Monthly Archives: May 2007

Adobe+Google for Photoshop 3D

I’m pleased to report that Adobe has teamed up with Google on 3D, enabling Photoshop CS3 Extended to browse the Google 3D Warehouse, then download 3D models right into Photoshop.  The upshot is that Photoshop users now have direct access to a large & growing repository of free, community-driven 3D content. 

The plug-in and more info are available on Adobe Labs.  (Note: The team is working to fix a bug found in the Windows version at the last minute.  Therefore the Mac plug-in is up now, and the Windows version should be up tomorrow.)

Better sharpening, more in Camera Raw 4.1

Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw 4.1 for Photoshop CS3 is now available for download (Mac | Win) from Adobe.com.  In addition to supporting 13 new cameras, this release brings welcome improvements to sharpening and noise reduction.  Jeff Schewe has posted a great & highly detailed overview of what’s new. If you want the cheap n’ cheerful overview, here’s what the Read Me* file has to say:

Clarity
New Control available in the Basic panel. Clarity adds depth to an image by increasing local contrast. When using this setting, it is best to zoom in to 100% or greater. To maximize the effect, increase the setting until you see halos near the edge details of the image, and then reduce the setting slightly.

Sharpening Improvements:
Additional controls available in the Detail panel. The zoom level must be set to 100% or greater in order to view the effects of these controls.

Amount
Adjusts edge definition. Increase the Amount value to increase sharpening. A value of zero turns off sharpening. In general, set Amount to a lower value for cleaner images. The adjustment locates pixels that differ from surrounding pixels based on the threshold you specify and increases the pixels’ contrast by the amount you specify. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while dragging this slider to view the sharpening on a grayscale preview.

Radius
Adjusts the size of the details that sharpening is applied to. Photos with very fine details may need a lower radius setting. Photos with larger details may be able to use a larger radius. Using too large a radius will generally result in unnatural looking results. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while dragging this slider to preview the radius effect on edge definition.

Detail
Adjusts how much high-frequency information is sharpened in the image and how much the sharpening process emphasizes edges. Lower settings primarily sharpen edges to remove blurring. Higher values are useful for making the textures in the image more pronounced.

Masking
Controls an edge mask. With a setting of zero, everything in the image receives the same amount of sharpening. With a setting of 100, sharpening is mostly restricted to those areas near the strongest edges. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) while dragging this slider to see the areas to be sharpened (white) versus the areas masked out (black).

* Hah–I will get someone to read the contents of a Read Me!  (Talk about an ironic name. Those things are like reader-repellents.)

Guns, kids, and salt

  • Magnum photographer Philip Jones Griffiths knows war.  He reflects on violence & its tools in this Guns and Kids photo essay presented by Slate.  The piece brings to mind these ladies–and these.
  • The subjects of It’s All Good couldn’t be less so–junkies, crackheads, gangsters and their families in NYC, "where escape is one rock, one shot, one Glock away."  Gallery. [Via]
  • PingMag interviews Edward Burtynsky, whose Manufactured Landscapes images chronicle humanity’s impact on the earth.  (Not long ago I kind of harshed on one of Burtynsky’s photos.  It certainly has more impact in the context of his larger efforts.)
  • Chris Jordan (mentioned recently) is using the synthetic world of Second Life to present his "Running the Numbers"–depicting the scale of human consumption.
  • The miniature City of Salt comes from Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick–the photographers behind the similarly amazing Apollo Prophecies.
  • In Salt Dreams, Jimmy and Dena Katz chronicle the racers, rocketeers, and pink flamingos of the great Salt Flats.  More info is here. [Via]

Camera Raw 4.1 announced, due shortly

As you may have seen already, Adobe has announced Camera Raw 4.1, due to be available shortly via Adobe.com.  (The communication got out a little ahead of the actual plug-in, which should be posted in the next 24 hours or so.)

Camera Raw 4.1 adds support for 13 new digital cameras and backs, including the Canon EOS-1D Mark III, Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro, Nikon D40x, Olympus E-410, Olympus SP-550 UZ, Sigma SD14, Phase One H 20, Phase One H 25, Phase One P 20, Phase One P 21, Phase One P 25, Phase One P 30 and Phase One P 45.

In addition, Camera Raw includes some very cool enhancements to sharpening & noise reduction.  I’ll share more details on these shortly; in the meantime, here’s a teaser screenshot.  (By the way, all the same controls will be coming to Lightroom soon, too.)

Sculpting unusual substances

Maybe it’s the BBQ warming up next to me, but I’ve got weird sculpture (food-based and otherwise) on the brain:

Use Photoshop effects inside InDesign

Wherever possible & useful, Adobe apps try to share code libraries that enhance integration.  By picking up Photoshop and Illustrator libraries, for example, Flash CS3 is able to import & convert these apps’ files, much like After Effects, Premiere Pro, and other apps that use the libraries.

InDesign has long been able to place PSD and AI files, even turning on and off layers, applying layer comps, etc. to reconfigure files on the fly.  In CS3, however, InDesign has also integrated the code that enables Photoshop layer effects (glows, bevels, drop shadows, and more).  This means that you can apply these effects to native InDesign artwork, making it possible to apply & adjust effects without bouncing back to Photoshop.  Over on CreativePro.com, Anne-Marie Concepcion & Pariah Burke talk about ways to take advantage of these capabilities

If there are other places you’d like to see the apps share code, please let us know.

Graffiti a go-go

Takin’ it to the streets (no Michael McDonald required):

  • Kiev’s Інтересні казки ("interesting cases") crew produces all kinds of bright graffiti.  More images are here.  [Via]
  • If you enjoy that work, check out Brazilian twins Os Gemeos.
  • Time Magazine–not usually the go-to source for fresh urban style–offers a gallery of street art. [Via]
  • Dan Witz creates delicate works on walls, like this one from his hummingbirds series. (Note the airbrushed shadow.)  Gotta love this big adverb, too.
  • "Urban primitive" artist Billy has created an art car for Hyundai.

Stefan Sagmeister, Experience Design, & more in Design Center

The Adobe Design Center is back with a handful of updates:

New Dialog Box:

New Think Tank:

New Tutorials:

And as always, don’t forget to check out the Adobe links on del.icio.us.  Content wrangler Jen deHaan reports, "
Currently we have 811 links, and 1749 ‘fans’ (people who have added us to their network, and watch our new bookmarks).
We receive about 4 links from the community every day."  Info on how to contribute links is here.  [Via]

Flash extends Bridge, adds JPEG export

Adobe Bridge is designed to be highly extensible–first via JavaScript and HTML, and now (in CS3) via Flash/Flex SWF files.  SWFs can function as panels inside Bridge, letting developers write network-aware modules that can leverage the full power of Bridge (previewing images, reading/writing metadata, etc.).  Bridge PM Gunar Penikis has posted a useful example of a SWF extending Bridge:

Once loaded into the Bridge startup scripts folder, the BridgeExportToJPEG extension will demonstrate a Flash UI panel in Bridge (screenshot) that is functional in driving Bridge to create JPEGs and manipulate XMP metadata. All the thumbnails that are created in Bridge are JPEG based, so it is possible to export these thumbnails as JPEGs — for example if you want to create a JPEG catalog, or quickly send JPEGs of your RAW files.

To install this extension in Bridge, download it, then launch Bridge, go into Preferences, choose Startup Scripts, and then press Reveal to pop the folder open in your Finder/Explorer.  Then drag the script & SWF into that folder & relaunch Bridge.  It’ll then be possible to show the panel by choosing Window->Show Export to JPEG.

Granted, the interface is "engineer art" (less polished than what you’d generally find in an Adobe app), and it’s possible you’ll run into bugs/limitations.  Even so, we think the component offers some useful functionality, as well as source code you can modify as you’d like.  Thanks to Bridge team member David Franzen for whipping it up.

For more info on extending Bridge, check out the Bridge SDK.  For more examples of Flash extending Bridge, stay tuned.