A Great Photoshop Plugin has a Great Sweepstakes Coming

As an avid Photoshop user, as well as teacher, I’ve become enamored of a few of the best plugins available for various purposes. One of my main Go-To plugin suites is the On1 set. I’m planning on doing quite a few tutorials on this set, and will be speaking a lot about it in the coming months.

They’re about to release a brilliant new RAW processing app, which will complement their suite. It can be used as a replacement or adjunct to your normal Photoshop or Lightroom workflow, and it promises to be terrific.

To encourage people to check out their software, On1 is going to be launching a new SWEEPSTAKES this Sunday, September 18th. They’ll be giving away all sorts of things – iPads, cameras, drones, software… and I encourage you to enter the sweepstakes! To do so, please click the banner on this post.

In the meantime, I also suggest checking out their ON1 Effects 10 FREE plugin for Photoshop

You know how I like FREE!!!

Click this banner to enter the On1 Sweepstakes this Sunday!
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FREE Photoshop Brushes that are Truly Useful!

As my Photoshop students have already learned, brushes can be made using any set of pixels and can be manipulated almost unendingly with the Brush panel. But sometimes, it’s very helpful to have a starting point. Grutbrushes.com provides some beautifully made starting points! The detail and settings of his brushes are unique in their realism and detail in use. They work well with just a mouse, but like any brush, take on their real strengths when using a pen tablet like the Wacom brand of tablets.

Normally, I pass by a lot of the ads I see on Facebook, but a few months ago, I decided to click on one and found an excellent resource.

At Grutbrushes.com, the (very responsive) developer Nicolai has made sets of brushes, ranging from inks to calligraphy, to natural media, and more. He even provides a Photoshop Extension to open a panel in which you can organize your brushes into sets as you like them. Just recently, I used just one of his cloud brushes in a project, and created very realistic clouds. He offers a LOT of freebies, and if you sign up for his email list, you can get even more. He sells sets of them as well. His full set is a VERY reasonable $22.

Remember, all of the brushes are just starting points – Presets – from which you can use the Photoshop Brushes panel to manipulate them, resize them and alter how they work.

You all know, I LOVE Free stuff – and here, there’s a plethora of freebies along with the paid content. I think any Photoshop user will find a great deal of use and enjoyment of these. Plan on seeing some lessons on this within a few weeks.

Grutbrushes.com

 

Nik Collection – Photoshop Plugins FREE to Everyone!

Today, Google announced that their excellent Photoshop Plugin “The Nik Collection” is going to be free to everybody.

This excellent collection includes: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine – professional level controls to refine your images. I’ve been using it for several years (along with some other plugin sets) for efficient control over my effects, sharpening, noise removal and more.

For those of us who use Photoshop on a regular basis, getting this (previously $149) plugin for FREE is a boon!

Check out their post at: https://plus.google.com/+NikCollection/posts/AFGsG2Di7EK

Deal on On1 Plugin for Photoshop

Hi guys. As you know, I love Photoshop, use it extensively and work intensively with almost all of it’s features (certainly not all on one project, since it’s so very vast.

Long ago, I won a silent auction for OnOne Perfect Effects. I hadn’t used plugins in a few years, but the ease of use and functionality of this set of controls made what I usually did in Photoshop SO much faster, and gave me so many options, that I quickly became addicted. For any photo, we can run our entire workflow while only using On1 (they changed the name) and it’s functions. Please note, this set is for photo enhancement and adjustment – with very powerful features, but it’s not a replacement for Photoshop, since it’s not a program “about” compositing, 3d, video.

On1 is on their version 10 right now, and they’re offering a great deal: On1 Photo 10 (Photo editing, effects, masks, organization, state-of-the-art enlargement), a Training set, Presets (which, by the way, they send you new ones monthly for free), and a magazine – all for $80!

I now use quite a few sets of plugins (there are some really great deals out there, if you watch for them, or meet them at a trade-show), but On1 gives me so much functionality, it’s become a strong part of my go-to package.

Take a look: On1.com

NOTE – there’re only 2 days left on this promotion

 

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Adobe Premiere Pro CC to include MorphCut

Adobe Premiere Pro CC to include MorphCut – There’s something with the potential for greatness coming to the new Adobe Premiere Pro. In the right hands, this can be used for smoothing edits between different portions of a continuous clip, without having to cut over to a B roll, making (interviews in particular) edits cleaner and fixing a potential slew of problems.
My worry is what it’s going to do in the wrong hands. For example, the hands of politicians, news media, unscrupulous attorneys…
Take a look:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6wPUtKg-Ac

New Adobe Character Animation Application Shown at NAB

At the NAB Conference from April 11th to April 16th, Adobe announced a new app, coming to Adobe Creative Cloud members.

Adobe Character Animator does just what it says it will do. You can use pre-created characters that appear to come with the app, or you can create your characters using Photoshop or Illustrator and animate them. I believe I’m initially most impressed with the facial recognition and animation activation, which takes prompts directly from your webcam.

Of course, version 1 of anything will have it’s issues – but this looks really promising!!!

http://www.rgbhq.com/nab-2015-adobe-character-animator-preview/

MANY new Adobe Updates coming SOON!

Up until today, I was under NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to not reveal what’s coming up to MANY of my student’s favorite Adobe Apps – but today, with the announcement at NAB, all may be revealed. In fact, Adobe themselves revealed what’s to come to Adobe Premiere Pro (oh, my goodness, what they’re doing!), After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, Flash, Muse, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and Audition!

You can check out the upcoming changes to the Video Editing apps here:
http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/coming-next-to-adobe-pro-video-tools/

I’m sure there’re going to be many more blog posts at Adobe, to tell us the rest…

A Guide to Using Waveform Monitors as Artistic Tools in Color Grading

For my students who’re color grading their footage using an external waveform monitor – Tektronix has just posted a Primer on Color grading theory and techniques.

AND, it’s my second favorite price- FREE!

http://www.tek.com/regional-page/guide-using-waveform-monitors-artistic-tools-color-grading?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=publications&utm_content=guidetocolorgrading&utm_campaign=aimclear

Creative Cloud Backlash

SO many people are responding negatively to Adobe’s recent announcement of their sole offering of a cloud based Creative Cloud subscription that I’m seeing dozens of posts on the subject. The article below offers some links to follow the discussion (read: Rebellion), and a link to a petition to sign, if you find a life-long payment plan is not for you!

http://creativebits.org/photoshop/creative_suite_6_forever