Category Archives: CS6

Adobe debuts new Exchange panel, site

Great news for anyone who likes to extend & streamline Adobe apps. Think of it as a mini app store, right within Photoshop & co. PM Jonathan Ferman writes:

The new Adobe Exchange is a Creative Suite extension marketplace. It is available as a panel within a variety of CS6 applications. The Adobe Exchange panel provides a new way to search, discover, and install plug-ins, extensions, and other content for Creative Suite products.

The site enables private sharing within organizations, as well as both free & paid distribution of content:

Anyone with an Adobe ID will be able to submit up to 10 free products to the new Adobe Exchange, free of charge. You can also share products privately. Due to the way Exchange products are packaged it’s a great way for individuals or organisations to share Creative Suite content and it will appear in the user’s My Stuff section of the panel and can automatically provide any new updates. The potential here is enormous. For example, sharing out an InDesign template, swatches and many other Creative Suite generated content, which you can package in minutes with Adobe Exchange Packager. This goes beyond file sharing, as it can install the content in the correct locations for use with Creative Suite 6 supported products.

Anyone looking to offer paid products via the new Adobe Exchange should sign up for the prerelease program. There are no subscription charges for offering paid products while we are in prerelease.

And Russell Brown is hyped:

This new Photoshop Exchange panel is GREAT!
You can search for cool Photoshop panels and install them directly from within Photoshop. I’ve posted two of my MUST SEE panels on this site.
All my panels are FREE!!!

Pixel Bender discontinued in PS, AE CS6

In CS6 the Photoshop & After Effects teams have decided to move away from enabling the Pixel Bender language for writing imaging filters.  The popular Oil Paint effect has been brought into Photoshop CS6, but the Pixel Bender Gallery plug-in will no longer be offered on Adobe Labs.

Pixel Bender is very cool technology, but it just didn’t get widespread adoption from developers, and it’s important to focus dev efforts. This step frees up Adobe’s graphics whizzes to help bring GPU-accelerated filters to everyone via CSS shaders, like this:

and this:

New CSS & sprite-making tools

  • CSS3PS is a free Photoshop plug-in that promises to turn your Photoshop shape layers & styles into CSS. (See also previous: CSS Hat; generating CSS from Fireworks CS6). [Via Barkin Aygun]
  • SpriteRight is a $5 Mac app for combining multiple images into sprite sheets, then creating CSS that goes with them. [Via Fabrice Delaneau]

I used to be a kick-ass Web production guy, but that was when Bill Clinton was president, Michael Richards was employable, and DeBabelizer walked the land. Now I feel behind the times relative to production best practices, so as always if you have feedback about what’s useful & what’s not, I’m all ears.

CS6 Hardware Recommendations now available

 Check it out: Adobe’s Adam Pratt writes,

We post CS6 System Requirements, but we all know those are the minimum requirements to run the software. Professional customers demand better hardware specifications to get the maximum performance out of their investment in CS6, and this new CS6 Hardware Recommendations document outlines recommended system configurations for different workflows for Mac, Windows, and notebook users.

What if Photoshop became a game?

I think it was Scott Kelby who used to jokingly refer to Photoshop as “a video game for grown-ups.” Truth can be stranger than fiction, though, and now you can “play” Photoshop to improve your skills, learn new features, and actually win prizes.

LevelUp for Photoshop encourages people to explore the app, using features they may not know in order to complete various missions.  The first mission starts with removing redeye, and they get progressively more elaborate from there.  By accumulating points you get entered into drawings to win Creative Cloud membership and Amazon.com gift certificates. You also earn points by sharing your progress on Facebook and Twitter, passing quizzes, and more.  The game runs until July 15th.

My colleague Bruce reports that his 13-year-old son Noel is addicted to the game & now passes challenges with a Team America-style cry of “Photoshop, [Heck] Yeah!” So, we’ve got that going for us. 🙂

Lightroom 4 arrives in Creative Cloud

I’m delighted to say that Lightroom 4 is now available via Creative Cloud subscription.

If you’re a member of Creative Cloud, log into your account to download, install and start using Lightroom 4 today. If you’re not yet a member to Creative Cloud, you can get Photoshop, Lightroom, and other apps for as little as $29.99/month; here’s more info

As Photoshop PM Jeff Tranberry writes,

Lightroom coming into Creative Cloud is a good example of why we think people will really love Creative Cloud — we can add new creative tools and members just get them at no additional cost – it’s as simple as that. We’ll be adding even more great stuff to Creative Cloud over time; Lightroom is just the beginning.

If you’re new to LR4 or CS6, check out the list of free learning resources that Jeff has pulled together.

Photoshop CS6 & Retina display support

From the Photoshop Facebook page:

What do the iPhone 4, new iPad and new MacBook Pro have in common?  Awesome Retina displays. Photoshop CS6 appeared onstage at WWDC, showing how we’ll soon provide unparalleled fidelity, power and precision on this exciting new hardware. It’s not ready for prime time just yet, but the team is hard at work to bring what you saw on stage to the desktop in the future!


(Nice to see the prominent use of an eye.) I don’t have further details (date, info about other apps) to share at the moment.
[Update: The release is due this fall (i.e. within the next couple of months). It’s a big task.]

Inside perspective on how PS CS6 came to be

  • Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes has written the cover story for this month’s Photoshop User magazine. In it he & many other members of the Photoshop team share their perspective on what went into this release (especially after having cleared the hurdles of 64-bit and Cocoa conversion), who exactly builds the app (engineering, QE, localization, user research, etc.), what the heck we PM-types actually do, and more.  The issue isn’t available in HTML form, but you can grab a free copy here and read it through your browser.
  • Photoshop QE manager Jackie Lincoln-Owyang shares some Reflections on the Photoshop CS6 Beta, sharing some interesting stats (312 cases of beer, 9 babies, 2 calls to the SF fire department—all independent, we’re told) and more.

Friday demo: Liquid layout in InDesign

I know I already pimped a similar demo the other day, but this one features live Q&A.

Interested in learning how to efficiently create multiple versions of a document? Want to learn how to convert your traditional INDD layout for digital output (EPUB or DPS)? You’ll learn all these things, and much, much more at this Ask a CS Pro! Ben Trissel, Lead Quality Engineer on the InDesign team, will show you some of his favorite tricks – big and small – in InDesign CS6!

Friday at noon Pacific.

Tab through layers to rename them in CS6

All the juice is in the last 10 seconds:

As you might expect, Shift-Tab also works, letting you rename a layer, then rename the one above it.
On a related note, Illustrator CS6 now lets you rename layers inline in the Layers panel (i.e. you don’t have to look away to a little dialog box). The same change was the second biggest applause-getter in Photoshop 7, right behind the (then-new) Healing Brush. Details count.

Messing with Photoshop users' heads (literally)

Yes, sometimes we just want to see whether you’re paying attention. A Photoshop CS6 “JDI” feature was to show, at long last, a badge on layers that had “Blend If” properties assigned. Before the final artwork was available, the team put in a placeholder image—which, for reasons never explained to me, featured PM Jeff Tranberry’s head. Man did this freak out the beta testers. “There’s a dude’s face in my layers?!” Mission accomplished. 🙂



[Previously: The toast/coffee easter egg.]

"Photoshop Dimensions" magazine now available

Very cool: free*, and right from the Photoshop 3D team:

Photoshop Dimensions is the magazine of 3D in Adobe® Photoshop®. Whether you are new to 3D in Photoshop or an old hand, Photoshop Dimensions will show you new and exciting ways to add another dimension to your work. Photoshop Dimensions is written by leading authorities and experts who truly understand Photoshop’s powerful 3D features.

In this free issue of Photoshop Dimensions, we look at the many changes made to Photoshop’s 3D tools in CS 6 that will speed-up your workflow and expand your capabilities.

Grab it for iPad from the App Store. Amazon (Kindle), B&N (Nook) and PDF versions are also available; check out the site for links.

*Update: The first version is free, and the second costs $4.99.

Creative Cloud subscriptions: Cross-language, cross-platform

Jeff Tranberry notes some differences between Creative Cloud membership & traditional Adobe software licenses:

Cross-Platform License: Access to both the Mac OS and Windows versions of the desktop applications and the ability to install them on your primary computer and one backup computer.

Multi-Language License: Access to any language version in which the CS6 and other desktop applications are available. Unlike owning the traditional licensed version of a Creative Suite product, Creative Cloud membership gives you the freedom and flexibility to choose whichever language works best for you in any given application.

Both of these are changes many of us have wanted to make for a long time, and I’m glad to see that they’ve arrived.

Accessing multi-language support is simple, but the UI isn’t obvious.  In the new Adobe Application Manager (AAM), install whatever apps you want in your primary language, then go into Preferences (upper left corner) and switch to a different language. App links that had said “Installed” will revert back to “Install,” though you may need to restart AAM for that to happen.  You can then install apps in the newly chosen language.

After installing multiple language versions Photoshop, you can go into its preferences, switch the UI language, and apply it via app restart.  (There’s just one copy of the app on disk, plus multiple language packs.)  It appears that not all apps support this switching capability, but at least reinstalling in a different language is fairly painless (and can be done as often as needed).

Configurator arrives for CS6

After more than 125,000 downloads (!) of versions 1 & 2, Configurator 3.0–Adobe’s drag-and-drop tool for creating custom panels–is available for download from Adobe Labs.  Enhancements include:

  • Support for the new tools & commands in Photoshop CS6 & InDesign CS6
  • Color theme support for Photoshop CS6
  • Watermarking and panel personalization
  • Ability to target both CS5 and CS6
  • Custom panel icons
  • Improved welcome screen
  • Faster launch time
  • Improved text widget
  • Sample panels
  • DPS panels

 

What do you think?  Is your team creating and/or using panels made by Configurator?

This is *not* your father's Adobe installer

It used to be that Adobe’s installers were… well, to be charitable, not a source of pride.  A bunch of hardworking people have been listening, engaging with customers, and cranking away–and with Creative Cloud you can see the results. To grab any CS6 app,

    1. Download & install the App Manager (less than 1MB), then log in with your Adobe ID.
    2. Click the links for the apps you want to install.
    3. “There’s no step 3!”

Right–no typing/copying/pasting serials (and potentially losing them later), no running installer after installer. Here’s a two-minute demo (though honestly you can probably try it yourself just as fast):

I’m sorry that installers were such a sore point in the past. Hats off to the installer team for buckling down & hugely improving the user experience.

PS–Engineering manager Eric Wilde says, “Please ask people to reach out to us on the forums if they have trouble. There’s lots of engineering folk reading our forums daily.”
[Update: Note that the new mechanism lets you install apps in multiple languages & across platforms, too.]

How to get Adobe Touch apps for free via Creative Cloud

Subscribing to Creative Cloud entitles you to free copies of the Adobe Touch apps. Here’s what you do:

  • Buy the touch apps via the App Store or Android Market.
  • Log into Creative Cloud from within each app.
  • Once you’ve logged into at least three touch apps, we’ll credit your account with a free month of service, offsetting the price you paid for the touch apps*.
  • Result: You get the touch apps for no cost beyond your Creative Cloud membership.

Is it a slightly strange approach? Maybe, but it works. (See terms & conditions if you want the fine print.) Please let us know if anything remains confusing.

* I suppose someone will point out that if one buys 5 touch apps and is paying $30/mo., a free month doesn’t cover the cost of the touch apps. It’s equally true, however, that if one buys 3 touch apps and is paying $50/mo., a free month covers nearly twice the cost of the touch apps.

Adobe CS6 Film & Video Road Show

Adobe’s doing a series of free demo events around the US throughout June, as well as offering in-depth training (paid), all showcasing the new power in Premiere Pro, After Effects, Speed Grade, and the other CS6 video/audio apps:

  • June 5 – New York, NY
  • June 7 – Orlando, FL
  • June 11 – Washington, D.C.
  • June 14 – Atlanta, GA
  • June 19 – Dallas, TX
  • June 21 – Chicago, IL
  • June 26 – San Francisco, CA
  • June 30 – Los Angeles, CA

Info about Creative Cloud subscriptions for groups

I’ve gotten a bunch of questions about how customers can buy Creative Cloud memberships in bulk.  I could send you to a Web page and a PDF—but frankly I didn’t want to read through those any more than you probably do, so I asked around & distilled the highlights:

  • Right now Creative Cloud membership (let’s call it “CCM”) is sold on an individual basis directly from Adobe & a couple of partners like Amazon & Staples. It’s not sold through volume licensing or reseller channel partners (e.g. B&H).
  • There will be a way to buy CCM for groups of people, but it won’t be available until later this year.
  • Once it’s available, I expect it to include everything that’s currently in CCM, plus added features for managing users, storage, & more.
  • In the meantime, teams can buy what’s called “Creative Cloud Team Ready.” Team Ready includes the desktop apps that are part of CCM, as well as Adobe Expert Support, but it doesn’t include cloud features (such as Typekit access). It’s a term-license subscription, meaning that it ends at some point (by which time the CCM Team offering should be available).

 

Does that make sense? Please let us know you still have questions.

 

Creative Cloud vs. Piracy

Some perspective from The Next Web:

Adobe’s main competitor in this space isn’t competing products, interestingly enough; it’s Bit Torrent. Will $50/month convince the masses that are still pirating the software to go legit? My money’s on yes. A subscription works out to less than $2 a day. That’s less than the cost of a cheap sandwich. And with it you receive full, legal, supported access to all Adobe products with update requests that don’t make you sweat.

Adobe has been listening all along and taken a huge but necessary gamble; it has completely revamped its pricing system…For design and creative professionals it should be a no brainer.

Jeffrey Veen on Creative Cloud

Jeff developed Typekit, and before that Measure Map (which became the UI for Google Analytics). He’s now helping shape Creative Cloud, which launched today. I like this:

Everything stems from two core beliefs. First, the way in which all of us acquire and manage our software is changing. Waiting a couple of years for updates to our tools is no longer tenable for many users. Our relationship to our software is more like that of a service: continuous improvements through frequent iteration.

Second, it’s clear that devices like the iPad are not just for consuming content, but represent the next wave of tools for the creation of content as well. And these new capabilities need tools that have been completely reconsidered. Simple ports of desktop apps won’t do.

He goes on to explain how Creative Cloud integrates desktop apps, touch apps, and services (Web site building & hosting, tablet publishing, and more). And check out the comments section for some good Q&A with readers.

CS6 launches on IMAX, June 6 in San Jose

Demos on a massive screen

The Creative Suite User Group of San Jose is partnering with Creative Suite Lovers and other Bay Area user groups to present the new features of CS6 in the amazing IMAX Theatre at San Jose Tech Museum… Our keynote speaker is the great Al Mooney, Adobe Product Manager for Professional Video Editing

Registration is $20 per person (as renting the theater isn’t cheap), but event organizer Sally Cox notes that they’re giving away two CS6 Master Collections (worth $2600 apiece) plus 20 3-month subscriptions to Creative Cloud (Master Collection & then some). Should be a fun event.

Tips for Getting Started with Photoshop CS6

Jeff Tranberry has pulled together some useful pointers for people transitioning from the Photoshop CS6 public beta to the finished version of the app (which is now available for purchase & as a 30-day trial). He talks about:

  • Uninstalling the beta (i.e. make sure to use the actual uninstaller)
  • Installing & activating the app using an Adobe ID (and why is required)
  • Getting the latest camera support with Camera Raw 7.1
  • Finding good training resources on what’s new

Camera Raw 7.1 adds HDR tonemapping to CS6

According to the Lightroom Journal,

Camera Raw 7.1 and DNG Converter 7.1 Release Candidates are now available on Adobe Labs.  This release includes bug fixes, new camera support, and new lens profiles.  Camera Raw 7.1 Release Candidate includes new Defringe controls to help address chromatic aberration.  Defringe is available as part of the Lens Correction panel.  7.1 Release Candidate can also now read 16-bit, 24-bit, and 32-bit HDR files.  Supported HDR formats are TIFF and DNG.

 
New camera support:
  • Canon EOS 1D X
  • Canon EOS 5D Mk III
  • Canon PowerShot G1 X
  • Canon PowerShot S100V
  • Fuji FinePix F505EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F605EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F770EXR
  • Fuji FinePix F775EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS30EXR
  • Fuji FinePix HS33EXR
  • Fuji FinePix X-S1
  • Nikon D4
  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D800E
  • Olympus OM-D E-M5
  • Pentax K-01
  • Samsung NX20
  • Samsung NX210
  • Samsung NX1000
  • Sony Alpha NEX-VG20
  • Sony SLT-A57

 

Related/previous: Lightroom 4.1 adds HDR toning, improved defringing.

Photoshop, Pirates, & The Force

Hmm… What would make for a good list of dark-to-light descriptions?

As he was working on Photoshop CS6’s new dark UI feature, engineer Joe Ault put in bread-based placeholders for the brightness values: Pumpernickel, Dark Rye, Whole Wheat, Sourdough–then solicited suggestions from the team.  Steve Guilhamet from QE explains.

The base ground rules were 4 names that reflected the tonal range of the 4 UI options, with consideration for cultural variance and localization (e.g. Pumpernickel in Scandinavia is not thought of as a dark bread). There was a food theme to start but it opened up a bit. We had beer, coffee, tequila, macaroons, rice, cakes, etc. There were moon phases, seasons, rocks.

Steve suggested clouds (Cirrus, Stratus, Cumulus, Nimbus– “Because you can’t see ‘Cloud’ used enough these days”), pirate flags (Henry Every, Richard Worley, Stede Bonnet, and John Rackam), and more.  My favorite, though, is one he mocked up:

 

Eventually things died down & the UI ended up with just unnamed color swatches–the right move, I’m sure, but a bit less fun.  (Hard to say, though, what would happen if one held down modifier keys while clicking them in the Prefs dialog…)

 

Configurator 3.0 demo tomorrow

If you think Adobe apps are too complex, and if you have any motivation to do something about it, Adobe Configurator might be up your alley.  It’s a “box of Legos” tool that lets you remix the UI of Photoshop and InDesign, creating & sharing your own panels without having to code.  The team will be doing a concise demo & Q&A tomorrow at 2pm GMT (7am Pacific–yes, it’ll be recorded & posted for later viewing) Here’s the recording.

  • What is Configurator and how you can use it?
  • What’s new in Configurator 3? From the key new features to the small but useful new features.
  • What is the new Adobe Exchange and how you can use it?
  • Question and Answer session with the product team; Duration: 45 minutes

CS6 "Ask A Pro" live sessions, all this week

Hour-long demos and Q&A sessions are happening all week:

Adobe Creative Cloud for Designers
With Terry White
Tuesday at 5pm Pacific

Adobe Creative Cloud and the CS6 Web Tour
With Paul Trani
Wednesday at 10am & 5pm Pacific

What’s New in Adobe Photoshop CS6
With Julieanne Kost
Thursday at 10am & 5pm Pacific

Creative Cloud and CS6 Tour for Video Professionals
With Jason Levine
Thursday at 6pm Pacific and Friday at 10am Pacific

The CS2->CS6 upgrade window remains open, but barely

Photoshop PM Jeff Tranberry addresses upgrade questions on the Photoshop team blog:

Question: Can I upgrade to CS6?

Yes. Owners of a CS5 or CS5.5 qualify for upgrade pricing to CS6.

There is a special offer – good through the end of the year- which allows CS3 & CS4 owners an opportunity to upgrade to CS6.

Owners of CS2 have one last chance if they purchase CS5 from a reseller in the next 30 days (to receive a free upgrade to CS6).

 
Check out the rest of Jeff’s post for other useful Q&A.

Photoshop CS6: What's in it for photographers?

A. TONS.

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.

 

Generating CSS from shapes in Fireworks

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:

 

Would you find this kind of support valuable in Photoshop? How would you rate it compared to, say, improved slicing or sprite generation?  (Speaking of the latter, here’s how Fireworks CS6 does CSS sprites, as well as jQuery mobile theme skinning.)

Illustrator CS6 is now a 64-bit Cocoa app

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.