⌘ + Tab from Photoshop to Chrome

In the latest Creative Cloud release of Photoshop, switching from Photoshop to Chrome with Command + Tab doesn’t work. As a favor for people googling this, a workaround is to set Photoshop in “Full Screen Mode”. Tap F twice, or pick View → Screen Mode → Full Screen Mode. Palettes are hidden by default in this screen mode, but you can unhide them by tapping Tab.

Update: Another excellent workaround is to use Sketch.

Photoshop Is So Slow …

  • Photoshop is so slow, it should have a calendar instead of a splash screen.
  • Photoshop is so slow, a turtle tried to marry it, but Photoshop was late for the wedding and the turtle ended up marrying Windows 95 instead.
  • Photoshop is so slow, Adobe pondered renaming it “Please wait…”.
  • Photoshop is so slow, that these jokes were made waiting for it to start.
  • Photoshop is so slow, it was once mistaken for Real Player 7.
  • Photoshop is so slow, its builtin clock will shift to daylight saving time, twice, waiting for Gaussian Blur to finish.
  • Photoshop is so slow, painting a lens flare by hand would be quicker.
  • Photoshop is so slow, Iran has started using MS Paint to clone stamp missiles, instead of Photoshop
  • Photoshop is so slow, it makes iTunes look fast.
  • Photoshop is so slow, Adobe keeps adding racing stripes in the box to make it seem faster.
  • Photoshop is so slow, that hardware acceleration refers to using all 640K of RAM.
  • Photoshop is so slow, its interface was recently made way faster using Etch-A-Sketch Technology.

Fairly Quick Thoughts About Photoshop CS4s New User Interface

Photoshop_App_Frame

Photoshop—the image app that does all the things the free alternatives do, plus those extra few things we just need—is scheduled for a fall update dubbed CS4. Judging by the above screenshot by John Nack, the entire suite is getting a massive UI overhaul. I have comments on that.

First up, an observation. Ever since Photoshop 4, each consecutive version has gotten slower while computers have gotten faster. While there’s been UI improvements, it seems to have been at the cost of performance. I would wager that if Adobe simply tweaked and sped up the CS3 interface, they could re-package it, rebrand it CS4 and sell it again with absolutely no new features. I’ll wager that, and that it would sell it like hotcakes. Alas, somehow I don’t get that vibe from the above glimpse.

So, some quick thoughts:

  • There’s a very large application bar right at the top, which takes up quite a lot of space and looks very non-standard. Either that’s one usability blunder of galactic proportions, or the bar holds some extremely important features. Let’s explore. The zoom factor, the hand tool and the zoom tool are also available in the tools menu and are hence redundant. We’re left with the app icon, which one must wonder what does, since we’ve already started the app. After that, there’s a “to-Bridge” icon, some window-tiling pulldowns and a huge looking “ESSENTIALS” bar towards the right. Wait, those aren’t useful? That’s just clutter!
  • The redundant app-bar buttons are like those extra buttons Dell and Logitech place on their keyboards; buttons like “Shopping” or “Mail”—who needs’em? No-one! That’s who! In fact, we gladly pay extra for less buttons.
  • Honestly, what are “ESSENTIALS” in Photoshop? Are they essential enough to spell in all-caps? Can I customize them? Personally I’d call “Gaussian Blur” essential, but somehow I expect to find stuff like “Version Cue” or maybe Adobes online photo store inhabiting that menu instead.
  • It’s nice to see Mac finally getting a fullscreen feature, even if it’s pseudo-fullscreen and not stemming from Apple. As some readers may remember, I’ve been barking up that tree for ages.
  • The Photoshop icon is still square and says “Ps”, but now it’s dark blue on lightblue. Is that maybe because this is not the “Pro” version which, one might assume, will don the royal darkblue cape?
  • The bulk of the panel interface looks trimmed up and nice. Points if it’s faster too.
  • Does anyone use Bridge? Personally, I need a Bridge kind of app—but one that’s fast enough that it can actually compete with a third-party imageviewer and be more than just an excuse for a coffee break—welcome though that may be.
  • Window-tiling looks useful for those 10% of the time when we need it.

Nack touts: “Our job is about functionality, not ideology”. I’ll tout: “Your job is functionality, not building a fucking slow as molasses but flexible interface with a redraw rate comparable to that of an Etch-A-Sketch”.
It seems iTunes is no longer the only application that suffers from Real Player syndrome.

Creating Microworlds In Photoshop

roundworlds

It started with some beautiful pictures by Russian artist Alexandre Duret-Lutz and moved on to a discussion: how was this done? Well, the following technique might not be exactly the same one, but at least it’s really quick and rather hilarious.

Landscape

world_01

Find a good landscape. Preferrably a large image without too much going on in the sky as the sky will become a bit distorted.

world_02

In this case, I had the tree in separate layer, so I cut that out. The sky is going to be stretched quite a bit, so let’s be clean.

Squarify

world_03

If you want a round globe-like end-result picture, your canvas has to be a perfect square. I expanded the canvas (Image - Canvas Size...) so the width and height were the same. I filled the new room with sky blue. It doesn’t matter so much, as the topmost part of the sky will end up so distorted that we’ll crop it away.

Flip It

world_04

The filter we’re about to use is pretty old, so you’ll have to do most of the work outside of the filter. So flip it vertically.

Polarize!

world_05

Now it’s filter time: run the Filters - Distort - Polar Coordinates... filter.

world_06

It’ll look like this.

Stitch

world_07

Zoom all the way in, and using the Clone Stamp tool, diligently paint over the vertical seam that goes from the middle, all the way up to the top of our sphere. The Clone Stamp (keyboard shortcut S) is used by holding ALT, then clicking a spot nearby where you want to smooth over things. Once you’ve selected a “clone source” you can paint normally and it’ll clone the spot you selected.

world_08

I added back the tree I removed early on, for maximum fun.

Cowscape-world

Voilá. Surreal Mario Galaxy.

Here are a few more pictures:

Liftoff-world-2

Liftoff-world

Treescape-world