Ian Hoar – Passion for Technology – Geeking Out - Technology, Web, Toys, Games, Design, Entertainment, Gadgets, & Geeking Out

3 easy methods to create dotted or dashed lines in Photoshop

PhotoshopDotted or dashed lines can be a great design element and easy to achieve with a bit of CSS, but creating a lot of them in Photoshop mockups can be time consuming and frustrating. There are 3 simple ways to create dotted or dashed lines in Photoshop. The first one is the way a lot of people probably do it and that’s by doing it with the pencil tool dot by dot and then duplicating the layer. This is slow but there are ways to speed up the process. The 2nd method is achieved by using the brush palette spacing settings. The 3rd method is uses custom patterns. This tutorial will cover all three methods with the Mac/Windows shortcut keys needed to speed up the process.

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Blurry Guides in Photoshop CS5

Photopshop CS5I just started using Adobe’s CS5 this week at work. When ever I install a new version of any software I usually run into a lot of bug and configuration issues, and Photoshop is no exception. If you are a web designer and use Photoshop then pixel perfect precision is a must. When you first use CS5 on your next web mockup you may notice that the guides you set up are blurry. They are about 2 pixels wide and pretty much useless for web layouts.

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Photoshop tip: Duplicating Smart Objects

When you duplicate a smart object the way you would duplicate a regular layer, you are not actually making a unique copy of that smart object. Instead you are making a reference to the original smart object. What this means is that if you change the duplicated smart object, the original will change too. This can throw off a lot of people, and even lead one to keep multiple layers in one smart object and toggle the layers as needed.

There is however a simple solution for this. In the layers pallet right click the smart object and instead of clicking Duplicate Layer, click “New Smart Object via Copy” and voila!

New Smart Object via Copy

My own opinion is that it would have been smarter for Adobe to have a “New smart Object via Reference” and have the “Duplicate Layer” act as a unique layer, but maybe there’s a good reason for it being the way it is.

Adobe CS5: countdown to release date

It seems like only yesterday Adobe CS4 was released and now we are already hearing the rumblings of Adobe Creative Suite 5.

There are already some sneak peak videos on the Adobe Creative Suite 5 launch site, but those of you who really want to be the first in line to hear about what’s new in CS5 will have to register on the the CS5 launch site. The “exclusive global launch of Adobe Creative Suite 5” is on Monday April 12, 2010.

Fingers are crossed for some awesome features, and a release date. That said I really hope Adobe has fixed some of the issues plaguing the Creative Suite. Some of the applications feel bloated and slow. Sometimes it’s not only about what’s new, we want rock solid apps that work as flawlessly as possible. It would also be nice if past features were never taken away.

Adobe Photoshop CS4: Still no animated GIFs? Part III

Photoshop IconSo obviously our beloved Image Ready is never coming back, so how is one supposed to open animated GIFs in all this mess. A couple of years back I wrote a work around for opening animated GIF’s in Photoshop in a windows environment. I later followed up with a more detailed description on how to do it.
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Photoshop Smart Objects: How and when to use them

Photoshop IconSmart Objects aren’t perfect, and until Photoshop CS4 a mask could not be linked unless you used layer groups. They don’t always resized perfectly when using vector logos either, but one thing they are perfect for is embedding photos into your Photoshop documents. I still can’t believe how many times I end up working on PSD files full of photos without any Smart Objects. It takes seconds to create one, and saves a lot of time down the road.

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Adobe Photoshop CS4: Disabling document tabs

Photoshop IconTabbed applications work great in many instances. They revolutionized the way many of us browse the web, and for the most part I like them in my editors. One place I don’t have time for them is in Photoshop, and in Adobe Photosohp CS4 tabbed viewing of documents is the default setting. Usually when I’m working in Photoshop I have several documents open at once. I may be comparing designs, sampling colours or any other number of tasks that require multiple documents displaying at the same time. It’s one of the reasons designers usually have large displays and sometimes multiple screens. If you are like me, you don’t like the default setting, but it’s a snap to return Photoshop to it’s old self.

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Adobe Photoshop CS4: Blurry edges with the Rectangle Tool

Photoshop IconI was playing around with Photoshop CS4 and came across an odd setting. I’m not even sure what the default setting usually is, but for me it was my first time dealing with non-pixel perfect blurry rectangles in Photosohp and it really threw me for a loop. Below you can see two 60 pixel boxes created with the rectangle tool. Both boxes look the same, but upon further inspection you will see that the right box has blurry edges and the left box is pixel perfect and sharp.

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Why Flash sites usually suck

FlashI’m seeing much less full on flash sites than I used too, but I seem to be seeing more flash portfolios. If your only goal is to be a Flash developer than that’s fine, but if you want to be seen as a web designer / developer and your site is 100% Flash, you’re probably not going to impress anyone.

Why Flash sucks — most of the time

Flash usually sucks because it is used in places where it’s not needed, breaks usability basics, or tries to deliver a rich media experience to people who don’t care. Lets face it, most of us are not coming to a site to see Flash animations, flashy enter pages and load dialogues; sure this was impressive 5 to 8 years ago, but most of us are over it now. I remember animating menus, playing with collision and elastic algorithms I found on the web and drooling at the newest Flash in the Can awards which are still pretty impressive. It was really cool and fun, and there are a lot of places where this will still fly if done right, your website may not be one of them.

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Adobe Photoshop CS4 release date and wish list

AdobeAdobe Creative Suite 4 is set for a September 23 release date (Update: the 23rd was the announcement date, release date should be mid October). Adobe has a registration form up for a September 23 web broadcast of CS4. I always look forward to the Adobe products, especially Photoshop. This is a program I have grown to really know and I’ve used it since version 3. Even though I love this program, their are some little issues that bother me, so I thought with the release coming up I would create my personal wish list for CS4.

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