20 years of Adobe Photoshop

On Friday I had a chance meeting with John Knoll. He and his brother shipped Adobe Photoshop just about 20 years ago (Adobe, he told me, will be doing an official celebration next month).

Photoshop is one of the most important pieces of software written so far in this industry’s small history.

What is Knoll doing today? He is an award-winning special effects designer for Lucasfilms’ Industrial Light and Magic. He did some of the effects you see on Avatar, among many other movies.

Anyway, thanks to Craig Hosoda, who got me a tour of ILM (he worked there as one of its first computer geeks for several years) and who introduced me to John. It’s my 45th birthday today and this was a real treat I’ve been waiting 20 years for.

Enjoy the interview. In it you’ll learn that Electronic Arts turned down Photoshop, and you’ll hear many other stories about Photoshop in its early days.