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Archive for January, 2013

Captivate 6 for Video Demos

One of the best ways to teach people about something is to show it to them. If you’re teaching about software, and you don’t have the luxury of having all of your students seated in a classroom, make a video demo.  There are lots of products on the market that you can use to create video demos.  Here’s a link to a blog post that describes five of them.

I’ve used TechSmith’s Camtasia Studio for several years, and I like it a lot, but IU’s agreement with Adobe makes Captivate 6 the more attractive option because I can get it for free. Camtasia used to be the obvious choice for making full motion video recordings of your screen. That’s what Camtasia is designed to do, and it does it well. Full motion recording in previous versions of Captivate was not the greatest. Full motion is better in Captivate 6, not perfect, but better. By the way, Captivate 6 doesn’t refer to full motion recording as full motion. It’s called Video Demo mode. You can begin your project by choosing the Video Demo option, or choose Video Demo when it’s time to start recording your screen.  The interface changes a little when you start the project in this mode. You can learn more about it in this  Adobe TV video.  Skip to 02:06 on the timeline. Read the rest of “Captivate 6 for Video Demos” »

3 InDesign Shortcuts

1. In Word, we switch from Print Preview to Normal or Web Layout View by clicking on icons. In InDesign, when you would like to see how your document looks without the margins, column guides, etc. showing, there is an easy way to accomplish this.

Read the rest of “3 InDesign Shortcuts” »

Automate Photoshop tasks–Create a Droplet or an Action

Are there tasks you find yourself doing again and again in Photoshop? To spare yourself some time and exasperation, you can create a Photoshop Droplet. The Droplet is a little application consisting of a set of Photoshop tasks that  you create and which sits on your desktop. You run the application by dragging a file on top of the Droplet icon.

Here’s how to create a Photoshop Droplet:

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-create-droplets-in-photoshop-cs6.html

For more complex chores, you can also create Photoshop Actions and run them on batches of files.

First, create an Action:

http://photo.tutsplus.com/articles/post-processing-articles/100-free-photoshop-actions-and-how-to-make-your-own/ (This set of instructions includes some free predefined actions for optional download)

Then, run your action on a batch of files:

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-batch-process-actions-in-photoshop-cs6.html

 

Create an InDesign Contact Sheet

colors grid clipart

A contact sheet is a grid of thumbnail images that may be used for a lot of things: yearbooks, calendars–anything in which you would like to post a thematic group of pictures. Adobe offers this automated function in some of its Creative Suite applications and in Lightroom.

In InDesign, creating a contact sheet is an easy process.

  1. From the Menu bar, choose File, then Place.
  2. Select multiple images by Ctrl-clicking or Shift-clicking. If you want to include captions with your images, check Create Static Captions.
  3. Click Open.
  4. On the InDesign page, start dragging. You will see a grid forming as you drag.
    – Press the arrow keys to set the number of rows and columns you want.
    – To change the spacing between frames, press Page Up or Page Down or hold down Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Mac OS) while pressing the arrow keys.
    You will see a preview result of your keypresses onscreen as you work.
  5. Release the mouse button to place the grid of images.
  6. At this point, you can replace captions and resize at will.

Use InDesign for Your Presentations

If you are ready to break out of the PowerPoint mold and infuse rich design features with multimedia into your slide shows, create an interactive InDesign document for your next presentation. Adobe InDesign offers Presentation mode with buttons, transitions, and all interactive bells and whistles.

You can watch how to to do it here:

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/make-it-with-creative-cloud/creating-your-personal-brand-episode-creating-a-slide-presentation/

And you can check out all the features with written step-by-step how-to’s here:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/indesign/cs/using/WS328f5ee33f08f77d1e63e3d120f2667a4c-7ffe.html

 

Join or create an IU Ad Hoc Video Bridge Conference in UniCom/Lync at IU

An Ad Hoc Video Conference at IU is a videoconference connection you establish on the fly with a central multimedia server. You identify your conference code using four numbers of your own choice and then adding “22” to the beginning, and distributing that information to people whom you want to join.

Users can join your conference in three ways: using point-to-point videoconference equipment (such as that found in conference rooms); using UniCom with an optional web cam; and by calling in via telephone. All methods may be used simultaneously in a conference.

For instructions and more information, see:

http://kb.iu.edu/data/ause.html

 

Removing Red Eye in Photoshop

 Image of red eye

There are myriad ways to remove red eye from a photograph.

First, see how to use the Red Eye tool in Photoshop:
http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-get-rid-of-red-eye-in-photoshop-cs6.html

While this technique works, I tend to use methods other than the Red Eye tool because a) it can result in overkill, and b) the tool actually changes existing pixels– and I almost always use nondestructive editing in Photoshop. On the rare occasions that I use the Red Eye tool, I first select the pupils and copy them to a new layer before using the tool.

If this tool is unsatisfactory–as in the case of animals–here are some other ways to remove red eye:

  • You can use the regular Brush tool with a Color blend mode. Make sure that the foreground/background colors are set to the default black/white. (To set default with a keyboard shortcut, press the D key.)
  • To keep it nondestructive, I would advise a modified approach to the same Blend Mode process above: add a new layer and set its blend mode to Color, then use the brush in normal mode on the new layer. Again, foreground/background colors must be set to default.
  • You can use the Color Replacement tool with a black foreground.  This tool is in the Brush tool family; press and hold Brush to activate it. Note that the higher Tolerance settings in the Options panel will result in stronger effects.

What about animals? The Photoshop Red Eye tool responds to only the color of reflections in human eyes–so that particular tool won’t work on animals. Following is a terrific article that includes animals plus a couple of other methods–including the Sponge tool, which is one of my favorites.

 

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