A cartoon illustration & design project for a friend’s party required the resulting art to be suitable for reproduction on a photocopy machine. After some trial, error, Google search, trial, error, Google search, trial, error I discovered the magic combo that allows you to create a halftone in Photoshop for an image and print it out on your inkjet printer so the art will be perfect for photocopying.
This technique is perfect for flyers, newsletters or any other short-run printing needs you have where the cheapness of a photocopy is desired, but so are grayscale images.
Default Folder X is one of those shareware utility applications that seem pretty handy while you are demoing, but until you use another Mac without Default Folder installed (or the demo runs out), you don’t realize exactly how perfect the software actually is.
I constantly run across these “714 Absolutely Essential Mac Applications” blog posts that always leave this one out. And I think the only reason is that the author is unaware of it’s existence. There’s no other explanation. Half of the time the apps I see on those lists are so-so anyways.
So what is this so-called “Default Folder” anyways? In short, it’s a way for you to access — from the Open/Save dialog windows — not only commonly used folders, but also recently used folders and open Finder windows, all with (mostly) user-defined keyboard shortcuts.
Here’s a cool little idea from the geniuses at CreativeTechs.com: “cheatsheets” for Adobe software that are designed to print on a 3×5 index card, complete with space reserved to punch holes for a binder. Designed with the GTD/Hipster PDA crowd in mind. And they’re free!
This link is to the PDF cheatsheet for the Adobe pen tool, since most (or all) of it’s features work the same across the Creative Suite. A real cool visual reference guide, and just one in a series of cheatsheets for Adobe apps as well as other computer and Mac related info that you just sometimes need at your fingertips.
Looks like they are just starting out with these, so be sure to subcribe to the RSS feed and collect ’em all!
Still using that pencil you found in the couch and an old dictionary as a drawing board? Don’t feel like the biggest computer wiz when it comes to graphics software? There are plenty of inexpensive tools out there that will boost your productivity and enjoyment level when drawing, sketching or just doodling. And you don’t have to spend a ton of money to expand your tool kit in ways that are sure to make your life much easier, giving you more time to draw.
As I am sure every Illustrator user is aware, you can zoom in and out of your document window using the Navigator palette: either type in a percentage in the lower left, click on the small or large “mountains”, or drag the slider left or right to zoom in or out. However, there is another, easier way to zoom using the Navigator palette…
Here’s a pretty handy little reference graphic: an annotated keyboard with Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts. And even an extended text-based shortcut chart on the bottom!
This makes me think that not only could it use a bit of spicing up in the visual sense, but also that this would be pretty handy for Illustrator users as well… maybe even incorporating Modifier key shortcuts to boot.
A set of free, printable keyboard shortcuts cards for Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and more are available for download over at ComputerArts.co.uk.
The set includes keyboard shortcut cards for Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator CS, Macromedia Freehand, Cinema 4D and 3D Studio Max. These are CS1 versions, but from what I can gather the shorcuts should be pretty much the same for the newer versions. Not too sure about the Macromedia apps (which are now Adobe apps) as I have never used any of them.
As anyone who has read this blog can tell, I am a huge keyboard shortcut junkie, and you should be one as well. I cannot even begin to emphasize how much knowing these will enhance not only your pleasure on using graphics software (and software in general), but how much of a marked increase in productivity you’ll see.
I cringe in geek pain when I see a fellow Photoshop or Illustrator user laboriously hauling their mouse over to the Tools palette, or even to the menubar for anything but the most arcane of Menu items.
Download. Print. Learn. Kick massive butt.
There’s an interesting entry over at the excellent blog Drawn regarding a study done on copyright term lengths by a Cambridge economics PhD. He argues that 14 years is the optimal amount of time, due to production and other economic factors.
Copyright is a very interesting concept, especially coming from the creative/creator side of things. Part of me wants to own and control everything I create for infinity, but the other side of me can understand the need to stimulate creativity in society. However, patent holders only have 20 years to capitalize on their work. There seems to be a dichotomy there, but perhaps there are finer points which separate the two.
In the meantime however, make sure you always drop a Â© (that’s the “C in the Circle” symbol, which is Option-G on your Mac) on your artwork. You can include the date and/or your name, but don’t have to. You don’t even have to officially register the art to use the Copyright symbol (although it’s recommended for added protection).