Archive for April, 2011

Live with Lynda webinar this Friday, April 29

Published by | Thursday, April 28th, 2011

The next installment of Live with Lynda, our new webinar series presented in collaboration with the New Media Consortium, is this Friday, April 29. Laurie Burruss will be talking with instructional designer and educational technologist (and author) Chris Mattia about Moodle, the LMS and CMS tool that allows educators to interact with students outside the classroom and manage a course from anywhere.

A short description about the webinar, from the website:

In this seminar, Chris Mattia will explain how the Art Center College of Design integrated a site license into their campus Moodle system. Topics that he will cover include: how to ensure a seamless integration, reducing barriers to entry for faculty, Moodle modifications to ease faculty adoption of for enhancing teaching and learning, and Moodle as a foundation for a custom campus portal. Plus, a sneak peek at the new features of Moodle 2.0.

Live with Lynda webinar: Chris Mattia on Moodle LMS Integration with the Online Training Library®
Friday, April 29, 2011
10:00 am PDT

Access the webinar in the NMC Connect Adobe Seminar Room

Deke’s Techniques #17: Creating a seamlessly repeating pattern

Published by | Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

In this week’s free video technique, Deke McClelland shows you how to use Photoshop’s Offset filter to create a repeating, or tessellating, pattern for your homemade giftwrap project, in which an image (or two in this case) is wrapped around so that it can be tiled into a seamlessly repeating pattern.  So you can go ahead and spend all your hard earned cash on the gift inside, and then use Deke’s technique to print your wrapping paper at home. In fact, Deke, feeling extra thrifty, demonstrates this technique with a couple of ribbon photographs complete with bows, saving even more money, not to mention knot-tying:

And by offsetting and duplicating the images in Photoshop, you’ll end up with a convenient, delightfully intertwined pattern, as you can see below. I requested Deke re-color the final image slightly for this blog post example, creating a timely Mother’s Day-friendly theme. The beauty of creating your patterned paper in Photoshop is that it can be adjusted for the season:

Of course, even with Photoshop’s handy filter, having your pattern line up correctly at the edges is problematic, if not downright impractically optimistic. In this week’s exclusive video in the Online Training Library®, members can see the fine-tuning that Deke applies at the seams where this pattern repeats. Deke shows you how a combination of layers, masks, and blend modes can correct or simply hide the misaligned edges of the repeating pattern.

Tiling an interesting pattern has all kinds of practical uses, even if you’re not M.C. Escher.  If you’re enchanted by the idea of tessellation, and you’re an Adobe Illustrator user, be sure to check out chapter 16, Repeating Tile Patterns, of Deke’s Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced course. With Illustrator, a little math, and some attention to detail, Deke actually shows how he created this amazing set of tiled, interlocking creatures.

Every week, Deke shares a new technique, designed to inspire you in your own work or awaken your own curiosity. And members can always review the whole course of collected techniques here. Meanwhile, we’ll see you back next week for another free technique d’Eke.

Related links:
Deke’s Techniques
courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®
courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®

Creating an Effective Resume: A conversation with the author

Published by | Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Today we’re pleased to announce the release of a new course designed to help our members market their job skills, Creating an Effective Resume. In the course, author Mariann Siegert shares insider recommendations—based on her experience with her own resume service and her interviews with numerous recruiters and hiring managers—for creating a resume that stands out from the crowd. The course covers how to target your resume toward specific employers; how to write your resume so that employers will want to read it; how to choose from the different ways to organize your resume and format each section; how to write titles for online searches and upload to resume banks and job sites like; how to write cover letters and thank-you notes; and much more.

In the following video, Mariann answers resume questions that blog readers sent in or posted as comments. As you’ll see, Mariann is passionate about helping people, a passion that is reflected in all the useful tips and techniques in this course. Please let us know what you think!

Access 2007/2010 shortcut: create new fields with field templates

Published by | Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Want an easy way to create new fields in Access 2007 or 2010? Gone are the days of painstakingly creating each new field, setting its data type, and then modifying the properties, especially for commonly used groups of fields like addresses. This time-saving shortcut from Alicia Katz Pollock shows how you can use field templates to do the job quickly and easily. You’ll find this tip along with lots more in Alicia’s courses on, Access 2007 Power Shortcuts and Access 2010 Power Shortcuts.

Deke’s Techniques #16: Turning a photo into an ink drawing

Published by | Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

For this week’s free Photoshop technique, author Deke McClelland takes an ordinary photo, applies several filters (two of which he claims to never use under any other circumstances), and transforms the photo into an ink drawing. With the application of Gaussian Blur, Smart Blur, High Pass, Notepaper, and yet more Gaussian blur, you’ll learn how to start with a photo like the one on the left below and apply a pen-and-paper drawing effect like that on the right.

I have to admit, I find these creative transformations to be my favorite flavor of Technique of Deke. I start wanting to apply these treatments to random photos of my friends and family. And for more fun and creative possiblity, this week members have an exclusive video awaiting them in the Online Training Libary® in which Deke takes the very same photo and applies a pencil drawing effect. Here’s a preview of what you’ll see:

I’m particularly charmed by the way Deke thinks in the language of Photoshop filters in order to create recipes for final outcomes that have nothing ostensibly to do with the random ingredients he throws in the mix, but still come together to create a comprehensive effect in the end.

What sorts of effect (paradoxically created from obscure filters or otherwise) would you like to see Deke apply his Photoshop-brain to in future episodes?

Related links:
Deke’s Techniques
courses on Photoshop in the Online Training Library®
courses by Deke McClelland in the Online Training Library®

Chris Coyier helps a print designer learn WordPress

Published by | Monday, April 18th, 2011

We recently received the following via our site feedback form (available at the bottom of every page):

From:  Nancy White, April 7, 2011

Hi. Where can I leave feedback about a particular course? I’ve been taking the best course EVER!

I responded and let her know she could simply use the same form again, click the course feedback button at the bottom of every course page, or simply reply to my email. Here is her more detailed response, which she graciously agreed to let me share here as a blog post:

I have been singing the praises of for many years. It’s hands-down the best learning place online.

I’ve worked in print and online publications for many years. I’ve enjoyed most of the courses I’ve taken at, but often it’s on subjects that I am already quite familiar with, so I’ve picked up some great tips and tricks.

But I’ve known next-to-nothing about WordPress. I’ve always considered it a platform for a personal, mom-and-pop-type blog, something I had no need for. But as you know, WordPress has come a long way! As my clients are getting smarter and more tech savvy, they are demanding web sites that they can easily update themselves. So, I’ve learned the fundaments of Joomla! and WordPress, but was very limited when it came to customization.

Enter Chris Coyier’s course WordPress 3: Creating and Editing Custom Themes! Something I knew nothing about, but definitely wanted to learn.

I gained an incredible amount of knowledge from this course. I’ve been able to convert a rather complicated HTML site into a custom WordPress theme! I am ecstatic!  It did not happen overnight, but it happened. I am happy, and the client is happy!

The lessons in this course are a great reference I keep coming back to. I would be happy to see more from Chris Coyier. He’s very practical and easy to follow.

Thank you again for this and all the other great content from

Loving it!

Nancy White

Thank you for sharing your success story with us, Nancy. It always excites us to hear how our members are applying what they learn from the Online Training Library®. In this day and age, it is so important for designers to start getting comfortable and savvy with designing for multiple mediums. Feel free to share your own stories with us via the site feedback or course feedback buttons, or add a comment below. Yes, we really do read every single one.

Happy learning,

Michael Ninness
VP of Content,

Free Creative Inspirations screening Tuesday at UC Berkeley: Richard Koci Hernandez, Multimedia Journalist

Published by | Monday, April 18th, 2011

On Tuesday, April 19th, we’ll be screening Richard Koci Hernandez, Multimedia Journalist on campus at UC Berkeley’s Pacific Film Archive Theatre, located at the Berkeley Art Museum, 2575 Bancroft Way in Berkeley, at 7:00 p.m.

Director Scott Erickson and I will be there to introduce the film. After the screening, Koci will take the stage to be interviewed by Jeremy Rue, a lecturer at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. We’ll have cameras at the event to record Koci’s interview for publication on at a later date. Hope to see you there!

New series: Photoshop techniques, tips, and Times Square from digital painter Bert Monroy

Published by | Friday, April 15th, 2011

This month we’re thrilled to welcome back photorealistic painter Bert Monroy in a three-part series featuring the work he did in his latest impressive (not to mention massive) artwork, Times Square. In this new addition to our Online Training Library®, the Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square series generously shares the Photoshop tools and techniques he developed during this project, so that you can understand how he creates such realistic scenes from nothing but pixels and imagination. Here’s a quick glimpse at what Bert created and what he has in store for you:

A year ago, we featured Bert in an installment of our Creative Inspirations series, during which he showed how this enormous undertaking—featuring over 100 of his friends and industry colleagues walking in one of the world’s iconic intersections—came together over the course of four years.

In the first installment of the new series (released earlier this month), Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools, Bert explains how he used the tools inside Photoshop—from brushes, to textures, to layer styles, and more—to recreate his meticulous version of reality. This week, we released part two, Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Techniques, in which he shows you how he uses those tools in combination to create the hundreds of little projects that become parts of his larger work. Finally, at the end of the month, we’ll release The Making of Times Square, the People, in which Bert shares the special approach he needs for creating details—from hair to eyes to clothing—of the over 100 people who are milling about the New York landmark in his painting. Frankly, I think Bert’s inclusion of real friends and family in his work that shows he’s not just talented and generous, but fearless to boot. (And that’s coming from a friend who is honored to appear in the painting; you’ll find some other, more notable folk included as well.)

This is a great opportunity to see how the creative impulse turns into a practical workflow from a master of his medium. And it just so happens that Bert is one of those generous spirits who not only enjoys watching his own ideas take shape, but is in his element when sharing what’s he’s done with others. Now you can take the tools, techniques, and fearless rendering of friends and family in Photoshop and see what they can inspire and create in your own work.