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Author Topic: Thomas Knoll Interview  (Read 7072 times)
Chris Sanderson
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« on: September 06, 2013, 02:46:37 PM »
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For those interested in the genesis of Photoshop, Thomas Knoll will need no introduction. Michael, Kevin & I recorded an interview with Thomas aboard the True North back in June of this year. The story of John & Thomas Knoll is a good one.

Also, the last quarter of the 45 minute interview has some interesting material on the controversy surrounding Adobe's Creative Cloud and the subsequent recent bundling of Photoshop CC and Lightroom.

Watch it here

Chris
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 04:48:01 PM by Chris Sanderson » Logged

Christopher Sanderson
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judymcintosh
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2013, 03:57:59 PM »
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Really interesting to watch the last quarter of the video. Clearly there is not an expected successful business model of major revolutionary advances on an 18 month production cycle that the execs demand, as the undoubtedly experienced and talented creative and engineering team have explained to them. But it seems unclear ( to me at least) how the promise of upgrades continuously and not "held up by the production cycle" ( and yet not more bug- prone than even post Rc and beta tested upgrades) will really add value  ( accepting we already have  received value upgrade and have paid for perpetual use of that already to date) for  a photography centric user when the issue really is adobe being unlikely  to make money on new improved feature sets per se. ( Because there arent going to be them at least at this stage).
The purported advantages of sharing photos by cloud i think many photographers view as a threat not benefit wrt privacy, ownership and most dont have distribution to branches or subscription ( that word again that Michael heard  with a shudder might have to be the future of eg training videos  to keep up with unsynched ad hoc updates)  to want that connectivity for their output.
It is great to see the creative people obviously trying hard to convince the execs of the importance of the photographic user ( many thanks). Rather sidelines all the talk of problems "running two lines of code"etc as pretty irrelevant in the scheme of why and how things have turned out. Now  im off to hear the beginning of he video and how legends created this great potential. Thanks for sharing with us


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Rajan Parrikar
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2013, 05:09:04 PM »
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Excellent interview. Thanks.
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Schewe
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2013, 05:49:53 PM »
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But it seems unclear ( to me at least) how the promise of upgrades continuously and not "held up by the production cycle" ( and yet not more bug- prone than even post Rc and beta tested upgrades) will really add value  ( accepting we already have  received value upgrade and have paid for perpetual use of that already to date) for  a photography centric user when the issue really is adobe being unlikely  to make money on new improved feature sets per se. ( Because there arent going to be them at least at this stage).

I guess you didn't understand what Thomas said...knowing Thomas and a large number of Photoshop engineers over the years, I can tell you that having a product development cycle set in stone by "The Creative Suite" was NOT conducive to product development and new features...in the past (since Photoshop CS) the dev cycle was dictated by the Suite, not Photoshop. All of the suit applications had to ship at the same time. That was a real development nightmare...and lead to a lot of halfassed buggy features being added and a lot of interesting features being dropped because there was no time to develop them in time to ship on the appointed date...

Now, that has all changed...the development of Photoshop (and Camera Raw) features are no long being dictated by the Creative Suite...when an upgrade is shipped for PS or ACR has nothing to do with Illustrator or InDesign nor any f the other apps. The new features will ship when they are done by the engineers.

This puts the power of Photoshop development back in Photoshop's hands...which is a very good thing.

Yes, the next update of Photoshop CC (presumable v14.1) will have new features...due to NDA restraints, I can't tell you what or when...but the features will be interesting and useful. Over time, as Photoshop CC and ACR progress, new features will get added when the engineers get them done. If nothing else, you should listen to Thomas and hear what he's saying between the lines–in the past, the dev cycle held back features due to an artificial imposed ship date. Now, that's all changed. When Thomas gets a new feature done in ACR, it'll ship in the next version of ACR without having to wait for a major version upgrade.

In essence, it's taking the development schedule out of the hands of the product managers and putting control in the hands of the engineers. Knowing the engineers, I know they are really looking forward to this :~)
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Vladimirovich
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2013, 05:57:42 PM »
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I guess you didn't understand what Thomas said...knowing Thomas and a large number of Photoshop engineers over the years, I can tell you that having a product development cycle set in stone by "The Creative Suite" was NOT conducive to product development and new features...in the past (since Photoshop CS) the dev cycle was dictated by the Suite, not Photoshop. All of the suit applications had to ship at the same time. That was a real development nightmare...and lead to a lot of halfassed buggy features being added and a lot of interesting features being dropped because there was no time to develop them in time to ship on the appointed date...

Now, that has all changed...the development of Photoshop (and Camera Raw) features are no long being dictated by the Creative Suite...when an upgrade is shipped for PS or ACR has nothing to do with Illustrator or InDesign nor any f the other apps. The new features will ship when they are done by the engineers.

This puts the power of Photoshop development back in Photoshop's hands...which is a very good thing.

Yes, the next update of Photoshop CC (presumable v14.1) will have new features...due to NDA restraints, I can't tell you what or when...but the features will be interesting and useful. Over time, as Photoshop CC and ACR progress, new features will get added when the engineers get them done. If nothing else, you should listen to Thomas and hear what he's saying between the lines–in the past, the dev cycle held back features due to an artificial imposed ship date. Now, that's all changed. When Thomas gets a new feature done in ACR, it'll ship in the next version of ACR without having to wait for a major version upgrade.

In essence, it's taking the development schedule out of the hands of the product managers and putting control in the hands of the engineers. Knowing the engineers, I know they are really looking forward to this :~)

again it is all artificial... so Adobe used some perverse scheme allegedly not allowing new ACR feautes between major PS releases (while M$ can release new /sic/ features for Windows in their updates w/o any alleged accounting nightmares - that is a sufficient proof that everything was perfectly possible w/ perpetual licenses) and major PS releases were tied to CS releases... that was purely managerial decision and it could be altered by management w/o any subscription model (smoked & mirrord under some "cloud" sauce).
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Chris Sanderson
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2013, 06:06:03 PM »
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If this thread devolves into yet another about CC I will split it off to the others.
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Christopher Sanderson
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2013, 07:00:09 PM »
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Thanks Jeff for the context.
"That was a real development nightmare...and lead to a lot of halfassed buggy features being added and a lot of interesting features being dropped because there was no time to develop them in time to ship on the appointed date..." is not great advertorial but yes reading between Thomas's lines and hearing his great "can do" attitude and creative and technical genius (truely its fantastic) that started the whole things off (LR then ACR)  there could be great times ahead Smiley. I doubt that these are the reasons behind this any more than you do (reading between the lines) now it is clear that dual code etc had nothing to do with it (LR  and therefore the ACR part can be perpetual or subscription). It was purely production cycle and bundling, the latter continues, but the pieces can be updated within. Why didnt Adobe just say that and offer a photocentric bundle in the beginning?: would have saved alot of angst and people with likeminded interests (photography) could have talked about photography and decided for themselves which of the product bundles they wanted the advantages of subscription use of and avaoid all the "halfassed buggy......"   just saying!
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AFairley
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2013, 07:14:01 PM »
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Chris, thanks for another video I am really looking forward to.  But I have to ask (at the risk of insulting the videographer), have you guys thought about releasing the video interviews as podcasts?  It's hard for me to block out 45 minutes to sit and watch a video, but listening the interview in the car would be great.

EDIT:  Actually, found I could stream the video in the car and listen that way, but might not be good for people with limited data plans....
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 10:52:16 AM by AFairley » Logged

Peter McLennan
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2013, 07:52:18 PM »
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It's hard for me to block out 45 minutes to sit and watch a video, but listening the interview in the car would be great.

Excellent idea.  In fact, I "watched" it while working in LR.  : )

One really good point was the concept that, in order to drive customers to upgrade, features that "demoed well" were pushed to the disadvantage of features that improved usability and workflow. ie Bean counters vs Engineers.  Corporate-think vs Customer-think.

Thanks for this!
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Schewe
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« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2013, 07:59:30 PM »
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I doubt that these are the reasons behind this any more than you do (reading between the lines) now it is clear that dual code etc had nothing to do with it (LR  and therefore the ACR part can be perpetual or subscription). It was purely production cycle and bundling, the latter continues, but the pieces can be updated within.

Dual code had a lot to do with it...sorry if you don't believe that, but it's true. Just to be clear, Lightroom is still a perpetual license product even if it's in the CC offering. ACR is not. ACR for Photoshop CC can get new features added any time they are done–but only when hosted by Photoshop CC. Those new features will not show up in ACR when hosted by Photoshop CS6.

Lightroom will not get the same incremental upgrades that Camera Raw in Photoshop CC gets because it's still a perpetual license product. So, I think that means that in the future, Camera Raw will get some new features that won't show up in Lightroom until the next major LR revision. And, again, this is due to the fundamental differences in subscription vs perpetual licensing ad the difficulties that entails.

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Why didnt Adobe just say that and offer a photocentric bundle in the beginning?

Because they didn't think of it in time for the CC launch...it's taken this long for certain people in Adobe (such as Thomas) to push for a photo-friendly offering. (all of which can be heard when you parse Thomas' words carefully)
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bjanes
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 09:10:49 PM »
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Chris, thanks for another video I am really looking forward to.  But I have to ask (at the risk of insulting the videographer), have you guys thought about releasing the video interviews as podcasts?  It's hard for me to block out 45 minutes to sit and watch a video, but listening the interview in the car would be great.

Yes, the audio portion alone would impart the essential information. When I saw that the video was 45 minutes in length, I thought that it might be too long. However, when I started watching it, I found that every minute had important information and insights from a seminal figure in digital imaging. Thanks to Chris and Michael for publishing it free of charge. I would have gladly paid for it as part of one of the video journals.

Bill
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John.Murray
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 10:01:41 PM »
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Thank you!  Excellent interview!  and thank *you* Adobe for listening; I use LR for the bulk of my image processing with (somewhat more than) occasional trips out to PS - the the bundle is a great fit for my needs...

I'm a little confused by Jeff's statement re Camera Raw; ACR updates to PS will also be supported in (the current major release of) LR right?
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Schewe
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« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 10:12:41 PM »
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I'm a little confused by Jeff's statement re Camera Raw; ACR updates to PS will also be supported in (the current major release of) LR right?

Well, as far as I know, starting with ACR 8.3, there will be new features added to ACR 8.3+ that will be available to Photoshop CC users that won't show up in Lightroom 5.3+ until the next major upgrade...IE LR6. New cameras and profiles WILL be added in LR 5.3+ updates, just not any new features that may show up in ACR 8.3+.
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Robert-Peter Westphal
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« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2013, 04:49:02 AM »
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Hello,

thank you for the very interesting video !

Did I understand Thomas Knoll right when he said that compositing of photos will be available only in Photoshop for future ? For me, that sounds like merging several photos to 32bit for the creation of HDR, which is in fact possible with Lr 4.1 and newer, and the creation of panoramic images by combining several images into one large image, will all stay at the PS side and will never be possible in Lightroom ?

For the update-policy, why not having the customer pay a little more for the Lightroom update and give them a subscription to update the program for 18 month for free. In the end, they would have both - a perpetual license for Lightroom which can also be used in 100 years and regular updates like the cloud user.

Best wishes

Robert
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rgg195
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« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2013, 02:15:03 PM »
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With all due respect to Jeff Schewe, I think he is a little blinded by his allegiance and growing dependence on Adobe's success. Every time someone mentions a concern about Adobe's business practices he is the first to jump to their defence and usually with a subtle or not so subtle reverse attack. It's not necessary Jeff, we can all think for ourselves and express ourselves - thanks.

 
« Last Edit: September 07, 2013, 02:18:29 PM by rgg195 » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2013, 02:57:32 PM »
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It's not necessary Jeff, we can all think for ourselves and express ourselves - thanks.

Some better than others...

BTW, I'm really proud of Thomas and the leadership role he has taken at Adobe. He doesn't need me to defend him...he does fine by himself. I was simply trying to explain to judymcintosh what Thomas said and what he meant. You got a problem with that? You are welcome to ignore me.
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judymcintosh
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« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2013, 03:51:35 PM »
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Some better than others...

BTW, I'm really proud of Thomas and the leadership role he has taken at Adobe. He doesn't need me to defend him...he does fine by himself. I was simply trying to explain to judymcintosh what Thomas said and what he meant. You got a problem with that? You are welcome to ignore me.

thanks Jeff and that was the way it was received, much appreciated
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madmanchan
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2013, 08:28:35 AM »
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Did I understand Thomas Knoll right when he said that compositing of photos will be available only in Photoshop for future ? For me, that sounds like merging several photos to 32bit for the creation of HDR, which is in fact possible with Lr 4.1 and newer

Lr 4.1 does not do merging of images to HDR by itself.  It requires Photoshop to do that.  (i.e., Lr hands the images to Ps to perform the merge).  Same with stitching panoramas.
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Robert-Peter Westphal
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2013, 10:29:25 AM »
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Lr 4.1 does not do merging of images to HDR by itself.  It requires Photoshop to do that.  (i.e., Lr hands the images to Ps to perform the merge).  Same with stitching panoramas.


Sorry, there is a misunderstanding, probably due to my bad English. I mean since 4.1 Lr is capable of toonemapping 32bit images.
Hello,

thank you for the very interesting video !

Did I understand Thomas Knoll right when he said that compositing of photos will be available only in Photoshop for future ? For me, that sounds like merging several photos to 32bit for the creation of HDR, which is in fact possible with Lr 4.1 and newer, and the creation of panoramic images by combining several images into one large image, will all stay at the PS side and will never be possible in Lightroom ?

[...]

By stating this I wanted to express that I read of Thomas Knoll's words that there weill be no chance to see Lr merge any amount of files to one 32Bit image as well as merge several files to a panoramic file.

Best wishes

Robert
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« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2013, 12:06:59 PM »
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Cool interview, thanks!  I liked the ship rocking too, I was always keeping an eye on the glasses lol
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