Monthly Archives April 2010

That’s right! CS5 IS FINALLY HERE!! If you pre-ordered, you should be getting your copy any day.

If you can’t wait, go HERE and download the trial to play around, I mean work with, the new software.

And, don’t forget… NAPP has their completely FREE Learning Center for you right here (You don’t even have to be a NAPP member!). For those who are NAPP members, you get a 15% DISCOUNT on purchases through the Adobe store. Log into your account at and look in the Discounts section to take advantage of it!

And if you’re a Kelby Training Online subscriber, you can check out all of the latest full classes on CS5 (Photoshop Power Session & Crash Course, HDR, Channels & Masks, 3D, Camera Raw, & much much more!) right here. And if you’re not a subscriber but would like to be, you can get all the details and sign up here.

TGIF much? ;)


So with all the excitement surrounding the pending release of Photoshop CS5 and the rest of the Creative Suite I feel it incumbent upon me to talk a bit about 3D in Photoshop because, like anything new or different, there are always divided opinions. Do I really need 3D? What will it do for me as a photographer or as a designer? Why is it in Extended and not Standard? Why is 3D even in Photoshop? While I cannot answer all of these questions I will at least start with that last question.

Why 3D in Photoshop? I think a better question is why did it take so long to get 3D in Photoshop? To answer this let is first look at where 3D started in Photoshop and where it’s going. Look around the world right now. 3D is everywhere. Movies, TV and print advertising, web, everywhere and for the longest time 3D effects were only the domain of those using really involved and expensive 3D applications. Plus the amount of training involved was enough to make almost everyone run for the hills. So 3D remained to those few who endured and learned there way through it. Which was great. However most of the design world was using Photoshop and to get 3D in Photoshop you would have to render a 3D object out of its native application then import into Photoshop without the ability to edit in 3D. Which was a lot of work and not very practical. Then Photoshop CS3 burst on the scene and boasted new 3D features. While I was very excited about this I was soon disappointed as I discovered that the CS3 3D features only allowed you to work with existing 3D art created elsewhere. Making the previously mentioned scenario a bit more feasible, but again this was only for someone already using another 3D application with Photoshop.

Then there was the release of Photoshop CS4, being on the beta program for this version I remember talking to Russell Brown from Adobe at Photoshop World and he was hinting to me that Photoshop has some added 3D features including primitive shapes, 3D lights, and 3D Postcards. Along with some new panels and features the 3D workspace was growing but was still missing one thing. I remember asking Russell about 3D text. Because to me that is what Photoshop users, especially designers would love to have. Well let’s just say I got the short answer and it was left to that. However, despite the lack of 3D text I ventured to explore the newest CS4 3D features and discovered a new world of possibilities. Though greatly limited compared to a full 3D app it a huge leap from what was available in CS3. So after a lot of experimenting I discovered some really interesting techniques. At was thrilled at the direction 3D in Photoshop was headed but there was still plenty of room to grow.

Enter Photoshop CS5. While Photoshop CS5 boasts a number of truly remarkable features, the 3D features have taken another giant, quantum leap forward with the addition of a great new feature called Repoussé. Which, among many things, allows you to create 3D text, but more on that later. For now back to our question. Why 3D in Photoshop? One reason perhaps is because it can. What I mean is technology. Working in 3D in any application is processor intensive. It will chew up RAM in a hurry. I am not kidding! So you can imagine older machines would have been crashing all the time and no one would have liked that. So, as machines have become more powerful and more affordable, the software continues to as well.

Another reason is perhaps because it is the next logical step. As I mentioned earlier 3D is everywhere and to be able to create seemingly complex 3D art all in Photoshop is a huge plus for the Photoshop designer. One last reason is just because users want it. They want to be able to create 3D without knowing 3D. Sounds weird but what I mean is that while having pre-existing knowledge of 3D is a big help, the way they have developed Repoussé in Photoshop will have you creating 3D text or shapes in minutes complete with lighting and reflections, textures, etc. Added to the fact that you are already in Photoshop. Which will allow you combine all the other features Photoshop has to offer.

My answer to why 3D is in Photoshop: Why not?

So What is Repoussé?

I can only imagine the number of different ways this is going to mispronounced. It has a been a running joke here in the office as well. It is actually pronounced reh-poo-zay and comes from a French term meaning ‘formed in relief.’ Which is the practice of hammering a sheet of metal from behind to form a relief sculpture on the other side. Now how did such a name come to describe a new 3D feature in Photoshop? Well about a month ago I was actually out in San Jose at the Adobe HQ building meeting with some of the 3D engineers and some of the Photoshop product managers and finally asked this very question. It just so happened I was talking to the very man who came up with the name. He said when they first started building this feature they were developing a tool that would allow you to attach internal constraint objects to a 3D surface and then push and pull those constraints to form a relief on the textured surface, hence Repoussé. When all was said and done there were considerably more new features than just doing Repoussé, however the name stuck and now we have cool 3D tools with the fancy French name. The best part, all the Repoussé features are conveniently located in a single window.


Despite this peculiar nomenclature, I feel Repoussé is a game changer for 3D in Photoshop as we know it. While CS4 gave us some pretty cool 3D tools, CS5 has made that giant leap forward and among many other things we can now create and modify 3D text entirely inside Photoshop. How cool is that!!

Below is a video that I have done to just give you a quick look at the possibilities with Repoussé.

Other Photoshop 3D Q&A’s:

Is 3D in Standard & Extended versions of Photoshop?

It is only in the Extended version of Photoshop. I wish I had an answer why but it is what it is.

Can you animate 3D in Photoshop?

Yes actually you can. When you have a 3D layer selected. Open the Animation panel and look at the properties for that layer and you will see some 3D properties you can animate using keyframe based animation.

I use Illustrator to create 3D text then bring onto Photoshop. Do I not have to do this anymore?

Nope. You can do it all inside Photoshop if you want. You can certainly continue using Illustrator for that, but why?

Will I need a faster machine to accommodate these new 3D features?

As I mentioned, 3D is very processor intensive so if you are working on an older machine with a slower processor, you will get some lag over time. Though a complete new system is not required. You can do no wrong by at least getting more RAM and more hard disk space.

Do I need any special training for the new 3D features?

Not as much as you think. The features are pretty intuitive, but sometimes just being shown something once can help you pick it up pretty quickly. You can find new 3D tuts over at, and I have a new course over at the Kelby Training website: Mastering 3D in Photoshop CS5. Whether you are new to 3D or been playing with it for a while, this course will have you up to speed in a hurry. Check it out!!

Dig Deeper

As a parting thought I would just like to say that when you get your copy of Photoshop CS5 Extended. I want you to do one thing: EXPERIMENT!! I know I say that a lot but that is the only way to really come up with something cool and original. At the very least it’s a way to get familiar with the features beyond what the manual says or what a tutorial shows you. Really push the software to the edge. What I have discovered is that if Photoshop isn’t crashing while you are experimenting then you aren’t pushing it enough. Well that may not actually be the case. It could just be buggy, but the point is to really see what these features can do and what the thresholds are. You never will know until you try.

Also do not be discouraged. 3D in Photoshop is still a new concept and for many people it’s a brand new concept so be bold, be creative, and be patient! 3D can be time-consuming but the rewards speak for themselves. Here are just a few samples of what I have playing around with using Repoussé in CS5. Hopefully this will give you a good idea of being able to do so much with so little.




Well that’s it. I hope you are as excited about 3D in Photoshop as I am!

Stay tuned, there is more to come.

Corey Barker

Experiment. Have Fun. Be Creative.

Wanted Poster Wild West

Hey everyone!  With Scott being out, I figured i’d jump in here and share a couple of things that i’ve found on the internet that I think you guys would enjoy

Zacuto Knocking it out of the Park: The 2010 Shootout

The folks over at Zacuto have been doing a bangup job at this passion project of theirs: The HD DSLR Shootout of 2010.  As you know, there are a ton of people out there that are using DSLR cameras in the world of video.  One of the common arguments that you’ve seen in this space is the comparisons between what these DSLR cameras can do and what traditional film in this space can do.  The guys over at Zacuto decided that they would make a series that was impartial to vendors and actually go out and test the cameras with some of the best people in the industry.  The results are a series of videos that showcase the power of the DSLR in the video space.

What I am liking about this test is that there are a couple of cool surprises that have come to light with these tests.  Rather than spoil it for everyone, I encourage you guys to click on the link below and check out the videos for yourself.  I’d specifically recommend the second video in the series – that’s a good find.

The DSLR Shootout from Zacuto

Adobe Labs Announces Gala – Flash Player 10

One of the biggest problems with Flash on the Mac Platform has always been the fact that Apple’s OS never really allowed Flash to access the inner workings of their GPU hardware. This usually results in a really choppy/inefficient running of Flash on the mac side.  Recently, Apple has allowed access to such things, and Adobe has jumped all over it, releasing this new preview of their player- code named “Gala”.  This will be something that developers can take more advantage of than the average person, but it’s important to everyone in that the performance problems that many have complained about on the Mac side could become a thing of the past.

Read more about the Flash 10 “Gala” release at the Adobe Labs website

Terry White Reviews the Ipad Connection Kit

Friend of the blog Terry White has gone and done a great review of the Camera Connection kit for the new Apple Ipad over on his blog.  This kit will allow people to upload images (and RAW files, which im pumped about) onto their Ipad’s for review.  What makes me excited about this is that this takes the Ipad and now turns it into a more compelling tool in a digital photographers arsenal.  I was really looking forward to the Ipad being more of a computer – running stuff like Lightroom on it.  While it’s not the case.. having something like this can definitely open the door for people to incorporate it into their workflow.  Check it out at the link below:

Terry White reviews the Camera Connection Kit

Layers has Gone through a Redesign and a CS5 Learning Center was Born

Those of you who follow this blog probably know that last week, Scott and the Photoshop guys did a series of live webinars that served as a complement to the Photoshop CS5 Learning Center we launched. One of the questions that we got during that was “How about all of the other apps.. whats new with them?”

We took the moment to do two things at once:  We were able to launch a new look to Layers Magazine, as well as stuff it with all sorts of videos on tons of CS5 videos for many of the popular applications.  If you are wondering whats new in the world of Illustrator, Indesign, Flash Catalyst, Premiere, After Effects.. this is the place for you!  This is also a good place for you to check out the podcast I do every week with Corey Barker – our Layers TV podcast.  Click on the links below to get to them:

Layers Magazine and the CS5 Learning Center

Layers TV – The How To podcast for everything Adobe

Planet Photoshop – Corey Barker rocking Free tutorials on Photoshop


First, thanks Scott for having me back; my postings here have afforded me an opportunity to reach thousands of passionate Photoshop users and in the case of JDI, I even had a mechanism to communicate with all of you and help turn some of your ideas into features.  I’ve spent the better part of the last year showing early glimpses of Photoshop CS5 to people under NDA…I cannot tell you how nice it feels to discuss the release openly!  There’s a whole lot to talk about…

The vast Photoshop ecosystem and have seen to it that our major feature set has been explained extremely thoroughly.  You won’t have to look far to figure out what CS5 means for photographers, retouchers, illustrators, creatives, designers, 3D artists and much more – we have strong stories for all of them.  What I’d like to do here is tell you about some of the tricks, polish and little known tweaks that went into making these features so magical – the inside scoop from the perspective of a product manager.  Fear not…I’ll give you some great links to the big stuff too ;-)

Camera Raw 6.0

For any of you playing around with Lightroom Beta 3, you know all about the major changes to raw processing (better color, sharpening, noise, vignetting and effects – as before Camera Raw retains feature parity with Lightroom’s Develop module)…but one of my favorite ways to use noise reduction is in REVERSE.  In the image below, you can see that heavy noise reduction and little (to no) detail can soften the image to the point where it almost looks like an illustration.  Reversing Clarity is a popular way to soften skin, I think this will be too.


Another new feature in version 6.0 is Additive Grain; yes, it can be used to mimic TMAX 3200, etc. – but I think the real strength is establishing a bit of grain consistency prior to compositing images.  Have you ever noticed how synthetic a 100 ISO image married to a 3200 ISO looks?  With a sprinkle of additive grain (and it really doesn’t take much), the unbelievable is suddenly very realistic.

Last note on raw, while we have support for ~300 proprietary formats, all of the above (and more) could just as easily be done to a camera phone image (JPEG) or a scanned file (TIFF).

Mini Bridge

For those of you who liked the File Browser, you’ll love Mini Bridge (I know I do).  From full-screen previews (spacebar) of any file (including your DSLR video) to multi-file operations like Panos, the new HDR Pro, batch, etc. – “MB” has you covered.  Mini Bridge runs in a panel, so it’s right there in Photoshop…fast, convenient, scalable (MB can be an icon, stretched panel…even a photo tray – great for multi-monitors).  I drive everything from Mini Bridge.



There is SO much to say about HDR; re-imagined from start to finish…but I want to focus on the most minor part of the UI and one of the most major parts of what makes the new Merge to HDR Pro so unique – “remove ghosts.”  I believe that much of the abuse of HDR imagery (we’ve all seen it ;-) ) stems from a want to camouflage artifacts (namely moving leaves, branches, water, clouds, etc.)…”remove ghosts” solves that problem in a single click.  I think this feature combined with a host of other major changes will allow people to shoot HDR; shooters that haven’t until now because of the compromise in quality (I count myself amongst them).  In the case of ghost removal, the problem was so unique that we went beyond Adobe’s walls to an expert who focused solely on this one problem – thank you Greg Ward!


What about all of the people who like the dramatic aesthetic of HDR imagery, but either have older, single images or don’t want to bother with bracketing?  You can thank Scott himself for insisting that we (more…)

Parental Sports Photography – My most Fantastic Voyage


Where do I start? Yeah that’s the same question I have been asking myself since Scott and Brad offered me the chance to be a guest blogger. First I am under no illusions that I am anywhere near a good enough photographer to share the same forum as Bill Frakes, Mike Olivella or any of the other fantastic photographers that have preceded me. I am just a very proud Dad who started out trying to take pictures of his son playing soccer. So I am both humbled and honored to have this chance and I hope that maybe a few of you will enjoy my ramblings and a few of my shots.

I started getting into photography about six years ago when my son was in the 6th grade and became starting goalkeeper for his middle school soccer team. I bought my first digital camera without much knowledge or thought. A Panasonic FZ-20, 5MP 10x zoom and I thought I was ready for SI! At first I was happy with my choice because I could take pretty good pictures of my son standing still in front of the goal.


But as soon as I started taking action shots the ball was blurry or my son was blurry and I never seemed to get the shot I wanted.


I wanted my pictures to just look (more…)

…Adobe Photoshop Product Manager, Bryan O’Neil Hughes! Bryan is stopping by to go into even more detail on some of the new features in Photoshop CS5, including Camera Raw, HDR Pro, the AMAZING new masking capabilities, and (of course) Puppet Warp and Content-Aware Fill :)

He’s got plenty of great examples to show off the new features, as well as links to videos and other resources that will help you get even more up-to-speed on CS5 than you already are, so make sure you stop by tomorrow to see what’s in store!