Monthly Archives: August 2008

Software & Whiskey

Stephen Colbert’s remarks on his job remind me of the process of developing Photoshop:

 

"We often discuss satire — the sort of thing he does and to a certain extent I do — as distillery," Mr. Colbert continued. "You have an enormous amount of material, and you have to distill it to a syrup by the end of the day. So much of it is a hewing process, chipping away at things that aren’t the point or aren’t the story or aren’t the intention. Really it’s that last couple of drops you’re distilling that makes all the difference. It isn’t that hard to get a ton of corn into a gallon of sour mash, but to get that gallon of sour mash down to that one shot of pure whiskey takes patience" as well as "discipline and focus."

 

We’ll never, ever lack good suggestions on what to do next, nor is it terribly hard to grab a wad and go work on them.  Given the vast number of customers and workflows Photoshop serves, however, it’s critical that the enhancements we make each serve a wide range of needs.  Finding the really transformative stuff–the fundamental architectural changes that’ll enable numerous other enhancements while standing the test of time–is the fun, aggravating, and ultimately rewarding part.

PS in NYT, crafty imaging tech, & more

  • In "I Was There. Just Ask Photoshop," Alex Williams of the NY Times writes about the pervasiveness of image manipulation in our culture.  Regarding the manipulation of family photos, I found this bit interesting:

    In India, she said, it is a tradition to cut-and-paste head shots of absent family members into wedding photographs as a gesture of respect and inclusion. "Everyone understands that it’s not a trick," she said. "That’s the nature of the photograph. It’s a Western sense of reality that what is in front of the lens has to be true."

  • Seemingly everyone ever is forwarding me this cool demo showing ideas for enhancing video using still images.  I mentioned the work in June, but it’s worth noting that the developers have been collaborating with Adobe folks.
  • The You Suck At Photoshop crew has been posting new bits, involving the Baldwin brothers, among many other things.

Recent motion graphics action

  • Guinness keeps producing terrific spots, now painting with light.  (How much do you want to get a bunch of friends together to try this?)
  • Luchador tennis!  Architecture in Helsinki’s new video gets animated using embroidery.
  • The titles for We’re Here to Help play with the visual language of government forms (with results groovier than that description would suggest). 

10,000-year prints, vintage rides, & more

Wednesday Photography: Giant HDR, sea creatures, & more

I can has monster laptop?

Lenovo has just trotted out the ThinkPad W700, a new portable (luggable?) machine geared towards pro photographers and graphic artists.  This warlock features:

 

  • Quad-core processor
  • Up to 8GB (!) of RAM
  • Up to three internal hard drives
  • Integrated screen calibrator
  • Mini Wacom tablet (!)
  • Both SD and CompactFlash card slots
  • 17" monitor with 24-bit Dream Color (2.3 million colors)
  • HDMI video output [Thanks to Bob Rose for the correction]
  • NVIDIA Quadro FX 3700

 

Adobe’s Robert McDaniels remarks, "With a 17min battery life and a mere 4" thick and 48lbs case, it also doubles as a space heater, pumping out 52K BTUs per min."  Reminds me of the similarly girthy ThinkPad I named "Battlepig" when I started on the Photoshop team.  I’m pretty fond of the Mac 17-inchers I’ve been rocking ever since then, but I’d love to see Apple answer the challenge (especially from the integrated tablet).  Engadget features more info and a video demo. [Via Tobias Hoellrich, from whom I snatched the subject line as well]

Tuesday Illustration: Iron Man, lasers, and more

  • Semi-political
    strangeness:

    • Politicians often serve as pincushions, but it’s rare that they’re actually made of pins, as in this Thumbtack Obama. [Via]
    • Gene Tempest’s long but interesting essay covers the Posters of Paris ’68, talking (among other things) about how the French artists played on memories of Nazi collaboration.
    • "Did United Artists doctor a photo of anti-Hitler plotter Claus von Stauffenberg to make him look more like the Top Gun actor?" asks the Guardian. [Via]  (Even weirder: My wife just glanced at the image and said, "I thought that was you for a second.")
  • Designer Marian Bantjes
    has been producing great stuff lately:

    • Her Design Ignites Change is a limited-edition, laser-cut poster that dramatically changes appearance under different conditions.  Proceeds benefit kids orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Kenya. [Via]
    • In Love Stories she creates a riot of great type–some of it edible!

Quick Lightroom bits: Presets, shortcuts, & more

  • On Lightroom News, Martin Evening interviews Lightroom PM Tom Hogarty about how the LR2 feature set came to be and more.
  • Lightroom Queen Victoria Bampton has posted Adobe Lightroom – The Missing FAQ, "a compilation of the most frequently asked questions, presented in a 397-page PDF eBook format."  It’s now updated to cover LR2 as well as LR 1.4.1.  She’s also posted a free PDF reference listing Lightroom 2 keyboard shortcuts.
  • Presets:
    • Sean McCormack has created a set of over 70 graduated filter presets for LR2. "Covering both landscape and portrait orienations, as well as hard and soft line filters," he writes, "these filters come in 3 standard colours: ND (Grey), Blue and Tobacco."  Sean is selling them for €5.00 (about $7.75). [Via]
    • At Inside Lightroom Richard Earney lists a ton of handy-looking presets, handling everything from image tweaking to filtering one’s image library (e.g. showing which images contain GPS coordinates, which lack keywords, etc.).
  • On Daring Fireball, John Gruber writes, "I upgraded to Lightroom 2 last week, and I’ve only had time to scratch the surface with regard to learning what’s new. But so far, every single change that I’ve noticed has been for the better. It’s a remarkable improvement over what was already one of my favorite pieces of software ever."  Nice!

888!

Apropos of absolutely nothing Adobe-related, happy 08-08-08!  I’m especially into the date as I was born at 10:08 on this day 33 years ago.  I celebrated my birthday on 8-8-88 watching the first Chicago Cubs night game on TV.  (It being the Cubbies, they got rained out.)  I’m told the series of 8’s is auspicious, so I wish you happiness, good fortune, and delightful pixel-wrangling.  And with that, I’m closing the computer to have some good times with the family here in Illinois.