Category: Adobe Apps

InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator

The one Photoshop video you MUST watch

I’ve shared a lot of tips and how-tos for Photoshop over the years, and I’ve trained several production artists and designers on how to use and improve their skills in Photoshop. But one of those things that really hard to explain is color and how to use the features in Photoshop that are related to color. Features like “Blend If.”

Photoshop - Blend If GrayDon’t feel bad if you don’t recognize the name. You’ve seen it. And you’ve probably used it… sort of. But trust me, once you watch this 11-minute video you’re going to look forward to the next time you use a Layer Blend Mode. The results can be the difference between so-so and stunning.

If you don’t watch or read any Photoshop tutorials this year, make this one the exception!

Adobe CC 2018 and macOS High Sierra

Adobe CreativeCloud 2018
Adobe released the latest major updates to their CreativeCloud apps this past week, and I’m happy to report that they’re running smooth as silk on macOS High Sierra—both the standard release version as well as the beta version.

The major bugs present in the CC2017 versions of Illustrator and InDesign running on High Sierra have been worked out between a macOS update and the latest CC apps, and I’ve noticed fairly significant speed gains in both those apps. As for Photoshop, I’ve not noticed much of an increase in speed, but no decrease either.

Some of the cool features include the ability to add rules around paragraphs in InDesign without having to resort to crude workarounds is a God-send! And I’m happy to see Adobe add the ability to keep text in CC Libraries and have them available in both InDesign and Illustrator. Type fanatics can now use InDesign’s Character panel to search for fonts based on visual similarity, a nice feature that you would normally need Suitcase Fusion for—though Suitcase still works better because it will find fonts that aren’t activated. Read about InDesign CC2018’s new features here.

Illustrator users will love the speed increase the most, but the variable font feature is really, really cool. The new Properties Panel is fantastic for those with a smaller screen or people like me who just hate having a bunch of panels open all the time. It’s a contextually aware panel that changes based on what you’re doing. Draw out a text frame and the panel displays text-related features like font, size, kerning, etc. Draw a shape and you get stroke and fill settings. Select multiple shapes and you’ll get the Pathfinder features. You get the idea. It’s only taken me a few days of using the new Illustrator to get used to using the Properties Panel vs. having a bunch of panels open all the time. Read about Illustrator CC2018’s new features here.

You might also want to take a look at the new Adobe Dimension app. Adding 3D objects to your 2D image just got a whole lot easier. It’s ultra-slick!

Adding noise/grain effect to text and images right inside your InDesign document

InDesign - add noise
Adding noise to a gradient image background is something I do often in photoshop. It helps avoid color banding when printing. It can also be a nice little effect when used correctly.

While I’ve used InDesign’s ability to add noise to my drop shadows and glows using the Effects panel, I never consider the ease with which I could avoid doing it all in Photoshop… that is, until I came across this Tip of the Week from Mike Rankin over at InDesignSecrets.

Add Grain Effects to Photos and Type shows you how easy it is. And for those that do use the Add Noise feature in Photoshop, you know how much storage space this is going to save you!

Which Photoshop content-aware feature should you use?

In Photoshop, content-aware features make automatic edits such as seamlessly blending the edges of retouched image areas. Using technology that recognizes different types of image content, content-aware features help you retouch images faster, and open up new possibilities for changing the composition of an image.
Content-Aware Fill
But how do you know which of the many content-aware features might help you right now?

Conrad Chavez has a brief explanation of each of the features in his article at CreativePro.

Resizing the Photoshop canvas when your text or artwork goes off the edge

Photoshop's Trim commandIf you’ve ever designed with type in Photoshop, you’ve probably encountered a situation where changing the size or font caused the text to not fit on the canvas any more. Or maybe you’ve placed a large logo file that didn’t fit on the canvas to begin with.

Mike Rankin has the easy alternative to the tedious norm of resizing the canvas size manually using the Reveal All and Trim commands.

Top 10 Photoshop tips the experts don’t want you to know!

A comedic look at some great Photoshop tips and advice.

The majority of Photoshop training available on the internet is part of a huge conspiracy to keep people from learning the REAL techniques of how to use this program. Why? So you don’t ever actually figure it out and have to keep coming back to them for more!

Whatever you do… don’t ever, ever EVER name your layers!