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By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Creating a great design: No image, no problem!

No image? No problem!

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What do you do when you’re faced with creating a great design—but have no images to bring variation and interest to the piece? John McWade’s answer to this common challenge is to use more white space, also known as negative space. This is the portion of a page left unmarked, such as margins, gutters, and space between columns, lines of type, and graphics. It may sound like a simplistic solution, but it’s a great way to make your design more dynamic, and attract your viewer’s attention.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Align objects with Illustrator's grid: Deke's Techniques

Align objects to a grid in Adobe Illustrator

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Learn how to use Illustrator’s grid to create a diagram where all the elements are precisely aligned. This week in Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you how to modify the size and subdivisions of the grid by tweaking your preferences and resize the artboard to match the new grid. Then he shows how to draw flowchart elements with the Rectangle tool and use the Snap to Grid command to precisely align them. Click the free video below to get started.

By James Fritz | Friday, August 30, 2013

Creating a flower tattoo in Photoshop: Pixel Playground

Create a flower tattoo in Photoshop

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This week’s technique will teach you how to create a realistic flower tattoo.

Continuing with last week’s tattoo theme, this week we learn how to create a flower tattoo in Adobe Photoshop. Bert takes us through his unique approach for painting the colors onto the petals of a flower. He begins by selecting non-overlapping paths and creating layers filled with a sampled color. To give the petals depth, he cleverly uses the Photoshop dodge and burn tool to add the various highlights and lowlights. To complete the tattoo, Bert adds a simple stroke layer style and duplicates it across the various petal layers.

By David Blatner | Thursday, August 29, 2013

Create a QR code: InDesign Secrets

Create a QR code with Adobe InDesign

Watch more InDesign Secrets at lynda.com.

QR codes are a great hybrid of the information-rich nature of text and the small footprint of images. You can encode almost any information you want, even long email messages, into a small square bar code that can be scanned and read by a smartphone. In this episode of InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows how to embed plain text, URLs, text messages, emails, or a digital business card as a QR code in your Adobe InDesign documents, with one simple command from the Object menu. Then learn how to create a more eye-catching QR code by breaking down and styling its editable objects. Watch the free video below to learn more.

By Kristin Ellison | Thursday, August 29, 2013

Save time and money by managing project “scope creep”

Everyone dreads “scope creep.” That’s when a project keeps expanding, either due to endless revisions or the addition of new work that wasn’t part of the original plan. To avoid it, be up front with clients about the number of changes covered in the fees that you’ve agreed upon. Additional work and/or revisions can certainly be accommodated, but you’ll need to amend the original agreement so that you’re fairly compensated for it.

What qualifies as a revision? What’s the difference between minor changes and substantial ones? You’ll have to define the line between the two, and make it clear to your client before you begin work; add this definition into the Terms & Conditions section of your agreement.

By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Add motion trails to a silhouette in Photoshop: Deke's Techniques

Add motion trails to a silhouette in Photoshop

Explore Deke’s Techniques at lynda.com.

Make the subjects of your photos look like they’re moving “faster than light” in this week’s episode of Deke’s Techniques. Learn how to add bright motion trails to silhouetted figures in an image in Adobe Photoshop. You can see similar effects used in advertising and Deke shows you how to achieve it in less than 10 minutes. It’s a great technique that makes use of the Ocean Ripple, Graphic Pen, and Motion Blur filters, plus some good old levels and channel adjustment. Click the video below to start learning.

By James Fritz | Friday, August 23, 2013

Create a belly for a dragon tattoo: Pixel Playground

Create the belly of a dragon in Photoshop

Explore Pixel Playground at lynda.com.

This week’s Pixel Playground technique will teach you how to add a belly to your dragon tattoo in Adobe Photoshop.

Over the past few weeks we’ve been adding more details to our dragon tattoo and this week we’ll complete the dragon by adding the belly. To create the belly, begin by using the Pen tool to draw the various shapes of the belly. Next, duplicate the bottom portion of the path to help form the shape of the creases along the bottom of the belly. After adding fills for the belly shapes, create a layer and paint in the tones of the belly. Finally, make a new brush out of two rectangles and brush in the top of the belly, then finish the design by adding Inner Glow and Drop Shadow effects.

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

By James Fritz | Thursday, August 22, 2013

Taking advantage of GREP inside InDesign

Learn to use GREP inside Adobe InDesign

GREP (Global Regular Expression Parsing) is one of the most powerful features of Adobe InDesign, but it’s often overlooked since it hides within other capabilities like Find/Change and Paragraph Styles. Once you learn the basics of GREP, you might wonder how you ever worked without it.

If you’re not familiar with GREP and its relationship with InDesign, it’s used for both simple and complex text operations. Simply put, GREP lets you automate formatting and find/changing of text, based on patterns in the text.

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