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Using Photoshop’s Best Filter, the Liquify Filter to Create Amazing Illustrations

Photoshop’s  Liquify Filter

This week we’ll be taking a look at one of my favorite filters in Photoshop, the Liquify Filter. Normally this is the filter you see a lot of people using to retouch photos and change body shapes but today we’re going to try something a little different. In this video I’m going to show you how to use the Liquify Filter to add life and movement to an otherwise somewhat static illustration. I love this technique because it’s such a quick east fix to an otherwise fairly common looking illustration. Next time you’re looking to add a little life to an illustration or photo why not give the Liquify Filter a try?

photo bob ostromMy name is Bob Ostrom and I am an instructor and expert user in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. These are not just the programs I teach they are  the programs I use on a daily basis to create award winning illustrations and top notch design. I provide private online and in person instruction for all levels of students. To schedule a tutoring session focusing on any or the three programs listed above simple use this handy link.

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How to clean up unwanted hidden PDF layers using Adobe Illustrator.

I was working on some design stuff, here at the studio last week, when I ran into a problem that kind of surprised me. The files had been created by another designer and needed some simple text updates. As I was updating them I created new layers for the changes. I also created separate layers for the original items. I turned those off so they wouldn’t show when I saved them out as PDF’s…. or so I thought. Turns out that while it all checked out and looked beautiful on my machine the files were a total mess when viewed elsewhere.

I couldn’t understand what was happening. I reviewed all the files and everything looked fine. My first thought maybe it was  a compatibility issue with older software trying to open up newer files, but that wasn’t it either. The only solution I could think of was to go back into the files and gut the hidden layers. It worked but it wasn’t a great solution. The problem was I was throwing away information I might need to go back to later if the files changed again.

I decided to dig a little deeper. It turns out that the files worked on my machine because I was using Adobe Acrobat to view them. Unfortunately for me  not everybody uses Acrobat to view PDF’s and that’s when things get unpredictable. In this case Apple’s Preview was the culprit. It wasn’t able to distinguish between hidden and viewable layers so it simply showed everything (including my hidden layers). I did a little research, played around with the files and tried a few ideas until until I found some fixes.

In this video I’ll show you the problem and then two solutions I found that seem to clean things up. If you’ve ever run into a similar problem and have another solution, not shown in the video, please feel free to share by adding a comment below. As Always thanks for watching and see you next week.



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How to use Placeholder Text in Adobe InDesign

Alright designers and layout artists repeat after me… “I LOVE INDESIGN!!!” 

Have you ever worked on a project where you don’t quite have all the pieces yet? Of course you have, any designer worth their salt has created a concept or put together a rough layout for a pitch. I can’t count the number of times my clients have asked me to show them some ideas but for whatever reason their copy wasn’t ready yet. Do I panic and whine that I have to have finished copy before I can start? Are you kidding me? You start pulling moves like that and you’ll be replaced before you can say, “What’s Placeholder text?”
If you find yourself in this position there is one super simple option you can try that will keep you up and running and speed up your workflow. Oh sure, you could cut and paste some Lorem Ipsum text but why would you when InDesign has placeholder text built right in. What!?! You’ve never used the placeholder text feature in InDesign before??? Don’t worry, in this video I’ll show you everything you need to know to come off looking like a top notch, top dollar, expert, InDesign pro. So hit play and get ready to double your rates designers because you’re about to achieve total rock star status!

That’s it for now. Until next time, keep on keeping on!