Monthly Archives: November 2010

Adobe goes a little greener

I know it’s small potatoes* in the big scheme of things, but I’m always proud when I hear about Adobe improving its environmental impact.  I just saw an internal note about some changes happening this month:

  • Eliminating bottled water from all break rooms and kitchens
  • Adding dual-flush toilets to restrooms to increase water efficiency
  • Moving to paper towels with 100% recycled content
  • Offering soy milk and organic, fair-trade coffee in break rooms
  • Replacing compact fluorescent lamps in elevator lobbies

Previously: Adobe HQ gets fuel cells, windmills, more efficient HVAC.

*free-range, no-kill, locally grown, hemp-infused, patchouli-scented small potatoes, perhaps

Sneak peeks: New Adobe digital imaging tech

At Adobe MAX last month, digital imaging researcher Sylvain Paris showed off some tech he & colleagues are cooking up in Adobe’s Boston office. Here he touches on color/tone matching between photos; more sophisticated auto-correction of color and tone (based on analyzing thousands of adjustments made by pro photographers); and image de-blurring:

Lots of other really interesting MAX sneaks are collected here.

Photoshop Elements half off 'til Tuesday

Customers in North America can get the new Photoshop Elements 9 for $49 until Tuesday afternoon:

Offer ends November 30, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. PST. When purchasing through the online Adobe Store, you must enter offer code SAVE2010 in the shopping cart prior to checking out when prompted to do so. To purchase by phone, call 800-585-0774 and mention offer code SAVE2010. Savings are limited to one discount per product per customer.

PS–Sorry if I just embedded Voices Carry in your head.

European special: Lightroom 30% off, Monday only

I sometimes share news that’s North America-specific, so it’s nice to pass along an offer for European folks:

Save 30%* off the standard price of a full version of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 when purchasing directly from the Adobe Stores in Europe or by telephone between 26 November 2010 and 29 November 2010. To receive your discount, your order must be made via the Adobe Store or by calling Adobe Direct Sales and quoting offer code BFS2010. When purchasing via the online store, enter the offer code BFS2010 in the shopping cart prior to checking out when prompted to do so. The discount will be taken off subtotalled amounts prior to calculation of tax and shipping fees. Savings are limited to one discount per customer.

*In addition, save an additional 30% off Photoshop Lightroom 3 when purchased with a Creative Suite 5 edition, Photoshop CS5 or Photoshop CS5 Extended.


New features in the WYSIWYG DiskFonts panel

Developer Anastasiy Safari’s DiskFonts panel has gotten a major update to version 1.2. He writes:

Now one can organize fonts with favorites and bookmark paths with fonts for later use, right inside Photoshop and other CS3, 4, and 5 apps. There are so many new features and improvements, so I’ll just mention some highlights:

  • Drag and drop of stylized text directly into document
  • iPhone/iPod/Android support (you can view the fonts from your computer on these mobile devices)
  • Fast font rendering with Pixel Bender.

The panel costs $29.

Happy Thanksgiving

“Are you going to stuff me into the bird, Dad-O??”
“Absolutely, my boy!!”

Whether or not you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you had a great day today. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I’m giving myself a little break from daily blogging. Thanks for reading & for giving me the chance to do this job.
All the best to you & yours,
El Tryptophan

So, what has Adobe actually done for HTML5 lately?

Oh, y’know, only little bits here and there. 🙂  Here’s a quick recap from just the last ~6 months. I’ve bolded/italicized the bits I find most interesting.

Video: A mesmerizing, fluid-filled dress

When you say, “600 ft. of knitted tubing powered by a pump located in the backpack,” I say, “Christmas for Margot!” Well, perhaps not, but Charlie Bucket is onto something pretty rad. (Instead of resorting to the opposing cliches of either silver body suits or post-apocalyptic ripped sweaters, why don’t movies depict more visually active clothing in the future?)

More info is on what gets my name for URL o’ the year, [Via]

Wi-Fi Direct promises wireless tethering

Not really newsworthy, but encouraging: A few months ago I wrote about the need for wireless tethering, whereby your camera could discover transfer photos right into a tablet or laptop. (Today’s setups–e.g. setting up a portable hotspot while on the go–are too neckbeard-a-riffic to get mass adoption.)  The customer demand is so strong that I’ve assumed that a bunch of hardware manufacturers have been working on solutions. Now I see that the Wi-Fi Direct spec is apparently inching its way towards shipping products.  I’m eager to see what results. [Via Sean Parent]

A beautifully done HTML5 book from Google

Check out the company’s “20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web,” then check out some background info from the dev team:

We built “20 Things” in HTML5 so that we could incorporate features that hearken back to what we love about books—feeling the heft of a book’s cover, flipping a page or even reading under the covers with a flashlight. In fact, once you’ve loaded “20 Things” in the browser, you can disconnect your laptop and continue reading, since this guidebook works offline.

This is exactly the kind of thing that Adobe should help people create.  InDesign supports creation of similar content running in Flash, but runtimes are just means to an end. (I should note that this is just my opinion, and I’m not involved with digital publishing efforts.) [Via Scott Evans]

A cool, free Photoshop book comes to iPad

Photographer Dan Marcolina has used InDesign’s new tablet-publishing tools to create the very cool The World Without Photoshop, “A unique interactive iPad book featuring a dozen Photoshop Masters.”

See for yourself what some of the best digital artists’ work looks like without the software. Then with the touch of your finger The World Without Photoshop is transformed and you can see and hear the imaginations of these artists come to life in their work. Pinch and zoom into over 48 works by artists, illustrators, designers, and photographers and get their insights into how twenty years of Photoshop innovation have changed their world.


Bonus content includes an interactive timeline of 20 years of Photoshop features, Russell Preston Brown’s Photoshop ODDyssey presentation, more.

Adobe Audition Mac beta now available

You can now download a Mac preview version of Audition, Adobe’s pro audio editor that was formerly Windows-only.  According to the Adobe Labs page,

Adobe Audition for Mac brings modern audio post-production to the Mac platform. Familiar tools for audio editing, multitrack mixing and recording meet improved performance, greater workflow flexibility, and new features such as native 5.1 surround support and new effects. Plus, the best-of-breed audio sweetening and restoration tools in Audition make it easy to clean up production audio.

Check out the product page for an FAQ and more.

Alien Skin starts an interesting blog

“In the end, we shall all be dead!” Anyone who pairs a statement like that with cheerful astronauts on their marketing materials is my kind of weirdo. 🙂

With that in mind, I’m happy to see that Jeff Butterworth & the Alien Skin Software crew have started their own blog.  Like mine it mixes product info with interesting bits about photography, design, and more (e.g. one involving iPhones, suction cups, and plane windows).  I look forward to bogarting their finds like it’s my job.

Flash Player's adding hardware-accelerated 3D

“Flash will innovate or die,” I wrote earlier this year. “I’m betting on innovation,” and that’s paying off.
Flash Player is used to deliver something like 70% of all online games, and its 3D chops about to grow much more powerful. At MAX the team announced “Molehill,” a new set of low-level, GPU-accelerated 3D APIs that work across screens (desktops, phones, TVs, etc.). Here’s a sample demo:

Flash Player PM Thibault Imbert shares more info & demos here:

And for a deeper dive, check out this presentation from engineering manager Kevin Goldsmith.

Microsoft enables Illustrator->HTML5 Canvas

How cool: Microsoft’s Mike Swanson has enabled Illustrator (CS3-CS5, Mac & Win) to export vector graphics as HTML5 Canvas elements. As former Illustrator PM Mordy Golding puts it,

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could generate great-looking and useful HTML5 content (with interactivity, motion, interaction, etc) DIRECTLY from Illustrator? Now you can — with a new FREE plugin for Illustrator.

Here’s a great 90-second demo (no embedding option I can discover, unfortunately). Now Illustrator can create SVG, CSS, and Canvas content, thanks to this plug-in plus the recently released Illustrator CS5 HTML5 pack. Way to go, Mike & Microsoft.
[Semi-pointless historical footnote: the plug-in brings back memories of Macromedia’s ancient Flash Writer plug-in for Illustrator (the system requirements for which still list Windows NT!). Here, I’ll make that same part of your brain twinge again: “DeBabelizer!”]

Adobe Ideas adds iOS4 support, layers, more

I’m really pleased to say that the Adobe Ideas team has released version 1.1, offering a range of free enhancements plus the app’s first optional paid feature.

Free features:

  • Support for iPhone 4 retina display
  • Support for iOS4 Multi-tasking
  • Support for Redo
  • Available in French, German and Japanese
  • Sketches save much faster, avoiding loss of data when you close the app or you need to answer a phone call.
  • Save drawing to “saved photos” album on iPad and iPhone (no longer a need to create a screenshot)

In-app purchase (optional):

  • Layers: Available for in-app purchase. Create up to 10 drawing layers plus a photo layer for each sketch; control order and opacity for each layer.

Here’s a quick (sub-2-minute) demo:

You might also be interested in the Ideas Facebook pageFlickr Gallery, and team blog.  Congrats, guys!

(rt) Photography: Strange Cargo from the skies

(rt) Type: Signs to Restore Sanity, citys as letters, & more

Learn about BrowserLab at noon

Cross-browser debugging: the eternal joy!  Things can at least suck less with the help of Adobe BrowserLab.  A live Q&A is going on today at noon Pacific:

Learn how Adobe BrowserLab, an Adobe CS Live service, solves this problem by showing you how your web pages look on popular browsers and operating systems – without having them installed. You’ll learn how to preview your content and use the various diagnostics tools that help you pinpoint issues.

[time zone converter]

Feedback, please: A Photoshop iPad companion

In August I asked for ideas on tablet-based companions for Photoshop, and last week at MAX we demoed a paint-mixing prototype. Now the designers have taken a crack at mocking up some companion features that could run on a phone or tablet.
In a nutshell, you get:

  • groups of task-based tools & commands (e.g. all your photography/retouching tools & buttons on one page, or all your painting ones, 3D ones, etc.)
  • interactive, task-based tutorials that drive Photoshop, helping you get things done

The idea is to let you work faster–offering more organized access to tools & knowledge. What do you think? What would you pay for this?

Get crisp Web/screen text in Photoshop, FW

“Improved text rendering” was near the top of readers’ wish lists a few weeks back when I requested feedback on potential Web & drawing features for Photoshop, and it’s something the team is investigating.  In the meantime, these links may be of interest:

Let me agree in advance that one shouldn’t need tips & that these things should Just Work™.

SF Photoshop User Group meeting tomorrow

In case you’re in San Francisco and feel like joining us:

We are pleased to have visual effects artist Lisa Yimm return for another great presentation.

Join Lisa for a walk-through the workflow and creative possibilities available with Red Giant Software’s Magic Bullet PhotoLooks 1.5 and Photoshop CS5.

PhotoLooks is a unique set of color-correction and image enhancement tools that can speed up your workflow and spark your creativity with built-in presets that help you easily achieve some of today’s most recognizable film and television “Looks” like CSI:Miami, The Matrix, and Band of Brothers.

The event starts at 6:30.  Please RSVP & get other details here.


Adobe's enhancing WebKit for better typography

I’m excited to say that Adobe’s working with Google to enable better HTML-based typography, contributing the work to the open-source WebKit project.

Why not just say “Web typography”? Because HTML goes beyond the Web, supporting apps like Adobe’s new tablet publishing solution.  Trouble is, for all its strengths (e.g. separating content from layout), HTML’s type handling has been pretty limited–especially for creating print-quality layouts.

Adobe wants to help solve the problem, making HTML better suited to more demanding applications.  Check out this demo from engineering VP Paul Gubbay:

Paul writes,

The team has taken the approach of extending CSS with a few new elements utilizing the webkit- prefix so that the designer can adequately describe their intent for the content as the page is resized to simulate working across different screens.  We look forward to working with the Webkit Open Source project and of course the W3C to contribute our work back in the most appropriate way.  And, as always your comments are very much appreciated.

Photoshop SJ User Group meeting next Wednesday

Hope to see you there:

Bryan O’Neil Hughes will present “Hidden Gems”, showing lesser known features and workflows in Photoshop CS5. Michael Lewis will give an introductory talk about tips and techniques for shooting DSLR video, useful accessories, advantages/disadvantages of different cameras and file formats, getting the files into a computer, and a very brief look at project workflow and editing.

We’ll have pizza and drinks at 6:30, and the meeting will start at 7:00, in the Park Conference Room of Adobe Systems’ East Tower, 321 Park Avenue, San Jose.

Please see the Evite for details & to RSVP.


Photography: X-ray pinups, pinhole experiments, & more