cs3 archives

Six of the 20-something book cover comps I generated for my 15-year old son’s first fantasy novel.
He’ll probably bag them all and do something himself, but I was having too much fun transforming vacation photos into cover art to stop! Photoshop filters… addictive. Perhaps you are asking, Book cover? What 15-year old can really publish a book with a cover? So glad you asked. The real reason for this post is to give a plug for www.lulu.com .

You can self-publish, advertise, and market your own printed or electronic books with Lulu. You pay nothing unless you order something for yourself, and then the prices are very reasonable ($18 for a single copy run of a 150 page hardback book, with cheaper options depending on the binding and other format details). From my research, that’s very tough to beat. Most online publishers make you order at least 25 copies. With Lulu, you just order what you personally want; everybody else that wants your work orders their own, direct from the website (like this one for Matthew’s book). And you can upload a new version anytime— again with no cost, unless you want to order a proof copy for yourself.

You specify whatever profit margin you want to receive over and above printing costs. Very cool, relatively painless, and now I’m related to “an award-winning author!”

posted by ted on Friday, Apr 11, 2008 · 0 comments

Rooftop panorama.
Like many of my neighbors, I spent much of my morning on Saturday putting up Christmas lights. While on the roof I decided to snag enough photos to do a 180 degree panorama of my view of Utah Valley. This is a composite of 6 photos, stitched together in about 3 minutes in Photoshop.

posted by ted on Sunday, Nov 18, 2007

Shi Shi Beach, on the Olympic Coast, with Point of Arches on the horizon.
This is actually a composite of 2 photos.
Later I’ll post more on how I, a CS3 Dummy, composed this panorama
with Photoshop’s super-easy PhotoMerge feature.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Aug 07, 2007

Stupid CS3 Trick #1: 9 slice scaling

The title is misleading; in reality, this is Tip #1 in CS3 for Dummies. I am a self-admitted CS3 novice, so it’s possible that this trick and others that follow may be old hat to many of you. But based on the volume of oohs and aahs at Web Design World, I’m guessing not. Anyway—let’s get on with it: How to scale pictures (or dialog boxes or screenshots or fill-in-the-blank) without squashing or shrinking the stuff you want preserved.

A few days ago, I posted a picture of me and a seagull that was flying alongside a ferry:

Aside from the obvious question of why I wanted the picture taken (maybe John can explain the allure), there may be various reasons why I want to scale this picture: to fit it in a smaller slot; to hide imperfections, etc. But what if I just want to get the seagull closer to my pointing finger? (Again, ask John why.)

I could do some cropping and cutting, pasting and blurring, but is there an easier way that will still look like the picture is natural and unaltered?

One answer is Fireworks’ 9 slice scaling. With this technique, only a section of the photo is scaled, even though the entire picture is selected. In this case, I set the cloudy area between my finger and the seagull to scale, leaving the bird and me unsquashed and unshrunk:

Not bad, and not very hard. The only tricky part is realizing that you must first convert the image to a “symbol”, which seems pretty cryptic to me. Pun intended. But it takes seconds to do, though I admit I did try several different boundaries for my scaling area, before I found the one I liked best.

This technique was demoed for us at Web Design World by a member of the Adobe Fireworks team. The context there was not photos but dialog boxes. Say you want to scale an empty dialog box, but not the buttons or tabs attached to it. Just set the 9 slice scale to include those areas that have no buttons, tabs, or text. Voila—scalable dialogs without squashed or shrunken elements.

The fact that it works on seagulls too was just an unexpected perk.

posted by ted on Thursday, Aug 02, 2007

Adam Betts releases CS3 icon replacements. Jason Dilworth says (and I’m thinking I agree) that icon replacement surpasses even his own nerdery.
But what’s nerdier – replacing icons or blogging about it?

posted by jason on Thursday, May 10, 2007