Archive for Adobe

In Detail: New Content-Aware Crop Tool in Photoshop CC

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With the launch of the new Photoshop CC came many new and exciting features and enhancements. One of the most talked about is the new content-aware crop tool. This tool is super exciting because is so intuitive that it can actually help to add additional space in the cropping of photos by expanding the boundaries of an image with matching detail.

What will it do?

This is a tool that can be very useful if you are attempting to crop an image after you have already straightened it, or if you need to add more space on the sides, above, or mellow to create a better layout. It will also allow you to be able to move the horizon be expanding the ground or even adding more sky. You will also be able to fill in any of the corners when rotating the image so that you do not have to sacrifice any valuable pixels.

How do you use Content-Aware Crop?

Of course, the very first thing that you will have to do to be able to use any of these features will be to go and download and then install the update to your previous version of Photoshop. It is always recommended that you also restart your computer before you begin if the software doesn’t already prompt you to at the conclusion of the installation. The update is available on either app store or on the Adobe website.

As previously stated, this feature will allow you to do a few different things to your images; so let’s break it down a bit further. First, we will look at what to do if you need to use the feature to rotate your image and make it perfectly straight. Begin by clicking on the crop tool and make sure that you have the “content Aware” option checked on the toolbar at the top. Then click on your picture to activate the Crop Shield. Drag your cursor to the outside edge of the picture and be sure that a curved double arrow appears. That is the cursor used for rotations. Once you see that appear, click and drag that cursor to rotate your picture to its desired angle and hit enter. The tool will now rotate your image and actually fill in the corners with the information that it has taken from the other portions of the image.

That is pretty impressive, huh?

Now let’s take a look at how the tool can be used to extend your images further. Again, clicking the “Content-Aware” checkbox on the toolbar at the top of the screen will be key. Begin this process my selecting your image to activate the crop shield, as you did in the cropping process. Next, move the cursor to one of the sides of the picture so that you are able to see the double arrow. Now you can click and drag the mouse to outwardly in the direction that you want to extend the canvas. Keep in mind that the tool will work best for simple images like a beach scene.

Adobe’s ‘Collabograms’ Campaign

In the art and design world, there is nothing that is more dangerous than to constantly play it safe. The best art and most notable designs come from those that are willing to think outside the box and push the envelope. Often times, some of the best pieces come out of artistic duos or collaborations. Adobe has decided to help push artists in a new way by challenging them to come together in order to create something that they may never have been able to do on their own and share it with the world through social media.

According to a recent article published by Adweek, there has been an exciting, and unexpected new collaboration in the art world as a result of Adobe’s campaign. Tattoo artist Robert Klem, and gold leaf artist Ken Davis have decided to team up in the name of creative collaboration, inspired by the challenge from Adobe being called “Collabograms”. The challenging campaign intended to help promote their products on social platforms has brought the unlikely duo together in the hopes of “creating something awesome together”.

What Does Adobe Say About the Challenge?

“This series is about Photoshop supporting creativity and highlighting the incredible results that can come from unexpected pairings and collaboration,” Lex van den Berghe, principal product manager of digital imaging at Adobe, tells Adweek. “The audience is what we like to call the New Creatives – artists who don’t limit themselves to one medium, but pull from multiple influences and materials to express themselves.”

The Work Speaks for Itself

The dynamic duo has certainly arisen to the challenge by designing and crafting an unusual and spectacular tribute to rock artist Lemmy. Their work presents a stunning image of the rock god rendered in stained glass, as you might see done with a saint. Additionally, there are LED lights, votive candles, and song references. The result is not just beautiful and unique, but it is special because it is something that probably never would have come together without the launch of this campaign by Adobe. Although the duo themselves are rather strange, given the nature of their respective works, the result of their collaboration is not due to that fact that they managed to mesh and work so well together.

The Reason for the Campaign

Creators from Adobe say that the campaign was meant to inspire artists to work together in a new and fresh way, but also to help enhance their company’s spotlight on social media; particularly on Instagram. The intention is for the artists to create longer visual story-like platforms where artists can expand upon one another’s creations while also absorbing the enhanced benefits of the products. They believe that these “Collabograms” will hold strong value and presence on social media and also be very “shareable” to help further increase the exposure and ultimately increase sales both inside and out of the artist community.

New and Innovative Photoshop Blending Modes

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Yet again Adobe has released a new and exciting feature to its Photoshop software that comes with more than just a few questions. Blend modes are one of the many features that has brought out a plethora of user questions. Here I will break them down into more basic terms so that you will be able to better understand them and implement them into your work.

How do blend modes work?

Before you can really understand what to do with blend modes it is a good idea to get a better grasp on how they actually work. By using the Opacity slider located in the Layers Panel, you will be able to blend the active layer and any layers that are below it by making the active layer more or less translucent, which will allow the other layers to become more or less dominant. Each version of the software will carry different blend modes. For example, Photoshop CS5 has 27 different mathematical calculations that translate into different blend modes. You can alter your blend modes through the use of a variety of different mathematical equations involving addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.

Shortcuts

In order to make the process of using the blend modes faster and easier to use, Adobe has implemented keyboard shortcuts. In order to be able to use them you will need to make sure that your current tool is something other than any of the tools that are located in the painting and editing section of the Tools Panel where you see the Stamp, Eraser, Brush Tool, etc. This is due to the fact that these tools actually have their own set of settings and if you have them selected their settings will end up taking precedence over those of the blend mode. Therefore, you will want to make sure that you are paying close attention to what you are doing each step of the way. Some of the keyboard shortcuts will allow you to do things like navigate, change the standard opacity and fill opacity settings or scroll through different layers.

Understanding the Blend Mode Math

As previously mentioned, there are 27 different blend modes and in order to be able to fully understand them you need to understand how the math works in Photoshop. Since the blend modes affect the darkness and brightness levels and the values of luminescence is based on a scale of 0 to 255, you might assume that the math that is performed by Photoshop is based on those values. Instead, Photoshop has standardized the values prior to the application of the math. Those values are placed on a scale from zero to one as follows: white (1), Gray (0.5), and Black (0). All of the formulas and math are then based on those numbers which means that the resulting values are not necessarily what you might expect.

If you would like to see a set of examples to further your understanding of how the mathematics works, you can visit photoblogstop. There are excellent examples and illustrations that further break down how each formula will work for all of the blend modes.

Breaking Down the Individual Blend Modes

Again there are a lot of different blend modes and it is wise to make sure that you have an understanding of how each one works. For example, the normal mode does not have any math applied at all. The Dissolve mode functions on partially transparent and fully transparent pixels and treats transparency as a pattern of pixels then applies the diffusion dither pattern. If you would like to see a more complete list of all of the different blend modes, you can visit the link above. There is a very useful chart with the complete breakdown and description. It may be a good idea to print that chart out for the purpose of studying or to keep at your desk as a quick reference until you have been able to fully understand and memorize them all. It is a lot of content so do not feel discouraged if it takes a while to feel like you have a full grasp on all of it. The more you work with each of the 27 blend modes, the more comfortable you will feel with them.

25 years of Photoshop – Part of History

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It would be easy to argue that Adobe’s Photoshop has been the most influential design software of our generation. For more than 25 years, Photoshop has been the right hand to illustrators and graphic designers. It is one of the most powerful pieces of software on the market today. However, Photoshop did not start out as the sophisticated creation and illustration software that it is today. In fact, it has come a very long way over its lifespan. In celebration of the anniversary of the magnificent software, let’s take a look at just how much Photoshop has evolved since its creation more than 25 years ago.

The Birth of Photoshop

It all began back in 1987 when brothers Tom and John Knoll were doing some work on their father’s Apple II Plus computer. Thomas, a photography enthusiast like his father, decided that he wanted to do some alterations to a photograph image. He ended up writing a subroutine for the computer which enabled him to be able to translate the monochromatic images through a grayscale. Of course it was a very primitive version of the software, but the Knoll brothers continued to tweak and work on the program and found that they were able to create several different processes that allowed them to be able to perform different alterations on their images. Just like that, Photoshop was born.

At the time, John was already working on the development of special effects for George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic. He was the one that recognized the true potential in his brothers programing to turn the applications into a revolutionary image editing software program. Although, it is highly unlikely that either one of them really had any idea just how successful the program would be or how much of an impact it would have. The two teamed up combining vision and expertise and finally in 1988 released the first version of the software which they named Image Pro.

Stepping Stones

Once the program was out on the market, the Knoll brothers recognized the potential for growth if they were to partner up with other companies to launch additional software and expand awareness of their product. Their First partnership was with Barneyscan, a manufacturer of scanners that first purchased Image Pro to ship out with 200 of their scanners. Under that partnership the software was actually named Barneyscan XP. Due to the success of the initial partnership with Barneyscan, the Knoll brothers thought it would be easy to obtain additional partnerships to further launch their program. They were wrong.

It took them months of bids and proposals to a variety of different companies, where they saw rejection after rejection, before they finally pitched their product tot Adobe for partnership. Finally, they were able to win over the affections of the Adobe executives and convince them to rerelease the Image Pro software under the Adobe brand name. Finally in 1990, Adobe released the very first version of Photoshop known as Photoshop 1.0.

Changing Landscapes

The initial launch of the first version of Photoshop was met with tremendous success. It was the first time the software or any of its kind was released for sale to the general public as a standalone software program rather than being bundled together with the Barneyscan scanners. Due to the success, Adobe decided to proceed with further development and expansion of the original software. The following year in 1991, Adobe released Photoshop 2.0 with a plethora of new features to excite users. As the years went on, the brothers alongside with the engineers at Adobe continued to grow and develop the software, constantly adding new features. They saw some bugs and kinks along the way in the early 90’s due to problems with the amount of RAM needed and the transition from being offered exclusively for MAC computers to Windows computers, but their commitment to the products success showed in the software. By the end of the century, Photoshop had become an institution of all its own among the digital design and illustration industry. It was a staple for professional artists of both small and huge proportions and it was changing the shape of the way imaging was created altogether.

Fast forward to today and Adobe Photoshop has become one of the most powerful and instrumental software programs on the market. It boasts a number of features that the Knoll brothers probably never could have imagined when they began working on Image Pro back in the 80’s. It is constantly changing at a rate of never before, which despite causing some frustration among users, allows artists and illustrators to further develop their work in new and exciting directions that were never before possible. The software has become so complex that most people will need to take classes to be able to get started with the program and its many layers. However, it is an absolute must for any modern designer. Just as it has been exciting to watch Photoshop come to life and develop over the last quarter century, it will be even more exciting to see what the developers have in store for the future of the program in the years to come.

Adobe XD for UX design

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The new Adobe XD for UX design is being praised everywhere for its user-friendly design and for the fact that is so easy to use. In the past, software additions and updates to major software programs like Photoshop have taken even advanced computer geeks a long time to recover from because of their steep learning curve. This simply is not the case with the new UX design. In fact, some are even praising Adobe for making it so user-friendly that it actually works more like a mobile app than a desktop addition in terms of experience.

The software has been organized into two separate tabs to make it easier to use. Tab one is Design and tab two is Prototype.

Design – Under the Design tab is where you will be able to actually build your layouts. You can simply click and drag to make or change many shapes and expand upon your page. One of the great features of the program is that Adobe will highlight which corners are aligned with other elements to assist you in spacing each one of your elements. Of course that is fairly standard but still useful all the same. The “repeat grid” tool will now allow you to be able to perfectly duplicate or repeat all of your wireframes across the entire page. If you want to try to round off the corners of a box all you have to do is select a certain anchor point and then just point and pull. Say that you find that you need a custom button like a marker for a map. Of course you could go back to your Illustrator in order to build it. Or, with the new XD feature, you can utilize the shape design tool to build one.

Prototype – Under the Prototype tab you will be able to do some pretty exciting things, such as add interactivity to your images or build a button-linked workflow for your entire website or mobile app. This portion of the software is particularly impressive and shockingly easy to use. For this all you need to do is select any object, like an icon, and wait for a small arrow to appear beside it. Now drag that arrow onto the screen of your choosing and that is it. It’s linked. Pretty neat huh? Another thing you can do is install some basic animated transitions to occur in sequence. That way you will be able to get a feel for the way that the user interface will actually appear and fell when it Is in motion. Once you feel that you have achieved your final product and are happy with the design, just hit the record button and you will be able to go through your app to export the final results and even share your demo.

Without a doubt, this is one of the most user-friendly and valuable additions ever to be released by Adobe. The company is famous for creating amazing software that is often too difficult for the average computer user, but that is simply not the case with the new UX design. Anyone with a basic understanding of the existing program will be thrilled with the new addition in terms of its shallow learning curve and awesome intuitive features.

New Big Photoshop CC Update – What’s new?

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There is big news in the graphic design world: Photoshop has finally released the highly anticipated CC update and it is said that additional digital imaging product features will be coming soon. Just about every graphic designer and artist in the world relies on the world-changing software that has enabled artists to create stunning digital images never before thought possible. Therefore, it is no surprise that this major update has been a highly anticipated one in the art community.

New Features

This new expansion of the software features a long list of different features that will allow designers to take their work to the next level in an exciting way. Changes to fonts, creative cloud libraries, artboards, and exportation abilities are just a few of the additions that all you Photoshop geeks can get excited about. For example, here is a list of the updates that have been made to fonts according to the Adobe website:

Search and Organize Fonts Quickly

  • View fonts by family (new this release): A more hierarchical font menu shows font families and lets you toggle to see fonts within that family, rather than seeing all fonts in a giant list.
  • Performance improvements in font menu (new this release): Font menu is faster because of improvements to showing samples for each font.
  • Favorites: Star fonts that you use frequently and then filter to only show those fonts.
  • Recently used: Photoshop will display your most recently used fonts at the top of the font list.
  • Search for fonts: Start to type the name of the font to find a font, rather than browsing with a scrollbar.

Go deeper into a given font

  • Glyph Panel: Use the Glyphs panel to insert punctuation, superscript and subscript characters, currency symbols, numbers, specialized characters, as well as glyphs from other languages into text.
  • On-canvas Glyph (new this release): On-canvas menu allows you to view and select alternate glyphs for the currently selected character.

Expand beyond your commonly used fonts

  • Typekit: Thousands of free fonts for Creative Cloud members to use; integrated into Photoshop’s font menu, missing font check workflow, similarity search and Match Font feature.
  • Match Font (new this release): Start with a raster image of a Latin font and Photoshop will tell you which fonts on your local machine or in your Typekit library are close matches.
  • Filter by Classification: Narrow the fonts in your font list by classification, like serif or sans serif.
  • Filter by visual similarity: Narrow the fonts in your font list based on similarity to your selected font.

Perhaps one of the best parts of this new update is that it is available in a mobile format as well. If you have not tried it, you can go to the iTunes store or the Google Play store and download the free Capture CC mobile app and get started. There are a ton of cool effects and features to keep you busy for hours.

Mark Hamburg’s Going Away Party

Posted By Jeff Schewe

Mark Hamburg, founder of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and former architect of Photoshop is leaving Adobe for a post at Microsoft. Mark, who was the second engineer hired to work on Photoshop after Thomas Knoll, has been at Adobe for over 17 years. He joined Adobe in the fall of 1990–the year Photoshop 1.0 shipped.

He left the Photoshop team after Photoshop 7 shipped and spent time in Adobe’s Advanced Technology Group (ATG) where he worked on a “sandbox project” originally called PixelToy which was later renamed Shadowland. Adobe changed that name to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom when it was released as a public beta in January, 2006. See the PSN story The Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story for more info.

Since Mark has been a good friend and co-conspirator over the years, I decided to use some miles and fly out for his going away party at Adobe last week. Mark’s last day at Adobe was Wednesday, April 23, 2008.

Mark’s office was littered with boxes–it’s unclear if those were his new packed boxes or left over from the recent move to 10 West. The Lightroom team was recently moved onto the same floor as the Photoshop team (I guess in an attempt at “togetherness”). Right: Mark explains that he needed to work on one more Lightroom 2.0 bug before going to the video conference with the Minnesota team, his last such conference.

Here we are in one of Adobe’s video conference rooms on the 8th floor. On the screen is the Adobe Minnesota office’s Frostbite Falls conference room. See this story about the Minnesota office on PSN titled A Visit to the Adobe Lightroom Engineers for an explanation of conference room naming.

The two teams, one in San Jose and the one in Minnesota, reminisced about working with Mark. Some of the stories were funny, some poignant and some were melancholy–but all were good natured.

In an ironic twist, Minnesota actually had some pretty good wine while San Jose only had beer to toast with. I say ironic because most of the time the drinks of choice would be reversed (since Mark and George are a bit wine snobbish).

I lucked out and got a Pilsner Urquell…

Mark and Kevin Conner (right) joke about “life with Mark”. Kevin stated his most memorable aspect of Mark’s career was his pure refusal to accept anything but the best. Mark joked that it was “never too late to change a feature”.

My main comment represented the general consensus of the alpha testers who have worked with Mark over the years; “Be careful what you wish for because you just may get it”–and Mark will make it completely different than you thought it would be.

The last goodbye from Minnesota wishing Mark well.

Mark’s last walk down the Adobe halls (on his way to his Adobe HR exit interview).

We walked out of 345 Park Avenue on the way to the Paragon restaurant where Mark’s going away party was to be held.

VP of Engineering for the Digital Imaging Group, Winston Hendrickson (left) and Kevin Connor, Senior Director of Product Management for the same group (right) hosted the party (and paid for the first two rounds–well, I think they paid for every round actually–there were a lot of rounds).

Here’s Kevin saying a few “words” about Mark’s tenure at Adobe…

…and Mark listening carefully.

Kevin presented Mark with a going away present. A 3D print made by Russell Brown.

On close inspection you can see it says “Mr. Microsoft”. But the 3D part actually shows more…

Here’s the 3D arrangement of image planes (below) showing that Mark is actually holding a sign saying Mr. Lightroom that turns into a sign saying Mr. Microsoft. With fire below of course.

Another parting gift was a guitar (I believe from a Photoshop World keynote or party) signed by the “Photoshop World Dream Team” instructors including Scott Kelby, Dave Cross and others.

If you don’t know, Mark is a bit of a guitar buff (spending a lot more money on guitars than camera equipment).

Winston said a few words, claiming he will always go down as the guy who was Mark’s boss when Mark left Adobe.

Bryan Lamkin, former Senior VP of Adobe’s Creative Solutions Business Unit, showed up to say a few words as well. Bryan retired from Adobe in March of 2006 (see the PSN story)

Sean Parent (center in red: researcher at Adobe Systems and manager of the Adobe Software Technology Lab) recounted the time he had spent working with Mark on Photoshop, including the time he wrote a script on Mark’s computer to turn every iteration of the word Photoshop to be spelled PhotoShop (the intercap was a pet peeve of Hamburg’s).

Russell Brown also talked about the importance of Mark’s contributions to Photoshop.

Mark didn’t seem to mind all the attention.

But Mark’s son Gavin didn’t like so much attention–people with cameras…

Gavin decided to hide.

Gavin was pretty much done (he was hungry). Here is Ann, Mark’s wife getting ready to go to McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant for a last supper.

Kevin was melancholic. Obviously Adobe would have preferred not losing Mark, but Mark had already “made his mark” at Adobe and was looking for a new challenge. Mark on the other hand characterized his departure as the scariest thing he had ever done (and mentioned something about RAIN).

At the restaurant, Winston points out that Mark was missing. Seems the long goodbyes took a long time. Finally Mark showed up.

Zalman Stern (from the Camera Raw team) pours some wine for Ann. I think George picked the wine (he usually does, otherwise he tends to complain about the wine).

Mark was eating oysters (left) while Gavin got his fav grilled cheese.

In a more serious moment, Winston wishes Mark well.

Mark’s now defunct Adobe ID–pretty well worn out.

The next morning, Mark and Ann were due to fly up to Seattle to start house hunting. The prospects were daunting–Mark noted that Seattle had just had snow the previous weekend (April 19/20) and that housing costs in Seattle weren’t a lot cheaper than San Jose. And there’s this thing called “RAIN” up there…

As for Mark leaving Adobe, I wasn’t surprised. Mark had talked about leaving the Lightroom team after 2.0 shipped for the last few months. He felt he had pretty much done what he wanted to at Adobe: 11+ years on Photoshop and almost 6 years on Lightroom. And while Mark is a brilliant coder and conceptually creative in the digital imaging/processing realm, he felt a strong pull to do something completely different. For somebody like Mark, there are really very few options; a startup or going someplace where there are few if any limits. He was heavily recruited by Microsoft and given an unbeatable opportunity to work outside his normal digital imaging field. Mark was invited by David Vaskevitch to come lead a team working on the future of OS User Experience at Microsoft.

This is the way Mark phrased it:
Now, given that I find the current Windows experience really annoying and yet I keep having to deal with it, this opportunity was a little too interesting to turn down. I can’t imagine doing serious imaging anywhere other than Adobe, but, I needed to do something other than imaging for a while.

Mark is leaving the Lightroom team at a time when 2.0 is pretty much done except for the bugs (which Mark was literally working on his last day) and the future of Lightroom is really no longer in doubt. The team that Mark has helped assemble for Lightroom’s development and engineering will now actually be able to step out from underneath Mark’s rather large shadow and take Lightroom where it needs to go.

The raw processing pipeline that Lightroom uses is in the capable hands of Thomas Knoll, Zalman Stern and new hire Eric Chan (and a few others). So there will be no let down there. And Mark has long been gone (but not forgotten) when it comes to Photoshop (although the Photoshop team aways seems to get Mark to try to “explain his code” when they come across something he wrote).

The one thing I noted was the gracious manner in which Mark left and the way everybody at Adobe honestly wished him well. Yes, there was a sense of melancholy and a degree of sadness at Mark’s leaving. But no bridges have been burned and Mark will always have a home at Adobe (hey, Adobe even has a Seattle office if the Microsoft thingie doesn’t work out).

Good luck Mark and best wishes. To Microsoft I’ll only say “be careful what you wish for, you just may get it”…

:~)

 

Photoshop CS3 Beta Q&A

Posted By PSN Editorial Staff

Got questions about the Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta release?
These are the official answers from Adobe…

Q. What is the Adobe¨ Photoshop¨ CS3 beta?
A. Adobe Photoshop CS3 is the next version of Adobe Photoshop software, the professional standard in digital imaging, to be released in spring 2007. The Photoshop CS3 beta is an unfinished version of the application that we are making available to you now, to enable you to work natively on the latest hardware and operating system platforms prior to our ultimate release of the final product.

Q. What’s the big news?
A. Adobe is delivering a widely available Photoshop CS3 beta to enable customers to more easily transition to the latest hardware platforms, particularly Apple’s new Intel based systems. The beta is available as a Universal Binary for the Macintosh platform as well for Microsoft¨ Windows¨ XP and Windows Vista computers, with the final shipping release of Adobe Photoshop CS3 planned for spring 2007. The software can be downloaded at: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/photoshopcs3/

Q. Why is Adobe making the Photoshop CS3 beta available now?
A. Adobe has a long-standing commitment to the Mac community and this release is Adobe’s way of delivering native performance to our Mac customers many months earlier than we otherwise could have done. Over the years, Photoshop has consistently done right by Mac customers, offering a free PowerPC¨ update for Photoshop 2.5 and a free G5 update for PS 7, even though new versions were right around the corner. Making the Photoshop CS3 Beta available to all of our Mac-based Photoshop CS2 users is a further proof of our commitment to the platform. Since a large portion of our customer base is on Windows, Adobe is simultaneously releasing a Windows version of the Photoshop CS3 beta to Windows XP and Vista users.

Q. Who is eligible for the Photoshop CS3 beta?
A. The Photoshop CS3 beta is available in English only but to Photoshop CS2 users worldwide. It is available to licensed users of either the Photoshop CS2 (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Creative Suite 2.x Standard or Premium (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Production Studio Standard and Premium (full, upgrade, and education), Adobe Video Bundle (full, upgrade, and education) or Adobe Web Bundle (full, upgrade, and education). You will need to provide your Photoshop CS2, Creative Suite, Production Studio or Bundle serial number in order to get a Photoshop CS3 beta serial number, enabling you to activate the Photoshop beta and use it beyond the 2-day grace period.

Q. Where is the Photoshop CS3 beta available for download?
A. The Photoshop CS3 beta is available on Adobe Labs (http://labs.adobe.com/ technologies/photoshopcs3/). Adobe Labs is the source for early looks at emerging products and technologies from Adobe. It is not just for developers, but also for technology enthusiasts. On Adobe Labs, you can get early access to downloads, samples, documentation, release notes, tutorials, and more.

Q. What are the system requirements of the Photoshop CS3 beta?
A. The Macintosh and Windows minimum system requirements are as follows:

Macintosh
PowerPC® G4 or G5 or Intel based Macintosh processor
Mac OS X v.10.4.8
320MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
512 minimum of RAM if you are running Adobe Bridge as well
64MB of video RAM
1.5GB of available hard-disk space
1,024×768 monitor resolution with 16-bit video card
DVD-ROM drive
Internet or phone connection required for product activation
QuickTime 7 software required for multimedia features

Windows
Intel® Pentium® 4, Intel Centrino®, Intel Xeon®, or Dual-Core Intel Xeon processor
Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista™
320MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
512 minimum of RAM if you are running Adobe Bridge as well
64MB of video RAM
650MB of available hard-disk space
1,024×768 monitor resolution with 16-bit video card
DVD-ROM drive
Internet or phone connection required for product activation
QuickTime 7 software required for multimedia features

Q. What’s new in the Photoshop CS3 beta?
A. Our primary reason for releasing this beta version is to allow our Macintosh customers to run Photoshop natively on the latest Intel based systems, but we have no doubt that all of our customers will enjoy exploring the application and seeing some of the new features we have in store. The application is not yet complete, but some of the features you may want to check out in the beta include: Non-destructive Smart Filters, Quick Selection tool, Refine Edge, Automatic layer alignment and blending, Vanishing Point with multiple, adjustable angle perspective planes, Black and White conversion and of course many more for you to discover. For more information on the new features, please go to http://labs.adobe.com/ technologies/photoshopcs3/. Photoshop CS3 beta also includes a pre-release version of a major upgrade to Adobe Bridge as well as a preview release of the all-new Adobe Device Central.

Q. Is the Photoshop CS3 beta feature set complete?
A. By definition, a beta is not the final build of a product. Since the Photoshop CS3 software is far along in its development cycle, there will not be time to incorporate feature feedback from this public beta into the final release. However, engineering and testing work on Photoshop CS3 will be ongoing until the launch in spring 2007, and feature suggestions gathered during the public beta may still influence future releases of the software.

Q. Can I use the Photoshop CS3 beta in my professional workflow? What are the limitations of a beta?
A. Although some may find the Photoshop CS3 quality good enough to use in a production environment, the nature of beta software is that it is not production quality, so not everything may work perfectly. Customers should be aware that Adobe will not offer any technical support for the Photoshop CS3 beta.

Q. Will Adobe provide support for the Photoshop CS3 beta?
A: No. Adobe will not be providing any technical support for the Photoshop CS3 beta. If you would like to exchange ideas with other customers using the beta, please go to the Adobe Labs page (http:// labs.adobe.com/technologies/photoshopcs3/) for helpful links, including the Photoshop CS3 beta forum, and John Nack’s blog (http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/). If you have a question or want more information about mobile authoring in Photoshop software, visit Bill Perry’s blog athttp://www.flashdevices.net/mobileauthoring/. Perry is manager of Adobe’s developer relations for mobile and devices. If you have questions about Adobe Bridge, go to the Bridge team’s blog at: http://blogs.adobe.com/bridge/.

Q. If I make a feature suggestion about the Photoshop CS3 beta, will I see it in the shipping product?
A. The timing of this release is such that our plans for Photoshop CS3 are already set. Adobe is always eager to hear what users think, however, and feedback will be considered for future versions of Photoshop.

Q. What if I find a bug in the beta?
A. If you find a bug in the Photoshop CS3 beta, please file a bug report via the form on Adobe Labs at (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/photoshopcs3/). With Microsoft® Windows Vista, Mac OS X (Leopard) and the Intel based Macintosh transition all coming at once, Adobe welcomes customer feedback to make our products production ready.

Q. Will there be updates to the Photoshop CS3 beta before the final product ships?
A. We do not plan any additional beta releases for Photoshop CS3 before it is announced and ships.

Q: When will the Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta expire?
A. The Photoshop CS3 beta will expire soon after the launch of Photoshop CS3 in spring 2007.

Q. Will the Photoshop CS3 beta be available in languages other than English?
A. No. The Photoshop CS3 beta however is available to licenced Photoshop CS2 users worldwide.

Q. Are there any training materials available?
A. Adobe will provide Release Notes on the Adobe Labs page at (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/photoshopcs3/). There is also a Photoshop CS3 beta Forum where you can exchange feedback. John Nack’s blog is also a good information resource at http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/. If you have a question or want more information about mobile authoring in Photoshop, visit Bill Perry’s blog athttp://www.flashdevices.net/mobileauthoring/. Perry is manager of Adobe’s developer relations for mobile and devices. If you have questions about Adobe Bridge, go to the Bridge team’s blog at: http://blogs.adobe.com/bridge/

Q. Can this beta help third-party developers?
A. The availability of the Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta provides developers with a head start in developing plug-ins before Photoshop CS3 ships. Photoshop CS3 beta APIs can be used to develop third-party tools now and then tested once Photoshop CS3 is available, allowing your product to be available shortly after Photoshop CS3 ships. Since this beta is not a final build of Photoshop CS3, however, Adobe will not provide third-party support at this time.

Q. When will Photoshop CS3 ship?
A. Adobe Photoshop CS3 is due to ship in spring 2007.

Q. Will I get a discount on Photoshop CS3 if I download the Photoshop CS3 Beta?
A. There are no discounts planned for Photoshop CS3 Beta users.

Q. If I buy Photoshop CS2 today in order to get access to the Photoshop CS3 beta, will I get a free upgrade to Photoshop CS3?
A. No. The rich feature set and productivity enhancements of Photoshop CS2 already provide a strong upgrade value, and the opportunity to preview the upcoming CS3 release is an additional bonus. In addition, customers who are still using Photoshop version 6.0 or earlier will benefit from taking advantage of a more liberal upgrade policy for Photoshop CS2. Adobe will not offer upgrade pricing more than three versions back on Photoshop CS3. Go to www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/index. html for more information on Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Q. What is Adobe Bridge?
A. Adobe Bridge software is a powerful, easy-to-use media manager for visual people. Bridge helps clear the clutter and lets you focus on what’s critical with features such as the Filter Panel to quickly locate assets by attributes such as file type, camera settings, and ratings. Bridge shows immediately what’s in your hard drive, network or storage device without the need to import into a catalog or database. Staying organized is as simple as viewing your project files with Adobe Bridge.

Q. Who should use Bridge?
A. Creative professionals that need to deal with visual assets quickly and efficiently. Photographers will welcome new features such as quick thumbnails, image stacks, and multiple image previews. Multimedia workflows benefit from the versatility of the software’s ability to preview video, audio and animation assets. Creative pros can rely on Bridge’s simplicity to navigate the challenges of multimedia workflows – from camera raw editing and processing to multiple media creation to mobile output.

Q. Where can I get more information on Bridge?
A. Adobe will provide release notes regarding Bridge on the Adobe Labs page. The Bridge team has also setup a blog at: http://blogs.adobe.com/bridge/.

Q. What is Adobe Device Central and why is it included in the Photoshop CS3 beta?
A: Adobe Device Central is an integrated tool in Photoshop CS3 software, enabling you to design, preview, and test compelling mobile content. Creative professionals and mobile developers can quickly browse, search, and group device profiles, as well as start a new mobile project in Photoshop. The Photoshop CS3 Beta includes a beta version of Adobe Device Central to give you a taste of how Adobe is working to facilitate the workflow for authoring mobile content. The beta version only includes a limited number of “generic” device profiles. “Generic” device profiles are not associated to any particular device manufacturer. When Photoshop CS3 ships in spring 07, Adobe Device Central will include a more extensive library of device profiles, from actual phone and device manufacturers.

Q. Who should use Adobe Device Central and why?
A. Adobe Device Central is geared towards creative professionals interested in designing mobile content, as well as for experienced mobile designers and developers. Now Photoshop users can view mobile content, such as phone wallpapers or application mockups, using Adobe Device Central software’s built-in device profiles and testing environment. Draw on Adobe Device Central to tune your designs for various mobile screen sizes and lighting conditions.

Q. How can I learn more about Adobe Device Central and creating content for mobile devices?
A. Adobe will provide Adobe Device Central Release Notes on the Adobe Labs page athttp://labs.adobe. com/technologies/photoshopcs3. Adobe’s Bill Perry’s Blog is also a good information resource on mobile authoring at http://www.flashdevices.net/mobileauthoring. Bill Perry is the global manager of Adobe’s developer relations for Mobile and Devices. There is also a Photoshop CS3 beta forum on the Adobe Labs page where you can exchange feedback. To learn more about creating content for mobile devices, go to http://www.adobe.com/go/mobiledeveloper. To find out more about the Adobe Mobile Developer Program, go tohttp://www.adobe.com/go/mobileprogram.

Q. What is Adobe¨ Stock Photos?
A. Adobe® Stock Photos is a royalty-free service located right inside the Adobe® Creative Suite® family of products. This convenient, integrated service gives you:
-Hundreds of thousands of images, all in one place—Search, download, and buy all the royalty-free images you need from a single location.
-Uncommon images at unbeatable prices—Get streamlined access to some of the world’s leading providers, like Getty Images and Jupiterimages, without ever paying extra for the convenience.
-A simple way to purchase—Buy all your royalty-free images at once, from a single location—even if you’re purchasing images from multiple providers.

Q. Who are the stock image providers, and does Adobe plan to sign up additional providers?
A. Adobe Stock Photos provides access to hundreds of thousands of images from some of the world’s leading stock image providers, including collections from Getty Images and Jupiterimages. Adobe plans to continue to sign up new providers so that designers have access to a wide selection of high-quality, royalty-free images.

Q. How does Adobe Stock Photos’ integration with the Adobe Creative Suite family of products improve my productivity?
A. Only Adobe Stock Photos gives you a complete royalty-free service right inside the Adobe Creative Suite family of products. This integration allows you to find, download, manage, and buy all your royalty-free images from a single, integrated location. Here’s how it works:
-Easily access Adobe Stock Photos from the new Adobe Bridge file browser in Adobe Creative Suite 2, Production Studio, Photoshop CS2, Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2, GoLive CS2, After Effects 7.0, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 , Adobe Audition 2.0, and Encore DVD 2.0 software.
– Place edited or original comps into InDesign CS2 layouts.
– Open downloaded comps for editing in Photoshop CS2.
– Edit and rename images without losing metadata.
– Find comps and purchased images fast: They’re automatically saved in folders within Adobe Bridge.
-Use InDesign’s built-in preflight function to check for images that need to be purchased and purchase directly from ASP.

Q. Will I have to pay more for images that I purchase through Adobe Stock Photos?
A. The price of a stock photo varies from image to image, but one thing remains constant: Customers never pay more than list price, no matter what collection they purchase from. Here’s how it works: Customers can download a watermark-free, low-resolution comp version of any image at no cost. The final price of a downloaded image depends on the resolution of the image and other non-quantifiable factors. Prices can vary from about US$50 for a low-resolution image to more than US$499 for a high-resolution image. Stock-image prices in Adobe Stock Photos are non-negotiable.

© 2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.
Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704 USA

Adobe, the Adobe logo, After Effects, Creative Suite, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator, Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere, and“Better by Adobe” are either registered trademarks World Wide Web or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Mac OS and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the www.adobe.com United States and other countries. Intel, Intel Centrino, Intel Xeon, and Pentium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.PowerPC is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows Vista are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of

Adobe Lightroom FAQ’s

Posted By PSN Editorial Staff

Adobe has written a Lightroom FAQ. It answers, from Adobe’s point of view, some of the questions that are bound to surface regarding Adobe’s intentions regarding Adobe Lightroom Beta 1 and the development of the commercial release sometime later this year.

 

Q: What is Project Lightroom?
A: Adobe Lightroom Beta is a new, exciting image handler built from the ground up for professional photographers. It is an efficient, powerful way to import, select, develop and showcase large volumes of digital images. It allows you to spend less time sorting and organizing images, so you have more time to actually shoot and perfect them.

Q: Why Lightroom Beta?

A: To put it simply, Adobe Lightroom is unfinished. And before we finish it, we want input from the people who are going to rely on it. We want to make it available to you now, so you can tell us what you like, what you’d like better-so you can help us shape it into as close to the perfect photographer’s application as we can possibly get.

Q: What is Adobe Labs?

A: Labs was originally developed as the public home of work-in-progress at Macromedia. Now that Macromedia is part of Adobe, it has been retitled Adobe Labs, and will be the source for early looks at emerging products and technologies from Adobe, including Project Lightroom. Here you can not only gain early access to downloads, samples, documentation, release notes, tutorials and more. You can also ask questions, discuss, and share your feedback with Adobe.

Q: Who will use Lightroom Beta?

A: First and foremost, Lightroom is the product professional photographers have been demanding, especially those who deal with large volumes of digital images. These include fashion and portrait photographers, photojournalists, wedding, landscape and commercial photographers. To these add the seasoned personal photographers who aspire to achieving the same results as the pros, and who demand the same level of quality in their tools.

Q: Does Lightroom Beta replace Adobe Bridge or Camera Raw?

A: For some, it might. In truth it will depend on what you do and how you like to do it. Having an interface that is 100% tuned to the photography workflow, plus the unique features that will be in Lightroom, will mean some people will use Lightroom in place of Bridge. On the other hand, some photographers will need or want the broad image capabilities of Adobe Bridge-such as integration with Adobe Creative Suite 2, previewing PDF, InDesign¨ and Illustrator¨ documents, and workgroup management tools. Some or all of the time, these people will continue to use Adobe Bridge.

Q: How does Lightroom Beta differ from Adobe Photoshop CS2?

A: Adobe Photoshop CS2 is, and will continue to be, the industry standard in digital image editing. Photoshop will always hold an important place in the pro photographer’s toolbox, for detailed image editing and compositing. However, photographers face a variety of workflow concerns beyond image editing. The Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw components of Photoshop CS2 began solving these problems in recent years. Now, Lightroom takes these concepts further, in a very photographer-centric way. Lightroom is also different from Photoshop in terms of its software architecture. Developers and customers have long appreciated the ability to extend Photoshop functionality through third-party plug-ins that are confined within dialogs, and that can’t always access all of the information in an image. In contrast, Lightroom has been designed from the ground up with a fully modular architecture. All of the tasks you see in Lightroom’s main interface-Library, Develop, Slideshow, and Print-are actually independent modules that have full control over your images, and which can use the entire screen to show you just the tools you need for the task at hand. In the future, Adobe will be releasing a developer SDK for Lightroom, so that third parties can create additional modules that extend the application and the workflow in groundbreaking ways.

Q: Will Lightroom Beta be compatible with Photoshop CS2 and Photoshop Elements?

A: Yes. Images handled by Adobe Lightroom will be editable in Photoshop CS2 or Photoshop Elements. Some non-photography file formats usable in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements will not be supported by Lightroom, but this is in keeping with the mandate of Lightroom as a photographer’s application. Lightroom does provide a somewhat different approach to image adjustments than Photoshop, however, and this initial beta release is somewhat experimental. Thus, users should expect the integration between Photoshop and Lightroom to evolve over time.

Q: Is Lightroom Beta an image editing tool or a workflow productivity tool?

A: The concept behind Lightroom is to provide a single environment that has all of the functions photographers most commonly need to perform on their images. It’s not about having every tool in the hardware store. It’s about having a focused set of features that are just right for photography, are intuitive, powerful, and easy to learn. So yes, it’s an image editing tool, and it’s a workflow productivity tool.

Q: Are there any training materials available?

A: One of the goals of Project Lightroom is to create an application that is so easy to use, you may never even look at the user manual. A basic tenet of the product team is that a new user should be able to get up and running easily after learning no more than five basic rules about a new application. Thus, Lightroom displays its five rules prominently when the application is first launched. Basic information about using Lightroom is contained in the Release Notes available with the product download at Adobe Labs (http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom). There is also a discussion forum accessible via links on the same web page. We encourage you to ask questions and talk about your experiences with Lightroom, as Lightroom product team members will be participating as well.

Q: How can I download a copy of Lightroom Beta?

A: Simply visit Adobe Labs at ( http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom) to download a copy of the Adobe Lightroom beta. You can choose to download only a copy of the Lightroom application, or the application along with some sample content to get you started.

Q: When will Lightroom ship?

A: Our current intention is to ship a 1.0 version of Lightroom before the end of 2006, but that date could shift based on user input during the public beta.

Q: How will vendors create modules of their own? What kind of third-party support will Adobe offer?

A: Because Adobe Lightroom is being built using an entirely new open modular architecture, third-party vendors will ultimately be able to develop valuable enhancements and custom workflows. Once the final product is released, an SDK for this purpose can be made available.

Q: What are the system requirements?

A: Adobe Lightroom Beta requires Mac OS¨ X version 10.4.3 (Tiger) or higher, a 1GHz or faster PowerPC G4 or G5 processor (including iBook G4 or PowerBook G4), and 768 MB of RAM (although more is recommended), and 1 GB or more of free hard drive space.

Q: What about a Windows version?

A: A Windows version of Lightroom is already under development, but is not yet ready for its public debut. The final, packaged versions for both platforms should be released within a few months of each other. As Microsoft is gearing up for a major operating system transition, and since Lightroom is a brand new product from Adobe, we are spending extra time on the Windows side to investigate the best design approaches that will support our Windows customers today, while also building for the future.

Q: What file formats will Lightroom support?

A: Over 100 native camera raw file formats, DNG, TIFF and JPEG-in other words, the formats primarily used in digital cameras. A complete list of manufacturers and models supported in Camera Raw can be found athttp://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop/cameraraw.html.

Q: Why is Lightroom unable to read the white balance settings for my Nikon D50, D2X or D2Hs cameras?

A: These three Nikon camera models have encrypted white balance settings that cannot be read without additional support from Nikon. Adobe Systems and Nikon worked together to provide support for those cameras in Adobe Camera Raw, but Lightroom is a tool designed on the latest available coding platform, and we are again working with Nikon now to provide a solution that works with our new platform.

Q: Why don’t my Camera Raw images look the same in Photoshop and Lightroom?

A: Although Lightroom leverages much of the core Adobe Camera Raw technology, we’ve disconnected compatibility for the moment to provide the most flexible environment possible.

Q: Will Lightroom be available in languages other than English?

A: The final version of Adobe Lightroom will initially be available in English, French, German and Japanese.

Q: How do “Shoots” and “Collections” differ?

A: A single photo belongs to only one Shoot, but it can be in as many Collections as you choose. The Shoot is created when you import photos to Lightroom-it’s the digital film roll. If you want to organize a photo in different ways, you can place it in more than one Collection afterward.

Q: When will the beta version of Adobe Lightroom expire?

A: The first release of Adobe Lightroom Beta will expire in June, 2006. However, additional beta versions with appropriate expiration dates will be released throughout the life of the project, so that photographers who have come to rely on the beta version will not have an interruption in their ability to use Lightroom.

Q: How do I make the panels at the left and right side appear again?

A: Just run your mouse to the left or right side to make the relevant panel appear temporarily. If you want them to stay open, press the Tab key on your keyboard-and press it again to make them disappear.

Q: I thought “beta” meant “feature complete.” Is Lightroom complete?

A: Terms change. Lightroom is not final software, which makes it a beta to us. But no, it’s not feature complete-we will finalize the feature set based on the input we receive from you, the people who use it first.

Q: Will Lightroom run on Intel-based Macintoshes?

A: Lightroom Beta requires a PowerPC-based Macintosh, as the Intel-based Macs are not available yet. The final shipping version of Adobe Lightroom will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

Announcing Adobe Lightroom

Posted By Jeff Schewe

Adobe announces Adobe® Lightroom®, a new digital photography application and provides a free Public Beta download.


Adobe Lightroom Public Beta 1 splash screen.

While not known for being adept at keeping secrets (see the PSN article; Adobe accidently leaks Photoshop CS2), Adobe has succeeded in keeping Lightroom (AKA Shadowland) very low profile up until a leak at AppleInsider on January 6th, 2006; New Adobe app to take on Apple’s Aperture and one brief mention 3 days earlier on Duke Of Digital; Shadowland – 287. Of course, AppleInsider got the name goofed up-there is no innercap on the “R” of Lightroom. If you know Mark Hamburg, you know that would NEVER happen. See this PSN article: It’s Photoshop, not PhotoShop–Fact

So, it might come as a surprise to many people that Adobe is taking the unusual route of announcing a new application and making it available as a Public Beta on the same day. It’s a rather un-Adobe sort of thing to do, but then Lightroom is a rather un-Adobe sort of application. The download and additional resources which include a User Forum and video tutorials will be hosted on the new Adobe Labs web site (see PSN story; Adobe Labs Delivers Early Access to Emerging Technologies)

What is Lightroom?
Well, in Adobe’s own words “Adobe Lightroom Beta is a new, exciting image handler built from the ground up for professional photographers.

Ok, I have no idea what an “image handler” is, but let me tell you what I think Lightroom is; a robust front-end and back-end for Camera Raw with lots of cool stuff in the middle and in need of some additional tools-which will come.

Remember, this is a Public Beta (some might argue it’s really alpha) Lightroom is not yet “feature complete”.

What will be added or changed in Lightroom?
That is for the professional photographers who download it and use it to help decide. Unlike another certain “A” company that recently released an application directed to pro photographers (whose development was was shrouded in KGB like secrecy) Adobe is hoping that those people who download and use it will have a positive and direct impact on it’s development. Thus, Lightroom will truly be an application designed by photographers for photographers.

What will Lighroom cost?
I have no idea-I’m not sure Adobe even knows for sure-although I know they have certain “target price points”.

When will it be released as a full commercial application?
Again, I have no idea but Adobe has stated an intention to ship it “before the end of 2006″.

So, what does Lightroom look like?
Glad you asked, because it’s pretty nice.

Library

Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
The main window of Lightroom defaults to the Library module (more about modules later). The window includes the Library info (left panel) and the image info (right panel) and a grid of images in the center. At the bottom is the Film Strip (I’m actually getting kinda tired of analog film analogies). At the top are application menus. The interface is considered a “single document interface” (SDI) meaning everything except for the menus are within the main window-no palettes.

Develop

Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
The next module is Develop (shown with the left panel of small preview and Presets Browser hidden). The Develop module allows for a wide array of image controls over tone and color as well as additional controls (ala Camera Raw) for sharpening, noise and lens corrections. All edits are “metadata edits” meaning the original files are preserved and only previewed with the adjustments made. Adjustments are not actually applied until images are rendered upon Export. The controls are a superset of Camera Raw controls with very interesting additional controls added.

Basic
Controls for rough tone and color adjustments.

Tone Curve
Adds some interesting and useful touches to a curves adjustment.

Split Toning
Adds interesting color adjustments for both color and B&W.

Grayscale Mixer
Adds a unique approach to converting color to B&W.

HSL Color Tuning
Allows for very precise and accurate hue, saturation and lightness tweeks.

Detail and Lens Corrections
Ala Camera Raw.

Calibrate
Also from Camera Raw’s functionality.

Slideshow

Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
The next module is called “Slideshow” for lack of a better name at the moment. Slideshows are only the tip of the “iceberg” of what this module can actually do. Yes, it’s there to be able to create slideshows but those shows can be exported as HTML, PDF files or Flash movies. So Slideshow has a bit of an under-promise in it’s name.

Print

Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
The last module in Beta 1 is Print. This is one that will really attract photographers who wish to go from raw to print with as little fuss in-between as possible. Unlike Photoshop where each image must be handled as a separate document, Lightroom treats images as pages and allows for far more efficient and robust printing-while keeping things such as color management very simple.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
Most users will be spend most of their time in the Library. The Library module allows for a wide variety of configurations (currently not savable as “workspaces”) and users can easily hide the info panels to better view the image grid.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
When you select a single image, you have access to the EXIF metadata as well as IPTC Caption, Copyright and Keyword fields.


You can also do a quick adjust of the image tone and color using the Quick Develop controls .


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
From the Grid view, double-clicking (or clicking on the Loupe button or clicking the E key or hitting the space bar) brings you to the Loupe view to see a single image.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
The view is limited to the screen real-estate of the center panel but you can access a 1:1 zoom view by clicking in the image. Zoom out by single-clicking (the space bar will also toggle between fit in panel and 1:1) The hand tool allows panning or you can use the small preview in the upper right to navigate throughout the image. At this point, there are only two zoom views available, either fit in panel or 1:1. Hopefully additional viewing options will come.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
From the Loupe view you can easily add additional images for the Compare view of two or more images. Command clicking on additional images in the filmstrip adds images, command clicking on the image previews dismisses images from the Compare view.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
Back in the Grid view with the left & right panels hidden, a user can expose the panel by hovering in the hot-point area on the far left & right. The respective panels appear as opposed to sliding in/out.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
Here the right panel is exposed…


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
…here the left panel is exposed. Command keys allow exposing and hiding the panels as well.

Other than the drop down or fly out menus in the Lightroom window, the only other menus are the application menus;

The main Lightroom menu.

The File menu.

The Library menu.

The Photo menu.

The View menu.

The Window menu.

And the Help menu.

Importing into Lightroom

Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
One of the most critical aspects of Lightroom is the main “Import Photos” dialog. Lightroom uses a relational database for maintaining its knowledge over all of the images in its photo library, all of the image settings as well as all metadata. This database is critical to keeping Lightroom fast when accessing image thumbnails and previews as well as being able to do fast searches.

In the Import Photos dialog you are given a very important choice-either copy/move images or maintain references to images in their existing locations. If you move or copy, the images will end up in the Lightroom “Library” wherever you’ve chosen to locate it-either in the default location of User/Pictures/Lightroom/Photos or wherever you’ve selected in the Lightroom preferences.

This is a critical decision because at this point there is no easy or elegant method of moving the Library location once you’ve set the preferences. Also, depending on how you have set up your computer’s hard drives, the copy/move options can rapidly fill up the main boot drive where the User folder is located.

Each import can have its own designation–either reference or copy/move. But at this early stage of development, one should use caution. At this point, I’m going to punt and generally only reference files in their current location (often on my server) instead of doing a copy/move. As there is no current ability to do a double-copy, Lightroom’s Import can not really be considered a full featured ingestion procedure.

Exporting from Lightroom

Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
As with Import, the only way to get images out of Lightroom is to either Export them or open them in another application. The Export dialog allows for some innovative renaming capabilities as well as 3 standard file formats; JPEG, TIFF or DNG.

The bit depth is relevant only for TIFF, the color space only for JPEG and TIFF. At this point, exporting a DNG does not produce Camera Raw settings reliably as Lightroom contains far more metadata editing than Photoshop’s Camera Raw plug-in can understand.

This is an issue that must be addressed, I’m just not sure how it will be resolved. On one hand, I would hate to have Lightroom’s editing capability limited. On the other hand, it would be useful to be able to export DNG’s that could be used by users inside Bridge and Photoshop. This falls under the heading of TBD (to be determined).

Speaking of preferences, Lightroom’s preferences are very simple.

Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.
The location of the Managed Photos folder is an important consideration. But other than that, there is no general color management nor other complicated preferences. Simple, huh?

In point of fact, Lightroom is itself very simple. But this is deceiving. Lightroom is much more powerful than its current application size of 10.1 MB might suggest. Even with only the current four modules, there is enormous functionality already in Lightroom. With the prospect of additional modules either by the Lightroom engineers or future 3rd party developers, the sleek and modern architecture of Lightroom leaves a lot of room for expansion-which was one of the fundamental reasons that the engineers wanted to do a modular design for the application.

Simplicity vs. Complexity.

Their approach is reflected in “The Five Rules
(under the Help menu).

Rule One
Module Picker
The Module Picker strip is located at the top right of the Lightroom window. The choices found there — Library, Develop, Slideshow, and Print — describe a loosely sequential “garden path” of tasks common to a photographer’s work. Change the contents of the panels (at right and left onscreen) to provide the tools necessary for that particular task or set of tasks.

Rule Two 
Panels
The Panels are found at the right and left of the screen. Each contains the elements needed for tasks associated with the current module. The panel to the left will generally contain content and preset browsers; the panel to the right will generally contain the tools needed to accomplish the tasks at hand. Clicking on the section headers hide and show their content.

Rule Three
Filmstrip
The Filmstrip at the bottom of the screen is a persistent view of the current images in the library grid. The contents of a selected shoot or collection will be reflected in the Filmstrip. The other modules will use the images in the Filmstrip as source materials for operations undertaken therein. Change your selection in the Filmstrip to change the images used by the other modules. To change the contents of the Filmstrip, simply return to the Library and select new images.

Rule Four
Important Key Commands
Tab Hide and show panels
Shift-Tab Hide and show all panels
F Cycle screen modes
L Dim the lights
~ Go between Loupe and Grid mode

Rule Five
Enjoy.

I particularly like Rule Five…which I also interpret as have fun…and Lightroom is indeed fun to work in. Yes, it’s very feature incomplete. But unlike other apps that may have been released prematurely with a fixed set of functionality and usability, Lightroom is open to a lot of room to grow in ways that are important to users.

I suppose a lot of people will look at Lightroom and think Adobe is simply doing a last minute panic reaction to Apple’s Aperture. They would be wrong. I know for a fact that both Adobe and Apple have been working on their respective applications for years. Both companies took different development strategies and both companies worked in near secret-although it’s pretty clear both companies knew the other company was working on an application “for photographers”.

It’s both ironic and also encouraging that two talented sets of developers seem to have found some common solutions to photographer’s problems.

The ideal way of evaluating Lightroom is to download the free public beta and see for yourself. It doesn’t take long to get the gist of using Lightroom. Check back in the Lightroom forums-the Lightroom engineers and development folks will be hanging out there to answer questions and give suggestions for using Lightroom to its fullest. The Lightroom forums will also be the primary place for users to put forth their feature requests and bug notifications. A lot of the early alpha and private beta testers will also be visiting-I know I’ll be there a lot to see what users think.

Lightroom Resources:
Project Lightroom at Adobe Labs
(home of the beta downloads and forums)

Introductory Lightroom video tutorial by George Jardine-Lightroom Evangelist (Quicktime required)

Adobe Lightroom A First-Look & Primer by Michael Reichmann
of The Luminous-Landscape.

Michael Reichmann (and myself) will be releasing an in-depth look at Lightroom with tutorials in Issue #14 of his The Luminous Landscape Video Journal due to ship in February.

Check out my story The Shadowland/Lightroom Development Story with an inside look at its development and some of the players involved.

Read Adobe’s Lightroom FAQ’s.

PhotoshopNews will be adding a Lightroom editorial catagory so PSN readers can keep up with news and info pertaining specifically to Adobe Lightroom.

Ian Lyons (our Leprish Iricon) has posted a Lightroom Preview

About Mark Hamburg:
Mark Hamburg was the second engineer hired to work on Photoshop-after Thomas Knoll. Mark actually interviewed at Adobe the same month that Photoshop was first released-February of 1990 but wasn’t brought on-board until the fall.

Mark has been responsible for both features and core architectural engineering since Photoshop version 2. Mark’s first feature implementation was Bezier curves added in 2.0. Mark was responsible for a major UI and usability overhaul for Photoshop 4.0 along with Andrei Herasimchuk–who returned to Adobe to initially team up with Mark for Shadowland. I worked with Mark extensively while he developed the Photoshop History feature for version 5.0.

Mark was named Photoshop Architect and was responsible for helping guide the direction of Photoshop through Photoshop version 7-after which he moved over to Adobe’s Digital Media Lab. Under the guidance of Greg Gilley, he started working on early experimental developmental versions of what would eventually become Shadowland/Lightroom back in 2002. He recruited the additional engineering help of many of the former Adobe ImageReady engineers (called the Minnesota Phats) from the Adobe Minneapolis office including Troy and Melissa Gaul.

Mark is married with two children and lives in Scotts Valley, CA. He has developed a keen interest in digital photography-one of the reasons he wanted to work toward developing an application for photographers. He is also an avid musician whose musical interests have lead to the code naming of a lot of the early Photoshop beta versions. His musical style might best be described as “Ambience“.

Listen to a short sample of Mark’s music: Dark Water (Coda)
from the CD The Evolution Of Desire (available only from Mark Hamburg).
(1.4 MB .mp3, run time 1:15 minutes)

Photo of Mark Hamburg by Jeff Schewe. Images shown in the Lightroom screen shots ©2005 by Jeff Schewe–all rights reserved.