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Adobe Photoshop World 2009 Logo

An entire day away from work with the leading gurus in Adobe Photoshop presenting at the Adobe Photoshop World 2009 should deliver some mind blowing state of the art tips and tricks on the what I consider as the best design tool; but I felt the deliverables fell short. The focus was on sharing 20 years of Photoshop and indeed the product has grown.

Adobe flew in Senior Creative Director, Russell Brown and Senior Sales Manager, Creative Solutions, Michael Stoddart. Those in the industry will certainly know Brown in the channel and the Russell Brown Show. His in-depth design knowledge and zany presentation style has won him an Emmy Award as an instructor. He was definitely entertaining to catch live.

Having attended the Adobe CS4 Launch in 2008, I was expecting this event to be an add on to what I've picked up last year. It was fantastic to have had the 1st look at all those cool CS4 new features, it would have been perfect to see them applied in REAL situations. Instead a lot of tips & tricks presented were old school. Yet the audience still went Woooo and Arhhh! Seriously people... are you new in the industry?!?!

Yet I must admit that a couple of tips were pretty good and others were a nice refresher.

1) Applying 3D
Having 3D functionality in Photoshop CS4 was one of the most mind blowing feature. This is a feature I have yet to dwell into.

Heaps of Free 3D Art can be downloaded at

2) Masking
Brown did an entire section on masks. Using masks effectively is what differentiate the pros from the amateurs. Using masks is not a difficult concept, but does require some brain cells.

Using vectors for masks:
Vector paths with feathering > Mask Edge

Using Eraser Tool too within masked area:
Eraser Tool - Discontigous selection

Remove Edging:
Lock mask > Blend Mode Darken > Clone Tool

3) Smart Object
Realizing the power of using Smart Object.

Restorize Objects:
Layer Style > Blend Mode > Right Click Convert to Smart Object > Restorize Object

Len Blur to create Depth of Field:
Filter > Lens Blur

Creating Effects or making picture clearer with Stack Mode. Great application in time-lapsed photography:
Smart Objects > Stack Mode > Maximum (etc)

As a treat we also got to see 2 yet to be release features that may or may not even make it into the next version of Photoshop:

Presented was the Paintbrush Feature. All the more reason to get myself a Wacom! And the Puppet Warp Feature. Already applied in Adobe After Effects

More CS5 features can be seen at the official sneek peek website: . CS5 is tentatively scheduled to ship in April 2010.

Lastly, Michael Stoddart demoed the Beta version of Flash Catalyst. Downloadable free on the Adobe Labs Flash Catalyst. The aim of this product is to allow designers (not programmers) to transform their artwork created in Adobe into interactive designs to be displayed online.

Adobe Photoshop World 2009 Flash Catalyst
You can see here that the entire Photoshop file is imported into Flash Catalyst and animation applied through the layers on the file

Adobe Photoshop World 2009 Flash Catalyst 02
Possibility of impressive looking websites

Adobe CS4 Launch Singapore
Go Adobe! - CS3 Launch
Adobe Max 2006 Beyond Boundaries Conference


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