PhotoshopNews » Guest Editorials The latest news about the top pixel wrangling application on the planet. Sun, 17 Jul 2011 17:19:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Scott Byer on the Mac Intel Switch Fri, 24 Mar 2006 16:45:03 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff From his Living Photoshop Adobe Blog, Photoshop engineer Scott Byer had this to say regarding the switch to Universal Binary using Xcode.

By now you have probably figured out that we aren’t releasing Universal Binaries of our current application versions. If you haven’t, all you need to know is pretty explicitly spelled out here.

“But, c’mon”, I hear people saying, “Steve said it was just a recompile!” Or, “Back during the PowerPC transition, you guys released a patch!”

Well, this time is different. And I really wish it weren’t. But let me tell you how…

When that original PowerPC transition was done, Apple did something clever. Very clever. The emulator that ran 68k code would recognize when it was calling out to PPC code, and would fiddle with things on the stack using the Universal Procedure calling vector. A lot of gobbledy gook meaning that a 68k binary could call out to PPC code that could then execute at native speeds. Well, for those that don’t know, Photoshop has a bunch of routines all tucked away to do the real heavy lifting – the bottlenecks. Most of Photoshop’s CPU time is spent in these routines. Even better, you can replace these routines using a plug-in. There’s the Multiprocessor extension plug-in, which replaces some routines with ones that know how to divide work up among multiple processors. And some which use the multimedia instruction sets that are available to varying degrees on different processors. And, in the case of the PPC transition, we could replace them with PPC native versions. With a plug-in, Photoshop could get a majority of the speed up as if it were a fully native application, but – and it’s a key point here – without having to recompile the vast majority of the Photoshop code, along with the resulting testing hit, mounds of debugging, and everything else that would imply. Most of the gain with a fraction of the cost, it made sense to do a mid-cycle update consisting, essentially, of that plug-in.

Doing that this time around was just not possible for a variety of reasons. It means is that this time, there’s no limited-cost option for getting most of the performance available on the platform for Photoshop in a short amount of time. In other words, no shortcuts.

That leaves doing the work for real – taking the whole application over into XCode and recompiling as a Universal Binary. And that’s no small task. You see, as software has matured so have the development environments we’ve used – Visual Studio and Metrowerks – they’ve adapted to handle the ever-growing applications using them. From having projects with large numbers of files that open quickly, to having compact debugging information, to having stable project formats that are text-merge-able in a source control system. These are things XCode is playing catch-up on. Now, Apple is doing an amazing job at catching up rapidly, but the truth is we don’t yet have a shipping XCode in hand that handles a large application well. And switching compilers always involves more work than you would think in a codebase of this size.

Now, I’m an engineer, and I’m all for getting products out in front of customers so they can use their machines to their fullest as soon as possible, but there is just no way putting out a Universal Binary of Photoshop CS2 would make any sort of sense. If you think about switching tool sets, with the resulting huge amount of work for both engineering and quality engineering, if you think about how far past the Photoshop CS2 release we already are, and if you include not having the workstation-class machines ready yet, I think you’d have to agree – far better to focus on making sure Photoshop CS3 is able to absolutely squeeze every ounce of power out of what I’m sure will be pretty spankin’ Intel-based towers by that point than to do tons of work moving an old code base to new tools.


Check out Scott’s Blog

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PMA 2006-A View of the Photographic Industry From 30,000 Feet Wed, 01 Mar 2006 18:09:52 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff Source: The Luminous Landscape
Written by Michael Reichmann

Trade shows are always a good opportunity to gauge the state of health of any industry. Walking the isles and talking with both exhibitors as well as attendees provides insights into what people are thinking as well as what they may appear to be doing.

With this as preamble, here are some highly subjective observations on the current (March, 2006) state of the photographic industry. No gospel here, just opinion.


The great Megapixel Race appears to be over. From the roughly 3 Megapixel Nikon D1 and Canon D30 of late 1999 and early 2000, to today’s mainstream 6 – 8 Megapixel and top of the line 12-16 Megapixel models, we now seem to have reached a point of equilibrium. More Megapixels aren’t what most photographers need. We need better Megapixels, and the manufacturers seem to have realized this.

The 6 – 8M range provides amateurs with enough to make A3 (11X17″) prints, while 12-16M let’s pros and advanced amateurs produce double page spreads and 13X19″ or larger display prints. These were the outer limits of 35mm film in any event,, and so anything bigger is rightly the realm of medium format, just as it always has been.

To the industry’s credit we are even seeing digicams with somewhat lower Megapixel counts than last year. Even camera makers now realize that 6 million clean Megapixels are better than 8 million noisy ones. Given that most digicams have slow lenses, people were shooting at high ISO settings, and were dissatisfied with image quality, even on wallet-sized prints. Mother Nature applies the laws of physics to how many photons can be captured by an individual photo site, and even the best image processing firmware can’t create something out of nothing when the pixels get too small.

The implications of this are that while we may see small incremental increases in Megapixel count over the next few years, we will now see camera makers focus their attentions instead on further reducing prices and enhancing their camera’s other capabilities.

Read entire article

Check out Michael’s PMA 2006 Show Report

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What John Nack Thinks About Aperture Mon, 24 Oct 2005 15:38:45 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff John Nack is a senior product manager for Adobe Photoshop. His duties also cover Adobe Bridge as well as Adobe Camera Raw. (Read the PSN interview with John Nack). John wrote a short opinion piece on his Adobe Blog about Apple’s new product, Aperture. While John is under certain constraints regarding what he can and can not say, what he does say is honest and straight forward.

Aperture is a cool product, no question. Apple’s designers have a great aesthetic, and their marketing is second-to-none. (This is the company, after all, that can sell the iPod Shuffle’s lack of screen as a lifestyle choice.) Aperture zips around on quad G5′s with four GPUs, and I’m looking forward to getting it onto my PowerBook 17″ to see how it might run in the field.

As Apple is the first to say, Aperture is not designed to be a Photoshop competitor. It has a number of very slick features (I dig the Web gallery creator in particular), but if you’re looking to do something as simple as make a selection and sharpen someone’s eyes, you’re out of luck. That’s not a knock–just a reflection of what Aperture is and is not. Fortunately Apple has a one-click method of sending a PSD to Photoshop for further editing.

I’m obviously downplaying competition between these apps because, as I’ve written previously, inventing deathmatches where none exist does us all a disservice. Having said that, however, I’d be blowing smoke not to acknowledge that Aperture does compete with Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw. The capabilities of Photoshop (of which Bridge and ACR are a part) are vast, so there’s bound to be some overlap, and Aperture joins a long list of products (Capture One, RawShooter Essentials, Nikon Capture, Canon Digital Photo Pro, etc.) that also offer raw browsing and editing. Bridge and ACR aim to provide the best possible workflow in conjunction with Photoshop, but you’re free to mix and match.

And you know, to the degree that Aperture stirs things up, I’m excited. CS2 wouldn’t be all it is today without the apps I mentioned keeping us on our toes, and the more tools offer solutions for photographers, the better off customers will be. So in the spirit of the Apple of yore, I say Welcome Apple. Seriously.


Read John’s original blog post.

Check out the rest of John Nack’s blog posts.

See all of the Adobe Blogs.

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Photoshop First Time-Martin Evening Mon, 06 Jun 2005 16:06:34 +0000 Martin Evening

My first digital imaging experience probably happened around 1987 when I was invited to see a demo of the Quantel Paintbox.

The system we were shown belonged to the late Robert Maxwell, who I am told had initially purchased it in order to help fix the ‘spot the ball’ competitions.

This was a Mirror newspaper game in which the reader had to guess where the missing ball was in a photograph of a soccer match. Mirror newspaper employees would later become rather more worried about the missing millions from their pension funds (but that’s another story). Anyway, the first demo I saw of the Quantel system certainly fired my imagination. At that point in time all I could do was dream of owning such an image editing system. Back in the mid eighties there were only a few high-end digital retouching systems available in London and the only way you could get to play with them was if you had a big advertising budget.

It must have been around 1991 when I first heard about the new Adobe Photoshop program. I was immediately impressed at this amazing breakthrough in technology which meant that one could potentially use a Macintosh computer to edit photographs just as you could using a high end digital imaging system. Well, that wasn’t quite the case yet, because there were severe limitations as to what the hardware would allow you to do. Even if I had been able to purchase a top of the range Mac with a 24 bit graphics card, added more hard drive space and maxed out the RAM, this was still a big financial purchase and the Mac hardware in those days was not considered anywhere near fast enough to carry out serious pixel editing. Apart from anything else, my personal finances were not in great shape.

At first, I couldn’t afford a Macintosh, so I borrowed a photocopied Photoshop 2.0 manual, studied it thoroughly and basically taught myself the theory of Photoshop without the benefit of a computer. My girlfriend at the time was also a photographer and she too was interested to learn Photoshop. After a while we were able to acquire our first Mac, which was a IIVi Mac with a whopping 8 MB RAM and 40 MB hard drive. The first version of Photoshop I could get my hands on was Photoshop 2.5, but it was a demo version that was save disabled. That was OK since I just wanted something to learn the ropes and I was happy to use this to work through the folder of tutorial images. If I wanted to save an image, I took a photograph of the screen!

Click on the image to see larger sized image in a new window.
The first image I have here looks like my first proper job – it was a promotional poster I did for a mate who was putting on a soul revue, which featured himself in two different guises: the cool dude singing into the mike and his alter-ego a nerdy guy in an ill-fitting suit (don’t ask). I do remember he forgot to bring his microphone to the studio so in the original shot he was actually singing into a lightbulb stuck inside a toilet roll! Photoshop did the rest!

In those days I was able to spend nearly every day at the computer studying Photoshop and within a few years I had trained myself to become quite an accomplished Photoshop artist. My first proper full working version was in fact Photoshop 3.0 which had just launched. Soon I was able to earn more money from the commissioned retouching work and combine these newly acquired Photoshop skills with my photography. This in turn generated more photography commissions and also allowed me to invest in more hardware.

An early Evening Photoshop 3.0 composite. Martin proudly said he made the globe out of papier mache (what we Americans call paper mache) and only used Photoshop for making the layered tints and composite.

The UK Digital Imaging Group (DIG) played a big part in my digital career. DIG was formed by a small group of professional photographers who were all digital imaging pioneers of one sort or another. The very first meeting was held in 1996 and after that we used to meet about once a month in each other’s studios for beers and a chat about the latest equipment and software. These meetings soon gained in popularity. So much so that on one occasion Rod Wynne-Powell ended up having to present a demo of Photoshop 4.0 to an audience of 100 people staring at a 21 inch screen mounted high up on a pile of boxes! Sadly, the DIG meetings eventually came to a halt, but DIG still lives on today in the form of the Prodig mailing list: which is a free membership list for the discussion of all things to do with digital imaging.

My own career also began to take off in different directions; I started writing for a few magazines, and edited a digital imaging supplement for the Association of Photographers. Then I got to meet Andrea Bruno who, at the time, was the head of Adobe Europe. It was Andrea who first suggested to me that I consider writing a book about Photoshop for photographers.

This turned out to be the best career advice ever and within a month or so, I had got myself a contract from Focal Press and was starting work on my first chapter.

Mind you, there was the question of the title Adobe Photoshop for Photographers. I had recently met up with Marc Pawliger, who was one of the senior Photoshop engineers, in London. Marc mentioned that he had heard that someone else was writing a similar book with the same title. That ‘someone else’ turned out to be Jeff Schewe. So Jeff and I got chatting and since Jeff had not managed to make as much progress with writing his Photoshop book (and still hasn’t I might add), he agreed to let me proceed with the use of the title. It also marked the beginning of a long-standing friendship.

Another early composite. Martin shot the model in the back of a hair dresser’s salon against a white paper background and the field was shot later. The lighting was made to look like a ring light.

However, as I look back through the archives they do contain some embarrassing early explorations in the use of Photoshop. Although, I will say in my defense, that a lot of my clients got so excited about the prospect of using Photoshop to create way-out looking complex composite images, this did have a big influence on my early Photoshop work. Here though are some examples of what can best be described as the ‘everything plus the kitchen sink’ approach to Photoshop image retouching!

Click on the image to see larger sized image in a new window.
Early use of Photoshop 3.0 and Kai’s Power Tools to manipulate straight model shots.

Martin’s portrait by Camilla Pascucci ©2004.

Martin, if you don’t know, is a London based advertising photographer and noted expert in both photography and digital imaging. As a successful photographer, Martin is well known in London for his fashion and beauty work. Check out Martin’s web site.

Martin also works with the Adobe Photoshop engineering team consulting on new feature development and alpha and beta testing. He worked alpha & beta for Photoshop CS2 and was influential with the new Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw 3.0.

In addition, Martin is a principal of PixelGenius where he designed and was product manger for the recently released PhotoKit Color. PhotoKit Color applies precise color corrections, automatic color balancing and creative coloring effects. PhotoKit Color offers a comprehensive set of coloring tools for Photoshop 7.0 and Photoshop CS & CS2 for both Macintosh and Windows.

Martin is planning on speaking at Photo Plus Expo this year, October 20 – 22, 2005 in New York City.

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First Time With Photoshop – Bert Monroy Thu, 05 May 2005 19:12:28 +0000 Bert Monroy While in Chicago recently, I was having lunch with my good friend Jeff Schewe, when he asked me if I remembered the first time I saw Photoshop. I will admit, it did not have the same impact as the question “where were you when you heard JFK got shot” so I don’t remember the exact moment, but. . .

I do remember the excitement it caused.

It had to be sometime towards the end of 1988 or early ‘89. My partner at the time was David Biedny, who incidentally later co-wrote with me the first book ever written on Photoshop, The Official Adobe Photoshop Handbook by Bantam Books in December, 1991, which was the first book on Photoshop and the only one for almost two years.

David was writing for just about every trade publication out there. A perk of that job was that he received every piece of software that issued from a programmers mind and fingers. Photoshop was one of those little gems that came in the mail one day.

At the time I was being called “Mr. PixelPaint” in various circles because of the art work I was producing with PixelPaint, an early Macintosh drawing program from SuperMac Technology that was known for its extensive paint palette and color mixing schemes. I started to play with this new little app and found many similarities, a few missing features but, the BEST AIRBRUSH TOOL I had seen to date on anything on the Mac or PC. It was smooth!

PixelPaint had an airbrush tool as did Studio 32. Even VideoWorks, forerunner of Director, had one. None came close to the one in Photoshop. It was the first one to produce an effect that actually looked like what a real airbrush could do. I immediately started employing it in the painting I was working on at the time.

The Subway Inn, pictured below, called for a lot of ground-in grime on the walls and signage throughout. The close up shows the smooth tones of gray dirt that cover parts of the sign that was done using Photoshop. Though this might seem so simple now, at the time, in 1989, this was breakthrough stuff!

Click on the image to see larger sized image in a new window.
The Subway Inn

The Subway Inn–Detail

Needless to say, this was the last painting I did using PixelPaint. From that day on I was Photoshop guy. It seems a bit ironic that the Airbrush, the one thing that pushed me to Photoshop is no longer in the tool palette. No sweat, nothing lost but tons gained!

About Bert Monroy

Bert Monroy was born and raised in New York City where he spent 20 years in the advertising industry as an art director and creative director for various agencies as well as his own.

Upon discovering computers with the introduction of the Macintosh 128 in 1984, he embarked on a new digital career. He embraced the computer as an artistic medium and is considered one of the pioneers of digital art. Bert’s work has been seen in every major trade publication of the computer industry.

Bert is an accomplished teacher and lecturer who has served on the faculty of The School of Visual Arts (NYC), Center for Creative Imaging (ME), Dynamic Graphics Educational Foundation (IL), California College of Arts & Crafts (CA) and lectures at many other institutions and conferences around the world. He currently teaches at San Francisco State University. Bert is also a featured speaker at many world-wide conferences and is part of the Photoshop Dream Team of Photoshop World. Now living in Berkeley, California, he continues to serve his installed base of clients which include Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, Pioneer Electronics, Fujitsu, SONY, AT&T, Chevron and American Express. Bert has also done a considerable amount of film work for Industrial Light & Magic, Pacific Data Images and R/Greenberg Assoc.

Since May of 2001, Bert has been a regular guest on the TechTV channel show The Screen Savers. He appears every month to share Photoshop and digital imaging tips and techniques.

Bert is the author of Commercial Photoshop with Bert Monroy From New Riders Press and available on Amazon.

He will be presenting his Creativity Tour in Seattle, WA on May 13, 2005 at the WA State Convention & Trade Center.



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Categories Wed, 01 Sep 2004 16:35:05 +0000 PSN Editorial Staff

This is a test. . .it’s only a test. . .
If, this were a real emergancy, you would be out of luck!

Actually, this is just a placeholder to make sure all the content categories show.

You can quit reading now. . .


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