“The thing is, I can’t figure if it’s the fish that are cooling me out, or all those uncut diamonds in the bottom of the tank, there.” (Wait, that’s something else.) Check out Patterned by Nature, “a 10 ft. wide by 90 ft. long sculptural ribbon that winds through a five story museum atrium and is made of 3600 tiles of LCD glass. Animations are created by independently varying the transparency of each piece of glass.”
The Waves project from Daniel Palacios “is made up of two turbines, supported by a tuning fork structure between which the waves are created.” The strings whip through the air, creating both sound and visuals, and they react to passersby:
John Stezaker “appropriates images found in books, magazines, and postcards and uses them as ‘readymades,'” producing some disconcerting juxtapositions. (Hit the “Next” button at the top to see more.) [Via Guido Reule]
Lightroom 4.1 RC2 now includes the ability to process HDR TIFF files. (16, 24 or 32-bit TIFF files) This can be quite useful if you have merged multiple exposures into a single 32-bit image using Photoshop’s HDR Pro. Using the new basic panel controls can be a very effective and straightforward method of achieving an overall balance across the tonal range.
Additional Color Fringing corrections have been added to Lightroom 4.1 RC2. Please see this blog post for additional details.
I’m sure you already know about Camera Raw 7, and you’ve probably seen bits about selective blurring & adaptive wide-angle lens correction–but what about Skin-Aware Masking, smarter Auto Curves, 64-bit Bridge, an improved Print dialog, and more? Check out this comprehensive overview from photographer & Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes.
On a related note, photographer & author Martin Evening has posted a great in-depth piece on DP Review covering extreme contrast edits in Lightroom 4 and ACR 7. I love being able to get more of the benefits of HDR from a single frame, and without introducing garish haloes.
According to the Fireworks CS6 new features page, you can “Save time by cleanly extracting CSS elements and values (such as color, font, gradient, and corner radius) using the new CSS Properties panel.” Check it out:
You can now use all the RAM on your system–great if you’re working with big, complex files. Other highlights include:
Gaussian blur received special attention and has been specifically optimized in CS6. As a result, other effects with operations that depend on Gaussian blur have also been enhanced, so you’ll see performance improvements in both drop shadows and inner glows. […]
You’ll notice a nimble, lively touch when you work with multiple artboards and threaded text. Creative tools such as the Bristle Brush have been optimized for both speed and efficiency so you can work fluidly, even when you generate immensely complex designs composed of hundreds of overlapping transparent paths.
And it’s not just Adobe saying it. Here’s Jean-Claude Tremblay writing for CreativePro.com:
It feels as if Illustrator has been re-energized… Modifying these effects in Preview mode is almost in real time. This speed increase and better reliability might not be the sexiest features, but at the end of a day, I’ll be glad I can do more and faster.
The reworked UI also offers efficiency tweaks, including inline editing of layer names (yeah!) and keyboard navigation of font lists.
The Photoshop team & friends (Russell Brown, Julieanne Kost, Terry White, and more) have posted some 30 videos covering CS6, many just a minute or two in length plus some deeper dives. Check ’em out on YouTube.
Yesterday, if you didn’t own Photoshop, the cost of getting started was $700.
Today it’s $20*.
Yesterday if you didn’t own the Master Collection, the cost was $2,600.
Today it’s $50–or if you own a CS3 or later app, just $30 (!).
Yesterday if you wanted to reach tablets via Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution, the cost was $400 per publication.
Soon it’ll be free, for unlimited publications, once you subscribe to Creative Cloud.
This is a very big deal.
Adobe’s now willing to take a lot less money from you up front. Why? Because we think we’ll be able to extend Creative Suite apps to a lot of people who couldn’t afford them previously, and because we think you’ll keep coming back as our offerings get better & better. That’s good for you & good for Adobe.
We don’t want to sell you something once and say goodbye; we want to earn your business again & again. And with what we have in development, we feel confident we will.
You can subscribe to any CS app for $20/mo. with a one-year commitment, or you can get them all (plus tons of publishing services & storage) for $50/mo. (same commitment).
If you prefer to go month-to-month (no commitment), the prices are $30 & $75/mo., respectively.
With Creative Cloud, your fifty bucks a month gets you everything in every version of Creative Suite, plus Lightroom (the cool photo management/editing program), Edge (HTML5 web editing) and Muse (code-free website building), plus Photoshop Touch and other apps for the iPad and Android. These are still conventional desktop applications, not browser-based services, but you’re entitled to download as many of them as you like at any time. […]
You’re always entitled to the newest version of all the programs, and Adobe says that it’s going to start rolling out features continuously rather than waiting for sweeping upgrades every couple of years.
That last little bit is key. I’ll say more about it soon.
Dang–that’s about as cool an endorsement as I’ve heard in a while. (This news comes via After Effects PM Steve Forde.) Check out tons of new features (SpeedGrade looks, Automatic Speech Alignment, enhanced 3D & Warp Stabilizer, and more) in the CS6 apps.
Frustrated by a growing lack of respect in the ad world for original work, Brazilian photographer Fernando Martins of the Câmera Clara Photography Studio travels to Copenhagen to meet with the World’s Most Downloaded Man: A handsome, 6’3″ Danish stock photography model named Jesper Bruun who has been seen “in more places than the Olympic torch.” [Via]
It’s more interesting in concept than in execution, maybe, but I love that it actually happened.
If you already tried Revel in the past and want try these new features, we have great news for you! Anyone with an expired trial as of April 12 has ANOTHER 30-days to try Revel. To restart your trial, simply get the latest version from the app store, sign-in, and start another complimentary 30 day subscription.
From the simple (e.g. adding a sheen to the edge of an iOS button) to the ambitious (check out that motorcycle!), gradients in paths can be amazingly useful:
I’ve been (im)patiently awaiting this one for years. Combining transparency with gradients, plus reshaping strokes via the Width tool (introduced in CS5) and Pencil is incredibly powerful. You can create some amazingly subtle shaded regions using just vectors.
I think gradient strokes will go a long way to democratizing the power that’s lingered in AI’s potent but often inscrutable Gradient Mesh tool, and I can’t wait to see & show more.
I’m a sucker for companionship & social pressure. I used to hit the gym several times a week with a friend, and our friendly competition left me strong & feeling great. Then he moved away and I’ve largely turned into a wad of cookie dough.
Lots of apps & services exist to help to help people stay honest & to support one another’s diet & exercise. (Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing.) Meanwhile I’ve seen years of advice that designers should commit to making something new every day, I haven’t yet seen one that
pings you with a daily (or weekly, etc.) challenge
provides assets or a theme to build upon
lets you see & comment on others’ work
provides a rewards system (highest rank, possibly prizes, etc.)
So, hypothetically, let’s say Photoshop Touch said “Today’s 5-minute challenge: Create the most interesting thing you can using just these elements…,” let you upload your work, and then vote on others’ creations. Would you do it? I think you might–but only if the rewards were enticing enough. It’s like brushing your teeth, doing sit-ups, etc.: you make things part of your routine if they make you stronger, fitter, richer. Could we help you practice your skills & become those things?
What if your airbrush sprayed a real 3D cone of paint, so that tilting your stylus affected the shape you laid down? And what if pencils could actually wear down as you drew, producing interesting effects?
Oh, wait: in the CS6 beta, now they can. Deke McClelland shows how:
Hats off to the guys at Teehan+Lax for serving the design/Photoshop community with this great app creation resource. “It’s based on iOS 5.1,” they write, “and includes hundreds of Retina assets available natively on the platform.”
Because Photoshop CS6 is such a big step forward for interface designers, the new file requires use of the CS6 beta:
This time around we executed the file in Adobe’s latest release, Photoshop CS6 (currently still in beta). It’s a free download right now and, in my humble opinion, one of the best releases of Photoshop to date. Its perfect pixel snapping, grouped layer styles and a few other features enabled us to create the assets with more accuracy, yet remain remarkably editable. We highly recommend it, not just so you can use this file, but so that you support great software releases like this.
We’ve been thrilled and encouraged by the amazing responses we’ve gotten to Shadow! We’ve been busy working on the next version, and believe that Adobe Shadow Labs Release 2 addresses almost all of the issues that you’ve been telling us about.
Seriously, look at it: Blending modes, better typography, Web inspector improvements, lots of CSS Regions improvements, a WebKit HUD in Dreamweaver, and more–and that’s all in the course of three days. (Boy, Adobe sure is stuck in a Flash-only mindset…)
I’ll be speaking at the RE:DESIGN/UX conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 1. It should be a really interesting show, featuring a lot of savvy designers & creative directors. Each session lead speaks for about 10 minutes, followed by 30-40 minutes of group discussion. Here’s my idea in brief:
TheFuture of Creation
Everyone’s a maker; everyone’s a sharer. Great design software costs a buck. When things are common, we value them less. (No one celebrates breathing.) How do we keep creation special? Let’s talk about what it all means to designers & their tools.
Is that a conversation you’d find interesting? Feedback & ideas are most welcome.
Photoshop CS6 is one of the biggest releases yet, and there is truly something for everyone. The team has been working hard on new features like Blur Gallery, new Content-Aware tools, the Mercury Graphics Engine, new and re-engineered design tools, and so much more!
We’ll have pizza at 6:30, and the meeting will start at 7:00.
I’ve always loved seeing the clever & unexpected ways people combine Photoshop features. Using the CS6 public beta, Stéphane Baril corrects fisheye distortion in video from a GoPro camera using Photoshop’s new Adaptive Wide-Angle Correction feature. Check it out:
Slicy reads your Photoshop layers, using their names to turn them into separate images for app or Web site. According to the Mac App Store page:
To turn PSD elements into images for the Web and for Apps, simply name your layer groups once and let Slicy do its magic. Bye bye, “Save for Web/Devices”. Hello, boost in productivity and creativity!
Designers and Developers, rejoice — exporting is no longer a workflow killer. Name layer groups like the files you want to create, and Slicy will extract them individually. Enjoy complete freedom to move, obscure and even hide these named layer groups without affecting the extracted images.
Perfect for Web graphics and App development — Export to PNG, TIFF, JPG or ICNS. Don’t waste your day flattening or separating elements for slightly easier slicing. Design in context, rename your groups and let Slicy do the heavy lifting.”
I really haven’t tested the app & can’t vouch for its image quality relative to Save for Web, but its drag-and-drop simplicity is very nice. If you use it I’m curious to hear your thoughts. [Via Keith Lang]
Come learn about Adobe Shadow, a new preview and inspection tool for web designers and developers who care about how their sites look on devices. See a demo of Shadow in action, and take the opportunity to ask questions of the Shadow team, and hear where the team is headed with future versions of Shadow. Join Archna Panwar, who focuses on Shadow’s testing strategy, for this guide through the present and exciting future of Adobe Shadow.
In case you haven’t yet seen Shadow, check out this very brief demo:
A couple of years ago we heard that “CSS is the new Photoshop.” It’s a deliberate overstatement, but the underlying point is true: One can make more & more graphically rich, flexible elements using just markup, not bitmaps. We find that exciting for customers & for the future of Adobe tools.
From the upcoming Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle, a movie from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound. The sound is all from the camera microphones and not fake or replaced with foley artist sound. The Skywalker sound folks just helped bring it out and make it more audible.
“I dissected all of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and stiched it back together in After Effects,” writes Jeff Desom. “I stabilized all the shots with camera movement in them. Since everything was filmed from pretty much the same angle I was able to match them into a single panoramic view of the entire backyard without any greater distortions. The order of events stays true to the movie’s plot.”
As I’ve said before:
Artificial intelligence: Good.
Your intelligence: Better.
The two together: Best.
Building on the automated lens correction features we introduced in CS5, Photoshop’s Adaptive Wide-Angle Correction makes it easy to specify constraint lines based on your real-world knowledge:
The new Content Collector tools make it easier to reuse content, whether you’re using it in different ways within the same layout, in multiple layouts within a document, or in more than one document. Check out the 1-minute demo:
How are you going to author your Digital Publishing Suite content so that it looks good on both the new iPad and on earlier versions? Join Colin Fleming, Adobe Digital Publishing Evangelist, for an Ask a CS Pro session on Friday. Adobe has just updated their guidance on authoring Digital Publishing Suite for the new iPad, and Colin will demonstrate many of these techniques in this session. He will cover:
If you’d like to develop amazing tech like Content-Aware Fill & bring it to millions of people, the Photoshop team may have a job for you. They’re looking for an experienced imaging engineer to fill the role of Senior Computer Scientist (req. #13612).
I love working with brainiacs like this, and we have a great track record or productizing research (off the top of my head in the last couple of revs of Photoshop: Content-Aware Fill, Content-Aware Scale, advanced blurring, improved sharpening, Puppet Warp, Auto-Align/Auto-Blend Layers, adaptive wide-angle lens correction, and more). I think you’d really enjoy working with the Photoshop team to put cutting-edge ideas into practice.
Downloaded Photoshop CS6 beta and got questions? Join Sr. Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes this Thursday, 4/5 for a LIVE demo! He’ll take you on a tour of the new features and share expert tips and tricks. If you have any specific questions for Bryan about the beta, leave a comment below – you may see it answered during the demo session! Sign in as a guest for a special tour of the new features and some expert tips and tricks.