Photoshop CS4 Retouching: Curves, Levels & Exposure.

In reality, most images can be fixed with curves, levels, and exposure, and perhaps sharpening. 90% of post-production image editing will use these tools. This section is devoted to revisiting the most fundamental of photoshop tools in depth. Virtually every image benefits by some adjustment. Whether you decide to begin each adjustment with curves because i said it's most often used for beginnings, or whether you decide to go with levels first will be something that will develop as a matter of … [Read more...]

Download: Dr. Roach’s Photoshop CS4 for Beginners

Update: Now that CS5 version has been released as an app, we are no longer offering this pdf for free However, Adobe Photoshop CS4: An Introduction by Dr. Michael N. Roach is now for sale as a PDF Price: $4.99 Sample Pages: There are still a lot of people using Photoshop CS4 even though Photoshop CS5, and now Photoshop CS5.5, has been out for some time. We were contacted by a few students who are still in need of this information so, in the spirit of sharing, this series … [Read more...]

Dr. Roach’s Guide to Photoshop CS4 For Beginners: Preferences

There are still a lot of people using Photoshop CS4 even though Photoshop CS5 has been out for some time. In the spirit of sharing, this series of downloadable lecture notes for CS4 is placed online for those who may need some help with the basics of the program. Much of the basics remain unchanged in CS5 and I believe that the original tutorial will prove useful for many of the steps of the revised Photoshop CS5, but there are minor differences sometimes. Originally, these notes were part of … [Read more...]

Review: ART TEXT v2.2.2 by Belight Software

Editor's Note:  Wouldn't you know? Just as we released this article, a newer 2.3 version with a vector editor has been released. Dr. Roach will review it at a later date. Back in April, 2009 I last reviewed BeLight's ART TEXT and found it a useful headline and logo designing tool, but time passes and the new 2.2.2 version appeared as a review copy (from BeLightsoft. Com)on my desk with a new, revamped look and a greater ease of usage. … [Read more...]

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Lighting On A Budget – Pt. 2

My 6-light CFL fixture worked well in the studio, but I wanted more light and the option to add a light modifier.  I decided to move up to 3” PVC and install eight lamp sockets around the outside of the pipe. We're going to call this fixture a SPIDER, you'll see why in just a moment. Here is my original collection of parts. A 3” clean-out plug serves as a hub for the sockets.  My original idea was to attach the clean out plug to a 3” bushing … [Read more...]

Topaz Labs DeNoise: Another Winning Photoshop Plugin

UPDATE: Dr. Roach reviews the latest release of DeNoise here A few weeks back I wrote about TopazLabs application TopazAdjust3, and I liked it so well that it obviously influenced me to take a look at its sister (brother?) application DeNoise.  Topaz Labs makes applications for both still and video imaging, and it is the digital still imaging area that have my interest because Photoshop from Adobe is the center of my workflow and I like things that plug-in to Photoshop.  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...]

Getting Started in Adobe Illustrator’s Livetrace

One gazillion years ago (I call it 1989) I used a rather nifty application called Adobe Streamline.  It had the ability to convert pixel-based bitmapped images into a vector graphic image. But why would you need that?  It is due to the adage of while you can shrink a low-res image, you can't enlarge it.  That's because a bitmapped image is made up of pixels.  Blowing them up only creates larger pixel areas creating that all-too-familiar crappy Youtube video look.  With … [Read more...]

Prometheus to the Cave Man and Now Igniting Ingenuity

At the beginning of the Disney movie Ratatouille, the main character, a small rat, says there is something interesting about humans:  “they don’t just survive; they discover; they create.”  The young child, cave woman, adult, professional, pirate, educator and artist in me held on to this observation by Remy, the rat, as the cornerstone that supports art and art making.  When asked to articulate a low-tech metal casting process to a high-tech computer crowd, I … [Read more...]

ImageWell

Free is good for about anything!  A well-made, extremely usable, and still free application is incredible!  Check out Xtralean's website and navigate to IMAGEWELL. First of all it's available in fifteen different languages and…but what does it do, you ask?  … [Read more...]

Green Volcano’s Photon

Green Volcano has announced Photon 1.0.2, a digital image viewing and sorting application for Mac OS X. Photon has an intuitive interface based upon a stacks analogy to allow the user to quickly scan through large sets of high-resolution images. Photon can load images either from a hard disk or from a memory card. … [Read more...]

Elgato Systems’ EyeTV Hybrid

I like to watch TV in bed at night. Sometimes I like to record what I am watching, but this involves getting out of bed, putting a tape in the recorder and getting back in bed. Usually I have to open a new tape by somehow ripping off the cellophane that has been adhered to the tape pack by static electricity (a force often stronger than I am), and by the time I have the tape in the recorder I've missed the first few minutes of what I wanted to record anyway. … [Read more...]