The June 2013 issue of Adobe Inspire Magazine is here! This month’s issue contains articles on Adobe Muse CC, Photoshop CC, the CSS Designer in Dreamweaver CC and more. There’s even an article and video from yours truly on Photoshop CC’s new Sharpening and Upsampling capabilities.
Adobe Inspire is a FREE digital publication created with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS) and you can get it here:
Last night I saw the news that there was a software update to Apple TV that finally added HBO Go, as well as Watch ESPN, SkyNews, Quello, and Crunchieroll (anime). I stopped what I was doing and immediately did the update. As with all HBO Go devices and apps you will need to have an actual subscription to HBO through a compatible cable/satellite provider. I have Comcast Xfinity and it works.
Why on Apple TV?
If you have HBO already on your cable/satellite box then you might be wondering why you would want/need it on your Apple TV? That’s an easy one. At home I have Comcast/Xfinity and TiVo DVRs. Each TV has a box that can play HBO just like all the other channels. However, at my studio (a commercial building) Comcast doesn’t allow premium channels like HBO. I have Apple TVs at the studio and now I can have HBO on them. I’m a huge fan of Boardwalk Empire and often catch up on it while on the road or in studio. I have the HBO Go app on my iPad and now on my Apple TV. I can of course watch other HBO content, specials, concerts, etc. I also like the fact that they post episodes on HBO Go within about 10 minutes after they air live.
While other set-top boxes like Xbox 360 had HBO Go I never figured out why it wasn’t available in Apple TV. My wait is finally over. Apple TV just keeps getting better with each update. Also the relatively low cost of entry makes it a no-brainer. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I think HBO is missing out! More and more people I talk to are cutting or have cut the cable. However, many of these folks would gladly pay a low monthly cost to get HBO Go. It’s a shame that it has to be tied to a home cable/satellite provider.
Today’s the day! The long awaited Creative Cloud apps are now available for you to download, install and use. There are new versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Muse, Dreamweaver, Bridge, Premiere Pro, After Effects, InCopy, Flash Pro, Audition, Prelude, Speedgrade, Edge Animate and Edge Inspect, as well as Adobe Scout CC, Edge Code CC Preview and Edge Reflow CC Preview. As a Creative Cloud Member you can download any or all of these applications.
To get started head over to creative.adobe.com, login with your Adobe ID and choose which app you want to download first. You’ll then be prompted to download the new Creative Cloud Desktop (this replaces the old Adobe Application Manager – R.I.P.). Once signed in you can choose which apps you want as well as log in to your Behance account to get activity updates as well.
What else is new?
Beside the CC Apps themselves, there’s a brand new Learning Center where you can view several new getting started videos. There will be content added here on a regular basis. Of course Lightroom 5 is available to Creative Cloud members as well as Adobe InCopy CC. InCopy was never part of the suites and was always a separate purchase just like Lightroom. It’s great to have both of these applications be a part of the Creative Cloud.
While all the CC Apps shipped as planned, two of the services unfortunately aren’t ready yet. The Desktop Sync feature of the New Creative Cloud Desktop app is currently disabled until the back-end performance is where we (and you) want it to be. Also since the Typekit Desktop Fonts rely on the desktop sync features to work, it’s also turned off at this time. As soon as these features are ready they will be enabled in your Creative Cloud Desktop app.
You can still use your 20GB of storage space via your web browser and the mobile apps that sync with it like Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas.
How Do I sign up for Creative Cloud and is there a deal?
There are several different levels of membership for Adobe Creative Cloud. Everything from individual full memberships to single app memberships to student/teacher memberships and of course team, enterprise and government. There are also special deals for existing Creative Suite users from as far back as CS3.
I’m a photographer. I have a website. I post images to photography oriented sites such as 500px.com, Flickr.com, Smugmug.com, etc. These sites and others are geared towards photography. However, what if you’re a graphic designer, musician, visual effects artist, retoucher, etc.? Sure many of the photographer sites let you post videos and such, but the communities on those sites really aren’t geared towards anything other than photography. There’s an online community for creatives. It’s called Behance.net and it’s the world’s largest creative community with well over 1 million members.
Young up and coming photographers and graphic designers are always asking me to look at their work and give feedback. I do it when time permits, but usually what makes it more time-consuming is the the way the work is presented to me to look at it. It’s either an attachment in a Facebook message or on a website. From there I have to look, evaluate and then find the original communication to give feedback on via a reply. With Behance you can post projects that you’re working on (work in progress) all the way through to completed projects, including revisions along the way. These can be photos if you’re a photographer, they can be graphic designs, videos, and even music. You can follow others for inspiration, but best of all you can post your work and get feedback from those who follow you. If you make revisions, people can see those revisions in place without having to seek them out. The more I use Behance, the more I like it. If you like something on Facebook you can hit the Like button. If you like something on Behance you hit the “Appreciate” button. If you post work on Behance you can easily share the link via all your other social networks with the built-in sharing features.
Sounds great! What does all this cost? It’s free! You can set up your Behance account and start posting work in a matter of minutes. You can even sign in with your Adobe ID. You can upload your work via your web browser. However, if you’re using Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC you can use the Share on Behance command directly from the File menu to share your open document.
Behance.net also has a Job listing area where creatives can get full-time job listings as well as freelance work.
While Behance.net is free to use, there is an optional paid service called “Prosite”. Prosite allows you to build a customized portfolio that you can brand as your own. You can even point a custom domain name to it. During the Prosite building process you can either pull in your completed Behance projects or create new ones on the fly. Prosite goes for $99/year. However, if you’re an Adobe Creative Cloud member, it’s part of your membership. Just sign in and build your Portfolio. While many of my photographer buddies are raving about squarespace.com ($8/month), I’d rather use Prosite since it’s already part of my Creative Cloud membership and I can upload directly to Behance from Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom.
Today Adobe has shipped Lightroom 5! With over 400 bugs fixed since the Public Beta and a NEW Publish to Behance feature, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 is now shipping. The retail price of $149 remains in effect as well as an upgrade/student price of $79. Of course Lightroom 5 is also available to Creative Cloud members to download and install at no additional cost.
Key New Features Include:
A new Full Screen Mode
User Configurable Grid Overlays
Windows HiDPI support
New Smart Collection Criteria
Behance Publish Service
Advance Healing Brush
Upright Image Straightening and Perspective Correction
LAB Color Readout
Book Page Numbers, Improved Text Creation and User Pages
Videos in Slideshows
Tethering support for Nikon D600
Several JDI enhancements
How To Do a Complete Portrait Retouch In Lightroom 5
The Develop module has come a long way in Lightroom 5 and with the addition of the Radial Filter and non-circular Spot Removal Tool I now feel comfortable enough to do a complete portrait retouch in Lightroom. Since all of the adjustments are in the Develop Module the entire process is completely non-destructive.
I’m also very honored to have made it into the About Lightroom credits screen. It’s an honor to have my name on such a fantastic product!
In case you missed it, see Lightroom 5 in action and my Top 5 Favorite Features:
Camera RAW 8.1 and DNG Converter 8.1 Now Available Too
It’s been a while since I’ve done a review of a GPS device for Nikon DSLR cameras. The main reason is that I haven’t seen much movement or innovation in this space. The second reason is that I had kinda moved on to using my iPhone 5 as my GPS and creating .GPX log files that can be read by Lightroom 4/5. Since I always have my iPhone with me I could always just fire up the Geotag Photos Pro App and start recording my movements to a log file. With that said, there are some definite advantages to having a physical GPS device on the camera itself. First of all a physical GPS device will be more accurate. Logging apps only update based on a predefined interval. The next advantage is that a physical GPS just needs to be turned on. In a matter of seconds it locks on to satellites and away you go. Lastly, the logging apps on your smartphone will drain your smartphone’s battery sooner. Not to mention that there is no post-processing with a physical GPS. The longitude and latitude are written to the metadata of the images as you capture them. Yet, I was still using my iPhone more than the physical GPS devices I had. I think the biggest reason for this was the design of the GPS units I’ve used to date. Nikon DSLRs have direct support for external GPS units. On the more recent models like my D600 there’s a dedicated GPS port. Almost all of the GPS units I’ve used to date attached via a cable. This short cable plugs into the Nikon DSLR and the other end attaches to the GPS itself. This is what I never really liked. You either had to attach the GPS to your hotshoe or to your camera strap. The cable was always in my way. I was either constantly knocking the GPS out of the hotshoe or putting stress on the port that the cable was plugged into.
The Eco ProSumer GPS (pro-s)
The Eco ProSumer GPS is one of the latest models from Dawn Technology. First off the thing that attracted me to this model was the fact that there is NO CABLE. It’s small and plugs right into the side of my camera. It’s not in the way! Like the previous Dawn models it allows you to use it in auto mode or always on. In auto mode it will turn on/off with the camera. So then what else is new besides the design? It’s lightweight at only 16g. It’s very power efficient at 19mA (1/3rd of the aging Nikon GP1). It’s also faster at acquiring a GPS lock. Basically it’s better in every way. There is a port on it that allows you to connect a cable release, and of course Dawn Technology sells those too.
I’m a fan of water and water sports. I love to swim and I love to snorkel. One of these days I’ll take the time to get certified for scuba. Last year I got a chance to do some snorkeling in the Virgin Islands and I remember feeling so unprepared to capture all the underwater beauty that I was seeing. I had no underwater camera of any kind with me. I remember my colleague at the time Greg Rewis telling me about his recent sailing experience and once I spotted the Liquid Image Scuba Mask Series, I knew that it would be on my list for the next time I headed out to a nice area to dive/snorkel. I got the mask and couldn’t wait to try it. The obvious advantage is that this mask has an HD camera in it that records to a micro-SD card (4GB supplied, supports up to 32GB). You can shoot video or stills. This means that your hands are mostly free and where ever you look that’s what you’re shooting. (1080p @ 30fps, 720p @ 60fps, 5MP Still sensor/ 12MP interpolated)
How does it work?
I really wish I had taken the time to familiarize myself with the mask more than just a few minutes the night before. I set it up, loaded the memory card and batteries and then took it out for a try the next morning. While I understood the basic operation of the mask, a little more testing up front would have made me feel more comfortable with it. The mask runs on 4 AAA batteries and depending on which model you get you’ll either get 4 rechargeable batteries or 4 Energizers. The memory card is a 4GB card, which is rated at being able to capture up to 2 hours of video. Going in I had no idea how much recording time I had or how long the batteries would last. Again, I could have read all this before hand, but I didn’t. Totally my fault. This made me a little anxious since I was going out with a group, I wouldn’t get a second shot at this (at least not on this trip). I was more interested in capturing video than stills, but wanted to try both. Overall the mask performed as advertised. I was actually very impressed with the quality of both video and stills. I bought and used their optional red and blue filters. The shots here were with the red filter. I meant to use the blue one, but grabbed the wrong one.
Lightroom 5 has a great new non-circular spot removing/healing brush. However, there’s a feature that many will overlook for using the tool for what it was originally intended for. It’s always been great at removing dust spots from dirt on your lens or sensor dust as long as you could see the spots in your images. Now with the new Visualize Spots feature you can find them much easier.
Are you missing out on my Bonus Content?
See more of my Adobe Creative Suite Videos on my Adobe Creative Cloud TV and get the App below. It features EXCLUSIVE CONTENT that no one else gets to see. This episode has a BONUS CLIP that is available only in the App! My iOS App is a Universal App for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. I also have an Android version on the Amazon App Store:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the men and women that currently serve or have served in our US Military Service! Your continued sacrifices to protect our freedoms are greatly appreciated. We are able to spend this day with our friends and families because of what you do!
As we observe this solemn day, we must remember all the brave men and women in uniform who gave their lives in the service of our great country.