Monthly Archives: June 2008

LightWave Rendition for Photoshop now shipping

The folks at NewTek are now shipping Lightwave Rendition, their 3D lighting and rendering add-on for Photoshop Extended.  According to the press release:

The resulting output delivers a high-quality, photo-realistic image, all from within the Photoshop Extended environment.

 

LightWave Rendition ships with sample projects and a library of 3D model art. The product also includes support for 3D models from a variety of applications, including LightWave 3D, Google™ SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse or many readily available 3D formats.  It includes:

 

  • Slider Controls for Render and Anti-Alias Quality, allowing for quick preview renders up to photo-quality images.
  • Material Presets for the option to apply a preset material or any selected Photoshop materials to the surface of your 3D object for complete flexibility in design.
  • Light Environments open the use of the default Photoshop Extended lighting environment or users can add to the power of LightWave Rendition for Adobe Photoshop by using any 2D layer as a light map for complete control of the final light environment.

The product is $149 for Mac and Windows & is available for purchase and download from the NewTek site.

Use Bridge to extract metadata

I’ve gotten a few inquiries lately about whether it’s possible to extract metadata from images and other files using Adobe Bridge.  Short answer: Absolutely.  Try John Hake’s workflow automation scripts, one of which (Metadata_BR.jsx) extracts metadata from selected files and generates Comma Separated Value (CSV) reports.

 

To do more with Bridge automation, check out this Flash-enabled JPEG export script, and download the Bridge SDK to write your own scripts. [Via David Franzen]

Infographic stylings: From bacon to Ludacris

Mo' betta colors, from Firefox & HP

(Dang, now I have that Ice-T song "Colors" in my head)

 

  • HP’s new monitor eats your mere 16.7-million-color display for breakfast.  For $3,499, the 30-bit (10 bits per RGB channel) DreamColor LP2480zx promises up to a billion colors per pixel.  The display is aimed especially at people doing cinema post production & was produced in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation SKG.
  • Firefox 3 is the latest web browser to support the colour managed display of photos with embedded ICC profiles, points out Rob Galbraith.  "That’s the good news. The bad news is it’s turned off by default. Here’s how to turn it on."  (For why all this matters, see previous.)

PS–The topic of color also makes me think of some cute profanity.

The Color & the Shape, in PS & AI

Drive the Creative Suite through AIR

I’m pleased to announce that SwitchBoard, a technology for driving the Creative Suite family of products using applications running on Adobe AIR, is now available from Adobe Labs.  As Dr. Woohoo explains, "SwitchBoard is a Flex library that allows you to extend an AIR app by giving you access to the ExtendScript DOMs for the Creative Suite apps.  Your AIR app can now easily establish two-way communication with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Bridge."  According to the Labs page,

 

Adobe AIR developers can create applications that participate as first class citizens in creative workflows. Each SwitchBoard solution consists of an AIR application written for SwitchBoard, JavaScripts, and the SwitchBoard service that delivers the scripts to the Creative Suite applications. AIR developers only need to include a Flex library called SwitchBoard.swc in their projects in order to send and receive scripts to and from Creative Suite applications.

 

SwitchBoard brings together the power of the automation in the Creative Suite applications with the potential for third parties to extend the creative process with new applications produced using AIR. The result is an extensible, powerful, cross-platform environment that can quickly adapt to today’s rapidly changing creative workflows.

 

Thanks to resident brainiac Bernd Paradies for making it happen.  With the ability to create desktop-based Flash interfaces for the Suite, I’m looking forward to seeing what developers can devise, and I look forward to sharing some examples here soon.  (Oh, and Bernd has more good tricks up his sleeve, too.)

Type as illustrations & more

Letters as shapes:

 

  • Cameron Moll talks about techniques for designing with type characters–creating shapes and illustrations using just letterforms.  "Don’t attempt this in one sitting. I take it back–this is the most important tip. Not only is type character designing extremely time consuming, it’s also monotonous work that requires a constant zoom in, zoom out dance to get things right."
  • He points out some cool examples of these techniques in action, including the all-type design for the Seed Conference.  (I know I’m betraying my age & lack of CSS currency, but I’m surprised by the typographic fidelity that’s possible in modern Web browsers.)
  • He also points to Veer’s Flash-based Type City, an interactive journey through buildings made from letterforms.  (Lovely letterpress prints of the pieces are available.)
  • Related bits from the archives: Bembo’s Zoo is a fun bestiary from Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich & Matteo Bologna’s; click any letter to see it turn into an animal made from letters.  If that’s up your alley, peep their follow-up in the type-based portraiture in Words at Play.

 

On other fronts:

 

  • I haven’t tried it myself, but Macworld reviews & recommends Path Styler Pro for creating stylized type & logos.

Recent motion graphics goodness

 

  • Roi Sabarov’s Typeflow animation is poetry in motion.  ("That is awesome.  That goes on the blog."  –Margot, Licensed Nackwife.)
  • Fatal Farm makes some super, ah, unique remixes of 80’s TV themes.  Knight Rider is brilliant, though be warned that you won’t be getting the song out of your head. The rest are of mixed taste, so don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  • Mato Atom’s "Champions" probably won’t change any hearts and minds about Bush, Blair, & Co., but it’s impeccably executed. [Via Sebastian Meyer]
  • I like the lo-fi stylings of these animated videos for Welsh band Los Campesinos!, created by Simon Ampel & Chris Seimasko.
  • The Whitest Boy Alive is all about optical illusions. [Via]

 

By the way, if you’re going to be in NYC in a couple of weeks & are interested in After Effects, you might want to check out the next AENY meeting.  Jim Geduldick writes to say that the June 26th meeting will feature some cool speakers:

 

  • Visual Designer Marc Coleran, whose work has been seen in films like  The Bourne Ultimatum, Domino, Alien vs. Predator, The Bourne Identity, Blade II, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The World Is Not Enough – just to name a few.
  • Visual effects artist John Montgomery, co-founder of the online visual effects news site fxguide, as well as the training site fxphd. His Clients and Credits include Super Bowl commercials for McDonald’s, Disney as well as work for Budweiser, Miller, Hallmark, Sears, Moen, Gatorade, Morgan Stanley, and the ESPN and CBS television networks.

 

Check out the AENY site for more details.