Design Across Media at SBCC

The Bartender Takes It All

An Irish bartender won the new version of Adobe's popular but expensive application suite in a sweepstake Saturday at an event at City College.

Patrick Owens, 35, from Dublin bought 25 of the available raffle tickets for $3 each just to win the new Adobe Creative Suite, which contains InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Acrobat Pro, and Bridge.

"When you go to Las Vegas, you don't think it's much if you spend a hundred bucks," he said.

Owens, who is working in an Irish bar on State Street, has lived in the United States since 1996, when he moved to New York from Dublin on an F-1 visa. In New York, he met a family from Santa Barbara, and now he lives on the West Coast.

"But you can't work as a bartender all your life," he said.

That's why he's attending a Flash class at college. And with the new application suite, he plans to start a career as a designer from his home in Santa Barbara.

The event "Design Across Media with CS4" was held at Fé LeBland Theatre on West Campus and was sponsored by American Institute of Graphic Artists, School of Media Arts, and Adobe Systems. Responsible for the event were Liz Russotti, chair member of graphic design at City College, and Anna Lafferty, education director at AIGA.

"We're the only organization for graphic artists here in Santa Barbara," Lafferty said about their newly started local activity.

Colin Fleming, application engineer at Adobe Systems, mainly concentrated on new features when he introduced the CS4 suite. In front of a small, but enthusiastic audience he demonstrated Bridge, Photoshop, InDesign, and Flash.

"The cool thing is how the apps work together," he said. "That's when you get superpower."

According to Fleming, many people don't know why they should use Bridge, but when he shows them they respond in a positive way.

"Bridge is the starting point for a process," he said. "Bridge looks at things. It doesn't store things. It's a browser."

A new feature in Photoshop is a content-aware scale function that can extend a picture in a certain way. In a photo of a beach, you can stretch only the distance between people and make the beach look bigger. You can also take data from a 3D application and work with them in Photoshop CS4. Colin showed how it was possible to change the color of a car from red to blue. He also added reflections and a logo.

In Illustrator CS4, you can have several art boards simultaneously and manipulate them in certain ways.

"I can change direction and thrash them," Collins said.

He demonstrated how you could edit multiple objects at the same time without selecting them. The Bones tool, which got a lot of attention from the audience, creates a chain-like animation effect that will make life easier for many designers. The new Illustrator also looks for details that can go wrong in the printing process.

In the latest version of InDesign, the click-and-drag feature has been improved so that you immediately get images in the right size and can give them proportional placing when you mount several objects at the same time. Fleming seemed to be very proud of the interactive page curl effect that lets the reader turn pages in an electronic document, as if it was a paper magazine.

Also Flash has been improved and has a user-friendlier interface. According to Fleming, it now has a so-called motion presets panel.

"Earlier it took three hours in an animation class to create a bouncing ball," he said. "Now it takes 10 seconds."

©Torgny Lilja (2008)