Wacom Cintiq 21UX is Released

Wacom has long been the premiere maker of touch sensitive tablets and following the Intous 4 launch last year, they are upgrading their touch sensitive display series, the Cintiq 21UX display, now compatible with Intous 4 system.

The updated display has almost the same specifications as the previous version had, but now offers a number of updated features such as:

  • Better sensitivity now with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, doubling it from the previous model, a real benefit when making fine-grain adjustments or drawings, relying on the touch.
  • Updated design that is more ergonomic with the express keys located on both sides of the screen. There is also a new top ExpressKey that will bring up on on-screen display with the settings of the keys and touch strips. These new buttons are all iconized by the LED display as in the Intous 4 line, indicating their present action.
  • The stand lets you set the display at any angle between a minimum 10 degrees and a maximum 65 degrees. It can also be rotated 180 degrees in either direction, all to help your position while drawing.

The new Wacom Cintiq 21UX, now in full black, costs $1,999 and will be shipping by early April.


Hydra 2.2 for Lightroom 2 Released

Hydra 2.2 from Creaceed is an HDR application that is now available in a new version and as a Lightroom 2 plugin.

The news in the new feature is plenty, with the most important one being the Lightroom 2 plugin (for both 32 and 64 bit) that makes all the features from the standalone version available in the Lightroom plugin.

Hydra supports up to 10 input images, 2 image alignment techniques and 3 tone mappers to help make the HDR image. It has a 1:1 preview loupe, allowing you to see the image in full resolution. Apart from the Lightroom 2 plugin, there are plugins available for Aperture 2 and 3 as well.

Hydra 2.2 requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later on a computer with at least 64 MB of VRAM. It is available for $79.95 and this license can be used for both the stand-alone and plugin versions. If you currently have a 2.x license, this upgrade is free, while the upgrade from Hydra 1.x costs $19.95. There is a time-unlimited trial version available, which generates watermarked image files.


Photoshop 20 Years: Watch Celebration Party on Live Webcast Tonight

It has been 20 years since Photoshop first was introduced (that makes it two years older than I) and in these years, it has come a long way. Expect not that this occasion simply passes. NAPP (the National Association of Photoshop Professionals) and Adobe are together hosting a special party to celebrate the 20th Anniversary and you can watch the event live.

It starts at 7:30 p.m Pacific Time, which sadly means 3:30 a.m for my fellow Europeans (GMT time). Luckily, if you miss it, I have gotten confirmations that it will be rebroadcast.

Some of the guests there, showing live Photoshop tricks are: Dave Cross, Matt Kloskowski, RC Concepcion, Corey Barker, Julieanne Kost, Terry White, Russell Brown, Johnny L and of course Scott Kelby who is also promising some surprise guests.

It is also being mentioned that we will be seeing some sneak peeks at Photoshop things that nobody has seen before, which makes it of course, a very good reason to tune in.

You can see the broadcast as it starts 7:30 p.m Pacific Standards Time, right on the Photoshop 20th Anniversary page.


Aperture 3 Released

Apple has released Aperture 3, the latest update to their pro photo application. The new version has got a lot of brand new features, in fact, over 200 of them according to Apple’s official listings.

In my eyes, the most interesting new feature is called Brushes. It allows you to paint and retouch your photos using nondestructive brushes. Also useful is brand new adjustment presets, giving you dozens of professional effects to apply with a single click.

In terms of viewing the photos, you are given a better full-screen browser than before as well as increasingly advanced slideshow tools.

They are taking some of the iPhoto features, namely Faces and Places, into Aperture, being able to view geo-tagged photos on a map (places) and organize your portrait photos using face detection (faces).

Aperture 3 is available right now from the Apple Store. If you have a license to Aperture already, you can upgrade for $99, while a brand new license will run you $199. You can also get a 30-day trial of the application for free, on the website.

We are working on an Aperture 3 learning center with videos on the new features!


Going to Photoshop World? Get Countdown Widget!

Some years before I have made a Photoshop World countdown widget for the Mac OS X Dashboard and since I am actually going to Orlando now in March (24-46), I thought that this would be one of the best times to make the widget again.

You can download it here from my own blog.

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