Monthly Archives: June 2014

Google adds controls for non-destructive, cloud-synced photography

Google’s been talking about non-destructive, mobile/Web photography for a long time, but until now the benefit has been mostly theoretical: You could apply edits to your images, but you didn’t have an interface for adjusting edits or moving them among images.

Until now.

Check out the newly upgraded G+ editor (i.e. Snapseed for Mac/Windows in all but name) shows the adjustments applied to your image, letting you adjust each one, delete them, and copy them from image to image.

To use the new feature:

  • Open an image in the Google+ Web editor.
  • Apply one or more edits (for example, choose Black & White and then add a frame).
  • Click the “Edits” button in the lower-right corner.
  • Note that each step you’ve applied appears in the list.
  • To change the settings of any step, click its name in the list, then click the pencil icon.
  • To delete a step, click its name in the list, then click the X icon to the right of the name.
  • To copy the appearance you’ve applied on one image to another, click the “Copy” button underneath the list of edits, then use the arrow icons beneath the main image to move to another image, then click “Paste edits” (or “Paste” if edits already exist on the image).

The other interesting thing is that we’re starting to analyze images & then apply editable sets of adjustments. To start we’re detecting certain landscape & urban shots, then applying an interesting combination of blurs, HDR effects, and frames. I think that the combination of computer vision (being able to identify & classify image content) + application of style + editability is really promising.

Enjoy, and please let us know what you think!

Butterfly sm

On the Adobe panel migration from Flash to HTML

Seeing this migration (which entails more nuking of work I’d done, hopefully making room for future growth) makes me take comfort in what Steve Jobs said 20 years ago:

Or as Jeff Bezos might put it, “Be stubborn on the vision & flexible on the details.”


Designers, check out a ton of new Photoshop enhancements

Browser-compatible type rendering; live previews of cloud-hosted fonts; smarter Smart Objects & guides; slicker layer comps; enhanced automatic export through Generator… it’s all pretty damn cool. Check out this tight little demo from Paul Trani:

Having started my career as a Web designer before joining Adobe, I’m so pleased to see folks like Stephen Nielson, Tim Riot, Bradee Evans, and many others really championing the needs of designers. Onward!


Pour one out for DeadHomie.SWF: Flash panels in Photoshop are kaput

HTML has now replaced Flash as the mechanism for extending Photoshop & other Creative Suite apps. This plan has been public since last fall, and with last week’s CC 2014 release, the change has come to pass.

So adios, Configurator, Mini Bridge, Kuler, and crew. It was real, it was fun—it wasn’t all real fun. Here’s hoping that developers take advantage of the new path to build what matters in the real world. (Cloud-backed Library panel for collaborating through linked Smart Objects, anyone?)

I just saved a gig of HD space in ~90 seconds

…without losing any files or visual quality. 1.5GB of storage is now down to 500MB.

  • In Lightroom select some raw files.
  • Select Library->Convert to DNG.
  • Choose “lossy” compression.
  • Choose to delete the originals (scary sounding, but it shouldn’t be).

Honestly I’m thinking the misleading “lossy” option should be called “visually lossless,” because as I demonstrated the other day, there’s almost zero chance you’ll ever be able to perceive a difference between this & the lossless compression option. (You’d have to crank up a very dark photo by more than 4 exposure stops.)

Pass it on.

Oh God, can it be? Illustrator finally supports smart rectangles!?

I’ve been fooled more than once before, but after 27 years AI has at last matched the shape-modifying chops of everything from Photoshop to PowerPoint. All good-natured ribbing aside, this should make interface designers seriously happy.

Rectangles now have quickly modifiable corners, including independent radius control. Corner attributes are retained if you scale and rotate your rectangle. Now Illustrator remembers your work — width, height, rotation, corner treatment — so you can return to your original shape.

Here’s a practice file & exercise.