17. November 2013

How to build sample applications from Adobe Illustrator SDK CC by Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Express

Let’s try to build sample applications from Adobe Illustrator SDK CC with Express version of Visual Studio.

Adobe Illustrator SDK is available at: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/illustrator/sdk.html

In readme file Adobe explicitly states requirement that you should use Microsoft Visual C++ 10 (Visual Studio 2010 SP1). Hm.

Unzip directory with SDK and go to samples directory. Let’s start with LiveDropShadow sample.

Double click LiveDropShadow.vcxproj to open project in Visual Studio 2013. Hit F7 to build the project.

You’ll get error message:

Error 1 error MSB8020: The build tools for Visual Studio 2010 (Platform Toolset = ‘v100’) cannot be found. To build using the v100 build tools, please install Visual Studio 2010 build tools.  Alternatively, you may upgrade to the current Visual Studio tools by selecting the Project menu or right-click the solution, and then selecting “Upgrade Solution…”. C:\Program Files (x86)\MSBuild\Microsoft.Cpp\v4.0\V120\Microsoft.Cpp.Platform.targets

illustrator-wrong-target

Go to menu Project and select Retarget solution:

illustrator-retarget-project

This action converts project into project for VS 2013. Hit F7 for build.

After several seconds compilation fails and you’ll get another error message:

Error 20 error RC1015: cannot open include file ‘afxres.h’. C:\idea\Adobe Illustrator CC SDK\samplecode\LiveDropShadow\Resources\LiveDropShadow.rc 26 1 LiveDropShadow

illustrator-visualstudio

Double click error message and you’ll see problematic code.

illustrator-problematic-code-01

Problematic is include of afxres.h. It is reference to MFC library which is not part of Visual Studio Express 2013 edition. MFC is available only in Professional version. Do not worry. For many plugins you do not need MFC.

You can disable this include. There is also another problem few lines below with language code. We can disable this line of code for time being.

illustrator-problematic-code-02Hit F7. You’ll get error message that points into VersionInfo.rc file. There are several defines referencing MFC. You can disable those line for time being. (FILEFLAGMASK, FILEOS, FILETYPE, FILESUBTYPE)

illustrator-problematic-code-03

Hit F7 and now you’ll get AIP package 🙂

illustrator-visualstudio-success-build

Open Illustrator and configure path to Additional Plug-ins folder. Click Edit – Preferences – Plug-ins & Scratch Disks and set path to the folder where Visual Studio produced that aip file. It will be in directory Adobe Illustrator CC SDK\samplecode\output\win….

illustrator-preferences

Click OK, restart Illustrator.

Tadaaa, plug-in is working:

illustrator-working-01

Result:

illustrator-working-02

For more information about plug-ins read getting-started-guide.pdf document in SDK directory docs\guides. 🙂

 

12. July 2013

How to decode stereogram by Photoshop

Stereograms are funny. Some stereograms are very easy. Sometimes it’s very hard to decode content of stereogram.

If you can’t see content of stereogram there is still way how to see it. You can use Photoshop.

Here is stereogram (Magic Eye Picture) created by Easy stereogram builder.

stereogram-sampleOpen file in Photoshop. Select whole content and copy it into new layer (CTRL+A, CTRL+C, CTRL+Shift+N, CTRL+V).

Right click on newly created layer and choose Blending options, set Blend Mode to Difference. Image should change to complete black.

photoshop-blending-options

Change to Move tool (press V) and start moving with new layer to the right. After small move image should appear.

stereogram-photoshop-resultEasy 🙂

You can play with further Photoshop filters to produce better result.

6. May 2013

Adobe MAX 2013 – Keynote

Adobe revealed a lot of exciting technology breakthroughs.

Check out keynote from Adobe MAX: http://max.adobe.com/watch.html

adobe-max-2013

4. May 2013

How to stitch maps by Photoshop

Photoshop is very handy tool when you need to stitch several images together. It is also possible to stitch maps from smaller images into one bigger. This is useful when you’re planning trip somewhere and you do not have a paper map. You can create screenshots from OpenStreetMap and stitch them together in Photoshop.

Step 1. Create screenshots of maps and store these files it into directory. Images should overlap. Use PNG format to avoid blur in images.

Windows users can use Snipping tool. Mac users can use Command + F4.

snipping-tools

Step 2. Open Photoshop. Go to menu FileAutomatePhotomarge

photomerge-01

Step 3. Select files LayoutReposition. Uncheck Blend Images Together. Browse files or folder. Click Ok and wait.

photomerge-02

If overlap region of screenshots was sufficient then result image will be ok.

20. January 2013

Edge Animate – first experiment

New Adobe Edge Animate looks pretty good. Here is my small experiment:

11. March 2012

29.3. 2012 – Slovakia AUG – Bratislava – Invitation

Adobe User Group Slovakia is organizing another event for fans and friends of Adobe technologies.

Where: Galvaniho 17/C, Bratislava, Slovakia – IBL Software Engineering office

When: 29.3. 2012 – 17:00 – 20:00

You can find more details about Adobe User Group Slovakia at: slovakia.groups.adobe.com

Feel free to join this event. 🙂

5. January 2012

Videos from AUG Slovakia – November 2011

Videos from AUG Slovakia – November 2011 are available at: vimeo.com/augsk. Slovak version only.

Meeting Agenda – November 2011

Flex Components Lifecycle / Tomas Lehuta

The Future of 2D in Flash / Peter “Shtif” Štefček

Making Things / Martin Cagalinec & Ivan Klim

You can find out more about Adobe Slovakia User Group at groups.adobe.com.

Recording are available thanks to Franto and Lharp.

18. November 2011

24.11. 2011 – AUG Slovakia – Bratislava – Invitation

Feel free to join this meeting.

9. November 2011

Flash Player for mobile world was replaced by HTML5 and AIR

Flash Player for mobile browsers won’t be in development anymore. This is not big surprise in my opinion.

Adobe shifted focus to AIR for mobile and HTML5. It is possible to build native apps for desktop and mobile with AIR.

Note: Development of Adobe AIR for Linux was cancelled during summer 2011. AIR supports Mac, Win and mobile devices.

You can read more about this game changing decision at Adobe’s blog.

27. June 2011

The end of RIA era as we know it

RIA erra was annouced several years ago by companies like Adobe, Microsoft and Sun. Those companies had special software “fixtures” that move web behind static HTML. Flash player, Silverlight or JavaFX carried promise of more interactive future.

The only problem was that technologies like Flash Player and Silverlight were under control of companies. Yes, there were a lot of things that you could do with RIA tools. Building video player, complex enterprise apps and so on.

Adobe took even further step and made this technology available for Linux community. Unfortunately some managers took measures and decided that they won’t ship Eclipse based plugin for Linux and as a result this led company to cancelling support for Linux in Adobe AIR. The glorious promise of one code multiple platform was broken.

Flex/Flash/AIR and Silverlight are very advanced technology. They can do a lot. The price for that is hidden in their complexity. The web learned from mistakes of those technologies.

It happens that when you write code for the first time then you make a lot of mistakes. Once you do it again you can make it even more efficient. RIA era was great starting point for open technologies that we have today.

I would like to add further points to Flex, because I invested huge amount of my time into this technology. Flex is great piece of technology art. There is no question about that. Flex is even open source. Unfortunately it is complex. Complexity is good when you want to sell enterprise software. Let me formulate it in other way: It was good when you wanted to sell enterprise software. Complexity of projects were blocking Innovation. Take jQuery do some fancy stuff in 5 minutes and you won’t be able to do it in Flex in 4 days.

The primary trap of Flex was one big untrimmed framework. Adobe found out that Flex 3 is too big to fit on mobile devices and therefore Flex 4.5 has completely different architecture. It is so different that it took several days or weeks to port application. That is expensive and result is questionable. My advice is do not try to port app to Flex 4. Write a new one.

The last hope for Adobe Flash player was to promise something great. They promised wonders of 3D in Flash player “soon” at Adobe MAX 2010. Today is summer 2011. No 3D was launched in official version of Flash Player. Meanwhile WebGL and Canvas took off. Open technologies are taking over the ground of 3D and people are doing real creative stuff with great performance even without Flash.

Adobe focused Flex 4.5 on mobile development. I doubt that it was right step how they did it. In order to meet the promise of mobility they had to broke a lot of backward compatibility stuff and to be honest you have to rebuild apps from the scratch again. Another problem is that many good Flex/RIA developers left Adobe in last months. It’s a big challenge for Flex team to keep the ball rolling. I wish them good luck.

I do not regret time invested into Adobe technologies. It taught me a lot. The only thing that I saw as a weak point of Adobe is communication with community. Voices from Linux community were overlooked for many years. Even minor bugfixes took 2 years to implement. Adobe was not able to off-load this development and testing to community. jQuery and other JavaScript frameworks did this in much better fashion.

As far as I understand actual situation Adobe is now moving toward more “safer” enterprise world. Adobe bought Day software and other companies that are focused on enterprise world. But that is different story.

To tell long story short: This is the end of the RIA era as we know it. There are new challenges 🙂

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