In most computer applications, getting the best quality prints is usually a simple matter of clicking the Print button. The truth is, in general, the higher end the software (and the printer), the more difficult it is to get the best results. That’s especially true when printing high-resolution photos from thepremier image editing and enhancement application, Adobe Photoshop.

While in Photoshop, you certainly can just open the Photoshop Print Settings panel (File > Print), and then click Print, but chances are very good that you won’t get the desired results. While working with large photo files, there are many different scenarios based on everything from the image’s color model, or color space, to its resolution and display size versus its physical, or print, size to contend with.

Read the entire article at About.com.


 

Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 Slate PC

Tablets are hitting the market at a break-neck speed, and man are they in no way created equal. The Fujitsu Stylistic Q550 Slate PC comes with a load of great features and runs Windows 7 Professional. I ran Photoshop and Illustrator on it without incident and was overall impressed with this device.

You can see the entire review at Computer Shopper.



 

Yes, creating Websites is fun and rewarding work. And nothing is more fun and rewarding than creating Flash Websites, or other Flash applications, such as online movies or training courses. Nowadays, learning to use Flash is a must for student Website and Web application designers.

The Flash CS4 course at Ed2Go was so well-received that I am feverishly working to crank out a CS5 course. The name of the course is “Introduction to Adobe Flash CS5“. It is a beginner’s course on creating basic Flash movies and Websites with the latest version of Flash, Creative Suite 5.

ed2go is the largest online course provider, offering hundreds of courses through most major universities, colleges and other learning facilities.

Course Details

This twelve-week course will introduce students to the basics of using Flash, and will cover the following:

  • Getting to know the Flash interface
  • Workspaces
  • Animation and Tweens
  • Flash’s drawing tools
  • Flash’s text tools
  • The Flash Timeline and frames
  • Intro to ActionScript 3.0
  • Intro to 3D and Motion Editor
  • Using images, sound and video clips in Flash
  • And much more

The course is well underway and should be available is a few months.

Bill Harrel – www.williamharrel.com



 

California Spine Institute

California Spine Institute

The folks at WilliamHarrel.com have been diligently upgrading the California Spine Institute’s (CSI) Website over the past few weeks, bringing it into the Twenty-First Century. As the original designers of World renowned Neurosurgeon, Dr. John C. Chiu’s first Website (SpineCenter.com) nearly 15 years ago, Bill and his staff have been asked to come back and give the old site a makeover. The new site is a completely scripted AS3 and XML modular Flash design, complementing CSI’s ultra-modern Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery (MISS)  and physical rehabilitation center, located in Thousand Oaks, California. Dr. Chiu is the primary developer of the Micro-Discectomy and Laser Thermodiskoplasty MISS procedures for eliminating pain from herniated spinal discs.

The new site is resplendent with content on spine surgery, MISS and Medical Laser technology–complete with videos, presentations, research and other information designed for medical professionals and the general public. It branches at the home page to accommodate professionals looking for technology solutions and providers and non-professionals looking for alternatives to conventional “open back” surgery.

“We have been tacking on new information almost weekly for many years,” says Dr. Chiu. “It has become a huge maze of mismatched designs [reflecting the styles of the several different designers employed to update it] and outdated material mixed in with the new, pertinent data.” It’s time to bring it all together in a format where users can find what they need without hunting and pecking.” Dr. Chiu added that he is excited about the work so far and eager to get it up and running.

While in development, the site is located at csi.williamharrel.com. It has been opened to the public during the final stages, with the warning that not everything works yet. But anybody is welcome to come and watch the project as  it nears completion. “Use the menus,” Bill Harrel says. “The page links don’t all work yet, and not all of the material they link to has been deployed.”

WilliamHarrel.com



 


Here’s a quick and easy way to create a product color selection movie by importing Photoshop PSD files into Flash. Flash imports the PSD layers, distributes them to Flash Layers and aligns the images precisely on the Stage. This technique can save you a lot time. You don’t have to fiddle around with getting image alignment right in Flash. There are hundreds of applications for this technique.

You can learn this technique in William Harrel’s Introduction to Adobe Flash CS4 over at Ed2Go.

William Harrel – www.williamharrel.com

Bring the subject of the photo into focus easily with FocalPoint.

Bring the subject of the photo into focus easily with FocalPoint.

Over the years you learn how to do many things in Photoshop. Some of them, no matter how many times you do them, are time consuming and tedious. Selective focus, causing certain aspects of a photo to pop out while dimming other elements, such as backgrounds, is one of those tedious processes. Typically, selective focus is achieved during the photography process itself, or with tedious manual processes in Photoshop.

So, I am always elated when somebody comes up with something to make these kinds of tasks easier. Enter FocalPoint from OnOne Software. Take a look at this Before and After and put away your dodge and burn tools.

 The interface is relatively easy and straightforward.

 I found out about this nifty tool at: http://sharingbaba.com/softwares/?p=3423

You can download a trial version or purchase FocalPoint at: http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=35

I liked it. So will you.

William Harrel – www.williamharrel.com

A little over a month ago I upgraded to Adobe’s new suite of products, Creativebox_mastercollection_cs4_150x150.jpg
Suite 4 Master Collection. I wanted to wait until I got to use it awhile before providing my two cents.

The reason I went with Master Collection is that it is the only way to get all the apps I needed, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash, Illustrator and Photoshop, without purchasing at least one of the products separately for an exorbitant price.

Anyway, priced at $2499 (much less and quite reasonable for upgrades), considering all you get in the box, it is a good deal. Here is what is included in Master Collection:

Plus a bunch of other utilities and somewhat useful stuff.

Installation

Installing the collection requires a commitment in itself, a several-hour process. One of the things that always irks me about installing new Adobe software is that you are never allowed to keep the setting and preference changes you made in previous versions. Instead of actually upgrading your existing version, a whole new set of apps is installed.

Ok. I understand that this is done for document compatiblity reasons, in case for some reason or another existing documents are not compatible with the new apps. But how difficult would it be to have the installation program look at your current apps and carry your preferences over to the new software?

Interface Changes

Overall, the new interface is prettier and friendlier (I skipped CS3, so CS4 seems pretty different.). However, I hate it when things get moved around or changed for no apparent reason. For example, in Photoshop, I am used to right-clicking to get to Image Size. This is very handy when resizing a lot of images for a Website. Now the only way to get to Image Size is from the Image menu. There are a lot of little nuances like this that are not only annoying but also slow you down. For those of us who keep our heads buried in our work, performing routine tasks over and over without thinking about them, these changes cause us to retrain ourselves. A real drag.

New CS4 interface

New CS4 interface

(Microsoft is, of course, the worst when it comes making interfaces so different that it causes you to relearn the software. Office 2007 for Windows and 2008 for Mac are almost unworkable.)

Worthwhile Features

At least a bunch of new features takes some of the sting out of the installation and interface change woes. Listing them all here would make this post long and dull, so I will go over a few that I find particually helpful. (You can get a description of all the new features in each application on Adobe’s Website, at www.adobe.com, and there is a good review of Master Collection on surfbits.com at http://www.surfbits.com/?p=1877.)

Dreamweaver

Perhaps Dreamweavers most usable new feature is InContext, which allows you define regions on a page that can be edited from within a Web browser. A description of InContext is posted at http://commtechwatch.com/?p=187. So I won’t recreate it here. However, I do find it interesting that the phrase “Free Preview” has been added to the InContext description on Adobe’s Website (wasn’t there a month ago), which suggests that this “feature” will soon become a service you have to pay for.

Another pretty useful feature in Dreamweaver is Live View, which allows you to see what your page looks like without switching to a browser.

InDesign

InDesign has a lot of new stuff. Here is a review from Communications Technology Watch, http://commtechwatch.com/?p=121

Photoshop

Photoshop has several highend enhancements, such as 3D painting and scaling and Content Aware Scaling. However, if you are like me and use photoshop primarily for correcting and scaling images for print media and Websites, you won’t get much use out of these. I’m more disappointed in the ways the interface has been changed, causing me to adapt the way I work, than I am impressed with the new stuff. But I am sure some folks will get great use from them.

Conclusion

After all is said and done, the upgrade was worth it. I’ll get over the small disappointments. I left out a lot of great new features that will, undoubtedly, allow me to wow my clients and prospective clients–once I learn how to use them.

Bill Harrel – www.williamharrel.com