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Cool Text Effect

February 11, 2010 in Inspiration, Photoshop, Tutorials

Cool Text Effect from Photoshop User Magazine

I just learned how to do this really cool effect while reading one of the Down and Dirty Tricks tutorials in latest issue of Photoshop User Magazine. Click “more” to learn how to do it!

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TJM Media Group Presents: Start to Finish: Episode 1

February 2, 2010 in News, Photography, Photoshop, TJM Media Group, Tutorials, Video, Workflow

The TJM Media Group is pleased to announce the release of the first episode of “Start to Finish” – a series where you, the reader, will help select each month’s photography and graphic design assignment and then watch as your projects are completed, from start to finish. The key to this being a fun, interesting, and informative feature is your interaction. In this first episode, we had to come up with a basic concept on our own.

In this episode, we go on assignment to the grounds of the University of Virginia and photograph Thomas Jefferson’s historic academic village. Photographs are captured to demonstrate basic pano-stitching techniques back in the studio. It was a simple task to get the series up and running.

We have every confidence that you can do much better!

Here’s how we’d like it to work:

Each month we need two basic assignments – a photographic concept and a final presentation.

For example, a suggestion for a photographic concept might be:

Demonstrate the process for capturing the photos needed to render an HDR image of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting final presentation concept might be: Render the HDR image and present as a fine art print.

(OK, that one seems pretty neat. We might use it… )

Email your suggestions to: start2finish@tjmmediagroup.com

We look forward to working on YOUR assignments.

All the best,

Rob Jones and Jason Moore
Founders, TJM Media Group

Bringing Some Work Home

January 19, 2010 in Inspiration, Personal, Photoshop, Tutorials, Workflow

As some of you may know, by day I am a web designer for a sporting goods company putting together marketing emails, maintaining the look and feel of the website, and keeping an eye on the SEO initiatives we have going.

Coming up later this week we are launching a new sport line. We are mainly a wrestling and volleyball supply retailer, with some running, but we’re jumping into the realm of field sports (lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer) and it has been my job to compile product images, build pages and make sure the whole section is ready to go.

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“Ask Jason” – What’s the Difference Between Opacity and Fill?

September 2, 2009 in Photoshop, Tutorials

Welcome to the first of what will hopefully become a more regular series here on the blog. I invite you, my readers to send in questions about Photoshop and digital photography that I may address them here. No question is too small and the learning process of such a deep and complex program such as Photoshop and Lightroom is an ongoing endeavor. As I’ve mentioned before, I work from the philosophy that when I learn something about Photoshop I want to share it so that you can learn more too. So please, ask away!

To start us off, here is a question I received from a reader the other day:

Jason,

I’ve been trying to distinguish between Opacity and Fill. As an experiment, I created two layers, black over white. I then adjusted opacity to 50%, flattened and measured the color of grey (r=g=b=128). Repeating the process but adjusting fill to 50% gave the same results. What’s the difference and when would I prefer to use one over the other?

Thanks,
Steve

What Steve is asking is actually a fairly common question and even some more advanced users aren’t quite sure how it works or when to use it. In fact, I asked a couple of my fellow designers in the graphics department at work and they didn’t really know what it was for. So, Steve, you’re in good company!

So we all know what we’re talking about, in the upper right corner of the Layers Panel you will see two boxes, one for Opacity and one for Fill and it is very easy to assume that they both do the same thing.

Before getting into a discussion about Opacity vs. Fill, I want to make a distinction that has always helped me to understand what’s going on here. The distinction is between a layer and the contents of the layer. A layer is the row within the layers panel on which you can add objects such as shapes, text, images, drawings, etc. The contents of the layer are those things (text, shapes, etc.) that are on the layer. Simple enough, right? But this is a very important distinction. You do not apply layer effects to a specific object on a layer, you apply the effects to the layer as a whole. Which brings us to the question at hand.

Opacity, as I understand it, acts on the layer – the contents and the effects – while Fill acts only on the contents and leaves the effects alone.

To illustrate this, on a new layer, make a square of any color you like. Next, apply a decent sized stroke to it (inside, outside, color, whatever you want to do) and click Ok. Duplicate the layer and move the square so they are next to each other. Now lower the opacity of one of the  layers to 50% and you will see that the square and its stroke are now more transparent. Select the other square, but this time, lower the fill to 50% and you will notice that only the square, not the stroke, is semi-transparent while the stroke is still fully opaque.

Most of the time adjusting the opacity slider along will do the job for you and you don’t have to worry about fill. However, when using layer effects you may want to play around with the fill to give yourself more options. For example, if you want to have text that is only an outline, add a stroke and lower the fill. If you want to create a semi-transparent box to hold some text in your design, create a black box, add a drop shadow that has a distance of zero and a decent size, lower the fill to about 20% – or whatever works for you – and there you go.

So, in a nutshell, Opacity affects the layer, Fill affects the objects on the layer and this really comes into play when using Layer Effects. Play around with it and I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it in no time! Do you know of another way of explaining the difference? What helps you remember? Are there other uses for Fill that you’ve come across? Please share them in the comments!

If you have any Photoshop questions, please send them along and you may soon find the answer here! Don’t be shy, I’m sure you’re not the only one wondering the same thing. By asking your questions, you’ll be helping others to understand and use Photoshop better too.

P&P Weekly: #96 – Part One

October 20, 2008 in Blogroll, Photography, Photoshop

Welcome to week #96 of The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll’s P&P Weekly!

This edition of the P&P Weekly will be split into a couple of groups (A-J and L-W) as I am still recovering from a full weekend of photowalking and a portrait session. Weekends are never long enough to fit everything in, are they?! I’ll have part two set for either tomorrow or Wednesday.

We had a great time over the weekend at Salt Spring State Park for our most recent photowalk! Everyone had a great time and from the chimping going on, everyone got some really nice shots! Personally, I felt more confident about my shots than I have in awhile and was pleased with the results of a few new techniques that I tried on the walk. I haven’t made it through all of my shots yet, but below is one of my favorites of the day, so far:

We will keep an eye on schedules and weather but we are definitely going to be planning more walks in the future. We might even brave the cold and try for a winter walk later in the year. Keep up-to-date on our photowalk page above and here on the main pages of the blog for all the details.

Click here to become a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. A great resource for training, tips, and connecting with other creatives.

And as always, take a moment to grab one of the chicklet links to show your support for this blog and, for blogroll members, be sure to pick up your P&P Blogroll Member badge link.

Finally, here are some of my favorites from what’s been happening in The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll:

Come back in the next day or so for Part Two!

Please be sure to visit the great blogs of our other members found in the sidebar. And if you would like to be considered for The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll, email Jason.

Tilt-Shift Photoshop Tutorial

July 18, 2008 in Photoshop, Tutorials

I came across a link recently to a tutorial for creating the impression of a model city scape or street scene. I had done this before, back in early 2006 but had forgotten about it. It’s a very easy effect to accomplish, given the right starting photo.

I’m planning on doing a video of this technique, once I find the time to get started with those again.

In the meantime, give it a try!

[via Graphic Tips with Eric Saar]

P&P Weekly: #85

July 14, 2008 in Blogroll, Photography, Photoshop

p_and_p_weekly.jpg

Welcome to week #85 of The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll’s P&P Weekly!

Over the weekend we hit 30,000 unique visitors since switching to WordPress in September and have just welcomed our 60th member!

We’re also now listed in the photography category of AllTop.com.

Click here to become a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.

And as always, take a moment to grab one of the chicklet links to show your support for this blog and, for blogroll members, be sure to pick up your P&P Blogroll Member badge link.

Finally, here are some of my favorites from what’s been happening in The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll:

Please be sure to visit the great blogs of our other members found in the sidebar. And if you would like to be considered for The Photoshop & Photography Blogroll, email Jason.

“What the Duck,” “You Suck at Photoshop”

March 10, 2008 in Photography, Photoshop, Tutorials

We just finished up another high school show over the weekend and are in the process of setting up for another one today. So, in order to give myself a little recovery time – especially given opposing home schedules these two weeks - I decided to delay this week’s P&P Weekly for a day or two. Also, be sure to stop back on Friday for the next edition of Geographic Composition!

In the meantime pop over to a couple of great sources for Photoshop and photography humor.

The first is What the Duck by Friend-of-the-Blog Aaron Johnson. WTD is a daily comic strip designed specifically for photographers, Photoshop users, and even small business owners and it pokes fun at clients, those who don’t know enough to know that they don’t know, and the everyday ridiculousness of life. I read his strips every day and they’re a great “pick me up” after a long day.

For the next one,  I know I’m late in posting this and you’ve probably already seen these, but for those of you who haven’t, check out the “You Suck at Photoshop” video series. If you’re looking for good, in-depth tutorials on how to create effects in Photoshop, look elsewhere. For some excellent Dane Cook-style humor, “warped” into a Photoshop tutorial, this is your place! (The link takes you to Episode #1 (0f 8). )