The Ninth Circle Gets a Makeover

I and my crackerjack team are putting the final touches on what has traditionally been one of the bestselling titles on Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop CS4 One-on-One. Those of you familiar with previous editions of the book know that I start things off, in the very first lesson, by comparing Photoshop to the Nine Circles of Hell. The idea is, Photoshop is an extraordinarily complicated and sprawling program. With few exceptions, new users are intimidated as Hell by it. But just as Dante survived his encounter with The Devil, we will tour the depths of Photoshop, stare it right in the eye, and emerge from the experience unscathed. (Maybe we'll even see Brutus!)

For years, I've been trying to come up with a satisfactory figure to illustrate the discussion, and now I finally have. Behold the newly renovated Ninth Circle:

Adobe Photoshop CS4 One-on-One, page 3

(The actual illustration comes from a fellow named Achim Prill. My contribution was some recoloring and, of course, the text.)

Can't you just hear The Beast bellowing at you to join Him in His Dark Imaging Lair? As you struggle to form your wordless response, download the high quality PDF and read the introduction for yourself. Read more » 

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Obviously I Am a Depraved Pervert

Let's start with the good news: has made available fully half of my Photoshop CS4 New Features series, seven movies in all. Members have access to all seven of these movies (shown below). Non-members can watch the first (Working with panels) and last (Content-aware scaling).

(Non-members: Don't forget, you can sign up for a 7-day free pass to all 30,000+ movies in the library by logging in here.)

As recently as yesterday, Adobe was barring us from posting more than two movies. Now we're up to seven. I credit us -- all the quite sensible bitching we did on this very site! (Who knows if anyone from Adobe looks at this site, but still.) Gosh, we rule.

What's equally interesting about the new videos is what's missing. As recently as Wednesday, LDC ( was offering a movie called "The new tabbed window interface," which introduced you to the revamped CS4 workspace. That movie has mysteriously vanished. Why? B/c it contained nakedness. Allow me to show you:

Warning to those venturing further: Provocative photographs and sitcom references coming up. Read more » 

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LDC launches CS4U

For those of you who are looking for more than a brief dekePod intro to Photoshop CS4, I have more. Long term, way more. Short term, two movies. To find them, click here. It's all part of the new CS4 University, which I have to say is great. (I mean, CS4U. That's so good!)

In a month or two, my piece will be a 16-movie series (including live action). We'd all love to publish the whole thing, right here right now. In fact, we were poised to do just that, but Adobe decided to prohibit us from sharing more than X% of any given series in advance of the ship date. It's a dopey policy--how does stopping us from grooving on CS4 mitigate the Adobe message (which is mostly mute)?--but the machinations of sanity and change churn slowly. So two movies is what you/we got.

I'll offer up both from YouTube in future posts. (Cuz I like you.) Read more » 

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Back of My Head Gets Screen Debut in CS4 Launch Video

Hey, Dekapolitans! Just back from Adobe, a land of very nice and smart people by the way, where it's entirely possible the back of my head was captured to be seen by millions watching the CS4 launch. Deke told me I shouldn't retouch my own self portrait (just how do I get that nonchalant look like I don't even know the camera's there when I'm holding the dang thing right out in front of me?), so here is a completely un-altered photo of me in the audience.

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So Close

 I know, I should be cool about this. But I just can't.

Me psyched about CS4? After months of watching and waiting as the featuresets build, I'm more excited about telling you what I think than anything else.

Is that so wrong?

Don't tell me today. Tell me tomorrow. Read more » 

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