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By Mike Rankin | Thursday, July 18, 2013

Creating metallic text: InDesign FX

This week’s free InDesign FX video demonstrates the kind of complex and subtle effects you can achieve by blending several instances of an object with different fills, opacity levels, and blending modes.

By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Anyone Can Draw!

Drawing Vector Graphics

Many believe that drawing is a skill you’re born with: If you weren’t lucky enough to get that gene, you’re destined to draw stick figures. Not true! Drawing is a skill that anyone can learn. It’s like skiing or writing or cooking; the more you do it, the better you’ll become. Walt Stanchfield, an American animator, once said, “We all have 10,000 bad drawings in us. The sooner we get them out, the better.” The fastest way to do this is to embed drawing into your daily routine. In Drawing Vector Graphics, author and illustrative designer Von Glitschka shares his thoughts on how to make this happen.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Add a pointillist effect to your photos: Deke's Techniques

Pointillism was a late-19th century painting technique comprised of dot-like strokes of color. It got its name from critics who wanted to ridicule its style of brushwork—but the name stuck. If you think about it, pointillism—which tricks the eye to perceive a broader range of tone, without any blending—is a kind of precursor to pixilation. The digital world owes a lot to these enterprising artists.

You, too, can become a pointillist. Learn to mimic the style of Seurat and Signac with today’s Deke’s Techniques. Deke shows you how to shortcut this exacting process with Smart Filters in Adobe Photoshop.

Figure 1

By Kristin Ellison | Friday, July 12, 2013

The importance of saying no

love-time-money

One of the greatest challenges faced by freelance designers and design firm owners is knowing when to decline work. Not all jobs are created equal, and just because you like the client, or the pay is good, or it seems like an interesting project, doesn’t mean the job is going to benefit you or your business.

Let’s say it’s a company whose mission you admire and want to support, but they have a small budget and the schedule is too tight for the scope of work. The best-case scenario is that you’ll end up working too hard for too little compensation. The worst-case scenario is that you won’t be able to produce work you feel good about because of the time constraints. Additionally, you may even have to pass on another job that would have been more beneficial to your business.

By James Fritz | Friday, July 12, 2013

Create a displacement map in Photoshop: Pixel Playground

This week’s technique covers the basics of working with displacement maps.

Creating a ripple effect with displacement maps in Photoshop.

Displacement maps are an old but incredibly powerful feature inside Adobe Photoshop. This week Bert covers the basics of creating a realistic shadow using the Displace filter. He begins by creating a cast shadow with a simple distortion and a few masks. Next he applies the Displace filter to a darkened copy of the background layer to increase the depth of the shadow. Finally he paints in some subtle touches to finish off the effect.

Interested in more?

• Start a 7-day free trial to lynda.com today • See the entire Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy Series

Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

By Anne-Marie Concepción | Thursday, July 11, 2013

Surprising ways to do a word count in InDesign: InDesign Secrets

Adobe InDesign can provide a word count for any story, which is a great feature if you’re trying to stay under a certain editorial limit, fit text within a proscribed layout, or measure readability. But this week in InDesign Secrets, Anne-Marie Concepción shows you how to take it to the next level with scripts.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 09, 2013

How to colorize a background in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

Colorizing a background, whether it’s an illustration or a photograph, can give your artwork depth and create an interesting mood, but it can be a time-consuming process. But toil no more! This week Deke McClelland shows you a short, painless technique for changing the color of your background using Adobe Photoshop and the Color Overlay effect. Go from color to black and white or from one color to another in about three and a half minutes.

By James Fritz | Friday, July 05, 2013

Use a custom Photoshop brush to create realistic effects: Pixel Playground

Create realistic effects with custom Photoshop brushes

One of the best ways to push your boundaries using Adobe Photoshop is to take the time to explore what all the sliders, buttons, and menus can do. This week Bert takes us through the various steps toward creating realistic pepper from scratch. He starts out by drawing a few simple shapes and, after playing with a few settings, he is able to create an interesting pattern and build a brush with it. Once Bert paints a few layers with this brush and builds up the colors, you’ll start to see how you can create practically anything with the Photoshop brushes.

Adobe and Photoshop are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

Interested in more?

• Start a 7-day free trial to lynda.com today • See more layers effects in Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects • See the entire Pixel Playground with Bert Monroy Series

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