Tutorial – Using the History Brush with Filters – Photoshop

When I don’t get a chance to make my own tutorials, I still appreciate the work of others. Graphics.com has posted a nice tutorial on using the History Brush to control where Filter Effects…um… affect your image. Check it out!

http://www.graphics.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=1007

Very Good Deal on a Wacom Tablet

Today, Dealfind.com is offering a Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch Tablet for $70!

As my graphics students know, I’m a big advocate of using a pressure-sensitive tablet for precision masking, vector drawing control and tons of other functions. This is the smaller version of their tablet – which makes it quite portable as well. check it out at:
http://www.dealfind.com/products/los-angeles/brightlightbusiness2?a=16589f8ddd39

 

Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch

Wacom Bamboo Pen & Touch

 

Fumy 2.0 – a cool little graphics program

Cigarette and Smoke

Demo image made in 4 minutes with Fumy and Photoshop

Here’s a little program I love! I bought a program named Smoke some time ago, at a discounted price. I thought it looked like a cool, fun toy of a program, but it’s so much more! Smoke underwent a name change. It’s new name is Fumy, and the newly released version is  Fumy 2.0.

Painting in Fumy is like painting with smoke, or waves, or patterns or light. Version 1, with all it’s point updates was very cool – choose a style and some colors and then paint. You could place the end results into Photoshop documents (or simply create a stand-alone graphic). The only “real” limitation was that the end-result image was opaque. You could use any color background, but you created an opaque image for which you might have to use Blending Modes in Photoshop to influence the result.

Now, with version 2.0, we have layers! This means that not only can we create images with transparent backgrounds, but we also have some limited blending modes inside the program, and we also have the ability to export individual layers of our image.

The names of the controls present a bit of a learning curve: names like “Flow”, “Range”, “Intensity”, “Density”, “Fluency”, “Gravity”, and “Quality” may not make immediate sense, but that’s part of the idea of working in this Fumy. It’s all about experimentation (you all know that’s a BIG teaching point of mine anyway, right?)

Version 2.0 just came out a few days ago, so there’re still a few “issues” to resolve. For example, the tooltip names don’t align and so you have to trust the icon more than the name of the tool. Also, there seems to be a bit of a problem with the function of exporting individual layers, but you should also be aware that the developer is extremely responsive. I’ve had a few questions over the past couple of versions, and I received response emails the same day!

On top of all this coolness and fun, here’s the real kicker – I’d originally bought this program for $6 via Maczot.com. It was also included in a software bundle I’d purchased at MacLegion.com. But I never needed the new version. Every update has been free – and the recent UPGRADE was ALSO FREE! Any developer with such a cool product, who is so responsive, and has such generous upgrade policies should be commended! I encounter so many programs with ridiculous and draconian upgrade costs, I’m especially impressed by this (see Adobe’s new upgrade policies, for example!)

Despite the few bugs in this new version, I highly recommend it – and the developer. If the regular $19.99 seems a bit much, wait… you’ll see it in a bundle, I’m sure. Also, Neatberry (the developer) seems to have a slew of other cool programs. I’m looking forward to checking them out.

Oh, and the image you see in this post  was done using a stock image from stock.xchng, and a quick image from Fumy 2.0, created and composited in about 4 minutes using Photoshop.

Check out Fumy 2.0. Let me know what you think!

Great Black and White in Photoshop

I’m often asked how to turn a color photograph into a Black & White image. Some people use the Black & White setting on their digital camera (and some use Tri-X film – often using manual filters!). The problem with traditional Black and White settings is that the resulting images lack dynamics, but with Photoshop, we can control the dynamics and contrast in an image, with a lot of power and ease.

In this Tutorial, you’ll learn about the power of the Black and White Adjustment Layer, and how do perform some cool special effects using this very simple and powerful tool.