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25 UAP - Alpha Channels

Instructor Richard Harrington explains how to use alpha channels in Photoshop to save selections to preserve transparency when taking an image into multimedia applications.



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Mac OS 10.4.8 and Adobe Software

Just read over at the wonderful blog of John Nack that I am not crazy. You see, my MacBook and MacBook Pro have both gotten much faster lately, and I thought maybe it was my overactive imagination. But it turns out that Apple and Adobe collaborated (BLESS THEM) on the latest OSX update. John reports that Photoshop is running 35% faster on Intel machines, After Effects is up 15% and Flash is a 10% improvement. Seems Adobe and Apple shared code and got the Rosetta emulators running Adobe software significantly better. This is great news as we anxiously await the next versions of Mactel-native software.


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The Latest Adobe News (With Personality)


I really enjoy that fact that Adobe has an active blogging initiative amongst their employees. These folks really know their tools and their community. The problem before has been that I don't have time to browse ALL of them for those golden nuggets of Adobe goodness... until now.

While visiting Adobe Labs, I found them showing off a new product called
Spry. The whole Ajax and Web 2.0 stuff is a little beyond me, but they do have a nice gallery of practical uses. Check out their Photo Gallery, Effects Demo, and the aforementioned Super RSS Reader (OK, I added the Super part). Now in one window you can browse ALL the Adobe blogs for all applications. This really is a cool way to keep up on the lesser known parts of Adobe.
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New Free Photoshop Actions

If you're looking for some great new Photoshop actions, hop over to Panos FX. This site is chock full of great actions (both free and for sale). Recent freebies include Rubik’s Cube and Plasma TV. One of my new favorites is Embossed Label which makes a great effect for title treatments. The actions are absolutely amazing and worth checking out. Be sure to visit Panos FX and browse their library.


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Kuler – Very Cool Online Color Picker

If you need to try out different color combinations, be sure to try Kuler from Adobe labs. This flash-based application lets you browse a wide variety of designer created color schemes as well as create your own. It supports all the major rules from Analogous to Shades. The controls are beautifully designed and the entire application really inspires creativity. In order to access it, you are supposed to have a live connection to the Internet. You'll need to be online to take advantage of the shared and highest rated features, but I've found a work-around for those times when an Internet connection isn't an option. I was able to save a web archive in Safari (File > Save As) which can then be opened up when I am not on the Net. Be sure to check this very cool application out.



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Podcasts on a PSP


In case you didn't know, the Sony Playstation Portable (aka PSP) is podcast compatible. Just not right out of the box. Sony sells a software/cable bundle called the Sony PSP Media Manager which lets you manage your media library (even iTunes) and move things onto the Playstation Portable. On the Mac side, there's a great piece of shareware called PSPWare which lets you mange media on your Mac and move things over. All in all, pretty dang cool (plus it gave me a "legitmate" reason to finally pick one up).

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24 UAP - Layer Masking

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use layer masks in Photoshop to hide part of an image. Superior to the eraser tools, if you are doing professional compositing, layer masking is essential.



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Holiday Shopping Guides for Gadget Loving Geeks

There are two great gift guides for the holiday season (both published by friends). If you need to find something for the digital geek in your life (or even just want something to give others ideas) then check these two out.

First, you have Scott Kelby's
Gonzo Holiday Gadget Guide.” This free PDF features a ton of cool digital photography and photoshop related goodies. All the products have been tested by Scott himself, which is cool as he certainly knows his stuff. You can download it from http://www.planetphotoshop.com.

The other guide is from Terry White (who is a true road warrior who works for Adobe).
The 2006 Holiday Gadget Gift Guide is an interactive PDF links to some of the coolest gizmos out there. Terry covers everything from digital video to frequent traveler to music lover. His choice are really very good.



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Two Surveys are Better than One – Take Our Monthly Survey – November 2006

It's that time again... we've launched our survey for the month of November. It's time for you to cast your vote and have your voice/click heard.

This time we want to know which technology two things. First, What are your plans in regard to High Definition DVDs? Are you an early adopter. sitting on the fence, or just don't believe the "hype?" Our second question, when do you finally expect to see the Adobe Creative Suite CS3 finally shipping?












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Podcasting Field Production – New Slides Posted from DV Expo

If you attended our classes at DV Expo in LA, you'll want to check out the PhotoshopforVideo.com Conference Handouts section. We had four great classes including the hot topic of podcasting. We shared our experiences of creating video podcasts with the crowd and tried to educate and inspire the audience to try it for themselves. Check out the handouts for yourself.


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A Truly Amazing Comic (On Copyright)

I’m still reading this comic, but it is absolutely amazing. Bound by Law is absolutely amazing, it analyzes the murky world of copyright law in a clear way. It is an excellent source on information for film and video pros as well as other creative professions. Published by the Duke University Center for the Study of the Public Domain, this comic covers the essential information in the most creative and entertaining way possible. It’s totally free and should not be missed.


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Final Cut Help Gets Some Help from iTunes

Our new video podcast on Final Cut Pro has been shown some love from iTunes. It's always a great night when you log in and see your podcast featured in the New and Notable section on the front page. We’re really proud of this one as it features five great trainers, Abba Shapiro, Gary Adcock, Chris Phrommayon, Mason Dixon, and Richard Harrington. A new episode airs each week and we hope you find the tips truly useful. Thanks Apple for the kind plug... be sure to subscribe today (it’s totally free). You can get it at iTunes (the preferred method) or manually visit our web feed.



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A Colloborative Note-taking Tool – SubEthaEdit


I was talking with some software developers over a great dinner last night and we got on a favorite topic, collaboration. I brought up one of my favorite tools, SubEthaEdit ($35 from www.codingmonkeys.de). You can collaborate on one open document across your network. It's also Apple Rendezvous (aka Bonjour under OS 10.4)-enabled, so it's easy for other Mac users to join in. Nice features such as color-coding for each user and time stamping make this a flexible tool. If you need some group-think without the use of a projector, this is a perfect tool.

For more on great shareware,
see this useful article.
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23 UAP - Creating Custom Brushes, part 2 of 2

Instructor Rich Harrington shows you how to create and tweak your own brushes in Photoshop to create unique looks. Part 2 of 2.



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The Director’s Cut – Now Available

I've just posted an old article of mine that I really like. It’s called “The Director’s Cut – Digital Video and the Power of the Macintosh.” It’s a fun article that shares a bunch of ideas on pre-production, production, and post. It was originally published in MacDesign Magazine (now called Layers). The article is totally free and showcases a lot of products and techniques that we use to save time and money over at RHED Pixel. I hope you enjoy.


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When Camera Memory Cards Go Bad


I’ve found a great tool for rescuing photos from your digital camera. Accidentally delete an image? Picture Rescue can save the day. In fact it can even work with reformatted or damaged cards. It works with all types of camera media, compact flash, memory sticks, SD cards, and more. It really works well and I used it to recover 3GB of data recently with no hitches. The best thing is the try before you buy. You can download the demo and scan your cards... if the demo version sees the pictures it can recover them. Be sure to give it a shot.
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New Video Screen Capture Tool – iShowU

Looking for a great screen capture tool? I’ve got a new favorite for grabbing video on a Mac. Be sure to check out iShowU from shinywhitebox. This tool is much more stable then others I've tried and it is a true universal application that runs great on both Intel and PowerPC Macs. What’s truly unique is that the video files are captured and encoded in real time. This means as soon as the capture is stopped, the file is ready to use. You can create screen captures for web tutorials, DVDs, or even HD. What will all this power set you back? A whopping $20. Be sure to check it out.



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