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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How to Draw a Hand in a Clenched Fist

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.32.44 PM

Hands: a symbol of protection, collaboration, solidarity, and friendship. Whether they’re splayed, extended, or clenched—like they are here—hands are one of the most difficult parts of the human anatomy to draw.

But by taking a rough sketch into Illustrator and tracing its outlines, you can create elegant vector artwork to use for logos or a motivational poster like the one shown in today’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques.

By Seán Duggan | Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Using Layer Masks with Video in Photoshop

video_layermasks_07

Photoshop has been able to handle video for several versions now, but the video features got a big upgrade with the CS6 release—in the form of a Timeline panel. This was significant because the timeline interface has long been a fixture in other dedicated video editing programs.

The nice thing about working with video in Photoshop is that you can rely on all the skills and techniques you already know about working with layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. The ability to use layer masks with video layers allows you to create some really interesting custom transitions and composites for your video projects.

By Jess Stratton | Monday, July 28, 2014

Use Doodle For Easy Group Scheduling

2014_07_28_MPPdoodle

Lots of offices have calendar scheduling systems in place, like Outlook, Google, or Lotus Notes. If you want to schedule a meeting, you can add your list of invitees and see when they’re all available to schedule it. It’s an easy process.

What’s not so easy is when you need to schedule a meeting for a group of people who aren’t on a unified calendar scheduling app.

You know what happens next: The emails start flying around with everyone listing dates they’re available, and dates they’re not. It’s nearly impossible for everyone to wade through each other’s typed-out schedules to find a single date and time when everyone is free—and by the time you find it, one of the guests has suddenly become unavailable again.

In this week’s Monday Productivity Pointers, I’ll show you a website that can help with this process.

By Jan Kabili | Monday, July 28, 2014

Find Your LIghtroom Photos Easily—with Keywords

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Putting your finger on a particular photo in a large Lightroom library can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Keywords get my vote for the most powerful way to keep track of photos in Lightroom.

Here are my favorite tips for making keywording in Lightroom work for you:

By Aaron F. Ross | Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Coolest New Features of Maya 2015

Maya 2015 Texture Deformer

Maya 2015 Texture Deformer

With the release of Maya 2015, Autodesk demonstrates a strong commitment to developing the gold standard in 3D animation and visual effects software. From polygon modeling to liquid simulations, Maya 2015 offers many exciting new features.

Here’s a rundown of the most significant improvements to this powerful software.

By Chris Converse | Saturday, July 26, 2014

Optimize Graphics for the Mobile Web

mobile-web-hero

When creating graphics for the web, we walk a delicate line between file size and image quality. We want smaller files for faster performing sites, especially on mobile, but we also want beautiful imagery on today/s high-quality screens.

With nearly 20% of all web traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s important to consider the file size of your graphics. The irony of this trend is that mobile devices have higher quality displays and, typically, a slower internet connection. This challenges web designers to create high-quality graphics with smaller file sizes.

This is a pretty tough order, but I have some techniques that can help reduce sizes and optimize graphics for web delivery.

By Kristin Ellison | Friday, July 25, 2014

Create Logo Text with Paths and Layer Styles

2014_07_25_PpgKnights

This week, Bert walks us through how to use paths and layer styles to create logo text.

By Richard Harrington | Friday, July 25, 2014

Audio Recording Alternatives to the Zoom H4n

2014_07_25_VGWScreen Shot 2014-07-24 at 5.21.04 PM

The Zoom H4n is a versatile audio recorder. Not only does it record in stereo, but it can record audio to four tracks while offering the option to add effects and EQ.

Still, it isn’t the only audio recorder on the market. In this week’s episode of Video Gear Weekly, Rich and Robbie show you some other choices available for recording audio.

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