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My teaching philosophy is simple, learning new skills should never feel intimidating or overwhelming. My computer classes focus on basic principles you will use everyday. Each lesson is broken down into small easy to understand tasks that gradually build on one another. Although much of the subject matter we discuss tends to be on the technical side, it is always taught in a simple, practical manner. My goal is to make sure students gain a total understanding of how and why things work the way they do.
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Bucky Jones – Illustrator
Candice Davies, Author Illustrator
Tara Urbach – Artist
Weekly Video Tutorials
A great way to sharpen your skills in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign?
Creating a Soft Edge Vector Mask .AI
Using the Photoshop Liquify Filter
Cleaning up PDF’s Hidden Layers With .AI
Cleaing up the Brush Strokes in .AI
You’re deadline is a half hour away. You are working like a dog jumping between programs to get your project out the door when suddenly it happens. You click on Photoshop and something really weird shows up. You can’t see your entire image. No problem, you know what to do. You move your curser to the bottom right hand side of the window to pull it up and reshape it to fit your screen. Wait!!! There IS no bottom right hand corner of your screen!!!! IT’S TO DAMN BIG!!! you try pulling up on the top or the window but it’s no use. The bottom of the window still isn’t showing. You could hit the F key and go full screen but that’s going to suck because you need to hop between programs and that solution isn’t going to do anything but slow you down.
Think! You’ve got to Think! What do you do? You’re deadline is closing in and this window thing is going to slow your work speed down to a crawl. This is becoming a nightmare! You need that window the right size and you need it now! Somewhere in the back of your head you dimly remember something like this happening before. What did you do then? Restart? No, that would shut down all your programs. You’d have to save everything and the restart everything. Too much time. Restart Photoshop? Nope, you already tried that the window size was still stuck at too large! Your deadline is almost here!!! What do you do? What do you do???
Okay time to focus. You relax take a deep breath. How did this work last time? You exhale slowly and it comes to you. Of course… it’s so simple even a child could do it. You move your mouse to the side of the window and when you see the tiny little two headed arrow appear you reach to your keyboard and press the Shift + Option keys as you slowly drag toward the center of the window. It’s WORKING!!! The entire window size is reducing on all sides. You’ve saved the day! You finish your project, beat the deadline and the boss gives you a huge bonus! Congratulations, you are a true hero. There’s only one thing left to do. Spread the word far and wide. You click the share button on this article and send it to all your friends because you know, out there somewhere, there is an artist just like you who is struggling to beat their deadline with a window that can’t be tamed!
I was working on my new computer today and I ran into one of those little things that kind of drives me nuts. I clicked on a file expecting it to open in Photoshop and instead it opened in Preview. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with Preview, unless of course you need something to open on Photoshop. I know there is a way to get my new computer to open files with Photoshop and I remember setting this up on my last computer but it’s been four and half years and I’ve completely forgotten how to make it work. I realize it’s a small thing but what can I say?
So to save you a trip to Google I’ve built a complete step by step walk through of the entire process. I hope you’ll find this useful. If you do make sure to share the article so anyone else struggling with the set up doesn’t have to go searching for it.
Who’s this for?
This one’s for Mac users only. Sorry PC users, nothing to see here…. Move along…. Move along.
How to Fix It:
There’s a very simple fix for this but if you’re like me you probably set it up once on an old computer and have long forgotten how you did it. Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Just follow the instruction below and you’ll be good until it’s time for another new computer.
Find the file you want to open and select it by clicking on it once.
From the file menu select “Get Info”. To save a little time you can also use the key command, control+i.
Find and click on the “Open With” drop down menu.
Select the application you want as your default program. In my case I chose Adobe Photoshop. You can select your own preference from the applications listed.
You will be prompted with an option to change the program you’ve selected to open all similar files. Click, “Continue” and you’re good to go! Congratulations you have now updated your computer to open and/or view files with the new program of your choice. Happy computing!!!
Who is this review for:
Do I really need a tablet or can I just stick with my mouse?
- The mouse is super cheap and/or often free with your computer.
- They even come in wireless
- Works best with type editing and layout programs like InDesign
- Comes in lots of cool shapes, colors and sizes
- Makes a nifty clicking sound when you push down on it.
- Terrible for drawing.
- Does not allow users to fully access some of the best drawing features in Photoshop and Illustrator.
- Less precise than working with a tablet.
- Minimal cool factor.
- Point … click … repeat….yawn.
Should I stick with it or upgrade.
The Intuos tablet.
The intuos comes in many sizes and shapes. It also comes with many different options, including touch. What does that mean for you? Simple, if you’re still working with a mouse and don’t want to spring for the Cintiq this may be just what you’re looking for. Priced in range that is quite affordable you can purchase a Intuos for under 100 bucks. The bells and whistles will cost you extra but for under 100 bucks how can you go wrong?
- The pressure sensitive stylus will finally allow you to use those special features in Photoshop and Illustrator.
- The advantages of drawing with a pen vs a mouse are mind blowing.
- Advanced models come with touch capabilities, wireless and more.
- You can finally say goodby to that clunky sad little mouse.
- The cool factor will elevate you to new heights.
- The tablet rests on your desktop and you draw while looking at your computer. This can feel a little awkward for many artists.
- While there are wireless options, it’s only as portable as the computer you’re working on.
- Upgrades like touch, larger size and wireless functions cost extra.
- Don’t lose the pen, those things are crazy-expensive to replace.
- Your mouse-friends will be jealous when you get one. Actually not sure if this is a con…
Should I upgrade?
The Cintiq is it everything they say it is?
- The Cintiq is the equivalent of being able to draw on your computer monitor.
- It will increase you speed X10. It is incredibly fast and intuitive.
- No hand eye displacement here since where you look is where you draw. You will feel like you are working traditionally instead of digitally.
- Emulates traditional drawing by allowing the artist to draw with the full arm. For some artists this may not seem like much but for others it is everything. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you find this valuable.
- The cool factor on this is second only to the Cintiq Companion!
- Very large heavy piece of equipment.
- NOT portable in any way, shape or form.
- Can be complicated to set up because of the adapters needed etc.
- Large, heavy, bulky wires to add to your already crowded collection.
- Color calibration can be a challenge. Color output may be truer on some but mine always ran warm which was not a problem until it was time to print. I’m hoping the repair will solve that problem but to compensate I work with an iMac screen side by side to help eliminate surprises.
Should I upgrade
Sure wish I could go portable. The Cintiq Companion.
The Companion is Wacom’s answer to the quest for mobility. As I mentioned earlier in the article my Cintiq went down this month and had to be sent off for repair. Wacom claims repair can take from ten to fifteen days which is means, factoring in shipping time, almost a month of downtime. That’s a LONG TIME in artist years. Projects come and go very quickly in my studio so my good buddy Jesse was kind enough to lend me his Cintiq Companion while I wait for my lengthy repairs. I can’t thank him enough for his generosity. Jesse, if you’re reading this thank you again for helping me become the coolest kid on the block while I wait for repairs.
- It’s portable what more do you need?
- You can actually crawl out from behind your desk and go experience the world again.
- People you know might actually be able to see and interact with you.
- It does everything the Cintiq can do but it’s portable!!!
- Runs the Adobe CC programs you need like Photoshop and Illustrator, not a dumbed down Apple app but the real thing.
- It’s kind of heavy. I know this seems like a small complaint but if you think you’re going to be drawing on this like an Apple iPad, think again. The weight adds up especially after sitting with it for a while.
- Coordinating key commands with the separate keyboard is challenging at best. It drops the lounging on the couch and drawing fun factor by at least 10 points.
- You’re now dealing with battery life. Although it does come with a charger and chord you’ll still need to deal with the idea that you are now on battery time.
- Smaller screen that the desktop.
- You’ll need to switch to a Windows platform. Maybe not an issue for you Window users but for us Mac guys it can be a challenge.