Painting with Photoshop

wacomWant to learn how to use the Wacom drawing tablet to paint on the computer? This April and May we are offering Photoshop 103 – Digital Painting. You will learn how the brush tool works, how to create your own brushes, how to upload free brushes, and how to use the Wacom drawing tablets. Use these skills for digital illustration, to create dynamic photos, and for scrapbooks.

Sign up here.

 

Minecraft has taken over

We recently held an awesome MineCraft After Hours event for teens. Part of the program was to create tutorials using Minecraft, ScreenFlow, and iMovie. These short how-to videos worked from an in-house Minecraft server created by the Studio 300 staff. Overall, the videos went great except for a few deaths (make that a lot of deaths), a distressing silverfish incident that took out a building, and a few server crashes (silly sheep). Check out some highlights below:

Other activities included green screen pictures (see the results here), creeper duck tape wallets, buttons, and other  paper crafts. The event was really successful and we received great feedback from the kids. The future of Minecraft at Fountaindale Public Library looks bright, sunny, and zombie free.

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Image Formats

file4411234628810What is the ideal file format for your completed images? First, decide the purpose of your image. Are you posting it to the web? Printing it? Does it need to be large or small? Is detail and line quality important? Here are some suggestions about formats you might use for a given purpose.

JPEG

Works best for color photographs where keeping the file size small is important. It does not work very well for text and large blocks of color that have precise lines as it will cause some blur. There are three ways to save a JPEG: Baseline (Standard), Baseline Optimized, and Progressive. Baseline (Standard) is recognized by all web browsers while Baseline Optimized has better color and compression but will not work on earlier web browsers. Progressive on web pages loads immediately but starts out blocky then clears up as the upload progresses.

PNG

Use this format when you need smaller file sizes and transparency. It was developed for a replacement for GIF.

TIFF

This large file type has no quality loss and also has transparency support. Due to its larger size it is not the best option for web graphics.

GIF

This simple format works best for black and white line images. It only does 256 colors but it does support very simple animations. It works well for buttons and charts.

Unsure how to proceed? Ask us in Studio 300 and we’ll help you optimize your image saving.

Fountaindale taken over by Minecraft

minecraftOn January 3, 2014, the Fountaindale Public Library will be overrun with Minecrafters after closing time. We will be holding an After Hours event for patrons in grades 6-12. This fun event will involve learning how to create your own Minecraft tutorial videos along with other  awesome activities. There will be pizza and other snacks, too.

Register for the event  in the Vortex or Studio 300. A permission slip must me signed and all participants must have a Minecraft login.  Here’s a sneak peek:

See you in January!

Screen Capture in Studio 300

ELgatoThinking of creating a tutorial or a gameplay video? Studio 300 has what you need to get started. Screenflow is professional software that allows you to capture your computer screen including audio. You can even connect a microphone and capture what you say, too. Then you can export what you capture and edit these files in any video editing software, such as iMovie. We also have a device that allows you to plug in any analog device (such as an older camcorder or gaming system) and digitize its output for further computer-based editing and finishing.

Here’s an example video captured with Screenflow:


If you are interested in pursuing this area further, stop by Studio 300 and chat. We’re happy to get you started on your next project.

Lesser known Adobe products

af530eab0b9a9d40edd56f42acc4ccc2Adobe is well known for their industry-standard software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, and AfterEffects. In Studio 300 you have complete access to all of these tools and more, including some of Adobe’s lesser known software.

Adobe Muse

  • Adobe Muse is web design software that allows you to create interactive websites without knowing any HTML, CSS, or JavaScript coding.

Adobe Prelude

  • Prelude is useful for complicated video projects by helping you import, log, select, and export digital media and prepare it for editing. It allows you to create rough cuts and do speech transcription as well.

Adobe InCopy

  • InCopy is word processing software intended to work with InDesign.  With InCopy you can share and have multiple users working on the same project updating the stories together.

Topaz Labs plug-ins for Photoshop

  • Though not strictly an Adobe product, we also have a useful set of photo restoration tools from Topaz Labs that work inside Photoshop.

Magic Bullet Photo Looks

  • Another Photoshop plug-in, these creative tools from Red Giant can really make your photos more memorable.

MBPLooks

Stop Motion Saturdays

CaptureAnimation is the art of giving motion to otherwise still objects. There are many animation techniques, from hand-drawn to computer-based approaches. These techniques use different types of equipment, software, and skill sets. The stop motion technique is one of the simplest animation formats. It’s flexibility lends itself to either very simple or rather  elaborate ideas.

This September and October we are offering Stop Motion Saturdays. This hands-on class – for different age groups, including adults – will show you how to create a stop motion animation using paper, a camera, basic animation techniques, and our cool iStopmotion software. Sign up for the class by following the links below:

Later in the year, we’ll be offering a computer animation class. Stay tuned.

Teen Animation Summer 2013

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This week Studio 300 hosted the Animation for Teens Summer Camp. It was four days jam-packed with animation projects.

The teens started with a stop motion animation using themselves as objects. They took many still pictures moving slightly between each picture. After importing the pictures into the computer, the illusion of motion results.
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Another stop motion project used paper cutouts. Watch the videos they made from these two projects and see the results for yourself:

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Their final project used an animation software program called Stykz. After coming up with an idea and then animating using the software, they added music, sound effects, titles, and more to complete their finished animations. The video below shows the results of their efforts:

More animation classes are planned for the future. Check our calendar for details.

Your comic life

Looking for a unique way to deliver information? How about using comics? Comic Life is easy-to-use software that is now available in Studio 300. You can, of course, use it to make comics and comic books. However, it’s real power is using the comic format to tell other stories.

You can even create flyers, scrapbook pages, how-to instructions, and so much more. The software includes a lot of tools to help you get the look you want and deliver your message effectively.

Whether you want to promote something, share some pictures, explain a complicated subject, or just have some fun, you might want to consider this fresh approach. Here are some additional inspirational ideas for using comics.

Check out these examples:

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This fall Studio 300 will offer classes for both teens and adults on using comics to tell your own stories.

Kuler=Color

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Adobe Kuler is a website (and app) that helps you build a color scheme. (Kuler is the Creole word for color.) The iPhone app version is both fun and easy to use. You can quickly generate a coherent color scheme  by taking a picture. The app draws from the colors in the photo. You can also tweak the auto-generated color scheme shades until it is perfect. You can upload your own color schemes to the Kuler website. You can also see what other people have made. Explore color schemes here.

Color schemes are useful when working in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign (along with other programs). Both the app and website provide both RGB color values and hex (for websites). Kuler helps make sure your graphic designs and websites use color in a more coherent, complementary, and visually pleasing way.