One of the challenges of creating digital animations is making them look organic. Sometimes the result of a digital animation is just too smooth and perfect looking. There are ways around this if you are looking to give your animation a hand-drawn and organic feel. Ben Markus, one of our student interns last summer, has created a tutorial series that teaches you ways of using Photoshop and After Effects to give your animations a hand-drawn look. He starts with the basics so even a non-animator like me can create a really cool organic animation. Give it a try, its really fun!
Are you a Photoshop beginner? If so, the new Photoshop for Beginners forum is bound to be of help. Its a place to ask questions, learn the basics about Photoshop, and find answers from patient, knowledgeable people. Check it out and let me know what you think.
If you want to understand some of the basic concepts behind digital photography and editing digital images, you should check out these Key Concepts pages. Each one is a very quick read. I highly recommend taking a peek before you dive into learning how to use any of these programs. Here is the list of Key Concepts for Photoshop and Lightroom:
Digital image basics
- Aliasing & Anti-aliasing*
- Bounding box
- Color mode or Image mode
- Raster & Vector*
Here is the list of Key Concepts for Photoshop Elements 9:
Digital image basics
- Aliasing & Anti-aliasing
- Color mode or Image mode
- Raster & Vector
Here are links to tutorials and learning resources that will help you get started with Creative Suite 5. These are for both beginners and experienced users.
- Photoshop CS5: getting started & tutorials
- InDesign CS5: getting started & tutorials
- Illustrator CS5: getting started & tutorials
- After Effects CS5: getting started & tutorials
- Premiere Pro CS5: getting started & tutorials
- Flash Professional CS5: getting started & tutorials
- Flash Catalyst CS5: getting started & tutorials (for designers)
- Flash Catalyst CS5: getting started & tutorials (for developers)
- Dreamweaver CS5: getting started & tutorials
- Fireworks CS5: getting started & tutorials
- Flash Builder 4: getting started
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of Adobe tutorials that you could scan through quickly? Wish you didn’t have to wade through search results full of irrelevant content? What you need is a comprehensive tutorial list! Adobe has created just the list for you. They’ve got lists of all the tutorials (both video and text) that live on Adobe.com for 11 different products. The lists contain tutorials for multiple versions of the products, with the most recent tutorials on the top. You can sign up for an RSS feed to find out when new tutorials are added to the list.
Check out these lists for some really great tutorials (including CS5):
Do you spend hours and hours working in Photoshop? If so, you can save loads of time by using shortcuts. Even learning and using just a couple of shortcuts can increase your efficiency and productivity by hours over time. Here is a very thorough article on keyboard shortcuts by Tom Giannattasio. It’s loaded with illustrations and is definitely worth bookmarking.
There is also a goldmine of information about keyboard shortcuts in the online Photoshop Help. Check out these two items:
If you are already using shortcuts and wonder about some of the reasoning behind the shortcut changes in Photoshop CS4, you should read John Nack’s blog post about it called, Shortcut changes in PSCS4.
Just signing off for the year. I wanted to tell you that my posts will be less frequent from now on. I will still be posting occasionally when I find a really good topic with great tutorials to tell you about. For now, I highly recommend that you look to the following links for really great content that is being updated regularly:
If you have great tutorials, try using the comment feature at the bottom of the Help pages to submit your content. If the writers like your work, they might include it in the documentation and give you credit!
Have a great holiday season. See you in 2009. Happy New Year!
Sr Instructional Designer, Digital Imaging
Adobe Systems Inc.
Adobe has just posted Photoshop CS4 and Bridge CS4 Help on the web. They still have some work to do and bugs to fix, but I thought you might like to take an early peek.
Note that links to video tutorials and to some other Help documents are not functional yet, and commenting isn’t turned on. This will be fixed when CS4 ships. Search works now, and the quality of the results should improve as these new pages are crawled by Google.
TIP: Download the PDF from the upper-right corner of any Help page on the web. The PDF is great for when you’re offline or want to print a version of Help.
And finally, here is more info about the new Adobe Community Help system, in general.
My son recently asked me how to create an HDR image in Photoshop. I hated to admit it but I hadn’t tried it yet. It’s been on my list of techniques to experiment with for a while but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Setting aside the excuses, I went digging and found some really good tutorials on this subject. I liked Colin Smith’s Merging HDR in Photoshop. Mark Galer has a good one too, called HDR – High Dynamic Range. There’s also a video by him (I think) called Merge to HDR in Photoshop CS3 High Dynamic Range. He uses different imagery than in the html version. If you want a different video tutorial, try the one on Adobe TV called Merge it Together. Ben Willmore’s quickie YouTube videos Part 1 and Part 2 are teasers for his HDR Mastery DVD ($69).
A video from Michael Rather advises how to set up and manage your shots in Lightroom for an HDR outcome. The last half of this video tells how to fake the different exposures from a single shot. The problem is that Photoshop doesn’t really work well with this and it requires you to purchase a separate piece of software for HDR processing. Michael also has a 28-minute video on how to create HDR images in Photoshop. (This is only part 1 and he mentions that he’ll have another video on how to shoot for HDR in about one week.)
One of the extras you’ll need to create HDR shots is a tripod. I recently asked Moose Peterson to recommend a good tripod for an amateur photographer like me. I told him that I’m not an equipment geek and I like to travel light. He recommended anything in the 2000-3000 series from this company. Wow! They are pricey, but he says they are worth it. I’ll be taking his upcoming photo safari workshop at Photoshop World in Las Vegas. Should I buy the tripod?