Photoshop Madness
The Design Center, DT&G, Photoshop Department: Photoshop Madness January '06  

March, 2006

Photoshop Madness

Well, it's another month and the online forms have been generating tons and tons of links, references and cool stuff. Unfortunately there might be ONE good resource to every 50 that really, really suck. I had no idea so many people were using Photoshop who have no conception between a good Photoshop resource and one that really, really sucks. It's bad enough to demand that link to stuff that sucks, we've even had people who wanted to SELL us stuff that really, really sucks. It's truly amazing.

So, we've spent hours and hours combing through all the stuff that truly sucks to spotlight the following good stuff that doesn't suck.

Photoshop Madness Book of the MonthPhotoshop for Right-Brainers

Long-time friend of Photoshop Tips & Tricks, Al Ward is back with yet another iteration of his wonderful book Photoshop for Right-Brainers! Yes, friends it's the all-in-one book for people who are fundamentally artistic in nature rather than non-artistic, and who want to produce wonderful works of art purely for the sake of visual beauty and self expression.

But folks, not only do you get the book with some totally unique new techniques and lessons, you also get the CD! This cee-dee contains 400-plus Photoshop Actions that cut tedious tasks out of your workflow, freeing up time for the really fun stuff. Some of these actions have dozens of steps -- more than you care to do manually, and by far more than you can get to work properly if you were to build the actions yourself. So if you've got 27-bucks hanging around trying to be productive, put it to good use and get the Photoshop for Right-Brainers : The Art of Photo manipulation . You'll thank yourself, Al Ward will thank you, and I'll thank you!

Check out Al's Web SiteAl Ward

ACTION FX offers a tone of free actions, and for a membership registration you can download tons more. This collection of actions provides some very cool TEXT EFFECTS you can use as-is, or modify to suit your taste. 10 Action Set -- 10 dynamic type actions in one set for use with Adobe Photoshop CS2. Zip File includes example images for each action. The rotating image to the right shows examples of the included actions also.
BulletDownload: Free Chapter "Natural Landscapes" (PDF)
Bullet Download:
Bullet More at

FAQ: 2005 Most Frequently Asked Question

After compiling thousands questions from the Photoshop 911 Emergency Room, the database says the most frequently asked question was

... or generally relating to putting text on a path. So we got together and put together this month's tutorial that will show you how it's done in Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign. You can read it in the Photoshop Tips & Tricks department. BUT WAIT !

We posted the article about a week early and it started getting readers almost immediately. A number of those wrote to say we really hadn't explained the Illustrator and InDesign methods clearly enough. So watch for the sequel to the article with an illustrated tutorial for both programs.

Photoshop Tutorial of the Month

Each month we get dozens of Photoshop wannabees who want to be recognized as a true Photoshop Pro. You wouldn't believe. But we always get at least one worth mentioning. Such is the case with Tony Eldridge who submitted the following excellent tutorial:

Perspective Cropping- Video Tutorial
If you've ever tried to take a flash photograph of a framed picture straight-on, you've probably noticed that it's impossible to do so without planting a large reflection of the flash right in the center of the picture. In this tutorial, you'll learn how to avoid that unwanted reflection by taking the picture from an angle and then adjusting the picture using perspective cropping.
File this one under flash, photograph, cropping, crop, reflection, picture, perspective, Retouching: repair, restoration
Bullet Sent in by Tony Eldridge
Bullet ;
Bullet Take the tutorial NOW.

Photoshop March Tutorials

winter So, it's wintertime... in some places around the globe...
This tutorial called Dreaming Winter Photography was sent in by Viojieley Gurrobat to help us through the wintry months. It's actually an interesting piece.
Bullet Winter Images

Ice Icicles
If you're in some of the more wintry areas of the world, you may already be getting a bit of cabin fever... here's some relief:
Create some nice looking icicles in 4 easy steps
* Author: Nils Kambach
Bullet Tutorial (PDF Format)

Poster ArtChannels Tutorial
Actually, while snooping around at the This tutorial makes an interesting painting from a photograph. Nils also offers this nice little tutorial for Posterize, Cut-Outs and styling for Artistic effects -- See art at right
* Author: Nils Kambach
Bullet sorry this web site is belly up

Low Light:
While you're at PictureCorrect, check out the Eric Hartwell's excellent Photoshop tutorial on shooting low-light Images -- how to get good images in low light conditions. Even the most dimly lit scene has some light - and that means the potential for a great photo!
Author: Eric Hartwell
Bullet Picture Perfect Low-Light Shooting
Bullet Website:

Cool Site of the Month:

ColorBlender is a free online tool for color matching and palette design! Choose a preferred color using the color picker on the web page, and a 6-color matching palette (a "blend") will be automatically calculated. Blends can be saved for future use Enjoy blending!


Er, uh, actually there was no single question that we could single out as the Question of the Month (QOM) other than "Photoshop misbehaving" -- for which we have no single answer.

Rule of thumb:
Ladies and gentlemen, when something goes wrong in Photoshop, don't race off to ask in the forums or discussion lists until you've gleaned two very important bits of information:

1. Is it Document Specific? That means is the problem occurring within the document as a result of something wrong with the document. 99% of document specific problems are operator error.
Test: Save the file, quit the program, re-open Photoshop, and start a new file. If the problem is gone, chances are it was a Document Specific problem.

2. Is it Application Specific? If the problem is still occurring in a new file, then your problem may be Application Specific. That means something went bump in the night and it could be as simple as resetting the menus and tools (See: Preferences) or as severe as installing part of the program across bad blocks on your hard drive. (Yes, folks, all hard drives have bad blocks. All. Get over it.)
Test: Before the next step, save a back-up of your preferences. Quit Photoshop. Mac users do a simple search for the file: Prefs.psp. Copy it to a safe place. Windows users search for the same file, probably on the C:\ drive, navigate to the file and copy it to a safe place.

Reboot the computer.
* Mac: hold down: Command/Option/Shift and launch Photoshop
* Windows: hold down: Control/Alt/Shift and launch Photoshop
* Confirm "YES" in the warning dialog
* Photoshop has now generated a new preferences file, and set all the settings back to factory default.

If this ends your problems, excellent! You're off and running. If this doesn't end your problems, more drastic measures must be taken. (Which we'll discuss in another column.) At least you have a back-up of your preferences with all your personalized settings that could be reinstated after a fresh install of Photoshop CS. But that's for another day.

Stupid Site of the Month

I don't know if it's really fare to call this site the "stupid" site of the month, but it ranks up there pretty high. People who use Photoshop and like to do crossword puzzles may love -- the Photoshop Crosswords site. This website offers a free monthly Photoshop Crosswords puzzle. You can download it from the site, or get on the list to get updates each month. I can say it's a pretty educational process because you learn lots of terms you didn't know. Let's file this one under: Novelty: off the wall stuff, pure entertainment
Sent in by Tony Hertz

Oh Pleeeze, Photoshop Me

There are a number of ways you can get your favorite Photoshop resource mentioned in Photoshop Madness... visit our tutorial submission page (anonymous or not!) or just slip me a note at my contact page.

Stand by for April

Please remember that in DTG's "Designing Women" series continues in April, and we'd like to hear from as many Photoshop Women as we can. If you're a Photoshop crafter, and would like to show-off your stuff, just drop me a line.

And there you have it! Now, you've wasted another perfectly good hour reading the Photoshop Madness page. So much to learn, so many web sites to visit, so much time to burn. Join us next month for another edition, or continue while you're on a roll with the previous edition of Photoshop Madness

Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

February Photoshop Madness

January Photoshop Madness

December Photoshop Madness

November Photoshop Madness

October Photoshop Madness

September Photoshop Madness

August Photoshop Madness

July Photoshop Madness


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