For the final episode of AMC’s Breaking Bad show, I (Shelby) created these two posters of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). If you’ve seen the show you’d immediately recognize the blue as a representation of Walter’s high-purity methamphetamine. Without spoiling the show, you’ll notice there is more blue crystal on Pinkman’s face than there is on Walt’s. In that lies the concept of these posters. The posters were created for fun using only a few images.
Twitter just rolled out a new profile design that allows you to add your own header banner. Pretty cool, but it’s hard to tell what looks best without fidgeting with it, then waiting. To make it easier on you, I’ve updated my Twitter PSD Photoshop template to the new design.
The profile images in the template utilize smart objects to make it easier to update all of the images in the template at once. The name/username’s in the tweets also utilize smart objects. Double-click to edit, then edit the contents and it will update all of the smart objects synced with it.
This template was built closely to Twitter’s current layout as of September 20th, 2012. Download the template below. Please share the PSD if you find it useful. If you have any questions or suggestions leave a comment.
For updates to the PSD you should follow @ShelbyWhite.
Those of you familiar with midi controller surfaces will know that, by in large, the product design associated with them leaves much to be desired. They are usually garish, overstated affairs seemingly designed to catch the eye of 18 year old ravers passing through Guitar Center. So I was pretty surprised when I saw the new line of Cubase control surfaces from Steinberg. The CMC line of modular controllers allow you to build a control surface using only the modules you deem necessary to your workflow. They even offer a frame to hold up to four modules of your choosing.
Of course, upon seeing these I was immediately reminded of the question I have been asking myself for years: why don’t we as Photoshop users have a system like this? There is something that comes close; the Avid Artist Color, but it isn’t compatible with Photoshop. Can you imagine having a modular system like the CMC that you could customize to run actions, edit color on the fly, manipulate images? Perhaps I’m being a little presumptuous, but I would think a lot of Photoshop users (and creatives in general) could benefit from an open standard for controlling software like Photoshop, Lightroom, and After Effects. The funny thing is that the standard exists already in MIDI, Adobe just needs to implement it and allow us to map controls to functions within their software. I guess after working with music software for so long and having hardware control surfaces as a given, it’s hard to understand why they’ve never made the leap to the world of visual production.
Would you use a hardware controller to work with Photoshop?
Also, here’s a pretty annoying video detailing the CMC system:
Giving back to the community isn’t always as easy as finding and sharing great design. Sometimes it requires spending time doing tedious details of a Photoshop document… and that is exactly what I’ve done for you.
Here for your use is a Twitter UI Photoshop template perfect for mocking up your page before updating it live. The template is spot on with Twitter’s current layout. In the Psd, each of element set is grouped into its respective area based on the page. Each layer is also labeled and color coded. Twitter mockups should be a whole heck of a lot easier now, enjoy!
Twitter UI Photoshop Psd (4.9 MB) | Version 1.2 — Share this
For updates to the PSD you should follow @ShelbyWhite.
Thomas Scholes is a digital artist out of Seattle who uses Photoshop to create painterly landscapes sort of in the vein of Roger Dean and more recently, Dan McPharlin. I love his color use and the texture; it’s really incredible that this is all being done within software.
Thomas also does a lot of process videos showing how he works with various imagery and textures to get these effects. I particularly enjoyed this one which shows him modeling a landscape from a photo of a woman (see video below). I love the idea of incorporating unrelated imagery into a composition as texture or distressing — or, in this case, as a framework.
You can check out more of Thomas’ work and videos at his blog
I know I’m always taunting you Mac users about your lack of 64-bit (I develop primarily on Windows 7 but have a few Macs for various purposes, mostly live shows). But now that CS5 is here you are free to bask in the unadulterated glory of full memory allocation that us Windows users have been enjoying since CS4. John Nack has put together some benchmark numbers that should give you a rough idea of the performance gains you can expect. As Nack points out though, these gains will only be seen by people working with larger files, tasks like web design won’t benefit much. You can check out the numbers here: Photoshop CS5 64-bit Benchmarked
On a side note, my overall experience with 64-bit has been favorable in the graphics realm, but for music I use a 32-bit installation. For music production there isn’t much of a benefit from 64-bit unless you’re doing a lot of sampling, it’s mostly about CPU and disk speed for recording and effects. The DAW software I use to record — Cakewalk Sonar 8.5.3 — still isn’t as stable as I’d like it to be when bridging 32-bit VSTs (many of my favorite VSTs have not been ported to 64-bit native yet) so I’m sticking with 32 for the production of this latest album I’m working on.
You may have noticed that I’ve posted quite a bit on the subject of SSD drives over the past couple years. The speed this technology can afford has the potential to finally set us free as artists so that we can focus on our work and not beach balls and hourglasses. The main bottleneck of modern computers is the hard disk drive, which has inexplicably been frozen in time at speeds which have remained constant almost as long as I can remember. Remove this bottleneck and a whole new world opens up.
The problem with SSD so far is it’s failure to truly deliver on it’s promises of speed. Sure, 250MB/s is fast, but only marginally quicker than a standard HDD. So I was excited to see the announcement from OCZ that a new version of their Z-Drive, the “R2” is due out soon.
The original Z-Drive was somewhat of a disappointment but — at least from the specs on this one — they seem to have learned some lessons from that initial attempt. The new model sports an 8 way RAID 0 setup (basically like 8 SSD drives in RAID 0 on a hardware controller — beats the heck out of my setup) — and speeds around 1.4GB/s. In case you didn’t read that correctly: 1.4GB/s. Insane speeds. And that’s both ways, read and write.
Imagine having this thing set up as your Photoshop swap drive (or, as the Engadget article suggests, editing raw 1080p footage in real time). In PS, I’d imagine you could tear through 24×36″ @ 300dpi with hardly a delay. And at 2TB (the largest possibly configuration), the Z-Drive is truly massive for an SSD. You could fit your entire OS and your data on there for quick file open/saves. And with 1.4GB/s of overhead, I wouldn’t think twice about using the drive as my OS and swap at the same time.
Now for the price (which hasn’t been announced yet): expect ridiculous. The original model ranged from $1500-$2700 and I don’t see this one coming too far down from that. But for performance like this, you have to pay. And when you consider the potential cost of eight SSD drives totaling 2TB and a hardware RAID controller the Z-Drive starts to sound a bit more affordable.
This is absolutely insane. In the video, Photoshop product manager Bryan O’neil Hughes walks us through a new feature they’re working on: “Content-Aware Fill Sneak Peek”. I can’t tell you how much time this would have saved me. To be honest I thought this might be an early April Fools joke (a’la Google’s hoaxes) but this appears to be legit.
Bryan doesn’t say when/if this new feature will show up in the product, but judging from it’s performance in the video I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows up in CS5 at some point (coming April 12th, 2010). Let’s just hope it works as well in the real world as it does in the lab because that’s downright incredible.