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

Pixelmator 1

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...]

Why I got rid of my HP b9180


It's a lovely printer, the HP b9180 is.  When I finally understood the printer's need for control and set the color management to "Printer controls color", the blacks came out smooth and velvety, the print always true to what I saw on the screen.  Since that fateful discovery, I have yet to see a single horizontal track  streaking across large fields of color in a print. Image quality is superb. … [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...]

What The Font

The Ubiquitous Font Match. The scourge of all graphic artists. And quite possible the most tedious part of being a designer. We send emails and browse through endless font libraries in existence in hopes of matching a client’s logo font. Font nuances are many and, unless you are a font expert, it can be very difficult to recognize the subtle combinations of elements as a specific type face. Sometimes it’s an easy match. If the original artwork is mine, i usually have to depend onmy … [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...]

Pixelmator: The Manual

There are some basic functions I wanted to cover before exploring Pixelmator as a tool for Photographers. I intended to publish an introduction to the gradient palette today. However, before moving forward, I thought I would give the Pixelmator User's Manual a read. All the basic features are documented, the information easily accessible and very well organized. Most of the tools are self-explanatory so I didn't feel the need to read the 1st chapter: The Working Environment. Chapter 2: … [Read more...]

Skitch: Snap, Draw, Share!

The irony of being an artist: while we freely experiment with conceptual approaches to our ideas, we tend to bond so deeply with our workflow tools we will overlook new tools that might change our workflow consequently changing our work. For that reason, it is deeply rewarding for me to read David Alison's column. He entertains all apps he stumbles across candidly, unburdened by old school mac snobbery. It is because of him I found Pixelmator. And because of him, I found Skitch. I probably … [Read more...]

Pixelmator: The Unexpected

The more I play, the more I believe that I have been underestimating the power of the PixelMator. I am starting to suspect that hidden behind the humble pricetag is the image editing equivalent of  "a predator masquerading as a house pet". Many of my Photoshop worklow techniques are based on lessons learned from Photoshop gurus like Matt Kloskowski and Scott Kelby. I wondered while I waited for Photoshop to load if I could color correct an image in Pixelmator and achieve similar … [Read more...]

Pixelmator: Creating a Clipping Mask

Not to be confused with a quick mask, a clipping mask is in fact a series of layers; the dynamic between the base layer and the layers above it define the image that will be revealed. Various combinations of opacity and blending can result in extraordinary composite images. The advantage of this method is simple: edit the base layer and you edit the shape of the composite image. The Basics 1. Create or choose your base layer.  By default, any new layer is called … [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...]