Results tagged “Photoshop” from kwc blog

Photoshop CS4 and Bridge CS4 Review


This t-shirt saved me $1600


Maker Faire225

I won a copy of Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium (it has the super bells and whistles) for my t-shirt design above (top 2-3 designs every 4 hours gets the prize). Adobe's Experience Design (XD) group had a fun booth at Maker Faire where you could create your own stencil design on a computer, have it cut by a laser cutter, and then airbrush it onto a t-shirt. It was all great fun, though we had to wait two hours in line (many thanks to d who convinced me to keep waiting when I was on the verge of giving up).

d and I both made the cut for the top six, so we're feeling really good about beating out all the little children and grandmas we were up against -- there was an adorable design (also top six) where a girl held her stuffed dog up to the camera. I didn't win for my design as much as I probably won for creative use of their software. The stencil software was fairly basic: you could add a text layer, a drawing layer, or a B&W photo layer. Apparently I was the first person to figure out that you could stack photo layers on top of each other to create concentric outlines. My use wasn't that masterful, though: I didn't properly visualize the stencil process and ended up having to throw away portions of my stencil that were disconnected.

NOTE: this now counts as my second big prize win ever, following my laptop. Seeing as these will both be big tools in my freelance photography adventures, it shows that there is more than one way to run a business ;).

Fun videos


Kodak shows that it has a sense of humor about its dinosaur status -- originally produced for a conference via Scoble


The Strata 3D plugin will make you oooh and aaaah over Photoshop CS3's new 3D features (Extended Edition only) via John Nack

Photoshop multitouch


Admittedly, not all of this made intuitive sense to me at the first get-go and some of the interactions seemed like they required too much slow, deliberate movement (that may have just been a director's choice -- update: or its possible that this is just a conceptual mockup, i.e. fake), but an interesting take on how to port a Photoshop interface into a multitouch world. But I would be happy just to have a screen that big in the first place.

Update: eric dolecki on John Nack's blog points out that this may be a fake (i.e. concept mockup) as the UI sometimes leads the gesture.

via John Nack

Photoshop CS3: two editions


I've been excited about upgrading to CS3 ever since I played with the B&W conversion tool. Combined with the filter layers and new edge refining tools, I'm sure it will be a huge timesaver for editing photos. I was also excited to later learn that CS3 will have support for 3D objects in it. Although I never seem to get the chance to work in 3D, the idea that you can drop in a 3D object and apply effects to it just like any other layer is pretty cool. But alas, Adobe is determined to compound the 'Photoshop' brand even further as there is now "Photoshop CS3" and "Photoshop CS3 extended." I doubt that I'll be able to afford CS3 extended. My current plan is to do a big upgrade to CS3 + Lightroom as my Photoshop 7 + Elements pipeline has faltered with the 8MP Canon 30D and 2GB flash cards. This will also probably require an upgrade to my motherboard, so I will need save cash however I can.

With Photoshop Lightroom on the way, that now means there will be: * Photoshop CS3 * Photoshop CS3 Extended * Photoshop Lightroom * Photoshop Elements * Photoshop Album

Granted, Lightroom, Elements, and Album are all distinct products, whereas the two CS3s are really the same thing with some features enabled/disabled.

New Reuters photoshopping guidelines


I found the new Reuters Photoshopping guidelines rather interesting. They are partly in response to recent scandal involving doctored photos from a Beirut photographer, which featured cloned and darkened smoke as well as cloned flares.

The new guidelines are interesting to me because they make judgments on the journalistic value of various Photoshop features -- it's somewhat like arguing "what is art?", though admittedly not as troublesome. I find it funny that objective tools like Auto Levels, In-camera saturation styles, and In-camera sharpening are disallowed, but subjective variations of these manipulations are*. It's very possible that these are disallowed for technical reasons, but still...


  • Cropping
  • Adjustment of Levels to histogram limits
  • Minor colour correction
  • Sharpening at 300%, 0.3, 0
  • Careful use of lasso tool
  • Subtle use of burn tool
  • Adjustment of highlights and shadows
  • Eye dropper to check/set gray


  • Additions or deletions to image
  • Cloning & Healing tool (except dust)
  • Airbrush, brush, paint
  • Selective area sharpening
  • Excessive lightening/darkening
  • Excessive colour tone change
  • Auto levels
  • Blurring
  • Eraser tool
  • Quick Mask
  • In-camera sharpening
  • In-camera saturation styles

* note: you aren't allowed to use the saturate tool, but you can do the same with both levels and curves

CS3 makes a difference


Omotesando Hills - Ando

The Photoshop CS3 black & white conversion feature is everything I hoped it would be. As a test, I did my normal B&W conversion routine for my Omotesando Hills photos using Photoshop 7 and the Channel Mixer. The lighting was fairly funky so each conversion took minutes.

Then I tried doing one photo using CS3's B&W tool -- it only took seconds and I had better control over the result. I had enough time left over that I played around with the Refine Edges tool to produce the cutout above. I still haven't really figured out the Refine tool -- its a bit complicated for all its power -- but there is some promise if I can master it.

B&W Photoshop CS3 tutorial


I've done some very basic playing around with B&W conversions using Photoshop (since then, I've taken to using the Channel Mixer when lazy). All of those techniques seem to pale in comparison to the potential of CS3, as demonstrated by this Russell Brown CS3 B&W tutorial. The tutorial starts off basic enough, but wait until he shows off the click and drag adjustments.

Photoshop CS3! (Beta)


Photoshop cs3The Photoshop CS3 Beta site is live now. You can take the new Mac/PC betas for a spin and, yes, there is a Mac version Universal. Anyone is free to try, though to go beyond a 2-day trial you need a CS2 serial number.

So what's cool about CS3? The best roundup of links I've run across so far is at John Nack on Adobe. I'm personally excited by smart/live filters, which lets you add filters as layers -- I've loved using adjustment layers and smart/live filters is a necessary addition for that style of workflow (lossless compositing, rather than sequential modifications). You can even add a mask to these filters.

I'm also excited by the new black and white conversion tool (implemented as an adjustment layer). I've used the Channel Mixer to do conversions when lazy, but this looks like a much more precise tool. You get more channels to mix across and tinting (hue/saturation) tools.

Here's PhotoshopUser's top ten list of new features. There seem to be a lot of great features targeted at making compositing easier: auto align, auto blend, quick select/refine edges, cloning/healing updates.

One thing really stunned me about CS3: they didn't change any keyboard shortcuts! Maybe Adobe forgot who it was after it acquired Macromedia, but regardless, I'm happy to not have to print out a list of keyboard shortcuts to refamiliarize myself. You can find the very short list of new shortcuts here.

CS3 does overhaul the user interface, which I will refrain commenting on until I actually try it. At the very least, you can revert the behaviors to CS2-style without much trouble. Adobe


The good folks at Adobe have signed up for a account and are populating it with links related to Adobe products, such as Photoshop tutorials. It's a work in progress, but isn't that useful?

According to Adobe's Intel-Mac transition FAQ, you may want to delay your upgrade to the Intel iMacs. You may also want to save up a bit more $$$ for the switch. Adobe will not be releasing Universal Binaries for it's current application versions (e.g. CS2). You will have to wait until their next release to get Intel support and, presumably, that upgrade won't be free. You can still run CS2 on the new Intel Macs, but you won't get the performance upgrade you were planning on. Of course, you could always get good Intel performance by running Photoshop on Windows ;) ...

Upgraded to Photoshop Elements 4.0


photoshop.elements.jpgI've been a devout user of Photoshop Album for organizing my photos, but my copy was getting a bit old and I've been looking to ditch it for something faster and with improved organizational features. I took advantage of the Black Friday discounts to get a copy of Photoshop Elements 4.0 packaged with Premiere Elements 2.0 for $50. I skipped Photoshop Elements 3.0 because, even with the 'stacks' feature, it wasn't worth $100 to upgrade from Album.

I only care about the organizational features of Elements -- I do all my edits in Photoshop -- and so far the upgrade has been worthwhile. Several things stood out immediately (NOTE: the Mac version is very different from the Windows version): * Most important 'feature': faster browsing performance. It's hard to organize your photos if you can't quickly scan through them. * Stacks and version sets let you group similar shots and different edits, respectively. Very nice. * Tags are now stored within the image so that it is easier to share that metadata with others. * The biggest timesaver will probably be "Find Faces for Tagging." The name says it all -- it scans your selected photos, finds faces, and then lets you tag them. The tagging interface for faces is much improved over the generic tagging interface. It keeps tracks of your most recently used tags so that you don't have to keep scanning over all your tags to find the ones you need. I used it on some wedding photos and it almost did too good of a job picking out everyone in the dance photos. * The documentation notes that there is a Photomerge utility, which has to be better than the one that Canon gives you, but I have not tried it out yet.

The only disappointment so far is that it is less well-integrated with Photoshop than Album is. Album doesn't have a builtin editor so they made it very easy to do your advanced processing with other applications. Although Elements allows you to do external editing as well, it appears to be much less smart than before. It doesn't notice when you've finished external edits and it tries to import the edits as new photos instead of new versions of the original.

Elements is not a bad photo-editing tool, so I don't know how much I'll hate upon it. I'm planning to move to Photoshop CS2, which includes it's own photo workflow features, so it may not matter too much in the long run. I may just end up using Elements to organize and CS2 to edit, but this will take some time and money (to buy CS2) to sort out.

I'll end this quick impressions review noting that the Amazon reviewers don't seem happy with the new version, with several complaining that they prefer Photoshop Elements 3.0. I've never really used the previous versions of Elements, so my ignorance in this case appears to be bliss.

CS2: Smart Object and Layer Comps


I just got a copy of Photoshop CS2 at work so that I could do some software UI mockups. I've already discovered two features they've added since Photoshop 7 that are huge timesavers for this type of work.

Layer Comps: With mockups I often have to toggle different layers on and off to show different steps or variations. "Here is a mockup with the button to the left and here is one with the button below," or "Here is the first step where the user types in, 'I want a pony,' and here is the next step where the results for ponies are returned." Layer comps let you save the current state of your layers so you can easily switch between the different variations all within one Photoshop file. These presets let you save the visibility, position, and styles of each layer.

You can access Layer Comps by going to Window -> Layer Comps. Here is a tutorial on using Layer Comps.

Smart Objects: In UI mockups you often have a lot of repeating elements. You may have the same set of buttons appear four times on a screen and if you want to change the appearance of one of the buttons you used to have to edit all four copies. With Smart Objects you can edit the original and have all the copies update. Smart Objects also keep all the original data, so you could paste in a photo, shrink it down to 10x10 and then later decide to resize it to 100x100. I'm told that this is the same as the 'Place' feature that other Adobe products have had for some time now, which makes me wonder what took them so long to put such a useful feature into Photoshop.

There are a lot of different ways to create Smart Objects. You can use File->Place to create a Smart Object from another file. You can also select a bunch of layers and group them together into a Smart Object.