Category: Software

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Software / 21 Nov 2011

5 Simple Steps to Stunning Portraits in Photoshop

Today’s article points out a harsh but true reality: just because you know how to use Photoshop for design work doesn’t mean you know how to edit photos. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

Follow along as we show you five simple and lightning fast steps you can take to transform your plain, boring portraits to stunning images that look straight out of a professional photographer’s portfolio. Along the way you’ll learn several important tips such as how to properly sharpen an image and how to draw the viewer’s attention to where you want it to go.

Software / 16 Nov 2011

10 Ways Photoshop Actions Can Improve Your Workflow

Photoshop actions are an extremely easy way to automate all of the mundane daily tasks that have made their way into your design workflow. Whether you’re in web or print design, odds are there are a few repetitive tasks that you could let Photoshop handle for you.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to automating your workflow is simply coming up with ideas for where Photoshop actions could help you out. Today we’ll help you solve that problem by going over 10 ways Photoshop actions can improve your workflow.

How to Crank Out a DIY Mobile Site in Minutes Flat
Mobile / 30 Sep 2011

How to Crank Out a DIY Mobile Site in Minutes Flat

Huge strides are being made in professional web design in the mobile arena. More than ever, the web is a place that’s quite friendly to devices of all shapes, sizes and operating systems. If you’re not a professional designer, this news can be unwelcome and even overwhelming as you wonder how you’re going to afford or create your own mobile site.

Today we’re going to take a brief look at how mobile websites are becoming ubiquitous, why turnkey DIY services are a necessary part of the web design world and a few of these services for you to check out. We’ll even walk you through the process of using one of these services so you can see how easy it is to have your own mobile site up and running in minutes.

25 Extremely Useful Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers
Software / 26 Sep 2011

25 Extremely Useful Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers

Google Chrome was a fairly latecomer to the browser wars but was an overnight success that instantly became the favorite of Mac and Windows users alike. Everything about Chrome, from its minimal and highly practical interface to its solid Webkit Core and robust extension system, makes it hands down one of the best ways to access the web.

For all you Chrome lovers out there, we’ve got an awesome collection of 25 extremely useful Google Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers. Whether you’re looking for a quick way to validate your page or create a custom grid overlay, we’ve got the tool for you.

8 Ways to Get the Selection You Want in Photoshop
Software / 7 Sep 2011

8 Ways to Get the Selection You Want in Photoshop

Mastering different forms of selection creation is one of the fundamental aspects of becoming a Photoshop professional. If you don’t know half a dozen techniques or more to create a usable selection, your toolbox of skills is unnecessarily limited.

Today we’re going to take a quick look at eight popular methods for creating selections in Photoshop and where each is the most applicable.

More Than Scaling: How to Make the Leap From Mobile to Desktop
Mobile / 30 Aug 2011

More Than Scaling: How to Make the Leap From Mobile to Desktop

In the last decade, much discussion time has been given to how both interfaces and user experiences translate from desktops to smaller mobile devices. Recently however, the conversation has switched and we’re now seeing trends begin in the mobile environment and make the leap back to the desktop.

This leap is deceptively simple and merits significant inspection as to the fundamental differences between mobile and desktop platforms and how that can and should affect how interfaces and experiences are crafted.

Why Adobe Doesn’t Understand Web Designers
Software / 18 Aug 2011

Why Adobe Doesn’t Understand Web Designers

Earlier this week Adobe launched a preview of a WYSISYG web design project currently codenamed “Muse.” Though it looked promising, disappointed and even angry reactions from the web community are already all over the web.

With all the time, effort and money that Adobe spends on creating a “code free” solution for designing websites, you’d think that they would be able to create something decently usable by now. So what’s holding them back? Today we’ll take a brief walk down memory lane, starting all the way back at PageMill, to see if we can discover any reoccurring themes in Adobe’s history with web designers.

Adobe Illustrator 101: 10 Things You Should Know About Ai
Software / 15 Jun 2011

Adobe Illustrator 101: 10 Things You Should Know About Ai

Adobe Illustrator is one of my absolute favorite applications. For vector work, Illustrator simply can’t be beat and you should really set your reservations aside and give it a shot. Even if you’re commonly creating raster graphics for the web, there are a number of things that Illustrator simply does better than Photoshop so getting to know both apps and their strengths/weaknesses is a must.

Today’s article is for the extreme Illustrator newbies. You have the Adobe Creative Suite installed on your computer and have seen Illustrator sitting there quietly begging to be played with but you’ve never jumped in. We’ll go over ten basic things you should know before starting.

Apply Graphics to Textured Surfaces With Displacement Maps
Software / 31 Mar 2011

Apply Graphics to Textured Surfaces With Displacement Maps

Do you ever wonder how Photoshop masters create such realistic compositions? Seemingly simple tasks such as throwing some text onto a brick wall can easily lead to lackluster results if you don’t know what you’re doing.

So what sets you apart from the pros? Why are their final results so believable while yours reek of Photoshop? The simple answer is that they know more tricks than you! Let’s fix that.

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins
Software / 10 Mar 2011

25 Professional and Incredibly Powerful Photoshop Plugins

Freebies are awesome, and design blogs are full of them, but sometimes you need a professional tool to handle professional tasks. There are a wealth of extremely powerful and high quality photoshop tools that can dramatically improve your workflow and are worth every penny you have to spend to get them.

Today we’ll look at a number of the best tools available for making color adjustments, adjusting focus, enlarging images, transforming layers in 3D, reducing noise, creating textures, applying complex masks, and even taking that PSD into full-blown HTML.

10 Fresh Mac Apps With Beautiful Interfaces (And What We Can Learn From Them)
Software / 16 Dec 2010

10 Fresh Mac Apps With Beautiful Interfaces (And What We Can Learn From Them)

Interface design is a valuable skill to possess. Every decision you make, be it something as major as a color scheme or as minor as a stroke width, can potentially have a huge impact on whether or not people decide to use the application, website, etc. We designers know this better than anyone because we tend to be interface snobs, meaning we flat out refuse to use an app with poor design, even if the functionality is stellar.

The next time you’re faced with the task of designing an interface, why not learn from those who have already succeeded? Below we’ll take a look at the interfaces of ten beautiful and fairly new Mac applications and discuss what went right.

Mastering Variable Width Strokes in Illustrator CS5
Software / 8 Oct 2010

Mastering Variable Width Strokes in Illustrator CS5

Photoshop CS5’s fancy new feature set has garnered a lot of attention and tutorials, but Photoshop was by no means the only app to gain a little awesomeness. Illustrator CS5 has a few really stellar new features that make it even easier to create complicated vector art.

Today we’ll go over how to use one the many new features in Illustrator CS5: variable width strokes. With the new “Width Tool” you can make complex line shapes in seconds using only a few quick click and drag motions.