Photoshop Express – Photoshop for the iPhone/iPad!

Yes, Adobe has made a version of Photoshop for iPhones and iPads, and the best part? IT’S FREE! Here is a link to a video that demos this new app:

This is a great application for photographers looking to edit their photos on the go or for casual user who would like to edit or enhance their photos. Not only does it allow simple editing and enhancement all by touch, but also gives you the option to upload directly to Facebook and Picasa or share to friends via email.

Photoshop Express, I’m sure, will have photographers and graphic designers very excited, but another reason this app is so significant is that it is a precursor to having full desktop applications that have gone completely  mobile. This very well could be the beginning of the end for desktop computing in general.

3 Exciting New Classes At Ascend Training!

With scads of new technology that CS5 has introduced and enabled, Ascend Training has expanded it’s class offerings with three new additions to our regular schedule!

Adobe InDesign CS5 Interactive Level 1: InDesign Documents for Web and Distribution–This 2 day class is geared towards current InDesign users who are looking to make the leap from print to interactivity. Learn how InDesign has evolved and can now create many interactive functions previously exclusive to Flash. You’ll also learn how InDesign and Flash can work hand in hand through new export functions in CS5.

Adobe Flash CS5 for Android: Building and Deploying Android Apps–Want to take your ActionScript skills to the next level? The newest update for Flash CS5 will allow users to develop Droid Apps. If you want to learn more about this exciting new technology and the potential it holds, check out this 5-day class! Also, take a peek at this related class topic: Adobe AIR.

HTML 5: Designing Websites with HTML 5–After 10 long years of waiting for a major HTML release, here it is, HTML 5. In this 2-day class students will be introduced to the newest HTML tags and image controls. Be on the forefront of this cutting edge technology that incorporates CSS3, CANVAS, and JavaScript.

The Creative Suite Conference Sneak Peek, November 4th

Ascend Training has teamed up with Mogo Media for this year’s InDesign Conference November 2nd-4th. We are both excited to bring participants the opportunity to get a sneak peek into next fall’s Creative Suite Conference. The last day of the InDesign Conference, we will be offering a Sneak Peek Track where attendees will gain exposure to a variety of topics: Dreamweaver, Flash, Photoshop, and HTML 5 to name a few. Those not signed up can still participate and purchase a 1-day pass for $99. For more information, please click on the link below!

The End is Near, Part II

Time is quickly running out for Ascend Training’s regularly scheduled CS4 classes. Our last CS4 hands-on training will be:

Dreamweaver CS4 Level 1, Chicago, Aug 30 – Sep 1, Deerfield, Oct 11 – 13

Ascend Training is happy to put CS4 classes on our regular schedule for groups of 3 or more people. We will also be happy to provide our CS4 curriculum for our on-site training. Any of our students taking CS4 classes are still eligible for 8 months worth of free retakes in the CS5 version of the class. Those retaking a class in CS5 who have originally taken CS4 classes will also have the option of buying the book used in the new class.

The End is Near for CS4 Classes

Sadly, it is time for Ascend to say goodbye to CS4 classes on our regular schedule. It’s time to make room for our exciting new CS5 classes! As a final homage to CS4, we are offering $100 off of every CS4 class. For your convenience, here is a list of classes and dates. Please contact us directly for pricing and a custom code. All of our class pricing includes 8 months of free retakes (including the ability to retake the class in the CS5 version) and a guarantee of 10 students or less. CS4 classes will be scheduled by request for groups of 3 or more after these dates.

Classroom, Hands-On

After Effects CS4 Level 1, Chicago, Nov 1 -3
After Effects CS4 Level 2, Chicago, Aug 4 – 6 and Sep 20 – 22
Dreamweaver CS4 Level 1, Chicago, Aug 30 – Sep 1, Deerfield, Oct 11 – 13
Flash CS4 Level 1, Chicago, Aug 23 – 25 and Oct 4 – 6, Deerfield, Sep 8 – 10
Flash CS4 Level 2, Chicago, Aug 30 – Sep 1
Illustrator CS4 Level 2, Deerfield, Aug 26 – 27

Online, Live, Instructor Led

InDesign CS4 Level 1, Online, Aug 30 – 31
InDesign CS4 Level 2, Online, Nov 11 – 12
Photoshop CS4 Level 1, Online, Sep 20 – 21

Package Adobe Illustrator Files

If you’ve ever wished you could “package” Adobe Illustrator fonts & links like in InDesign, the wait is over! There is a great little plug-in called Scoop that automates the process. While a little pricey for a single user license at $47, if you’re constantly sharing Illustrator files with linked images, it’s a life saver!

Simply load the plug-in to the plug-ins folder and restart Illustrator. When you go to the File menu, you will see a new choice called Scoop. This is grayed out if there aren’t any linked files or fonts. When you choose it, it packages all your links to a folder of your choosing.

Adobe On The Go (be)

Now you can take Adobe Photoshop with you wherever you go! If you have an iPhone, and Android device, or even a mobile device with Windows Mobile, you can can edit, crop, and color-correct all your images just like you can at home…but you probably already knew this–what’s important is that, now that the iPad is out, we’re all going to be paying a lot more attention to Mobile Versions of things–that is, if the trendsetters at 1 Infinite Loop have again set the trend.

Adobe’s Photoshop Mobile is limited, to be sure, but its basic uses are the same as those used by many Photoshop (regular?) users; as aforementioned you can crop, color, and resize, but you can also make specialized albums, apply certain filters, add nifty effects. Perhaps coolest of all, you can add vignettes and things like “Warm Vintage” to your photos (this makes them look a little like old photos scanned from your parents’ wedding albums, with lots of red and brown and even more contrast).

At my job, we were all wondering (with, I think, good reason) if the Mystery Tablet would run Adobe software–and it will, sort of. This type of mobile approach to high-powered, sophisticated applications is not new, but it does seem to be the trend; stripped-down mobile browsers, mini-players for all sorts of files, and games that run on the (comparatively) itty-bitty screens of mobile devices have become the norm. In the effort to make mobile phones and devices that can do anything a desktop or laptop can do has made it more of a priority than ever for companies like Adobe to go mobile. Photoshop Mobile (cruise over to to check that out, by the way) is a step in the right direction, but where’s my Illustrator Mobile and (dare I suggest it?) Flash Mobile? At Ascend, we’ll teach you how to program for your iPhone, and how to use Photoshop, but isn’t it time we could combine them?

We all wait with baited breath for when we’ll be able to get an email of user requirements, build and code a website with interactive content, and mock up some examples for the client, all on the train from our phones. ‘Till then.

-This Blog sent from my iPhone

The battle behind the screens – Flash vs. Silverlight

It’s definitely a war–it’s just that it’s a Cold War.

Since Microsoft released Silverlight, (and by the way, watch what happens when you surf over there) their answer to Adobe Flash, in 2007, there’s been a (sort of) silent war going on behind the two software giants about who gets to play your movies.

When you go to a site like Youtube or Hulu to watch videos (and who among us does not, these days?), isn’t it awesome how fast it is? How clear? How the videos you watch don’t take up space on your hard disk or really even slow down what you’re doing in the background? That’s because when you go to those sites (and soon others like Vimeo and possibly Dailymotion), your browser loads a plugin to let you read the Flash Video that someone has posted and that the website has slightly reconfigured–and plays it right from the source, like you’re looking through your computer to where the video really is, somewhere else. This means that anyone, anywhere can see it, which is good news for video producers and marketers alike. Just as Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux can all (usually) read the same types of files, now we can all see almost any type of video–the trouble is that not everyone feels like they’re making enough money this way.

Any guesses who? (*coughSilverlightcough*)

Well, you’re mostly right, but it isn’t JUST Microsoft. There are plenty of people out to get Flash, now that it’s the standard for video playback on the web: Sun Microsystems (who makes Java), plenty of open-source proponents, and Apple have either resisted or worked around integrating Flash into their video products (iPhone, anyone?) but more than ever, Adobe is realizing that if they want their product to stay at the top, they’re going to have to get into some heretofore unexplored venues. To that end, the rumors are flying about new tools for developing iPhone apps using Flash, putative Flash support on the theoretical Apple Tablet (if it exists, right?), and more.

Microsoft is responding to this by leveraging their power toward pushing Flash out of certain areas; ever notice that the streaming function of Netflix is run on Silverlight instead of Flash?

So here’s the question: both Flash and Silverlight are proprietary software, and both are the big boys when it comes to video playback on the web–now whom would we prefer as the keeper of our vids? Because someones’s going to win this battle–and either way, it’s going to mean a lot about how we get (and what we can do with) our video.

What do you get for the phone who has everything?

iphone, rumors, questions, next

What to do next with the coolest phone Ever?

So ok–it’s going to be a while until we get Flash for the iPhone, but I think we can all agree that it’s still pretty cool. The question is: now that you can do almost everything on the iPhone, like getting GPS Driving directions, reading e-books with the Kindle App, checking your email, stock quotes, and weather forecasts, and watching movies…what’s next for this niftiest of devices? I know! NEW APPS for it!

When the iPhone came out in 2007, most users were impressed and pleased with the number of cool applications you could get for it; in fact it’s this that makes the iPhone more of a palmtop computer than strictly a phone–you can load new software and get upgrades just like you can with your laptop or desktop. That said, the idea of WRITING software for the iPhone was, and still is for many, a black box. What’s involved in writing an app for the iPhone? Do you have to learn a new language? Does it mean you have to HAVE a Mac computer…or even own an iPhone?

With the meteoric takeoff of Apple’s App Store, it’s become clear even to the comparative luddite that someone is creating all these apps, and with the iPhone gaining (still!) in popularity, it seems likely that more and more people will learn how–but how?

Well, as far as that goes, there are a couple of ways to get going, but the best we can think of is a class on iPhone Application Development – how to use Objective-C, how to upload and test the apps, and how to get the most out of what you create.

Since the much-touted PastryKit is only a theory at this point, and since it’s gotten even easier to market new Apps with all the upgrades to the App Store, we think now is a fantastic time to start learning to program for what is STILL the coolest phone out there…and what can only be made cooler by a new app…by You!