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Spring 2008

In This Edition



buttonSuper Charge Photoshop

buttoniLife 8—a real step backwards

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Attention All High School Students Get Ready for . . .

High school students—get ready the show your portfolio to reps from many of the colleges and universities in the Meto area. If you are considering futhering your education in ART, GAME DEVELOPMENT, GRAPHICS ARTS, INTERIOR DESIGN, MULTIMEDIA, PHOTOGRAPHY, VIDEO PRODUCTION, or WEB DESIGN, you should consider attending. The all jeffco PORTFOLIO REVEIW DAY, sponcored by WarrenTech, wil be Tuesday, march 4, 9:00 am til 3:00 pm in the Founders Room. Contact your teacher for more information.

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With each edition of the Multimedia Resource Center's Newsletter, we will provide teaching / learning resources. These will be on the web site but are noted in this publication to give them more attention.

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Adobe Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions
Action Central
Photoshop Actions for Creative Minds
ELATED ActionKits
Art Store
Creative Guy
BMC PhotoArt
Adobe Evangelists
Byte Photo
Digital Thread
Turning Turnip
Action Addiction
2D Valley
Pro Photo Show
Emanuele Feronato
Chain Style

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Multimedia Resource Center
E-Notes. . . . . 2008

This is the latest edition of the Multimedia Resource Center E-notes. E-notes is published twice yearly. If you would like to contribute materials or projects for either this newsletter or to the MM Resource Center web site. go to Submission and follow the directions. It is hoped you enjoyed reading this issue. The next issue will be in the next semester of 2008. Back issues of this newsletter will be placed on the Multimedia Resource Center Web site.

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[Creative Commons Copyright] 2006-2009
Ron Bruner of the Multimedia Resource Center. All rights reserved.

Super Charge Photoshop!

[Photoshop Logo]

I think that Digital Imaging should be a part of every modern school curriculum. This is a bold statement, but the ability to design, create, edit and manipulate images is very important. Adobe Photoshop is the program for image editing and manipulation. Photoshop comes with a wide selection of tools that can do almost anything, but there are so many extra tools (add-ons) that make the program more powerful, easier to use and speeds the editing and/or manipulation process. These will really super charge your Photoshop!

Open the Photoshop applications folder. Find the Plugs-in folder. There are numerous commercial and free plug-ins—some of which actually change to total feel of the program. Next, open the Presets folder and read the list. Brushes, Color Books, Color Swatches, Custom Shapes, Gradients, Patterns, Photoshop Actions, Styles and Textures can be added to. There are literally hundreds of these add-on tools are free and readily available on the Web.

I have never really stopped creating metallic letters. I have spend hours, using effect after effect, finally arriving at the wanted product. Now let's use a few new add-on tools and quickly create the similar project. Go to About.com: Graphics Software and download the eight metal layer styles. Copy them into the styles folder within the Presets folder. Next download the Highlight Glint or Star Sparkle Brush Set from About.com: Graphics Software (different URL) and copy these into the Brush folder. Open Photoshop and activate the metallic styles and the new brushes.


Using a broad type face, type a word. Chick on the styles. Instant metallic letters. I added a drop shadow to my example, but that's not necessary. Let's add specular highlights to the letters. Choose either the pencil or the brush tool. Select one for the new sparkle brushes. Make a new layer. Select an appropriate color and size the brush head. Click around on the letters. This project was finished in five minutes.

This is just one of a large number of project which be completed with add-on tools in Adobe Photoshop. A short list of resources is in the left column. A very comprehensive list is available on the Digital Imaging page on the MM Resource Center Web site. if you would like this comprehensive list for yourself, go to the Download Page and click the Supercharge Photoshop.

"iLife 8"—a real step backwards!


Since the very first edition, I have always liked the iLife suite. I often say that any teacher could teach multimedia using these applications, but what happened to iLife 8!

Mac people could hardly wait for the roll out the new iLife 8. Although it didn't get as much press as the iPhone, computer magazines such as MacWorld devoted much of an edition for its roll out. In fact, MacWorld just published another large section on "all or the new tools in the new suite." I have a question for them, "Are YOU using the same software that I am?" After working with iLife 8 for the last few months, I really feel that Apple took a real step backwards!

Creating an updated software package should be easy. Take an award winning software suite, correct some of the short comings and then add some new enhancements. Maybe one enhancement in one of the applications should be a real "wow." Let's look at what Apple did.

One of the major changes to iPhoto include a new Events feature that makes it easier organize and navigate groups of photographs. A new "skimming" feature in iPhotos lets users see different photos associated in an event by moving their mouse over the event icon.

The biggest disappointment is the total redesign of the digital-video editor iMovie. iMovie 6 functioned like a scaled down version of Final Cut Express. I used it not only as a tool to teach vidcasting but also as a starter application for beginning non-linear video editing. With a few added plug-ins, it was a good editor. All this changed with iMovie 8. Most of the good transitions are missing, the time line construction is gone and the support for plug ins has been totally eliminated. "My Bad!" should become a part of the Apple vocabulary.

iMove 8 does with adds support for the AVCHD format for High-Definition video. It also adopts the "skimming" feature found in iPhoto-users can skim through videos without having to play clips to see what they contain. The Share menu lets users export movies to the iPod, iPhone, Apple TV and .Mac Web Gallery; there's also built-in You Tube sharing. If these had been added to iMovie 6 much of the criticism which has been leveled at Apple would have been praise.

iWeb, the web-page building tool introduced in the last version of iLife 6, now supports personal domains. The previous edition of the software had focused on integration with .Mac accounts. Other changes to iWeb include a live Web widgets tool for dragging-and-dropping things like Google Maps and You Tube videos onto a Web site. iWeb also builds in Google's AdSense technology for adding text ads to a site. All these are great tweaks, but iWeb is still really a tool for creating blogs and will probably never be a prime time tool for teaching Web development.

There isn’t really anything to say about iDVD ‘08. It is the least updated of all the iLife applications. Apple added a few new templates and higher quality video being the key updates. The new themes are as impressive as ever, but iDVD feels like an after thought. Jobs seems convinced that media publication is going to be totally from the internet. His comments were “some people still want to make DVDs”. It seems that iDVD will probably be dropped from the next iLife edition. I think that would be extremely premature.

The big new feature for the GarageBand application is "Magic GarageBand." With it, you can create a virtual band and original songs. Musicians will find this feature helps their creative process when they plug their instrument in and jam along. Other enhancements include multi-take recording and a built-in visual equalizer.

If you still want to use the iLife 8 suite as a teaching tool, here are my suggestions. Totally forget iWeb and iPhoto as they are of little use and will never be the tools needed for the classroom. If you already have iMovie 8 installed, go to Apple's Web site and download and install iMovie 6. Numerous plugins are still available at PlugIns World and at Partners in Rhyme.

Certainly keep GarageBand 8 and iDVD 8 for their updates and with this newly comfigured iLife, you should have a great set of teaching tools.

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