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Video Tutorial – Working with Photoshop’s History Panel, Snapshots and the History Brush

In this episode of the Complete Picture (Working with Photoshop’s History Panel, Snapshots and the History Brush), Julieanne Kost reveals there is far more to the History panel than simply un-doing mistakes. Learn as she reveals little known shortcuts for working with the History Panel, including how to fill with the History Brush, as well as a fluid method for painting between snapshots with no layer or masking knowledge required! (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Topaz ReStyle SPecial Offer - $20 Off - Artistic Toning Plugin

I’d like to inform you that from February 10th-28th, Topaz is running a promotion on Topaz ReStyle for $20 off its original price of $59.99 (reducing the price to $39.99). USe the coupon code for this promotion that you will find at their website. ReStyle is a plugin designed to alter the colors in your image with its unique array of toning effects. The technology behind ReStyle uses a cutting-edge process to map the color and tone statistics from a source image. With this, creative possibilities extend to many inspiring choices. Restyle is a useful tool for the photographer or artist looking to alter the overall feeling and mood of his or her image. The program can even be used to revamp the tone of graphics and textures. (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Free Eyebrows Photoshop and GIMP Brushes

Free Photoshop brushes from Obsidian Dawn — various eyebrows. Mostly female, but with a few male eyebrows in there, as well. Most of these are from the front angle, but see the tip at the site for how to apply them to various angles of faces, as well as how to add emotions to them. READ MORE... (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Topaz Glow Intro Offer - $49.99 - Creative Photoshop Plugin

Take your art beyond photorealism. Whether you're shooting people, landscapes, wildlife, or something else, Topaz Glow will make your images come to life with a powerful sense of movement and flow. READ MORE... (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Topaz Photography Collection (15 Products) - Only $249.99

From November 28th through December 1st, TOPAZ is offering the Topaz Photography Collection (all 15 products) for only $249.99. Whether you want to achieve stunning photo enhancements or apply artistic effects, this unique collection has you covered. READ MORE... (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Creative Cloud Limited Time Offers - Exclusive For CS Customers

Creative Suite 3, 4, 5 or 6 are eligible for special introductory pricing of $29.99 for the first year. The 2014 release of Creative Cloud includes all-new versions of your favorite desktop apps — including Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro — with hundreds of new features and performance improvements. Do your best work more efficiently using the latest innovations and modern standards. READ MORE... (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Topaz Clarity 25% Off - Pro Photoshop Plugin For Depth, Definition

There are a lot of ways to increase depth and definition in a photo, but many methods will leave you with unnatural-looking contrast. The intelligent technology behind Clarity allows you to enhance contrast without over-emphasizing transitions between light and dark areas. This unique approach essentially eliminates the common problem of halos, noise, and artifacts. READ MORE... (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Brush Techniques in Photoshop Tutorial

This free video tutorial from Obsidian Dawn will help explain how to use Photoshop’s various brush options to change the angle, shape, spacing, scattering, angle, etc of how brushes are applied. There’s also some examples of how they can be used. READ MORE... (posted by Jennifer Apple for www.PhotoshopSupport.com)

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Creative Cloud Chronicles: The Photoshop 25th Anniversary Shindig

(February 27, 2015)
So here we are 25 years later, with Adobe not surprisingly celebrating the anniversary of Photoshop. And it must be acknowledged that the program has come a long way, not only in capability but in accessibiilty.


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Mister Retro Updates Permanent Press Vintage Printing Effect Photoshop Plugin

(February 26, 2015)

The cross-platform plugin allows users to add vintage offset, letterpress and silkscreen analog printing effects to their images via the use of hundreds of adjustable textures and presets.



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Adding a PDF Watermark

(Mon, 28 Apr 2014 00:00:00 GMT)

It's straightforward to apply watermarks to PDF pages if you have the right software. Using the example of a review process, this tip uses the example of adding a "Draft" watermark to a document in order to distinguish it from the final version. This tip shows you how to accomplish this popular task in Adobe Acrobat or Debenu PDF Tools Pro.



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Reordering pages in Acrobat

(Tue, 12 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT)

Reordering pages in a PDF document is basically as easy and dragging and dropping. It is something that comes in handy when a document has been saved as a PDF and just needs slight reordering to make it perfect. Here is a step by step guide to do it in Adobe Acrobat 11.



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Reordering pages in Acrobat

(Tue, 12 Nov 2013 00:00:00 GMT)

Reordering pages in a PDF document is basically as easy and dragging and dropping. It is something that comes in handy when a document has been saved as a PDF and just needs slight reordering to make it perfect. Here is a step by step guide to do it in Adobe Acrobat 11.



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QR Code Generator For Adobe Acrobat

(Wed, 18 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMT)

The QR Code Generator for Acrobat is a .SWF file that you can add to any PDF page that will create a QR code from any string that you enter into the input field but links are particularly useful.



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PDF Expert and iAnnotate Updates For Mobile

(Tue, 17 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMT)

PDF Expert updates their PDF application for iOS devices, allowing users to read and annotate PDF documents, highlight text, make notes, draw and save changes in the PDF format compatible with both Preview and Adobe Acrobat.



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Security updates available for Adobe Reader and Acrobat: September 10 2013

(Fri, 13 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMT)

Adobe have released a security update for Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI (11.0.03). The security patch also works for earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh. The update is for critical vulnerabilities and it is advisable to download it.



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Adobe Reader Touch Update

(Fri, 13 Sep 2013 00:00:00 GMT)

Adobe Reader Touch, the free app on Windows 8 or Windows RT has been updated. The refresh enables users to fill and save PDF forms, select the color of highlight, as well as general updates to the service.



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Mastering Photoshop Smart Objects: Applying and Editing Layer Filters

(Wed, 25 Feb 2015 13:38:54 +0000)
Authors: 
Bart Van de Wiele
Body: 

In the previous installment of our video series on masetering Smart Objects in Photoshop, we saw how to create and edit a perfect animated Star Wars crawl effect.

This time, instead of focusing on one specific effect, we'll look at how you can use Smart Objects along with layers and filters to create any kind of nondestructive effect you wish. Once you see how powerful, flexible, and simple this technique is, you may never use filters the old fashioned way again.

***

Bart Van de Wiele is a digital publishing trainer and consultant from Belgium focusing on Adobe’s print products and the Digital Publishing Suite. He’s an Adobe Certified Instructor and Adobe Design Master who spends most of his time teaching InDesign and assisting organizations with their digital publishing workflow and app building. You can follow him on twitter at @BartvdWiele or @DPSusers and visit his blog at http://bartvdw.com

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Photobombing in Style

(Tue, 24 Feb 2015 05:00:00 +0000)
Authors: 
Erica Gamet
Body: 

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of celebrities versus paparazzi, the brilliance of the Flashback line of clothing is sure to make an impression. Made from fabric that incorporates tiny glass particles, the clothing and accessories made from this futuristic material are the only items that show up well when photographed with a flash.

DJ Chris Holmes noticed that photos of people wearing reflective clothing were overwhelmed by the eerie glow, thus obscuring the subject's face and other features. No stranger to the flash of paparazzi cameras, he decided to create his line of clothes tailored to people who often find themselves as a photog's unwilling target.

The Flashback line includes a hoodie, scarf, hat, and dress suit and pants, with prices ranging from $50 to over $400. Currently being offered through Betabrand's crowdfunding arm, Think Tank, the Flashback hoodie has been fully funded. With around two weeks left in the campaign, the Flashback suit might even see light of day—or paparazzi's flash, as the case may be.

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How to Control Point and Area Type in Illustrator

(Mon, 23 Feb 2015 20:12:52 +0000)
Authors: 
Kirsten Rourke
Body: 

When working in Adobe Illustrator, has your text ever seemed to behave erratically? Have you ever expected it to do one thing, only to have it do something else, seemingly at whim?

Consider the following…

Resizing the bounding box of your text will usually change the size of the text container and rewrap the text inside it…but not always.

It may scale the text instead (distorting it if you’re not holding the Shift key).

Why?

There are two types of text in Adobe Illustrator. Point Type and Area (or Paragraph) Type. Which you get depends on how you use your mouse.

You read that right.

How you use the type tool determines which version of text you get.

  • If you click with the mouse and type out some text, you get Point Type.
  • If you drag, you’ll get Area Type (otherwise known as Paragraph Type). 

Point Type

Point type is what you want if you’d like a piece of text that you can easily reshape by dragging a corner of the bounding box. Point Type is generally best for headlines, or any other single line of text, though it will respect carriage returns if you want to make multiple lines.

Quick Tip – when resizing items, holding down Shift will keep the width and height in proportion. This is not an Adobe shortcut. It works everywhere. If you don't hold down the Shift key when resizing, your text can be distorted easily.

Scale

Area Type

Area Type is a little more complicated. There are Area Type tools under the main Type Tool AND you can make Area Type on the fly by dragging out a container with the Type Tool. Dragging with the Type Tool makes a container that wraps text within it. It will show an overflow symbol (red plus sign) in the bottom right when there is more text than container. When you resize the box, all the type in it reflows to fit the new boundaries. Area Type is best for paragraph blocks of text or any text that you want linked across multiple boxes.

overset text

Drawing a shape and using the Area Type (or Vertical Area Type) Tool on the border will place a cursor in the shape. Any text you paste or type will be constrained inside that shape. If you draw any shape other than a normal rectangle, you will have Area Type, but not have the resize widget mentioned below.

Area Type Tools

Quick Tip: You don’t actually need the Area Type tool. The regular Type Tool will change into the Area Type tool when your cursor is over the border of a shape. It will also turn into the Type on a Path Tool when your cursor is over a path. This means you need to be careful that you don’t accidentally click on a shape or path with the Type tool.

Bounding Boxes and Ports

You might have bounding boxes turned on. IF you have your bounding boxes turned on, Point Type and Area Type look almost the same. Almost. If you see ports, you’re looking at an Area Type container. If you are an InDesign user, you’ll be used to seeing the in and out ports on text boxes. For those unfamiliar, these ports are hollow boxes just below the upper left corner and just above the lower right corner. Ports are used for creating linked text containers.

If you turn bounding boxes off  (View > Show/Hide Bounding Box or Ctrl+Shift+B / Command+Shift+B) the differences are more obvious. Point Type sits on an underline with a point at the beginning of the line. Area Type will show a bounding box and ports all the time. It will also show special widgets (discussed later) when the Bounding Box is turned on.

point and area text  

Converting Point Type to Area Type and Vice Versa

Prior to Illustrator CC there was no built-in option to convert from Point Type to the Area Type or the reverse.

Illustrator CS6 and earlier

Believe it or not. In CS6 and earlier, one of the easiest things to do when you wanted to change Point Type to Area (or vice versa) was to use a simple copy (or cut) and paste. If you copy Point Type, and then drag with the Type tool to make an Area Type container, you can paste you old text in and change it to Area Type.

Note: If you cut, be sure to cut the entire container, not just the text because you'll end up having an invisible box to delete.

If you want to automate the process, you can use a script like Convert to Text Area.js from Ajar Productions.

Illustrator CC and later

Starting in Illustrator CC, you can convert from Point to Area and back using either a menu or a widget. With your text item selected, and choose Type >Convert to Area Type (or Convert to Point Type).

type menu

 

You can also use the widget on the right-hand side of Area or Point Type containers. If the bounding box is turned on, the line with a dot on the end will show you which one you have. If the dot is blue, it's an Area Type object. If it's hollow, it's Point Type. Double-clicking the dot will convert from one text object to the other.

 Ports

Auto Size Area Type

New in CC 2014.1 is the option to make Area Type containers resize automatically. By selecting the Auto Size New Area Type option in Illustrator's Type Preferences, you can make single Area Type boxes resize when they need to. However, that option will become disable on any text box you resize manually. It also will not work if you link boxes to flow text from one container to another.

preferences

Widgets to the rescue!

Fortunately, you will be able to turn auto size back on for a container if you wish.

Hovering over the square at the bottom of the Area Type container will show you an icon of a box showing a resize (up and down) arrow. Double-clicking this collapses the text box to the contents and turns auto size back on. If you wish to turn it off, hover over the bottom center of the box (you will see the same gray box without the resize arrow) and double-click again.

Change to Auto Size 

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Change to Auto Size
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Scale
Convert Widget
Ports

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Quick And Easy Flower Design Creation In Illustrator

(Wed, 11 Feb 2015 05:00:00 +0000)
Authors: 
Ben Richardson
Body: 

This beginner-friendly tutorial teaches how to create gorgeous floral designs in Adobe Illustrator, using abstract shapes as foundation. And not only can it serve to make you more comfortable using Blob Brush, Warp/Twirl/etc Tool, it also opens the door to madly addictive exploration of floral shapes to users of all skill levels. So let's get started!

In the first example we will start by drawing an ellipse using the Ellipse Tool (shortcut L).

  Illustrator Article 

Using the Direct Selection Tool (shortcut A), select the top anchor point and move its handles to distort the ellipse a little bit. Do the same with the bottom anchor point to create a shape similar to the one in the screenshot. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same, as long as it’s asymmetrical and has both wide and narrow parts.

 Illustrator Article 2

Fill the shape with the colour of your choice and select the Rotate Tool. While holding the Option/Alt key, click to the left bottom side of the shape. In the dialog box that appears, enter 30° as the Angle value and click on Copy.

 Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 3

In order to keep copying the shape under this angle hold Command/Ctrl and press D. This shortcut repeats the last action.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 4

 Keep repeating this step until your shape goes the full circle.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 5

Open the Pathfinder window (Cmd+Shift+F9), select all the shapes and select the Exclude option from Shape Modes (the one on the far right). You should get an effect similar to the one in the screenshot below. 

Adobe illustrator Flower Article 6  

If you’re aiming for a simple two-color look, you can leave the flower at this stage and consider it done. However, if you’re after something with a bit more depth to it, you can easily add colour with Live Paint Bucket. This tool will treat each gap as a shape on its own when adding colour to it, so if you can use a colouring book, you can use this tool, too. Make sure you expand the flower first by selecting it and choosing Object > Expand. Open the Colour Guide window (Window > Colour Guide or Shift+F3) to help you with colour selection.

 Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 7

In this case, I focused on a monochrome palette, making the petals darker then the middle of the flower.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 8   

You can even give it a bit of a 3D look by making the fields that are next to each other differ in just a couple of shades.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 9  

Creating a Flower Shape With the Blob Brush

You don’t have to use Shape Tools to create the foundation of the flower. Try drawing a closed shape with the Blob Brush Tool that’s a bit more complex.

 Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 10

Using the Rotate Tool, click on the bottom right side of the shape while holding Option/Alt key, and this time make the Angle value 45°. We’re picking a larger angle so the design doesn’t get too messy when all of those paths intersect.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 11  

Repeat the Ctrl/Command+D step like when creating the first flower. Given that there are plenty of gaps in there already, you can use this to your advantage and select the Unite option from the Pathfinder window, which will merge all of the selected elements into a single shape.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 12

Fill in the gaps with the Live Paint Tool like you did with the previous flower.

 Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 13

Make sure you use colours that work well with the colour of your foundation.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 14

Creating a Flower Shape With Wrinkle, Warp, Twirl, Scallop, Bloat and Pucker Tools

In the next example you’ll get a chance to use tools such as Wrinkle, Warp, Twirl, Scallop, Bloat and Pucker Tool. All of these alter the paths in different ways that will make your final design more elaborate and visually interesting. Use Bloat, Pucker and Warp tools to manipulate the path in more subtle ways, or Twirl and Scallop Tools for a more detailed look.

For frilly petals I used the Twirl Tool.

 Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 15  

In order to avoid overcomplicating the design, I used a larger angle value when rotating and copying the petal (45°). For more complex flower designs such as this one, I suggest using the Outline mode from the Pathfinder window. It will give you a better overview of the outlines and allow you to plan your colour palette and its application a bit easier.

 Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 16

Play with different shades and opacity. Imagine what the flower petals look like when overlapping.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 17

There’s likely to be some parts that are too tiny to be coloured individually (and still look good), especially as you get closer to the middle, so feel free to add the same colour to 2 or more neighbouring pieces.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 18

 Deselect the shape to see what it looks like without paths showing. You can still use the Live Paint Bucket tool on it; a red outline will appear when you hover over the area you’re about to fill. 

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 19  

Don’t be afraid to leave some areas empty, as doing so can add a nice contrast to the design.

Adobe Illustrator Flower Article 20

 

Now when you’ve mastered the basics, there are plenty of possibilities for you to explore. Try using different angle values (15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90), different colour palettes, and combining more flowers into one design or patterns.

 ***

Ben Richardson is director of Acuity Training an IT training business based in Guildford, UK and is sharing some of the tips that delegates have found more useful from their Photoshop courses.

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