In This Edition
THE FORTH ANNUAL ALL JEFFCO PORTFOLIO REVIEW DAY
The King Tutankhamun exhibition, which is at the Denver Art Museum, is an absolute "must see" for teachers and students. Don't miss this once in a life-time exhibition as it may not come to Denver again.
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.
This material on "Photoshop" you may use or you may share with your students.
iLife, Apple's quintessential suite of entry-level computer software, is sporting a whole new logo and new upgrades to iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand.
iPhoto has all new full screen modules so that every inch of the monitor can be used to view and edit photographs. Once the editing is finished, you can share your photos on social networks like facebook or email them to your friends. You can also create astonishing slide shows that play like animated flicks or create beautiful photo books or elegant letter press photo cards for all occasions.
By far the most important new feature in iMovie is the precise audio editing. This is really the last control that makes this video editor a real little power house. But this upgrade has more. Apple added Movie Trailers, One step Effects and Sports and News Themes which allow for creating real Hollywood looks to video productions.
GarageBand has returned to its roots. It began as a music creator and the new features add to this. Flex Time and Groove Matching are powerful new tools to improve the rhythm and "feel" of recordings. Add guitar amps and effects to reproduce the sound of music’s most famous gear and you have all the sounds of a guitar studio in your Mac.
The last two programs, iWeb and iDVD, changed very little since iLife 09, but at $49,the new features in iMovie are worth the money.
Have you ever thought about making video tutorials of your desktop while using your favorite software?
Screencasting, as it is referred to, should be considered a major way of teaching software or computer usage. Simply record your screen and voice during a computer demonstration, save the recording and you have a video that can be reviewed by your students again and again.
Two comercial software products—Jing and Camtasia Studio—stand out becaus they are dyak platformed. Jing is a small downloadable software for screen capture and screencasts. The free version will only save to SWF files which is only usable by Flash player. Jing Pro, however, is worthy consideration. Camtasia Studio may be the best commerical product on the market, especially for the PC. In addition to the screen capture and video capabilities, it offers a total editing suite that rivals any of the top-end video editors. It's only hold back is that it is expensive.
If you are only going to create a few screen casts there are some really good free screen recorders for the PC. PicPick, FastStone Capture and CamStudio 2.0 are real standouts. in my opinion, PicPick is the best.
iShowU and SnapzPro X are often considered the best on the Mac platform but iShowU seems to render a slightly fuzzy image. Although SnapzPro X renders beautiful images and won the prestigious "Eddie" award from MacWorld magazine. Like Camtasia is very costly.
The best and easiest to use on the Mac is Screenflick. It is fast and saves in a Quicktime format. The image is very crisp and clear and the text is very readable even at a small size and at a price of $25, it's a real value.
Obviously it isn't possible to go into great detail for each of these, and many of them include additional functionality. I do feel that the niche is missing a 'killer app,' one which is really well designed and easy to use – though that may just be my wishful thinking.
Multimedia Resource Center
This is the the Multimedia Resource Center E-notes. E-notes will be published twice yearly. If you would like to contribute materials or projects to either this newsletter or to the web site, go to Submission and follow the directions. I hope you enjoyed reading this issue. The next issue will be in the Spring semester of 2010. Back issues of this newsletter will be placed on the Multimedia Resource Center Web site.
Photoshop CS5–Key Features
Tags: Photoshop CS5, Key Features, Refine Edge, Painting and Brushes, Content Aware, Education, Teaching.
Each year, the first newsletter usually coincides with a unit on Adobe Photoshop. In the post, I have wanted to devote most of the newsletter to Photoshop information, but I have found other materials that seem to be more important. I have decided that this is the year that I devote most of this newsletter to Photoshop.
The release of CS5 brought some extremely discussed and very exciting options that can easily be called “key features.” Here they are:
My favorite of these is the content aware, because it saves so much time. I use to spend so much time “painting out” distracting objects in my images. Now it is fast and easy. Here is a quick demonstration.
This image suits my needs, but only with the lighter horse( sorry that the horses are running away).
Simply using the Rectangular Marquee tool, I select a square area to include the dark horse. Edit > Fill.
In the drop menu of the content area Use > Content-Aware. Click OK and the dark horse is removed and the background is rendered very nearly perfect.
Creating Photoshop Brushes
In my Adobe Photoshop instructional module, everyone is taught to create brushes, styles, gradients, shapes, patterns, textures and actions. As part of a final project, they are to create a brush or other extra and use them somewhere in their images. These are organized and saved so that everyone may have a copy.
Although most of you will know how to make a brush, I am going to review the process and especially the saving of the extras so that they can be distributed to others.
Brushes can be made from any visuals—drawings, paint drippings or photographs. I have even scanned natural materials and use them. Presently, I am creating brushes from abstract textures taken for sections of photographs. Unlike brushes that are made to draw and paint by stroking in a very traditional manner, these brushes function better as stamps.
Your brushes must be black and white. So if you're using a colored image, first go to: Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (or hit Shift+Ctrl+U). This will turn your image to grayscale. Then, go to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast.. .and change the settings while you look at the image. There should be the least gray possible, —try to make it clean and recognizable
Pick a selection tool and select any part of the image you wish to use as a brush.
Go to: Edit > Define Brush Preset... It will pop up a window showing the properties of your new brush. Enter a name and click OK. Check out the brush inspector and you will find the brush there. Try it!
This brush will stay on the computer for a long time, but it is subject to being destroyed during a computer crash if it is not Saved. Go to Edit > Preset Manager...
Click to highlight the brush (if you have more than one hold down the shift key to multiple selections). Click Save Set. In the dialogue box, name the set and save it anywhere other than brushes preset. I usually use the desktop. The completed file will have the Brushes logo. It can now be re-installed or transferred to others as needed.
Under the Preset Type pull down most of the other extras can be saved.