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Graphics Software

20 Years of Photoshop 289

Posted by timothy
from the worth-it-for-the-screenshots dept.
benwiggy writes "Photoshop turned 20 on 10th February 2010. Here's an excellent history, including how the Knoll family created one of the biggest apps of all time. The article also has screenshots of the workspace through the versions."
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20 Years of Photoshop

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  • by pwnies (1034518) * <j@jjcm.org> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:01PM (#31174820) Homepage Journal
    Kudos photoshop. You know that you've done well with a piece of software when it turns into a verb.
    That said, spread some lovin' over to the linux side of things. Right now that's the only thing that's keeping me from using linux as my main OS (using win7 right now).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by lambent (234167)

      it's unlikely to ever happen, as that would require a complete rewrite of the entire codebase. there's so much cruft in photoshop, i don't know anyone who would even be willing to say it's even possible.

      that being said, i think it probably needs a good overhaul (organic growth over 20 years can't be pretty to maintain), and i'd pay a lot for a solid *NIX port.

      • *NIX port?

        I think it's funny how much attention is paid to the Windows version!

        Does anyone know why there are so many Windows screencaps in the cited article?

        It's not like Windows 98 was the dominant platform in art departments and pre-press operations.

        • Because it's not like art departments and pre-press operations were the dominant market for Photoshop.

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Does anyone know why there are so many Windows screencaps in the cited article?

          I don't know about the cited article, but I do know that Photoshop CS2 is more stable on Windows XP than on MacOS X 10.4 (the last version upon which I ran it.) Adobe's probably got more experiencing at beachballing OSX than anyone else. Having to SSH in is not a fix when the machine is thrashing and it's faster to just cold boot...

      • that being said, i think it probably needs a good overhaul (organic growth over 20 years can't be pretty to maintain)

        you think 20 years is bad? You've got a few billion years of very organic growth in your own codebase, and it practically maintains itself, no overhauls required.

        • Yeah but the original code was well optimized we've only been messing with the codebase for the last few hundred years.
      • by LizardKing (5245)

        There was a Solaris version, so an X11 based Unix version (as opposed to a Quartz based Unix version) is not so far fetched.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ColdWetDog (752185)
      Careful what you ask for, you might get it. CS 4 is enormously bloated, slow, powerful. Two of those adjectives are not complements. Besides, if Adobe did it, you would have some measure of the annoying and bug strewn activation code that infests their products.

      I'm not sure I would go there....
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        This is why I've held on to my copy of PS6. Works great on lower end systems, and still has all of the useful tools.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bobfrankly1 (1043848)

          This is why I've held on to my copy of PS6. Works great on lower end systems, and still has all of the useful tools.

          It's surprising how subjective that statement is. I couldn't even imagine trying to use the brush engine from photoshop 6. I actually tried on a friend's old computer and gave up ten minutes later. PS7 has full vector fonts, which allow lossless resize and transform effects. There's more to be sure, but this is just off the top of my head.

          A more accurate statement is that it still has all the tools that *you* find useful.

    • Kudos photoshop. You know that you've done well with a piece of software when it turns into a verb.

      It's more than a verb, for some people it's a tradition and art form [somethingawful.com]*. Had there been no Photoshop, something would have probably filled the void but it's definitely one of the (expensive) standards around.

      *Yeah, I know you see a link to Something Awful and are thinking "not gonna click that!" but it's just the Photoshop Phriday main page, a site like the Onion that briefly brightens my week.

      • Meh. If you're going to refer to a site that heightens photoshop to an art form, you should link to worth1000 [worth1000.com].

        Most of Something Awful's Photoshop Phriday is a kindergartner scribbling in the margins compared to what is regularly posted by top competitors on worth1000.
    • by Colin Smith (2679) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:19PM (#31175132)

      Thought not.

      Apart from MS Office, it has to be the most pirated bit of software in the world.
       

      • by pwnies (1034518) *
        I own photoshop CS. Surprising, I know.
      • Thought not.

        Apart from MS Office, it has to be the most pirated bit of software in the world.

        No doubt you're right but not only do I own a copy (not the latest version, but it's legal), I also have a floppy disk with Macintosh version 1.0 on it around here somewhere. Hard to believe, I know, but at one time Photoshop fit on a single 1.44 MB floppy.

    • A verb? It’s worse. What I’ve seen:

      Photoshop -> to photoshop / photoshopped -> to ’shop / shopped -> to shoop -> and then there is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2yjhHdDjYo [youtube.com]

    • "At this point, I'd like to take a moment to speak to you about the Adobe PSD format. PSD is not a good format. PSD is not even a bad format. Calling it such would be an insult to other bad formats, such as PCX or JPEG..." [google.com]

      And while we're at it, I have to say: Can we please be done with the idea that web mockups should be done in Photoshop? It never was a good tool for designing web layouts. The idea that it ever was is an artifact of its market position and the popularity of certain raster effects at the t

      • On Fireworks (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LibertineR (591918)
        I generally agree that Fireworks is superior for web mockups. However, I hope they get around to fixing text handling, which is still awful after all these years, which forces me back to Photoshop or Illustrator just to add text parts. In other respects, Fireworks CS4 is pretty amazing; able to spit CSS layouts from slices and all that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Please do not suggest Gimp or PSP.

        Perhaps inkscape [inkscape.org] is the GPL'd vector image editor you seek.

        On topic: Everyone, please cease mentioning that Photoshop went to pot with the CS namechange, lest Adobe pulls a Comcast-esque rebranding.

        • Perhaps inkscape is the GPL'd vector image editor you seek.

          Inkscape is great. I'm still happier to pay to use Fireworks for a variety of other reasons, but if Inkscape suddenly became the weapon of choice for web mockups instead of Photoshop, I'd be delighted.

    • Come on, I really don't get why Adobe does not finance Wine support for its products. Shouldn't be too expensive. The advantage of Linux is that it runs on super-computers.

      • The fact that there's any need for Adobe to support Wine says more about Wine than Adobe.

        • Development is paid by those who see a business opportunity or are otherwise capable. Adobe applications are extremely complex, so it would be expensive to start support from scratch but now it looks like Wine development grows into something reasonable. Developer time is limited, so need to hire comeone to get it done. Peanuts for Abobe and you get the Linux platform for your products which makes a whole lot of sense.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      What other software has become a verb? Most archive formats have been verbed, zip, rar, etc. Grep, of course, is a verb. If networked software counts, Google would be one. Blast (from NCBI) is often used as a verb too.

  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:07PM (#31174906) Homepage

    Photoshopping photos over 20 years old to show people using Photoshop. Then claim they are legit. "Photoshop is over 20 years old, you can clearly see here they were using it during the Civil War!"

  • Nostalgia (Score:2, Insightful)

    by toastar (573882)

    Sometimes I really miss photoshop 5.5.

    7.0 was also pretty good. Things started to go down hill when they switched to the cs moniker

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ColdWetDog (752185)
      Unfortunately, Adobe has some smart people in Marketing. I'm sure they have a pile of new features hidden in a source code repository that lies underneath an unassuming bungalow in a suburb near Burbank. Every 18 months, senior marketing staff, cleverly disguised as Roto-Rooter workers, go to this stash and pull a few likely features.

      These get grafted on to Photoshop with the idea that they are just flashy and / or important enough to get people to upgrade. Thus, Photoshop CS(x) + 1 is born.

      Then, t
  • by Cowclops (630818) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:15PM (#31175058)
    This article looks totally photoshopped, its probably fake.
  • 4chan (Score:5, Funny)

    by cosm (1072588) <thecosm3 AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:18PM (#31175124)
    pics or it didnt happen
  • Photoshop is only 10 years old. They photoshopped all the pictures to make it look like 20.

    And also to give themselves more functional weapons of mass destruction. [boingboing.net]

  • by rduke15 (721841) <rduke15&gmail,com> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:28PM (#31175284)

    Not being a graphics designer, I never liked Photoshop which was too slow, bloated and complicated (and expensive) for my simple uses. In my Windows days, I first found Paint Shop Pro (of which I still have some prehistoric version somewhere), and finally ended up mostly using IrfanView and XnView, + occasionally PhotoFiltre.

    While I'm sure Photoshop is a fantastic program for professionals, let's try a list of things normal users (like myself) mainly need in a graphics program:

    - Rotate (losslessly for Jpeg)
    - Resize
    - Crop
    - Print
    - Convert to another format (Save as)
    - Adjust brightness, contrast, white balance

    Then maybe
    - Edit metadata (Jpeg comments, Exif description, maybe IPTC tags)
    - rarely convert a color scan to black and white.
    - and maybe once or twice a year add something on a picture like text or a circle etc.

    Obviously, Photoshop is really too much for this.

    For Windows users, I know what to recommend (usually XnView; + PhotoFiltre if needed)

    But I still don't know what to use on my Ubuntu desktop which has been my main machine for over 6 months. The Gimp feels just like Photoshop: too heavy and complicated (though the price is fine), and all the others I tried too limited (gThumb and the like). Is there a gem I missed somewhere?

  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:35PM (#31175426)
  • It's a sad state of affairs that open source should be so behind in image manipulation programs that people would rather spend thousands of dollars on license costs with draconian inspection clauses rather than use a truly free program. Sadly GIMP seems to be going nowhere and Paint.NET is targeting another audience.
    • by jgtg32a (1173373)

      I think that says more about the quality of the open source programs that it does about freedom ideals.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by arose (644256)
      GIMP is going nowhere? They are switching the graphics engine to support bigger color spaces and finally shutting up the massive amounts of people complaining about the multi-window interface [arstechnica.com] (unfortunately since most of them had no intention to use GIMP in the first place they'll just jump on some other minor "problem").
      • by reub2000 (705806)
        A day late and a dollar short. In all seriousness, Photoshop has had adjustment layers for 14 years, while the gimp is just laying the foundation for non-destructive editing. The gimp has failed to keep up, and now no one is even willing to take it seriously.
    • You're assuming consumers are well-informed and always make rational choices.

      The truth is that most people don't know what FOSS is and have difficulty comprehending how it can replace a thousands-per-license app. They think there's something magical about obscenely expensive "professional-grade" software and every wanna-be designer thinks it's the only app to use.

      Instead of encouraging diversity in software people think it has to be Photoshop or Cubase or whatever people say is "professional".
      GIMP seems to

  • by cronb (994958) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:38PM (#31175496) Homepage
    While the sons may be known as the creators of photoshop their father is a giant in the field of nuclear engineering. His book "Raditation Detection and Measurement" is considered the bible on the topic for all nuclear engineers.
  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:45PM (#31175604)
    Photoshop instructor here. It's a great app, but really is overkill for most needs. I actually used GIMP to design my Photoshop class websites, since I like some of the GTK conveniences better than Photoshop's relatively primitive widget set (can't hover over a spinner and use the scroll wheel alone to change the value, being one example).

    Of course, I don't really advertise GIMP in my classes, but I do give extra credit to students who are willing to give it a try and write a review (they can also choose to try other software, like Aviary).

    Anyway, it's nice of Adobe to keep improving Photoshop, but it's amazing how many millions of dollars have gone into this software, and it is still getting a bad rep for tons of crashes, expensive third-party plugins, weird bugs, etc.
    • by Piata (927858) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @05:26PM (#31176334)

      Out of curiosity, why would you use the scroll wheel to change a value? Most values like transparency or opacity can be quickly changed by hitting numbers on the keyboard. I'd much rather hit 5 to set the opacity of my brush to 50% rather than scroll half way through the spinner. To each their own but if you're using Photoshop all day, using a scroll wheel to change values seems terribly inefficient.

      • by arose (644256)
        Can you do that just by hovering over a spinner box? Aside from that it just seems to be a personal preference, and I see no reason to try to paint as something that inefficient use X all day long without any objective evidence. I take advantage of the ability to click next to a slider to change the value in discrete steps, it may seem like inefficient use of screen space to some, but it's arguable whether reducing all UI elements to their bare minimum to save some pixels makes up for the reduced amount of
      • Actually it's a very nice feeling. I know what you mean about adjusting opacity values, but what about minor things that don't have such convenient shortcuts? What about auditioning fonts? I'd rather do that with the scroll wheel than any other method I've tried, keyboard-based or not.
      • I'd much rather hit 5 to set the opacity of my brush to 50% rather than scroll half way through the spinner.

        That's reasonable, and I'd usually do the same. Hey, I'm a geek - sometimes I'm just not happy with the results until they're mathematically precise. However, artists (and sometimes I) don't always work that way, and will adjust values until "it looks right". If working with paints, they don't often mix 2.3mL of some shade of red with 1.45mL of a certain blue. Instead, they'll add a little more of one or the other until they're happy with the results. Well, same with computer graphics: they'll use a widget

    • Oddly enough I started using the GIMP once I switched to Photoshop I found that it was much easier to do a lot of simple things... Where if I were to do it with the GIMP it would be a massive struggle.

      • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:08PM (#31177872)
        Many Photoshop users feel this way; I don't think you're alone in that. There are many features that Photoshop has that are very powerful, like its Type tool, which bears a sharp contrast to GIMP's rudimentary text tool. Even if you compare Photoshop of, say, four versions ago, to GIMP of today, you come away with many features where GIMP falls short.

        This shows why feature set alone isn't the main motivator for GIMP users. Some of them are just cheap; some of them want a portable graphics package; some are sick of dealing with licensing and activation pains; some have had bad experiences with Adobe customer support.

        On the other end of the spectrum, I think, are full-out artistic types who view the issue of freedom as a vast battlefield upon which commercial interests can become the worst kind of double agents, often actively working to subvert the interests of the wider community in favor of extra profits.

        I tend to lean this way myself, having worked on many marketing teams and now owning my own business. I'm more interested in my own mental and spiritual development and its application in the digital domain (tough as the going may be), and less interested in putting Deanna from Marketing in a new Lexus.

        That can sound pretty fundamentalist, but many artistic-types really do need the extra room to breathe.
    • Anyway, it's nice of Adobe to keep improving Photoshop, but it's amazing how many millions of dollars have gone into this software, and it is still getting a bad rep for tons of crashes...

      Could you elaborate on this a bit? I work with Photoshop daily along with a large number of other people who do as well and stability is not one complaint I've heard. In fact, some of my illustrator friends have a bad habit of not saving often. Why Murphy's Law hasn't taught them a lesson about that I"ll never know.

      • and stability is not one complaint I've heard

        Really? No beachballs of death at least? Anyway, for all I know you're just cropping images all day. My students are typically doing work that acquaints them with more advanced features -- even if they're not totally necessary -- so perhaps that's where the difference comes in.

        In fact, some of my illustrator friends have a bad habit of not saving often. Why Murphy's Law hasn't taught them a lesson about that I"ll never know.

        So it's just your illustrator frien

        • Really? No beachballs of death at least? Anyway, for all I know you're just cropping images all day. My students are typically doing work that acquaints them with more advanced features -- even if they're not totally necessary -- so perhaps that's where the difference comes in.

          Nah, no beachballs. And no, not image cropping. Matte painting, concept illustration, texture creation, etc. I'd say we all manage to frequent most of Photoshop's crannies. ;) I don't think the stylize functions are used often, maybe there's a difference there? I dunno. That's the problem with Photoshop, too mainstream, too many different uses. It must be painful for them to figure out what sort of functionality to focus on.

          So it's just your illustrator friends who have stability problems?

          Erm did I phrase that badly? No, they don't have stability issues, hence they

    • by fm6 (162816)

      That's interesting — I actually find Gimp's user interface pretty hard to use, and that seems to be the most common reason for not switching to it. I wonder if GIMP isn't designed by and for advanced users who've outgrown Photoshop!

    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @07:34PM (#31178160) Homepage

      Anyway, it's nice of Adobe to keep improving Photoshop, but it's amazing how many millions of dollars have gone into this software, and it is still getting a bad rep for tons of crashes, expensive third-party plugins, weird bugs, etc.

      It's also surprising how little the UI has changed over 20 years. If you look at the screenshots going all the way back, you don't see a whole lot of change. I guess you could argue either way: either the UI is stagnant, or it was so well designed in the first place that it didn't need to change.

      As far as "tons of crashes", I'm not with you on that one. I haven't really upgraded to CS4 and I don't use any 3rd party plugins, but Photoshop is pretty solid to me. I don't see lots of weird bugs either. Expensive third-party plugins? I don't see how that's really Adobe's fault unless they're somehow setting the price through deals that I'm not aware of.

      What I find a little more annoying is the feeling of being on the upgrade treadmill. Here's my petty little rant (don't read it if you don't want to read a petty little rant): I had a copy of CS2 for OSX, but felt a little railroaded into CS3 because I had to upgrade to get Intel support. Meh, that's understandable, but kind of annoying. Now Snow Leopard comes out, and they say they won't really support CS3 on Snow Leopard. Ok, that's annoying, but not a big deal-- CS3 still works. But I go to reinstall CS3 recently, and it's kind of annoying-- they dropped CS3 trialware completely off their website. You can upgrade directly from the trial to the full version using a credit card, I hadn't kept an electronic copy around. I finally get it installed, and Adobe's Updater won't work. The Updater needs to be updated first, and it won't work well enough to update itself. You can download the Updater from their website, but they try to push you to use the CS4 Updater. The CS4 Updater won't update CS3 software. So it basically takes me a day and a half of hunting around online before I find an update to the old CS3 Updater online. I install it, and it updates Adobe Acrobat from 8.1 and stops. I run the Updater again, and it upgrades to Acrobat 8.1.2 and stops. Run it again, 8.1.3. Then 8.1.4. It keeps going like this until I hit... I don't know... 8.2.1 or whatever the most recent version is. I'm sitting there thinking, "I paid something like $1,500 for this, and they can't make this all easier?" Then I realize, "No, they don't want to make it easier. They want me to get frustrated and just buy the upgrade to CS4."

  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:50PM (#31175718) Homepage

    In February of 1990, Adobe 1.0 was released.

    You'd think that in an article on Photoshop, they wouldn't make the irritating novice mistake of conflating "Adobe" (the company) with "Photoshop" (the product). I expect this from the idiots where I work, where complaints of "my Adobe isn't working!" are common, but from them?

  • by zoom-ping (905112) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @04:52PM (#31175746)
    Twenty years of lens flare.
  • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @05:06PM (#31175990) Journal

    A full version of Photoshop CS4 costs more than a cheap second hand car. Elements is cheaper but crippled in ways that make it much less useful even for a casual amateur. You use to be able to get around those restrictions up to Elements 2.0. Now Elements is a very different piece of software (ironically with some unique features of its own). Photoshop is wonderful, but it's a pity it's either inaccessible or pirated for a great many people. It's probably more pirated than Windows.

  • What PS has what GIMP does not have?

  • Am I the only one who finds it ironic that an article on Photoshop has such low-quality screenshots? Most, if not all of them, are JPEG's, and almost all of them have been badly rescaled down (and a few of them down then up again).

          --- Mr. DOS

  • I still have Photoshop (version 2 I recall) which I tried using sometime ago to buy an upgraded version of PS CS or CS2 but the oldest they went back to at the time was 4 or 5.

    For me though I think Photoshop 6 was the first time I really got into it and to be quite honest it's still one of my favourite versions. PS 7 was awful, imo.
  • by fm6 (162816) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @06:29PM (#31177236) Homepage Journal

    Photoshop has been a part of every web designer's life since they picked up their first mouse.

    Say what? Why does a web designer even need a high-end graphics editor? Unless, of course, he's running an art web site. Or he's one of those really inept designers who doesn't understand the difference between print design and web design.

  • ignores prior work (Score:4, Informative)

    by pydev (1683904) on Wednesday February 17, 2010 @10:02PM (#31179332)

    The article leaves out quite a bit of the history of digital paint programs. This article [google.com] contains a good summary (although it also leaves out yet other work).

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