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Archive for the 'Graphics & Animations' Category

Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 is Here!

The Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 What's New website. Click to go!

The day we have all been waiting for has arrived!

 

Yesterday, Adobe started rolling out their updated version of Creative Cloud, Adobe CC 2015. This update brings with it many enhancements for the core Adobe applications. If you’re already using Creative Cloud, simply launch the Creative Cloud application (from the system tray on Windows or the notifications area on Mac) and you should be able to update any or all of the applications.

Some of my favorite updates include:

  • Artboards in Photoshop
  • Auto-save in Illustrator
  • Bootstrap and Emmet integration in Dreamweaver
  • Faster zooming and scrolling in InDesign

You can read more about the update by visiting the following resources on Adobe’s website:

If you’d rather watch a video, you can watch Lynda.com videos from the following playlist:

Over the next several months, IT Training staff will be busy updating our in person and online workshop materials to teach the Adobe CC 2015 applications. Check back in the fall semester to sign up for our course offerings!

Create a Custom Brush in Photoshop

a title image that says "Creating a Custom Brush in Photoshop" and has an example of a watermark made by a custom brush

Is there a special shape, symbol, or logo that you are always stamping on your graphics? Do you have a watermark that you want to add to all of your pictures before you post them to the web? One of the best and fastest ways to do this is by creating a custom brush in Photoshop! It only takes a few minutes to create and will be there for you whenever you need it.

Read the rest of “Create a Custom Brush in Photoshop” »

How to organize your files

files_header

I’m sure this isn’t going to be the most advanced tip you have ever came across, but this new way of organization changed the way I manage my files. Today I’m going to show you how you can Photoshop, paint, PowerPoint, or whatever your favorite software is for creating simple block graphics in order to make your very own custom background.

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The best way to save your images

One of the biggest space fillers on your computer right now is probably images and movies, especially if you’re a designer. Digital images take up a lot of space all over the place–in our emails, computer memory, webpages, etc. It’s such a pain when you don’t have any more space on your devices, and absolutely everyone hates when those pesky large files take FOREVER to load. When working with digital image files there are certain file types that work better depending on what you are doing.

Small info graphic stating "Know your file types: When to use .gif, .jpeg, .png"  Read the rest of “The best way to save your images” »

Try out and save effects with Photoshop Layer Comps

You can save different versions of an image using the Layer Comps panel, and then choose one later. You may want to try on effects by enabling visibility, position, and appearance of specific layers of that image. A common example would be  where you want three or more versions of the same image; for example, one version may be black and white, one tinted, and one in full color.

image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

image showing visibility of two other layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel  image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

With Photoshop Layer Comps you don’t have to save three different images. Instead, as long as you save your changes in layers, you can save and compare each of these adjustments in the same image.

The beauty of Layer Comps is that when you save your document as a Photoshop document, you can always return to all your settings by returning to each of your saved Layer Comps. You may close the document and still return to all your settings later when you open the document. Layer Comps will remember some, but not all, of your modifications.

To start using Layer Comps, show the Layer Comps panel: from the Photoshop menu, choose Window -> Layer Comps.

With the Layer Comps panel in view, to save specific layer combinations, simply show and hide the layers you want in the Layers panel. With each variation, click the Create New Layer Comp button  Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 5.27.19 PM in the Layer Comps panel. The visibility of the layers will be saved just as you specified. Name each Layer Comp so you will know at a glance which set of layers will be viewed when you select them later.

Convert a frame’s shape in InDesign

If you want to try on shapes of image frames in InDesign, you don’t have to keep re-drawing frames and re-placing images.

From InDesign’s menu bar, choose Object>Convert Shape and choose the shape of your choice.

InDesign will convert your existing shape into the one you want.

image of flower stand in square frame

image of flower stand in elliptical frame

Spread one image through multiple shapes in InDesign

In Indesign, you can place a single image into several frames for a visual effect.

one image spread throughout 18 frames in InDesign

Here’s how:

Read the rest of “Spread one image through multiple shapes in InDesign” »

Use Photoshop clipping layers to create overlays and cameos

image_inset

In Photoshop, a clipping layer is a layer whose pixel or vector content acts as a mask for one or more layers above it. Where either pixel or vector content exists on the clipping layer, you can use the shape of the content to reveal what is on the layer above, while its transparent areas reveal what is on the layer below.

The result of the clipping action is that you don’t actually see the content of the clipping area; you are just using its shape like you would a cookie-cutter. One of the things you will do most with clipping layers is to make type or a shape look like it’s filled with a photo. You can do this over a transparent background, or over another image.

Here, we started with a simple river landscape, for which we would like to add an inset of eagles:

River image in Photoshop. One layer only at this point.

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Use a Photoshop clipping layer to confine an adjustment to a specific layer

Sometimes in Photoshop you need to apply an adjustment layer to only the layer directly beneath. In the example below, a few shots were taken from a mobile phone with the intention to fit them together later into a panorama using Photoshop. In this case, because of changing lighting conditions between shots, the topmost layer happens to be darker:

layeredTemple1

By applying an adjustment layer to it, you can now see that the entire scene is lightened:

layeredTemple2

This is not the effect we want. What we need to do is brighten only the top layer, leaving the rest untouched.

Read the rest of “Use a Photoshop clipping layer to confine an adjustment to a specific layer” »

Delve into Photoshop’s tools with this collection of resources

Adobe Photoshop is a complex piece of software to tackle. If your goal is to become a Photoshop expert, plan on spending several years working at it. If you want to learn as little as you can to make it useful, I suggest you take our Photoshop CS6: The Basics workshop.  If and when you’re ready to go further, try the other workshops and webinars  that we offer.

Learning how to use Photoshop requires a hands-on approach, and once you’ve exhausted all of IT Training’s offerings, you’ll need to seek other learning resources. Luckily for you, the Internet is overflowing with free Photoshop tutorials. In this post, I share a few of them with you.

Photoshop is all about the tools. There are probably hundreds of them, and if you don’t know which tool to use for which task, you won’t be able to accomplish very much. That’s why I searched the Web for tutorials that really focus on Photoshop’s tools. It seems to me that learning what each tool can do is like learning the alphabet. Once you have the letters, you can build words, and then sentences, then paragraphs; you get the idea.

So without further ado, here are six tool-focused Photoshop tutorials. Click titles to view the tutorials.

Read the rest of “Delve into Photoshop’s tools with this collection of resources” »

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