Archive for February, 2011

Outlook 2007/2010 shortcut: Sending text messages

Published by | Monday, February 14th, 2011

Did you know you can send text messages from Outlook 2007 or Outlook 2010? This tutorial from David Diskin shows how to send a text to people on the most common cell phone networks in the U.S. from within Outlook. You’ll find this productivity tip along with hundreds more in David’s new courses Outlook 2007 Power Shortcuts and Outlook 2010 Power Shortcuts.

Lynda interviews Mad Men creator, Matthew Weiner, February 13

Published by | Friday, February 11th, 2011

If you are in the Santa Barbara area, join us on Sunday February 13, 2010 at the Granada Theater to attend an interview with Lynda Weinman and Matthew Weiner, creator of the hit TV show Mad Men. Since its debut in 2007, Mad Men has not only reinvigorated 1960’s retro with its uncanny historical accuracy and flawless visual style, but has also garnered three consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, three Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Drama Series, and a myriad of other honors. Culture-watchers love its complex storylines that reveal American life on the cusp of enormous social change. Strike a pose for our fashion photographers and show off your glamorous 1950s -1960s cocktail attire, and enjoy a dynamic discussion with one of the maddest men in television.

Location: The Granada, 1214 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Date: Sunday, February 13, 2011
Time: 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cost: $28 for the general public; $16 for UCSB students. Tickets available through the University of California, Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures site, and benefits UCSB Arts and Lectures.

Access 2007/2010 shortcut: working with AutoNumber fields and foreign keys

Published by | Friday, February 11th, 2011

Are you building a relational database with Access 2007 or Access 2010? This technique from Alicia Katz Pollock shows how to properly set up relationships between tables using AutoNumber fields and foreign keys. You’ll find this tip along with lots more in Alicia’s new courses, Access 2007 Power Shortcuts and Access 2010 Power Shortcuts.

2011 SBIFF Director’s Panel: Directors On Directing

Published by | Thursday, February 10th, 2011

The last, and arguably most important panel of the festival’s second weekend, was the 2011 SBIFF Director’s Panel: Directors On Directing. I don’t know if it was because I arrived early or because I work with lynda.com, but I found myself sitting in the front row. Quite a view.

Moderator Peter Bart from Variety started out with an observation that unlike in previous years, most all of this year’s Oscar nominated films were low budget films, except Pixar’s Toy Story 3, which costs $200 million. Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan was among the highest budgets at a relatively paltry $13 million. Debra Granik’s Winter’s Bone was a slim $2 million and even David O. Russell’s The Fighter weighed in at only $11 million. The directors described how not having money to throw at problems required innovative creative storytelling techniques and in many ways, made the films better.

Since this troupe of directors have been tied together doing the Oscar circuit of award ceremonies and interviews, they talked about how this effects their work and the camaraderie they’ve developed. Their overwhelming desire was to get back to work as soon as possible. In the meantime, they joked about acceptance speeches, not sounding glib, and thanking the people most important to them.

This panel includes:
Darren Aronofsky – Black Swan
Charles Ferguson – Inside Job
Debra Granik – Winter’s Bone
Tom Hooper – The King’s Speech
David O. Russell – The Fighter
Lee Unkrick – Toy Story 3

Meet the lynda.com monsters, and the monster maker Stefan Bucher

Published by | Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
Stefan G. Bucher and the lynda.com wall of monsters.

Stefan G. Bucher and the lynda.com wall of monsters.

The first time I walked the halls of our headquarters in Carpinteria, I was pleasantly surprised to come in contact with a pack of lynda.com monsters.

The monsters are the work of the amazing Stefan G. Bucher, the genius behind dailymonster.com and 344 Design in Los Angeles. lynda.com co-founder Bruce Heavin originally suggested that Stefan create four monsters to adorn the walls of our headquarters, but Stefan got inspired and created 13 for Bruce to pick from.

According to Stefan, once Bruce saw the selection of monsters, he decided to use them all. The monsters are displayed on a prominent wall at the office and lucky lynda.com folks get to see them every day. As you can see from the photo, Stefan’s installation is pretty cool, too.

Stefan has decided to let the lynda.com monsters out into the wild and posted each of them on his dailymonster.com blog. Go check them out:

Monster 01 | Monster 04 | Monster 07 | Monster 10 | Monster 13
Monster 02Monster 05 | Monster 08 | Monster 11
Monster 03 | Monster 06 | Monster 09 | Monster 12

Access 2007/2010 shortcut: dealing with the ‘Cannot contain a Null value’ error

Published by | Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

When you’re entering data in Access 2007 or 2010, the ‘Cannot contain a Null value’ error can make your head swim. This tutorial from Alicia Katz Pollock shows what the error means and, more important, how to stop it from occurring. You’ll find this tip along with lots more in Alicia’s new courses: Access 2007 Power Shortcuts and Access 2010 Power Shortcuts.

2011 SBIFF Producer’s Panel: Movers and Shakers

Published by | Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

A great weekend of panels culminated with the 2011 SBIFF  Producer’s Panel: Movers and Shakers.

For obvious reasons, I always feel at one with this panel. Whether the budget is small or large, producers share similar concerns. Whether you’re only shooting for 24 days (Blue Valentine) or as many as 90 (The Social Network), the producers job is the same–we’re here to preserve the director’s vision of our projects and pick the right times to help or stay out of the way. Such is the case with the Academy Award nominated group of films featured in this discussion.

I found particularly fascinating the MPAA ratings battles that continue to rage amongst the filmmakers. The King’s Speech, searching for a broader audience, is seeking a PG-13 rating, though can’t get it because of one scene (you’ll have to see it to know which one). And Blue Valentine fought off an NC-17 rating, winning an appeal to the board with a unanimous vote to overturn.

There was also a lively discussion about making films based on real people and real events as is the case with The Fighter, The Social Network, and The King’s Speech.

This panel includes:
Darla K. Anderson – Toy Story 3
Iain Canning – The King’s Speech
Alix Madigan – Winter’s Bone
Todd Lieberman – The Fighter
Mike Deluca – The Social Network
Jamie Patricof – Blue Valentine

Control smoothing with an anti-edge mask: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, February 8th, 2011


This week, Deke demonstrates how to retouch a stressed image in order to smooth out detail, while controlling the effect with specially crafted mask. If using the High Pass filter and edge masks are old hat for you, watch as Deke turns the whole concept inside-out by using a reverse high-pass effect combined with an anti-edge mask. The result is that you get controlled “un-sharpening” right where you need it—a useful effect you can apply to your own overly sharp photographs. And as usual, Deke shows you the whole process in under ten minutes.

Of course, the bite-sized nature of Deke’s Techniques means that Deke’s got to work quickly on this one. So you’ll probably need a to be reasonably comfortable with the concepts of both sharpening and masking in order to follow along with this particular video (as in understanding both concepts to the point where applying them in reverse doesn’t make you want to turn your brain inside-out.)

But never fear, for those of you in need of the three-course Deke, lynda.com members always have access to the vast amount of information in Deke’s longer courses. Although we’ve designed Deke’s Techniques to quickly and efficiently share useful knowledge with experienced Photoshop and Illustrator users, we haven’t abandoned those of you who are just getting your bearings or who simply prefer a slower, more in-depth approach.

So, if you’d like to hear more from Deke about Sharpening, check out Chapter 15: “Sharpening Details” from Deke’s Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced course. For a good background on the different uses of masks inside Photoshop, try Chapter 26: “Masking Essentials” from Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery. And Deke covers edge masks specifically here, which was created for Photoshop CS3 but is still relevant today. And as usual, lynda.com members can find the entire collection of Deke’s Techniques, including today’s members-only movie here.

Join us next week for another free technique from Deke, and another members-only movie as well. And don’t forget to let us know what you’d like to see Deke take on in a future installment.