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By Colleen Wheeler | Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year creativity resolutions from lynda.com authors

To celebrate the new year and my new position as content manager of the design segment at lynda.com, I decided to quiz some of our lynda.com authors about what kind of advice, warnings, or personal goals they might have for 2011. Here are some of the useful tips, gentle admonitions, and personal goals they shared:

David Blatner suggests that we take a little time now to make styles, master pages, learn keyboard shortcuts, set up workspaces, or other time-saving shortcut skills, in order to save a lot more time downstream. I so agree with David on this one. And while I’m really good (obsessive, really) about creating styles in InDesign, I’m a horrible procrastinator when it comes to learning shortcuts. Which is silly. A few seconds of concentration on learning how to navigate the Layers panel in Photoshop with the keyboard would probably pay off before I even get around to breaking the rest of my resolutions.

James Fritz wants to learn more about new technology, and since Fritz is the author of InDesign CS5: Interactive Documents and Presentations, his thoughts naturally run to ePub and hopes we have something in the works there. (We’ll get on it, Fritz.) He also recommends brushing up on HTML5 and CSS. Don’t know where to start? Try James Williamson’s Web Design Fundamentals course.

Deke McClelland thinks you should stop adding those heavy-handed precious-memory vignettes to your portraits no matter how easy they are to create in Photoshop/ACR these days. Let’s face it, vignettes are the drop shadows of the new millennium. Unless you are shooting actions shots of dinosaurs, of course, then vignette away (check out the Adding grain and vignetting effects from Deke’s Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced course for why this last bit makes any sense whatsoever).

Mordy Golding thinks learning  to exploit Illustrator’s Appearance panel is definitely worth your 2011 attention. In fact, Mordy once claimed that “…the Appearance panel was the source of all things about modern Illustrator usage. The path to Illustrator righteousness. If you aren’t using it yet, you need to get with the program.” (Illustrator that is). You can get Mordy’s rundown on Using the Appearance panel from his Illustrator CS5 Essential Training course.

All good ideas, I think. Any bad design production habits you want to replace with better ones this year? Any good habits you hope your friends and colleagues adopt? What about things you want to learn—and how can we keep our resolution to help you with that?

By Michael Ninness | Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bert Monroy reveals his latest digital masterpiece, Times Square

lynda.com author and digital painter Bert Monroy with his latest work.

Today, lynda.com author and digital painter Bert Monroy publicly revealed his latest (and massive!) digital painting entitled Times Square at the PhotoPlus Expo conference in New York.

Bert Monroy's Time Square

Bert Monroy's Time Square.

Bert has been working on this hyper-realistic illustration for four years, and says he’s not quite done with it yet. It is the largest image he’s ever created, and it definitely pushed the boundaries of the software and hardware he had available to use. Every element has been meticulously created from scratch using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. The 5 foot by 25 foot image is filled with the likenesses of Bert’s family, friends and scores of luminaries from the imaging and creative industry—including our very own Lynda Weinman, Bruce Heavin, Deke McClelland, David Blatner, Chris Murphy, and Colleen Wheeler.

Standing next to John Loiacono of Adobe are our own Bruce Heavin and Lynda Weinman.

A 25-foot light box was constructed to display the piece that has been printed on a new material being introduced by Epson called DisplayTrans Backlight Media that Bert helped develop. If you are in New York, you can get up close and the incredible detail for yourself by visiting the Epson booth at PhotoPlus Expo being held at the Javits Convention Center through Saturday, October 30, 2010. Alternatively, you can pan and zoom in on an online version of the piece.

Some interesting facts:

• The image size is 60 inches by 300 inches. • The flattened file weighs in at 6.52 gigabytes. • The painting is composed of almost 3,000 individual Photoshop and Illustrator files. • Taking a cumulative total of all the files, the overall image contains over 500,000 layers.

We are thrilled to also let you know that Bert will begin production on a Making of Time Square video course later this month, which is likely to be published early next year. Until then, you can find out more about the incredibly talented Bert by watching the Creative Inspirations documentary we published on him earlier this year.

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