Archive for December, 2006

The New Version of Photoshop and <gasp!> a New Icon!

Adobe Photoshop has become an industry standard and a powerhouse application for all things graphics. There’s no such thing as a graphic designer who doesn’t know a thing or two about Photoshop. If they didn’t, they would be hard-pressed to find any job in this field in today’s market.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 beta was released to the general public last Friday. I’ve been using it all week and it’s about twice as fast as CS2 on an Intel Mac, since CS2 was running under Rosetta emulation. After switching to the Mac at work, doing anything in CS2 has been a chore. There was a slight lag after clicking on anything, and opening and saving files was maddening slow. The CS3 beta has been great–lots of new features, but I’m most happy about the speed.


There’s been a lot of talk about the icon though. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and look at the evolution of Adobe Photoshop’s application icon:

Adobe Photoshop icon evolution

A nice, steady progression of icon design, especially when you see how the iconic “Photoshop eye” evolved. They even changed the design direction at one point from the eye to a stylized feather, but still a nice-looking icon. (I rather liked the Photoshop eye myself)

And now…I give you, the brand-new CS3 icon!

Adobe Photoshop PS3 icon

… <cricket > <cricket >

When I first saw it, I figured Adobe hadn’t finished the icon and this was simply a placeholder until it was finished. After all, it is still a beta. What got everyone’s attention was when yesterday, John Nack on the Adobe blogs posted an entry confirming that it was the final icon design.

If you read the comments on his post, some by respected designers in the field, the reception has been lukewarm. Ok, they pretty overwhelmingly hate it. It gets worse. In that blog entry, he unveiled the icons for the rest of the forthcoming Adobe applications:

Adobe icons

Ok, while I agree it’s a good idea to brand each application with it’s own color on the color-wheel, these icons just show a lack of imagination to me. Two white letters on top of a square of color…I could’ve designed these! These applications at higher resolutions/smaller sizes, are going to be indistinguishable. Ya could’ve at least kept the old CS2 icons.

Just to give you an idea of how silly the icon looks when next to any other app icon, here’s what it looks like in my dock. The ugly blue box sandwiched between better-designed icons:

The Adobe Photoshop CS3 icon in my dock

As Jason Santa Maria put it, “this is an utter design failure.”

Oh, and, Merry Christmas everyone!

Doing My Part at the Shark Tank

Going to a Sharks game is one thing. Going to a Sharks game on home ice–with the cousins–and watching them pull off a come from behind win in the final minutes of the third period is an entirely different thing altogether. I cheered and jeered the whole game and I believe that our group was an instrumental part of the Sharks’ win last Saturday. If every Sharks fan was this enthusiastic, there’s no way the Sharks can lose at home.

Thanks Daniel and Lisa for the fun birthday party/Sharks game combo!

Burning Crusade Opening Cinematic

In case you didn’t catch this when it was leaked a few days ago, or when it was officially released on the world on SpikeTV last night, here’s the opening cinematic to the Burning Crusade, the expansion to World of Warcraft. As always, Blizzard’s CG guys have outdone themselves again. These guys would be on par with Pixar if they would just do a full length movie!

Warm Fuzzies

You know what’s almost as good as the Christmas season when you’re under the age of 10? The Christmas season when you’re a parent. It’s true. This is the first Christmas when Caleb’s, I’d say, “fully” aware that there’s something special about this time of year. I only say that because I’m not so sure he remembers it all from last year (doubtful). But you psychology expert mother-in-laws, brother-in-laws, and sister-laws can correct me if I’m wrong.

Everybody, unless you have a heart of stone, fondly remembers from their childhood that can’t-hardly-wait, fuzzy feeling at the pit of your stomach every time you looked at the Christmas tree and the presents underneath. For me, around puberty, the excitement–the magic–of the Christmas season kind of started dying for me. It was still a lot of fun, but it was just one of those things that changes as you get older.

I didn’t expect that joy to come back again. This time around, it’s not so much for myself, but being able to help make that “Christmas magic” happen for my little one. Caleb’s pretty excited about all the Christmas stuff going on right now. If you look at the recent pictures on, you can see that we spent all of last weekend breaking out the Christmas decor, making Christmas cookies, visiting Santa, cutting down our Christmas tree and hanging the lights and ornaments on it. I come home from work the other day and Caleb already knows who’s present is who’s. He knows he’ll get to open them “on Christmas.” Though we kinda just stayed at home most of the time, it was one of the most fun weekends for me, spending time with Chesney and Caleb and doing stuff together.

The Christmas festivities continue when Chesney brings Caleb to downtown Santa Cruz, where it will be snowing! With all the fun, Christmas stuff going on, I have to make sure to tear him away from the presents and cookies, and remind him of the meaning of Christmas each year.

It’s good times right now being a dad, and I’m making sure to capture every potentially embarrassing moment of Caleb’s life to show off later. I can’t wait until Caleb’s old enough to be in those hilarious cute Christmas musicals at church and at school.