Review: Gimp 2.8 for Photographers

With Adobe's Photoshop moving to the cloud and a subscription basis, there has been a strong movement of hobbysists and amateur photographers to seek an alternative image editing software that is less expensive and unthethered. I have been teaching workshops on Image Editing for the past thirteen years and in the past few months the inquiries and requests that I teach a workshop with alternative image editing software have increased. I had absolutely no skills in any image editing software … [Read more...]

QuickFix: Why does Pages creates HUGE files?

In an effort to accomodate clients who wish to continue editing content, I sometimes export files out of Pages to .doc for their use. And sometimes, the exported file is so huge its unworkable. After dealing with this issue a few times, I have come to the conclusion that drag/dropped jpg images in MSWord get somehow corrupted in the conversion to iWork Pages which tries to fix the issue by creating a .pdf out of the image.  It seems to occur regardless what combination of versions of MSWord … [Read more...]

Review: Pixelmator 1.6

About a year and a half ago (January 7, 2009 to be exact) I wrote a review of Pixelmator as a potential light-weight image-editing software. At that time I found it a very useful and inexpensive image-editing software that was well worth its $59.00 cost. (Download from A new version of Pixelmator (1.6) is available as a free upgrade to current Pixelmator owners, but a word of caution goes along with it. Pixelmator has been rewritten for Snow Leopard 10.6 and the new version … [Read more...]

A Story About iPhone Game Development

Developing for the iPhone is a bit of a shift for me; in more ways than one.  I spent ten years climbing the career ladder towards bigger projects, bigger budget titles, bigger studios, etc.  But when I found myself taking leave of the million dollar projects and high profile studios and joining up with a little 3 man startup iPhone app company, I had no idea the very next rungs on the ladder would be some of the most challenging and rewarding of my career.  Now just before I … [Read more...]

Illustrator CS4: Gradient Reflection & Glossy Surface

Making transparent gradients in Illustrator have become much easier with the new Gradient Annotator, a new tool in Adobe's Illustrator CS4. It is now possible to define the opacity if individual color stops in a gradient, revealing underlying objects and colors, and creating multiple layered compositions. The process of creating these gradients have become exact- set the gradient angle, position and dimensions while previewing the effect directly on your artboard. Here, David Turton has created … [Read more...]

Making a Comic in Comic Life Magiq

Comic Life Magiq is an unusual product in plasq's software line, as it's not meant to be a replacement for Comic Life Deluxe. As an avid fan of the latter, I wanted to see if Magiq addressed some of my wishlist in templating and layout for my web comic. For folks not familiar with Comic Life Deluxe by plasq, not to worry. There will be some comparisons with Deluxe throughout the article, but the article is designed to get you going from the ground up. There is an assumption that you already have … [Read more...]

The Pixelmator Challenge: Dr. Roach

While teaching a recent Photoshop workshop, a local Community College recruited me to conduct a sort of 'finishing up' workshop for students at the end of their second year of Photoshop classes in a strictly Macintosh lab. I was charged with showing them that while they had two semesters of Photoshop behind them, that there were a lot of subtle things yet to be done and which hadn't been covered in their coursework. Sure enough, at the end of the session a question arose, just as I had … [Read more...]

The Pixelmator Challenge: Alicia Vogel

I really love Pixelmator as a painting program.  It has Photoshop-like brushes and a Painter feel.  I popped a sketch I had started in Painter in and was able to fully block it out and have a decent detail pass in a matter of hours.  For me, its simplicity is a big plus. With Photoshop and Painter,  I get dazzled by all the options and end up forever tweaking all the tools.  In the future I'm going to do all my pre-painting in Pixelmator and then tweak either in … [Read more...]

Review: Jumsoft Templates and Clipart for iWorks Pages

I recently added iWorks Pages to my arsenal of design tools. I would like to suggest some add-ons that I recently included in my collection... These babies are available a the Jumsoft Online Store. Jumsoft's packages range in price from $29 (for individual templates) to $ 59 (for The Template Pro Pack). At these prices, they easily add value to your IWork collection of templates and clipart. I have to say my favorite of the three is the very random yet whimsical collection of images in … [Read more...]

iWork! I swear!

Okay, so I am a bit of a software snob. I can’t help it.  I come from the “right before computers were cool” generation.  My first experience with a computer was looking up the Dewey Decimal system on the library computer in High School.  Then after flirting with a few PCs in the public lab while writing a few last minute papers for English Lit I moved on to my first Mac in the art lab.  After that, there was only one true love in my life.  The Apple! … [Read more...]

Review: Jumsoft Keynote FX Series (pt2)

iWorks Keynote by Apple is an excellent presentation application program for backgrounds and templates for text and images. The finished product (movies, reports, etc.) can be exported into QuickTime, PowerPoint, PDF, Images, Flash, HTML and iPod versions. Apple ships Keynote with thirty-six standard themes, providing the end user with a strong foundation and giving you plenty room to expand your library. Jumsoft is just one of a number of companies that supply add-ons to use in Keynote. We … [Read more...]

Highlights of’s Comic Con 2008 Gallery

Photos by Carl Perry/ … [Read more...]