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Refining Selections Edges

Precisely preview and adjust difficult selections. Output your results to a new layer, mask, or document to creatively combine the selection with new backgrounds.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5

On-Camera Interview Tips

  • Have talent/interviewee bring an alternate set of clothing.
  • Herringbone, stripes, or small patterns do not look good on camera.
  • Keep jewelry simple.
  • Do not allow interviewees to wear bright white. Cream, eggshell, or light gray are preferred.
  • Utilize a make-up artist. People give a better interview when they look good. Decision-makers favor approval copies when their people look professional.
  • Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
  • “Edit in the Camera.” Encourage short answers and come back to topics again. Better to focus on good, tight answers, than trying to cobble together six takes to make your point.
  • Avoid enumeration or the phrase “Like I said before.” It is highly likely that you may use step three, without steps one and two. You also wouldn’t be asking the question again, if you were happy with what the answer was “before.”
  • Don’t be afraid to stop and start over. Do not let an answer ramble on. Smiles and nods encourage subjects that they are ‘on-target.’
  • Relax.


Photo Effects – 174 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington talks about using styles to create image effects.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5

| Review

One of our favorite services has to be This robust site let’s you publish your video to many outlets (including nontraditional ones like TiVo and internet connected TVs). In fact the company claims that its network “reaches more than 80% of Americans on the Internet and a growing number of television households.”

We really like how flexible is in that you can choose your distribution format. You have options to use Flash, MPEG-4, QuickTime, and more. Their player is also highly customizable and can be fully branded to your site or brand.

The service has both a free version and a paid version at $8 per month. The paid version offers priority encoding so your files are available in multiple formats. This is a great feature as it lets others re-syndicate your content using a player of their choice. The control panel for the site is very robust, and gives you complete control over targeting specific networks and social media sites.


PanosFX Actions

While working on my latest Photoshop book, I did some research on Actions. I was looking for some new examples of actions that push the boundaries of what Photoshop can do. I came across several beautiful actions created by Panos FX.

From postcards and filmstrips to paper and sketch effects. These actions are great, they produce powerful results and are flexible enough to create several looks. The website has more than 30 free actions and the powerful ones for sale are very affordable. Be sure to check out their many products to build up your Photoshop toolbox. If you did pick up the new book, be sure to look on the DVD for some additional free actions.


Retouching Images with Puppet Warp

Use a visual mesh that keeps key areas in place to perform everything from subtle image retouching to total transformations.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5

How we use Drobos at RHED Pixel

We've been using storage systems from Drobo in our shop for quite some time now. We've got the entire office wired so we can share HD video projects to any workstation. We've also been backing up files from our HD shoots with Drobo Pros. We've been quite happy with the arrangement and Drobo asked us to explain our workflow.

You can check it out here –


Type Effects – 173 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington talks about cool effects you can do using text, and how to combine it with layer styles.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5


How To Avoid Bad Powerpoint

Seven Deadly Sins of PowerPoint

  1. Too few slides
    2 Too many words
    3 No ‘road signs’ (where are you going?)
    4 Reliance on gimmicks (skip sound effects)
    5 Ignoring design
    6 Not rehearsing
    7 Forgetting your audience

The Rules of Presentation Design

  • Limit fonts used
    • Use a heavy font
    • Avoid stock templates
    • 3-7 bullets per page
    • A bullet is 2-5 words
    • Readability test, (stand 15 feet away from the screen, can you read it easily)
    • Design for the back of the room
    • Create your own templates
    • Use builds or simple animations to bring bullets on line by line
    • Justification & capitalization (be consistent)
    • Consider screen vs. print
    • Use transparency
    • Ease to change
    • With multiple presenters, utilize a style guide and templates

IN-DEPTH HDR PRO in Photoshop CS5

Get the best HDR output from the updated options in Photoshop CS5.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5

Free Windows Media Encoder

Windows Media Encoder is dead... In it's place is the Expression Encoder 4. There's a ton of new features, but the biggest for me is that it finally recognizes QuickTime files. If you are on a Mac, you'll need to run it under VMWare or BootCamp. But it's a free application (with a more advanced version for free). Be sure to check it out —


Color Correction and Enhancement

Free Chapter for my new book – Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5: Color Correction and Enhancement

"Learning how to spot problems in your images and then choosing the right correction technique is an essential part of mastering Photoshop. Richard Harrington describes the most important tools and shows you how to use them to make the best color correction and enhancement choices.

The primary purpose of Photoshop is to act as a digital darkroom where images can be corrected, enhanced, and refined. How do you know an image needs touch-up? You can pretty much assume every image can look a little (or even a lot) better than how the camera captured it. Whether it’s adjusting the exposure, increasing contrast, or boosting saturation, Photoshop is the place to improve an image."

Check out the free lesson

TubeMogul Review

The OneLoad service from TubeMogul ( offers both a robust free version (which allows for 100 videos per month) and a scaled paid service with advanced features for large publishers (priced at $50 per month and up). The principal benefit here is that it offers a single point for deploying videos to the top video and social networking sites.

You first set up accounts at any of the 30 sites supported by TubeMogul. You then upload a video to TubeMogul’s site and it is sent onto the other sites. This means you need to spend a little time setting things up, but once you’ve published more than two videos, this method is substantially faster. The site also offers detailed analytics (for supported sites), that can show real-time viewership, geographic tracking, stream quality and more.

Warped Text – 172 UAP Warped Text – UAP 172

Instructor Richard Harrington explains the warped text options in Photoshop. Warped text allows you to make custom effects for your text.

Be sure to also check out the new book – Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5


Lagoa Multiphysics 1.0 - Teaser Video

Very cool physical simulation for computer animation. It's amazing what's possible these days.


Video and Audio Codec Guides

Looking for a good comparison of audio and video codecs. We've found a great comparison of digital video, audio, and graphic formats. They've also got some great shortcut guides posted for Avid and Final Cut Studio applications.


Free 3D Textures for Photoshop Extended

Want more free textures for Photoshop Extended? Be sure to check out the free ones posted by Adobe.


The Tragedy of Trajan

My Comic Sans post got me thinking.... about other over used fonts...

I must admit... I'm guilty of this one... Trajan.

Which is apparently the #1 font for movie posters.


Safari Extensions Coming Soon

Looks like Apple is making it easier to find Safari extension soon. The Firefox community is already pretty vibrant in this regard and I look forward to more coming out for my favorite browser.

Apple sent out an email today asking for submission to their "Safari Extensions Gallery".

We'll soon be launching the Safari Extensions Gallery, a new destination that provides you with an opportunity to increase the visibility of your Safari extension beyond your website.
The Safari Extensions Gallery will feature selected extensions that offer an innovative user experience. And a one-click installation process will allow users to seamlessly install extensions from a developerís website without ever having to leave the Gallery. has early extensions that have already been released.


Render and Email in After Effects

After Effects supports scripts which can automate complex tasks. One of those scripts can actually render a file then email you upon completion. If you’re a tech geek, the gears in your head are already spinning. Just think, the leash has been cut! You are free to leave and relax while your machine churns away.

  1. Open up your General Preferences and be sure that the Allow Scripts to Write Files and Access Network box is checked.
  2. Add your files to the Render Queue like normal.
  3. Choose File > Run Script > render_and_email.jsx, you will now be prompted for your email settings.
  4. Enter server smtp address: such as, click OK
  5. Enter the reply to address: such as the email you want to use to send the message.
  6. If your server required log-in (most do), click YES and enter your ID and password. Click OK.
  7. Enter the recipients email address. Click OK
  8. An email with the subject AE Render complete will be sent when the queue is finished.

How cool is that?

If you have an iPhone... you can also checkout apps like
LogMeIn and iTeleport to actually view (and control) your screen from your mobile device. I've actually set up rendered files and sent them via YouSendIt to clients remotely.

Into AE? Be sure to check out two new books – 
Photoshop for Video (Fourth Edition) and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques

The History of Comic Sans

This is a great short video about the history of Comic Sans and is told by the font's designer. It's really quite funny and he has a great sense of humor about it all.

And a little more followup.

Maybe I'll use it on a client project ;)

Now I Really Want a BMW

BMW introduces the next level of automotive consumer electronic device integration by supporting Apple's new iPod Out functionality. The new feature allows applications on Apple devices to be controlled and experienced with the iDrive interface concept.

Of course my kids would probably destroy it.... maybe they's loan me one.


Two Render Tips for AE

Here are two quick tips to give you more control when you need to stop or re-render an item in After Effects.

A Better Stop

Normally when you click Stop on an item in the render queue, it adds it to the bottom of the list and will pick up where it left off. That may be what you want, but often you intended to bust the render, tweak it, and re-render. To stop a render and re-queue it to begin at the beginning, hold down the Option (Alt) key when clicking Stop Render. This will avoid the pickup and add the item to be re-rendered from the start of the original output settings.

Need to Re-render?

For one reason or another, it always happens, the need to re-render. Perhaps a small tweak to a keyframe or a timing issue. Chances are while your animation may have needed refining, the render queue was perfect. Save yourself some time and Re-queue that animation.

  1. Select a previously rendered animation.
  2. Press Command + Shift + D (Control + Shift + D) to duplicate the render item with the same settings and output name. This will rewrite over the previous file to the exact same destination.
  3. Save your work, then click Render when ready to output.

Into AE? Be sure to check out two new books – 
Photoshop for Video (Fourth Edition) and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques

One of My New Favorite Sites

One of my new favorite resource sites is produced by the American Society of Media Photographers and funded by the Library of Congress. This site contains a ton of great information about workflow, digital imaging, and photography. It's also totally free.

The purpose of dpBestflow™ is twofold:
  • To create guidelines for refined production workflows, archiving methods, and best practices for digital photography based on a variety of capture methods and intended image use. The guidelines will be developed on the basis of research, analysis of software products and other tools targeted at professional photographers.
  • To publish the dpBestflow™ as a website open to the public. The adoption of the dpBestflow™ guidelines will be promoted to the professional photography community and the public through programming at industry trade shows and a nationwide series of training events at ASMP chapters, trade shows, and educational institutions.

Be sure to check out the site... it's really great. –

Creating Custom Actions in Photoshop

If you’re a Photoshop enthusiast or professional, you should really be using Photoshop actions. Photoshop is an extremely efficient program, but you’re truly missing out if you don’t learn how to use its automation features.

Photoshop Actions record a series of commands for playback on future images. They can be used to generate extremely complex results. Actions should seem pretty appealing, let’s learn how to create your own.

You must first create a set to hold your personal actions. Sets hold actions, and there’s no limit to how many actions can be placed into a set or how many sets you can load. Let’s give it a try.

See the full article here for free


Five More Timelapse Shots

Timelapse Technical Demo from Richard Harrington on Vimeo.

Here are five more shots... I've been experimenting with new techniques. Some subtle and not so subtle things here. Comments welcome.

Learn how to make timelapse clips


Free Online Crash Course on Photoshop CS5

My presentation on Photoshop CS5 from Adobe's booth at NAB. A highly condensed presentation with lots of info.


You can see it here too –


Seattle Skyline Timelapse

Nikon D300S
Really Right Stuff L-Bracket and Ballhead
Manfrotto Tripod
Nikkor 50 mm 1.8
Nikon MC-36 Intervalometer

Processed in After Effects (see tutorial)


Two New Photoshop Books

Both of my Photoshop books are fully updated (and released!)

Amazon has a combo deal.. get both books for $67

That's a ton of training, hundreds of hands-on files. 72 training videos and more.

See this page here –


I'm Coming to Europe to Teach!

I'll be speaking at this year's IBC conference in Amsterdam in September. –

"A 2-day training event in multiple tracks geared for production and post-production professionals in TV, video, film, motion graphics and new media. The conference features the latest advanced tips and techniques in producing, editing and delivering digital content.

Sessions are geared for intermediate to advanced TV, video, film and motion graphics attendees and are focused on digital video production techniques as well as post production using Apple, Avid and Adobe creative software tools.

Sessions are objective and are taught by FMC's world renowned team of Certified Instructors, power users and authors."

Here's the schedule –
Sign up here –

Hope to see some of you there.


Sign Up for Creating DSLR Video at Photoshop World

Interested in DSLR Video? Like Vegas? Don't miss my workshop at this years Photoshop World.
© 2010 Richard Harrington LLC