Posted On:November 2008 | Page 2 of 3 | Greyscalegorilla
Photo by Here’s Kate
Hi, I am Nick, and I was a tutorial junkie. I just couldn’t help myself. Tips, tricks, and how-to tutorials were everywhere. I watched them all. I felt like I was learning a TON.
It wasn’t until I tried to use what I learned in a REAL project at work that I realized that I was practically clueless on how to actually do anything. It wasn’t that the project was difficult… it wasn’t. The problem was this:
Watching or reading about something is not a replacement for doing it yourself. Working from scratch gives you real problems to solve and real things to learn. Sure, it’s fun to just read about techniques, or just play around. But, why research a problem or try to solve a difficult technical issue when you’re “just having fun?”
There are rarely problems to solve in most tutorials. Usually the “instructor” runs though the tutorial step by step with no missteps or blunders. The proverbial cake is already cooked. He is just running through the recipe. Yea, you can replicate his exact tutorial but what if you want to make it slightly different? Usually you’re stuck.
Try this instead. Make your own small project from start to finish. Or, try to replicate something that inspires you. Now there are real problems to solve. How do I render for widescreen? I need to make that spin around. I want to make the material reflective. How do I do that? I need the timeline twice as long. How do I cut this out of the background? Alpha Channels? How do I make this go backwards? Go look for the answer. Now we’re actually cooking instead of just sitting on the couch watching a show about it.
What day corresponds with what beer? The placement of the lines make it confusing. Every detail matters people!
This new lensbaby lens looks like it finally bridges the gap between expensive Tilt-Shift lenses and their old line of plastic. The older versions of the Lensbaby had always been a gimmick to me. It was a nice way to get some selective focus, but the optics weren’t good enough to give you the clean bokeh of a True Tilt-Shift lens and they really didn’t offer any advantage to the DIY Plunger Cam.
Lensbaby looks like it is growing up thanks to the new Lensbaby Composer. From the look of some of the Gallery Photos, the Composer and the double optic lens accessory takes some nice shots.
I still prefer the look of a “real” tilt-shift lens, but I may have to try one of these.
Do you use a lens baby? If so, link up some shots in the comments.
Feedburner tells me I have quite a few RSS readers, but I’m never sure of the accuracy. How many of you are subscribing to the RSS feed? Drop me a comment and let me know if you are an RSS subscriber and your thoughts on how RSS is useful to you. Oh yea, and if you’re not a subscriber, now is the time:)
Images from the Letters & Ligatures Opening from House Industries. I love all the Orange and Ampersands.
I’m printing the Pen Tool cheat sheet out for my desk.
Invert Your Screen
Control – Option – Command – 8
It’s just awful to read long lines of white copy on a black background. It’s hard on your eyes and just plain painful to read anything longer than a headline. Apple Universal Access to the rescue. Press Control – Option – Command – 8 to invert your screen colors and read strain free. This is also a great prank to play on office mates with no knowledge of this feature 🙂
Control and scroll with your mouse wheel
Sometimes we need to zoom in to a website to display a photo or text for everyone to read. This is especially helpful during a presentation, or watching small videos online. Press Control and scroll with your mouse wheel to zoom in and out of your screen.
Cropped Screen Grab to Clipboard
Shift – Control – Command – 4
I use this technique all the time when making blog posts. When making a screen grab, it’s rare that I need the entire screen. More often than not, I just want a specific part. It’s also never the case for me that the screen grab is perfect as is. It usually requires a little Photoshop love before its ready for my blog or for work. Pressing Shift – Control – Command – 4 brings up a cross-hair to select the part of the screen that you need. Instead of making a file on your desktop, the selected image gets “pasted” automatically in to your clipboard. I then open up photoshop and hit Comand – N to make a new canvas. This canvas will be the exact dimensions as the clipping I just made. Once the canvas is open, just hit Command – V to paste the screen shot into Photoshop.
This article is geared towards freelancers, but its a great read for any creative making a portfolio of their work.
Mostly free sans-serif display fonts. My favorite is Steiner and of course, Gill Sans.