Design - Post archive

3 Ways to Get Your Novel Ideas Approved (AUDIO)

Published by | Monday, March 31st, 2014

3 ways to get your novel ideas approved

What do we do when we present a great novel idea to our higher–ups and they don’t approve it? We often start generating less novel ideas—and that benefits no one. Listen to creativity expert Stefan Mumaw as he explains how to sell your novel ideas to stakeholders so they see their value, and put them into action.

Know what’s important to your audience and then sell it through that lens.

Digital matte painting is just good painting!

Published by | Friday, March 28th, 2014

Matte painting is just good painting!

Matte painting is meant to fool the viewer’s eye. It is a special effects technique that combines live-action footage with painted imagery that dates back to 1907— the very dawn of filmmaking. Mattes were originally painted on a sheet of glass, which was suspended in front of the camera. Today, with digital imaging, artists can work in Photoshop, and combine their paintings with a live-action plate in programs such as After Effects, Maya, or Nuke.

The tools and techniques I advocate aren’t just helpful for matte painting, but form the building blocks of all good paintings. If you want to learn the tools and techniques I use for creating a strong digital matte painting, here are five artistic principles to set you on the right path:

Create a manhole cover with Illustrator and Photoshop: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, March 28th, 2014

Create a manhole cover with Illustrator and Photoshop

This week Bert shows us how to create the realistic manhole cover in his digital painting Oyster Bar—all from scratch using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop.

Adding effects to reverse type: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, March 27th, 2014

InDesign Secrets

Do you want to make your headlines pop? Reverse type—light text against a dark background—is a good design choice. Readers are predisposed to seeing dark text on a light background, so the opposite effect is quite eye-catching. Although reverse type is a pretty standard design element at this point, you can make the effect fresh again with additional ornamentation. This week in InDesign Secrets, David Blatner shows how to use paragraph rules (both the Rule Above and Rule Below options) to add rounded caps, cutouts, and patterns to the backgrounds behind your type. He also shows how to build the rules into a paragraph style that you can reuse again and again throughout your documents.

Clean up a smartphone photo: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Clean up a smartphone image

Do you ever notice how a photo that looks great on your phone looks terrible on a larger screen? Images shot on iPhone and Android devices (even the newest models) tend to be low resolution and grainy. This can be disappointing when you have an image you want to share somewhere other than, well, your phone. Enter Adobe Camera Raw and the one and only Deke McClelland. In today’s free episode of Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows how to clean up a noisy iPhone image using Camera Raw’s powerful toolset, including options like Clarity, Luminance, and Color and the Spot Removal tool. With a little extra help from Photoshop’s Smart Sharpen filter, Deke shows how to create a serviceable image that doesn’t scream “camera phone.”

Create asphalt and concrete textures: Pixel Playground

Published by | Friday, March 21st, 2014

Creating asphalt and concrete textures

Continuing with the series of tips from his digital painting Oyster Bar, this week Bert teaches us how to create its rough, weathered asphalt and concrete textures.

Add navigation points to embedded video: InDesign Secrets

Published by | Thursday, March 20th, 2014

Add navigation points to embedded videos

When you’re embedding a video in an interactive document, like an SWF or a PDF, you often want to call attention to certain events in the video. With navigation points, you can jump readers to certain time codes with the click of a button. In this episode of InDesign Secrets, Anne-Marie Concepción shows how to add navigation points with InDesign’s Media panel and link them to ready-made buttons (complete with rollover states) from the Button library. You can then assign video-specific actions and export your document to an interactive format—and you’re ready to go.

Preserve an object’s shadows on a new background: Deke’s Techniques

Published by | Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Preserving an object's shadow on a new background

Background replacement is one of the cool tricks Photoshop is known for. It lets you quickly swap out one environment for another. But without the cast shadows, the effect is not quite as realistic. Today in Deke’s Techniques, Deke McClelland shows how to change an object’s background and keep its shadows intact. This technique is perfect for product photography, where you have an object photographed or digitally rendered against a white background.