Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2010 2:35:26 PM by Scott Valentine
So far, this and my previous video are getting good responses, which gives me hope for acceptance of 3D in Photoshop going forward. With any luck, folks will find new uses for this great tool, and maybe even push onward with dedicated 3D tools for their everyday work.
I really do think knowing 3D at least in a basic way will become vital not only for graphic designers and animators, but for photographers as well. Virtual sets, previsualization, and advanced compositing, not to mention shooting textures for other modelers to use, are becoming more common, and to keep up in the commercial fields, you gotta keep on top of the trends.
Stick around CMX and watch for more 3D tutorials in the near future - put 'em in your toolbox :)
Category tags: Photoshop
Posted Tuesday, October 27, 2009 11:54:27 AM by Jim Babbage
Yes that's right. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is now available for public beta testing at Adobe Labs.
And it's very cool.
For those of you who don't know, Lightroom is literally a digital photo darkroom. Where Photoshop has many workflows - digital imaging, creative design and pre-press - Lightroom has a truly singular workflow: digital photography.
It combines many features of Bridge, Camera RAW, and digital image correction/enhancement in a very slick package. It also offers multiple output workflows: slideshow (with music, even), print (single images and packages) and web (photo galleries and direct to flickr upload).
If any of this has piqued your interest, be sure to drop by Adobe Labs for the beta, and to watch some excellent Lightroom 3 videos by Julieanne Kost
Posted Friday, September 04, 2009 5:33:51 PM by Scott Valentine
I will be presenting 'Using 3D Tools in Photoshop CS4 Extended' to the User Group and Experts community on September 16th via Adobe Connect. I'll cover the basics of how the tools work using a graphic design example, as well as a model from Google's free Warehouse 3D collection.
Here's the info you need:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
If you are a member of Adobe Groups, you can check out the details here:
Or just join the meeting on the 16th:
This is a free community event, one of the last of the summer, so stop in and soak up some 3D goodness!
Posted Friday, December 19, 2008 12:04:43 PM by Scott Valentine
My new book, Real World Compositing with Photoshop CS4, is set to hit shelves in early January 2009. We turned in the final manuscript this past week. It's been an interesting journey, and I'm already collecting notes for a 2nd edition (if we're lucky), and possibly another book altogether.
We took the approach of going from concept to execution, hoping for a more holistic way of creating composite artwork. The goal was to help people understand that creating works, especially very realistic or goal-oriented pieces, is not something that can be done by piling up tutorial after tutorial. In fact, we rarely discuss specific techniques. Instead, we take the reader from concept development on up to the point of starting actual work, but not much further.
So, early on, we worked at guiding the reader towards having a vision in place, and working on elements along the way that support the vision. Planning, photography, sketches, notes, etc. are all wrapped up in the process of managing the vision. With any luck, there will be a supporting website to handle specific techniques and challenges, some of which will be brought to CMX as articles and tutorials. Keep your eyes peeled!
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 10:26:26 PM by Stephanie
So there's been a pretty decent sized debate going on through the webosphere. Designers should know how to code. Developers should know how to design (or shouldn't need to design). I considered weighing in on the 37 Signals blog -- but the comments were already closed. Call me slow (yes, I've been on the road, had a birthday, and had my mom visiting with her birthday. ;). You'd be right. Oh well.
I do have one thing to say. Well, I probably have more than one, but I'll start with that. I recently did a couple sessions at the HOW design conference. One was on "Mistakes Print Designers Make on the Web." Yes, I definitely agree there are common mistakes from the print paradigm. Many times I can tell how people's brains work when they ask for help on lists. I can tell they don't understand the web or come from a print background. However, that does NOT mean I think they are useless. Do I think they should know how the web works? That the web is a fluid, not static medium? Am I willing to help them learn (if they're going to be in my "designer stable")? He77s yea. I am willing. Because I think they are very important to our industry.
Do I think that coders should not use a graphic medium. Lord no. "Designing" (or so they call it) using the constraints of "what's easy to do with code" is really a sad, and less attractive, way to work. I say bring on the tough comps -- we'll work it out, or we'll ask for a small revision. We'll come up with a way to make it work accessibly. A way you might not have thought of before -- but a way that is equally lovely. But lord knows I think you design types are valuable. I quit designing years ago. Why? I'm a tweakaholic. I make more money hiring people that are more creative, better trained and faster. My clients save money with those same people. The designers are freed to be their creative selves -- but yes, it's nice for me if they understand the web. It's nice if I don't have to lead, guide, explain. That said, because I know my craft, I'm willing to help them at the beginning. And no, I don't expect them to know how to code. Just to have an overall understanding that the web is not print. Everything will not have line breaks where they want it to. It won't be glued down. But I, with my experience, will guide them through what can and can't be done. In time, they will be one of my favorite designers. They will understand, but they will send it to me to code. Because that's what I do best.
Do you create the site with HTML? Do you create it without a graphic program? Well, gawd bless you. But I'd venture to say your designs are likely boring. I think 37 signals rawks in usability. I have no bad words to say about them. But what I'm seeing from their recent blog posts in this area is just silly. And no, I've never seen a super creative design come out of that group (at least that I KNEW was from them. I'm certainly not barring it).
Personally, I welcome the challenge of the design minds. I find that if I create the site IN HTML, I do what's easiest to do with HTML/CSS. I don't challenge my abilities. I don't push the envelope.
Yes, the site is about the content -- the message. People are generally looking for information on the web. I teach that all the time all over the world. But there's another side of it. There's the package that same content comes in. Is it readable and usable? Good. That's important. Does it work when the text size is large. Does it work with assistive technology. Excellent. Accessibility is even more important. But goodness knows that a majority of your readers are going to be influenced by what it looks like. Yes, even the colors. Study color psychology. Look at eye patterns. Immerse yourself in usability and interaction. Heck, watch your mom try to navigate things -- I just did. It's eye opening. How it looks is important. Sorry, that's just the facts. Why do you think company's spend so much on their Superbowl commercials?
And let's not leave out how you interact with the database -- how well that content dynamically appears. How much sense it makes. How usable the interface is. There are many things to think about. The root of my story and my point is -- it's the rare individual that has all the strengths needed for one web site. It's the team that matters. Should everyone have a basic understanding of the other member's jobs? How they work? What they can accomplish. Oh yes. Absolutely. Should they be able to do them? That's just ludicrous. Absolutely not. Surround yourself with people more brilliant than yourself. Always learn. Work hard. You, and those around you, will be enormously successful.
Posted Saturday, May 31, 2008 8:29:01 PM by Jim Babbage
TODCon will be here very soon. Yep, I'm counting the days. OK that's not the secret.
It'll be great to hook up with some CMX friends and regular TODCon attendees and speakers. Well, that's no secret either.
I've written the last three CMXtraneous blog posts! That's more of a shock than a surprise, though.
I'm pretty stoked about the Fireworks public beta. The Fireworks engineering team has done a phenominal job. It's to the point now where I don't like going back to CS3. Yeah, not really a secret there either, the way I've been blabbing all week long about it.
The secret is my second TODCon session. It will be a live demo of the new features in the Fireworks Public beta! We'll look at some of the cool features you've read about in my recent articles as well as Kim Cavanaugh's piece on the Path panel. Based on what you've read and heard this week, I hope you pull up a chair for my session.
Alan Musselman from Adobe will also be presenting a session on Fireworks. He'll no doubt have some very awesome and cool stuff to share as well.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. I'll be the guy with the loud shirt and - new this year - a limp (sprained my ankle and pulled a tendon a couple weeks ago YEOUCH). Feel free to have pity on me and buy me a martini or at least help me to the gift shop for a new fashion statement. ;-)
Posted Sunday, April 20, 2008 12:10:57 PM by Stephanie
Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3, the book I co-wrote with Greg Rewis, is finally out. Yes, I know, it was long overdue. I took a picture of it when I finally got to see it at Greg's house (no, my copies haven't arrived yet), so if you'll excuse the exhausted, traipsing around Phoenix all day look on my face, you can see me with the book on Flickr.
Greg and I didn't want to create the same CSS or Dreamweaver book that others have written. Those books are published, are very useful, and if that's what you need buy the appropriate book. Our goal instead was to show how to create standards-based, accessible web layouts using Dreamweaver. It's a myth that you have to hand code to be a real web developer. Is it best to know how to semantically mark up your page? Yes, absolutely. This is a craft and you should know as much as you can about it. Can you hand code within the Dreamweaver environment? Of course you can -- I do it all the time. Do you have to? Absolutely not. There are tools within Dreamweaver that make your work faster, and more effective whether you're working in code or design view. If you haven't looked at Dreamweaver since about MX or so, it's come a long way baby!
The book is full of CSS tips and techniques. It also teaches a variety of ways to use Dreamweaver CS3. Both Fireworks and Photoshop comps are used and the integration of those programs with Dreamweaver is illustrated.
Our hope is that the techniques taught in the book will make your beautiful designs more solid as well as making you more comfortable with the program used by so many web departments. I use Dreamweaver every day and even I learned some new Dreamweaver tips from Greg! Here's what one reader had to say:
"The first chapter alone was worth it to me. I have a lot of CSS books, tutorial sites, etc. Maybe I'm more familiar after working with it for a while, but for me, this book is as clear as a bell, informative as a book ought to be, and motivational as a hand grenade... made me want to jump up and run like hell... to Dreamweaver to try stuff out."
Some of you may have also heard a rumor about the other partnership that came out of writing this book. And to that I say, yes, it's true. Greg and I were engaged (via Twitter) in early March. You can think of the book as our baby. ;)
Posted Friday, April 04, 2008 10:03:20 PM by Scott Valentine
John Nack has a lengthy post about why you won't see 64-bit Photoshop goodness on Mac for CS4.
There is a lot of good information there about what 64-bit does and doesn't mean, both in general and for running Photoshop. In the end, it's about market, and Apple has decided to leave Carbon-64 in the trash heap. So, Adobe will be focusing on moving to the Cocoa way of doing things.
John brings up some good information for Mac folks, and also tries to head off any media-baited flame wars. However, I am willing to bet this will just spark a frenzy of armchair developers wagging fingers and charry-picking lame arguments. It's business, folks... take an objective step back and see what makes sense to all parties involved. Pay special attention to the 3 points made near the end of his blog entry.
Category tags: Photoshop
Posted Wednesday, April 02, 2008 10:34:02 AM by Jim Babbage
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 8:07:52 PM by Jim Babbage
A week in the Canadian Wilderness.
With Tom Green.
Actually, it was not as scary as it sounds. I recently spent a week near the eastern shore of Lake Superior with Tom and his son, Rob. We had a great time, camping, hiking and canoeing and treating ourselves to some most excellent camp chow and some of the most spectacular scenery one could see and still be within walking distance of a hot shower. A mere 12 hour drive from Toronto, our base of operations was Obatanga Provincial Park. At just $25 a night for peace and quiet and gorgeous views it was worth every penny.
I made many pictures that week (well over 400), some with the intention of turning them into panoramics using Photoshop, or combining images using Auto Align and Auto Blend to make the perfect exposure and still others just for the sheer joy of capturing the moment, like this one:
Still others were just for fun and for future plans, such as the pixel dump station:
For the edited (under 300 images) version and to see some great scenery - and some pretty cool panoramics (all hand held, I would add) - make sure to drop by my flickr site, choose slide show, sit back and enjoy.
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 12:52:46 PM by Stephanie
There's been a wide range of reaction to Adobe's new CS3 icons. Admittedly, when I first saw the single Dreamweaver icon, I was taken aback -- "Is this thing finished?" But after seeing the whole suite, especially on the color wheel, I thought they were nicely done and easy to differentiate as I got a few in my dock. There were many who thought differently though. It was a love it or hate it kind of thing.
For those of you in the hate camp, there's an option. Adam Betts, a very talented designer, has created his own set of CS3 icons -- and released them, free, to the public. He based them on the box design and they look quite lovely. He's even made a new set of document icons if the plain ones don't quite do it for you.
What they'll look like at the smaller sizes, I can't say. There are no instructions included for where to install them, and at this point I haven't a clue. (Feel free to point me in the right direction if you know. :))
There are a few other sets I've run into if Adam's aren't your favorite. Mac Themes is similar to Adam's, Louie Mantia has a set that blend the old icons with the new box look, and if you like the new ones from Adobe but would rather have them a little sexier, koregraphik.com made a set with nicer gradients and rounded corners. Check them all out.
Posted Tuesday, March 27, 2007 3:30:31 PM by Jim Babbage
Representatives from Adobe announced today the launch of Adobe CS3. I know we've been hearing little bits about this for a while, but people, this is huge.
This live webcast gave the global audience an chance to see what Adobe has been working on for the past two years, "the largest software release in Adobe's history."
How large? 13 point products upgrades were announced today, including NEW products. A pretty ambitious effort indeed.
Adobe has created variety of collections geared to different types of users and price points:
- Design Suite Standard
- Design Suite Premium
- Web Suite Standard
- Web Suite Premium
- Production Premium
- Master Collection
The common theme throughout the CS3 suites is one of integration - better integration between Fireworks, Photoshop and Illustrator, better integration between Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator, between Flash, Photoshop and Illustrator and between Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator.
Lording over it all is Adobe Bridge, which is now connected to many of the major Adobe apps, including Fireworks, Flash, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop.
For more information on the new suites, keep checking back here at Community MX where we will be giving you sneak peeks into some of our favorite features over the coming days.
You can also - of course - visit Adobe's web site for more details on the new software, pricing and packages as well as tutorials.
Posted Wednesday, September 13, 2006 1:07:38 PM by Jim Babbage
As you may have noticed from my recent articles, I've been on a bit of an organizational kick. It all started (or became more focused) when I downloaded the LightRoom beta from Adobe. Pretty cool software which I am still playing with.
Ironically, playing with LightRoom got me thinking more and more about Adobe Bridge, and its functionality. While not near as sexy as LightRoom, Bridge is packed with functionality that can really help to streamline your workflow and business.
I've been using Bridge for quite some time to add Metadata to all my images before they are burned to CD and/or shipped to the client, or even uploaded to my flickr site. But lately I've been experimenting more with the search, keyword and rating features. This experimentation has resulted in a series of articles about Adobe Bridge. So far, Parts 1 and 2 are online. Parts 3 and 4 are completed and will be hitting cyberspace some time soon.
The Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge Series:
- Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge - Part 1: Batch Renaming
- Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge - Part 2: Working with Metadata
- Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge - Part 3: Keywords and Searches and Collections - Oh My!
- Getting Organized with Adobe Bridge - Part 4: Rating and Labelling
I didn't begin writing about the Bridge with a series of articles in mind. However, the more I played (and found cool things) the more I thought about sharing those discoveries with you.
I'm not sure if I have any more Bridge articles up my sleeve, but as I continue to work with the application, the muse may slap me upside the head yet again. Part four was a bit of a surprise even to me. I hadn't even thought about going over these features until I realized how often I use the rating feature myself.
I'm also finding this information to be very useful to my current students. This semester, I am teaching photojournalism and photography to students in two different journalism programs at Centennial College.
One core component of the courses is Photoshop instruction, but it occurred to me recently how valuable the Bridge can be to these students and how important it is to instil good organizational habits early. This is of particular relevance to my photojournalism students, because Bridge works with XMP data and follows IPTC standards for data storage/input. The type of information you can include/embed with an image file will become part of their photography workflow when they enter the profession.
Adobe has also acknowledged and embraced this technology with the creation of their XMP toolkit and the extended capabilites of the File Info feature.
For those of you who are not photographers, Adobe Bridge works with multiple image formats, not just photographs. Whether you have a collection of PNG designs for a web site, or a bunch of animated GIFS, Bridge can help you get - and stay - organized with those files as well. So if you haven't had the chance yet, be sure to take a peek at these articles.
Anything you can do to make your life easier is a good thing, in my view.
As Adobe continues to develop its myriad product lines, I hope to see Bridge capability or integration with other programs, too.
Posted Wednesday, July 12, 2006 1:34:59 PM by Jim Babbage
It has been a while since the merger/aquisition of Macromedia by Adobe and at least from my small place in the world, things seem to be working out rather smoothly. Fireworks lives on, ImageReady has been booted into the dumpster (Boo-yah). Now Adobe can concentrate more on improving Photoshop without resources being siphoned into ImageReady. I may be naive in that regard, but a guy can hope.
Dreamweaver and Flash seem secure in their existence. I don't have a crystal ball (or inside info, either) so it's hard to say how things will change over the next few development cycles, but for now I am content.
I am well aware that CMX subscribers and many other graphics professionals still use both apps, or more. With some, the strength is Fireworks; with others, it is Photoshop and quite likely Illustrator. I really don't think this scenario will change a lot. After all, you use the tools that you are most comfortable with and that do the job in the most efficient manner.
Where I do see a shift is specifically with those web graphics people who were (or are) using Photoshop/ImageReady for graphics work. I can see them leaning - or being led - to the Fireworks side of things.
In the meantime, I have seen the odd post from a subscriber wishing/hoping that our CMX JumpStarts had PSD versions for the graphics.
The creation of a JumpStart is a long, detailed process which goes through multiple edits and revisions to ensure the design and the CSS/html work as efficiently and are as clean as possible. These puppies aren't built overnight, believe me. And at this time, there are many hurdles and acrobatics and workarounds involved in converting a fully editable FW PNG file to a fully editable PS PSD or AI file. Even then, there may still be some slight differences.
Well, hopeful Photoshop users, I have taken it upon myself to make PSD (or where more appropriate, AI) conversions of some of our CMX JumpStarts. In late June, Fireworks to Photoshop - Rebuilding the CMX Vienna JumpStart PNG as a PSD file became available. I've recently completed two others which will be online within the next couple weeks.
This process is hit and miss; I don't know if I will be able to convert all of them. But as the months progress, you will see more of these conversions made available. Each article included the editable PSD or Ai file and covers any pesky little conversion soluitons I had to go through. I don't repeat information that was dealt with in previous articles, but I try to mention where you would find the information in my other articles.
Keep in mind, these are NOT complete JumpStarts; they are only the main PNG file. If you want all bundled articles and CSS information, you would need to purchase/download the original JumpStart.
I hope that you find these articles interesting and useful. I'm certainly learning a thing or two as I go.
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2006 9:32:18 PM by Jim Babbage
Well today is kind of a special day. Our two newest tutorials tell you how to do the very same thing.
But in different programs.
That's right ladies and gentlemen, web geeks of all ages; come one, come all and see the Amazing Edge Effects Mastery of both Photoshop and Fireworks.
Read in awe and wonder (or pretend to, for the authors' benefits) how you can easily create extraordinary edge effects without having to purchase any extra software what-so-ever!
OK, maybe I went a little over the big top with that. But if you've read many of my tutorials, one thing you'll notice is that every once in a while I write a piece that takes a Photoshop technique and puts a Fireworks spin to it. Today, you have - I think - a visual treat. Knut Kubenz, our newest partner and Photoshop guru shows you how to create some very nifty framing and edge effects using just Photoshop.
Not to be outdone (I shamelessly admit his tutorial inspired me) I take you on a similar voyage using Fireworks as my creative tool of choice.
There will be no bashing of software features in these articles; I use both on a regular basis and they both have their strengths and their weaknesses. They are two very different programs from their foundations on up and I think this is great and useful. And it's very important to understand how they are different.
So faithful readers, without giving too much away, make sure to have a peek at both articles, and you'll see where some of those strengths are for both applications.
And of course, have fun!