Monthly Archives: March 2008

A great digital imaging project honors the fallen

Photographer Peter Krogh (author of the excellent The DAM Book, the Rapid Fixer extension for Bridge, and more) recently completed an ambitious & enormous digital imaging project: photographing all 58,256 names listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, enabling the creation of an interactive online version of the wall.  By stitching together some 1,494 digital images into a 400,000 pixel by 12,500 pixel monster, Peter & colleague Darren Higgins were able to help create a Flash-based presentation that enables you to search for names, read servicemen’s details, and add notes and photos to the wall.

The presentation site features some behind-the-scenes production info, but figuring there was more to the story, I asked Peter for details.  He kindly provided them in this article’s extended entry.  Read on for more.

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Science drops: Tumbling hippies, Chinese cannons, & more

Okay, I’m getting a little far afield of scientific imaging per se, but I found the following interesting & thought you might as well.

  • Oh man–tumbling hippies + Jabberwocky + amino acids: this 1971 MIT video has it all.  When that hoodling organ sountrack kicks in, you know it’s gonna be good. (Skip ahead 3:30 or so to the dancing.) [Via]
  • Hmm–I wonder whether these come in “Ps” or “Ai”: periodic table rings. [Via Jeffrey Warnock]  (Of course, a more committed geek would go with knuckle tattoos–the arm already having been done.)
  • The Chinese government is apparently trying to control the weather at the Olympics, literally shooting clouds out of the sky.  Seriously.
  • Lunar images & infographics:
  • I’m not sure that it constitutes scientific imaging, but Wikipedia hosts a beautiful column of fire.  Talk about an awesome blossom.

Saturday Type

A note about PS Express terms of use

Amidst all the positive, enthusiastic responses to the launch of Photoshop Express, I’ve seen some concerns about the terms of use.  This item in particular draws attention:

8. Use of Your Content. Adobe does not claim ownership of Your Content. However, with respect to Your Content that you submit or make available for inclusion on publicly accessible areas of the Services, you grant Adobe a worldwide, royalty-free, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable license to use, distribute, derive revenue or other remuneration from, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, publicly perform and publicly display such Content (in whole or in part) and to incorporate such Content into other Materials or works in any format or medium now known or later developed.

This afternoon I got the following note from the Photoshop Express team:

We’ve heard your concerns about the terms of service for Photoshop Express beta.  We reviewed the terms in context of your comments – and we agree that it currently implies things we would never do with the content.  Therefore, our legal team is making it a priority to post revised terms that are more appropriate for Photoshop Express users.  We will alert you once we have posted new terms.  Thank you for your feedback on Photoshop Express beta and we appreciate your input.

I’ll post an update when I know more. [Update: See the revised terms of service.]

Web conference for free & share big files on Adobe's dime

Alongside Photoshop Express, Adobe has been quietly and vigorously building out some interesting online collaboration and sharing tools.  (“Watch Out – Adobe Is Slowly Building an Online Empire,” says ReadWriteWeb.) Here are a pair that can help you work with colleagues and clients–for free.

  • "Brio" is the codename for the next version of Adobe Acrobat Connect (once known as Breeze), the screen/voice/document-sharing system that runs through the Flash Player.  Brio lets you
    collaborate in real time with up to two partners. Terry White writes,

    The only catch is that Adobe hopes that by trying this FREE version out, you’ll get so hooked that you’ll want more and you’ll want to step up to the full version of Connect Pro for your business or organization to get rid of the limits. However, you’re not obligated to do so. So you have nothing to lose. Account setup is painless and if you already have an Adobe ID, it takes about 1 minute to set up your BRIO account.

  • "Share" is a free Web-based service that allows you to share, publish and organize documents easily.  According to the Adobe Labs site,

    Each document you upload to your Share account is assigned a unique website address. To share a document with someone, select the document you want to share, enter the person’s email address and an optional message, and set whether the files will be publicly accessible or restricted only to the recipients. Recipients will get an email with a link they can click on to download the document. You can also link to your documents, or embed rich Flash® previews on your own website, blog or wiki.

    On photographer Danya Henninger says,
    "We use it to send large files to clients. We can deliver the product online. I just got into the Adobe Share beta. It worked out perfectly."

[Via Karen Tomlinson]

Photoshop Express RIA arrives!

I’m happy to report that Photoshop Express, Adobe’s new online tool for organizing, editing, and sharing images, has launched in beta form. Some highlights at a glance:

  • Includes tools for applying spot healing, distortions, sharpening/softening, color tweaks, image filters, and more
  • Offers 2GB of space for storing images
  • Supports tie-ins to Facebook, MySpace, and Picasa
  • Runs in any browser on Mac, Windows, or Linux using the Flash Player (v9) [Update: Sounds like there are some beta-ish glitches in some browsers]
  • Will include an AIR-based desktop version (useful for editing images offline) and printing services
  • Will remain free, with paid service adding more functionality

Adobe’s Terry White gives a great intro with screenshots, and you can jump right into using Express by hitting the “Test Drive” button on the right side of the landing page.  More info is in the press release, this CNET overview, and more stories that are popping up by the minute. [Update: Kelby Training has created an online learning center for Express.]

[Update 2: Here’s what Adobe SVP John Loiacono has to say about Photoshop Express, software as a service at Adobe, and more.]


Fire, ketchup & Aquafresh = typography; more

3D text goodness

Side note: I keep trying to tell developers that I think there’s an opportunity to knock together a very simple 3D extrusion/adjustment environment as a Photoshop plug-in, leveraging PS CS3 Extended’s ability to manipulate 3D layers.  No one has yet seized the opportunity, but I’ll keep trying.

Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac now shipping

I’m pleased to report that Photoshop Elements 6.0 for Mac is now shipping.  The new release runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs & offers a wealth of new features.  As Macworld sums up the highlights,

New features in Photoshop 6 include “Photomerge,” which lets users create group shots by combining the best facial expressions and body language from an entire group of shots. The software has three edit modes — Guided, Quick and Full. Guided Edit mode is new, offering step-by-step help for users. New tabs provide access to many of Photoshop Elements’ features. Color to black-and-white conversion has been improved.

A new copy runs $89.99 (upgrade $69.99), available via the store.