Monday, November 25, 2013

PhotoShop How-To posted

I just created a "How-To" over at, go over there and check it out! It teaches you how to use the Pen Tool in PhotoShop so that you can get a more precise trace over images than you can with just the Magic Wand. The magic wand is quick and dirty with the emphasis on DIRTY! If you are not too interested in the precision of the trace you need on a given item, Magic Wand will usually work. If you ever need a more precise trace than what the Magic Wand can give you, I highly suggest that you learn the Pen Tool.

The Major advantage of the Pen Tool is that you can trace precisely where you need, and since it uses vectors, it is actually more accurate than a pixel! Technically it could be infinitely more precise than a pixel, but since PhotoShop is a raster based program, that doesn't really matter too much. I find myself reaching for the Pen Tool a lot, maybe too much. It does take time, but there is something relaxing about getting zoomed way in and twisting the vector handles around the various curves to get that pin point precision that only the Pen Tool can offer.

If you are the kind of person that would be interested in learning the Pen Tool in PhotoShop, I am going to guess you are in some way connected to Digital Media. I have recently come across a fairly new organization dedicated to the promotion of the Digital Media fields of work. It is iDMAa (International Digital Media and Arts Association). They have scholarships for students, which would have been nice to know before I got into my senior year, but more importantly, they offer a nice place to network with other people in the industry and even have a section dedicated to helping people find work or people to fill positions. The site is still in its infancy, but save it and keep checking on it, I am sure it will become a very valuable website for people like us in the near future.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Digital Media

This is where you will come for most of your Digital Media needs. You can find information on most forms of Digital Media here including video editing, web development (front end and back end), PhotoShop tips and tricks, InDesign, audio, podcasting, etc.

I have been playing around with computer graphics since before PCs or Macs were on the market back when you had to edit pictures by manipulating pixels in a 16x16 square and place it back into the larger picture and grab another square then save your pictures on a cassette tape off your TV before the Apple ][ e came out. When the Mac came out in 84 I saw Mac Paint and I was hooked! the resolution was AMAZING!! I also learned some 2D animation on some software I have since forgotten the name of. My scout leader was a graphic design artist for the college when the Mac 2 came out with... COLOR!! I spent as many hours as I could on it until I moved away from computers for a few years (Yosemite then Japan). When I came back Microsoft came out with Windows 95, nothing really major but I did learn Quark on a Power PC. I moved to Utah in 98 and eventually bought my first non Macintosh with SE on it. It was with this computer that I learned the newer PhotoShop and some minor video editing and 3D modeling and animation. After a few computer revisions and years of playing around with the "fun stuff" after coming home after my real job of software engineering, I decided that I wanted to go back and get a degree in Digital Media at UVU. I feel that UVU has an advantage over a lot of other universities in this degree in that we do not have a large sports program that sucks a lot of resources away from the arts program. This allows us to have more computers and newer software and devices to test on than if he had to support a football team at the same time. UVU has produced a few award winning short films like "Lizard and the Ladder" and games like "Cape Chronicles" in 2012 and "Dub Wars" at iDMAa a few weeks ago.

Although I am by no means the best at any of the programs I work with, I have found that I know some tricks that a lot of people who do this for a living do not know. I will be focusing on tricks that should help speed up your productivity or show you a different way to do something where you can get better, more precise edits.