I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that DesignScene for iPad, a tool for browsing feeds of visual inspiration, really needed support for saving links to Instapaper (critical for me as I surf around looking for ways to link-bomb you). I’m delighted to see that a new update adds just that; thanks, guys!
Monthly Archives: February 2011
(rt) Typography: Jazz & Chalk
- Dig Paul Rogers’s beautiful Jazz Stamp for the USPS. [Via]
- The useful Fonts In Use shows “type at work in the real world.” [Via]
- Check out some beautiful chalk lettering from Dana Tanamachi. [Via]
MBAs: Want to work on Lightroom?
Alright, crafty business brains: if you’ll soon have an MBA & if you love digital imaging, we may have a great job for you:
Interested in helping define the next generation of a product line used by millions of people? Like working with experienced, smart, passionate people? Enjoy making customers smile by finding elegant solutions to their problems?The Photoshop Product Management team leads the business, product strategy & product development for Photoshop, Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop Elements. This Product Management position will focus on Photoshop Lightroom.
(rt) Ephemera: Sickening laptops, exploding toilets, & more
- Apple meets Cronenberg; I’m still shuddering.
- Check out a bizarre & rather brilliant paper mod for your Web cam.
- LiveView “allows me to view Photoshop on my phone, live, while I make adjustments. Amazing,” says designer Scott Hansen.
- Buhm-bum buhm-bum buhm-bum: the 2001 monolith as giant VHS tape.
- Awesome in its simplicity: Lorenzo Quinn’s “Vroom Vroom” sculpture.
- A toilet made from a Russian anti-submarine mine? That might cause some potty training trauma.
- Watch Jan Hammer rock the keytar; feel your hair start blow drying itself, your sleeves auto-shortening.
- I love bizarre Twitter juxtapositions like this.
Interesting 3D Photo app
I can’t readily pronounce it “endlessly useful,” but 3D Photo‘s ability to map a live camera feed onto 3D shapes is rather cool:
It can be hard to take tablet hardware, which is largely designed for low-power media consumption & gaming, and make it perform well for general-purpose imaging operations. Lately I’ve taken to joking that, “Well, my year-old iPad can run a beautiful 3D pinball game fullscreen at 30+ FPS, so maybe we should let people draw with friggin’ 3D pinballs, because apparently those can be made to go fast.” Look for Adobe Avian AngerPaint™, coming soon to an app store near you!
Video: Crafty CGI Sapporo commercial
“A friend just emailed me this Sapporo commercial,” writes reader Trent, “and I thought, while watching it, that this is in John Nack’s wheelhouse.” I’m inclined to agree. (Full-screen viewing recommended.)
Behind the scenes with a foley artist
Just as I was graduating from college & researching a design career, I found myself at the Chicago studio of JoBe Cerny, who’s (quietly) known at the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy & as the silent Cheer detergent pitchman from the 80’s. I found his foley (sound effects) setup fascinating. I similarly enjoyed this glimpse into the world of foley pro Gary Hecker:
SoundWorks Collection: Gary Hecker – Veteran Foley Artist from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.
NYC session next week: Hidden Gems in PS CS5
If you’ll be in New York next Wednesday, you might want to drop by Foto Care 10am-12pm for a free class covering Hidden Gems in Photoshop CS5 featuring PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes.
Photography: The sacred & profane in Eastern Europe
I’ve spoken admiringly in the past of Bruce Haley‘s photojournalism. Now he’s produced a new monograph called Sunder:
Produced between 1994 and 2002, the images in SUNDER sweep the viewer along on a far-reaching journey through numerous former USSR and Iron Curtain countries, stopping at landscapes of ruin and moments of grace in equal measure. Haley’s explorations were intuitive, responding to a deep curiosity to taste the last drops of the would-be Utopian ideology that dominated global politics during the first thirty years of his life.
Bryan Hughes & I have been trying for ages to get down to the bottom of Bixby Canyon to visit Bruce & his beer fridge*. Hopefully we can do that soon & maybe share a trip report.
* But not, presumably, “goddamn barbecued monkey leg”
The Layers feature in Adobe Ideas is on sale
Good news for the many users of Adobe Ideas: the Layers feature (which now brings with it scaling, movement, and rotation; see recent) is on sale for $1.99 (regularly $4.99) for a limited time. The feature is an in-app purchase: tap the layers icon (lower left), then hit the plus button next to “Buy Layers.”
(rt) Illustration: Star Wars as icons, poisonous treats, & more
- Nice: Wayne Dorrington has retold Star Wars entirely in icons. [Via]
- “Y’know, for kids…”
- Apropos of nothing, here’s a lovely kids’-book illustration.
- Weird packaging design: “Won’t This New Energy Drink Result in Children Drinking Poison?“
- I love the gorgeous, textured work of Irish illustrator Eoin Ryan. [Via]
- In an intriguing little video experiment, participants are asked to trace one another’s work as closely as possible. Things degenerate quickly.
- Check out some nifty Charlie Harper-esque illustrations from Ben Newman.
(rt) Photography: Ali's greatness, retro re-creations, & more
- “This is the greatest photo you will see today,” notes Mike Monteiro. Sounds right to me.
- In her “Back to the Future” project, Irina Werning reenacts old photos, posing the same people in the same spots decades later. [Via]
- Plenoptic camera lenses, which use arrays of micro lenses & which can refocus images after the fact, come to cell phones.
- Edi Go has made surprisingly beautiful images of a plastic bag.
- Photo essays like this make me thankful for my immoderate blessings.
Photoshop turns 21!
The date almost got past me, but with a few hours left on this February 19th, I’d like to wish Adobe Photoshop a happy 21st birthday! This being the US, the app can now legally drink, and I trust it’s getting its bits sloshed at the Caravan. You can see the team hoisting a few glasses via Facebook.
What a long, interesting road it’s been, as you can see in this infographic on The Evolution of Photoshop. Thanks as always to the Knoll brothers, Mark Hamburg, Russell Brown, and all the other unreasonably talented folks who’ve brought us the app over the years–and to all the customers who’ve let me play my small part in the Photoshop journey.
(rt) Typography: James Brown, Using the Force, & more
- Look at this incredibly simple animation. You’ll wonder how you didn’t see it before.
- “May the force of Typography be with you.”
- Not sure whether it’s G.O.A.T., but it’s certainly great: James Brown in type. [Via]
- “Write a Bike“: Check out some crazy typographical cycles [Via Mira Albert-Bullis]
- Sebastien Cuypers has made 80 hand-lettered iPhone cases. “Mine’s the one that says ‘Bad M…'”
- “I see some A’s! A is for Adobe,” says young Finn. “That’s right, bud,” I tell him, “and P is for Photoshop.” “No, that’s crazy!,” he protests. “F is for Fotoshop!” Phun with Phonics.
New features in Adobe Ideas 1.2
Check out scaling, rotation, a swappable toolbar, VGA output, and more in this quick demo from PM David Macy:
Adobe Ideas remains a free download (with in-app purchase of layers) for iOS devices.
(rt) Photography: Photographing one's own murder & more
- Grim & bracing:
- Katrin Eismann notes, “Tyler Hicks is doing amazing work in Afghanistan.”
- Bizarre & horrible: photographing one’s own murder. (I really wish this were fake.)
- Might want to have this looked at: Disturbing, if beautifully executed, image o’ the day. [Via]
- “On the Grid” is Gerco de Ruijter’s interesting set of aerial photos of trees.
- Racy back-of-mag ad promises “Larger Size Permanent.” Wow–people still get perms?
Troubleshooting a couple of CS5 glitches
If you’re a Mac user of the FinderPop utility, you might notice that Photoshop CS5 can crash when you choose Select > Inverse or other various menu items. If that’s the case, try downloading the FinderPop 220.127.116.11 Beta as it contains a fix for the problem.
It’s also possible that you’re seeing some weirdness if running OS X 10.6.5 or 10.6.6 (e.g. seeing a “Delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings file?,” tools behaving as if the Shift or Option keys are pressed). Something got broken in the 10.6.5 update, and the Photoshop team is working with Apple on a fix.
Other interesting stylus & screen news
Speaking of styluses & touch screens, I’ve seen a few other developments worth passing along:
- Hardware maker Synaptics promises touchscreens that can detect the head of a pin.
- Noting the influx of stylus-enabled tablets coming to market, Engadget touches on the previously unannounced Adobe Journal prototype, “basically a doodler’s paradise.”
- A Qualcomm pen can transcribe ink on paper right into your phone or tablet.
- Toshiba is working to enable tactile feedback on touchscreens:
An interesting iPad stylus project on Kickstarter
Industrial designer Don Lehman’s MORE/REAL Stylus Cap “turns a Sharpie, a Bic, or a Pilot Fineliner into a touchscreen stylus that works with any capacitive touch screen. You get all the benefits of an marker that can write on paper with a stylus that gives you superior control to sketch and take notes on touchscreens such as the iPad.”
[Via Ellen Huber]
Video: A few moments with Eric Carle
Given the tremendous amount of time we spend reading Eric Carle books to our lads, it’s funny that I’ve known very little about him until now. His life story is compelling, and I enjoyed this short interview:
[Via Mordy Golding]
Save 10% on CS5 apps for Valentine's Day
From today through Wednesday night (Feb. 16 at 11:59pm PST), customers in North America can save 10% on a full or upgrade version of CS5 Suites & individual CS5 apps for Valentine’s Day. Please use offer code FEBCS10SM at check out on the Adobe.com store.
(rt) Illustrations: Beautiful posters, Escher riffs, & more
- Reelizer is a nicely curated set of movie posters. (I’m digging Jeremy Jusay’s take on The Thin Red Line.) [Via]
- “By Valor & Arms”: It’s The State Mottos Project.
- Reserve monocle? Emergency Oreo? Sixteen Ways to Use Your Wrist Now That Watches are Obsolete.
- Props to the MC:
- Check out these neat Escheresque images made by Josh Sommers using Photoshop + Pixel Bender. [Via]
- Oscar Ramos has made some gorgeous modern Escheresque illustrations.
- I love the simplicity of the restroom icons in the Adobe Hamburg office.
Aerial NYC for iPad
Photographer Cameron Davidson is offering Aerial New York City, a 60-image iPad portfolio depicting the city from above, for free for a limited time. Lovely. [Via Ellis Vener]
[Irrelevant personal side note: I used to look out a window just below the “Y” in “York” on the opening screen. 20 Exchange FTW.]
Video: The Wilhelm Scream
Adobe & jQuery
jQuery Mobile–a touch-optimized UI framework for smartphones and tablets–is currently on its Alpha 3 release. We’re very excited about this project and have had one of our finest–Kin Blas–working closely with the rest of the jQuery mobile team since November. As a side note, Kin will be speaking about jQuery Mobile at a Bay Area Mobile (BAM) meetup in March. Highly recommended if you’re interested in getting an overview of the framework from one of its main contributors.
I’m really happy to see Adobe putting real skin in the game here, working to solve customer problems whether through HTML, Flash, video, or any other combination of technologies. It’s not about one runtime vs. another; it’s about results.
Funky music video generated using Kinect data
…with a side of Processing & Cinema 4D:
[Via Kim Pimmel]
Crazy 360-degree dodgeball video
Photographer Ryan Jackson strapped together four cheap GoPro video cameras into an interesting Frankenstein, shooting a cool 360-degree panoramic video. “The short version of this story is that I shot with four GoPros, extracted still images from video, stitched the stills together into panoramas then recombined them back into video. For the much more detailed and nerdy answer, read on.” [Via Manu S. Anand]
Who's driving the Photoshop ship?
As I’ve mentioned a few times, ever since the CS5 release started coming in for a landing, I’ve been working to develop new mobile applications at Adobe. On Photoshop I always worked with a talented group of fellow product managers, but my blog audience may not yet know them well. I’m overdue in helping to set that right, so I asked them to introduce themselves:
Bryan O’Neil Hughes is the Senior Product Manager for both Photoshop and Bridge and a pinch-hitter for the Lightroom team. Since 1999 he has helped to test, drive, demonstrate, and lead development of Adobe’s professional digital imaging applications. Bryan is the Photoshop team’s primary worldwide spokesman and can often be found leading seminars, user groups, and workshops. Before joining Adobe, he was a professional photographer and retoucher. Beyond Adobe, Hughes is a published photographer, editor, and author. He is also a driving instructor for the BMW Car Club of America. When he isn’t driving very quickly, he enjoys running marathons very slowly [Infinitely faster than I would. –J.].
Zorana Gee, M.B.A, is a Product Manager for Photoshop and Photoshop Extended. She has been on the Photoshop team for over 10 years and involved with Photoshop Extended from the beginning. Zorana is instrumental in the 3D effort as well as driving many other feature improvements within Photoshop. She is a published author of 3D in Photoshop: the Ultimate Guide for Creative Professionals and the iPad app Photoshop 3D Guide. Zorana speaks worldwide representing Adobe and the Photoshop family line of professional products. Outside of Adobe, her time is often spent teaching the art of Capoeira to her community. She has been training and teaching Capoeira for over 12 years and holds a black-belt (equivalent).
Pam Clark is the Group Product Manager for Photoshop where she helps define the future of the product, works with the teams to create each version and then ship it out the door to customers. She is also heavily involved in Photoshop’s social media activities on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. If you don’t see her in the office (next to mine), she’s probably out miss-hitting balls [Her words! –J.] on the tennis court.
As for me, I still sit with the Photoshop team, and I remain passionate about helping info flow in both directions. I’ll try to keep posting interesting bits, and I’m happy to help pass your thoughts to Bryan, Pam, Z., and the rest of the crew.
Kim Jong Phil
“I’ve concluded that to be effective–to be functional–I must guzzle an eye-popping cocktail of delusion and narcissism.
It occurred to me that being an artist* is a great deal like being a dictator.
Just like a dictator, I must live in a closed loop of self-delusion…”
This is now easily one of my favorite things ever. [Via]
* For “artist” also swap in “great product manager” (says the guy with 3D-printed busts of himself) ;-)). And no, I don’t *really* believe this, though sometimes you’ve gotta fight for your vision, and “all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Russell Brown's speaking in SF Thursday
[Update: I’m brain dead, and the event is scheduled for Thursday, not Wednesday. Sorry about the confusion. –J.]
Russell Brown’s presentation last month drew the biggest crowd we’ve ever had for a Photoshop User Group meeting in San Jose. In case you missed it and will be around San Francisco Thursday night (6:30 start), you’re welcome to come by Adobe SF (but please RSVP as remaining space is limited):
Using your iPad, iPhone or Galaxy Tab as a Photography Portfolio
In the first part of the evening, Russell will spotlight an collection of useful tips for publishing your photo portfolio to your favorite portable devices. Learn some techniques for exporting images from Photoshop CS5 as an album without having to navigate through iPhoto. Also discover the wonders of PDF export from Adobe Bridge CS5 and see how to publish your own portfolio books to share with others.
Create Natural Toned HDR Images, and the Wonders of Camera RAW & Smart Objects
OK, we have seen the classic over-saturated, and super-sharpened HDR photos, but now it’s time to move to the next level of HDR imaging. Russell will discuss some of his favorite new methods for a new, more gentle and realistic looking HDR toning. This process may have you revisiting some of your earlier HDR shots and processing them again. All these techniques will be done using HDR Pro in Photoshop CS5. Also covered in this part of the evening will be Dr. Brown’s Photoshop tips for working with Camera RAW images in combination with Smart Objects. Learn the true art of Photoshop creativity with these nondestructive techniques.
And to top it all off, Russell will be graciously offering some great raffle items!
(rt) Photography: Vertigo, bisected bunkers, & more
- Military history:
- Jonathan Andrew has taken a perversely beautiful series of photos of WWII bunkers. [Via]
- This is your bunker. This is your bunker sawn in half & made into art. [Via]
- These fighters are stuck onto the bomber, and not via Photoshop.
- Check out the World’s Smallest Instagram Gallery. [Via]
- I belatedly realized that the point of Instagram isn’t photography. The point is looking cool. (And I’m okay with that.)
- Great heights:
- The vertigo-inducing photo o’ the day comes from the transparent floor at Shanghai TV Tower [Via]
- Here’s a terrific image of an enormous supercell cloud.
- How cool: This keychain-size DSLR sports interchangeable lens.
(rt) Illustrations: 1.21 Jiggawatts, The Four Icon Challenge, & more
- Mildly nasty infographic OTD: Starbucks Trenta vs. your stomach.
- Oprah’s “SketchBook O” app sheds light on her audience’s demons.
- “Jigga What?” Excellent Back to the Future & GI Joe shirts. [Via]
- Fun illustrations: The Four Icon Challenge tackles 2001, The Big Lebowski, & more. [Via Chris Regan]
- Let It Dough! – More terrific visual storytelling from Christoph Niemann.
"Here's To The Crazy Ones"
Real innovation is, in case you haven’t noticed, kind of a bitch.
As a product manager I want to provide my team with really solid direction, thinking that there must be shining, slam-dunk use cases that will present themselves, rendering all debate moot. Sometimes that happens; often, though, you’ve got to take some leaps of faith (“skating to where the puck is going to be”). By chance this week I came across a couple of interesting remarks:
The first comes from Steve Hayden, who helped develop Apple’s breakthrough “1984” commercial:
One of the many agency heads I’ve worked with over the years said, “When it’s great, there’s no debate.” I can’t imagine a more fatuous, false statement. There was plenty of debate around “1984.” It very nearly didn’t run.
The second concerns the creator of the famous James Bond music:
It’s impossible to imagine James Bond without Barry’s music, but apparently it almost happened:
Shortly after this Barry would receive the fateful phone call from Bond producer Harry Saltzman. “I got a phone call from Harry,” recalled Barry in a 2006 article in the Telegraph. “He never used to come down to the recording sessions, and he says: ‘John, that is the worst f*cking song I ever heard in my life. We open in three weeks’ time, otherwise I’d take that f*cking song out of the picture. I’d take it out! Out!’”
It’s not just that people didn’t grasp the concepts up front: it’s that even when presented with finished, ready-to-ship products that were about to become classics, they still didn’t get it.
I offer this simply as encouragement to anyone trying to break new ground. If this work were easy, it’d be boring, and everyone would do it.
Slow performance in CS5 with optional plug-ins
If you’ve installed optional plug-ins in Photoshop CS5 and are experiencing slow performance, please check out this tech note.
Vintage Photoshop quote o' the day
“If you have never seen Photoshop, you’ve missed one of those glorious rare moments when software approaches perfection. Adobe is humble about Photoshop, calling it a ‘photo design and production tool,’ but no one who’s used Photoshop is so reserved.”
— Byte magazine, April 1993 [Via Kevin Connor, who’s been on the team nearly that long and who was cleaning some old boxes out of his office]
New OpenEXR plug-in for Photoshop CS5
Photoshop PM Zorana Gee writes,
People who work in the 3D and film industries and who use the OpenEXR format in Photoshop CS5 will be happy to know that we now offer a plugin which preserves files’ alpha channel on import/export. Out the box, Photoshop bakes the alpha into the layer transparency. Users who are happy with this behavior don’t need to do anything. Others who find that they need to preserve the alpha channel should simply install this plugin to override the default behavior.
Video: What Would Neptune Look Like if it Orbited Earth?
Recording: Me on The Big Web Show
I had a great time talking with Dan, Jeffrey, and (indirectly) listeners yesterday. If you’re interested, here’s the recording–minus the subsequent six hours in which I continued happily babbling at my now-quiet computer. As I say on the show, you’re always welcome to send ideas and feedback to tinyElvis at adobe.com (or send me a note via comments in case you don’t hear back, as the message may have gone into our aggressive spam trap).
Volkswagen: The Force!
Too terrific not to share:
(says the guy who, 10+ years on, still thinks that turning his key to roll all his Golf’s & Jetta’s windows up/down is kinda magical) [Via]
I'll be on The Big Web Show today
If you’re interested in the intersection of Photoshop & Web/screen design, you might want to tune into The Big Web Show (hosted by Jeffrey Zeldman & Dan Benjamin) today at 12pm Eastern/9am Pacific. Improving the Web design & animation process is what drew me to work at Adobe, so it’ll be fun to get back to my roots.
Adobe TV begins community translation
The Adobe TV team has announced the Community Translation project, designed to make training content available to more people in their native languages. According to the team:
- Anyone with fluency in English and at least one other language can apply to be a translator.
- Participants in the program use a simple, intuitive interface provided by our partner DotSUB to translate the closed-captioning titles line-by-line.
- Once approved by a reviewer, the translation becomes available as a closed-captioning track on the video, and also appears as a searchable, interactive transcript alongside the video.
There have already been 154 translations completed, in 25 different languages. Here’s a list of translated videos.
Video: Friday Afternoon in the Universe
Jack Kerouac + DJ Shadow wrapped in beautiful 3D (but not 3D-y) animation from Sean McClintock? Yeah, that’ll work:
Friday Afternoon in the Universe from Sean McClintock on Vimeo.
100th InDesign-made tablet publication ships
Adobe’s digital publishing team passed along a happy milestone: there are now 100 publications made with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite available in the iTunes App Store. Not bad for a product made available in October, eh? Congrats to the team and to all the writers, photographers, and publishers using the tools.
DesignScene gathers visual inspiration on iPads
You know, I was just thinking, “I’m so completely caught up on design-related links, and so quiet on Twitter, that I could really use another onslaught of content (the ignoring of which could make be feel vaguely bad)!” Or not. Even so, the $4 DesignScene iPad app could be a keeper:
According to the site, features include:
- Real-time visual inspiration from 50+ sites
- Text feeds from 30+ sites
- In-app web browser
- Share links via email, Facebook and Twitter
The app needs Instapaper integration (for saving links for later use) in the worst way, but no doubt that’s coming.