tutorials 2001

Tutorials from 2001

Synthetik Studio Artist: Varying Strokes over Time
AUGUST 7—As one reader pointed out to me last week, it's been a little too long since our last look at Synthetik Studio Artist. I had promised I'd show you a post-processing technique that allows you to vary strokes over time. Let it never be said that Dave fails to follow through on his promises, even if such fulfillment does take some time. Now, this is not the same as making strokes longer or shorter over time. I'll cover that one in a future installment (just as soon as another reader reminds me that I'm lagging). Instead, this technique allows you to change the actual number of strokes that appear in your video.

Adobe InDesign: Well Rounded Rectangles
JULY 17—Experienced users of other desktop publishing applications may be surprised to note InDesign's lack of a tool for drawing rounded rectangles. Don't worry—it's not an oversight! In this clip from Total InDesign, Deke McClelland demonstrates InDesign's powerful Corner Effects command. With Corner Effects, you can choose between five different corner styles for your rectangle.

Color Correction: Curves or Levels?
JULY 10—For anyone using Photoshop to correct the highlights and shadows in an image, that is the question. In this lesson from "Total Photoshop 6," Deke McClelland first attempts to bring out shadowy details using the Levels command. For this particular image, however, Levels won't do the trick. This looks like a job for Curves!

Can Dreamweaver and ImageReady Get Along?
JULY 3—It seems more and more users in the forums here are trying to get Adobe ImageReady and Macromedia Dreamweaver to work together. ImageReady, of course, is geared toward use with Adobe's own GoLive, while Dreamweaver prefers files imported from Macromedia's own Fireworks. But can ImageReady and Dreamweaver play well together?

How To Screen Back Images in QuarkXPress
JUNE 28—The first step to screening back an area of an image, is to create a mask of the area we wish to screen back. In this example, we will draw a simple rectangular text box around our text as illustrated.

Post Processing in Studio Artist
JUNE 19—When you think of rotoscoping, you probably think of labor-intensive techniques used to remove wires from movie scenes or to clean up mattes or to perform some other technical clean-up job. Or maybe you think of Max Fleischer and his original rotoscope device, wherein an "artist" would trace over the individual frames of a live-action sequence to produce cartoons like Gulliver's Travels or Popeye the Sailor or Superman.

Painting with Style in Adobe Photoshop 6
JUNE 13—This weekend I was working on a project in Photoshop and trying to figure out a way to apply a multi-directional motion blur onto a path. So I was busy experimenting with a bunch of filters and brushes, when all of a sudden I decided to play around with the styles palette. What I stumbled upon was a feature whose application was so obvious that I can't believe I haven't seen this discussed anywhere. It has nothing to do with motion blurs (at least not yet), but it's still pretty slick.

Spot Color Considerations
JUNE 12—There are several things designers need to be aware of when it comes to creating spot color jobs. First, the name of the color is critical. For some reason that only programmers know for sure, different programs use different naming conventions for the same color. Quark Express may call PMS 124 coated "PMS 124CV," while Photoshop will call it "PMS 124CVC" and Illustrator will call it "PMS124C."

Printing Duplexed Booklets from Adobe InDesign
JUNE 5—InDesign documents are in a format called reader spreads. Meaning, the front cover is the first page with the back cover being the last page. At times a format called Printers Spreads, where the first page is output with the last page, is required for final output. This is also useful when trying to build a composite with your laser printer.

LiveMotion: Audio Synch
MAY 30—As you probably well know, it's virtually impossible to synch audio in a Flash file that's distributed on the Web. Even if you can get it to synch up in your own browser consistently, chances are very few people in your audience can. This is one of the reasons so many Flash designers resort to audio loops as accompaniment to their presentations. I don't like loops.

Amorphium Pro: Modeling the Human Eye
MAY 23—This will be our first foray into character modeling in Amorphium Pro from Electric Image. We're going to take it in small pieces. I want to give you a thorough understanding of how the tools in Amorphium work so that, when it comes time for doing something like the face, it will be more a matter of technique than remedial work.

InDesign: The Ligature Trick
MAY 22—In this clip from Total InDesign, Deke McClelland demonstrates InDesign's prowess at using ligatures. When the character "f" is followed by an "i" or an "l," the results can be less than pleasing to the eye. Ligatures solve this problem by replacing these combinations with a single attractive character.

QuarkXPress: Varnish Plates
MAY 16—This week we have a bonus tutorial supplied to us by the good folks at A Lowly Apprentice Productions (ALAP). ALAP is a software developer that makes plugins for both QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign. We hope to feature more of their know-how in the coming months. This week we're presenting a tutorial for QuarkXPress, since most of our previous tutorials have been fairly heavily geared toward InDesign. Our tutorial involves ALAP's product ImagePort and Adobe Photoshop. ImagePort is an XTension for QuarkXPress that provides additional functionality for native Photoshop files within Quark, including the ability to preserve Photoshop layers. Look for future installments covering important tips for print production using both applications.

Photoshop: Screen Mode Secrets
MAY 15—In this lesson from Total Photoshop 6, Deke McClelland gives a tour of Photoshop's various screen modes. In addition to demonstrating the three basic modes available in the Toolbox, Deke shows how you can create your own perfect working environment by customizing these screen modes. Get rid of that distracting document window! Make the menu bar appear and disappear at your whim! Get those palettes out of the way with the tap of a key! See what your image will look like on the printed page, in a field of black, or framed in any color you wish! Deke concludes with a special "hidden" Photoshop screen mode feature available only for Windows users.

InDesign: Multi-Line Composing
MAY 8—Foresight isn't necessarily a quality you'd expect to find in a desktop publishing application, but Adobe InDesign is full of surprises! In this clip from Total InDesign, Deke McClelland introduces the Adobe Multi-Line Composer, which has an unprecedented ability to "look ahead" when composing text. Rather than just looking at the next line when setting justification, letter spacing and hyphenation, the Multi-Line Composer can look up to thirty lines ahead, creating much more consistent text layout. Watch this clip, and see Deke give a clear demonstration of this easy-to-enable feature.

Photoshop: The Secret of Good Gamma
MAY 1—Cross-platform computer users have probably noticed how different the same image can look when viewed on a Mac or PC screen. This lesson from Total Photoshop 6 is of especial interest to Macintosh web designers; instructor Deke McClelland shows how to use the Levels controls to approximate-and correct for-the gamma differences inherent in the two platforms. Let Deke help you to see your onscreen images the way "the rest of the world" sees them!

Studio Artist: Working with Source Images
APRIL 25—For the visitors of this page who are already familiar with Studio Artist, this tutorial may be a bit too simplistic. However, for those who come to this fabulous application for the first time, I hope the tutorial will help them enter an exciting environment.

Photoshop: Mysteries of the Magic Wand
APRIL 24—The principle behind Photoshop's Magic Wand tool is simple: You click in an image, you make a selection. But did you know there's a "hidden" influence on the Magic Wand, nowhere to be found in the Magic Wand Options palette, that can give you widely varying results? In this clip from Total Photoshop, Deke McClelland demonstrates this little-known factor and shows how you can use it to your advantage.

Recreating Apple's Aqua Gel Effect with Xara X
APRIL 17—Brendon Carr is responsible for this month's tutorial that has touched off a one-upspersonship contest in the Xara X Conference, one of dozens of graphics-related forums found at TalkGraphics.com. It all began innocently enough when Brendon visited a tutorial posted on a web site called Wardspring.com. The tutorial attempted to recreate the secret process used by the Apple design team to create the gel-like buttons featured in the new Macintosh OS X Aqua interface. Brendon posed the question how to replicate this effect in Xara X, not Photoshop, to the visitors to the Xara X Conference.

Digital Washes
APRIL 10—This week we're back to Synthetik Studio Artist to take a look at another one of those features that makes this program unique, namely the ability to use media that interact with one another like liquids. Those of you with natural media backgrounds, particularly life drawing, are familiar enough with washes and the great ways they can interact with dry media like charcoal or Conté. I can remember in my art school using everything from watered-down Dr. Martin inks applied with a rag to transmission fluid applied with a very expensive sable brush. (In retrospect, maybe I should have done things the other way around.)

Masking in Amorphium Pro
MARCH 27—Last week I reviewed Amorphium Pro 1.1 from Electric Image. Amorphium Pro is a 3D modeling and animation package targeted toward designers, with a particular bent toward Flash designers. Its features have been implemented in a way that 2D artists can understand very easily, and these features are quite robust. So I thought we'd take a more in depth look at one of these today—namely masking—and see how it fits into the overall workflow of Amorphium Pro.

Synthetik Studio Artist: Paint Fill, Path Application and Brush Types
MARCH 20—It's been quite a while since we last took a look at Studio Artist, the painting and rotoscoping tool from Synthetik Software. This week we're going to explore some of Studio Artist's functions to help you create the effect of a charcoal or bronze rubbing, an effect similar to that of placing a quarter under a piece of paper and scratching a pencil over it. This is also used with grave stones, typically with the person placing a large sheet of paper over the relief and rubbing a stick of soft metal across it. For this tutorial, we'll be using a stained-glass window and creating the effect of taking a rubbing with a piece of bronze.

Revisiting Popup Menus in Fireworks
MARCH 14—One of the great new features in Macromedia Fireworks 4 is the ability to create interactive menus practically on the fly. When I reviewed Fireworks a couple of weeks ago, I touted this feature as one of the best reasons to upgrade from version 3 to version 4. I might have jumped the gun there. It seems there are some problems with the interactive menu feature in Fireworks 4. So let's take a look.

Part 3: How To Make Your Own Photoshop Filters
MARCH 6—It's been a few weeks since we last worked in the Photoshop Filter Factory. If you haven't read the first two parts of this series, it would probably be advisable for you to do so. In Part 1, we look at the basics of Filter Factory, along with a few examples of how to get some basic effects working by manipulating color channels. In Part 2, we used ResEdit to customize the interfaces of the Filter we created. Now we're going to go a little deeper into what Filter Factory can do to help you create your own Photoshop filters.

Getting Started in Amapi 3D
FEB. 22—This week we're going to be taking a look at Amapi 3D and learning some of its basic workings. We're presenting the Windows interface for this tutorial, but all of these tips apply to the Macintosh version as well. (On the Mac, substitute COMMAND for CONTROL and OPTION for ALT. If you want to right-click on the Mac, just hold down the CONTROL key while clicking.) Future installments will mix Macintosh and Windows interface shots.

A Special Effects Mask in Adobe Photoshop
FEB. 20—In this lesson from Total Photoshop 6, Deke McClelland demonstrates how to turn a photograph into a delicate "line drawing." He starts by creating an edge mask using the Find Edges command, and follows that up with one of his favorite combinations of filters: Maximum, Median, and Gaussian Blur. After applying an appropriate Blend Mode, the end result is a lovely Conté crayon "drawing," created from the original photographic image of a girl's face. You'll find this technique to be an easy way to give a beautiful "hand-made" touch to your digital images.

Part 2: How To Make Your Own Photoshop Filters
FEB. 13—Last week we took a tour of the Filter Factory for Adobe Photoshop and learned how to create some basic effects with some pretty simple mathematical formulas. We also learned how to save these filters as Photoshop plugins for your repeated use or distribution to other Photoshop users. Now, before we get into some more complex functions in Filter Factory, I thought it would be a good idea to teach you how to make your own custom interfaces for the filters you create. After all, the basic interface of a Filter Factory filter is a bit Spartan, and you're a designer, so....

Part 1: How To Make Your Own Photoshop Filters
FEB. 6—So you want to write your own Photoshop filters, huh? Understandable. After all, there's a special little place inside all of us that yearns to be a programmer. Unfortunately, this special little place is inhabited by a twisted little gnome named Avery who hates programming code and does everything in his power to prevent the knowledge of such code from entering this special little place. Sure, it'll let in a little HTML every now and again. But C++? Forget about it. Avery don't cotton to no C++. (In case you're wondering, yes, there are ways to break down Avery's defenses and turn yourself into a real programmer, but the methods for doing so can be quite taxing on the user. These methods include living exclusively off Tina's™ bean & cheese burritos during college, driving a Gremlin and giggling at FORTRAN jokes. Seems a pretty high price to pay just to write code for other people to enjoy.)

Video Tutorial: To Trap or Not To Trap?
JAN. 30—In this clip from Total InDesign, Deke McClelland explores the concept of trapping. Trapping can help mask slight registration problems in printing; you probably see examples of misregistration every Sunday in your local paper's comics section, where the individual color plates seem to be a little bit "off" from each other. Deke presents four clear-cut examples of when and when not to trap and also shows an easy technique for trapping via overprinting. Watch this clip, and let Deke show you how to keep from getting caught in a trapping dilemma!

Video Tutorial: Dodge & Burn in Adobe Photoshop
JAN. 23—If Photoshop's Toolbox were a "real" tool box, there are two tools that would probably be buried at the bottom of the box for many users: the Dodge and Burn tools. In this lesson from Total Photoshop 6, Deke McClelland gives a striking demonstration of these often neglected tools. Starting with an image of an approaching tornado, Deke uses Dodge and Burn to bring out details in dark areas of the image, and to heighten the dramatic effect of the overall scene. After watching this clip, we suspect these two tools will be promoted to the top of your toolbox!

Tutorials from 2000

Video Tutorial: Saturation in Adobe Photoshop 6
DECEMBER 14—In this lesson from Total Photoshop 6, Deke McClelland starts with a digital photo that he snapped of his minivan. The color saturation in the photo is so low that the image almost appears to be grayscale. Simply increasing the saturation introduces ugly JPEG artifacts into the image. Deke shows you just the right combination of filters and techniques to raise the saturation and defeat the JPEG artifacts, resulting in a bright, colorful image with no loss of detail or sharpness. A minivan never looked so good!

Exploring Synthetik Studio Artist, Part 1: Brush Interaction Through Paint Fill Algorithms
Synthetik Studio Artist TutorialDECEMBER 5—This week we're kicking off a series on Synthetik Studio Artist 1.5. If you haven't taken a look at this program yet, do. It's probably the best paint program—for lack of a better phrase—on the market right now. And, what's more, it's only available on the Mac, which is great for those of us who like to rub it in the noses of the peecee users.

Product Demos from Seybold SF
DECEMBER 5—Our diligent camera crews travel the world capturing demos of the latest and greatest tools. If you click the link above, it'll lead you to a demo of Photoshop 6 recorded prior to the application's release, with examples of vector tools and integration with GoLive, Illustrator and Acrobat.

Video Tutorial: Measure Not for Measure
NOVEMBER 28—In this clip from Total Photoshop, instructor Deke McClelland demonstrates how to correct the rotation of crooked images. He uses a digital photo he took of the Eiffel Tower, which, in this case, bears a passing resemblance to the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Final Cut ProVideo Tutorial: Text on Path in Adobe InDesign
NOVEMBER 21—In part one of this look at InDesign's new "Text on a Path" feature, instructor Deke McClelland starts with the very first step: drawing a path. This clip from Total InDesign fully covers such issues as scaling the text, flipping it so that it appears on the other side of the path, and determining exactly where on the path the text originates. Deke also shows how to Force Justify the text so that it fills the entire length of the path. As Deke demonstrates, you don't need to be an expert with Bezier tools to use this exciting new InDesign feature!

Video Tutorial: Layer Options in Adobe Photoshop
NOVEMBER 21—This week's tutorial on Adobe Photoshop from our friends at Total Training covers layer options. The goal of this tutorial is to create interaction between two layers without using masking. Since we've been covering so much Mac stuff lately, this one is shown with a Windows interface. (Mac users out there should remember that the Alt key in Windows is equivalent to the Option key in Mac, and this tutorial applies to Photoshop running under either platform.)

Video Tutorial: Optical Kerning in Adobe InDesign
NOVEMBER 21—This week's tutorial on Adobe InDesign from our friends at Total Training covers kerning. The goal of this tutorial is to look at various ways of kerning characters to achieve optimal results with minimal effort. One way to do this is to use metrics. But the way InDesign does it is through optical kerning, a different and sometimes better way to handle kerning pairs. Sit back and enjoy.

Video Tutorial: Layers and Effects in Adobe Photoshop 6
NOVEMBER 21—This week we have a wonderful tutorial on Adobe Photoshop 6 from the good folks of Total Training. This week's tutorial is hosted by noted Photoshop expert Deke McClelland, who, among many other credits, is the author of the Photoshop Bible from IDG Books and host of the Total Photoshop series from Total Training. (If you think you know everything about Photoshop, you've either memorized Deke's book and series or you've never seen either one.) In this tutorial, Deke walks us through Photoshop 6's layer grouping, layer styles and gradients to achieve a custom chrome effect on text. But even if you could care less about chrome, you can still learn a lot from this one.

tutorials 2001