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Making Cast Shadows

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to make reflected or cast shadows in Photoshop.

Using the Navigator – 187 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington talks about how to more easily accomplish detail work on your image.

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


How to use Color Management in After Effects

I came across a great white paper on Adobe's website about color management in After Effects. As more and more color choices are being made on set, its important that artists respect the wishes of the director or DP.

This white paper is intended for professionals in the motion graphics, video, and film production industries who need a reliable approach to achieving accurate and consistent color in their workflows. It provides compelling answers to a major question: How does color management technology in After Effects help you achieve accurate and consistent color reproduction?

The white paper comprises four core chapters:
  • Introduction to color management
  • High-definition video workflow
  • Digital cinema workflow
  • Animation or Flash export workflow

Download the white paper here – Color management workflow in Adobe After Effects CS4


Meeting Invitations via Apple Mail

If you’re using Apple iCal, you can easily invite people to attend an event. Your Mac can tie together iCal, Mac OS X Mail, and your Address Book for a cohesive event invitation system. Guests can receive invitations via email or right inside of iCal.
  1. Set up a card for yourself in Address Book (in your Applications folder). Launch Address Book and click the Add (+) button. Enter your business contact information (including email address), and then choose Card > Make This My Card.
  2. Switch back to iCal and create a new event or double-click an existing event.
  3. In the Event Editor, click Add Attendees. Start to type the name or email address for the person you want to invite. iCal will attempt to auto-fill the information if the person is in your Address Book.
  4. Press the Return key after each address to add a new one.
  5. When you’re ready to invite people, click the Send button at the bottom of the Event Editor. Attendees will receive an email invitation and an iCal invitation.
  6. Guest responses will appear in the iCal Notifications box (just click the Notifications button in the lower-left corner of the iCal window).

The responses are indicated visually with an icon:
  • An arrow means a guest has not responded
  • A check mark means the guest has accepted the invite
  • An X means the guest declined the invite
  • A question mark means the guest is tentatively attending

This article is excerpted from the Pre-Production chapter in the book
Video Made on a Mac: Production and Postproduction Using Apple Final Cut Studio and Adobe Creative Suite.


Understanding Layers – 186 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington explains how you can harness layers to gain control within your project.

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


Creative COW Magazine ready for iPad

One of my favorite industry resources is Creative COW magazine. The articles are always written by pros involved in cool projects. Each article offers great perspective and often new ideas to expand your business. They now have all the back issues ready for your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

Want to take the full library of Creative COW Magazine with you anywhere you travel? It's easy to do, whether you use an iPad, an iPhone, an Android, a Blackberry, or many other 3G devices.

Here's where to start. Simply go to and...

If you use an Android, a Blackberry, or many other 3G devices, just visit the downloads address above and download the editions that you want directly to your device -- we recommend the single page print-friendly edition's complete set. ;)

If you are on a Mac or PC that uses iTunes, just download any or all of our no-cost PDFs in the edition you prefer -- the print-friendly single page format (recommended) or the 'spread' edition that gives you the full magazine spreads -- to your desktop machine.

Once the PDFs are on your machine, drag the downloaded PDFs to your desktop machine's iTunes program and click on the Books setting inside iTunes to make sure that sync books is active. If you use an iPod Touch, an iPhone or an iPad, your iBooks application will show them inside iBooks, in the PDF tab that you see in the image you see at the top of this newsletter.

Now, you can now take Creative COW Magazine with you for those times when you are in the air, waiting for a meeting, in the doctor's office waiting room -- or any one of a thousand other places where you might want to spend some time with the great articles and ideas that make up each of our issues.


Adjustments Panel in Photoshop Adjustments Panel in Photoshop

Instructor Richard Harrington shows you how to use the Adjustments Panel in Photoshop to quickly enhance your images.

HDSLR and Adobe Workflow Slides

As promised... Here are my slides from yesterday's conference in New York city about Adobe and DSLR Video workflow.

Hope they help.

Be sure to check out
From Still to Motion as well as the Facebook page and Creative COW forum.


Calculations - Photoshop for Video 102

Instructor Richard Harrington revisits Photoshop's calculations command, and shows you how to generate an alpha channel or selection matte based on the color values of an image.

Switching Tools – 185 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington talks about the virtual toolbox that Photoshop provides for working on your digital images.

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


Master Transparency in Photoshop

Peachpit has just posted a free sample from my new book Photoshop for Video called What About Transparency?

One of Photoshop’s greatest powers lies in its ability to preserve complex transparency. It’s possible to have several different levels of transparency within a Photoshop document, which leads to greater flexibility in compositing multiple layers together. For example, in an image set to 8-bit mode, Photoshop supports 256 levels of transparency. Switch to 16-bit mode, and that number jumps dramatically to 65,536 levels. By employing masks, both in layers and embedded into the saved files as alpha channels, this transparency data can travel seamlessly into the nonlinear editing (NLE) or motion-graphics environment.

Read the whole article here for free.


Playing Fair in the Video Business in the Video Industry

The world of video is going through a revolution when it comes to pricing. When I started my career, tape decks were more expensive than cars and a complete editing system cost more than my townhouse. Oh how the world has changed.

The video industry is experiencing a race to the bottom. Gear keeps getting cheaper, which is a good thing in many ways. The problem lies in the cost barrier. Just as you’ve been frustrated by every schmo who buys a DSLR thinking he or she is a pro photographer, so have video professionals felt about photographers thinking they are video pros. Add to this sudden influx hundreds of schools pumping out graduates from media programs and you have a cluttered workplace.

I do not say the above to be protectionist or confrontational. The fact is that the video industry needs to evolve and will benefit from fresh talent and fresh ideas. Just don’t piss in the pool after you jump in.

Take a look around you and see what business practices others are following. Here are a few that I wish more would follow for the good of the video industry:

  • Price fairly – Different businesses will need to charge differently for their services. Still, be sure you price services so you can survive for the long term. Be consistent with your prices and be sure to cover related costs like facilities, insurance, and equipment.
  • Don’t do spec work – There is a lot of pressure to do unpaid work in the video field. Taking spec jobs to prove capabilities or show interest in a client. Look at other professions, they don’t face these same pressures. If you truly need to expand your portfolio, seek out legitimate nonprofit organizations and make a donation of your time and skill.
  • Don’t badmouth your competition – Your only true competition is yourself. Speaking ill of your peers will only lower the standards of the industry as a whole.
  • Your problems are your problems – Always pay your subcontractors (even if you haven’t received client payment). Similarly, you should not accept excuses from others above you in the client chain due to delayed payments. Make sure you responsibly keep payments flowing to those you hire.
  • Act more like a lawyer and less like an artist – I’m not saying shelve your creativity... but remember that you are a trained professional with a code of conduct. You need to remember the important aspects of client management, professional communication, and ethical business practices if you want to succeed in video for the long term.


MPEG-4 Demystified

The MPEG-4 format is really a suite of standards with many parts. Each part offers a set of standards for aspects such as audio, video, and file formats. The standard was first introduced in 1998, but continues to evolve with important new changes. MPEG is an acronym for the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group, which serves as the governing body for the format.

The two most common parts of MPEG-4 are part 2, which is used in codecs such as DivX and QuickTime 6, and H.264, which is part of QuickTime 7 and QuickTime X as well as Blu-ray Discs. We’ll explore the newer H.264 in a moment, but lets first look at the common .mp4 file that is often used for the web.Note that certain players can handle both types of MPEG-4 video, while many newer devices prefer H.264 video.

Many compression tools offer the more plainly labeled MPEG-4 option. This generally means that the older MPEG-4 part 2 Simple Profile specs are being followed. This ensures greater compatibility with QuickTime 6. The format is also more likely to play using other web-based players such as RealPlayer and the open-source VLC media player. Some podcasters favor this format if they are targeting a user-base of running older computer operating systems. While the format does offer broader support, it does not offer the same level of quality of the newer H.264 format.

The H.264 format is an extension of the MPEG family and is also called MPEG-4 Part 10, or AVC (Advanced Video Coding). This format is broadly used outside of podcasting and web video including uses for broadcast television and Blu-ray Discs. The format was first drafted in 2003, and saw widespread adoption by 2005. H.264 video wrapped in an MPEG-4 container is the preferred format of Apple, as it is used for both movie trailers on Apple’s website and TV shows and movies available for sale it the iTunes Store.

Support for H.264 extends beyond Apple. In 2005, Sony added complete support to the PlayStation Portable line. In 2006, Microsoft launched the Zune portable media player, which included both MPEG-4 and H.264 support. In 2007, YouTube began encoding all uploaded videos to both their standard player and H.264. This move was to broaden the reach of YouTube videos to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad models. Additionally, Adobe Media Player released in 2008 also supports H.264 in addition to Flash video.


Setting Preferences in CS5 – 184 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington explains the many preferences that you have to control the behavior of Photoshop CS5.

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


I'm Coming to New Mexico

Looking for some training? How about a little time in the Southwest too.I'm speaking at the Motion Conference in New Mexico (October 16-19).

Advanced Motion Graphics Studio Techniques: After Effects, Illustrator, & Photoshop Extended
October 16, 2010 8:30 am — 3:30 pm
Santa Fe Convention Center

As a motion graphics designer, you'll use After Effects, Photoshop, or Illustrator to some degree in every project. But how do you decide which tool is best for the job and how can you use them together for the most efficient and effective workflow? This workshop cuts to the chase and teaches advanced techniques for all three applications (no matter what your experience level is with each). You'll learn essential techniques including typography, repairing and retiming footage, stylizing footage, background design, and 3D objects.

Learn how to integrate After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator for an efficient and effective workflow. Topics include:
  • Pixels and Vectors: Mastering Resolution
  • Typography for the Screen
  • Repairing, Stylizing and Retiming Footage
  • Perfect Loops: Designing Backgrounds
  • Creating and Importing 3D Objects
  • Check Your Sources: Organizing Files for Animation
  • Mastering Transparency: Perfect Masks and Alpha Channels
  • DVD and BD Menu Design
  • Motion Control 3D
  • Virtual Sets with Panoramic Photos

Digital SLR Workshop: High-End/Lo Cost Video Shoots
October 19, 2010 9:30 am — 4:00 pm
Albuquerque, NM 87107

With the arrival of high-definition video-enabled DSLR cameras, new creative options exist for design professionals unlike anything they’ve experienced before.
Here to guide you in a thorough exploration of the video-making process — from pre-production to post — is an experienced creative director and post production supervisor, Richard Harrington (author of From Still to Motion: A photographer's guide to creating video with your DSLR). Explore options for creating and working with video from your camera, from practical pre-production, essential production techniques and seamless post production. Topics include:

  • Explore the entire spectrum of video for DSLR camera owners, with recommendations on gear, lighting, lenses, audio, editing, color correcting, exporting, media management, and more.
  • Addressing technical challenges associated with DSLR video, such as camera movement, multiple camera coverage, low-light videography, and synchronized audio.
  • Explore additional creative techniques such as stop motion and time-lapse photography.


The Role of Motion Graphics Backgrounds

The greatest challenge when it comes to backgrounds is that you need to show proper restraint. A background is just that... a background. Would you expect to see a gaudy patterned print at an art museum? You need to find the proper balance between an interesting background and preserving visual hierarchy of information.
We understand why the problem exists. As the stock animation industry has grown, competition has led to more and more companies trying to "stand out." This means that designs have become busier, louder, and generally obnoxious.

In contrast, let's look at the print industry. Sure, a designer might use a patterned paper or a colored backdrop, but never in a way that negatively impacts the readability of text or diminishes the value of a photograph. Creating a background is truly an invisible art. The goal is to make something that adds to the overall design, but does not stand out.

This is from
Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques
Get it here –


Managing Workspaces – 188 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington explains how you can organize your user to interface and make your screen less cluttered.

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


Free Photoshop Webcast This Friday

This complimentary webcast is brought to you by Creative Edge, videos and books for creative people.
Friday, September 17, 2010 - 10AM PDT/1PM EDT


Photoshop is the foundation of every digital career. Many users think they know it, but in truth, they have gaping holes in their training.
This webcast is ideal for professionals who want to add to their skill base, for beginners who need to learn the basics, or for others who are self-taught and want to solidify their knowledge. Graphic design and new media expert, Richard Harrington, will cover many of the exciting new Photoshop CS5 features, such as: Puppet Warp, Merge to HDR Pro, Content-Aware Fill/Scale/Heal, 3D Text, Mixer Brush and Lens Corrections.
During this complimentary webcast, you will also learn about:
• Repairing and retouching digital images
• Color corrections and enhancements
• Blending modes and maximizing filters
• Photoshop actions and automations to speed up your workflow
• Camera Raw workflow
Learn the techniques needed to advance your career with a focus not just on digital photography, but also on the Web, graphic design, multimedia and video.

10 webcast attendees will receive an AUTOGRAPHED COPY of Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS5: The Essential Techniques for Imaging Professionals.


Converting Image Modes – 183 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington describes the different purposes of specific color spaces.

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


Discounts for DV Expo and Two Free Passes

Turns out I'l be speaking at this year's DV Expo for
3 days on DSLR Video. I'm very excited to have the chance to share new things.

And in the spirit of sharing... I have two presents for my blog readers.

Here is a secret discount code that will work up to and during the show:

LAFCP10 – worth $50 or 10%

Also... I will be giving away TWO FREE VIP ALL-ACCESS PASSES

How do you win?
  1. Post to your favorite social media outlet about this blog entry –
  2. Post a comment below as to why you need to attend this conference. What would this mean to you, why is it important, etc.

Taxes – if any are yours to pay | This is not a contest of skill | I will draw two winners on 9/23
You must get yourself to Pasadena, CA (I just booked my own flight for $119 each way)


Free AE Webinar on Tuesday: Harrington: Combining After Effects, Illustrator, & Photoshop Extended

Don't miss a free webinar this Tuesday on After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator

Start: September 14, 2010 7:30 pm
End: September 14, 2010 8:35 pm

As a motion graphics designer, you’ll use After Effects, Photoshop, or Illustrator to some degree in every project. But how do you decide which tool is best for the job and how can you use them together for the most efficient and effective workflow?

Join Rich Harrington of RHED Pixel for an evening of tips and techniques on how After Effects users can effectively integrate Photoshop and Illustrator in your motion design workflow.

overview: 7:15-7:30 PM: Pre-Show: Reels We’re Watching 7:30-8:20 PM: Rich Harrington: Combining After Effects, Illustrator, & Photoshop Extended 8:20-8:30 PM: Q&A 8:30-8:35 PM: giveaways | close
*all times are MST | UTC-6
To attend: - RSVP for the event :: RSVP now»


Why You Need MobileMe

Apple's MobileMe suite of online tools is a very useful group of services. Whether you'r a photographer, graphic designer, video pro (or even an accountant) you need it. While it’s not really designed to be an enterprise-level tool, it is quite helpful to small and midsize companies. MobileMe offers several features that can help organize a project. These features are fully documented on Apple’s site, but here are the most useful:

  • Address Book syncing. It’s possible to have a shared Address Book for the entire company. This really helps keep records up to date and clients easier to locate. If you have multiple iPhone users who want to sync, they can make a group to streamline their contacts.
  • Calendar. MobileMe offers a robust online calendar tool that can also sync with iCal. This is particularly useful because it can help coordinate meetings and schedule staff and facilities. The shared calendar is also useful for iPhone users who are out of office and need to keep their meeting schedule up to date. If you need to share a calendar with clients or non-Mac users, you have two viable options. You can grant Web access to a MobileMe calendar (simply visit and sign in). The drawback is that you grant write access to all calendars or no calendars. A better option for "selective" sharing is to use a Google calendar, which is also free (
  • iDisk. An iDisk is a great place to back up critical files. You can download the free Backup application from your iDisk, and then set files like Final Cut Pro project files to back up remotely. You can also use an iDisk as a drop box (Mac or Windows users) because it can be easily accessed through a Web browser. Similarly, you can access your iDisk through and select files for file sharing with other users. Sharing files with clients is easy with MobileMe. They can get a personalized invitation, and you can even require a password.
  • Back to My Mac. This little-used feature is a true lifeline. It allows you to easily access any of your Macs remotely. You can use it to log into a machine back at the office and check progress on a render or grab a file that you forgot.
  • Find My Phone. Lose your iPhone or iPad, this device can tell you where you left it. It can also trigger an alarm, display a message, or remotely wipe a device. We've used the service three times in my house (and each time led to a successful recovery).

Get more useful techniques (and 6 hours of video) by reading
Video Made on a Mac.


Talent Release Form

A piece of essential production paperwork is the talent release form. It is generally considered a good idea to obtain a release from each person who appears on camera. The form is your way of proving that the person appeared willingly and does not require additional compensation.

To make this form truly binding, you should check with a local lawyer to assist you. Laws will vary based on country and state, so this form is merely provided as a suggestion. Once you have your forms locked in, be sure to print out enough and load them onto a clipboard for your shoot.

If you are taping at a large event, you’ll likely want to explore integrating a general release into the event registration or ticket purchase process. This way you don’t need to worry about capturing releases from all the people who appear on camera. However, you should still get the more detailed release signed for on-camera interviews.

Get more useful forms (and a whole lot more) by reading
Video Made on a Mac


Premiere Pro 5.0.2 Should be called 5.2

There's a ton of new features in the Premiere Pro update that was recently released. I asked Adobe for a complete list.

Improved Mercury Playback Engine support: Provides support for additional NVIDIA cards: GTX470, Quadro 4000 and Quadro 5000 (all Windows only) 

RED Workflow improvements:
  • Red Rocket support in Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects: The RED Rocket handles the decoding of RED media on playback, which allows editors to free up the CPU and results in faster decoding. RED media playback also is faster and more responsive, and the CPU is free to handle other processes such as effects.
  • Support for Mysterium X and the latest Color ScienceFixes firmware updates from RED.
  • Easily edit color-graded footage from REDCine-X tools: With its support of RMD files, Adobe Premiere Pro allows you to save video footage color graded in REDCine-X as a RMD file and import directly into Premiere Pro thereby creating a tighter color workflow from camera to edit and making collaboration with others even smoother. 

Native Sony XDCam support:
  • Inclusion of XDCAM 4:2:2 timecode: Allows Adobe Premiere Pro users to see and work with source timecode from XDCAM 422 media.
  • XDCAM-HD Export support: Adds support that makes possible exports to the XDCAM-HD format thereby increasing users’ abilities to export for various uses and target devices.

Native JVC QuickTime support: 
  • Native support for JVC QuickTime movies: Increases support of the QuickTime format by adding the popular JVC tapeless cameras to the list of supported devices.

Enhanced native DPX format support: 
  • Import and export DPX files with timecode: Adobe Premiere Pro users can see and work with timecode data embedded within a DPX frame sequence that allows for even more control when working with the DPX format.

Improved color grading
  • 10-bit Display Port support for Mercury GPU Quadro Cards (Windows only):  Support for 10-bit color output via Mercury GPU Quadro Cards offers users the ability to output and view (with 10-bit capable monitor) full 10-bit color without the requirement for separate video playback hardware. 

Improved audio support
  • Broadcast WAV support: Support for the industry-standard Broadcast WAV audio file format improves Adobe Premiere Pro audio workflows where audio source timecode is of importance. This is of particular use in OMF export where source timecode is often used by the host DAW to sync multiple takes. 


Pixels in Depth – 182 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington explores pixel resolution in Photoshop.

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


Be sure to Check Out New Motion Graphics Book

My new motion graphics book is off to the presses!

Almost all motion graphics artists today use After Effects, Photoshop, or Illustrator to some degree in their projects. But how do they decide which tool is best for the job and how can they utilize the various components in the Creative Suite together for the most efficient and effective workflow? This book cuts to the chase and shows readers an in-depth view of the various components in the Creative Suite as best utilized in professional motion graphics projects. With 4-color artwork from real-life productions sprinkled throughout, this inspiring and practical guide will show intermediate to advanced readers what they need to know to incorporate CS5 in their own work. In the first half of the book, readers learn about design essentials as related to motion graphics, including typography, logo animation, repairing and retiming footage, stylizing footage, background design, 3D objects and cameras, audio design, and vector design. The second half of the book focuses on real-world design explorations including chapters on broadcast package design, title sequences, DVD menu design, motion control 3D, character animation techniques, and panoramic images.The accompanying DVD brings it all together by providing source footage and project files, allowing readers to experiment on their own.

Get it here –

Effective Business – Budgeting by Averages

There is an easy formula used by many experienced project managers to estimate the amount of time to be spent on each budget item task. The formula looks like this:

(1O + 4M +1P) ÷ 6

It means one optimistic + four most likely + one pessimistic divided by six. What does that mean? It’s pretty simple: You create a time estimate based on averaging the information you gather. For example, you can approach a graphic designer and ask, "How long would this take?” The answer is not the most likely number. It’s the optimistic number, because if you ask any creative person how long something will take, the answer is an exaggerated number. Let’s say the number is eight hours.Then you say, “Well, if it was anybody else, how long would it take?” And that’s the most likely number. For our formula, let’s use 12 hours.Then ask, "If something goes wrong that you really didn’t count on, what is the worst case scenario?" In this example, use 22 hours.You then plug these values into the formula to get your result: ((1*8) + (4*12) + (1*22) ÷ 6 = 13 hours for the task.This budgeting formula works well when no historical data is available for review. It’s also more accurate if you are able to ask more than one person for time estimates. You can then average multiple answers.


Converting CMYK Images – 181 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington talks about the process of converting an RGB image for use in CMYK printing.

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


Red Scarlet – First Look 2008

So... Where is it now? Two and a half years and counting... Maybe IBC?


Essential Animation Principles in After Effects

When animating object's in After Effects, you need to understand the essential animation properties.

  • Anchor Point (A) – This is the point at which the object rotates or scales. You will often need to adjust the anchor point of the object and move it to a more “natural” rotation point (such as the waist, a joint, a hinge, etc.). The easiest way to adjust Anchor Point is with the Pan Behind tool.
  • Position (P) – This is where the object is located along the X, Y, or Z-axis.
  • Scale (S) – This is the size of the object on the screen. Remember, scaling an object larger than 100 percent will create pixelization in raster objects. If you want to simulate a zoom, press S for Scale to access the scaling controls. To scale all the layers in unison, add a new Null Object to the composition. All the layers can be parented to the Null Object (via the parent Column). Then scale the null to affect all the dependent layers.
  • Rotation (R) – An object can be rotated around its anchor point. It can also be rotated along its X, Y, or Z-axis.
  • Opacity (T) – The lower an object’s opacity the more you can see through it.
  • Animation Assistants – Use your animation assistants to add Ease on the rotation and anchor point keyframes. Click on the word Scale to highlight both scale keyframes. Then choose Keyframe Assistant > Exponential Scale. This powerful assistant will accurately simulate the ballistics of a camera zoom.


Free Passes to PhotoCine Expo in LA

Want to attend the PhotoCine Expo? I've got 50 free passes to the exhibit floor where you can learn all about the DSLR video revolution that's underway. I'll be there with
Creative COW and teaching a class on creating Timelapse video. The conference is at the Los Angeles Film School on September 25th and 26th 2010.

To get your free pass visit here–
Enter the code
RichardsTix at the bottom of the page and save $15.

Also... check out my class.

Creative Timelapse
Learn how to turn your HDSLR into a timelapse machine.  With the addition of a few simple pieces of equipment, you can capture dynamic action over time.  Even more importantly, you'll learn how to use Adobe Photoshop to develop your files and then assemble them in After Effects.  Richard Harrington is the author of Photoshop for Video and the co-author of From Still to Motion: A photographers guide to creating video with your DSLR.


Peachpit Photo Club Presents Trey Ratcliff

On Tuesday, September 28 at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT, join Trey Ratcliff, author of A World in HDR for the next Peachpit Photo Club webcast. High dynamic range (HDR) photography lets you capture the myriad colors and levels of light that you can see in the real world, and the results are amazing photographs that run the gamut from super real to surreal. Explore this fantastic realm of photography through the unique vision of renowned travel photographer Trey Ratcliff. Trey will share his phenomenal HDR photographs as well as all the backstory on the adventurous circumstances of their origin. He'll also reveal the techniques he used to get the final shot, and answer your burning questions!
To keep the creative juices flowing, Photo Club members will receive a fun assignment at the end of the session. Once the assignment is completed, Photo Club members can upload their work to the Peachpit Photo Club Flickr Group where Trey and the Peachpit crew will help critique your work. And of course, there will be a chance for prizes!
Register now.

Also, be sure to check out the From Still to Motion webcast while you are there

Save for Web & Devices – 180 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington discusses how to take a high res image and get it sized and ready for distribution on the web.

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


Photoshop Healing Brush

The Healing Brush (J) is designed to correct imperfections in a photo. Similar in handling to the Clone Stamp tool, it successfully hides blemishes by taking cloned pixels and matching the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled to the original pixels. This can generally produce results in which the repaired pixels blend seamlessly together.

  1. Select the Healing Brush Tool by pressing J.
  2. Select a brush from the Options bar or Brushes panel.
  3. Choose a blending mode. (This can be useful when retouching as to avoid visible cloning.) The Replace option preserves noise and texture at the stroke’s edges.
  4. Choose a source for repairing pixels in the Options bar. The standard source is sampled. Here pixels are taken from the area surrounding your sample point. As the brush moves, the sample point also moves accordingly to ensure variety in the sampled source. The Pattern option uses a pattern from the current pattern library (accessible from a pop-up list).
  5. Specify the tool alignment in the Options bar. If Aligned is selected, the sample point and painting point move parallel as you brush. If you click again and start over, the sample point picks up relative to the current brush position. If Aligned is deselected, the initial sample point is re-used. The second method ensures that you are always sampling from the same area but the first produces more visual variety if using a large textured area.
  6. If you are using the Sampling mode, Option+click (Alt+click) within the current document or another open document set to the same color mode.
  7. The tool functions similarly to the Clone Stamp tool. Paint brush strokes over the area you’d like to heal.

Performance Tips

  • Because the sampled pixels are drawn from before you click, it may be necessary to release and start over occasionally to avoid cloning the problem area.
  • Release the mouse to merge the sampled pixels. The stroke will look strange until then.
  • To get better results on an area with strong contrast, make a selection before using the Healing Brush Tool. The selection should be bigger than the area to be healed and should follow the boundary of high contrast pixels. For example, if healing a person’s face, make a selection over the problem area that excludes the adjacent sky or clothing. This way, when painting with the Healing Brush, the selection will prevent color bleed-in from outside areas.
  • You can clone from all visible layers by specifying Use All Layers. This is useful if you want to clone to an empty layer at the top of your document while sampling from the layers below.


Printing Dialog Box – 179 UAP

Instructor Richard Harrington explains how to print in Adobe Photoshop.

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


A Funny New Photoshop Video


The Risks of a One-Man Band for Video Crews

If you try to run with a “one-man-band” approach, you’ll likely miss critical action. Be sure to staff appropriately for your shoots.

Thanks to shrinking budgets, we are asked to send out one-person crews all the time. Believe us, we’ve tried it (after all, you can’t say you don’t like Brussels Sprouts if you’ve never eaten them). What we’ve found out is that it’s a terrible idea to shoot alone. So many things can go wrong that if you're by yourself it is impossible to get the job done.

Consider the issues a single-person crew would face:
  • Who will watch the gear if you have to unload and then park?
  • If you do have to fly somewhere for a shoot, excess baggage charges are often more than a second ticket.
  • During the course of a shoot, how will you handle basic biological needs like food and restroom breaks? Walk away and leave your gear unattended and it will likely not be in the same condition when you come back.
  • If you blow a circuit breaker or have talent go missing, the second crew person can resolve the issue.
  • With a one-person crew, if that person gets sick or injured, the shoot is over.

So even if it just means hiring a warm body that’s not going to steal from you, do so. We’ll contact local grip houses, universities, or in a pinch use Craigslist. Spend the $125 and get somebody to be a babysitter of your gear and a gopher for the many needs that arise on set.

Our standard approach is this: We try to use a three-person crew. We send two people from our office and hire one person locally. The local person will usually show up with things like lights and grip gear (which are affordable to rent locally). Our crew shows up with audio and camera equipment, which we know works and we’re familiar with.


Web Safe Fonts

This is awesome... a colleague of mine Jason Cranford Teague, has posted some great resources about web typography. My favorite is this useful desktop pattern of web safe fonts.

There is also an incredible
directory of fonts installed on Mac and Windows computers.


Free Digital Video E-books

  • Adobe offers some great primers on video technology. be sure to check these free e-books out.
  • Adobe Digital Video Primer (PDF: 9.8M) Whether you want to understand the differences between analog and digital, how to choose and set up a system that's right for you, or how to prepare and edit your content for delivery in virtually any format, the Adobe Digital Video Primer is a resource you'll use often.
  • Adobe HD Primer (PDF: 1.6M) This primer will help you understand what's involved in making the transition to authoring and distributing high-definition content and how to get the best results out of that transition.
  • Adobe Digital Audio Primer (PDF: 84k) In this primer, we'll introduce the basics of sound so you can work more effectively with Adobe® Audition™ and the rest of your digital audio or video toolkit.
  • Adobe DVD Primer (PDF: 6.3M) This in-depth primer will get you acquainted with DVD technology and teach you how to make your DVD content more dynamic. If you're already creating video productions, it will introduce you to state-of-the-art technologies you can use to repurpose your content for DVD distribution. If you're a beginner you'll find out how you can easily develop and author your own DVDs.
  • Adobe Professional DVD Production with Adobe Encore DVD Primer (PDF: 2.2M) This primer provides background information on the DVD-Video format and explains what makes Adobe Encore® DVD such a powerful application for professional DVD creation.
  • Adobe Streaming Media Primer (PDF: 1019k) The Adobe Streaming Media Primer offers a single comprehensive source for learning everything you ever wanted to know about streaming media — including pitfalls, costs, how-tos, and the basics.
  • Adobe DV Primer for Creative Professionals (PDF: 392k) Thinking about adding video to your repertoire? If you're a graphic designer, web professional, photographer, or other creative professional and you want to start working with video, this Primer is the place to start. You'll learn how video can expand your creative reach, the basics of the technology, and what you'll need to get started.


Fun at Photoshop World

Here are a few pictures from the TweetUp. By the way... this is me cutting loose (in case you thought it was only about computers and stuff).


Great Article on DSLR Video Revolution

  • Just read a great article over at Creative COW called DSLRs A Time Exposure by Robert Primes. It is a great look at why even Hollywood is in love with HDSLR cameras.

At some point in the evolution of today's DSLR, digital replaced film, and low light level photography became astonishingly clear. We saw our world in a whole new way. And then a seemingly innocent event occurred that for some would be the beginning of a whole new style, and for others, would be another nail in the coffin of quality cinematography.

Rather than schlep a real movie camera or camcorder around with your still outfit, wouldn't it be convenient if you could just lock the mirror up and shoot motion synced to audio? Canon added the feature to their marvelous 5D Mark II still camera, almost as an afterthought.

Their normally astute marketers calculated that no more than 3 or 4 percent of users would ever use the feature -- perhaps a few wedding photographers and single-person reporting teams.

Read the whole article here

Automating Tasks with Photoshop Actions

Quickly reapply complex artistic effects to multiple images.

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

© 2010 Richard Harrington LLC