Tag Archives: photoshop

How to Create Art from Digital Photos


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Someone decided to print a digital photo, and then turn it into a work of art by placing it on canvas. They also applied styles to it to make it look as though it had been painted. If you look at it from a distance, it truly does look like it was painted by hand! Did you know there is software that you can use to make your digital photos look like works of art? It’s easy to do, using Snap Art 2.

Quickly start by choosing from hundreds of new styles and ten natural media, such as oil paint, watercolor, and pencil sketch. Then customize anything from brush size to paint thickness to make your signature look. Snap Art’s wide range of control lets you make your work completely unique.

The folks at AlienSkin have long been the leader when it comes to PhotoShop plugins – and this is definitely not an exception. Snap Art is an amazing little plugin! There’s a color pencil effect, as well as an oil painting one. You can choose to apply pen-and-ink or pencil sketch to your photo, or even make it look like it is a comic strip!

You may think you already have these things built into PhotoShop. But, you can’t tweak it to make it perfect. It’s just too difficult and limited. AlienSkin makes it simple. You just click the different templates and styles, and let it apply them for you. If you hate it – revert back and do something different.

You won’t get as much detail and perfection by using PhotoShop alone. You definitely want to check out Snap Art if you love to mess with photos. What 3rd party filters do you use? I want to see what our audience is into at this point in time. If you use coupon code: CHP0900, you can save 10% off your order through the end of June!

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QA

Wurzels, Ratchets, and Star Trek… Oh, My!

Wow. Just yesterday, we gave away ten webcams from Microsoft. We finally reached that 7500 member mark… and we’ve smashed it already! Have you checked out what’s been happening on Geeks today?

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Not to be outdone, here is the latest happenings over on Lockergnome.

If you haven’t joined us yet, what are you waiting for?

Who Needs Photoshop?!


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I have been addicted to the Web since the day it was born. The other day, I did a video about Cameroid which can help you do all sorts of cool things with your video camera. I came upon a link from my friend Mona for a site that is similar to Cameroid… only even better. On PhotoFunia, you will get “the photo software that should have come with your camera”.

Click on any of the pre-defined effects, and then browse your computer to choose a photo. PhotoFunia will automatically apply your selected effect to that picture before displaying it! Once your picture is ready, you can save it to your computer, save it to ImageShack, or save it out as an avatar.

The second place I want to tell you about comes from JoshM. Dumpr is where you create marvellous photos to share with your friends. It’s very similar to both Cameroid and PhotoFunia. Again, you can take an image and throw it into a variety of effects. This site is free, or you can choose to sign up and pay a fee. Once you pay, you’ll have access to even more effects. Once you finish with your photo, you can save it to your computer or Flickr, or send it to others in an email.

So there are two very cool sites you can use to play with your pictures, and create something new.

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Do you Have any Photoshop Tips for Beginners?

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Recently, Mushir sent in his list of favorite foods from India. Instead of food, he’s passing on his top tips for people who are just beginning to learn how to use Photoshop.

  • Check it out! When using Photoshop for the first time, see what everything does… from tools to little buttons. This will not only make you move around much faster in Photoshop, but it will also make you experiment a lot more.
  • Always use layers! Layers are one of the most important things you have to remember to use when using Photoshop. It is very frustrating when you draw something really amazing on lets say a black background, but when you want to change the color of the background you notice the drawing and the background are on the same layer. So when you change the background color… the entire drawing gets screwed up. Remember also that using too many layers can get you confused.
  • Name your layers. I know naming your layers can seem useless sometimes, but when working on a big project it is very helpful. Doing this helps you find a particular layer very fast.
  • Use groups. Groups are little folders that you can put as many layers as you want into. Many people don’t even know that groups exist. This helps you organize your layers very easily. Remember to name your groups by the way!
  • Learn the shortcuts. Learning shortcuts is the key to becoming a fast and an efficient Photoshop user. Of course, you will not be able to learn all the shortcuts right away. But after a while, try to remember the shortcuts for the tools you use the most.
  • Filters. Filters are one of the greatest features in Photoshop. Try out the the filters and see what they do. Play with the settings. I like to use the sharpen filter a lot of the time. It gives my images a crisper look. But only use filters when you feel it is necessary.
  • Experiment! Experimenting is something everyone should do. When starting with graphics… you might read tutorials, which is great! You really learn a lot from tutorials. But after awhile, try experimenting to find your own style. It always feels nice to see a new and refreshing style because some have been used so much already that even if they used to look good, they look awful now.

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Boot Camp vs VMware or Parallels

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Apparently, Virtual Machines are a hot topic! I’ve had a few calls lately asking about them, the differences, and my recommendations. This caller is buying a Macbook Pro, and is wondering what he should use as far as running Windows programs. He has a copy of Photoshop, and wonders what program he needs on the Macbook in order to use Photoshop to its peak performance. He’s also curious as to whether he should use Rosetta.

What exactly is Rosetta? You’ll never see it, you’ll never configure it, you’ll never have to think about it. It’s built into Mac OS X to ensure that most of your existing applications live a long and fruitful life. Here are all the instructions you’ll need: double-click the application icon. Behind the scenes, Rosetta dynamically translates most of your PowerPC-based applications to work with your Intel-based Mac. There’s no emulation. No second-class status. It looks and feels just like it did before. On a Mac, you’d expect nothing less.

If you want, you could always use Photoshop inside a Virtual Machine, using something such as Parallels or VMware. Or, you could use Boot Camp, which is included with OS X Leopard. Boot Camp supports the most popular 32-bit releases of Windows XP and Windows Vista. When you use either operating system on your Mac, your Windows applications will run at native speed. This is exactly what the caller is looking for! Windows applications have full access to multiple processors and multiple cores, accelerated 3D graphics, and high-speed connections like USB, FireWire, Wi-Fi, and Gigabit Ethernet.

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Photoshop Video

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Whether you’re new to Photoshop, or have been using it for a long time… these tips should help you become even more proficient. Keep sending in those top five lists!

  • When trying to fade an image, do not change the opacity of the layer use the eraser tool. This is because if you have more than one image on one layer, you can have the different images a different opacity level. To do this click on the eraser tool and go to the top tool bar (unless you have moved it), lower the opacity, and erase. You can also use this to blend images and get rid of “boxyness” (when the image is square and you want it more roundish) if that makes sense.
  • When cropping full images do not use the eraser tool, use the vector tool. It is much more accurate and only cuts out exactly what you need. The eraser tool, in my opinion, should only be used for fading and touching up images, but never to do a full cropping job.
  • ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS! Be aware of what layer you are selected on. I’ve seen other people many times and myself start using the vector tool to crop out images, only to find out I was on the wrong layer and had to redo it all over again. You may also run into problems if you want to flatten two layers, but select the wrong ones and find out later when it is too late that your layers are now messed up.
  • When using the magic wand tool, remember that it really isn’t magical. If you are using it too get rid of an unwanted background, make sure that you close up all of the openings of the wanted image. This can be done rather easily by using the pencil tool.
  • Always put images on different layers. This will give you more freedom t change the way the images are placed in the final image. If you put them all on one layer, you can usually never change it much.

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NAPP: Photoshop Association

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A community member writes: “I recently went to a seminar by the NAPP. NAPP is the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. I joined them last year. Here are my reasons for joining NAPP.”

  • NAPP produces a magazine called Photoshopuser that is packed cover-to-cover with in-depth Photoshop® tutorials and tips written by the most talented designers, photographers, and leading authors in the industry.
  • NAPP offers a member’s only website http://www.photoshopuser.com/ with weekly feature tutorials. Each week there are two new video tutorials that allow you to watch how experts produce amazing images. As well as weekly tutorials that show the steps involved to created incredible photos. A member’s forum provides a way members’ can assist each other with specific issues using Adobe Photoshop program. There are many other features of the website which could be it’s own list.
  • NAPP associated with Kelly training produces seminars illustrating different aspects of Photoshop, which travel around the United States. The three tours are Photoshop CS3 Power tour, Photoshop CS3 Creativity Tour, and Photoshop CS3 Tour for Photographers. A benefit from membership is you currently receive a twenty-dollar savings on the $99 price.
  • NAPP has a twice a year convention on Photoshop and April 2-4 2008 it will be held at the Orlando Convention Center. For three inspirational days you will learn from more than 40 of the most recognized and respected names in the industry, including Scott Kelby, Terry White, Fay Sirkis, Joe McNally, Bert Monroy, Jay Maisel, Dan Margulis, Jeff Schewe, and more. NAPP member receive a substantial discount on the admission price for the three-day event.
  • NAPP has negotiated discounts on hardware, software and services from top organizations such as Adobe, B and H, Office Depot, Dell, Apple, Porter Case, Alien Skin, Site grinder, Lucas Art for a total of 92 different discounts.

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Photoshop Help

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Using Photoshop can be daunting, at best. It’s not the easiest program in the world to learn. However… it does produce excellent results. Here are some tips to help you become more familiar with Photoshop, and all it can do for you.

  • Know the Basics I cannot stress enough how important it is to learn the basics. If you are looking to use Photoshop for what it’s worth, you need to know how things work and how to get around the workspace with ease. Later, as you progress into more advanced areas of Photoshop , or if you are working on a time limit, knowing exactly what route you need to take will save you a lot of time and help you achieve the desired goal.
  • Take Advantage of Digital One of the amazing things about editing digitally, is the fact that you have complete control over your work. Unlike painting or drawing, if there’s an area of your project in which you are not happy with, you can simply delete or modify it using the magic of layers. Don’t be afraid to add as many layers as you wish, to separate every aspect of your project. Photoshop even gives you the ability to sort your layers in folders for organization and easy access.
  • Learn, Learn, Learn There is an infinite amount of resources both online and off line, which will teach you everything you need to know about how to USE Photoshop . Whether you prefer written instruction or visual, you’ll find all you need scattered across the internet. Some places, such as YouTube may offer video tutorials demonstrating certain aspects of Photoshop , but if you are looking to learn as much as possible, there are several paid resources which offer high quality training videos.
  • Don’t Limit Yourself Even though Photoshop can do a whole lot in terms of editing, you don’t necessarily have to only use Photoshop . There are other programs such as Adobe Illustrator which can be useful if you need to work in vector format. Adobe Flash, if you need animation or dynamic web content. Or Adobe Dreamweaver if you are looking to publish your work to the web. The great thing about using each of these programs for what they excel in, is that they are all cross compatible. Switch from one to another with great ease!
  • Be Creative There is no limit to what you can do. Let your mind wander and have fun with your designs. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond, but always remember to stay professional. Be sure to follow basic color guidelines to make your work easy on the eye and user friendly.

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How to Make Text Glow in Photoshop

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During a GoToMeeting conference the other night, Zergdog shared with us how he uses Photoshop CS3 to make glowing text. Photoshop allows you to enhance your text by using many special artistic effects, including drop shadowing, bevel and emboss, and color overlay. To create glowing (or any other enhanced type) text, do the following:

  • From the Layer menu, select Layer Style » Blending Options… The Layer Style dialog box appears.
  • Under Styles, select the desired option (such as outer or inner glow)
  • Make the desired selections and adjustments, such as depth, color, etc.

The following types of enhancements are available:

Drop Shadow: Gives the impression that the text is raised above the background

Inner Shadow: Gives the appearance that the background is raised above the text

Outer Glow: Produces text with the image of soft light emanating from under the words and extending around them

Inner Glow: Produces text that appears semi-transparent and internally lit up

Bevel and Emboss: Produces text that has a realistic, 3D look

Satin: Gives the text’s surface a shiny, smooth appearance

Color Overlay: Overlays the text with color while preserving the highlights and shadows of the text

Gradient Overlay: Overlays the text with a gradient color pattern while preserving the highlights and shadows of the text

Pattern Overlay: Overlays the text with a pattern while preserving the highlights and shadows of the text

Stroke: Adds the appearance of a line drawn on the edge of your text

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