Category Archives: Adobe

Huion Digital Artist’s Glove

Huion Digital Artist GloveI recently purchased a Huion brand Digital Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet via Amazon for use when drawing and painting with my Surface Pro 3 using the Microsoft Pen digital stylus. The idea of a digital artist’s glove is to electrically isolate the parts of one’s hand that would normally rest on the surface of a glass capacitive touchscreen when drawing or painting. This allows the same relaxed natural hand posture that is used when writing or drawing directly on paper, allowing the side of the hand to rest directly on the surface of the glass without interfering at all with the drawing or painting process with the digital stylus.

I find that the Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet works perfectly to isolate the side of my hand from a glass capacitive touchscreen such as on my Surface Pro 3 and also my iPad Air. It provides a very natural, relaxed drawing experience. Normally one must hold one’s hand in a rather unnatural hovering position when drawing or writing with a stylus on a touchscreen surface. An artist’s glove neatly solves this problem. The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet seems to be made of some sort of stretchy, smooth lycra material.

However, trying the same glove on my Lenovo C40 all-in-one touchscreen computer, curiously the glove does not work at all to isolate. I don’t know this to be a fact, however I suspect that the Lenovo C40 touchscreen is made out of some sort of plastic conductive material and not true glass. Tapping lightly on the Lenovo C40 touchscreen to my ears sounds more like tapping on a plastic material than it does tapping on true glass. If you decide to get one of these artist’s gloves, make sure that the capacitive touchscreen you intend to use it on is made out of glass and not a form of plastic material.

The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet seems to be sized a bit small. Reading the Amazon reviews ahead of time, I ordered the large size. I’m glad I did. The glove fits my hand just fine, but it is certainly not what I would in any way consider a loose fit.

The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet is constructed in such a way that it can fit either the right or the left hand. It completely covers the wrist, the little finger and the figner next to it; leaving the middle finger, index finger and thumb completely exposed since those are the fingers we typically use to hold a pen or pencil.

Even though my Surface Pro 3 has great palm rejection with included Microsoft applications such as OneNote, the palm rejection feature does not function in every application, especially third party drawing and painting applications such as Adobe Photoshop Elements. Using the digital artist’s glove gives me complete freedom to rest my hand on the screen as much as I want, especially useful when making delicate interactions with the stylus on the screen.

I suspect one using an iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil stylus would enjoy similar benefits.

The Huion Artist Glove for Drawing Tablet sells for $17.99 and is an Amazon Prime item. I highly recommend it to anyone that draws even casually on a glass capacitive touchscreen device. I would suggest going ahead and ordering the large size.


Adobe Premiere Elements 14

Adobe Premiere Elements 14

Back in the heyday of the FireWire interface, I became fairly proficient with Final Cut Express. However, in 2011 Apple stopped developing it, and Final Cut express just wasn’t designed to work natively with compressed video file formats that virtually all modern cameras output. I really liked the Final Cut Express interface and was sad to see it be left behind.

Many people rave about iMovie. Unfortunately for me, I’m one of those people that doesn’t like the iMovie interface. Just give me a linear editor with stackable clips and I can easily and quickly find my way around.

In the meantime, my 2007 MacBook Pro 17” inch became quite long in the tooth and I started leaving it at home. For the past year I’ve been doing relatively simple video editing on my phone.

The recent purchase of a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 256 gigabyte machine inspired me to try out a trial version of Adobe Premiere Elements 14, the latest version of Adobe’s consumer verson of Premiere, which is aimed at high-end professional video editors. Premier Elements 14 is somewhat different than Final Cut Express, but actually very similar since it is a linear editing approach.

Unlike Final Cut Express, Premiere Elements 14 is quite up to date and handles all of the modern compressed digital file formats. It is even capable of editing 4k video. It’s quite flexible in output formats, and is capable of uploading directly to YouTube and Facebook.

I am still learning my way around the interface. My biggest complaint so far is that using the animated titles seems a bit clunky. I’m sure I will become proficient with them over time as I continue to use the software. Some of the options at first blush seem to be a bit hidden.

Before I pulled the trigger and purchased the unlock key from the Adobe website, I watched a number of tutorial videos on YouTube to make certain that the program could do everything I expected it to be able to do. It turns out that all of the features are present, but proficiency requires a bit of time and effort. Alas, this is video editing after all!

Version 14 of the software has 4 modes, Live, Quick, Guided and Expert. The two most useful modes for my needs are Quick and Expert. Though I am spending most of my time in Expert mode, switching to Quick mode can be useful from time to time in order to gain quick access to certain features. To instantly switch from one mode to another it’s as easy as clicking on the appropriate word just below the title bar.

Premiere Elements 14 sells for $99 dollars US and is available for download at the Adobe website. The 30 day trial version is easily converted to the full purchased version by purchasing a license key from Adobe.

Overall, I like the software. I will be happy to purchase the next upgrade.

Coming Full Circle

Surface Pro 3
Surface Pro 3

Over the years I’ve made use of most every personal computing device as it came along. I’ve have been through a long succession of desktop and laptop computers (both Windows and OS/X), along with expensive but rather limited use PDA type devices, and in more recent years smartphones and tablets (both iOS and Android).The capacitive glass touchscreen smartphone era was ushered in by the iPhone. Next came the capacitive glass touchscreen tablet, a device that ate into laptop usage. In the past couple of years larger screen smartphones have taken a bite out of both tablet and laptop usage.

Admit it, it’s happened to you. You are sitting there in front of your desktop or laptop computer with a keyboard and mouse, and you find yourself reaching up and touching the monitor screen trying to pinch and zoom. You are in good company — it’s happened to virtually everyone that’s gotten used to using a capacitive touchscreen phone or tablet.

When I first got an iPad, I realized pretty quickly it was quite good at being a media consumption device. Naturally over time, I found myself trying to figure out ways of doing more with it. It was a bit frustrating, because I almost wanted it to be more of a laptop with real productivity software (not limited “apps”) that I could use a mouse with (specifically forbidden by Apple for use on the iPad).

I have to admit to never using Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. Windows Vista had been such a frustrating experience that around 2006 I jumped over to Apple machines in a big way — three Mac Minis, two Macbooks, one original Apple TV, two iPod Classics, one iPod Touch 4th gen, and two iPads.

Microsoft has to be given credit for trying to blend the capacitive touchscreen interface with the traditional computer interface. Of course, their first attempt at it — Windows 8 and 8.1 — was badly bungled.

With Windows 10, Microsoft has really nailed the blending of the capacitive touchscreen experience with the traditional mouse interface.

Lately I’ve found myself getting excited by the idea of being able to have a high-performance tablet device that could also run real software applications — not just very limited “apps” — that could also function as a desktop class computer. Importantly, real productivity software demands the option of being able to use a mouse instead of fingers if need be. Editing audio or video, for example, demands the precision of a nimble pointing device that can’t be matched by fingers on capacitive glass obscuring the image.

All that being said, I’ve come full circle. I want a high performance tablet that has a great screen, fantastic performance, plenty of storage and a real computer operating system that when attached to a keyboard essentially turns into a high performance laptop computer.

One of the things that has driven me a bit insane about the world of Apple and OS/X (along with iOS) is their penchant for routinely taking valuable things away. I became fairly proficient with Final Cut Express, and Apple arbitrarily decided to stop developing it. For years I used a podcast recording application for OS/X called Ubercaster that pretty much stopped working with OS/X Lion, and the developer stopped developing it. My choice was to stop upgrading OS/X or stop using Ubercaster with no one piece of software that could directly replace it.

My Macbook Pro 17″ from 2007 still works, except the moust button is stuck in the “on” position, rendering it useless. I could get it fixed, but the machine is at least 8 years old and has a high-hour LCD — probably not worth spending any money on at all.

I am not very loyal when it comes to brands or technology. Though I started out with DOS and Windows and mostly moved over to OS/X about 9 years ago, I can easily move back to Windows.

Two days ago I purchased a Microsoft Surface 3 Pro tablet and keyboard with a 256 gigabyte SSD. So far, the experience has been great. The Microsoft keyboard offers a great typing experience. Unlike the cramped and compromised netbook sized keyboards, the optional Surface Pro 3 keyboard works as well as any laptop keybaord I’ve ever used.

To Microsoft’s credit, much vintage/legacy software works just fine on Windows 10. Adobe Audition 1.5, which is at least 10 years old at this point, loaded and functions on Windows 10.

I now have a 12″ high resolution tablet that offers incredible performance. It can turn completely on and off in seconds. I can use it either as a tablet or as a laptop. I have a capacitive touchscreen that I can pinch and zoom if I want, but I’ve also got a touchpad and mouse cursor, completely my choice — whatever I reach for without having to think about it.

I don’t know about anyone else, but the two-in-one experience — a tablet that can function as a high performance laptop — is the new next step in the ongoing story of my usage of computing devices.


If you thought the Adobe hack was bad, you should see the user data

Computer securityBy now you have likely heard of the attack on Adobe — the one that seemed to grow worse with each new bit of information. What started out sounding like a problem quickly deteriorated into disaster. Originally said to affect some three million customers, the number swelled to 38,000,000 and finally landed at 150,000,000.

But there were bigger concerns than just just that — security firm Sophos analyzed the compromised data and released a case study of its findings. The results are staggering, in terms of what it revealed about the average computer user.

Sophos lodged an almost immediate complaint regarding the situation — “One of our complaints was that Adobe said that it had lost encrypted passwords, when we thought the company ought to have said that it had lost hashed and salted passwords”, the security firm states in the report.

Then the data analysis begins. The number one password, used by 1.9 million customers, was “123456”, while “password” followed in second place. Appearing at the 25th slot on that list was “LetMeIn”. You can’t make this stuff up, folks. One user’s password hint read “try: qwerty123”, while another user cryptically stated his hint as “rhymes with assword”. The sad list goes on.

Sophos points out that “With very little effort, we have already recovered an awful lot of information about the breached passwords, including: identifying the top five passwords precisely, plus the 2.75% of users who chose them; and determining the exact password length of nearly one third of the database”.

Image Credit: Bigstock

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11

The more creative folks among us will be excited to hear that today Adobe has introduced new versions of both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements.  The photo and video editing programs, which are stand-alone apps, have both gone to version 11 and are available immediately.

Photoshop Elements 11 features a brand new user interface with Quick, Guided and Expert editing modes, one-click options, action bar and bigger icons.  Users can also organize photos based on people, places (via Google maps geo-tagging) or events, new Guided Edits, new filters and the ability to share photos via email, Facebook and more.

Premiere Elements 11 also features a newly-designed user interface with many of the same updates we mentioned for Photoshop Elements.   The new version also comes with a wider range of  effects, transitions, themes, titles, disc menus and professional-level effects and sound.  A FilmLooks features has been added which Adobe describes as a way to “easily apply slow and fast motion effects; dial-in colors with slider controls; effortlessly integrate blends for seamless transitions; and make adjustments with Quick Presets”.

Both apps can be purchased separately or as a bundle.  While many software updates introduce so few changes that they aren’t worth users shelling out the money for the upgrade, version 11 of the Adobe Elements software seems to make the upgrade a worthwhile move for those who want to make the jump.

One More Reason to Get Rid of Flash

Usage of Adobe Flash on the internet has been on the decline for sometime now and most users view that as a good thing.  Flash, while being a great technology, has proven problematic over the years.  There have been countless security vulnerabilities, endless updates from Adobe, and many fake versions that have compromised unsuspecting users.  Now, the folks over at HTTP Archive have added one more reason to the growing list of why Flash is bad.

They recently conducted a study of the response, or download, time for some prominent web site features including Flash, Javascript, HTML, CSS, and several different image formats.  The results probably aren’t really that surprising in the sense that most of us already knew that Flash could be slow and cumbersome.  However, just how much slower than virtually all of the other web technologies, may come as a bit of a shock.  Flash is almost 4 times slower than the second slowest technology, JPEG.  The chart they published, which can be seen below, shows the “average response size” in kilobits (kb).

Flash was once the darling of the internet, but it has slowly been replaced by newer, more efficient, technologies that can bring dynamic content to web sites with much better performance.

object response size

Source: HTTP Archive is a site that analyzes thousands of web pages each month to get these types of statistics.

Adobe CS6 Production Premium Release to be Previewed at NAB 2012

Adobe Production Premium is a suite of apps geared towards video production.  The suite includes such Adobe software as Premier Pro, After Effects, Audition, and more.  Today Adobe released word that they will be showing off version 6, or CS6 as it’s known, at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show which gets underway on April 14th.

NAB will be running April 14-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and Adobe, in addition to showing off CS6, will be “participating in the NAB Post|Production World Keynote, which will address how the intersection of creativity and technology can help video professionals create impactful, engaging work more quickly than ever before. Adobe product manager Steve Forde will be joined  by two-time Academy-Award Winner Rob Legato , Steve Wozniak, and Fusion-io director of entertainment Vincent Brisebois.”  That event will take place on April 15 at 10:30am.

Here is some of what Adobe claims they will reveal in CS6:

  • Powerful new versions of Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, Adobe Story, Adobe Media Encoder and Adobe Photoshop
  • The debut of SpeedGrade CS6 for professional color grading
  • The introduction of Prelude CS6 for logging and ingesting file-based and metadata workflows
  • An elegant new user interface for Premiere Pro CS6  and  the inclusion of OpenCL support in the Mercury Playback Engine
  • A significant boost for After Effects in performance and 3D capability

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Adobe Lightroom 4 Officially Released

Adobe announced today the official final version of Lightroom 4 is now available.  Lightroom is a popular photo editing tool that is used by many amateur and professional photographers alike.  Lightroom is part of Adobe’s Photoshop family, but is a cheaper and more dedicated version geared specifically towards working with digital photos.

Adobe claimed they had 300,000 users of the public beta version of Lightroom 4 and used all of that feedback to make changes before their final release.  Changes made since the Beta version include:

  • Reverse geocoding now available in the Map Module
  • Revamped and improved auto tone in Develop based on new controls
  • Increased range of local white balance controls (temperature and tint)
  • Updated Develop presets plus added new presets for video
  • Maximum Blurb book size is now 240 pages
  • Over 800 bugs found and fixed!

Lightroom 4 is available now for $149.  You can also download a free trial version if you want to check it out first.  You can buy it or download the trial from Adobe.

Adobe Releases Photoshop Touch for iPad

Adobe recently announced their new Photoshop Touch app for the iPad.  The app was specifically designed for the tablet interface, and is the new centerpiece of the Adobe Touch Apps.  “Photoshop Touch combines the magic of Photoshop and its core features with the convenience of a tablet, bringing image-editing power to the fingertips of millions of people.”

Photoshop Touch gives users the ability to create layered photos, touch up pictures, paint, remove parts of an image by utilizing Refine Edge technology from Photoshop, which makes hard-to-select areas with soft edges easy to capture when making selections.

The app was announced on February 27th at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain and is available now from the iTunes App Store for $9.99.

Adobe Set to Launch SocialAnalytics October 20th

Social Networks have become big for individuals, but perhaps even bigger for businesses.  Almost every company today has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and if they don’t then they are looking at how to create one.  Many of those companies are also left wondering what all of it really means and what impact it’s having for them.  Web sites are old hat now – there are countless analytics programs to measure them, but social media can still be considered the wild west.

Today, word leaked out that Adobe will be showing off their new SocialAnalytics program for the first time tomorrow in Stockholm, Sweden at Munchen Bryggeriet.  SocialAnalytics is designed to let businesses know exactly what kind of impact their social media presence is having and what they can do to improve upon it.

“Adobe® SocialAnalytics is the first social media analytics solution to measure the impact of social media on business. It enables marketers to directly measure their social media efforts, and understand how conversations on social networks and online communities influence marketing performance. Using Adobe SocialAnalytics, marketers can manage their strategy and investments in social media based on measurable outcomes and in the context of broader, multichannel marketing efforts.”

This is very short notice, but Adobe’s Caroline Mildenborn provided this link to register for the event.  It’s a chance to see the software in-action for the first time and learn what it can really do and what kind of information it provides.