warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/dgeek/ on line 33.

Vector Animations from Photoshop/ImageReady

July 27, 2005 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new
ImageReady CS2 can also save animations as Flash files as well as the usual GIF format. It's easier to use ImageReady for this since its Animation palette lets you set the duration of individual frames, and it offers tweening (automatic creation of "onion skin"-type intermediate frames between key frames) to create smooth animations.

Photoshop CS2 also sports an Animation palette with the same features, but it can't save or export the animation as a Flash file.more >

Photoshop File Browser Tweak Pt. II

January 26, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

I mentioned in my last issue that I've been spending some quality time with Photoshop CS's File Browser, trying to get it to work how I want it to work instead of how it works by default. My first tweak — creating one keyboard shortcut that would open and close the Browser regardless of what was open/active in Photoshop — was detailed in that issue:

Here's another tweak that I've found immensely useful: Getting the Browser to just show me folders with pictures in them instead of every folder in my entire dang hard drive.more >

Quark 6.5's PSD Import Tips

January 26, 2005 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

True to their word, Quark released the free PSD Import XTension last month, short on the heels of their 6.5 update, which was available last fall. I've installed it and have been playing with it a bit, it's pretty cool.

The ability to import a Photoshop image into a Quark picture box (without having to save it as a TIFF or EPS first) is great all on its own; on top of that you can turn the image's layers, channels and paths on and off on the fly within Quark, something you can't do in any other program. The same PSD image can be placed multiple times within a Quark file and each instance can show/hide different layers, effectively wringing multiple images out of the same single image file. I've had no problems printing these or exporting them to PDF.

But the XT (seemingly a straight port from alap's ImagePort XT) has some limitations and glitches. If you want to use it, I'm hoping this article will help you out.more >

Photoshop File Browser Tweak Pt. 1

January 6, 2005 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

I love the File Browser in Photoshop CS as much as the next guy, but there are a few tweaks I've found that make it much easier for me to work with.

Here's a good one to start off with. I'll cover more in subsequent issues.

Open/Close from the Keyboard
more >

Underlines in Illustrator

October 20, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Bear with me for a second while I give you the back story.

Last week at the huge Graph Expo at Chicago's McCormick Place, I had the novel experience of donning an official Adobe trade show shirt and helping them at their booth. (Well, not "helping" as in "volunteering," I was more of a hired geek. I got to send them an invoice too, which was a refreshing change from sending a check.)

For much of the four days of the show, I was ensconced in a little free-standing wet-bar-like structure in a corner of Adobe's booth, facing out into a busy intersection on the show floor, with the words "Ask the Expert" plastered across the fronts-piece high above my head where everyone could see.

more >

Scaling Layer Effects in Photoshop

July 26, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

Since Layer Effects were first introduced in Photoshop—I think in version 6—their relationship to the layer they're affecting has always confused me.

For example, as soon as you apply an effect like a Drop Shadow or Bevel and Emboss, the effect is married to that layer alone. You can't select a second layer and say, "Hey, do it to this layer too.

Instead, you have to right-click on the Layer Effect, choose Copy Layer Style, then right-click on the second layer and choose Paste Layer Style.

Okay, they're married. A team. Understandable.

But when you scale a layer (Edit -> Transform -> Scale or Edit -> Free Transform), only the original contents scale, not the Layer Effects you've applied. If you scale a layer down to a tenth of its original size, its original Drop Shadow layer effect ends up looking enormous. Why is that? I thought they were a couple.

Here are a couple ways you can scale your Layer Effects to match the scale of the layer they're affecting.more >

Why Photoshop PDFs Rule

July 7, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 4 Comments | Add new

Most designers are aware that for the past few years, Photoshop has had the ability to keep track of vector data (crisp PostScript paths for live text and shapes) as well as raster data (pixels from regular paint layers) in the same file. When you print your layered .psd file from Photoshop, it sends the vector info along with the raster info to your printer, resulting in sharp type even at very small sizes.

Did you know the same thing is true of Photoshop PDFs? Even after being being imported into another program and printed/exported from there?

more >

Favorite InDesign Student Tips

June 16, 2004 - 2:00am ||| 1 Comment | Add new

When I'm in the middle of a software training session, I love how student's questions about and experiments with neglected corners of the program often lead to new discoveries.

I've been doing a lot of InDesign training lately. Here are a few of my favorites tiplets discovered by students during these sessions:

Change the Default Font

more >

Photoshop Fix Newsletter, Featuring HerGeekness

June 15, 2004 - 11:00pm ||| 0 Comments | Add new

A beautiful new 4/C monthly newsletter, Photoshop Fix, just started coming out a couple months ago. If you're into Photoshop at an intermediate or advanced level, you should check it out.

more >

Centering Yourself

April 26, 2004 - 3:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new

The need to center something on page is so common, you'd think design software would have a command for it. But most don't.

Sure, there's usually an Align palette or command hidden someplace, with a Center Align option, but that's for aligning two or more things you've created; not for aligning one thing with the page itself.

more >