Adobe Photoshop is one the popular web design software to create unique, attractive, and user friendly web pages. It can also help in creating business cards, flyers, banners, and many other useful marketing items related to web site design. As a designer, it is very important to know basics of Photoshop. A detailed and standard training is always required before entering into professional jobs. There are many online sources where users can study and start learning this software. These sources provide interactive tutorials and images to show the page creation process.
The first step in Photoshop web design is to create image and set the preferences of its pixels. This will help to review the image size and resolution. The next step is to study all the menus of the Photoshop and make note of it. Web designers commonly use toolbox, palette, and other options. Designers can chose color scheme and use slider and appearance options to make the image look attractive. They can change the back ground color and make changes in the image by eyedropper tool. The font can be chosen as per the convenience and layer pattern can be used to bring attractive variations in the site design.
The advantage of using the Photoshop is that the web design interface looks crispy and clear. The software has many options to create attractive, and eye catchy pages with nice border and styles. The software is the most widely used software in the industry and it provides great value to the pages. Almost all the websites use Photoshop to design the web pages. It even provides you the option to create favicon icons and create customized banner ads. There are many ready to be use templates to avoid work from scratch. The text arrangement can be perfected and alignment can be justified and fixed with 100% quality.
Photoshop is an important tool for any designer’s collection. It can do anything from simple drawing to complex layer effects, and is the most widely used software of its kind on the market. The reason for its popularity is more than just how available it is. Adobe Photoshop gives you everything you need at your fingertips for any kind of graphic manipulation.
In the world of social media, it’s easy to get interested in graphic design through doctoring photos and making small banners for your friends. Though Photoshop is extremely easy to use, it can be a bit intimidating to anyone opening it for the first time. I suggest taking your time and getting to know some of the primary functions of the program before attempting any big ideas. It’s easy to get frustrated when there’s a hurdle that seems too high to stride. If you take your learning process one step at a time, there’s virtually nothing this program can’t do (with graphics) after only a few practice sessions.
To get the technical stuff out of the way: Adobe Photoshop CS4 was officially released on October 15, 2008 and is a raster graphics editor with significant vector graphics functionality. This means its primary function is pixel images like photos. But it also comes packed with technology that uses points, lines, curves, and shapes, which are all based on mathematical equations, to represent images. This can give any Photoshop user the tools to cleanly print or display their graphics at any size (i.e. anything from thumbnails to Hi-Def quality. From a business card to a billboard without getting grainy). Understanding these advanced features of Photoshop is not required for beginners, but paves the way for years of use to anyone who takes the path.
An amazing resource for any software knowledge is YouTube. Most of the software I’ve ever learned in my life has been thanks to random people’s video tutorials, and Photoshop is no different. With 2 monitors, you can watch the tutorial while navigating the program. Pause when you need to pause, and go back when you need to go back. There’s only a couple things I’ve found that’s really irked me about any of them.
1. Annoying Voice – I just can’t learn from someone who’s voice gets on my last nerve.
2. Boasting about one’s own skills – Too many designers do it in their tutorials and they end up spending most of the video showing off.
As long as you can avoid this kind of video, you will be well on your way to learning at your own pace. For just this reason, I created a beginner’s guide to Photoshop video and uploaded it to YouTube today. I really just concentrated on the basic functions to get you on your feet with the program:
In any learning environment I’ve found my mind has a saturation point so it’s important to know when to take a break. Often times it only takes a few minutes until I’m itching to tackle it again, but giving yourself space to clear your mind is key to absorbing anything over your head. Your frustration doesn’t mean you’re not getting it, or that you won’t get it. In fact in most cases I have the biggest breakthroughs after my most devastating frustrations. Just as you’re ready to give up, go to the kitchen and make yourself a snack. By the time you’ve eaten it and returned to your computer the information is easier to take in, and you may find yourself calling on things you didn’t even know you had retained.
Be patient with yourself and call on YouTube to answer any questions you might have along the way!
We are now in our fifth year of reporting on Envato’s approaches to boosting diversity and inclusion across the business – you can catch up on last year’s report here – and in doing so, outline how we rise to the challenge of improving our workplace for everyone, every year.
While we are pleased with the improvements we made in these past 12 months, much of which can be attributed to the passion, advocacy and commitment of people across the business, we appreciate that delivering better diversity and inclusion outcomes is not a challenge that is ever ‘solved’. Rather, it’s a process we have committed to, knowing that every year we will need to take stock, respond and adjust our plans to ensure we’re delivering positively for all our employees.
Our [email protected] committee is an excellent example of demonstrating what a passionate group is capable of achieving in a small amount of time. From changing our gender options in our HR system, to petitioning the annual Great Place to Work Australia study to change their global demographic metrics to be more inclusive, the volunteers at Out did an amazing job to ensure we’re inclusive to non-binary folk. Their energy and momentum have inspired others across the business to see the same advocacy achieved for mental health inclusion, aiming to educate and support Envato folk in mental health-related topics.
Pleasingly, over the last 12 months, we saw further improvements in our gender balance across all position types across the business, while also introducing non-binary reporting metrics for the first time. Along the way we also adjusted our gender pay gap analysis reporting process, meaning we can now report and act on any misalignments every quarter. And in our commitment to striving for gender equity, we’ve excitedly cheered on our third successfully graduating apprentice developer and have welcomed two more apprentices into the Envato Apprentice Developer Program.
Our gender balance increased 6% on 2018 figures, making it the fourth year in a row we’ve improved on this measure. In the knowledge that individuals may identify as a gender other than the sex they were assigned at birth, or may not identify as exclusively male or female, we have changed our reporting demographics to man or woman. We’re also reporting on non-binary stats for the first time, with the inclusion of trans/gender diverse demographics.
Note: for the purposes of our graphs above, the term trans/gender diverse includes those who choose to identify as trans, those with a trans history, and those who identify as gender diverse, bigender, agender, gender fluid, genderqueer, non-binary or other.
For the fourth year in a row, we submitted Envato to the Australian Workplace Equality Index (AWEI), a non-profit organization who provide a benchmark and survey in relation to inclusion for the LGBTI community. With a revamp of the [email protected] steering committee and its renewed focus on LGBTI inclusion initiatives, we saw an 8 point increase in our score this year.
Code Like a Girl Sponsorship
Envato continues to be a Gold Partner for Code Like a Girl. It remains one of our longest-standing business-wide sponsorships and we’re extremely proud to be able to support Code Like a Girl in their efforts to empower more women to embark on a successful coding career.
International Women’s Day
This year’s IWD theme was all about #balanceforbetter; inspiring action to forge a more gender-balanced world.
Our guest speaker Kerryn Harvey shared her incredible story of courage and resilience after a horrific bike accident resulted in a full arm amputation. Kerryn inspired many of us to focus on what’s important and how to set goals to keep us progressing.
LBGTI inclusion events
Our [email protected] team hosted a number of events over the last 12 months, including :
International Trans Day of Visibility. An annual international celebration of trans pride and awareness, recognising trans and gender diverse experiences and achievements.
Wear it Purple Day: A national day to raise awareness for LGBTI people – especially young people, across Australia with a simple message: you have the right to be proud of who you are
Two Out Tech meetups, which aim to bring together Melbourne tech industry workers who identify as LGBTI or Allies, with more meetups planned over the next year.
Our [email protected] team also created our new look Envato Pride t-shirts which are now a staple wardrobe piece for many of our team, from Melbourne to Mexico!
Mental Health Inclusion Events
As part of World Autism Acceptance Month in April, we took part in the “Hoodies Up for Autism” campaign. We asked people to wear their hoodies to work to show a little more understanding of how we can support and embrace people with autism and celebrate the diversity autism brings to our world. Why hoodies? Some people with autism experience sensory sensitivities and can become overloaded by stimuli in their environment; wearing their hoodie up means they can block out bright lights and busy environments which helps calm them.
And in October we celebrated Mental Health Week with a Health and Wellness Expo in our Melbourne HQ, which included a workshop on Mindfulness and Meditation including a practical session using Muse headsets, a mental health panel run by our Mental Health Inclusion group, and a Recognition BBQ acknowledging all the positive work our peers do to make Envato such a great place to work.
Improving our Parental Leave practices
We have been reflecting on how we support employees and managers through times of parental leave, acknowledging it’s an area we can continue to make positive improvements in. In the last 12 months, this has meant tangible changes to leave allowances, while setting clearer expectations internally around how we support individuals and their managers to ensure that everyone who takes parental leave has the best experience possible. As part of this, we are continuing to improve how we provide support, clarity and career development in the lead-up, throughout and after an individual’s parental leave. Some of the improvements we’ve made so far include:
Primary carer leave has increased from 18 weeks to 20 weeks at full pay
Partner Leave has increased to 2 to 3 weeks, full pay
Formally including adoption and stillbirth leave into our policies
Two professional coaching sessions offered to all those taking primary carer leave.
Superannuation will now be paid on the unpaid portion of parental leave for all primary caregivers up to 12 months
Equity and Inclusion Officers
We rolled out our Equity and Inclusion Officer program, providing all Envato employees with a number of trained employees who they can talk to about anything they need support with. This is something we’ve been aiming to achieve for some time now, as it goes a long way to ensuring that Envato can provide a genuinely safe space for people to have difficult conversations. Equity and Inclusion Officers provide this by offering Envato’s staff community another friendly face to talk to when they need support, on top of their Manager, People Partner and our EAP service.
Indigenous education skills development
The Envato Foundation continues to support Australia’s young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population through partnerships with organisations that focus on opportunity creation, education and skills development. This year we donated $255,000 to our foundation partners, with the money supporting everything from new books for children in remote communities, education, training and employment programs for school-aged children, as well as fully funded secondary school scholarships. In late 2019 we were excited to announce a new partner, Indigitek, which focuses on increasing the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in tech roles.
In Mexico, our donation efforts have focused on supporting Cres Estipac, a high school focussed on educating indigenous youth in a way that will assist them to support and transform their communities. Our donations this year helped to expand the girl’s dorm of the school.
A Look Ahead
There’s plenty more to be done building on our most recent diversity and inclusion roadmap, from, building out internal resources with a dedicated D&I intranet page to focussing on the initiatives that have been guided by our AWEI and WGEA submissions.
While our focus inside Envato continues to be primarily on gender, LGBTI and mental health, we remain committed to improving any practices that maintain an inclusive workplace, be it training, reporting or other activities that help to foster an inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive.
A major reason why photographers these days are so interested in editing photos and adding cool photo effects to them is because it makes the images look all the more cooler and better. The best part about adding photo effects is that doing so is extremely easy. Most interestingly, a number of applications and websites have also been introduced to make adding effects to your shots easier. Through them, you can make use of a number of predefined effects and edit your pictures even if you have no knowledge or experience in terms of image editing.
Information about the different photo effects that you can use
Start using frames
Amongst the many different means of editing photos is that of creating frames on them. Frames definitely are an amazing photo effect and give the picture an outstanding background. Don't understand what that means? Well, see if you add a frame to an image, you can make it look as if you are peeping out of a history book, or maybe standing in front of a pyramid in Egypt. Cool, isn't it. Now if you are thinking that it would take a lot of technical and art know-how to be able to achieve this look, then you are totally wrong – it is just going to take a few clicks over drag-and-drop functions, and You'll be done!
Try your hands at animations
Another really cool photo effect that you can use is that of animations. These are particularly meant to make your pictures appear cool and funky. Imagine how cool your pictures would appear if they had twinkling stars in them or flowers floating around! However, you can also use text-based animations in your photos. These are commonly used by people to add messages to images, for example, funny taglines, best wishes, anniversary and birthday wishes etc. Seriously, they can totally take the overall look and feel of your photos to a whole new level!
The best part about these digital photo effects is that adding them to your photos is extremely easy. There are a plethora of image editing websites out there that can help you add these cool effects to photos. Remember, the major reason why these are to be used is to make your photos and shots appear cool, funky, interesting and even meaningful. Yes, these are at times used to enhance the message that the photograph is meant to send out, or to highlight a particular aspect of your shot.
Apart from websites, there are also a number of software applications that you can use to add effects to photos. However, these are specifically used by trained individuals who are experts in the fields of graphic designing and image-editing. These software applications are inclusive of Gimp, Adobe After-Effects and Adobe Photoshop. All in all, photo effects can help you give a more professional and refined look to your photos. So, if you truly want to impress your friends and family members, make sure that you consider the usage of photography effects in your shots!
WordPress frameworks are a great way to start developing themes for WordPress blogs. Frameworks are designed by other developers to speed up your WordPress theme creation and save you a lot of time instead of coding everything from scratch. They often come pre-made with layouts columns and widget elements already defined for you. Here is a look at some great free frameworks to get started developing themes for WordPress.
Constellation has an attractive design that creates a foundation framework for building your WordPress theme. Columns can easily be configured up to 12 columns wide. It is optimized to adapt to varying screen widths for use on tablets or smart phones. It uses the latest HTML 5 code, which is ideal for SEO bloggers.
This open source licensed GPLv2 framework means you can use it for personal or commercial purposes. It is available from the Google code project. The code is developed to allow anyone to customize CSS options and build an impressive design and implement widgets into the framework. Using an easy drag and drop interface you can add or remove grids or entire elements quickly and effortlessly.
A nice simple layout with clear column headers and menus with an optional image header. Within the framework is a built in theme options panel. Busby is configured for SEO options and mostly targeted at 2 column personal bloggers. Custom Style sheets are included and it has full typography control.
This open source framework is optimized and ideal for SEO. Great for beginners and still attractive and functional enough for the more serious professional. Thematic is easily extended beyond its starting frame of 2 and 3 column based layouts and supports plugging with 13 widget areas and sample grid layouts. Most of the design is CSS based.
With Themify every feature included in the framework has an options panel built in. This colorful and playful theme offers various skins and allows CSS to be configured. Many settings are controlled with XML configuration. Frameworks also contain Photoshop tutorial guides to help with configuring the framework.
Although it offers 15 templates for optional builds, Hybrid is essentially a bare bones framework with additional optional add-ons for widgets available. It does include 8 widget areas including twitter. Multi language support is available for over 10 languages. There are downloadable add-ons for SEO configuration and navigation menu bars; These plugins are easily configured for Hybrid. As with most frameworks, child theme support is provided.
Had any success with developing frameworks using these tools? What's your favorite feature, or what is missing in these WordPress frameworks? Leave a comment to to let us know.
It's not uncommon for us to turn to a video for answers, even after all the reading we did. A common example would be trying out a recipe, when even after reading through the material we want to have a better look at seeing it done on a YouTube video.
Videos are always better than any amount of pictures and words put together to understand something as they have an added advantage of experience. When you watch a video, you are using more senses to gauge in the experience. Even as a species, we humans are avid learners who adapt quickly by learning through experience.
This is one of the main reasons why everywhere on the internet you could easily find videos that teach people 'How to' do stuff. It's not only home made self help videos on YouTube that add to the category, but also bigger corporations are churning out their own versions of 'How to' videos in order to cut down on the number of incoming calls that their customer service staff receives everyday from customers who have questions about the products they recently purchased.
In a recent article on Mashable, Tom Laidlaw, CEO of VideoJug.com talks about his website which is one of the leading resource of 'How to' videos. He goes on to state the importance of the production element, " If people have searched for the answer to a particular problem, then they want you to answer that question quickly, and without too much extraneous prose. "
While making a 'How to' video, the message needs to be sent across to the viewer as quickly and efficiently as possible. Also, you can't afford to leave out any steps, even though they might seem irrelevant, as it could easily leave the viewer confused and the video ineffective.
An easy example would be a Photoshop tutorial video where the presenter forgets to mention the exact version of the software that he is using. The viewer might watch the full length of the video and still be left puzzled why he can't find the options in his Photoshop. He could then easily dislike the video and leave a negative comment!
The negative feedback will not only drive away viewers from this video but also from all future videos that you would make and group together with this video.
As an individual you can get away with self-shot videos offering others tips on 'How to' do something new, however, for a business or organization it is extremely important to get things absolutely correct, especially when they want to inform customers about their products and services. They should appear throughout professionals.
Production value is also important because it will keep things consistent. Customers who would come back to visit your website for its videos, will have the same expectations from every one of those videos. Thus, each video needs to be similar in handling and expertly crafted.
It can be really hard to achieve in a self made video as you would not even notice when you have missed out on something of importance.
By hiring a professional video production to do a 'How to' video for you, you would not only get the video but will also have access to expert advice from professionals who do this for a living. They can advice you on ways to maximise the potential of your video and technicalities – How should it be shot? What information needs to be on it? Where should it go? How can you promote it? Is it necessary to have a second part to the video? Etc.
When you hire a production agency, you would be shopping for all the services together, such as those of a professional scriptwriter, cameraman, director, crew, as well as marketing and sales experts.
As you learn and become more familiar with Adobe Photoshop you will likely notice that Photoshop allows you to save images in many different formats or file types. Having a working knowledge and understanding of these different image formats is essential to making the most of your digital photo projects. While they are many different image types the following is a description of the most common file types you will use when working in Photoshop.
Digital Image File Formats
If you use Photoshop for your digital photo editing then PSD is probably the most important file format that you need to know. A PSD file is a Photoshop file format and is your best option when working on digital photos for two main reasons. First of all, PSD files allow the user to work in layers and channels and save work being done without compressing the layers. This of course usually results in a large file size. Secondly, PSD files do not lose image quality as you work on images because there is no compression when the file is saved resulting in lost data. It is always best to save your work as a PSD file until your image is finished and then you can save into the format most appropriate for your project.
JPEG, which stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, is one of the most common and well known file formats. JPEG files are good for web use as well as a variety of applications due to their small file size. Due to compression JPEG images loss data (image quality) each time change the file is saved.
GIF, or Graphics Interchange Format, is a popular file format for web use and other Internet applications. These files are typically small in size and load quickly in Internet browsers. GIF files are limited to a maximum of 256 colors.
TIFF, or Tagged Image File Format, are high quality images but are not really used that often and are not good for Internet use.
Although there are more file formats than we have listed here these are the formats you will want to use in your Photoshop photo editing projects. For the most part, the only formats you will use on a regular basis are PSD, JPEG, and GIF.
Choosing the right photo editor is a regular issue that can arise for many of us in such a technologically and digitally advancing age of today's world and in particular for those involved in either photography or those who just have an interest in editing their digital photos before printing , emailing or posting their photos online. There is also the fact that there are hundreds if not thousands of photo editing applications out there with many features and it is important that you as the user, compare and evaluate each of the options and features in order to select the best application that will meet your needs and requirements.
As mentioned, there are many choices of software that are available for use when editing digital photos and these various types of software can be grouped into three main areas in order to make it easier for you to decide which is the most appropriate for your needs and requirements. The first category basically consists of Freeware, Promotional or Shareware products. The second category is the Consumer category, and thirdly there is the Professional category.
It is important to consider several questions when selecting a photo editing program. These include but are not limited to; How much you are willing to spend when selecting a program? Will you be able to learn how to use the software competently or will it be too advanced? When choosing a program how well does it edit and does it have all the features that you require? All are important considerations and if not applied appropriately when selecting a photo editor, can potentially lead to dissatisfaction with the product.
Adobe Photoshop has become well known by many as the industry standard in terms of photo and image editing software. The latest in the Adobe range include Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 and also Adobe Photoshop CS4 which are both some of the best photo editing software programs around. Photoshop can be quite an expensive program in particular the Photoshop CS4 version and for the average consumer or beginner this cost may be too excessive particularly when there are other alternatives available for less money such as Photoshop Elements 7 or the other programs which I will mention below , however for the professional editor, Photoshop CS4 is a must!
There are several other popular options which can be considered and include the Picasa editor by Google, Jasc Paint Shop Pro and Microsoft's Picture It! These programs and many others offer a 30 Day trial for free so be sure to take advantage of these in order to try before you buy.
Another point to note is in relation to the free software programs which are often provided with your digital camera or other devices when purchased. Some of these can be very good but generally most are usually not very good quality and a waste of time and space. Be sure to get yourself a proper program such as the ones mentioned and I highly recommend Adobe Photoshop as it is an absolute gem of a program for all you photo and image editing needs.
Image retouching is a basic task for any photo editing graphic designer. Image retouching commonly means correction and improvement of an image through digital image processing. It is the treatment of a photograph to remove dust spots or blemishes, or to adjust or remove unwanted elements of the image, or add new elements to an image.
In the article you will know how to do an effective image retouching by the Clone Stamp tool in Adobe Photoshop. The Clone Stamp tool is useful for duplicating objects or removing a defect in an image.
Open the Photoshop in your PC. Now click on the Clone Stamp tool and you will see some options in the options bar like: Brush, Mode, Opacity, Flow, Aligned and Sample. Using this tool, you can copy a portion of an image and reapply it repeatedly to cover what you want. The whole process involves setting a sampling point in the image which will be used as a reference to create a new cloned area.
Suppose you want to retouch a woman face, hiding some undesired spots from the face. For doing this, please download a woman's face and load it into Photoshop. There are some undesired spots on her face. You will try to make them vanish from her face.
Please follow the instructions according to the steps described as below:
Step 1: Select the image Step 2: Open the image in the Photoshop Step 3: Click on the Clone Stamp tool from the tools box or pressing the "S" key from the keyboard. Step 4: Set the sampling point in the image, pressing Alt + click. This will be used as the reference point for cloning. By doing this the cursor will change with a target. Step 5: Click and drag your mouse where you want to clone the image. As you draw, a cross will appear on the original image as you are revealing the cloned image. Step 6: Click where undesired spots is seen in the image and you'll see that the area will be hided by the new area situated where the sampling point was. Step 7: Now click where the problem is and do this one after another Step 8: You have to do the same process continue for the rest of the face. Step 9: When all the undesired spots on her face will be disappear and the woman face looks nice, then you can finish the process. Step 10: Finally you can save the finished image or photo from the file Manu to your desired location in the PC.
By following the instructions any one can do an effective image retouching by the Clone Stamp tool in Adobe Photoshop.
When an image has to be worked upon for the crowning glory, it can be a hair-raising experience for new designers. If the photographer has clicked the image against a white background it becomes easier to work. Imagine the model in the image having spiked hair. If the hair is not set up properly (with editing) it may look like a wig. The change (even if it is a hair transplant!) Should look real after editing. The hair-masking tool should be able to create the final layer. A few transparent layers will have to be created to make different masks. With a white background, it can be fitted into any other monochromatic color. The layer can then be colored. But in the initial stages it needs to be clear. With the help of the blend and overlay mode further montage can be created. The next stage involves merging the layers. The tips can be left for the last. Painting has to be done while the layer in the overlay mode. Some areas may have to be cropped to get the right mix during painting. This part is a painstaking job compared to other masking jobs. With patience the effect can be achieved.
There are several editing gurus who have developed techniques over a period of time. They have done enough jobs to learn the lessons. With new software also the advanced Photoshop hair masking tools are helpful. It may include extraction from a portion of the image. The source is important in such a case. This will make the editor realize if the extraction will be possible or no. If the similar tones exist then the process is simple. Otherwise it is a challenge and will take longer. If the backgrounds are not contrasting then it is helpful to the editor. To set an example, try extracting blonde hair from a white background. It is a relatively simpler job. In such cases even re-masking will be needed at some stage. While the editor is working he is able to determine the possibilities to bring the job to the final conclusion. The wispy hair in the edges may still elude the final artwork. But with the help of multiple masks and different kinds of brushes, the results can be achieved. Obviously there is no set formula, but one has to experiment all the time. No two images with hair masking requirements are the same. The continuous manipulation is needed.
Many offshore companies have skilled designers who try to experiment and emerge successful in their endeavors. Frequent samples need not raise the cost structure. A client is retained when such samples are given free of cost. Many clients now outsource offshore photo editing companies for advanced jobs. They are also able to show to the clients various other similar projects executed. This also helps them to put faith in the work. With easy upload, download and tracking systems the brief can be changed too. These are some of the immediate benefits of outsourcing an offshore company.
One of the most important tools a website needs to be successful is eye catching graphics, with the use of these any run of the mill website will succeed in capturing a customer. Fantastic looking graphics are sure to impress any website visitor, unlike paragraphs upon paragraphs of catchy text graphics are there right in front of you, as said before, a picture paints a thousand words, well now a header image can tell a visitor about your product / service possibly better than 10 paragraphs of block text. So how can I create these images?
Back in September 2005 I started my online venture by selling eBooks on eBay, nothing major but it helped put petrol in my car at the end of every week. After a month I wanted to expand, I needed more sales to start covering my eBay fees that were every growing! I looked around at the top seller's sales pages to see how they were selling their goods and making a profit from them. There were two things each 'top seller' had in common, these were a good feedback rating and awesome sales page graphics, these really blew you away, and I was amazed!
Since feedback on eBay was something that needed to be built over time I decided to set myself a goal of being able to create myself some pleasant, easy on the eye sales page graphics for my listings. I did a bit of research and found out that all the top designers used a program called Adobe Photoshop. So on I went and downloaded a 30 day trial from the Adobe website. After downloading Photoshop and having a small play with some of the features I could easily see why it was professionally used by a small minority, there were loads of features that I just simply couldn't grasp.
I did a quick search on Google and found some great tutorial websites, two of my best finds being Pixel2Life.com and Good-Tutorials.com. I studied each and quickly started to master the fundamentals of Adobe Photoshop. I quickly began to realise that it was not all that hard. I also discovered (after some time) that Pixel2Life had its very own forum where Photoshop beginners could ask experts any problems or queries they may have had, this was a very powerful tool and quickly transformed me from a beginner to an intermediate!
Now, 1 and a half years later, I have my very own graphic design business and I am taking orders every single day. It really shows what shear persistent can do. I set myself a goal and I reached it. From just a little bit of research, and practicing, I became an expert in my field of graphic design, and you can too!
Ah Photoshop. The mother of all photo editing software. Although some would contest that it is not the best, it definitely has a large following. I personally enjoy it.
Did you know that aside from photos, you can also make animations in Photoshop? Its very easy actually.
2 things you'll need
An good plan of how you want your animation to look
(At least CS2. If you only have CS1 you can use the same techniques employed here with Image Ready instead of Photoshop, the animation tools in Photoshop CS2 and on are just copied from Image Ready)
If you don't have photoshop you can download a 30 day unlimited trial from Adobe's website
A web browser (any one will do)
A computer (obviouslly
Let's get going First open up photoshop. That seems like an obvious step, but you have to start somewhere. Once you open Photoshop be sure to set the color mode to RGB and the resolution to 72 dpi. That is web standard and it will save you a lot of headaches in the future. Also set the dimensions to pixels, and whatever dimensions you want. If you're going to make an animated ad, it would be best to use an IAB standard size ad.
The next thing you want to do in photoshop once you have your new document set up, is go up to the menubar and click on window, and in that menu bring up the animation palette.
Now draw something, even a circle or a square for this exercise it does not need to be too complicated. Draw your square. You'll notice that it shows up on the first frame. On the animation palette there is a button to add a new frame. Click that. With the second frame highlighted, grab your square and move it 100 pixels or so to the right. You'll notice that the first frame and the second frame are now different. That's hardly an animation, but it is a starting point. You could make a new frame for each individual step in between frames one and two, but why would you do that when Photoshop has a function built right into it that will do it automatically. It is called tweening.
To use the tween feature in Photoshop, click on frame 2, and then on the bottom right side of the animation palette there is a small button that looks like 3 circles. Click that, and it will bring up a menu. Make sure the dropdown menu says "Tween with: Previous Frame" and then put 5 frames in the number of frames to add. Then click "OK". This will add 5 frames in between your original 1 and 2, and when you press play you should see the square move across the screen.
To get a more in depth tutorial and for some examples of what you can do with this check out my website here
Aside from moire, there's one more hurdle of scanning LP jackets you need to surmount – that pesky problem that album covers are just too big to fit on the scanner bed – at least on anything but a professional grade scanner. Not only is the scanner bed not wide enough, but unless you have a legal size scanner, it isn't even long enough! Both the bottom and the edges of an LP will be cut off on the scan. Fortunately, there are workarounds.
Stitching the portions of the scan together
The easiest way is to scan the LP cover in sections, and then stitch them together in your photo editing program. Even though most scanner beds are not legal size, they are a bit bigger than 8.5 x 11. Mine measures 11.7 inches long. Still not large enough for an LP record jacket, but close enough. I simply scan the top portion of the jacket, then turn it 180 degrees and scan the bottom portion.
Photoshop and Photoshop Elements makes it easy
Recent versions of Photoshop and Photoshop Elements have a nifty Photomerge command that will automatically stitch the two halves together for you. With the two scanned halves of the LP jacket scanned and saved to disk, choose Photomerge Panorama from Photoshop's File menu. Choose the two scanned halves of your record jacket in the Open dialog and click the Auto Layout on the left-hand side. Click Okay and, in about 30 seconds, your two scans will be merged into one nearly seamless record jacket. Save the stitched image for adding to iTunes.
The final scan should look pretty good. Two of the corners may be cut off because the jacket did fit completely along the width of the scanner, but I find that I can usually place the jacket on the scanning bed so that a non-crucial element gets cut off on the final scan. Judicious use of the cropping tool in Photoshop can convert the final scan to a perfect square shape a la a real record jacket.
A good resolution at which to save the final jacket is 600 x 600 dpi, which is the size of jacket art work of the songs purchased from the iTunes store. Remember if you save the image at too high a resolution, it will bloat the size of your music file, as the cover artwork is stored as part of the music file itself. This will allow fewer songs to fit on your iPod. However, if you have iTunes or an iPod touch (or iPhone), with the album jackets present on all your songs, you can make nifty use of the Cover Flow view in browsing your music collection.
Now admire your work in iTunes
With the music digitized and the jacket art scanned and added to the music file, it your work is completed!
Using a digital photography green screen is easy. The screens are used in both still photography and videos although it's more common in video photography.
First off, you need an actual green screen. Despite the name, this can be either green or blue in color. The choice of color will largely be dictated by what you are photographing as you want to make it easy for your software to isolate the intended image with you.
Purpose made green screens are readily available from around $ 20. You can look for them in places like eBay, Amazon or your local photo store. Alternatively, you can make your own from fabric or even by painting a roll of paper. So long as the color is consistent, you'll be fine.
Next up you need to make sure that you have good lighting for your digital photo. This is especially useful when you come to edit your pictures as extra shadows can confuse any automatic software options that you choose.
Although you can buy expensive lights, you'll probably find that you can get very good results with just a couple of fluorescent tubes. Place them both upright, in front of your subject and to either side. This way any shadows should be canceled out.
Then take your photographs.
Once you're happy with these, the time has come to edit them and put in a new background. So your "talking head" shot now shows you in a news studio, in front of a street scene, or just about anywhere else you choose.
Much will now depend on your photo editing software.
At its most basic, you will need to trace round the outline of your chosen image. Programs like Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop have tools that will help you to do this. But it may still take a while to tweak the places where the automatic software recognition program isn't as accurate as you may like. This is where the contrast between the green screen and your subject matter comes in handy as it gives your chosen software a much better chance of doing a good job with as little of your help as possible.
Once you've got your image selected, you then need to use another option to digitally "lift" the image and then drop it onto your chosen background. Again, this will vary with your software package but providing you can get the software to just copy the selected area, you'll be fine.
It may pay you to practice doing this with a simple shape such as a rectangle or a circle so that you don't waste lots of time tracing round a complicated image only to find you press the wrong key at the wrong time. It's at times like these when you're grateful for Edit Undo options but personally I wouldn't rely on them one hundred percent.
It's then a relatively easy matter of dropping your carefully cut out selection on to the new picture. So you can then pretend to be talking to people from in front of the pyramids of Egypt or anywhere else you prefer.
There is much more to the Panorama function than simply stringing together several landscape files in horizontal format. One can also create vertical panoramas as well as combinations of vertical and horizontal files. This is particularly useful when one cannot physically get far enough away from a subject to capture all of it, even with a wide angle lens. One can also achieve great Depth of Field (DoF) by merging foreground and background files which were shot in sharp focus. Since I use the Panorama capabilities of Photoshop CS3 for much of my work, I felt I could share my experiences with you. I shoot in RAW, and use a combination of LightRoom or Camera Raw and PS in TIFF format for post-editing. I work with a Canon 20D and my lens of choice is a Canon EF L 28 mm-70 mm F 1.28 zoom. I have found that I will first do the landscape at 28 mm as a single file, and then zoom in to 70 mm and take 3 or 4 shots panning the subject. In some cases I have needed as many as 6 or 7 shots to cover the entire scene, vertically and horizontally.
Taking the Picture
First, when taking the picture, I pan the scene from left to right. This is my personal preference, and it helps to later assemble the files in post-editing, since the file numbers are then in ascending sequential order. I use a tripod when I am shooting at the lower shutter speeds required to stay at ISO 100 and to get as small an aperture as possible to increase DoF and sharpness. For the sharpest images, I set the mirror to lock-up position, and use the self-timer option to eliminate any camera vibrations. You have to really be careful in setting up the tripod to make sure it is absolutely level, otherwise it will create an angle to the shot when panning. You can fix this by cropping, but the resulting image is that much smaller. If I have enough light, I hand hold the camera, taking care to make sure that it is perfectly lined up with horizontal elements in the subject such as trees and buildings.
Use the Panorama function to increase DoF. I recently composed a shot of a long woodpile, having it begin about 5-6 feet away from me in the lower left hand corner of the frame and then going diagonally up and across the picture, ending several hundred feet away. By taking a series of shots, using a tripod and as small an aperture as possible, I changed focus as I panned up and across the woodpile. After merging the files I had an image that was in sharp focus across the entire length of the woodpile. In this case, I also panned across the bottom foreground as well to capture the entire scene.
In another situation, I used about 6 files to create a shot of a 19th Century meeting house and maple tree, 3 up and down on each side of the image. Unable to get far away from the subject, I shot from across the street. I also shot at 70 mm, thus getting a needle sharp image with no objectionable distortion.
When shooting at right angles to morning or evening sunlight, especially with snow cover, one can have exposure issues, especially in the shadows at one side of the panorama and the other. To be safe, I always bracket these shots, especially with snow, where I have found that it is best to expose for the shadows, which means overexposing the TTL exposure meter by 2-3 stops.
Rather than do a mini-tutorial on PS, let me discuss some of the issues I have learned to deal with. I have used various editors in the past, and now use PS CS3 which has a fantastic automated process for merging the files. So this part of the process is a no-brainer in CS3. I other less developed pieces of software I had to deal with issues where parts of the image did not line up exactly, or one side was darker than the other. Sometimes you can fix these issues by editing the files individually and then merging them repeatedly until you fix it. One issue is just how much editing you want to do before you run the merge. Even though PS will automatically adjust the images in the merge process, it is good to have them all consistently exposed. By experimentation and from file to file, I decide whether to edit the files before I merge them, or after. By doing the editing after the merge, I can work on the entire image all at once, which is simpler and easier.
Once the images are merged in PS, I flatten the layers so I can work on the entire image at once. Then I crop the image, and straighten it if required (a fix for a lopsided tripod in the shooting phase). If the images do not overlap evenly, you may have some cloning work or copying work to do to fill in missing chunks of sky or foreground. If you have dust spots, and you use three files, you will have to look for 3 sets of dust spots to fix. I check the sky at 100% view, using the healing tool first, and then the cloning or healing tool as required. This is the time when you might want to use a mask to lighten up some shadows or fix some clipped highlights on one side or the other of the panorama. You can see my work in microstock photography at iStockPhoto.