Archive for January, 2012

Two documentaries accepted into the 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Published by | Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

We are very pleased to announce that two of our Creative Inspirations documentaries, Stefan Bucher, Designer, Illustrator and Writer and Marian Bantjes, Graphic Artist, have been selected for screening at the 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

The first film, Stefan Bucher, Designer, Illustrator and Writer, follows the journey of Stefan Bucher, a prolific artist who is seemingly obsessed with finding impressive new ways to put ink on paper, from his first illustrations for The Donaldist (a magazine dedicated to the exploration of Donald Duck comics), through Art Center College, Portland agency Wieden+Kennedy, Madonna’s Maverick Records, and finally his own company, 344 Design.

In the second selection, Marian Bantjes, Graphic Artist, graphic designer Marian Bantjes discusses her creative process and shares her views on design and designers with the documentary team on location in Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and in Marian’s home and workspace near Vancouver.

The documentary team at is honored by the recognition that our films have received, and we’ll continue to strive to deliver excellent, compelling, and inspiring stories.

Members of the documentary team will be in attendance at the screenings to answer questions. For more information on the 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which runs January 26th through February 5th, visit Hope to see you there!

Interested in more?

• The entire Marian Bantjes, Graphic Artist documentary
• The entire Stefan Bucher, Designer, Illustrator and Writer documentary
• All documentaries

Suggested courses to watch next:
tokidoki, Character Illustrator
Ron Crabb, Digital Illustrator
Big Spaceship, Digital Creative Agency
Bert Monroy, Digital Painter and Illustrator

How to create a custom Apple Loop in Logic Pro 9

Published by | Friday, January 6th, 2012

Now that Logic Pro is for sale in Apple’s App Store (and for a much lower price than it was previously), there’s been a rush on users purchasing Logic and upgrading to Logic from GarageBand.

While both GarageBand and Logic have always offered access to the standard Apple Loops library as well as additional Jam Packs, with Logic Pro 9 users also get the added benefit of creating their own Apple Loops, complete with descriptors and search tags that make any hand-made Apple Loop completely searchable in Logic’s Loop Browser.

In Logic Pro 9 Essential Training, author Scott Hirsch demonstrates exactly how to create your own Apple Loop, or Apple Loop library, from any audio files in your Logic project using the Apple Loops Utility.

If you’re a new Logic Pro user, or are considering upgrading from GarageBand, check out Scott Hirsch’s Logic Pro 9 Essential Training to learn more about recording, editing, and mixing music with Logic Pro.

Interested in more?
• The full Logic Pro 9 Essential Training course
• All audio courses on
• All Logic Pro courses on
• All GarageBand courses on
• All courses from Scott Hirsch on

Suggested courses to watch next:
Virtual Instruments in Logic Pro
Audio Mixing Bootcamp
Remixing a Song in Logic Pro
Foundations of Audio: Compression and Dynamic Processing
• Pro Tools 9 Essential Training

InDesign Secrets: Gaining perspective with the New Window command

Published by | Thursday, January 5th, 2012

As is appropriate for starting off a new InDesign Secrets year, this week’s free video features David Blatner showing you how to get several useful perspectives on your document by using InDesign’s New Window command. Opening multiple windows on the same document allows you to work on detail while keeping the big picture in mind. For instance, let’s say I was obsessed with creating a meticulous text-wrap path around the snowflake image in my winter newsletter, but also wanted to keep track of how the entire text block was shaping up across the page. By using New Window to open two windows and using the Arrange command to set them side by side, I can carefully move the anchor points on my text wrap while keeping an eye on the overall outcome without the distraction of visible guides and frame borders:

Example of InDesign's New Window command

David also points out some other good uses for multiple windows, including previewing a text color change. Since New Window allows you to see two perspectives of the same project, you can keep the text selected (and thus reversed in color) in one window, while seeing the effect of the color change without selection-highlight in the other.

Meanwhile, over in the Online Training Library®, David’s partner in InDesign secrecy, Anne-Marie Concepcion, has a member-exclusive video explaining how to put images on a stroke. And since every frame edge is a stroke, she also shows you how to surround your images with other images.

See you back in two weeks with another InDesign Secrets from Anne-Marie and David!

Interested in more?
• All the InDesign Secrets on
• Courses by David Blatner on
• Courses by Anne-Marie Concepcion on
• All InDesign courses

Suggested courses to watch next:
• InDesign CS5 Essential Training
• InDesign CS5 New Features
• Up and Running with InDesign
• InDesign FX series

Deke’s Techniques: How to remove people from photos with Photoshop

Published by | Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

In this week’s free technique, Deke uses Photoshop to remove unwanted folk from a wedding photo. Now that may sound harsh, and I don’t want to imply—on my dear friend Mary’s behalf—that her beloved wedding guests were not considered treasured witnesses of her blessed event. But sometimes, you just want to pretend that the camera captured just the happy couple, and not the whole crowd. (OK, some of you may want to remove people from your life altogether, but that’s beyond the power of Photoshop.) In this case, Mary and Billy have asked Deke to temporarily remove the extraneous folk from this image:

Wedding photo with unwanted guests

While Photoshop CS5′s Content-Aware Fill is designed to fill in spaces where undesired objects reside in a photo, it doesn’t always work exactly the way you intend. The process Deke demonstrates here allows you to get around one of the limitations of Content-Aware Fill, namely that it fills your voids with information from the entire photograph. If you were to simply select the unwanted guests and try to fill them in, Content-Aware Fill would sample the areas that include the very people we’re trying to remove, which in this circumstance, would also make a duplicate of Mary’s head (which would probably leave Billy confused when it came time to kiss the bride). So, the trick to achieving good results on this project is to use Content-Aware Fill to create a new layer composed entirely of foliage. Then you can put the masked couple back on top of the purged background.

By the end of this free video Deke will show you how to arrive here, with a nice leafy background devoid of interlopers, but Mary’s head in need of some restoration:

Using the content-aware fill to remove unwanted people

Next, in this week’s two member-exclusive Deke’s Techniques videos—Masking people back into a photo and Hand-painting a mask—members of the Online Training Library® will see how Deke eventually restores Mary to her full bridal glory. It takes some planning and patience, but eventually Mary and Billy are able to begin their lives together sans onlookers—at least in this final result:

Masking people back into a photo

See you back here next week with another free technique!

Interested in more?
• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
• Courses by Deke McClelland on
• All courses on Photoshop on

Suggested courses to watch next:
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Fundamentals
• Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Advanced Blending
Photoshop Masking & Compositing: Hair

Planning for 2012: Creating an effective résumé

Published by | Monday, January 2nd, 2012

Happy 2012! Now is a great time to start creating an effective résumé, and author Mariann Siegert has all the tips you’ll need to reflect on the past year’s accomplishments and use those to plan goals for the new year.

To help you start the new year off right, Mariann has shared some fantastic tips for updating both your résumé and online profile (LinkedIn, for example)—whether you’re in the market for a new job or not.

Updating Key Information

  1. Any changes to your personal information?
    1. Delete physical addresses (these are no longer used as a way of communication while job searching and may lead to identity theft). Remove your work phone number if applicable (unless you work for yourself).
    2. Remove any fax numbers—this is an antiquated means of contact.
    3. Check your contact email address and cell number to be sure they are current and accurate. Make sure you include the best way of contacting you.
  2. Have you attended any classes, workshops, or professional training courses? For example, have you completed any courses?
  3. Have you won any awards or received any certifications?
  4. During the last year, how did you:
    1. Save or make the company money?
    2. Improve efficiency?
  5. What new software applications or programs did you use?
  6. Have you worked on any new projects?
  7. Did you receive a promotion or other special recognition?

Adding PAR Statements

Replace any clichés you find with powerful PAR statements (Problem Action Result). PAR statements take advantage of using numbers, dollar figures, and percentages to tell a business story—in this case your story. It’s a proven fact that using numbers, dollar figures, or percentages to illustrate the impact you have made in your career will have a greater impact on your audience or résumé reader by proving what you have accomplished in the past and what you can bring to the table in the future.

It’s easy to write a PAR statement. Here’s how it works:

Problem: What problem have you solved this year?

Action:  What action did you take to resolve the problem?

Result:  What was the result of your action?

Then quantify your statements with percentages, money saved, or time saved (whenever possible). Here’s an example of a PAR statement:

“Designed new Flash web site based on competitive market evaluations and client needs, resulting in a 70% increase in web site traffic and 55% profit margin for the client.”

Mariann’s tips reminded me how many wonderful developments the past year has brought and all the important work I have ahead of me. For more tips on updating your professional profiles in 2012, be sure to check out Mariann’s course, “Creating an Effective Résumé” and Richard Colback’s course “LinkedIn Essential Training.” Here’s to a fantastic and fruitful year!

Interested in more?
• All business courses on

Suggested courses to watch next:
Creating an Effective Résumé
LinkedIn Essential Training
Pitching Projects and Products to Executives
Time Management Fundamentals