25 Years Of Photoshop

I’m a big fan of Adobe Photoshop, it is a core piece of software that we use at work and is incredibly powerful.  From pure photo manipulation, to creating images from scratch, to mixed media collages, it’s so much more than a tool for correcting red eye or airbrushing models.

Last week I learned, to my surprise, that Photoshop has just turned 25 years old!

25 years of photoshop

Rather naively I thought perhaps Photoshop had come about in the mid-to-late-nineties, but in fact it all started back in the late 1980s!  You can see the full timeline history here.

The introduction of layers with Photoshop 3.0 in 1994 was a huge step in how you work with the software, having started working with Photoshop CS myself around 2004 some ten years later I can’t imagine it not having layers!

If you’re in any doubt as to some of the marvellous effects that can be achieved with it just watch this celebratory video, Dream On.

To celebrate the tool that has helped shape creativity, artists from all over the world contributed their most amazing dreams—and their working files with layers.  These PSDs were then animated layer by layer to create a film made in Photoshop.

Creative Cloud is already paving the way for the future of the software, just imagine how powerful it could be in another 25 years!

All the incredible artwork from the video can be viewed on Behance here.

Solar Dynamics Observatory

It’s been a little while since my last post but fear not, I’m still here.

In order to make the wait worthwhile my first post in almost a fortnight has to be something spectacular and hopefully you will agree that this delivers.

As of February 11th 2015 NASA‘s Solar Dynamics Observatory has been in space for five years, giving us unprecedented insights into behaviour on the sun.

the constant ballet of solar material through the sun’s atmosphere, the corona

The past year has given this incredible footage (you shouldn’t need reminding to watch this full screen).

To mark this significant milestone NASA have also put together a five year timelapse of the sun.  Yes, five years!  I’ve seen many a timelapse taken over a few minutes or even days, but years?  Wow.

This is one image taken every 8 hours from 2010 to 2015 to celebrate five years in space for the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Truly amazing stuff.

 giant clouds of solar material hurled out into space, the dance of giant loops hovering in the corona, and huge sunspots growing and shrinking on the sun’s surface

Watch videos from the other individual years along with loads more information here.


Pixel Simpsons

Some blog posts don’t need many words, and this is certainly one where the title pretty much covers it.  A pixelated tribute to The Simpsons complete with 8-bit soundtrack .

Some lovely little touches, from the orchestra playing on handheld games consoles (and even one kid in what looks like an Oculus Rift headset at 0:35s!), Bart momentarily gaining super powers for “collecting” the nuclear fuel rod, even the slightly bizarre end sequence featuring the likes of King-Size Homer, Cannonball Homer, and Deep Space Homer to name but a few.

Now, where’s my old Game Boy…

How Pencils Are Made

I’ve looked at the seemingly simply pencil before, showing how complex each of the components that go into it really are.  But have you ever wondered how pencils are actually made?

I hadn’t, until this morning a tweet from Fi Scott caught my eye.

Anyone of a certain age will remember the brilliant programme Playdays that made daily stops along a bus route to different characters each week.  My favourite character was on Monday’s episode – the Why Bird.  So imagine my excitement when the tweet led to a video combining a childhood favourite with my modern day love for stationery!

Fascinating and educational!  Happy Friday!

Gigapixels Of Andromeda

On the 5th of January the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope released a ground-breaking image of the Andromeda Galaxy.  It is the biggest and highest resolution image ever taken of Andromeda.  That’s a big deal because it is the closest spiral galaxy to our own, the Milky Way.

The image is 69,536 x 22,230 pixels, a total of 1.5 billion pixels requiring 4.3GB of disk space!

Each dot of light in the image represents one of the Andromeda’s one trillion stars spanning over 40,000 light years.

Though that barely scratches the surface of what I’m sure will one day be an even larger picture – Andromeda is only one of the 200 billion galaxies (that we know about!) in the universe.

Wow.  Just wow.  Makes you feel kind of small, doesn’t it?


A Billion Degrees Of Separation

It was -3°C when I left for work this morning.  Cold, yes, but far from the coldest place in the country let alone the universe!

BBC Future, one of the BBC’s lesser known sections (that focuses on technology, science, and environment),  has put together a fascinating insight into the range of temperatures in our known universe.  With either end of the spectrum sensibly called “absolute cold” and “absolute hot” here’s a view of everything in between.

Click each section of the image to view full size.

A Billion Degrees Of Separationbillion degrees3billion degrees2billion degrees

Some of you, as I do, may remember the notion of absolute zero from school, -273°C , but almost all of the upper values beyond a few thousand degrees were new to me.  If you thought the Earth’s core was hot at around 6000°C, wow just look at where the temperature scale ends up – an entirely incomprehensible 1 decillion °C!

Via It’s Okay To Be Smart.

Futurama In 3D

Happy new year!

One week into the new year and so I’m probably overdue for my first post.  We leave 2014 behind and welcome 2015 with open arms, not least because it promises to blur the already slightly fuzzy line between science fiction and reality even further.  We are living in an age of incredible technology and innovation, with glimpses of much more on the horizon.  But beyond this year, what lies in the distant future, in, say, the year 3000?

Those familiar with Futurama (can you believe it has been going for nearly 15 years!) will know that the year 3000 plays host to New New York and Alexy Zakharov has taken the 2D cartoon landscape that we know so well and spectacularly transformed it into 3D.

Incredible detail has been put into the entire cityscape, not to mention the complex design of the Planet Express ship.  Very impressive to say the least!

Using 3ds max, Nuke, Photoshop, and After Effects (plus I’m sure a few other clever bits), Alexy has brought the future a step closer by showing us what we can optimistically expect in 985 years or so.

And why not, after all Back to the Future correctly predicted the likes of self-tying Powerlaces and hoverboards, didn’t it!



2015 could be quite the year!

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