Adobe Creative Suite 6 Kicks!

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If you’re doing anything at all creative with your computer, you’re likely aware of the excellent suite of creative tools from Adobe (coincidentally called the Adobe Creative Suite).

Well earlier today, Adobe announced a huge upgrade to the suite, Adobe Creative Suite 6 — CS6 — which contains a lot of new features to all products within the suite and is also designed to drive Adobe users to their new subscription-based (and also announced today) Creative Cloud service

Aimed at the serious creative hobbiest or professional, Adobe Creative Suite has long contained many of the industry-standard creative tools including Photoshop and Illustrator.

Creative_Suite_6_Design_Standard_mnemonic_RGB_300px.jpgAnd if you’ve been using an older version of Adobe Creative Suite, here’s some of the new feature you’ll find in CS6.

  • Content-Aware image retouching tools
    Retouch images with stunning results in Photoshop Extended. Use the Remix tool to move a selection with auto-recompose and blend. Content-Aware Patch lets you control patch samples.
  • Fluid grid layout for mobile devices
    Design and develop confidently for mobile devices with advanced tools in Dreamweaver CS6, including CSS3-based layouts that scale responsively to virtually all screen sizes and form factors.
  • Global Performance Cache
    Create more in less time with unprecedented 64-bit Performance. This revolution “under the hood” makes After Effects CS6 fast and responsive by taking full advantage of the power in your computer’s hardware.
  • Extraordinary image editing
    Use the Mixer Brush and Bristle Tips in Photoshop CS6 Extended to explore lifelike, naturally textured painting. Add dimension to your imagery with 3D extrusions using Adobe Repoussé technology, and make precise image selections with Truer Edge technology.
  • Interactive documents and presentations
    Create memorable documents and presentations with interactivity, motion, sound, and video in InDesign CS6. Enhance layouts with rich media using motion presets and support for FLV and MP3 audio file import to engage your audiences.

As with previous CS releases, Adobe has bundled tools into various configurations and pricing. According to Adobe’s news release, CS6 and Creative Cloud will be available within 30 days — we’ll update this post when we have precise details on their arrival and pricing at Future Shop.

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Unleash your inner Spielberg

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I’m sure all of us have, at one point or another, dreamed of releasing that movie director deep inside, and making our own movie, complete with music and special effects.

Well, if your dream is to make one that hearkens back to the golden days of silent cinema, then I’ve got an inexpensive app for you.

Silent Film Director, released today, can help you make movies in a style reminensent of the classic Hollywood silver screen.

It’s a very slick app that lets you shoot, edit and share movies on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad (in Universal mode). Continue reading “Unleash your inner Spielberg”

Free photo app Instagram just got better

iglogo.jpgThe free and popular instant photography sharing app for iOS, Instagram, just pushed an update through — and it’s a nifty little update too!

Aside from some bug fixes, two new filters were added in the 1.0.7 update;

Walden
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Hefe
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And one has been retrieved from the cutting room floor after a bit of a populous revolt;

PopRocket
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I love the filter upgrades, but the app upgrade didn’t go off without a hitch.

In my case, Instagram lives on my iPad, which I use for post-production editing and sharing of my photos. I like to think of it as my iPad Darkroom.

And this update to Instagram had me worried for a moment — it wouldn’t read any images from my photo roll or photo albums.

But after a full shutdown and restart, whatever database issues it had seemed to clear up, and I’m happily playing in the darkroom again.

iOS devices seem to be the most prolific when it comes to mobile digital darkroom apps, for now. I’m thinking that once more developers get busy working on the other devices, there’s going to be a whole lot more awesome photography happening out there… and I can’t wait!
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Revisiting an old friend

It’s a new year, so the slate is clean and there’s lots of new things to try. Or old things that dropped off the radar to revisit.

In my case, it’s photography and image processing. I used to enjoy working in a wet darkroom and watching images materialize on paper. That was years and many moves ago. My wet gear has long since vanished, and my attention turned to other things.

Recently, you’ll have noticed I’ve started exploring iPad Darkroom apps and technology — and have once again become interested in making and enhancing images in post production.

Continue reading “Revisiting an old friend”

Free and good? It’s for the birds!

Actually it’s for you and me, and I’m referring to the free online suite of tools that flies under the Aviary banner. Actually, it’s more than a suite of tools, Aviary is also a community by and for content creators:

At Aviary, we believe that everyone in the world should have access to powerful creation tools. We therefore chose our company mission to be We make creation accessible to everyone. Our powerful set of tools helps fulfill this mission by enabling small businesses, students, artists & creators across different genres.

What this means for us is that there’s now an awesome set of media creation tools available for you to use, for the cost of your internet connection — yes, the Aviary tools are free (though they originally had a subscription business model).

My most recent forray into the birdhouse had me using the Myna audio editor to trim down a mix I’d created for another blog post reviewing Seline HD (a cool iPad instrument).

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My mix had too much dead space at the head and tale of the selection. A few quick tweaks in Myna, and the mix is much as you see above.

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Then, with a few clicks of your mouse, you can mix it down, and download it or copy some publish code to embed it in your website or blog post (as I did here).

bard1.egg by bgrier on Aviarybard1.egg by bgrier on Aviary

But this is just one of the Aviary suite of bird-themed tools. Others include:

  • Phoenix – Image Editor
    An image editor has layers, masks, effects, undo history, and all that other good stuff.
  • Talon – Screen Capture
    Use Talon to capture screenshots web pages from your browser or desktop and crop, resize or mark them up.
  • Raven – Vector Editor
    The world’s first online vector editor.
  • Peacock – Effects Editor
    It does so many wonderful and amazing things, we decided to call it our visual laboratory.
  • Roc – Music Creator
    Use Roc to create music and loops for use in Myna and ringtones.
  • Falcon – Image Markup
    Use Falcon to quickly capture images and web pages from your browser or desktop and crop, resize or mark them up.
  • Toucan – Swatch Editor
    A color swatches and palettes tool will help you find colors you didn’t even know exist.

And as I mentioned above, there’s a whole set of Aviary communities focused on the tools, and on creating, discovering, mashing up and publishing content.

It’s free — so can you afford not to take a peek into the bird house?



This post of is one of many I publish weekly at the Future Shop Techblog. Read more of my stuff here.


Making music on the iPad

In the previous item I mentioned that I’d not yet tested out Seline HD, an iPad app. Well, I have now, and yes, it really is quite cool.

After fiddling about with the interface for a bit, I was able to pull this little bit together.

I must have been inspired by the few hours of The Pillars of the Earth we were watching — seems to have a medieval theme.

One neat thing I loved; you can record and overdub, so with a bit of patience, you are the orchestra!
bard1.egg by bgrier on Aviarybard1.egg by bgrier on Aviary

Additional note: I used the awesome free online clip / audio editor Myna (an Aviary tool) to trim the head and tail of the clip so there was no dead space. Cloud audio editing…how cool!
Check out this video / tutorial of Selene HD for a bit more detail.