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 PhotoshopExtension 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.
As I mentioned, I’d be discussing some Photoshop plugins. One of the first I’ll be discussing is a set of plugins from Topaz Labs. This software has a zillion modules and excellent tools, from Image Effects, to retouching to masking. I’ll be reviewing a bunch of these shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a link that’ll get you a $20 credit for whatever product you buy. I own the whole set, and one of my favorite things about these guys is that once you buy a plugin, the upgrades are FREE for LIFE. Check them out HERE!
As most of my design and graphics students know, I’m a bit of a type geek. In almost every class, even if it’s not in our regular syllabus, I try to include at least a brief introduction to Type as Design – or, Typography.
And, you probably also know how I stress the idea of kerning – the way individual letterforms fit together, as a method of refining your work, adding a cohesive look and confirming that you’ve taken some time and put in some effort at making your type look good, as well as read well.
Today, I found an excellent infographic at Digital Synopsis.com, that may help you to make better decisions about how to improve your Headers, your Titles, and all display type. Take a look!
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!
As almost all of my students know, I’m a bit of a type geek. So, imagine how fulfilled my inner geek feels, when I find blog post about Typefaces, Type Structure, Type families, Type anatomy, and Type Classification, the use of Type in Paragraphs, Typographic Terms like kerning and spacing, Page Layout and Type, and so much more!
Although this article is written with a focus on software development, the article is about DESIGN. Knowing what you’re using, and why. As I always say “in design, you can always break the rules, but first you have to know what the rules are!”
I seriously recommend this article to all my design students, my motion graphics students, my still image students, and anyone else who feels that Type is more than just a way to make a word show up.
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!!!
OnOne Software, one of the premiere Photoshop Plug-In makers is offering an EXCELLENT FREE version of their Photographic Effects Plugin software for Photoshop. On the same page, they also offer several presets for Lightroom, Aperture, and Camera Raw.
This is FREE, people! And the effects and interface are very flexible and very cool!
Check them out at http://www.ononesoftware.com/free/
For my design and typography students – anyone into Illlustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, even Dreamweaver, After Effects… this article shows some excellent work with type as graphic – even when the posters are about the typeface itself!