Monthly Archives: June 2013
Foregoing digital, exploring the physical
I love the way the team at Sagmeister & Walsh uses physical media (magnetized iron filings, exploding powder, braided hair, and more), as shown in this brief interview with partner Jessica Walsh. (Note: Very mildly NSFW due to very brief nudity.)
Top 10 hidden gems in Lightroom 5
Hah—I had no idea about “F” for fullscreen (the first tip). Julieanne rocks.
[Via Bojan Živkovic]
Sketching in 3D space
Evan Roth’s Graffiti Analysis project features a playback engine that reproduces artists’ strokes in 3D space:
[Via Lee Thomason]
Adobe Sneak Peek: Painting with Smart Brushes
Holger Winnemoeller shows off new tech for producing painterly strokes. What do you think? (Besides about the lame Rainn Wilson banter, I mean. Yes yes, noted, moving on…)
"Instagram Video and the Death of Fantasy"
Products sell people a better version of themselves, and Instagram is a highlight reel. It’s not about photography; it’s about getting liked. Photos are just the vessel by which people exchange affirmation.
In the NYT Jenna Wortham thoughtfully considers how video punctures the fantasy-bubbles that Instagram photos create:
But while that shaky video that I took on the roof was definitely steeped in reality and definitely true to the moment, it wasn’t the version of the night that I wanted to remember or share with my Instagram friends.
That’s because Instagram isn’t about reality – it’s about a well-crafted fantasy, a highlights reel of your life that shows off versions of yourself that you want to remember and put on display in a glass case for other people to admire and browse through. It’s why most of the photographs uploaded to Instagram are beautiful and entertaining slices of life and not the tedious time in-between of those moments, when bills get paid, cranky children are put to bed, little spats with friends.
If you want facts & figures to back this up, here are a bunch.
Can technology make people feel more comfortable sharing their videos? Maybe. In many cases it’s by moving the goal posts—simply reducing what’s possible (and thus what can be expected) to the point that people say “Well I could do that.” (Cue the old “Lowered Expectations” jingle.)
I wonder whether (or when) Instagram & Vine will let people upload video from their camera rolls. Omitting that feature certainly made it easier to get to market (as they could eliminate features for trimming, sizing, etc.), but there’s another key difference: Insisting that video be captured via the apps limits the content to things you yourself captured. Thus your feeds can’t (yet) become dumping grounds for whatever animated GIF people have found.
We shall see.
Photography: Google takes on the Burj Khalifa
Here’s a neat use of Google’s backpack-mounted, spherical-photo-capturing rigs. The Next Web writes,
Without venturing anywhere near the United Arab Emirates, you can explore the world’s tallest observation deck on the 124th floor, dangle from the building’s maintenance units on the 80th floor (which are reserved for cleaning windows, apparently), and also visit the highest occupied floor in the world, on floor number 163.
It’s funny: I’m reminded of the QuickTime VR (hey, remember that?) projects we did circa 1996. I thought that spherical panos were brilliant, but they fell into disuse for years. I never anticipated that they’d reemerge & prove so common, even mundane, all these years later.
iOS 7 PSD now available
The guys at Teehan + Lax are continuing their tradition of providing great resources to iOS developers, posting a new PSD file for designing iOS 7-friendly interfaces. For usage tips they recommend checking out their guide on How to Design Pixel-Perfect Photoshop Files for iOS Apps.
Live demos/Q&A's this week
Thursday at 10am Pacific, Creative Cloud for Video Pros:
- Use the powerful new Creative Cloud Desktop for managing your CC applications, file access, Behance integration, and more.
- Take your preferences with you with Sync Settings in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects
- See the top newfeatures in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects Pro CC
- Learn about Photoshop and Camera Raw workflows for video.
Friday at noon Pacific, Creative Cloud for Web Designers/Developers:
In this session Evangelist Paul Trani will take you through how Creative Cloud helps both web designers and developers work faster and smarter than ever before when building content for the modern, responsive web. Learn how to collaborate and share files and folders as well as new ways to work with web fonts on the desktop. See the latest in Photoshop, Illustrator and Reflow when creating web content, as well as discover the latest in Edge Tools and Services. A session not to be missed.
You can register here. (time zone convertor)
Quick tips on optimizing Photoshop performance
Zorana Gee gives a concise set of suggestions:
More than 700,000 people now subscribing to Creative Cloud
Customer adoption is accelerating, according to this press release. It took roughly 10 months to reach 500,000, and this is an increase of more than 200,000 in the last three months alone. Thanks to everyone who’s come aboard!
Google's hat tip to Saul Bass
Installing CC apps in multiple languages
In the past if you wanted multiple language versions of an Adobe app (say, Photoshop in English & German), you had to pay for two licenses. Things have changed for the better with Creative Cloud:
Learn how to download and install multiple language versions of any of the desktop applications included in Creative Cloud.
Coke's interesting take on collaborative animation
Of Coca-Cola’s “Wearable Movie,” Design Taxi writes,
[E]ach of the animation’s frames was printed on a T-shirt, and sent to people all over the world to participate in making the movie. Those who received a shirt had to wear the shirt and take a photo with it. The photos of the shirt were then stitched together to put together the short film of a pair of friends and a dog, trying to get a pair of lips to smile.
Adobe Inspire Magazine arrives for summer
It’s available on the Web and for iPad in the App Store. Highlights include typographical portraits, tips on creating parallax scrolling, free access to Edge Web Fonts, and more.
A cool-looking Creative Cloud promo video
Via art director Paul Clements, who’s posted some production stills on Behance:
Steve Jobs & sedimentary layers
I love this short reflection from Steve Jobs, reflecting on technology, impermanence, and legacy.
It’s funny to hear him describe the Mac as being on its way out in 1994. By returning to Apple he invalidated his own prediction, and now at WWDC we hear Apple talking about a naming scheme for OS X for the next ten years. Funny old world. [Via]
Spot removal shortcuts for Camera Raw in Photoshop CC
Here’s a handy list from Julieanne Kost covering the new Spot Removal Tool (B) inside Camera Raw 8 (part of Photoshop CC):
Tap the “V” key to toggle the visibility of the spot overlays.
- Shift-drag constrains the brush spot to a horizontal or vertical stroke.
- Shift-click connects the selected spot with the new spot via a straight brush stroke.
- Cmd/Ctrl-drag will create a circle spot and allow you to drag to define the source.
- Tap the Forward Slash key (/) to select new source for existing circle or brush spot.
- Press Delete to delete a selected spot.
- Opt-/Alt-click on a spot to delete it (the cursor will change to a pair of scissors).
- Opt-/Alt-click in the image area over multiple spots to batch-delete (the icon changes to a marquee while dragging.
- Tap the “Y” key to toggle on/off Visualize spots. Note – this is also available as a checkbox and slider in Toolbar.
Creative Cloud, PS Elements win 2013 Macworld Awards
Macworld UK has named Adobe Creative Cloud Publishing & Design Software of the Year. Meanwhile the Readers Choice for Software of the Year award goes to Photoshop Elements 11. Very cool, and on behalf of those teams, thanks!
Quote o' the Day
Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long. — Walker Evans
After I first heard this, I’d find myself having scary-intense moment staring at, say, grout in the shower. Good times.
Demo: What's new in Illustrator CC
I love the new type-handling features & the way the previously hidden power of the Free Transform tool has been made much more discoverable.
DevRocket for Photoshop for iOS design work
DevRocket is a Photoshop panel meant to facilitate designing for iOS:
A simplified solution to working between display resolutions, breaking down full ui designs into separate elements ready for Xcode and saving for the Retina display are just a few of the awesome features DevRocket brings to iOS designers currently using Photoshop.
Friday demo for photographers: Photoshop CC & Lightroom 5
Join Julieanne Kost as she demonstrates new features in Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, as well as sharing and collaboration features of Adobe Creative Cloud. In this Ask A Pro session, you will:
- Learn how Creative Cloud brings additional capabilities to your workflow with Sync Settings, Sync Fonts, and sharing with Creative Cloud
- See new features in Photoshop CC to enable more advanced sharpening than ever before with all-new Smart Sharpen, intelligent upsampling, and Camera Shake Reduction
- Learn how to perfect your images using the new Upright and Advanced Healing Brush in Adobe Camera Raw 8 and Lightroom 5
- See how to customize your photo books in the updated Book module in Lightroom 5
- Share your images with the leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work using Share to Behance from within Photoshop CC
LR5: Correcting perspective using Upright
More than any other feature in the new release, I’ve seen this one turn heads:
Discover how to automatically fix common problems such as tilted horizons as well as converging verticals in buildings using Lightroom’s Upright controls for perspective correction.
Adobe DPS passed the 100-million downloads mark
Adobe Digital Publishing Suite has reached a major new milestone: over 100 million cumulative folios downloaded since we first launched DPS in March 2011. The hockey stick growth curve in digital downloads confirms that mobile readership on tablets and smartphones is on the rise… The number of companies using DPS to accelerate their mobile marketing has increased 30% in the last six months alone.
Creative Cloud subscribers get unlimited InDesign-to-iPad publishing via DPS Single Edition.
Thursday demo: What's new in After Effects CC
Live demo/Q&A at 10am Pacific:
Create photo-real visual content fast with awesome new advancements, such as the Live 3D Pipeline between After Effects and CINEMA 4D, an enhanced 3D Camera Tracker, and layer and mask snapping for faster composition construction. Save hours of tedious rotoscoping work with the Refine Edge tool. Be more creative, thanks to advancements in stabilization and other refinements for a more responsive workflow.
The Adobe CC apps have arrived
I’m delighted to say that the new Adobe CC desktop apps, plus a variety of new publishing & collaboration features, are now available. Log into the new creative.adobe.com to download the new versions.
There’s so much that’s new that I won’t even attempt to list features here (rather, I’ll keep posting individual pieces about things I find especially interesting), but you can get a quick overview on this Creative Cloud team blog post. They talk about what’s available now & what’s just around the corner (e.g. Typekit fonts on the desktop, automated Web graphics export from Photoshop, and more). For Photoshop-specific questions, check out this FAQ.
Epic slow-mo balloon fight
Working on a shoestring budget, Johnny Han has created a captivating video for Irish musician Bressie’s “Silence is Your Saviour”. He used an intensive, all-Adobe workflow, but I’ll save that write-up for another time.
Coincidentally, my Father’s Day looked a ton like this–except that every swarming, pint-size thrower was targeting me alone. My shoes are still drying out…
Demo: Smart Previews in Lightroom 5
Tiny machines like the MacBook Air are great—just not for storing a lot of raw files. Julieanne Kost shows how Smart Previews in Lightroom 5 let you save a huge amount of disk space while continuing to work on your images.
"Making a difference. One app at a time."
This piece from Apple is the best kind of advertising, and damn if it isn’t beautiful, informative, and moving. (Tell me the kid becoming verbal doesn’t grab your heart & I’ll check you for a pulse.)
Beautiful, steampunk-ish "Heartbeat" pinhole cameras
Korean photographer & metalworker Kwanghun Hyun built a pair of brass pinhole cameras, powering their timing mechanisms with watch parts:
Lovely, though I wish my initial misreading (that it was somehow powered by one’s heartbeat) proved accurate. [YouTube]
Time lapse: The birth of a supercell
Check out this work from Mike Olbinski:
It took four years but I finally got it.
A rotating supercell. And not just a rotating supercell, but one with insane structure and amazing movement.
I’ve been visiting the Central Plains since 2010. Usually it’s just for a day, or three, or two…but it took until the fourth attempt to actually find what I’d been looking for. And boy did we find it. […]
We chased this storm from the wrong side (north) and it took us going through hail and torrential rains to burst through on the south side. And when we did…this monster cloud was hanging over Texas and rotating like something out of Close Encounters.
The timelapse was shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a Rokinon 14mm 2.8 lens. It’s broken up into four parts.
Check out the Vimeo page for more details. [Via Richard Morey]
Quote o' the day
“If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are.” — Montesquieu
I meditate on this frequently, especially in our industry where it seems everyone’s chasing the apparent validation that comes from making millions selling some some money-losing POS to a greater fool.
Check out the new CSS Designer in Dreamweaver
Tuesday, 10am Pacific (time zone convertor):
Come join us to learn about the new CSS Designer feature in Dreamweaver CC. The new CSS Designer is an intuitive visual editing tool that helps generate clean web-standard code and let you quickly apply CSS properties such as gradients and box shadows.
Free new Lynda.com course: B&W in Photoshop & Lightroom
Photohop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes has posted a new 42-minute course that’s free until June 21:
Shoot in color, but think in black and white. In this course, Adobe Photoshop Senior Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes shares his favorite techniques for transforming color photographs into black and white, a technique that provides more creative options than using your camera’s black-and-white mode. Learn how to prepare and fine-tune your photographs in Lightroom, and then move them into Photoshop to take advantage of its nondestructive adjustment layers. The course also introduces techniques for using Photoshop to adjust the color of video clips.
The multitouch fish tank, door handle, and more
Touché is a funky interface project from Disney Research, turning everything from liquids (!) to door knobs into multitouch surfaces:
According to the project site, the technology “can not only detect a touch event, but simultaneously recognize complex configurations of the human hands and body during touch interaction.”
We added complex touch and gesture sensitivity not only to computing devices and everyday objects, but also to the human body and liquids. Importantly, instrumenting objects and material with touch sensitivity is easy and straightforward: a single wire is sufficient to make objects and environments touch and gesture sensitive.
Demo: How To Do A Complete Portrait Retouch in Lightroom 5
Terry White shows what’s possible with the upgraded Healing Brush & radial gradients in LR5:
"Virtual motion graffiti" in an abandoned monastery
Lovely work from Daniel Silva:
From punk rock to Premiere Pro
This Thursday [update: here’s the recording] catch a demo/Q&A session with director Richard Jobson starting at 10am Pacific (convertor):
Wayland’s Song is an independent feature film that was completed entirely with Adobe CC production software. Please join us for a special session with director Richard Jobson where he will describe the whole process from planning through to final delivery, including scriptwriting and production scheduling with Adobe Story, ingest with Prelude, video editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, audio editing in Audition, and final color grading with SpeedGrade. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.
About Richard Jobson
Richard Jobson is the former lead singer for The Skids, a popular punk band in the 1980s. From there he moved into broadcasting where he became a well-known film critic and television host in the UK. Jobson started writing screenplays in 2002 and moved into directing short films and game cinematics in 2003. His first exposure to Adobe production software was through working with After Effects –in fact one of his feature films was edited entirely in this motion graphics application! Scheduled to open in June, 2013, Wayland’s Song is Jobson’s sixth feature film.
No word on whether he’ll shoot a sequel to Don’ You Go Rounin’ Roun To Re Ro.
Quote o' the day
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” — W.B. Yeats (via Gov. Jerry Brown)
So c’mon, baby, let’s light some fires.
"[Screw] it, we're building a Corvette"
“Design means making decisions,” we’re told, instead of trying to be everything to everyone. Along those lines I enjoyed this bit of profanity-laced wisdom from Adam Carolla. (Context: He’s talking about cable channels’ decision to make interesting shows for specific audiences, instead of milquetoast “minivans” that fail to please anyone.) [Source]
Lightroom 5 is now available
I’m pleased to say that Lightroom 5 is now available for download. PM Sharad Mangalick writes,
We’ve made over 400 tweaks since releasing Lightroom 5 beta, many of which are directly attributed to your feedback in our public forums. Thank you.
Lightroom 5 is now feature complete and final. Lightroom 5 will be available for $149 (for those new to Lightroom) and $79 (for Upgrade and Student/Teacher editions). As with previous version of Lightroom, Lightroom 5 is a perpetual license.
If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, you can download LR5 here. For an in-depth jump on what’s new, check out Julieanne Kost’s video series, Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.
New Adobe drawing hardware (yes, hardware)
Did you know that Adobe started out as a hardware company? As founders John Warnock & Chuck Geschke tell it, their whole plan was to sell printers, workstations—the whole enchilada. It was only after getting hit over the head repeatedly by customers saying, “Hmm, I really just want this PostScript thing…” that they switched gears and focused entirely on software.
30-odd years later, here’s VP Michael Gough showing off “Mighty” (a pen) and “Napoleon” (a short ruler; BYO rimshot).
Of course, being incredibly juvenile, I can’t hear about this project without thinking of the SNL version of Sean Connery talking about “The Pen Is Mightier…”
Engadget has a hands-on review with the product team.
WiSee recognizes gestures through walls
What the what?
WiSee is the first wireless system that can identify gestures in line-of-sight, non-line-of-sight, and through-the-wall scenarios. Unlike other gesture recognition systems like Kinect, Leap Motion or MYO, WiSee requires neither an infrastructure of cameras nor user instrumentation of devices. We implement a proof-of-concept prototype of WiSee and evaluate it in both an office environment and a two-bedroom apartment. Our results show that WiSee can identify and classify a set of nine gestures with an average accuracy of 94%.
[Via Bill Roberts]
Pranking people on the street with live Photoshopping
Brilliant, and well worth the two minutes:
[Via Dave Helmly]
Kids these days
PetaPixel writes about 14-year-old photographer/Photoshopper “Zev” (aka Fiddle Oak).
Elsewhere Miguel Campos has his 5-year-old (!) posting Photoshop tutorials:
I of course now feel inadequate because I’ve yet to interest Finn in using & teaching Photoshop. He does seem intrigued by the idea of making laser beams shoot out of his brother’s eyes. To be continued!
A new drawing/painting app, Mischief
The new app Mischief promises “the richness of pixel-based brushes AND the scalability of vectors” in a GPU-accelerated drawing environment. What do you think?
"Anti-Gravity Object Modeling"
I can’t tell you quite what’s happening here, and (spoiler alert) there’s no real punchline—but boy, it’s still kinda neat:
"Stories We Tell"
Sarah Polley has released Stories We Tell, “a genre-twisting film that playfully excavates layers of myth and memory to reveal the truth at the core of a family of storytellers.” Our new resident storyteller Bianca Giaever writes, “I was half-laughing, half-crying the entire second half. If you get a chance, it is a must see!”
Julieanne Kost: Creating Stunning Videos in Photoshop
Wait… why would you create & edit videos in Photoshop? Julieanne explains:
Discover how you can use Adobe Photoshop to easily create polished videos from your DSLR video footage and stills. Watch as Adobe Digital Imaging Evangelist Julieanne Kost demonstrates easy workflows and techniques to create great videos using Photoshop. In this session, Kost will cover:
- What’s possible with creating videos in Photoshop
- How to use the built-in video features introduced in Photoshop CS6
- Step-by-step techniques for creating stunning videos
- Understanding key techniques, tips, and tricks.