Photoshop Elements 6 and Lion

As everyone knows by now, in Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) you can’t run applications written for the old power pc (PPC) architecture anymore, since there’s no more Rosetta. This isn’t a problem for Photoshop Elements 8 and 9, but if you have PSE 6, there’s a big potential gotcha.

As long as you don’t have PSE 6 set to run in Rosetta (so that you can use older plugins) when you upgrade to Lion, life is fine.  But if you do, the first time you try to open it, you’ll see a snarky message that you can’t run PPC applications anymore. What? Elements 6 is an intel-native program, not a PPC application. It doesn’t matter. If you have set  a a program to open in Rosetta when you first install Lion, it doesn’t forget, and that program is marked for the scrap heap. Uninstall and reinstall? Lion’s too smart for that. You’ll still see the message on a fresh install of PSE.

So what to do? Well, if you know ahead of time, it’s as easy as it can be to avoid the whole problem. Before you upgrade to Lion, go to your Applications folder->Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, click once on the actual application’s icon to select it, and press Command+i for the Get Info window. Then just turn off the Open In Rosetta checkbox:

 

If you do that before upgrading, you shouldn’t have any trouble. But what if you’ve already upgraded and you can’t get past the error message?

Here are two ways to fix it.

The Easy Way

Go to  < your username > ->Library->Preferences and delete com.apple.launchservices.plist. In Lion Apple has hidden your  user Library folder. To get to it, Option-click the Go Menu and you’ll see it appear just below your Home folder:

library menu option

While you’re in that folder, you may as well do a bit of tidying up and delete these files, too, so that you’ll have fresh ones for Lion:

com.adobe.Photoshop.Elements.plist

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 Paths

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 Settings

Restart the computer  (important!) and Elements should behave itself. If for some reason that fails, here’s an alternative way.

The More Complicated Way

1. Go into the Applications folder and move the entire Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 folder, the one shown here, to the Desktop:

the PSE 6 application folder

Now, you can’t just drag it out of Applications. That only makes an alias, and I’ve found the keystroke combos that should let you do this aren’t very reliable, either. Lion knows that applications belong in the Applications folder and it isn’t willing to let you put them elsewhere.

So what to do? Well, you can still delete an application. So click on the folder, press Command+delete to send it to the trash, and then you can drag it from the trash to your desktop.

2. Go into the folder and double-click the PSE 6 application to launch it.

You’ll see this window:

repair window

It doesn’t matter which button you click. Elements will open, although it may take a minute for all the pieces of the interface to appear. When it’s running create or open a file and do something. You don’t have to save your work. Then quit Elements.

3. Put Elements back into the Applications folder, and launch it there.

Just drop it back in. When you start PSE this time, click Repair Now.

Elements should be fine from now on, but it’s a good idea to go into your username->Library->Preferences and delete the Adobe preferences mentioned above.

Either method should get you up and running, but there’s some risk of damaging Elements by moving it all over the place, as in the second method. So do try the simple way first and save this as a last resort.

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Photoshop Elements comes to the Mac App Store

Well, well, well.  Adobe has added Photoshop Elements 9 to the Mac App Store as a download, and what’s more, a download version without the organizer, according to the press release. (I haven’t seen it, since I’m not going to try to download anything there this morning. OS X 10.7 aka Lion also debuted there today, so things should be pretty impossible for a while.)

For all you organizer haters or users of other image management programs like iPhoto, this is verrry interesting news. Of course, the fact of the matter is that at $79, you can certainly beat the price elsewhere if you can stand to have organizer go along for the ride. Also, it might not be a bad idea to look up the history of the release dates of new versions of Elements to help you decide about purchasing it.

Here’s the press release, so you can know as much about it as I do for now.

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Photoshop Elements 9.0.3

If you use Photoshop Elements 9, you’ve probably gotten a nag from the Adobe Updater to install the new 9.0.3 update. However, you may want to think twice about whether or not you want to do this. The update does include some bug fixes and supposedly some improvements for using graphics tablets with PSE, but it also brings one feature that you may not want.

If you’ve been using floating windows for your images, once you apply this update all images will now open in tabs and you’ll have to rip them loose to have them floating again. Every time. Always.

Adobe says:

“In PSE 9, by default behavior if the preference ‘Allow floating Documents in Full Edit Mode’ was checked then the files use to open as floating windows.

In PSE 9.0.3 update, we have changed the behavior that in such a settings the files will open in tabbed view but you can still grab the tab through mouse and pull it out and thus will be able to make it floating window. This was done based on some user feedback.”

So you’re warned. I myself totally don’t believe in the existence of this supposed user, and even if there were such a person (and there can’t possibly be more than one who would want this), it’s just plain silly to change program behavior that isn’t a bug with an update like this.

If you have applied the update and you want to get rid of it, you’ll need to uninstall Elements 9 (this won’t affect your catalog or your photos if you use Organizer) via Control Panel (Windows) or with the uninstaller in Applications>Adobe Photoshop Elements 9.

Then reinstall, but don’t run the update from the Adobe Updater. Instead, go here for Windows:

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4913

and here for Mac:

http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=4918

and install the earlier update for your operating system, then ignore the updater when it wants to bring you to 9.0.3.

EDIT 4-20-11: Adobe has set up a web page where you can weigh in with your thoughts on this change, whether you like it or hate it. Tell them here.

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AutoPainter Express

If you’re interested in making your photos look like paintings, of course the long-time standard for doing this is Corel Painter, and that’s still the best way to create something that really looks painted. However, it also requires some artistic ability and a high level of skill and has quite a learning curve.

For those who prefer to let the computer do the work, by far the best solution I’ve found is Dynamic Auto Painter from MediaChance. Unfortunately, it’s only available for Windows, which has been a big disappointment to lots of Mac folks.

However, there’s good news: They’ve just come out with a sort of a kind of a version for Mac, called AutoPainter Express, as well as a version of Express for iPhone/iPod. (There’s an iPad version on the way, but it’s not out yet.)

I’m so happy to finally see a Mac version of this program, but unfortunately this one has a long way to go to get to the level of the Windows version. In Windows you have many options for customizing and controlling the result, while the Mac version is limited to four presets. You choose one, and the only other choice you have is to stop it before it’s finished, if you like your painting where it’s at right now and don’t want more work done on it. It’s not a very Mac-like application, either. For example, closing the window closes the program, just like in Windows, and there’s no way to close an image without saving it except by quitting out of the whole thing.

Still, it’s a nice start. Here are examples of what each preset came up with for this photo from a previous entry:

original photo of happyowl clutch

Using the Aquarell preset, described as “Running colors, water droplets, traces and scratches, it’s all there”:

aquarell painting of clutch
Click for larger version.

With the Benson preset, described as “a sunny palette with Mediterranean tones”:

clutch painted with benson preset
Click for larger image.

With the Cezanne preset, described as “warm reds and yellows with quick brush layers and chalk”:

clutch painted with Cezanne preset
Click for larger image.

And finally with the Van Gogh preset, “inspired by the Starry Night painting”:

clutch painted with the Van Gogh preset
Click for larger image.

There’s really quite a lot of detail in the full resolution images afterwards (WordPress won’t accept files that large), and it runs pretty quickly, even on my old C2D iMac.

Are any of these going to deceive people into thinking that you’re a brilliant painter? No, of course not, but they’re handy for created a quick illustrated look. The results vary a lot, depending on the  source image, but with fussier, more detailed images you’ll often get better results if you run the photo through something like Topaz Simplify first.

While it’s a little disappointing that this app is so basic compared to the Windows version, hopefully this is just the beginning and it won’t be long before there’s parity between the two.

Available in the Mac App Store for $7.99.

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Farewell to the Flip

A moment of silence for the Flip video camera. Today, Cisco announced that it’s closing down its Flip camera unit. A pity for the people who’ll be losing their jobs, but this really shouldn’t surprise anyone, since there are so many other ways to take really good quality video these days. Gone are the days when you needed to lug around a separate camera to get halfway decent video.

Most people are familiar with the wonderful little film, Apple of My Eye, shot with the iPhone 4 and edited entirely in iMovie on the iPhone. If you haven’t seen it, you can view it here.

And if you have a newer still camera, the odds are it can do well with video, too. Lots of pro shooting these days is using DSLR, and for a lot of uses you can do some pretty amazing things even with many point and shoot models. Here’s a really useful tutorial on pushing a Canon point and shoot beyond what you might think you can do. Even if you’re not a Canon person you might find some of the tips adaptable to your camera.

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Photoshop for iPad?

Well, well, who’d  have thunk it? If you’ve tried Adobe’s Photoshop Express for iPad, you know that it’s not bad, but also not a shining star among the many apps available for gussying up your photos, and not much like either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements.

But according to Photography Bay, Adobe just demoed a new app that’s a kind of Photoshop for iPad with layers and all. You can read more about it and watch a demo here.

Very interesting idea, but I have to wonder how they’ll work around two big problems with this kind of stuff: the white points for iPads are all over the place and there’s currently no way to calibrate one, and it’s hard to be ultra-precise for things like masking when using your finger (or a capacitive stylus). Still, I bet it would be really interesting for quickly editing an image to upload out in the field.

If you currently use PS or PSE and you find masking to be a difficult concept, it’s worth watching the video just to see their animated layers example. Very clear visual of how masking works. (Incidentally, the demo is Flash so you can’t watch it on your iPad.)

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iOS 4.3 Update

Apple released the iOS 4.3 update today for iPads, iPods, iPhones, so what difference does it make?

On the plus side, web browsing with Safari is much faster. The YouTube app finally behaves correctly (all during 4.2 it was way slower  on the iPad than watching the same videos on my iMac). And for those who were annoyed by the change in the iPad side button from a rotation lock to a Mute button, now you can choose which you want.

On the minus side, still the “too much power” error when using the camera connection kit with peripherals like my Blue Yeti microphone.

(There are also beacoup new features for streaming and such, but these are the ones that affect me the most. There are several online lists of all the new stuff, like this one from Mashable.)

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iPad 2–Wow!

Everyone has known for a while that a new iPad was due and that it would likely be announced today, but those who don’t follow tech may not now that recent rumors were promoting the idea that this would be a kind of stopgap release, with the “real” new iPad coming next fall.

ipad 2

Apple’s event today puts that to rest. While not totally revolutionary, this is a very solid update. The iPad 2 is 33% thinner than the previous one, lighter (a bit), has a much improved processor (Dual core A5), front and rear facing cameras (including video),  a gyro, choice of black or white, and some very interesting new apps, as well as a strangely fascinating cover (purchase separately).

For musicians, the most interesting thing is the new Garageband for iPad, which lets you create tracks with built-in electronic instruments or record your own instrument. This is major, because while recording with the iPad was great prior to the iOS 4 update last fall, apple evidently dropped the amount of power available to the dock connector (where you could use the camera kit to attach a USB microphone) and it got very complicated to do this. Now it looks like it’s going to be super easy.

Available March 11. More details here:

http://www.apple.com/ipad/

EDIT: Forgot to mention HDMI output so that you can mirror the iPad screen for presentations and such. Very big news for educators and presenters. (The old ipad could only output certain apps, never the whole ipad itself.)

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