Category: Adobe Apps

Create an emboss text effect in Adobe Illustrator with this great tutorial

I recently had the need to create a realistic looking license plate for a project and I wanted to do it completely in Adobe Illustrator in order to keep it easily editable and total flexibility in sizing for later use. I knew I had read a tutorial years ago, so a quick search found it.

Create a realistic vector emboss text effect with this tutorial

Real World Illustrator offers this fantastic emboss text effect tutorial that yields near perfect results every time.

The easiest way to extract (mask) objects from images

Decompose vs. PhotoshopThe situation is common; you want to remove the background from an image and the subject/foreground object is a person. The trick is masking things like hair, glasses, and other subtle areas that can make or break the final result.

There have been numerous Photoshop plugins and stand-alone applications over the years that claim to do the job quickly and easily with stunning results. However, it has been my experience with most of these methods that they simply don’t work, or are more difficult than masking the objects manually in Photoshop.

I recently came across Decompose from metakine software, who’s tagline for the app is “Extract objects from images with ease.” Indeed, they promise “easy and flawless extraction of elements from pictures in order to use them to make composite images.” Those are some bold statements, so I decided to give it a shot to see if things have improved in the years since I’ve used other masking applications such as OnOne’s Perfect Mask (which crashed every time I tried to use it for the purpose of comparison in this article, so I’ve left it out).

For the purpose of this article, I’m not going to go into the controls and features of Decompose. Instead, I’m only going to focus on the results. (more…)

Photoshop CS6 Sneak Peek #6

This latest sneak peek offers a look at Photoshop’s new Iris Blur feature, which by all indications will render any “Bokeh” filters by 3rd parties virtually obsolete for the average designer.

That being said, Bokeh 2 from Alien Skin offers a lot of control over the bokeh filter process, as well as numerous other features that I don’t see in this video – so I suspect photographers and designers who want a richer feature set may still find value in the Alien Skin plugin.

Print separations from InDesign CS5 and Snow Leopard

InDesign CS5A friend recently asked what happened to the ability to export color separations from Adobe InDesign CS5 to a PDF using custom page sizes. I’ve never heard of or had the need to do this, so I was of little help. But for whatever reason, I was able to do it because I still had the generic Postscript PPD installed. The only thing I could think of was that I still had CS4 installed on my Mac, and the ability to do it remained in CS5 because of that.

In any case, my friend discovered the work around, and shared with me where he found it. Russell Viers offers the solution, that requires little more than a quick PPD download and install. Again, I’m not sure why you would want to do this because your printer generally handles this in-RIP at their printing facility. You really need to know what you’re doing when you enter the settings.

Learn how to print PDF color seps from InDesign here.

Creating grids with guides in Photoshop the easy way

Creating grids using Photoshop’s guides can be a pain in the behind if you’re doing it manually. If you’re working on website designs, you no-doubt find yourself doing this regularly; and hating every moment of it.


Pixel accurate columns, rows, midpoints, and baseline guides can be easily created in your Photoshop document with the click of a button using GuideGuide. Frequently used guide sets can be saved for repeat use. Grids can use multiple types of measurements. GuideGuide is available for Photoshop CS4 and CS5+. Best of all it’s free.

Photoshop CS6 Sneak Peek #5

Presets migration is now my favorite feature of PS CS6! I always hated upgrades or new computer setups for this very reason. You can do it manually, of course, but it’s a bit of a pain and not very thorough.

The layer duplicate and mutli-layer coloring is a nice touch as well!