm pixel). Each rendering takes roughly two and a half hours to form.[Via]
  • Going a step larger, check out the video for Faithless’ I Want More. Well-disciplined schoolkids create huge portraits by flipping the pages of large books. The footage of this massive choreography apparently comes from a documentary about North Korea.
  • And for some really enormous pixels (of a sort), how about human-sized Space Invaders? Give it up for a squad of French kids schlepping around an auditorium all day to create this simulation.

Maybe the next step is to go from a particle to a wave: a team at Akishima Laboratories has found a way to print on waves, forming any English letter, if only for a moment. [Via]

100,000+ Lightroom downloads in 5 days

Okay, it’s a little immodest to keep mentioning these stats, but I’m pleased to report that Adobe Lightroom Beta 3 for Windows was downloaded more than 100,000 times in the first five days of availability on Adobe Labs. Add that to the quarter-million+ Mac downloads already recorded, and the product is off to a terrific start. Lots of work remains to be done, but the photographic community’s response keeps blowing past our expectations. Thanks to everybody for your interest & feedback so far.

Goofing on trendy logos, bad authors, & photobloggers

Life’s not much fun if you can’t laugh at yourself a bit. (Heck, I used to call LiveMotion Crouching Vector, Hidden Bitmap.) In that vein…

  • The crowd at Yay Hooray has fun reinterpreting famous logos according to the lickably gradiated, bloopy “Web 2.0 look“. (And they remember to drp some vowls while they’re at it.) [Via] [Update: Hah–even Adobe couldn’t escape.]
  • Night of the Living Photoshop Books: Tongue firmly in cheek, Mike Johnston takes aim at some of the less-than-excellent titles out there (e.g. “How To Create Totally Alarming and Incredibly Tasteless Pastiche Monstrosities Using Photoshop”). Later he lists some titles he actually does recommend.
  • Same dude, different screed: Mike eviscerates know-nothing photoblog commentators in this wicked parody.

10 free Photoshop plug-ins

Extreme Tech magazine has posted an overview of 10 free Photoshop plug-ins, yours for the downloading. The list includes Luce (for lighting effects), various Flaming Pear tools, Dust & Scratch Remover from Polaroid, Virtual Photographer, Border Mania (no relation to politics), Camouflage & Night Vision, and Auto FX Mosaic. [Via]
In a plug-in-related vein…

New vids: Illustrator CS2 + Flash 8 Integration

Having wrestled Illustrator & Flash into playing nice for the past, oh, 8 years (even going so far as to write a bunch of tutorials back in the day), I’m delighted to see that Illustrator dynamo Mordy Golding is tackling the subject head-on in a new set of training videos from The videos (direct link here) cover everything from symbols in Illustrator (yes, Illustrator has symbols) to blends, styles, text on a path, and 3D effects. If you ever stub a toe when moving between these vector graphics heavyweights, Mordy’s tutorials should come in handy.

Lightroom Podcast #10: Pixmantec + Adobe

In the latest Lightroom podcast, Adobe Raw team members Mark Hamburg, Zalman Stern, and Thomas Knoll welcome Pixmantec co-founder Michael Jonsson to San José, and they kick around some ideas about code integration. George Jardine writes,

This podcast was recorded Wednesday, July 12th 2006, at Adobe Systems Headquarters in San Jose, CA. In this discussion, we talk about the differences between ACR, Lightroom and Raw Shooter raw processing, and explore the best strategies for making the most of the newly expanded team.

The podcast is available as an MP3 file via George’s iDisk (under “0712 Podcast”). It should also be available shortly via this RSS feed, and by searching for “Lightroom” in iTunes.

Next-gen Web galleries: XSLT, Flash, & CSS for all

As you might have heard in Lightroom Podcast #9 (starting around the 25-minute mark), we’re working on a fresh, new Web Photo Gallery engine for Lightroom. For those wanting to dig under the hood and start creating or modifying galleries, Adobe engineer Andy Rahn has created an overview, which I’ve included in this post’s extended entry.

We think this new engine provides a great foundation for the future, and while we really can’t comment on upcoming products, we’d like to see the engine make its way to, ah, other applications (something something, rhymes with “Shmoatoshop”…). So, with any luck, the time you spend working with this new engine will end up being broadly applicable down the road (no promises, of course).

Continue reading

Flash + After Effects text, warping in Photoshop, more

The Adobe Design Center has been updated with a passel of new content:

[Via Jen deHaan]

Etchin' & Scratchin'

If pimping your ride is passé, how about pimping your PowerBook? Cognitive scientist Dan Kurtz laser-etched a Magritte painting onto his machine. Wicked. (Here’s another image of it, plus the original Magritte.) If you’re feeling adventurous (and laser-equipped), see the how-to overview. (You could also go after your machine with a metal drill bit.)
Bringing this a tad closer to home, Adobe’s resident creative whirlwind Russell Brown had a ball laser-etching wood at the recent ADIM Conference (check out these examples). In fact, he’ll be doing an etching class here on Monday and will have his laser in tow. Hmm, I’ve got 17″ of aluminum just itching for etching, and I’m partial to flames
On a similar etch-stuff-on-weird-surfaces, CBS is promoting its fall lineup by scrawling ads on millions of eggs [Via NPR]. Evidently Chicago-area company EggFusion (“Promoting freshness with every impression!!”) is doing the honors. Every bite a delight, no doubt.
And lastly, illustrator George Vlosich is a terror on the Etch-a-Sketch, lavishing dozens of hours on each creation. [Via]

Lightroom beta for Windows is here!

By very popular demand*, Adobe has posted the first publicly available version of Lightroom for Windows on Adobe Labs. Swing by the product page to snag a copy of Adobe’s new pro photography workflow application. A few notes:

  • There is no update for the Mac beta program at the moment. The current Mac version is Beta 3, released in June.
  • The Windows beta will be labeled Beta 3 but is not perfectly in sync with the current Mac build (no Web Module, Identity Plates or ability to add music to slideshows just yet). There’s also plenty of performance optimization left to do (and on the Mac as well, for that matter).
  • The Mac and Windows feature sets will converge before shipping the product.
  • If you have more questions, check out the Lightroom beta FAQ, or see Jeff Schewe’s in-depth coverage on

And with that, have at it! As always, your input will be critical in shaping Lightroom before the launch of the 1.0 version, so we look forward to seeing you on the product forum (linked from the main page).
* I’m told that some 70,000 Windows users signed up in advance to receive notification of this launch.