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20+ Years of Photoshop

  • John and Thomas Knoll - Brothers

    John and Thomas Knoll - Brothers
    John was working at Industrial Light and Magic Special Effects Division (Star Wars); Thomas was studying for his Ph.D. on image processing at the University of Michigan - Thomas starts hacking his Apple Mac Plus (witha monochrome monitor) so he could create grayscale images by writing his own code. John was impressed with Thomas's work so they began to collaborate on a larger, more cohesive application, which they dubbed "Display".
  • Rewriting "Display"

    Rewriting "Display"
    Next they bought a color Mac II and rewrote "Display" for color. Added the ability to save in different file formats and gamma correction. Although this work distracted Thomas from his thesis, he was quite happy to oblige. He also developed an innovative method of selecting and affecting only certain parts of the image, as well as a set of image-processing routines – which would later become plug-ins. A feature for adjusting tones (Levels) also emerged, along with controls for balance, hue and s
  • ImagePro

    By 1988, Display had become ImagePro and was sufficiently advanced that John thought they might have a chance at selling it as a commercial application. Thomas was reluctant: he still hadn’t finished his thesis, and creating a full-blown app would take a lot of work. But once John had checked out the competition, of which there was very little, they realised ImagePro was way ahead of anything currently available.
  • Photoshop - a bundle item with Barneyscan

    Photoshop - a bundle item with Barneyscan
    Thus the search began for investors. Thomas renamed his program Photoshop and worked out a short-term deal with scanner manufacturer Barneyscan to distribute 200 copies of the program with a slide scanner. It didn’t help that Thomas kept changing the name of the software, only to find a name was already in use elsewhere. No one is quite sure where the name ‘Photoshop’ originally came from, but legend has it that it was suggested by a potential publisher during a demo, and just stuck.
  • John Knoll visits Art Director, Russell Brown at Adobe

    John Knoll visits Art Director, Russell Brown at Adobe
    John traveled to Silicon Valley and gave a demonstration of the program to engineers at Apple and Russell Brown, art director at Adobe. Both showings were successful, and Adobe decided to purchase the license to distribute in September 1988.
  • Photohop 1.0

    Photohop 1.0
    While John worked on plug-ins in California, Thomas remained in Ann Arbor writing program code. Photoshop 1.0 was released in 1990 by Adobe for Macintosh exclusively. The first version of the Photoshop splash screen features just four Photoshop programmers. In subsequent versions, more and more names are added to the list. In more recent versions, a limited number of Adobe VIP’s appear in the splash screen.
  • Photoshop 1.0 Interface

    Photoshop 1.0 Interface
  • Photoshop 2.0

    Photoshop 2.0
    Included the Path feature, which allowed users to trim around an object easily and to save that path for future use. This feature was added by a second engineer, Mark Hamburg, that Adobe hired to work on the application. 2.0 also featured rasterizing for Illustrator files, support for CMYK colour which led to widespread Photoshop adoption by the printing industry, and the Pen. Photoshop 2.0 also required 4 megabytes of RAM to run rather than 2, which really helped program stability.
  • Photoshop 2.5

    Photoshop 2.5
    Photoshop 2.5, released in 1992, was notable for being the first release for the Windows operating systems.The code had to be completely changed which meant that the first effort was slow going. 16-bit file support and palettes were added to this version as well. The initial Windows release had a “memory bug”, a bug. The patched version was released as 2.5.1. Filters got their own menu in 2.5 as well.
  • Photoshop 3.0

    Photoshop 3.0
    Thomas Knoll develops Layers! Before layers, designers would save different versions of designs so that they could go back and grab them if needed. Other engineers made improvements in the program’s performance with Power Mac chips and bringing the Windows version up to the same level as the Mac version. Tabbed palettes also were introduced. Adobe engineers included Adobe Transient Witticisms (ATW)...little Easter Eggs one-liners that would appear only when you pressed a combinations of keys.
  • Photoshop 4.0

    Photoshop 4.0
    Adjustment layers and macros were the two most notable features of Photoshop 4.0. Adjustment layers allow the designer to apply one effect to a group of layers. Macros, also called Actions, allow you to map a series of commands to one command. This allows you to perform the same operation in much less time. The most important change to 4.0 was the unification of the user interface with other Adobe products. This meant a less steep learning curve for Adobe products.
  • Photoshop 5.0

    Photoshop 5.0
    Most important new features were editable type and the ability to undo actions multiple times in the “History” palette. Multiple undos via the History palette were very helpful. Color Management made its debut with 5.0. PS managed color ather than relying on third-party tools that had been used, a huge improvement. However, it also automatically converted the colors when opening files, so engineers removed due to user complaints. The magnetic lasso tool also debuted, making selectiions easier.
  • Photoshop 5.5

    Photoshop 5.5
    “Save For Web”. This feature allows those who choose it to save the image in a preset specifically designed for web use which allows the user to adjust image quality to achieve a smaller image. Version 5.0 failed to take the Web into account and was also bundled with ImageReady, a standalone program that was built to edit web graphics. Most of the features of ImageReady were later incorporated into the full version of Photoshop but the small program, ImageReady sparked the idea for PS Elements.
  • Photoshop 6.0

    Photoshop 6.0
    The layer styles panel was added in. Vector shapes were also added...the ability to draw vector shapes such as arrows into a bitmap. There was also a new custom shapes palette that allowed the user to draw using vector shapes rather than just using lines. Text could also now be typed directly onto a picture, rather than being typed first into a text box. Multi-layer functions were also introduced. The Blending Options dialogue was introduced. The crop tool was separated from the marquee tool.
  • Photoshop Elements

    Photoshop Elements
    With the increasing complexity of the tools, Photoshop was risking losing a significant market share that didn’t understand or need some of its more advanced tools. In order to combat this, they released Photoshop Elements in 2001. The new product was a success, and designers continue to recommend it to clients for simple image resizing and other non-design tasks. While its current interface, isn’t intuitive for those trained in traditional Photoshop, it is highly usable and labeled clearly.
  • Photoshop 7.0

    Photoshop 7.0
    The healing brush and text that was fully vector-based was introduced. New file browser called Bridge let designers pore through folders . Files within a folder could be renamed using Batch Rename, plus other helpful commands that made working with a high volume of files much easier. Workspaces could also be created and saved, allowing you to save your file locations and groups for future use. The brush palette including the new healing brush tool, patch tool, and custom brushes.
  • Photoshop 7.0 and the Web

    Photoshop 7.0 and the Web
    A number of enhancements were also included for web use, including the addition of rollover effects for images and a web gallery feature. One of the most important upgrades was under the hood; 7.0 was optimized for use with Mac OS X, virtually eliminating crashes in the middle of working on large files. The tool presets palette let users program presets for commonly performed tasks, increasing efficiency.
  • Photoshop CS

    Photoshop CS
    CS was the first to employ the CDS (counterfeit deterrence system) which recognized and refused to allow duplication of paper currency. Scripting support for various web languages, including JavaScript, was also new. Layer groups were introduced, which allowed various layers to be grouped together for effects to be applied to some and not others. Improvements to the File Browser made images easier to work with, and the 16-bit and better large file support made CS much easier to work.
  • Photoshop CS2

    Photoshop CS2
    The red eye removal tool, previously exclusive to Elements, made it in Photoshop. Smudging options and the ability to select multiple layers was added. The Vanishing Point tool allowed users to edit images in perspective. The Paint Bucket tool was classified under the Gradient tool. The “links” column was removed because CS2 included a link button beside each layer. The “Smart Object” feature was introduced, which allows the user to scale a layer up without loss of quality.
  • Photoshop CS3

    Photoshop CS3
    A faster load was probably the most noticeable feature of this 2007 release. It included fine tuning to a number of its existing tools rather than focusing on new ones. Graphic optimization for mobile devices. Significant feature updates to Adobe Camera RAW, a Quick Select tool, alterations to core commands like Brightness and Contrast and Black and White conversion were also added.
    CS3 shipped in Standard and
  • CS3 - Continued

    CS3 - Continued
    CS3 shipped in Standard and Extended editions. The Extended version was for high end video and scientific users. Improved performance for Intel-based Macs improved the speed of Photoshop, while Windows users also enjoyed performance upgrades. The new Quick Selection tool put the rest of the selection tools in Photoshop to shame with easy object selection with one or two strokes. Cloning became easier in CS3 with the Clone Source palette which increased the options to the Clone Stamp tool.
  • Photoshop CS4

    Photoshop CS4
    The smoother pan and zoom allowed for fast drill down on the areas of an image that you wanted to look at. The Masks and Adjustments panel was added, making working with masks easier. Edges on masks can be worked on more effectively. Colour correction took a huge step forward. The user interface was simplified. The support of tabbed documents made it much easier to use and the main tools were added to the title bar for easier access. Quick access for actions was made available in the panel area.
  • Photoshop CS5

    Photoshop CS5
    Photoshop CS5 was code named as White Rabbit. Adobe select the code name after nominate candidates and then make a vote for the winner. Daniel Presedo, an accomplished illustrator and member of QE team have designed a beta splash screen, as you can see in the picture above. The White Rabbit in here is a symbol for the search for truth, as the character in fictional character in Lewis Carroll’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Photoshop CS5 - Major Update - over 100 new features

    Photoshop CS5 - Major Update - over 100 new features
    So many the list at Adobe's website Some top 5 updates: Content-aware fills, Puppet Warp, 3-D capabilities, realistic paint brushes, and extraordinary painting effects.
  • Additional Resources

    Additional Resources
  • Where are the Knolls now?

    Where are the Knolls now?
    Thomas Knoll was the lead developer of Photoshop right up until CS 4. He now leads up the Camera Raw plugin for Photoshop, which allows Photoshop to develop a smooth handshake between different models of camera raw image formats. John Knoll is still employed by Industrial Light and Magic as a Visual Effects Supervisor. He was the Visual Effects Supervisor for the first three Star Wars prequel films. He also supervised work on two Star Trek movies, Star Trek episodes, and Pirates of the Carribean