Monthly Archives: May 2011

Photoshop 12.1 = Photoshop 12.0.4

What’s the difference between Photoshop CS5 and 5.5? Nothing besides subscription support. Here’s some concise clarification from Jeff Tranberry:

Photoshop CS5 (Version 12.1 – which comes as part of Creative Suite 5.5) and Photoshop CS5 (Version 12.0.4 – a free update for the version of Photoshop which came as a part of Creative Suite 5) are exactly the same in terms of functionality except that 12.1 will support a subscription license.

Both contain the same updates to fix issues, both have the same camera support with Camera Raw 6.x, and both work with the Photoshop Touch Apps.


A record-player wedding invite

How incredibly cool:

The resulting booklet is comprised of a cover, two inner pages, a letterpressed band (with instructions and a tear-off RSVP postcard), and a flexdisc on a screwpost. The recipient bends the second page of the booklet back to create a tented “arm.” With the needle placed, they then carefully spin the flexidisc at 45 RPM (ish) to hear the song. The sewing needle travels the length of the song and produces the sound.

Check out the designers’ blog for more info & photos. [Via]

Video: Unspeakably masterful Tetris playing

What on earth, besides a vague computer graphics connection, does this have to do with the general thrust of my blog? Not a ton, but it’s just a pleasure to see someone do something so well. As Jason Kottke puts it,

It starts getting insane around the 3:00 mark and then, at 5 minutes in, all the blocks turn invisible and he keeps right on going! It’s like he’s playing blindfold speed chess on the hood of a stock car!! I mean, !!!!!

Even more tangential: I love that someone has created “Bastard Tetris,” a game specifically designed to make you feel bad by choosing the worst possible block at any moment.

iObsessed for iPad

Photographer Dan Marcolina used InDesign CS5 to create iObsessed, an interactive compendium of over 30 apps. The book complements his iPhone Obsessed photo book, and he writes:

This interactive format allows you to see video tutorials right in-line with the featured images, along with the ability to pinch and zoom any image to see its full detail. Additional surprise links are found on each chapter page.

Here’s the quick demo:

Adobe TV: Lightroom coloring techniques & shortcuts

Recent vids of possible interest:

  • The Complete Picture with Julieanne Kost: Selective Coloring Techniques in Lightroom
    In this Episode of the Complete Picture Julieanne Kost explains two different methods for selectively colorizing an image to differentiate the subject from the background using Adobe Camera Raw.

  • Creative Suite Podcast: Photographers – 5 Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts that will Speed up your Workflow
    In this episode I’ll show you 5+ Lightroom Keyboard shortcuts that will definitely speed up your day-to-day Lightroom workflow!

  • Machiavellian thought o' the day

    I’ve heard about totalitarian regimes using Facebook to promote “anti-government” rallies, then simply arresting whoever shows up.  Seems like a ruthless manager could take a similar cue: Invite employees to “training sessions” on things like how to use the new travel website, then fire anyone who attends–figuring that if you’re dumb & idle enough to attend such a thing, you mustn’t be worth keeping.

    Of course, if that test were applied to people with time to write blog posts like this… uh, forget I said anything.

    Feedback, please: Photoshop-controlling iPad magazine now available

    DI Direct, the publication that can link with Photoshop CS5* and drive it via interactive tutorials, is now available as a free download. In case you missed it previously, here’s a demo:


    I find the concept very intriguing, but I’d really like your feedback.

    • As a reader, how compelling do you find this sort of interactive training? Would it make you more likely to buy a certain magazine or book? Do you (or would you) use your tablet & your computer together this way?
    • If you’re a writer, trainer, etc., how compelling do you find it? If we made it extremely easy to add such links via InDesign, then publish to a tablet, would you take the time to add them?

    * If you’re using CS5, don’t forget to update to 12.0.4 (via Help->Updates). If you’ve installed CS 5.5, you’re all set already.

    Gradients & meshes in Illustrator, this Friday

    This session (noon Pacific on Friday) with illustrator Russell Viers might be up your alley. The point I’ve bolded sounds particularly interesting:

    • Adding light perception and depth with a basic gradient
    • Bringing your art alive with Gradient Mesh
    • The value of Gradient Swatches
    • A nifty hidden feature in CS5 that lets you finally add a gradient to live text
    • Understanding that crazy Gradient Tool
    • How the Gradient Panel can help
    • Non-uniform gradients with Gradient Mesh

    Adobe's enriching CSS, WebKit

    HTML is great, but its text-layout limitations have always been a drag for print designers–particularly those now wanting to create tablet-based magazines. That’s why Adobe has been proposing to enhance the CSS spec & contributing to the WebKit browser project.
    Now you can download a build & learn more about CSS Regions. According to the project page, key highlights of CSS Regions include:

    • Story threading — allows content to flow in multiple disjointed boxes expressed in CSS and HTML, making it possible to express more complex, magazine-style threaded layouts, including pull quotes and sidebars.
    • Region styling — allows content to be styled based on the region it flows into. For example, the first few lines that fit into the first region of an article may be displayed with a different color or font, or headers flowing in a particular region may have a different background color or size. Region styling is not currently implemented in the CSS Regions prototype.
    • Arbitrary content shapes and exclusions — allows content to fit into arbitrary shapes (not just rectangular boxes) or to flow around complex shapes.

    Cool. (And do wake me when the Adobe-scourging Apple fansites pick up this news, won’t you?)
    Update: To answer some questions I’ve seen, here’s some clarification I pulled from CNET’s coverage of the news:

    “We’ve talked to everyone,” Gourdol said, noting that all the browser makers, though; all of the major ones are active in the CSS working group. They’re all very excited about it.
    Next stop is getting the software accepted. Adobe has a team of 12 programmers [emphasis added] in the United States and Romania who work on WebKit, Arno said. Adobe hopes to build its CSS software into the browser engine, making it easy for Google, Apple, and others “downstream” of the central project to incorporate it into their actual browsers.
    “Webkit is the most interesting area to focus right now because of its mobile presence,” said Paul Gubbay, vice president of engineering for Adobe’s design and Web group. “We’ll see if the [WebKit] community takes it.”

    iPhone photo seminar at 5pm Pacific today

    Photographer & designer Dan Marcolina is “iPhone Obsessed,” having used his phone + apps to produce a coffee table book (with up-resing courtesy of Photoshop). Now I see that he’s presenting a seminar just over an hour from now (sorry, just saw the invite):

    His new book, iPhone Obsessed, covers over 47 apps and the post-processing steps you need to know to achieve works of art right in your iPhone. Dan will cover many of these apps during this live Peachpit Photo Club event.

    Having met Dan & discussed the book last summer, I can vouch for him being a really interesting, creative guy; should be a good session.

    Let's grab a beer Wednesday in SF

    Designer Shyama Golden (whose portfolio I’ve mentioned previously) has set up a happy hour for designers this Wednesday in San Francisco, 6-9pm. Interesting folks like Sebastiaan de With & former Adobe/now Apple UI designer Johnnie Manzari should be there, and I’m planning to attend. As always I’d love to hear what you’d like Adobe to be doing vis-à-vis mobile devices.
    Also a reminder that if you’ll be a bit south tomorrow night, you’re welcome to check out the San José Photoshop User Group meeting; see previous post for details.

    Save big Photoshop files up to 20x faster

    Time is money, and storage is cheap. If you use large Photoshop docs & don’t mind them becoming much bigger, you may be able to save them much faster.

    You’ll want to update CS5 to 12.0.4 (via Help->Updates), then grab this plug-in (Mac)/registry key (Win).  Photoshop PM Jeff Tranberry writes, “Saving the file can be much faster (20x in some cases), if you have a fast hard disk and enough disk space to hold the larger file size,” and performance expert Lloyd Chambers goes into detail on his site.

    Creative Suite subscriptions Q&A Friday

    If you’re interested in Creative Suite subscriptions (new as of CS 5.5), check out this session Friday at noon Pacific:

    Group PM Yashodhan Gokhale will be talking about Adobe’s Creative Suite subscriptions. In this session you’ll be shown how subscriptions give you the latest features and functionality of Creative Suite 5.5 software for an affordable monthly cost. Yashodhan will walk you through the process and give you a better feel for the benefits, when you may need a subscription, and how easy it is to purchase, use, and manage.

    PUG meeting next Tuesday in SJ

    If you’ll be in San José next Tuesday evening, drop by Adobe HQ (map) for a Photoshop User Group meeting featuring Lee Varis:

    Lee Varis is a photographer, educator and digital imaging artist, based in LA. He will present a brief overview of his 30 year imaging career and show some of the movie posters and other interesting projects he has worked on in the first portion of the presentation.

    For the second half Lee will demonstrate his “10 Channel Workflow”, a radical new image enhancement routine. The workflow is based on applying individual channel luminosity to the color image to manipulate tonal separation and contrast apart from the color. This approach can create sophisticated effects that could not be achieved any other way. Read on for more details.
    Continue reading

    In-depth B&W conversion video

    Speaking of old friends, former Lightroom evangelist/PM George Jardine has posted a free 37-minute video that dives deeply into black & white conversion. He writes,

    In this video, I start by taking you on a brief exploration of some of the various conversion techniques that we all used back before there were better controls for creating good black & white’s from raw data. And I did this because I think reviewing those tried-and-true Photoshop techniques, helps set the stage for a better understanding of black & white conversion in general.

    Check out George’s site for details.

    Photoshop CS5 apps for iPad now available

    I’m happy to report that the three recently announced Photoshop companion apps are now available for download:

    Please note that to use them together with Photoshop, you’ll need to apply the Photoshop 12.0.4 update. We encourage developers to make their own Photoshop-savvy apps by downloading the Photoshop Touch SDK and optionally ActionScript source code.

    TypeDNA enhances Photoshop font selection; now on Windows

    I’ve written previously about how the TypeDNA panel lets Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign select fonts by similarity, choose complementary fonts, etc. I’m pleased to see that the $49 tool is now available for Windows (as it was previously Mac-only). As a refresher, here’s a quick demo:

    Other developments are in the offing. Founder Darren Glenister is speaking at Google I/O this week, promising to show “some new features that extend Google web fonts direct inside of Adobe CS5.” Check out the TypeDNA site for details about attending in person or online.

    VectorScribe adds powerful tools to Illustrator

    The “Vector Paparazzi” app I blogged on Sunday drew an extremely strong response, and now it’s arrived for real: VectorScribe is available in two flavors, Designer (£39+VAT (roughly $65/€45)) which features path manipulation & measurement tools, and Studio (£69+VAT ($119/€79)) which adds smart shapes & dynamic corners. Here’s a slightly updated version of the earlier video:

    The site features a large number of training videos, and VectorTuts has posted a detailed tutorial on creating a vector motorcycle using the VectorScribe tools.

    I’ve only just started playing with the tools, but I think that the dynamic corners features alone will be a godsend. If you give it a try, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

    New Image Processor Pro Script for CS5

    If you batch-process images in Photoshop, particularly via the Image Processor command or Russell Brown’s 1-2-3 Process, you’ll want to check out what Russell has been up to.  He’s looking for beta testers and writes,

    Just like the earlier versions, this script (download, see demo video) will batch process hundreds of images into any file type, or format, that you need.

    It’s the ultimate time saver and will eliminate the need for multiple exports from other Adobe applications.

    Here are some of the new features:

    1. Improved interface.
    2. Support for any number of  conversions during a processing run.
    3. Batch renaming.
    4. Expanded support for almost all file formats known to man.


    Make Cmd-J duplicate multiple layers

    My personal “JDI” list of Photoshop tweaks includes a request to make the Cmd-J/Ctrl-J keyboard shortcut duplicate multiple layers (and/or layer sets) at once. That change hasn’t been made yet, but scripter David Jensen has a solution: Install a script that dupes layers, then assign Cmd-J to it. It’s very easy to do:

    1. Download this script and drop it into your Photoshop CS5/Presets/Scripts folder. (I’ve only tried it in CS5, but I’d imagine it works in previous versions, too.)
    2. Choose Edit->Keyboard Shortcuts, then choose File->Scripts->Duplicate Layers and assign Cmd-J.

    Video: Thoughts on the Photoshop Touch SDK

    Photoshop engineer Tom Ruark & PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes talk about how the new Photoshop Touch SDK came to be & some of what it enables:

    You can read more about the project & see some real-world examples of its use on the blog. You’ll need to grab the latest CS5 update to enable connectivity, and the three iPad apps that rely on it should be available for download soon. (If you’d like we can notify you when they’re ready.)

    Photoshop 12.0.4 update for CS5 arrives

    This update (choose Window->Updates from within Photoshop) enables remote connections between Photoshop CS5 and other apps, including the new Adobe Nav, Eazel, and Color Lava for iPad.  According to the release notes,

    The 12.0.4 update also fixes Liquify performance, type-related crashes, and other top customer issues. The most significant fixes include the following:

    • A number of potential security vulnerabilities have been addressed.
    • Liquify save mesh now works as expected.
    • An issue with Sharpen crashing has been fixed.
    • An issue with Quick Selection crashing has been fixed.
    • The Orphea Studio File Info issue has been resolved.