Monthly Archives: August 2008

Flickr-flavored craftiness

I’m always intrigued by what people can produce by mining & transforming a big image set:

 

 

On non-Flickr but somewhat similar fronts:

 

Friday Illustrations: Beer, bathrooms, & The Shining

A pair of panos: Obama & Olympics

The NY Times has been making more use of interactive panoramas these days, offering a new take on storytelling & dropping the viewer into context in a way that’s hard to match with still images alone:

 

  • Gabriel Dance and Raymond McCrea Jones captured the electrified atmosphere preceding Barack Obama’s speech last night in Denver.
  • A pano taken from the 10-meter platform in Beijing’s Water Cube features narration from American diver Thomas Finchum.  (Now you know: the Cube is, technically speaking, "ginormous.")  Photo credits go to Bedel Saget, Mike Schmidt, and Gabriel Dance.

On-demand skate decks & more

I’m always intrigued by technologies that enable on-the-fly creation of media (print, Web, video)–what Adobe dubbed "network publishing."  Recent examples I’ve found interesting:

 

  • "MagCloud enables you to publish your own magazines. All you have to do is upload a PDF and we’ll take care of the rest: printing, mailing, subscription management, and more."  (Kind of a step up from my 8th-grade experiences publishing a skate ‘zine with a friend’s Mac & my dad’s office Xerox.)
  • On another skating note, Zazzle now enables creation of customized skateboard decks. [Via Bryan O’Neil Hughes]
  • Faber Finds publishes out-of-print titles, generating a unique cover for each on the fly. [Via]

Noise Ninja for Lightroom; LR2 videos and news

Fernando Z.* at Picture Code writes, “I just released version 2.1.2 of the Noise Ninja
Standalone
application, and this release features support for
sending multiple photos at a time from Lightroom 2 to Noise Ninja. I’ve
also just added a new video to our FAQ that shows how to take advantage
of this new build and Lightroom 2’s enhanced External Editor support.” [Via Tom Hogarty]

 

  • “To celebrate the launch of LR2,” writes John Arnold, “I’ll be doing one tip per day for at least a week – probably 2 weeks.”  You can check out John’s set of videos to date on PhotoWalkthrough.com.  (I’m looking forward to checking out the entries covering graduated filters.)

  • The Adobe Design Center has posted Getting Started with Lightroom 2.  In it Matt Kloskowski of NAPP offers a sequential set of 15 videos that take a brand new LR user through the basics of what Lightroom does and how to get started using it, while Adobe’s Julieanne Kost has posted a set of 3 videos that go over all that’s changed in LR2 (“Think of it as a Getting Started for upgrade users,” she writes). [Via Luanne Seymour]

  • Syl Arena provides detailed info on The Benefits of Shooting Tethered Into Lightroom.

 

* I suspect I’d be much cooler if named “Fernando Z.,” and I just may have to appropriate that handle (sorry, actual Fernando Z).

Recent infographic goodness

  • Stefanie Posavec creates beautiful, sometimes abstract images from data in her “On the Map” project.
  • The NYT renders Olympic medal counts by country, also enabling the user to navigate through time.  (Tossing it around too freely, I managed to blow up Safari.)
  • UFO sighting convincibility” is on the rise, thanks to Photoshop. [Via Rob Corell]
  • xach.com offers a cool way to visualize 2008 box office results. [Via]
  • I think I should chart my mood on a line stretching from “Earnest” to “Scurrilous*,” as Vanity Fair does with the content of their Blogopticon. [Via Tom Hogarty]  It’s similar to New York Mag’s Approval Matrix.

 

*Defined as “grossly or obscenely abusive… characterized by or using low buffoonery; coarsely jocular or derisive.”  Hells yeah.

iPhone GUI bits

  • The guys at teehan+lax have created a slick, well organized iPhone GUI PSD file.  Geoff Teehan writes, "We created our own Photoshop file that has a fairly comprehensive library of assets – all fully editable."  Nicely done! [Via Joel Eby]
  • Felix Sockwell offers a detailed walk-through of how he developed icons for the NY Times’ iPhone app.
  • Vaunted info-design expert Edward Tufte critiques iPhone interfaces in terms of their info-to-overhead ratio. [Via]

 

Marginally related at best, but too good not to share: the highly unique unboxing video for the Samsung Omnia. [Via Russell Williams]

"Dear Adobe…"

Dear Adobe is a site devoted to rants & raves (but mostly rants) directed at the Big Red A.  You can "Submit Your Gripe" and vote others’ contributions up or down.  Although much of this stuff is hard to hear (in part because some of it echoes what’s said privately at Adobe), the site is a valuable exercise.  It has driven lots of conversation here: I count 30+ emails from yesterday alone, and that was just among Photoshop team members.  We’re listening, and in response to a request from Adobe VP Dave Story, site creator Erik Frick quickly created a Top 25 list (thanks, Erik).

 

Some thoughts, in no meaningful order:

 

  • About the CS3 installers and updater: We know. Painfully. We could blame it on trying to mash together Macromedia & Adobe in one rev while moving to Mac Intel and Vista simultaneously, but at the end of the day things never should have happened as they did.  That’s as much as I personally can say about it.

 

  • Just because it would be unprofessional of me or others to rant about this or that aspect of the company in public, don’t for a second think it’s not happening behind closed doors.  As I remind my teammates, "I swear because I care"–and I care a lot, at high volume.  It is, to borrow a phrase, "an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about."

 

  • Similarly, it may look like all we do it ladle on more features (more coats of paint on a creaking house).  What’s not apparent is that we–Photoshop at least–are devoting a large chunk of our resources to architectural work that will yield greater speed, stability, and extensibility.  I’ll share some more specifics on that soon.

 

  • Russell Williams wrote, "Of course the top engineering item, ‘Stop creating new features and make
    your software fast, stable and straightforward,’ really means ‘stop creating
    new features except for the ones that really help me.’" Everyone likes to complain about "bloat" while asking for just one or two "wafer-thin" features.  Apps will inexorably grow more powerful, and it’s extraordinarily difficult to remove features, but we are taking real steps to make things better.

 

  • Re: "Consistent interfaces. Sweat the details. Designers notice how much you fake this crap."  That’s nice.  Have you noticed how much more aligned things became in CS3, and how much further that’s been taken in the CS4 betas now revealed?  We’re actively making things more consistent, and that will necessarily entail change, pain, and thus bitching.  So it goes.

 

  • Re: "Please allow cross-platform upgrades! Thanks to you, I can’t switch from PC to Mac :-("  Sure you can.  (How is word not getting out about this?)

 

  • I’m told that the requirement to close your browser during CS3 installation is related to a desire not to overwrite a color settings file that could be in use by Firefox.  I agree that it sucks, but at least you know the rationale.

 

  • In response to "You f___ing f___ers should be in jail just for calling that software," Caleb Belohlavek wrote, "Anyone who uses the f-bomb as an adjective and an noun together is tops in my book."  He also celebrated, "God help me, your the MILF of the software world. And I love you for it."  (I would have thought that some of our apps are GGILFs by now…)

[Via Joe Lencioni & others]

Saturday drawerings, from Tron to rayguns

Photoshop ephemera

  • PopPhoto’s Debbie Grossman paid a visit to the Adobe Mothership a couple of weeks ago, getting a grand tour from Bryan Hughes & chatting with modest brainiacs like Jeff Chien.  Showing tons of daring, she underwent Kelly Castro’s black & white process–the first woman to do so.  (“That’s because it makes men look tough and women look like hell," she writes.)  [Related/previous: Jeff Schewe’s Visit to Adobe.]
  • At Siggraph last week, Zorana Gee encountered the guys from OnLatte ("You got it right: we make industrial robot machines that do nothing but pretty up tasty beverages") and had them put the Photoshop icon on foam (image two).
  • Photoshop: Helping The Ugly Since 1988. [Spied by Tom Hogarty on the Caltrain yesterday]
  • Slate presents Politishop.  (Is it finally time for us to introduce Brushy the Talking Airbrush ("Hey, pardner, it looks like you’re tryin’ to retouch a photo")?  [Via Adam Jerugim]
  • This isn’t Photoshop-specific, but I noticed that Adobe.com has added a slick new search widget to the site.  Groovy, as previously I’d resorted to using Google (typing "site:http://www.adobe.com" plus a search term into the search field).