Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Adobe VP. feat… Wu-Tang Clan?!

What the what? From Sébastien Deguy, founder of Allegorithmic & now VP 3D & Immersive at Adobe:

I don’t communicate often about that other part of my activities, but I am so glad I could work with one of my all time favorites that I have to 🙂 My latest track, featuring Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan) is available on all streaming platforms! Like here on Spotify.

Perhaps even more surprisingly, it slaps! 👏

Video lovers: Adobe’s hiring a Community Relationship Manager for Pro Video

If this sounds like your kind of jam, read on! From the job description:


What you’ll do:

  • Share your knowledge, passion and experience of Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects with video makers.
  • Engage daily with communities around professional video wherever they are (Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) in two-way conversations, representing Adobe.
  • Be active and visible within the community, build long term relationships and trust, and demonstrate that knowledge and understanding of the users to help Adobe internally.
  • Build relationships with leaders in the identified communities.
  • Establish yourself as a leader through your work and participation in time-sensitive topics and conversations.
  • Answer questions and engage in discussion about Adobe products and policies with a heavy focus on newcomers to the ecosystem.
  • Encourage others through sharing your personal use of and experimentation with professional video tools.
  • Enable conversation, build content and speak about Adobe tools to address the specific audience needs.
  • Understand the competitive landscape and promptly report accordingly.
  • Coordinate with other community, product, marketing and campaign teams to develop mini-engagements and activities for the community (i.e. AMAs with the product team on Reddit, or community activities and discussions via live streams, etc.)
  • Work closely with the broader community team, evangelism team, and product teams to provide insight and feedback to advocate for the pro video community within Adobe and to help drive product development direction.

Designers: Come design Photoshop!

Two roles (listed as being based in NYC & Denver) are now open. Check out the descriptions from the team:

—————————

As a key member and thought-leader on this team, you’ll be an integral part of exploring and influencing the next generation of Adobe’s creative tools. Together, we are forging a new class of experience standards for desktop, mobile, and web products for years to come.

You will (among other things):

  • Seek/design the “simple” experiences and interactions that influence our growing portfolio of creative tools. Empower users to delight themselves.
  • Partner closely with fellow senior designers, product managers, senior engineers, and other leaders across different teams to bring new products to life.

What you’ll bring to the team

Must-Haves

  • A minimum of 5 years of industry experience in product design with a proven track record of success
  • Experience (and a love of!) solving complex design and technology problems using systems thinking
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to clearly articulate a multi-level problem space and strategy behind design decisions
  • Creative and analytical skills to advocate for and support research, synthesize, and communicate insights that encourage design opportunities and product strategy
  • Passion for understanding how creative people do what they do and how technology plays a role in the creative process
  • Experience establishing user experience patterns across mobile, web, and desktop products within connected platforms

Adobe UI role: Sr. Staff Experience Designer, Premiere Pro

My video teammates (including the one I married) are attempting some groundbreaking, audacious stuff, and this newly open gig is a great chance to dive in with them:

This role will lead projects across various workflows from editing, audio, color, graphics and motion. You will bring your future-looking ideas to life with your designs, prototypes, and storytelling toolkit. You are a strong advocate for the customer because you can relate to their needs and understand the power of design and story to transform.

You will use your experience in post-production and experience design to paint the future vision of the products, but also love getting down into the details of shipping new builds and setting the example for shipping work with high quality.

Adobe plans to make Photoshop on the web free to everyone

It’s been great to connect my former Google & Adobe teammates, helping them deepen the companies’ ongoing efforts to build up Web tech & enable deployment of demanding apps like Photoshop. Meanwhile the PS team has been working to make the app accessible everywhere:

The company is now testing the free version in Canada, where users are able to access Photoshop on the web through a free Adobe account. Adobe describes the service as “freemium” and eventually plans to gate off some features that will be exclusive to paying subscribers. Enough tools will be freely available to perform what Adobe considers to be Photoshop’s core functions. […]

“I want to see Photoshop meet users where they’re at now,” [Maria] Yap says. “You don’t need a high-end machine to come into Photoshop.”

“Thank God ‘E.T.’ Sucked,” revisited

Recently Atari creator Nolan Bushnell reflected on the 50th anniversary of the company, giving me occasion to reflect on how Atari’s decline very indirectly paved the way to my joining Photoshop. Here, 10 (!) years after I first shared it, is the brief story:


The stars aligned Monday, and two of my favorite creative people, Russell Brown & Panic founder Cabel Sasser, got to meet. Cabel (who commissioned Panic’s awesome homage to 1982-style video game art) was in town for a classic games show, and as we passed Russell’s office, I pointed out the cutout display for Atari’s notorious 1982 video game “E.T.” Russell had worked at Atari back then, and I rather gingerly asked, “Uh, didn’t that game kinda suck?”

“Oh yes!” said Russell–and thank goodness it did: if it hadn’t, Russell (and hundreds of others) wouldn’t have gotten laid off, and he wouldn’t have gone to Apple (where he met his future wife) and from there gone to “this little startup called ‘Adobe.'”

If that hadn’t happened, he wouldn’t have snatched my neck off the chopping block in ’02: I was days from being laid off post-LiveMotion, and it’s because Russell saw my “farewell” demo at his ADIM conference that he called the execs to say, “Really–we’re canning this guy…?” And, of course, had that not happened, I likely wouldn’t have met Cabel, wouldn’t have been introducing him & Russell, wouldn’t be talking to you now.

Of course, we joked, if it weren’t for the three of us talking just then, we’d be off experiencing some wonderful life-changing strokes of serendipity right now–but so it goes. 🙂

How-to for app developers combating misinformation

Although it’s just one piece of a large puzzle, the Content Authenticity Initiative is working to help toolmakers add content credentials that help establish the original of digital media & disclose what edits have been done to it.

If you make imaging-related tools, check out this in-depth workshop exploring Adobe’s three open-source products for adding CAI support:

Content credentials, currently integrated into Adobe Photoshop, will now be available for other products and services through three simple open-source tools. Dave Kozma, Eric Scouten, and Gavin Peacock from the CAI team will show off the new JavaScript SDK, Rust Toolkit, and Command Line Utility. CAI Lead Product Designer and C2PA UX Task Force Co-Chair Pia Blumenthal will walk through the UX guidelines, use cases, and trust signals these new tools enable.

The AP joins the Content Authenticity Initiative

Adobe & partners in fighting disinformation have continued to grow their ranks, and it’s great to see the Associated Press coming on board:

With reporting from 250 locations around the world, AP is a key addition to the CAI’s mission to help consumers everywhere better understand the provenance and attribution of images and video. 

“We are pleased to join the CAI in its efforts to combat misinformation and disinformation around photojournalism,” said AP Director of Photography David Ake. “AP has worked to advance factual reporting for over 175 years. Teaming up to help ensure the authenticity of images aligns with that mission.”  

Full-stack engineers: come work with me!

We are building some rad stuff (seriously, I wish I could show you already) and would love to have you join us:

We are looking for a versatile and passionate Senior Developer to join us and help drive full stack, complex component implementation. You’ll play a key role in architectural discussions, defining solutions, and solving highly technical issues. Our team builds both cloud services (Python, and C++) and web experiences (Javascript, typescript, web Components, etc …) . The winning candidate for this high impact role requires a deep knowledge about cloud-based architectures as well as a solid CS fundamentals.

Some key responsibilities:

  • Architect efficient and reusable full-stack systems that can support several different deep learned models
  • Design, architect, and implement multiple low-latency micro-services (we mostly use JavaScript, C++, and Python)
  • Building simple, robust, and scalable platforms used by many external users
  • Work closely with UX designers, Product managers, Machine Learning engineers to develop compelling experiences
  • Take a project from scoping requirements through the actual launch

Behind Peacemaker’s joyously bizarre title sequence

I generally really enjoyed HBO’s Peacemaker series—albeit, as I told the kids, if even I found the profanity excessive, insofar as “too much salt spoils the soup.” I really enjoyed the whacked-out intro music & choreography:

Here the creators give a peek into how it was made:

And here a dance troupe in Bangladesh puts their spin on it:

https://twitter.com/JamesGunn/status/1507405773252575234

Photoshop adds full support for WebP

Huzzah! Here’s the scoop:

——–

Full support for WebP

We are excited to announce that Photoshop now has full support for the WebP file format! WebP files can now be opened, created, edited, and saved in Photoshop without the need for a plug-in or preference setting.

Full support for WebP in Photoshop

To open a WebP file, simply select and open the file in the same manner as you would any other supported file or document. In addition to open capabilities, you can now create, edit, and save WebP files. Once you are done editing your document, open Save As or Save a Copy and select WebP from the options provided in the file format drop-down menu to save your WebP file.

To learn more, check out Work with WebP files in Photoshop.

“Fiat Lux”

An incandescent labor of love:

There are 686 light painting photographs that make up the 11-scene project. Each of these long exposure light painting photographs are straight out of the camera and arranged side by side to create motion.

[Via Russell Brown]

AI: Adobe’s hiring a Senior Ethical Innovation Specialist

If you’re passionate about making artificial intelligence work fairly & responsibly for everyone, and if you’re considering taking a new role, check out this job listing in case it’s a good fit:

———–

The Office of Ethical Innovation (AI Ethics) drives organization-wide ethics related activities and develops processes, tools, training, and other resources to ensure that our AI solutions consistently reflect Adobe’s AI ethics principles: accountability, responsibility, and transparency. AI is critical to our Adobe products, and we continue to see AI leveraged in more innovative ways. AI Ethics needs to be top of mind from research to product release.

What You’ll Do

  • Develop technical solutions to support AI ethics mandates by collaborating with our data scientists and machine learning engineers across the organization.
  • Translate fairness, explanability, or robustness mandates into technical guidelines and engineering requirements that will operate at scale.
  • Mentor teams on negative bias issues in the areas of Big Data, Natural Language Processing, Knowledge Mining, Deep Learning, Classification, GANS and Computer Vision.
  • Partner closely with product teams, research, diversity and inclusion, quality assurance, legal, and other partners to define and implement responsible AI practices throughout the global organization.
  • Work in tandem with the AI Ethics Review Board to ensure AI-powered features are designed for inclusivity; are guided by our ethics principles; and embody outcomes that respect our customers.
  • Distill recommendations and findings from AI Ethics reviews to proactively improve our products.
  • Develop and deliver internal ethical AI training programs to enhance awareness and adoption of ethical practices.
  • Conduct practitioner research on the trends, advancements and standard methodologies in AI, machine learning, software development specific to ethics and social responsibility across industry and academia.

PMs: Come intern with my team this summer!

We have a great opportunity for a current MBA student who’s interested in focusing on product management. Here’s what I wrote for the job description:

Creative self-expression is at a generational crossroads: as AI gives apps superhuman perception of the world, creative tools can offer expressive superpowers to anyone. This is your opportunity to join a world-class team of researchers, engineers, and software developers who are inventing the next generation of creative tools powered by machine learning. In this role you will help Adobe Research define and launch new products and experiences that bring AI to a wide range of photographers, illustrators, and hobbyists.

We’re seeking a high-energy Product Manager MBA Intern who combines a deep curiosity about creative imaging with solid experience conducting research, collaborating with cross-functional teams, and delivering solutions to ambiguous challenges.

What you’ll do:

  • Partner with design & engineering colleagues to define product concepts that address a range of user needs around creative imaging.
  • Test, validate, and iterate on these concepts via user research and engagement.
  • Help define and deliver on opportunities to acquire users and drive revenue across products.
  • Identify and quantify market fit and opportunities across user segments and platforms.

If this sounds like a good fit for your skills & availability, please drop us a line, or if you know someone who might be a good fit, please share the link. Thanks!

“Zuck on a Truck” is pitch-dark & I’m here for it

“It’s a Decoration Insurrection!”

I loved Jimmy Kimmel’s savage “Elf on the Shelf” parody:

“With the power of Facebook’s massive database, your personal Mark Zuckerberg knows absolutely everything. Zuck on a Truck can tell if you’ve been naughty or nice. He knows every website you’ve ever visited, every place you’ve ever lived, every friend you’ve ever made, every love you’ve ever lost, every schoolmate you’ve stalked — Zuck on a Truck even knows when you’ll die!”

The whole thing rapidly darkens as FB connects all the naughty children to take down democracy—while all the while taking no responsibility:

Enjoy (starts around 10:44):

An awesome Adobe PM opportunity: AI for video

Check out this chance to work with some of my favorite engineering collaborators:

We believe AI will revolutionize the next generation of creative tools, automating repetitive tasks while leaving creative agency with the user. This is your opportunity to join a world-class team of researchers, engineers, and software developers who are inventing the next generation of creative tools powered by machine learning. In this role you will help Adobe Research launch new products and experiences that bring AI to video creative tools

Specific responsibilities:

— Launch products enhanced by machine learning.

Interact with customers as often as possible—through user interviews, user testing, social media, and wherever else you can find them—to understand unspoken, unmet needs. Advocate for the customer.

— Identify and quantify market fit and opportunities across user segments and platforms. 

— Guide our scientists and engineers with your deep understanding of market and technology trends, and the competitive landscape.

— Define a comprehensive product roadmap and strategy.

— Communicate our product strategy to executives.

— Form and test data-driven hypotheses about which choices will increase market impact. 

— Prioritize what needs to get done versus what could be done.

If you might be a good fit, please throw your hat in the ring, or tell a friend who might want to jump in!

“Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time”

I was such a happy dad recently when my 12yo Henry (who, being an ADD guy like me, often finds long texts to be a slog) got completely engrossed in the graphic novel version of Slaughterhouse-Five and read it in an evening. Meanwhile his older brother was working his way through Cat’s Cradle—one of my all-time faves.

Now I’m pleased to see the arrival of Unstuck In Time, a new documentary covering Vonnegut’s life & work:

Tangentially (natch), this brought to mind the Vonnegut scenes in Back To School—where I first heard the phrase “F me?!

Oh, and then there’s one of my favorite encapsulations of life wisdom—a commencement address wrongly attributed to Vonnegut, and tonally right in his wheelhouse”

MAX Sneak: Smarter vectorization through “Make It Pop”

Semantic segmentation + tracing FTW!

By using machine learning to understand the scene, Project Make it Pop makes it easy to create and customize an illustration by distinguishing between the background and the foreground as well as recognizing connected shapes and structures.

And you’ve gotta stick around for the whole thing, or just jump to around 2:52 where I literally started saying “WTF…?”

More great roles open at Adobe: Lightroom & Camera PMs, 3D artist

Check ’em out!

Principal Product Manager – Photoshop Camera

Adobe is looking for a product manager to help build a world-class mobile camera app for Adobe—powered by machine learning, computer vision, and computational photography, and available on all platforms. This effort, led by Adobe VP and Fellow Marc Levoy, who is a pioneer in computational photography, will begin as part of our Photoshop Camera app. It will expand its core photographic capture capabilities, adding new computational features, with broad appeal to consumers, hobbyists, influencers, and pros. If you are passionate about mobile photography, this is your opportunity to work with a great team that will be changing the camera industry.

Product Manager, Lightroom Community & Education

Adobe is looking for a product manager to help build a world-class community and education experience within the Lightroom ecosystem of applications! We’re looking for someone to help create an engaging, rewarding, and inspiring community to help photographers connect with each other and increase customer satisfaction and retention, as well as create a fulfilling in-app learning experience. If you are passionate about photography, building community, and driving customer success, this is your opportunity to work with a great team that is driving the future of photography!

QA technical artist

Adobe is looking to hire a QA Technical Artist (contract role) to work with the Product Management team for Adobe Stager, our 3D staging and rendering application. The QA Technical Artist will analyze and contribute to the quality of the application through daily art production and involvement with product feedback processes. We are looking for a candidate interested in working on state-of-the-art 3D software while revolutionizing how it can be approachable for new generations of creators.

What English sounds like to non-speakers

Kinda OT, I know, but I was intrigued by this attempt to use gibberish to let English speakers hear what the language sounds like to non-speakers. All right!

Of it the New Yorker writes:

The song lyrics are in neither Italian or English, though at first they sound like the latter. It turns out that Celentano’s words are in no language—they are gibberish, except for the phrase “all right!” In a television clip filmed several years later, Celentano explains (in Italian) to a “student” why he wrote a song that “means nothing.” He says that the song is about “our inability to communicate in the modern world,” and that the word “prisencolinensinainciusol” means “universal love.” […]

Prisencolinensinainciusol” is such a loving presentation of silliness. Would any grown performer allow themselves this level of playfulness now? Wouldn’t a contemporary artist feel obliged add a tinge of irony or innuendo to make it clear that they were “knowing” and “sophisticated”? It’s not clear what would be gained by darkening this piece of cotton candy, or what more you could know about it: it is perfect as is. 

Adobe 3D & Immersive is Hiring

Lots of cool-sounding roles are now accepting applications:


CURRENT OPEN POSITIONS

Sr. 3D Graphics Software Engineer – Research and Development

Seeking an experienced software engineer with expertise in 3D graphics research and engineering, a passion for interdisciplinary collaboration, and a deep sense of software craftsmanship to participate in the design and implementation of our next-generation 3D graphics software.

Senior 3D Graphics Software Engineer, 3D&I

Seeking an experienced Senior Software Engineer with a deep understanding of 3D graphics application engineering, familiarity with CPU and GPU architectures, and a deep sense of software craftsmanship to participate in the design and implementation of our next-generation collaborative 3D graphics software

Senior 3D Artist

We’re hiring a Senior 3D Artist to work closely with an important strategic partner. You will act as the conduit between the partner, and our internal product development teams. You have a deep desire to experiment with new technologies and design new and efficient workflows. The role is full-time and based in Portland or San Francisco. Also open to other west coast cities such as Seattle and Los Angeles.

Principal Designer, 3DI

We’re looking for a Principal Designer to join Adobe Design and help drive the evolution of our Substance 3D and Augmented Reality ecosystem for creative users.

Contract Position – Performance Software Engineer

Click on the above links to see full job descriptions and apply online. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Send us your profile, or portfolio. We are always looking for talented engineers, and other experts in the 3D field. We may have a future need for contractors or special projects.

3D: A Rube Goldberg “exquisite corpse”

This fruit of collaborative creation process, all keyed off of a single scene file, is something to be hold, especially when viewed on a phone (where it approximates scrolling through a magical world):

For Dynamic Machines, I challenged 3D artists to guide a chrome ball from point A to point B in the most creative way possible. Nearly 2,000 artists entered, and in this video, the Top 100 renders are featured from an incredible community of 3D artists!

Adobe makes a billion-dollar bet on cloud video collaboration

Back in 1999, before I worked at Adobe, a PM there called me to inquire about my design agency’s needs as we worked across teams and offices spread over multiple time zones. In the intervening years the company has tried many approaches, some more successful than others (what up, Version Cue! yeah, now who feels old…), but now they’re making the biggest bet I’ve seen:

With over a million users across media and entertainment companies, agencies, and global brands, Frame.io streamlines the video production process by enabling video editors and key project stakeholders to seamlessly collaborate using cloud-first workflows.

Creative Cloud customers, from video editors, to producers, to marketers, will benefit from seamless collaboration on video projects with Frame.io workflow functionality built natively in Adobe Creative Cloud applications like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Photoshop.

I can’t wait to see how all this plays out—and if you’re looking for the ear of a PM on point who’d like to hear your thoughts, well, there’s one who lives in my house. 🙂

Come guide Photoshop by joining its new Beta program

“Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid.” – Goethe

So I said nearly 15 (!) years ago (cripes…) when we launched the first Photoshop public beta. Back then the effort required moving heaven and earth, whereas now it’s a matter of “oh hai, click that little icon that you probably neglect in your toolbar; here be goodies.” Such is progress, as the extraordinary becomes the ordinary. Anyhoo:

Photoshop Beta is debuting this month. It is a new way Creative Cloud members can give feedback to the Photoshop team. Photoshop Beta is an exciting opportunity to test and provide feedback about stability, performance, and occasionally new features by using a version of Photoshop before it is released.

To get Photoshop Beta, Creative Cloud members can install it from the Beta section of the Creative Cloud desktop app. Look for Photoshop Beta and simply click Install.

To provide feedback, head over to the Photoshop Ecosystem Adobe Community and create a new post using the “Beta” topic. Stay tuned for a brand-new forum experience for the Photoshop Beta coming soon.

“The Art of Logic”

I quite enjoyed this Talk at Google by mathematician & concert pianist (what a slouch!) Eugenia Cheng. Wait, wait, don’t go—I swear it’s infinitely more down-to-earth & charming than one would think. Among other things she uses (extremely accessible math (er, “maths” 🙄) to illuminate touchy subjects like societal privilege, diet, and exercise. It’s also available in podcast form.

Emotions are powerful. In newspaper headlines and on social media, they have become the primary way of understanding the world. With her new book “The Art of Logic: How to Make Sense in a World that Doesn’t”, Eugenia has set out to show how mathematical logic can help us see things more clearly – and know when politicians and companies are trying to mislead us. This talk, like the book, is filled with useful real-life examples of logic and illogic at work and an essential guide to decoding modern life.

“For Madmen Only”

“I will give you Del’s body, and it’s a great body, because you can study the effects of smoking, alcohol, cocaine, and heroin on the brain. All I need is the skull.”

So said Charna Halpern, the longtime creative partner of improve legend Del Close, who insisted that his skull be donated for use on stage (e.g. in Hamlet). To say that he sounds like a character would be an incredible understatement, and this new documentary about his life & work looks rather amazing:

Adobe/Google contributor named “2021 Significant New Researcher”

It’s been cool to watch my Adobe & Google colleagues (who sometimes hop back & forth over that fence) collaborating on the imaging-savvy Halide language, and now one of the contributors is getting recognized by ACM SIGGRAPH:

ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to present the 2021 Significant New Researcher Award to Jonathan Ragan-Kelley for his outstanding contributions to systems and compilers in rendering and computational photography. 

Jonathan is best known for his work on the language and compiler Halide, which has become the industry standard for computational photography and image processing. Performance has always been at the heart of computer graphics. At a time when we can’t rely on Moore’s law alone, efficiently leveraging modern hardware such as CPUs and GPUs is extremely challenging because of different levels of parallelism and differing memory hierarchies. By cleanly separating an algorithm from how it is optimized, Halide provides a new set of abstractions that make it much easier to achieve high performance. Code written in Halide tends to be much more concise than C code (2x-10x shorter) and runs much more efficiently (2x-20x faster) across a range of different processors. The compiler is open source and has had significant impact in industry, including powering much of the Google Android Camera app and playing a critical role in making the Adobe Photoshop iPad app possible

[Via Sylvain Paris]

Premiere Pro joins the roster of M1-native Adobe apps

Happy news, per Digital Trends:

Adobe has just announced Premiere Pro runs natively on the new chip architecture, joining a stable of the company’s other apps in making the switch.

Premiere Pro has actually been available on M1-enabled Macs since December 2020, but ever since then, it has only been offered as a beta. Now, though, the full version has been launched to the public. […]

It is not the first app Adobe has migrated to Apple’s new platform, though. Lightroom made the leap in December 2020, Photoshop followed in March 2021, then Lightroom Classic, Illustrator, and InDesign arrived in June.