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The History of Photoshop

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the cutting-and-pasting dept.

Graphics 298

Gammu writes "For the past fifteen plus years, Photoshop has turned into the killer app for graphics designers on the Mac. It was originally written as a support app for a grad student's thesis and struggled to find wide commercial release. Eventually, Adobe licensed the app and has sold millions of copies." Achewood's Chris Onstad also offers a different take of how it all went down.

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You Know... (-1, Offtopic)

JamesRose (1062530) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450747)

They say its the reason the iPhone is gonna be so good. :P

Re:You Know... (0, Offtopic)

Teppic_52 (982950) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451109)

They say its the reason the iPhone is gonna be so good
...in ten years.

But Does It Run On Linux? (3, Funny)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450757)

...Oh :(

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (3, Funny)

conares (1045290) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450777)

Dont worry, we got the Gimp!;)

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (4, Funny)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450825)

Linux User #1: Bring out the Gimp.
Linux User #2: But the Gimp's sleeping.
Linux User #1: Well, I guess you're gonna have to go wake him up now, won't you?

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (5, Insightful)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450829)

Please let's not have another pointless "Is the GIMP a Photoshop replacement?" debate. They're about as pointless as an ostensibly professional-level graphics editing program without proper CMYK support.

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450847)

I think the parent's post was a little tongue-in-cheek. :-)

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450863)

> They're about as pointless as an ostensibly professional-level graphics
> editing program without proper CMYK support.

Which as you know is only needed for prepress work.

Nice troll.

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (4, Insightful)

setirw (854029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450883)

ostensibly professional-level graphics

But the GIMP isn't supposed to be a professional-level graphics application. I think Paint Shop Pro is a better GIMP equivalent: an application designed for the advanced home user who needs something above MSPAINT but would never use more than 1/128th of Photoshop's feature set.

"professional-level", what do you mean? (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451069)

...pointless as an ostensibly professional-level...


It has been ten years already that Clayton Christensen's book "The Innovator's Dilemma" was published. In that book he compared the evolution of several businesses, such as computer disk drives, excavating machines, and department stores.


The conclusion is that there is no fixed point separating "professional" equipment from "entry-level". Systems that are designed for amateurs or small businesses will evolve and become adopted more and more widely by professionals, until the old "professional-level" manufacturers go out of business.


What do the Gimp, Linux, 3.5 inch hard disks, and backhoe excavators have in common? They were created for amateurs, but are now used by many businesses. Perhaps there are some huge databases where 3.5 inch disks won't do and there may exist some mines where cable-actuated mechanical excavators are still used, but they are becoming less and less common.


If I were a Photoshop designer I would at least make an effort to learn how to use the Gimp. At least that seems the prudent thing to do.

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (4, Insightful)

setirw (854029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451245)

What do digital cameras, high-spec computers, and audio recording devices have in common? They were created for professionals, but have now permeated the amateur market. Perhaps there are some professional photographers who regularly use dinky point-and-shoot cameras for work and there may exist some animation studios where Celerons with 64mb RAM are still used, but they are becoming less and less common.

Most equipment starts out as expensive, professional-grade products which percolate down to amateur-grade products. The first digital SLR was based on Nikon's then top-of-the-line F3 model and cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now, you can buy a point-and-shoot with a plastic lens for under $10. Likewise, ENIAC wasn't a desk toy, whereas the Bondi Blue iMac arguably is.

BTW, most large databases are stored on expensive RAID systems with equally expensive tape backups. No serious business ever used floppies to backup its important data.

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (1, Insightful)

DarkVader (121278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451547)

But digital SLRs weren't the first digital cameras. The early ones were toys, not anywhere near usable for professional photography.

ENIAC may not have been a toy, but the vacuum tubes it used started out as toys, not tools. The transistors replaced the tubes started out in cheap radios, and integrated circuits were used in toys very early on.

The expensive RAID systems in use today are not using specialized hardware for their drives, they are using the same drives home computers do. And almost nobody is using celerons with 64MB RAM any more, but you're more likely to still find one still in use in a business than as someone's home computer.

And audio recording started with the wax cylinder phonograph. It was not a professional technology.

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451667)

But digital SLRs weren't the first digital cameras. The early ones were toys, not anywhere near usable for professional photography.

ENIAC may not have been a toy, but the vacuum tubes it used started out as toys, not tools. The transistors replaced the tubes started out in cheap radios, and integrated circuits were used in toys very early on.

The expensive RAID systems in use today are not using specialized hardware for their drives, they are using the same drives home computers do. And almost nobody is using celerons with 64MB RAM any more, but you're more likely to still find one still in use in a business than as someone's home computer.

And audio recording started with the wax cylinder phonograph. It was not a professional technology.

So maybe it works both ways. Velcro and tang started out as "professional grade equiptment" for putting a man on the moon and trickled down. Granted, they remained relatively unchanged when grought to the consumer market as they were always cheap, minus the initial R&D overhead. Cheaper varients of expensive professional products are made for consumers and higher quality versions of consumer products are made for people that have the money for it.

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (1)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451565)

Most equipment starts out as expensive, professional-grade products which percolate down to amateur-grade products.


You are just repeating what I said in different words. So-called "professional-grade" products are very expensive with sophisticated features. As technology advances, "amateur-grade" equipment start incorporating those same features at a much lower price. Gradually, amateur equipment creep into professional performance levels and professionals start using them for many uses. In the end, there's no market left for the old "professional-grade" equipment.


The first digital SLR was based on Nikon's then top-of-the-line F3 model and cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now, you can buy a point-and-shoot with a plastic lens for under $10.


That's why amateurs have abandoned their 35-mm cameras to use the same 4x5 inch film that professional Speed Graphic cameras use, I suppose... Or was it the other way around?


BTW, most large databases are stored on expensive RAID systems with equally expensive tape backups.


And, let me guess, they use 14 inch disks, do they? Or do those expensive RAID systems use the 3.5 inch disk format first released for "personal" computers? And those tape backups, do they use open reel, like all professional computer systems did in 1980? Or did they adopt some sort of cassette, like amateur-grade tape systems have always used?

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (2, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451677)


Most equipment starts out as expensive, professional-grade products which percolate down to amateur-grade products.

I don't know about "most", but there's a LOT of "ameteur" level equipment that "professionals" use as well. The microcomputer started out as a cheap calculator, and now it's replaced the mainframe. Linux started out as an experiment by a college kid, and now it's replaced big expensive Sun/HP/AIX boxes. The video toaster on the Amiga did a lot of eye-candy video stuff really cheaply that the then expensive-ass "professional" grade video editors couldn't.

Anyway, I think you're ignoring the larger picture brought up by the original poster. That the distinctions between "ameteur" and "professional" are really quite meaningless and artificial. I'd even argue it's really a lot of marketing whooey. Anyone smart will ignore all that nonsense and buy the tool that gets the job done.

To give an example, currently I'm looking into getting some speakers. If you measure performance by the only fair way, accurate sound reproduction, the cheap $100 sony bookshelf speakers outperform $1400 Infinity super-dupers. For floorstanding speakers the $280 Sony's are equally as good as "great name" $1400 Bose.

(BTW, he's talking about 3.5 inch hard drives, not floppy disks. Many years ago those big databases you speak of were run on big honkin expensive ass drives, not small, inexpensive, 3.5 inch hard drives.)

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (3, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451355)

If I were a Photoshop designer I would at least make an effort to learn how to use the Gimp. At least that seems the prudent thing to do.

Yep, for sure.

A real professional would use whatever tool is available to get the job done. I'd certainly be wary of hiring a prima-donna who could only use one imaging product.

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451447)

A real professional will use the right tool for the job. If, in this case, that happens to be Photoshop there is no way he should be using the GIMP.

Re:"professional-level", what do you mean? (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451951)

It depends if the professional level remains static. I know many companies that spend sufficient time creating new and unique product, and those companies will likely stay in business as long as the general product is needed(i.e. what does a buggy whip factory make?). Photoshop is clearly staying on step ahead of the copycats. They do appear to investing in new products rather than just blowing it on advertisements and fluff. This is very different from a department store in which all one does is blow money on advertisement and fluff as fluff is all there really is. Most department stores are only going to spend so much on the actual product or customer service, and they will tend to go under or sell out if the profit is no longer suitable.

So, Gimp is already good enough for many people. It is certainly good enough for me. However, there are features that Gimp does not have, and, if Adobe keep doing what it is doing, by the time Gimp adds features there will be other useful features added to Photoshop. Although the market for Gimp will increase, that does not mean that market for Photoshop will decrease. It is not a zero sum game.

One can ask the same question of MS Office. Should users also learn OO.org? Probably, as they next job might use it. But maybe not.

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451463)


They're about as pointless as an ostensibly professional-level graphics editing program without proper CMYK support.


I always here this complaint about Gimp, but I never really understand why people whine about this. Isn't CMYK only important if you're doing printing, as printing uses CMYK?

The designers I know basically just do website design. They use photoshop, mostly because it's the tool they're familiar with. But I don't really see a reason why they can't use Gimp if they had a decent reason to.

Re:But Does It Run On Linux? (1)

SoulGrind (1103673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451949)

It used to run on Linux... I believe it was back in the Photoshop 3.x days.


But hey, Linux has the Gimp...


However, being an avid Photoshop user myself, I have noticed the lack of "polish" in the Gimp. Albeit, with Gimpshop, it's a little better. I find the workflow in Photoshop to be a lot smoother and the Gimp's interface is "clunky" at best.


Considering that Adobe was forced into porting Photoshop from OS 8/9 to OS X, which has BSD (aka UNIX) roots, I don't see why Adobe hasn't bitten the bullet and just ported Photoshop to Linux. Of course, who would buy it? It seems Linux users in general rarely want to consider making a software purchase unless absolutely necessary. But when you are the industry standard of the graphic design world and the majority uses PhotoShop, it does make some sense to some degree.


I personally see major apps on the Linux desktop as a push forward for making Linux more appealing to corporate industry. But that's just my take.

Licensed? (5, Informative)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450803)

I think it was less Adobe's licencing of the product than simply their tacit approval of its widespread warezing that lead to the rise of Photoshop. Despite it's obscene price, Adobe have never seemed interested in curbing the rampant pirating of this particular product.

The reason is obvious of course. Better for Johnny the budding graphics designer to get familiar with "'Shopping" than take the legal route and become familiar with the like of the Gimp, etc. Personally, I think Adobe themselves upload the lastest hacked copies of Photoshop to the usual places.

Re:Licensed? (5, Insightful)

dead nancy (239321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451075)

I would also consider Adobe's student pricing at the time Photoshop was beginning on the road to domination. The last time I was in school (maybe 15 years ago), I was able to purchase Photoshop (2.0 or 2.5, I believe) for about $40. Pretty affordable, even for a grad student. That pricing had to help its widespread adoption.

These days, the education price for Photoshop is $299. That's a lot of beer when you're a student with access to massive bandwidth...

DN

Licensed?-Beaten, dragged, and bound. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451229)

"I think it was less Adobe's licensing of the product than simply their tacit approval of its widespread warezing that lead to the rise of Photoshop."

Or maybe like slashdot's always reminding us. "Give in, you can't fight us."

Adobe 'warezes' it's own product? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451537)

Personally, I think Adobe themselves upload the lastest hacked copies of Photoshop to the usual places.
Somebody should mod you as 'funny'. I have noticed with some degree of amusement that software pirates and the warez crowd as a whole are usually also delusional enough to think they are actually helping the companies whose products they are ripping off but you have just taken that delusion to a new level.

Gimp!=pro application (4, Insightful)

mojoNYC (595906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451933)

Obviously, you come from outside the pro graphics world--the GIMP lacks basic functionality (such as CMYK colorspace for one), and is simply not ready for prime-time in this arena. In other words, if Johnny takes the Gimp route, he's going to find himself dealing with a bunch of issues that may be fun for geeks to overcome, but in this case, would take him away from the real task of image editing, unencumbered by software limitations. Photoshop is expensive because it's the best of breed by a wide margin, and Adobe knows it.

Eventually? (4, Informative)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450819)

Eventually, Adobe licensed the app and has sold millions of copies.

*sigh*

It's not like Adobe didn't put a LITTLE bit of work into it over the years, you know? They didn't just license it, they've - for all practical purposes - completely rebuilt it over and over. If they hadn't, that which they licensed would have been totally eclipsed by products like Corel's PhotoPaint, etc. CS3 has about as much resemblance to the initial product as ... well, it doesn't have much. Bridge? ACR? All of the related products like Lightroom? The HISTORY of it is a little academic, at this point (both literally and figuratively).

Re:Eventually? (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450875)

CS3 has about as much resemblance to the initial product as ... well, it doesn't have much.
PS1 is to CS3 like last last nights veggie burger to this mornings crap.

Re:Eventually? (2, Insightful)

slart42 (694765) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450967)

[quote]CS3 has about as much resemblance to the initial product as ... well, it doesn't have much.[/quote]

I beg to differ. I haven't used 1.0, so i can't speak of that, but I have used Photoshop since 2.0, and I actually think that most of the core features I used most of the time have been there since then, and haven't changed much (or needed to change). Sure, there's a lot of new stuff, some of it very useful, a lot of it feature-bloat (but possible useful for someone else), but I'd say that may basic approach to the program hasn't changed much between 2.0 and CS3. With the possible exception of layers (or where they around back then? I don't recall using those much back in the days).

Re:Eventually? (1)

dead nancy (239321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451159)

Layers came with version 3.0, praise Jebus. They made Photoshop an app I felt I was working with rather than around.

I'd say the biggest and most welcome changes, tho, occurred in version 5.0 when Adobe (finally) added multiple undo and editable type. Not that actions, adjustment layers, smart objects and the new non-destructive filters weren't also very welcome...

DN

Re:Eventually? (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451435)

layers came in version 3.0 - i remember being SO excited when the upgrade cd arrived in the mail... as a matter of fact, i think i still have it laying around somewhere...

Re:Eventually? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451083)

>The HISTORY of it is a little academic, at this point (both literally and figuratively).

Duh, thats why they also linked to a poorly drawn comic! You know to flesh it out. Although, to be fair they should have also linked to an interpretive dance video explaining some of the more complex IP issues.

Re:Eventually? (4, Insightful)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451407)

The basic toolbox in photoshop 1.0 is not that far removed from the one in photoshop CS3. You can see the lineage. Maybe the back-end is completely new, but the front-end has merely expanded.

Which is sort of a shame, because the photoshop tools are a bit clumsy to use, and things like the selection tool could be implemented much better if they weren't afraid of alienating the existing customer base with changed behavior.

Photoshop bloat (1)

mojoNYC (595906) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451893)

I agree that Adobe has put a lot into Photoshop over the years, however, from my perspective, they are adding Word-like bloat--while the workflow additions are probably helpful to some, and whizzy filters to others, imo, most Pro users are using the base functionality added from PS2-PS5. (I started with PS2, having used Digital Darkroom prior to that). Most everything I do in Photoshop involves curves, sharpening and some layer effects, all of which can be done with PS5--the rest is just 'gilding the lilly.'

Lack of colour display (2, Interesting)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450843)

Looking back, it seemed a bit crazy that the Mac wasn't colour for many years. Especially given the competition.

Maybe we would all be using Macs if they at least had a 16 or 256 colour display a few years earlier.

Re:Lack of colour display (1, Funny)

setirw (854029) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450861)

...or a minimize button! :-)

Re:Lack of colour display (0, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451035)

... or a second mouse button.

Re:Lack of colour display (1)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451545)

I'm on my Mac, clickin' my second mouse button.

Second mouse buttons have worked since Cheetah, the first version of Mac OS X. No pesky drivers to install...it works automagickally.

I'm not sure when scroll wheel support went into the default HID support for Mac OS X, but it works in both Panther (10.3.x) and Tiger (10.4.x)

Next time, try a more clever troll. K thx bai.

Re:Lack of colour display (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451623)

I really wish that Mac users would stop bringing this up, because it has nothing to do with the joke. I recall being told that Mac OS had support for multiple buttons since version 9, but that doesn't change the fact that we all know it supports multiple buttons. The joke is that Apple so stubbornly insisted on shipping with a one-button mouse for many years (and hell, even their two-button mouse sucks according to those I know who've used it). That is the point the GP was using as a dig at Apple.

Re:Lack of colour display (5, Informative)

imperious_rex (845595) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451033)

the Mac wasn't colour for many years

Huh? The Mac came out in 1984 and the color Mac II came out in 1987. I'd hardly call 3 years "many" and yes, the competition (Amiga, Atari ST) had color from the start (1985) and until VGA appeared for PCs in 1987, the state of color PC graphics (CGA, EGA) was poor, to say the least.

Re:Lack of colour display (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451093)

Huh? The Mac came out in 1984 and the color Mac II came out in 1987. I'd hardly call 3 years "many" and yes, the competition (Amiga, Atari ST) had color from the start (1985) and until VGA appeared for PCs in 1987, the state of color PC graphics (CGA, EGA) was poor, to say the least.

And the Apple //gs had a color finder before the Mac; unfortunately by the time the Color Mac was out PC graphics were on par with the Mac (IMHO) and PCs were less expensive so Apple missed a chance to migrate their IIgs base to the Mac; at the very time the PC/Mac battle was still somewhat of a tossup.

Re:Lack of colour display (1)

UncleRage (515550) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451193)

Hmmm. Not flaming or trolling here...

The 128k Mac was released in 1984, the Mac II (color) was released in 1987.

Looking back, I seem to recall most computer users (in the US) at that time fitting into one of the following niches:

1. Home Computers (Apple II/Commodore/Atari, TRS-80, etc...). Almost all of these users spent a majority of their time with "black and white" gui-less apps (unless they were playing King's Quest or something).

2. Business Uses. Not a whole slew of them... and most were either using IBM compats or Apple II's. Almost all of these users spent a majority of their time with "black and white" gui-less apps (i.e. Lotus 123/Visicalc, Wordstar, Appleworks).

3. Academia. Rogue and Hack and Advent oh my.

4. Mac Users. Most of these users were simply terribly impressed by the fact that they didn't spend their time sitting in front of amber/green screen monitors typing (in their eyes) obscure commands. Well, that and playing Cap'n Magneto. And now... they play Photoshop. =D

The point is, I really don't believe that the lack of color on the Mac for it's first three years is what kept it from taking over the desktop market. I mean really... the color NeXTstation didn't come out until, what... '90? And look how well it... oh wait. *ducks*

lots of colors to my eye (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451195)

In 1988 or 1989 I was able to try a Macintosh II (big desktop form factor with about 6 expansion slots). Thing had a pretty serious graphics card driving a 17" monitor at full color (or what looked like full color, it certainly was more than 256) and had a flatbed scanner connected to its SCSI port. This was way above and beyond any of the newer PCs I had used at that time. And, IIRC, the Mac II came out in 1987, although I don't know what graphic card options were available for it at release. Oh, those were the good old days... a 17" monitor was generally a huge cube of a beast, those old Macs ran Aldus PageMaker and Aldus Digital Darkroom. I didn't actually even hear of Photoshop until about 1993.

Re:Lack of colour display (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451835)

I remember reading a column by Jerry Pournelle in Byte magazine way back in 1988 or so where he declared that color displays may finally be 'good enough' to use. As an Amiga user I wanted to slap his head.

Back then the majority of people still used DOS and monochrome displays. It didn't matter that the Macintosh was available. Macs were 'too expensive' (sound familiar?). Amigas were 'only good for games' (gaming on your PC was seen as negative back then).

No, the majority had already decided on the PC platorm even then. Color was a good idea once they decided they could afford high enough resolution color cards and displays for their platform. Windows were a good idea once someone developed a 'good enough' windowing OS for their platform. Games were a good idea once their graphics were powerful enough for games that didn't suck.

Stubborn lot.

what a boring article (1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450867)

and not one mention of image macros

A question for large print graphics designers... (3, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450869)

Photoshop is put on a pedestal as being THE ONLY program you should use to edit images.

I was wondering why that is?

Is it because graphics designers who do large print are used to using Photoshop and do not see a point in switching to an unknown program?
Is it because there are no alternatives that have the features they need?

Are free programs such as the GIMP just not on par? I have used Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and GIMP but I don't really see why Photoshop is hallmarked as the best. That being said I am not a graphics expert so I was wondering if someone who is and used these programs for more then 5 minutes could give me a good answer.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (4, Insightful)

calc (1463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450911)

For one thing Photoshop has a lot of commercial plugins available for it. Generally when professionals say they use Photoshop they mean they use Photoshop and a lot of plugins that just aren't available for other graphics programs like GIMP.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (2, Informative)

Catil (1063380) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451943)

I never tried it, but it seems like Gimp does run Photoshop plugins as well [gimp.org]

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1)

magores (208594) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450919)

Search slashdot.

You'll find many people asking the same question. And, many people answering it.

Do we really need to go through this particular issue AGAIN?

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450941)

Your message is written with such a serious tone, and I'll bite.
  Do a slashdot search for any of the following terms, and you'll quickly be drawn into threads about why :
      * GIMP;
      * CMYK;
      * Plugin xXx will do what you're looking for;
      * But it won't do it in 32-bit colour with customized colourmap support unless you compile it yourself and since I use gentoo I'm still waiting for KDE to finish compiling;
      * Yur momma is teh BOM in bed;
      * Hitler used Photoshop;
      * Suck a cock and die.

      I always read those threads, mainly because I am interested in German history and human psychology. I couldn't give a rat's ass about Photoshop or graphic design.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1)

Gryle (933382) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451099)

Then why the frell are you posting a comment at all?

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1)

Daychilde (744181) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451553)

Maybe because it's a valid comment on how these threads usually go? And maybe, just maybe, the post doesn't really read the threads because they're interested in German history and human psychology. Maybe they *do* actually care about the subject at hand. Just a thought. ;-)

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450947)

Photoshop is a graphics program? I thought is was just another religion.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450953)

The gimp lacks adjustment layers and other stuff that makes the workflow in PS easier. There's also the fact that ever increasing numbers of graphic artists learn from photoshop tutorials, they know which buttons to click but rarely understand the underlying concepts.

Nearly everything can be done in the GIMP (or cinepaint) if the operator knows what they're doing. If you are doing prepress, then Scribus [scribus.net] has excellent CMYK support.

The technical arguments are mostly bunk, the workflow issue isn't.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (5, Insightful)

SocialEngineer (673690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450995)

I do graphic design for a living, and there are a number of areas where The GIMP is lacking - but the big issue is in color space allowances. No CMYK support means no worky in the print world (unless your press uses RGB). I have to be able to not only convert an image to CMYK, but also control the colors to an extreme - I've had to remove all the color plates from the shot, increase the black plate to compensate, and then paint in spot red (for our press, that is 100% magenta, 50-60% yellow) over certain parts. Plus, the integration into the other parts of my work (working in InDesign/Illustrator for ads) is purely delightful.

Plus, CS2's RAW image importing is.. well.. I love it. Can't even begin to describe how great it is to use it's interface to import raw photos.

I still use the GIMP regularly - for minor stuff - at home. I still prefer my copy of Photoshop 6, though, for anything with any involvement.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (2, Informative)

linuxrocks123 (905424) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451785)

I don't know about the truth of your other statements, but stop spreading the lie about lack of CMYK support:

http://www.blackfiveservices.co.uk/separate.shtml [blackfiveservices.co.uk]

Maybe there's something wrong with it; tell the developers if there is. But don't say it doesn't exist, because it does.

Thanks, now have a nice day.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (5, Insightful)

vrt3 (62368) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451875)

Some quotes from that page:

"A plugin providing rudimentary CMYK support for The GIMP"

"this is experimental software"

"This plug-in goes some small way towards rectifying the situation"

I like Gimp, but that plugin doesn't sound like it provides professional CMYK support. And it looks like the project is dead:

The plugin is unfinished, but usable for its primary purpose, and since I'm unlikely to have time to develop it further in the near future, I'm releasing it as is.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1)

Elyas (59360) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451907)

From the page you linked to
This plug-in goes some small way towards rectifying the situation, using a trick with layers to fake CMYK support.

If the developer himself says it only goes some small way to fixing the problem, and fakes support, it's hard to say CMYK is supported :)

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451031)

When you're paying $500 for a paint program, you're making DAMN SURE no one else you're interacting with can get away with something cheaper.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (3, Insightful)

Kwirl (877607) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451053)

"Are free programs such as the GIMP just not on par? I have used Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and GIMP but I don't really see why Photoshop is hallmarked as the best. That being said I am not a graphics expert so I was wondering if someone who is and used these programs for more then 5 minutes could give me a good answer."

Questions like this are just begging to create an argument, but I'm going to give you my perspective. The primary advantage of using photoshop for me is familiarization. I'm not going to complicate things by explaining layering and color mode compatabilities, there are solutions to those. The key here is that I am lazy. I don't want to search for tools and addons and plugins that offer features that exists elsewhere in a standard installation.


My other reason for preferring photoshop is that if you use any of Adobe's other quality design programs, it is all familiar and often easily interchangeable. Illustrator, Premier, or even just making funny little animated pictures with ImageReady, I feel better using software that I recognize as part of a family. Its probably the same reason I prefer MS Office. See item #1 about being lazy.


Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451225)

For much the same reason as Windows, allow admittedly Photoshop is a much better product. Even if, The GIMP, was 100% there, market inertia would keep Photoshop around for a long, long time. As it is GIMP is probably 90% there for anything most people use it either for, but people are familiar with Photoshop, so Photoshop they use. Huge installed bases cause huge entrenched contingents of users that would rather put up with being raped (as in the case of Windows) than learn something different.

And also, while there are sound reasons to migrate off Windows that have nothing to do with price (Viruses, arbitrary obsoleteing of formats, etc, etc, etc). And even with all that motivation, people still aren't willing to learn anything new. There's not really any huge reason to migrate off of Photoshop except price. The issues that tend to annoy users of photoshop (like Adobe's glacial pace of implementing substantial updates, like support for use of more than 2 cores.), just aren't that bad. Thus Adobe continues to thrive, and nobody really even complains that much.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1)

sudotcsh (95997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451313)

Your question mentioned graphic design, which I think in some ways may be a bit off. That's an area in which I think Illustrator and its brethren are more important. However, I can answer the photographer's version of PSvsGIMP. I'm not a professional photographer in that no one is yet paying me to live and breathe photography, yet that's what I do. To save you trying to dig up my info here's a link to my vanity site:
http://klophoto.com/ [klophoto.com]

Okay, so having established (hopefully!) that I know what I'm talking about, the reason I don't - and CAN'T - use GIMP is the lack of adjustment layers. Over 75% of what I do involves adjustment layers. They allow you to make changes to things like levels, curves, channel mixer, and much more for part of the image or the entire thing (based on masking). The reason they're so wonderful is that they're continually editable. That means no stepping back if I adjust one, then the other, and decide it's not exactly what I wanted. Also, they're layers, so I don't have to flatten an image to adjust the overall curves.

I've looked in the past and there was a lot of discussion regarding GIMP's lack of adjustment layers. I'm sure someone has said it more eloquently than I, but this is my two cents. Hope it helped.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (1)

El Yanqui (1111145) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451481)

I'm a graphic designer and have been using Photoshop since 1999. There are other programs, and some might have merit, but Photoshop is the industry standard. I personally don't see the point in switching to an unknown program, because I have become very familiar with Photoshop. I'm comfortable with it, and it works very well. I find that every time I have a complaint about something I can't do in Photoshop, it turns out that I can do it, I just didn't know how at the time. It's a capable program even in the hands of somebody who only spends 30 minutes learning a couple basic tools. If you really delve into Photoshop you can do almost anything. Like I said, I've used it for years. I'm a Photoshop nerd, and I'd be surprised if I knew even 80% of it. I'm always discovering something new that makes working with it faster and easier. I can't predict what will happen in the future. Apple has thrown in Aperture to compete with Photoshop, and eventually it, or another program, might replace it. I used to use QuarkXpress for page layouts, because it was the industry standard. Then InDesign came along and is rapidly rendering Quark obsolete.

Re:A question for large print graphics designers.. (5, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451777)

When you are working on a $7,500 contract producing media that will cost the client over $50,000 to print you don't trust your color profiles to some unknown program.

I can tell you that companies get really, really angry when their logo color comes out wrong. Sometimes you can blame the printer, but more typically it's the designer.

Adobe products do have quirks and some features do have steep learning curves, but they all do color extremely well and are very consistent.

Is achewood supposed to be funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450909)

Because it's not.

Re:Is achewood supposed to be funny? (1)

hostyle (773991) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451707)

Whereas you are! Wheres +1 "Couldnt't get it even if I tried"?

Was this a plug for a really crappy comic? (3, Insightful)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450927)

I guess the itty bitty little article on the history of Photoshop was all right, but the linked comic really stunk. Aside from lousy grammar and poor sentence flow, it just wasn't funny.

Re:Was this a plug for a really crappy comic? (1)

theTrueMikeBrown (1109161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451039)

I thought that the comic was so funny because it sucked so bad. It didn't make sense and it was poorly drawn, but I feel that it accurately described the way that truly great inventions come into existence. It is not with a bang, but with a whimper more often than not.

I don't, however plan on reading more of them cause I have seriouser work to do.

(Yes, I know that I have used improper English in this post. No I do not care. I did it to get my point acrosser.)

Re:Was this a plug for a really crappy comic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451367)

Woah, dude, that's Achewood. The writing style changes based one which characters are speaking. That comic in general is pretty much the greatest thing online. I guess you'd probably like it more if it was stickmen, though, eh?

for graphics designers on the Mac (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450969)

KISS MY ASS!!! When will this fucking stupid mac fanboyism stop?!?? Adobe Photoshop is equally good (if not even better) on Windows platform!

Re:for graphics designers on the Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451239)

I wouldn't say better. Aside from OS X being more intuitive, it has features like Exposé and Automator that greatly enhance the Photoshop experience.

Re:for graphics designers on the Mac (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451605)

Nobody in their right mind would use Photoshop on windoze. It's a user interface abortion gone wrong.

It's a nightmare of a crap piece of shit on windoze. It's a nice program on the Macintosh.

I'd like to see a price timeline too... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450973)

Isn't it over $600 now (street price)? That's insane.

I find ulead's Photoimpact 10x easier to use and only $50
http://www.ulead.com/pi/ [ulead.com]
It can do virtually everything photoshop can do and also load/save psd files

It is the 'killer app' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19450975)

It's the killer app for mac graphic designers because only they're the OS that can use it. Come on slashdot bias, it's not like photoshop isn't available for the PC. I'd wager that in the overall number of clients, far more photoshop licenses are sold for PC than for mac. Wouldn't this technically make it the 'killer app' for every graphic designer?


/pc graphics designer

Re:It is the 'killer app' (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451263)

Historically, PhotoShop was a mac app. Dual monitor support, video editing, page layout, graphic design were all easier on a Macintosh than a windows box. Until Windows NT/2K, the OS wasn't stable enough -- at which point MacOS became second tier.

Re:It is the 'killer app' (1)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451869)

I've slept since then, but I seem to recall from talking to the graphics folks that the REAL reason why they had Macs was Quark DTP.

Re:It is the 'killer app' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451887)

Yeah, because MacOS was so stable... LOL

What did the Knolls Get? (4, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450985)

A considerable empire and fortune have been built around PhotoShop. Adobe had sold 3,000,000 coppies by year 2000. I presume they have sold about as much since. I wonder how the creators were rewarded and what they think of the monster. Here are some questions the article raises but does not answer:

  • Does PhotoShop still use the Knoll framework?
  • Do they still contribute?
  • How much of the profits did the Knoll brothers get?
  • Do they think it was worth closing off?
  • Do they approve of other Adobe/M$ licensing deals that keep secret importand details about the way cameras and scanners work.

I'm relatively sure they don't come around here and fanboy dis GIMP.

Re:What did the Knolls Get? (1)

xbytor (215790) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451277)

Thomas Knoll still actively contributes, especially with the DNG effort.

Re:What did the Knolls Get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451321)

as has already been said Thomas Knoll still works on Photoshop, ad if you load it you'll se his name is the first listed on the splash screen. John Knoll works in VFX over at Industrial Light and Magic.

Re:What did the Knolls Get? (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451637)

Not only that, but he has been a vfx supervisor for a long time now, and won an academy award for the second Pirates of the Caribbean. He also seems like a pretty nice guy.

Re:What did the Knolls Get? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451341)

I wonder how the creators were rewarded and what they think of the monster

Ray Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers for $3 million dollars. What the founders think after the founders are eclipsed really doesn't matter.

Re:What did the Knolls Get? (3, Informative)

jackbird (721605) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451813)

Tom Knoll works for Adobe and is still credited as a dev in the latest releases, and John Knoll is considered a giant in the VFX realm and still works at ILM (where he used Photoshop pre-1.0 to do matte paintings on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - I didn't RTFA, so I don't know if they mentioned that).

Apple category? (4, Funny)

LocalH (28506) | more than 7 years ago | (#19450989)

You know, it runs on Windows too.

Re:Apple category? (1)

KrayzieKyd (906704) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451181)

Thank you for acknowledging this fact. Adobe products run just as well on PCs as on Macs, sometimes not as well, but sometimes even better. The beauty of building a PC for the specific purpose of multimedia.

Re:Apple category? (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451535)

To recycle an old joke, it depends how you define "runs".

Re:Apple category? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451859)

So does Excel, but it was originally for Apple, and MS ports always sucked.

Monopoly... (1)

moneyning.com (1112033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451361)

Adobe has definitely became a Monopoly in the computer graphics design field. It's mostly Adobe Photoshop for Mac vs Adobe Photoshop for Windows. Things like Corel Draw sort of just faded away.

Lets get real... (4, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451449)

The warez scene made photoshop popular. Remember back in the land of dial up where you searched through dozens of websites to find a few that had working links to applications? Back then, there were dozens of warez webmasters competing for the coolest apps and Photoshop 4 was in vogue. This was significant because all those warez runners then used photoshop to make cool graphics for their sites. Other sites drooled and so photoshop spread. As the piracy grew so did the rep, as the rep grew so did the legitimate user base.

Not that adobe will admit rampant photoshop piracy has been the best thing that ever happened to them. The real reason they and other software leaders want to shut it down is that they don't any competitor taking that freeway to success. It is in the interest of market leaders to raise the bar to market entry as much as possible.

Re:Lets get real... Arr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451675)

It's most likely because Adobe knows the difference between commercial piracy of their product and some kid warezing it because he can't afford it. You can bet that graphic houses have fully paid up licensed versions for all their graphic artists because of that. They know that there's a difference between someone making serious money with their illegally obtained product and someone that just wants to be able to add "THIS GUY BLOWS" under a jpeg image of someone's face.

They've had a strong program of educational discounts for a long time, too. I'm pretty sure that they do mind that guy airbushing a hat on someone torrenting a warez version, but not enough to get bent all out of shape. They probably figure that if the guy does eventually start doing commercially viable work using it, he'll get a licensed edition as it's no longer a toy but a tool to him, and that he would then be worth going after for pirating their product.

Re:Lets get real... (1)

TheDrop (1098769) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451733)

Interesting take, albeit overstated. "Dozens of warez webmasters" made photoshop popular? I imagine there were quite a few hacks making "cool graphics" as you say, but to claim an entire industry absolutely dominated by Adobe developed because a few kids knowing html and a couple of photoshop filters is a bit off the mark. The bottom line reason is color space. I use several image editing/creation packages but photoshop is the standard for print. The industry is entrenched in CMYK which no other package fully supports. Without photoshop, you have no newspapers, magazines, posters, mailers, catalogues, banners, billboards etc. etc. etc... Of course Adobe cares about piracy, but they hunt corporations rather then individuals. Talented individuals who use illegitimate copies of Adobe's products end up working for corporations who cannot risk not owning a legitimate copy. Corporate sales of the industry standard software package thus are key to Adobe's success.

Reminded me a lot of printshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451533)

I read somewhere that the PrintShop (one of the most popular title on Apple II *EVER*) was rejected by Br0derbund several times.

MacPaint (0)

johnrpenner (40054) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451555)


Back when Photoshop came out, it was like a Colour version of MacPaint.
Photoshop evolved and built on the ideas contained in MacPaint.

You can see this even today, where the most common tools in the
Photoshop tool palette came from the MacPaint Toolset:

- Marquee Tool
- Lasoo Tool
- Pencil Tool
- Eraser Tool
- Text Tool
- Hand Tool

they even had identical icon bitmaps
for the first several versions of Photoshop(!).

Juarez... (4, Insightful)

MsGeek (162936) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451631)

Just so y'all know, Photoshop Elements does about as much as most casual users of Photoshop need, and it's less than a Benjamin. /me is waiting for the next version of Elements which will be a Universal app based on CS3. Currently Photoshop Elements is at v.4 for Mac and v.5 for Windows. It currently has to run under Rosetta with MacIntel which makes Baby Jebus cry.

on macs: (-1, Troll)

deviceb (958415) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451711)

I would just like to state that no mac/ mac user can top myself with PS. -.- I find it sickening that macs are even allowed to run PS. pfft go back to your i tunes

Re:on macs: (1)

photomonkey (987563) | more than 7 years ago | (#19451939)

Um, what?

Professor Knoll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19451931)

In the late 80's early 90's, I started using Photoshop to make cassette tape covers for my band's demo tape, but soon started using it in my school work--namely for lab reports for one of my nuclear engineering classes at the U of Michigan. I remember one professor, in office hours, asked me about my unusual computer generated sketches (other students probably just used a pencil.) I told him I used Photoshop, and he smiled and told me his sons wrote it. I recall that he wasn't so much proud that they'd produced a tool useful to many, but rather how much money they were making. He shared the amazing fact with me that they, just barely out of school themselves, make more than he does, "...well into six figures!"
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