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Refining Edges - Understanding Adobe Photoshop 144

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to easily modify selections with the refine edges command in Photoshop CS4.

Like the podcast? Then be sure to
check out the companion book.


Shadows/Highlights - Understanding Adobe Photoshop 163

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use the shadow/highlight adjustment in Photoshop CS4 to repair images with exposure problems.

Like the podcast? Then be sure to check out the companion book.


Cool iPhone Apps for Video Pros

If you're a media pro... here are a few iPhone/iPod Touch apps to check out. I've not played with all of these yet, but they've all been recommended to me (or I've used 'em).


Cool iPhone Apps for Video Pros

If you're a media pro... here are a few iPhone/iPod Touch apps to check out. I've not played with all of these yet, but they've all been recommended to me (or I've used 'em).


iPhone Photo and App Contest

Adorama is running an iPhone photo contest until February 28th. You can upload photos here or photo for your favorite photo app here. There's been some great photos submitted so far – Click here. They have some pretty cool prizes too!


Last Chance to Save on Photoshop World

The last chance to save $100 on Photoshop World is tomorrow. The Early Bird offer is a great deal. I'll be teaching several classes, including a pre-conference session on DSLR Video as well several motion graphics classes. Here’s the link.

If you're new to Photoshop World, here's the Top 10 Reasons to Attend


Create a Client Screener Disc

Check out this video to learn more about creating a screener disc for your clients. You can also visit the website in order to download sample files.


How to Automatically Add Copyright Metadata in Aperture 3

Learn how to add copyright information to your videos upon import with Aperture 3. Just a short tip (banged out in the basement with my new Yeti mic to give it a test).

Apple Updates Aperture and Digital Camera Support

I've been quite happy with Aperture 3, but like many of you... I looked forward to the first update to address minor bugs. Well it's here! Apple released two updates: Aperture 3.0.1 which has several bug fixes and a digital camera update to add support for several camera models.

About Aperture 3.0.1
This update improves overall stability and addresses a number of issues in Aperture 3, including:
  • Upgrading libraries from earlier versions of Aperture
  • Importing libraries from iPhoto
  • Importing photos directly from a camera
  • Memory usage when processing heavily-retouched photos
  • Face recognition processing
  • Adding undetected faces using the Add Missing Face button
  • Printing pages containing multiple images
  • Printing photos and contact sheets with borders and metadata
  • Editing photos using an external editor
  • Display of images with Definition and Straighten adjustments applied
  • Zooming photos in the Viewer and in the Loupe using keyboard shortcuts
  • Accessing Aperture libraries on a network volume Selecting and moving pins on the Places map
  • Adding and editing custom locations using the Manage My Places window
  • Switching between masters when working with RAW+JPEG pairs.

The Digital Camera update also added several new cameras to Aperture and iPhoto.
  • Hasselblad H3DII-50
  • Leica M9
  • Leica X1
  • Olympus E-P1
  • Olympus E-P2
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
  • Pentax K-7
  • Pentax K-x
  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A500
  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A550
  • Sony Alpha DSLR-A850


Two Workshops in DC Area for SIGGRAPH

I'll be teaching two classes in the Washington, DC area for DC_SIGGRAPH and DC ACM. The workshops are part of their Spring 2010 Professional Development Seminars. These are hands-on workshops that include a textbook.

Understanding Adobe Photoshop
Thursday, March 18 (AM session)

Motion Graphics Toolbox with Adobe Creative Suite
Thursday, March 18 (PM session)

You can register early for a 10% discount (by February 28, 2010). Reference Code (please use when registering): 101

“DC ACM is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for meaningful connections between the area’s academics, professionals, and policymakers in the computer science and information technology fields. The proceeds from the seminars support DC ACM activities such as computer science lectures for the general public and awards for junior and senior high school students at regional science fairs.”


I'm teaching Social Media in DC and NYC

I'll be teaching two workshops on social media for Future Media Concepts. These are targeted at business folks of all types who want to learn social media in a practical way.

Description: When used correctly, social media tools can help you reach potential customers and keep your current clients engaged and interested. In this informative session you'll learn practical advice that can be implemented immediately, such as:

  • Using Twitter to share your latest news & keep in touch with your best customers
  • How to set up a corporate page on Facebook to share video, photos, & info
  • Keeping your business leads up to date with LinkedIn
  • Creating enjoyable blog posts and content for your readers

The workshops are
March 9th in DC and March 10th in New York

Doors open at 5:30pm and the class starts runs 6-9pm
The cost is $199


Chroma Key is Everywhere

Here's two free resources to help you out


Crop and Straighten Photos Command in Photoshop

When scanning images, it’s often possible to fit more than one image on the scanner bed. Scanning multiple images at once can save input time when loading images into Photoshop. Fortunately, the Crop And Straighten Photos command picks up and keeps the efficiency going.

  1. Scan several images at one time. For best results, you need to keep 1/8 inch between the images in your scan.
    2 If you’re working in a multilayered image, select the layer that contains the images.
  2. Choose File > Automate > Crop And Straighten Photos.
  3. Each image should be cropped, straightened, and moved into its own document window.

Startup Memories of Adobe Photoshop

In this documentary, the founders of Adobe Photoshop - John Knoll, Thomas Knoll, Russell Brown, and Steve Guttman - tell the story of how an amazing coincidence of circumstances, that came together at just the right time 20 years ago, spawned a cultural paradigm shift unparalleled in our lifetime.


Aperture 3 Supports Video

With Aperture 3, Apple has fully embraced video acquired on DSLR cameras. In fact, you can now manage video and audio files as easily as any other image in your library. If you are used to using Aperture as part of your photo editing workflow, you'll find the addition of audio and video support quite welcome.

Importing Video

Video and audio files are added to your library in the same manner as any other image. You can import files directly from a memory card or from a hard drive. It is important to decide where you want to store the files before you import them. Follow these steps to choose a location and import your files:
1. Select a project or album then click the Import Files button in the toolbar.
2. Navigate to the desired files in the File Browser at the bottom of the main window (this can be files that already exist on hard drive or a memory card).

3. Select the check boxes for the desired clips. You can also click the Check All or Uncheck All buttons at the top of the window.

4. In the right column, choose a destination for the files. Specify where you want the files to be located in Aperture:
  • Click a project or folder in the Library pane to target it.
  • Choose New Project from the Destination menu to create a new project to hold the imported items.
5. Specify the media management approach you'd like to use. Click the Store Files menu and choose one of these options:

  • In the Aperture Library moves the files into a managed library. These files can be exported but will be copied to a new location.
  • In their current location leaves the files where they are located. This is the best approach if you've already copied your video files to an editing drive.
  • Your User folder is available (and is labeled with your default name).
  • The Pictures folder in your home directory is another option.
  • Choose lets you specify another location. This option works well when you want to target a specific drive (such as your project's media drive). The Choose option can be used to copy the media from the camera memory to an editing location.
6. Click Imported Checked when you’re ready to add the files to your project. The files are then added to your library.


Creating Motion Templates

Want to create your own Motion templates for use in Final Cut Pro? In this video lesson you’ll learn how to combine After Effects and Motion into a template project that can then be updated from within Final Cut Pro.

You can also visit the website in order to download sample files.

NAPP Helps Celebrate Photoshop's 20th Anniversary

The fine folks over at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals offer up two great things to celebrate Photoshop's 20th anniversary.

First, take their (tough) quiz on Photoshop history.

"The quiz is just for fun, of course, but it’s harder than you might think."
If you’ve got a couple of minutes,
click this link to take the quiz and see how you do.
Second, You can virtually attend the Live Webcast of the big party/presentation/Photoshop love-fest happening this Thursday night (the 18th) in San Francisco celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Photoshop.

(1) You sign up here (it’s free):
(2) The Live Webcast starts at 7:30 pm Pacific Time (10:30 EST).
(3) There are some VERY special guests making an appearance that night.


20 Years of Adobe Photoshop – with Visuals

Photoshop is about to turn 20 years old... yet it seems like yesterday when I had to run it off a floppy disc. The fine folks over at Webdesigner Depot offer 20 Years of Adobe Photoshop with some great tidbits and history.

"The first version of the Photoshop splash screen features just four Photoshop programmers. In subsequent versions, more and more names are added to the list. In more recent versions, a limited number of Adobe VIP’s appear in the splash screen."

You should also check out this great interview with John Knoll, one of the two inventors of the application.


Cartoon Art Museum is a Great Visit in San Francisco

When in San Francisco I had the chance to attend the great Cartoon Art Museum. Peachpit Press held a party there and it was a really cool place. It was wild to see so many comic covers that I recognized (and in some cases owned). The museum is filled with all sorts of cartoon artwork.

"From editorial cartoons to comic books, graphic novels to anime, Sunday funnies to Saturday morning cartoons, the Cartoon Art Museum has something for everyone. Located downtown in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena cultural district, the museum is home to over 6,000 pieces of original and cartoon and animation art, a comprehensive research library, and five galleries of exhibition space. Join us for one of our many book signings, lectures, cartooning classes or workshops; mix and mingle with professional and aspiring cartoonists; or visit our bookstore. Whether it’s nostalgic, educational, or just plain fun, a trip to the Cartoon Art Museum will be an experience you will never forget."

The museum is only $6 to visit and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am – 5pm.

They've got several cool exhibits right now, one on Batman, another on Samurais across cultures, and a spotlight on cover artist Ed Hannigan.


Yeti – A Great Looking USB Microphone

I just ordered a new podcasting mic from Blue Microphones –
the Yeti. If you like the SnowBall mic, then you'll love the Snow Monster.

  • The best feature is the tri-capsule array– this means you can get four different pick up patterns: stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional.
  • The microphone is the first to be THX certified microphone
  • It has a built in amplifier and zero-latency headphone monitoring
  • You can manually control the gain of the mic
  • It works without drivers on Mac & Windows

The microphone lists for $
149. I didn't get to try it out in-depth yet, but it sounded great with the quick tests I tried.


A Laptop Case with Ballistic Gel

Here's one of the first things I bought at Macworld (pre-ordered in fact). The Impact Sleeve from FastMac combines ballistic gel and a traditional laptop sleeve. I saw the guy working the booth literally smash his iPhone with a hammer. Yup... no breakage.

Sorry for the low quality pictures... but they're real.

Here's video from
another blogger showing the M&M Test

The sleeves aren't shipping yet, and don't even show up on the site... but mine is pre-ordered. Keep an eye out at

Want to Learn DSLR Video? Come to Photoshop World.

Just a heads up, I am teaching a Photoshop World pre-conference class on DSLR video. The workshop is March 23 in Orlando, FL.

Here's a short video about the class –
Register today and save! There's only 2 weeks left to save $100 on the Photoshop World Conference

"OK, it’s two weeks and one day, but you get the idea. The $100 early bird registration deadline is coming up, and if you want to join us in Orlando on March 24-26 for the world’s largest Photoshop training event, (and do it on the cheap) you can sign up or just get more details right here (By the way: if you’re a NAPP member, you can get a full conference pass for only $499 using that early bird discount)."


New iPhoto Training

I have two new iPhoto training titles released today from Peachpit Press. I am very proud of these and hope you enjoy them. For you pros... its perfect for your family members/parents. These are two very cool titles that I made especially for the iPhoto users out there.

iPhoto: Fix Your Photos –
The videos provide easy to follow tutorials that help you fix common problems with pictures. You'll learn how to straighten and crop, adjust dark photos, and bring out the color in your snapshots. You'll also learn how to fix soft focus, red eye, and overexposed photos. Whether you're new to iPhoto or even an experienced user, you'll find useful techniques and powerful shortcuts to get your work done faster. Each lesson includes hands on files so you can work along with the instructor.

iPhoto: Share Your Photos -
The videos provide easy to follow tutorials that help you share your pictures over email or post them online to services including MobileMe, Facebook, and Flickr. You’ll also learn techniques for making slideshows and creating your own blog. Whether you're new to iPhoto or even an experienced user, you’ll find useful techniques and powerful shortcuts to share your photos easily. Each lesson includes hands on files so you can follow along with the instructor.


Google Takes on Social Networking

This is just a quick post.... I finally headed over to Google's site to check out Google Buzz – the Big G's take on social networking.
My quick thoughts –
  1. If you love Gmail.... you'll probably like it.
  2. It seems to want to put Facebook and Picassa front and center.
  3. I don't like that it tries to "help" you and automatically follows the people you email the most. Just because I email a client a lot does NOT mean I want to follow them (or them me). A lot of clients do socialize with me via Facebook, but that is a CHOICE. Do not make decisions for me.
  4. It imports Twitter.... I wonder how they feel about that? Wouldn't be surprised if they blocked it. Same thing with flickr (a Yahoo property).
  5. I love Facebook and Twitter... but they are VERY different. This seems to be trying to be "both and more." When is that a good thing?
  6. "Buzz recommends interesting posts and weeds out ones you're likely to skip." Uh-huh... just like those incredibly effective Google Ads you sere up when I do a search that have little to NOTHING to do with what I'm interested in?
  7. It seems to be Google Wave... take 2. Except Google Wave is still around. I got an invite... but only a few people I know use it. Unlike say Facebook.
So... here's the link –
Me... I'm skeptical as hell.


Want to Save Your Processor and Battery from Flash?

So... like many I've been pretty frustrated with Flash video lately. When you visit a site (like this blog) with several Flash players, you can see a huge performance hot. Turns out that Flash can' t hand over that H.264 processing to the graphics card, so it becomes a HUGE processor suck (and RAM.. and battery). You've probably heard about Steve Jobs railing on it being a hog and not allowed on the iPhone.

Well... here's a cool plugin thats free for Mac users... it's called ClicktoFlash and its a plugin that keeps Flash files from auto-loading on Safari.

"Ever wanted to get rid of the scourge of the web that is Adobe Flash, but still retain the ability to view Flash whenever you want? With ClickToFlash, you can! Using ClickToFlash, all of those icky Flash bits that have infected most webpages on the internets are replaced with a nice, smooth gradient and the word "Flash" set in a nice, pleasing font. When you want to view the Flash, just click on it!
The advantages of ClickToFlash are numerous. Since Flash isn't loaded until you specifically ask for it, your CPU usage will stay at normal levels when browsing the web. This has tons of benefits: web browsing stays speedy, your Mac laptop won't get as hot, and your Mac's fan won't come on as often. In fact, we guarantee* that ClickToFlash will quintuple your battery life and that it will protect those precious parts of your body on which you rest your laptop! (*note: not actually guaranteed)"

Be sure to read the rest of the instructions and download here –

You can even use the plugin to force YouTube videos to use the QuickTIme player for H.264 playback. Just click the Gear icon and tweak the preferences.


Aperture 3 Announced – New Training on Way

Hi all... happy news in the Aperture 3 was just announced and shipped. This is not a full review (I am slammed with Macworld and finishing up a book for print). But I couldn't resist playing with the new version and look forward to jumping in.

Here are my top 10 reasons to upgrade for current users. More details soon...

  1. Better Filmstrip and Fullscreen View – It's much easier to work with your images and really get at the details.
  2. Backup on Import – Have your media go to two drives at once. This is HUGE.
  3. Places – Yes it's in iPhoto... but now that GPS tag makes it so much easier to sort by location. I also use this as a tool for site surveys and planning from shoot scouts.
  4. Faces – Again... was in iPhoto last year, but I'll take it. Facial recognition to organize your library. This is great for finding pictures of one subject. It's freaky good too.
  5. Focus Points – Actually see where the camera used points to auto focus. This is very useful for evaluating sharpness.
  6. Search on Steroids – Okay, that's not its actual name. But it's amazing... you can sort by usage, face, place, time, file type, all sorts of things. Literally search by Who, Where, When... I'm still waiting on Why.
  7. Nondestructive Brushes with Edge Detection – Easily cleanup images with all sorts of spot adjustments. Completely nondestructive and editable, including the ability to view the selections mask and tweak it at any time. Oh... and they work with Wacom tablets too. The skin smoothing brush is dreamy good.
  8. Curves! – 'nuff said.
  9. Adjustment Presets – Useful starting points or make your own. Can even apply them upon import to batch fix problems.
  10. Video – You can organize it, trim it, media manage it, drag it into Final Cut Pro, export out versions, use it in new slideshows. Uh huh... that's right... video.

You can see a detailed list of all 200 features here –

I am working on two new DVDs and video titles for
Kelby Training – tell them you want more!

Also, be sure to check out the great site –


Create a Line Item Budget in iWork '09

This line says it best – "Budgets lead to money and money leads to exciting things"

Check out more shows from MacBreak –


Free Pass to NAB or $100 Off Conference. – Expires Febraury 19

It's almost time for NAB – The National Association of Broadcasters Conference. If you want a free NAB pass for show floor or to save $100 on any conference — then here's a great offer. Thanks to Creative Cow, visit and enter code CC01 and save — good thru February 19.


The future is my new blog...

Okay that was a bold headline. What I am trying to say is this... My life needs to get a little simpler. Running 5 Blogs, plus Facebook and Twitter was getting to be a little too much.

I have merged my online blogs into one site:

You'll find virtually all of the content from RasterVector, Photoshop For Video, Final Cut Help, and VidPodcaster on one site. There are also new features as well like a
speaking calendar, consulting, and social media connections.

Please consider following... I'll still keep updating the individual blogs for now... but not as often. My goal for the
RHB site is to get 7 updates a week.


New Canon Final Cut Pro plug-in to be released

(February 5, 2010) Canon's EOS E1 video plug-in for Apple's Final Cut Pro was released today. This new plug-in allows simple and easy transfer of video content from Canon’s EOS DSLR cameras directly into Final Cut Pro.

The EOS E1 video plug-in takes advantage of Final Cut Pro’s powerful Log and Transfer feature, which allows users to select and mark the video directly while it is still on the camera, add custom metadata and ingest the clips in the background so the editing can begin immediately.

The EOS E1 video plug-in is a free download available at The plug-in is compatible with Final Cut Pro 6 or higher and currently supports Canon EOS 5D Mark II, EOS 7D and EOS 1D Mark IV cameras.



Are you looking for an easy way to share presentations online? Then check out With it you can embed slideshows into your own blog or website. You can also sync audio to your slides and make shows public or private.

Here's how:
  1. Uploading Your Presentation – It can be a PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Keynote, or PDF file. Your presentation file should not be password protected and be sure to remove any macros. Not all fonts supported (but you can convert to PDF). Be sure the file is less than 100MB.
  2. Converting Your Presentation – The second step is converting the file to SlideShare’s sharing format. Once uploaded, the file is placed in the conversion queue (this might take a while). You can leave the page and come back later... If there was an error you will need to go to the
    “My Slidespace/Edit All” to find the files that were not successfully converted.
  3. Creating a Slidecast– Slidecasting is a multimedia format from SlideShare. Any slide deck can be synced with an audio file.
  4. Put it all Together – Use the synchronization tools to mix audio and slides.
  5. Publish the presentation.


How to Film the Impossible

I found a great series on YouTube... an old show called Horizon from the BBC. This episode is entitled "How to Film the Impossible" and features an in-depth look at Industrial Light and Magic.

Here is part one

The other parts are after the jump


Media Placeholder in Apple Pages

Richard Harrington shows Alex Lindsay how to streamline document updates with a customized media placeholder in Pages '09.


Using Video in a Keynote Presentation

Adding video elements to a presentation is an easy way to make a good presentation a great one. In this video, we add a video to an Apple Keynote presentation and go through all the options of using video in it.


Continuum Cartoon Look

I recently wrote a review for a new filter called Continuum Cartoon Look for Layers Magazine. Here it is.

Everywhere you turn, you’ll spot the “look”: video footage transformed to look like a cartoon. In a traditional workflow, the process involves rotoscoping. An artist literally traces animation frame by frame over the original source. The technique was invented by Max Fleischer around 1915, and has been used by animators on classic films such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Cinderella, as well as modern movies such as Titan A.E. and Waking Life.

The process is very tedious, however, so many video pros and motion graphics artists have been on a quest for an easier solution. These days you’ll find several products on the market to transform your video footage to look like it’s a cartoon. Early options such as Studio Artist ($379; and market leaders like ToonIt ($399; have all seen heavy use.

While they’re not new to the plug-in market, Boris FX has released their own take on cartoon filters. The Boris Continuum Unit: Cartoon Look breaks out four filters from the larger plug-in package Continuum Complete. The set is only $199 (significantly less than competitors) and runs in several host applications including Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, as well as Apple Final Cut Pro and Motion. The four filters for stylizing your footage include:


Using Premiere Pro to Organize Video for After Effects

There are lots of reasons to use Premiere Pro (even if you’re a Final Cut Pro editor). One of the most compelling is to organize After Effects projects.

  1. Create a new Premiere Pro project and match its settings to your primary footage format.
    2 Import a folder of QuickTime movies into a Premiere Pro project. You can even import a Final Cut Pro XML file to bring a sequence in without needed to do anymore media management.
  2. Edit the clips as needed into sequences.
  3. After your clips are edited, just select them and press Command+C to copy them to your clipboard.
    5 Switch to an open After Effects project and press Command+V to paste the clips using Dynamic Link. The clips (with handles) will move from Premiere Pro to After Effects.

For more tips like this, check out the book
Video Made on a Mac.

© 2010 Richard Harrington LLC