Adobe demos awesome new masking technology for Photoshop

Adobe’s working on some new selection and masking tools for the next version of Photoshop. Ever since the Extract filter was removed in Photoshop CS4, Adobe has had plans to bring its various parts back as built-in tools. newadobemaskingtechThe first part of that is a new selection tool that’s already being demoed over at John Nack’s Adobe blog. The future of selection in Photoshop looks pretty bright, because this tool grabs edges really accurately.

In the demo, the new tools makes a great-looking mask from a low-res photo of a cat and a baby. There’s tons of detail, but the tool differentiates between hard and soft edges. They even manage to grab a cat whisker with a little extra brushing. Nice! With all the heat Adobe’s taking over Flash video right now, it’s easy to forget the really impressive tools they’ve built for the Creative Suite apps, and it looks like they’re only getting better.

Check out the demo video at high resolution on Facebook.

Add Creativity To Your Photography Projects With A Little Help From Big Huge Labs

biglab6Digital photos are great, but often times we just post them straight to a website page or let them languish on our computers. For several years now,however,  Big Huge Labs has provided some awesome and practical photo related projects that can be done in a short amount of time, with very little computer skills needed.

The site includes over two dozen projects that can be printed and/or posted on the web. Projects include various custom poster ideas, custom trading cards, calendars, desktop wallpaper, a pocket album, a CD Cover template, slide show generator, and much more.

Visit: bighugelabs.com

Top 5 Black & White Image Search Engines

There’s something magical in the absence of color and there is something unbelievably inspiring in black and white photography. This is the oldest type of photography and still the most inspiring one.

Multicolr is a Flickr-based image search engine that allows you to search by color . To see only black and white photography, all you need is to pick colors from the last row:

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Yahoo Image Search : Only few people know that Yahoo can be the best Flickr image search engine you’ve ever tried; mainly, because it has some useful search option that Flickr doesn’t. One of them is actually Black&Whit photos. Both options are accessed via Advanced search; there you can set the image color (black and white) and image source (check Flickr to only include photos from Flickr). Right there, you can also set the license filter to only search for images available for distribution:

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Corbisimages is my preferred stock images search engine that both contains a high-quality selection of creative photography and offers a robust search feature with lots of features. I first learned about it from this image search engines overview by Edward Khoo and it has been my personal favorite since then.

Besides setting it to search through black and white images only, you can filter:

  • By Type (photography or illustration);
  • By distribution rights (royalty-free or “rights managed”);
  • By editorial type (current news, documentary, fine art; entertainment):;
  • By orientation (horizontal, vertical, panorama);
  • By date when the photo was created;
  • By photographer.

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Bing Image Search : As an avid Googler, I feel bad listing both Yahoo and Bing and not mentioning Google; but here’s the truth: I love Google general search, I hate Google images search. It is both limited and irrelevant. I prefer Bing Image Search engine.

It has plenty of great search options (including a black and white filter):

  • Search by size (small, medium, large, wallpaper);
  • Search by layout (squire, tall, wide);
  • Search by style (photography or illustration);
  • Check special people search filters: just faces or including head and shoulders.

Besides, it offers a similar search option if you hover your mouse cursor over an image.

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Picsearch is a good alternative image search engine to have by hand. It doesn’t have any extraordinary search options to mention. The only reason I use it from time to time is that it provides totally different search results – something I’d never be able to find using ordinary tools like Google or Yahoo.

“Picsearch uses its own technology to crawl the web and has created a searchable index of images…. Picsearch image search technology has three main features that make it unique. It has a relevancy unrivalled on the web due to its patent-pending indexing algorithms. Also, Picsearch has a family friendliness that allows children to surf in safety as all offensive material is filtered out by our advanced filtering systems. The site is also very user friendly as it’s designed to be simple, fast and accurate.”

Besides searching for black and white photography, the tool offers a few other nifty features like:

  • Filtering by size;
  • Filtering by type (landscape versus portrait for example);
  • Showing search suggestions.

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PicSearch – An image search service with more than 3,000,000,000 pictures

Picsearch indexes the web for images and is probably the best of the lot. The picsearch_2About Page of the site says that its unique search algorithm is due for a patent. The search engine has indexed more than 3,000,000,000 images. You can set a few preferences like an interface language.

Advanced search options give you several image factors like color or black and white, animation or image, portrait or landscape and more importantly the ability to search by image size. You can also use normal search operators to fine-tune your search. The site also comes with a family filter to keep out you-know-those kind of images away from the mix.

There are two things I really liked about the site. Firstly, its speed; and secondly, the Image Directory which is a vast collection of subject specific images. Oh yes, there’s a third thing to like too – it comes with a Firefox extension.

Visit: Picsearch.com

Flickr Opens an App Garden Full of Photo Tools

There are a whole lot of mobile, desktop, and helper apps tied to Flickr. The flickr_gardenteam at the photo sharing service decided to make those apps easier to find and install by opening a free “App Garden” to everyone.

Like you might expect, the App Garden is an uncluttered, keen-looking showcase for the efforts of Flickr-happy developers and companies that have made it easy to download and upload photos to the service from many platforms. Apps are tagged by developers, making it fairly easy to find, say, a desktop Mac uploader or Android-based tool.

To help users stumble across great apps, Flickr has also started tagging photos with the tools they were uploaded with, with a link back to that app in the Garden. Share some of your favorite Flickr app finds in the comments, and read up on Flickr’s API if you’re interested in developing an app yourself.

Visit: The App Garden