This week, Adobe Photoshop, the emblematic image manipulation software, celebrated its 25th anniversary. February 19 marks the day when the first version of the software was shipped.
Twenty five years later, the software became so popular and woven into our daily lives that we now use the word ‘photoshopping’ to describe any kind of image manipulation, regardless of the software used in the process.
Without Photoshop we wouldn’t have the perfect models on the front cover of fashion magazines, or the spotless actresses that make us dream about them. Photoshop managed somehow to blur the line between fantasy and reality by fueling our society’s obsession with worldly perfection.
However, its makers’ initial intentions were far less glamorous. In 1987, Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the University of Michigan, managed to create the very first version of Photoshop, dubbed Display. Knoll’s goal was to use the software in enhancing the black and white images on his Mac.
John Knoll, Thomas Knoll’s brother, joined the project and used the knowledge acquired while working at the George Lucas’ visual effects studio to make the software better. The two siblings added some extra features until Display could process digital images.
“From the very beginning, there was a marriage between an artist, John, and an engineer, Thomas, and that’s really what’s fuelled and made the product what it is,”
said Winston Hendrickson, vice president of engineering for Adobe’s digital imaging products.
Meanwhile, the project was presented to Apple, which in 1988 licensed it and renamed it Photoshop. The software was not ready to get used by home users until 1990, when its first version was shipped on February 19.
After its release date, Photoshop continued to get better. In 1992, Photoshop 2.5 was launched. This version could also run on Windows platforms so it was a big hit. Two years later, Photoshop 3 revolutionized the industry with its “layers” feature, which is one of Photoshop’s most powerful tools.
Later versions offered increased functionality. Among the game-changing features, we could mention the ‘healing brush’ and the ‘content-aware fill,’ as well as ‘vanishing point’ and ‘puppet warp’, which allowed 3-D manipulation within 2-D image files.
Eight years ago, Creative Suite 3 was released with improved features designed for to improve the work of medical scientists and engineers. The way people used the new features impressed even the software’s developers.
“People found ways to use these tools that we hadn’t necessarily intended,”
noted Mr. Hendrickson.
Photoshop latest version is very focused on 3-D imagery manipulation, which is a very handy tool for both advertisers and artists, according to the company.
Image Source: Arcsoft