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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
- Hi there, welcome back to another addition of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley, and today I'm going to be talking to you about Adobe Add-ons, specifically five Adobe Add-ons for Photoshop that you, as a designer, will probably be interested in. Now if you're not familiar with what add-ons actually are, they're basically extensions of Photoshop that you are able to download and install via the Creative Cloud and they sync automatically to your Photoshop application, using your Adobe ID. And they give you various bits that extend the capabilities of Photoshop.
So it might be something like a filter, it could be something like something that helps you rename layers quickly, it could be a crazy 3D effect. There are lots of different things that these add-ons are able to do, and I have found five of them that I really, really like. Some of them are free, but some of them are also not free, and I'll discuss that as we go along. The first one here is called "19 Instagram Photo Effects." It's only seven bucks, but if you've ever wanted the power of the Instagram filters inside of Adobe Photoshop, this is probably the easiest and cheapest way to go about it.
Seven bucks you get all 19 of these filters, and you can actually see here what it does. It goes through and it generates all 19 of the effects on your photo. So basically it's gonna generate 19 new layers of your photo and it's going to put those effects on those layers and then you just choose which one you like the best. I don't agree with the fact that this is a destructive edit, it's not something that you can go back in and tweak, it's not lika a Camera Raw effect or something like that, but if you're just looking for that Instagram look for something, which is very popular nowadays, that sort of faded, retro, hipster look, this is a great little application to install inside of Photoshop to get that.
So, again, it is called "19 Instagram Photo Effects." It is $7 and it is available now inside of the Adobe Add-ons website. Which, by the way, you can get to it by going to creative.adobe.com/addons. Next up is something called "Abstract Action." This one is only $10, but it does something that really blew my mind when I actually saw it in action. There's a YouTube video where you can go in and you can watch exactly what it does. Basically, you have a photo that you want to change, you brush over it, and when you brush over it it will run an effect where you get something crazy like this.
Or, here's a before and after of that one. And then the final one, what it looks like. So it basically takes your photo, and then molds it into this crazy background and then sort of integrates it with some really cool, interesting, abstract, oftentimes 3D looking effects. This is a very popular technique that a lot of people do in sports photography. You see it a lot for energetic ads for, let's say, energy drinks and stuff like that. So if you're in that type of business, you may want to take a look at this. It is really cool, it's very quick and very simple to get it to work, and again it is only 10 bucks.
It is working currently with versions CC2014, CC, and also CS6. The "Dispersion PS Action" is probably my favorite one, but, sadly, it's also the most expensive one at $19.95, but as you scroll down here you'll actually be able to see here's a YouTube video of it. Check out what this thing actually does. It takes your photo and then breaks it apart into little particles and then scatters those particles around the photo. So here's another example, it's almost looks like the paint is coming off of the people.
So here's a before and after of what it looks like. You also get something like this. I mean there are some crazy, crazy effects, that you can generate with this. It's got decent ratings, 4.0 out of 5, and it is available for CC2014, CC, and CS6. It is Mac and Windows compatible as most of these tend to be, and then, of course, it is $19.95. You can actually see the ratings and reviews, if anybody has reviewed it. You can see all the different reviews here, "very good," "excellent," etc. Notes underneath here, where to find it, all that kind of stuff, if you have trouble installing it or anything like that, this is where you go to figure out any issues with that.
I have not had any issues with add-ons syncing, unless I have downloaded a older version of an add-on, one that was designed to work with, let's say, CC, when I'm currently running CC2014, or one that's supposed to work with CS6 and I'm currently running CC, etc. If you try to run something older than the version that you are using, then it's probably not going to work, or if you're using, let's say, a brand new version and nobody has updated their plug-ins yet, some of these things might not work as well. OK then, here's another one of my favorites, and this one is free.
It's called "Columns" and very simply all it does is give you the abiility to do column text in Photoshop. Which I think is super cool, especially if you are trying to do website mock-ups with multi-columns layouts or if you are one of those people, even though I technically beleive you're not supposed to, but if you are one of those people that likes to design all in Photoshop, then this gives you the option at least to create multi-column text without actually creating separate text boxes, which is really cool. So check that out, it's called "Columns." It is free and it is available for CC2014 and CC only, so CS6 is not a part of this one.
It is Mac and Windows compatible, though. And then finally, one that I found pretty interesting. It's called "TimeTracker CC" and this one's available, not just for Photoshop, but also Illustrator and InDesign CC and CC2014. There are other versions of this which require payment, but this is the free version of this, so it is the most limited version. And you can see here, basically what this allows you to do is track your time inside of Photoshop, or Illustrator, or InDesign so that you can keep track of the time that you're putting in on the designs that you're creating.
No matter if you already have a time tracking application, this one actually puts a time tracker inside the application that you're working on, which makes it super easy for you to know exactly how much time you're spending on each, individual thing. It is free, again it's available for all of those products I mentioned, CC and CC2014, and it is Mac and Windows compatible. And, once again, you can find all of these inside of the Adobe Add-ons website at creative.adobe.com/addons.
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