The Mac Lab

The Mac Lab Video Tip of the Day

NOTICE: The Mac Lab Video Tip of the Day will be discontinued to make room for The Mac Lab Artists’ Guild. Coming soon to a Mac Lab near you…

The Artist’s Journey: Quest for Excellence

More information will follow during Mac Lab Summer Academy. Follow the blog for details.

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A Tip a Day Keeps the Flatliners Away

Actually several tips per tutorial each day but who’s counting? 😉
Due to demand (by lots of students), skipping (most) weekends and holidays from now on.
NEW: Wednesday tips are now delivered by Mac Lab Mentors!

052611: Short and Sweet Instructions Your job from here on out is to focus on the final review. Use your skills to put your best work forward.

052511: True HDR Workflow Part I | Part II | Christopher Canel teaches us how bracketed photography + Photoshop = amazing results. Starter File.

0524: The 13 Most Important Days Pay heed to this advice or pay the price.

0523: Your Roadmap to Success Everything you need to know about what you need to do these last 14 days of school to ensure a happy ending to the year.

0513 to 0520: 7 Long Days of STAR Testing Gamestar Testing If you’re in one of our three-hour blocks, watch the video and follow instructions. If not, continue to work on your projects.

051211: Using Repousse in Photoshop to Create 3D Text Plus answers to some of the questions you may have had about the 3D interface in yesterday’s TOTD | QT

051111: 3D Postcard Effect with Reflection Important: Watch this video firstKyle Wheaton shows us how to push artwork into the third dimension using Photoshop CS5 Extended. Starter File.

051011: Five Choices for You Today What do you want to do today?
Warning: Cheating in Adventure = 1 hour penalty

050611: Something Old, Something New Learning from the past.
Combining skills and techniques to craft a unique composition. Oh, and Warp. 😛

050511: Virtual Graffiti Experimenting with yesterday’s TOTD.
Taking perspective into account and adjusting a few other settings.

050411: Displacement Mapping The first student-created TOTD. Starter File.
Thanks to Kyle Wheaton for this fantastic tutorial!

050311: Raise Your Expectations Part I | Part II A departure from the typical Tip of the Day.
A way to look anew at what you did (or didn’t) look at yesterday.

050211: Show Your Work Name your layers and follow instructions.
I’ll expect you to follow these instructions for our final review.

0425-2911: Prepare for Progress Reports Please follow instructions. This week is a work week. See this Quick Tip and this one too for other instructions.

041511: Creative Spring Break Free Trials from Adobe, Maxon, and
Be sure to watch this short video too.

041411: Elegant Simplicity KISS. Don’t miss. Simplify and beautify! Like this.
KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid. (Good advice for all of us.)

041311: Tripping with Typography 26 (or more) ideas for your posters. F is…
Just because some of you have complained that you don’t know what to do.

041211: Create with Conviction Another little push to get you out of your comfort zone. In truth, it’s more of a flatliner awareness test. Do you have a creative pulse?

041111: Application of Thought Pick the right applications for the job.
Plus the secrets behind Philip’s method of creating his two-element posters.

040811: Exploring HDR Toning Sometimes it pays to look through the menu.
If you don’t explore, you’ll never find anything new and exciting.

040711: Creative Uses for the Eraser Tool Stealing more ideas from Nicole Dalesio
Because creativity sometimes demands we break a rule or two.

040611: Fun with the Mixer Brush Inspired by Nicole and Christian.
Create digital paintings with Photoshop CS5’s new Mixer Brush Tool

040111: Layer Comp Love Oh, are you going to love using Layer Comps!
I’m going to expect everyone to understand and make use of this tip.

033111: Calling All Custom Symbols It’s time to collect these creations too.
Yes, I called today the 30th again. Give me a break. I’m sleep-deprived!

033011: Calling All Custom Brushes It’s time to collect your creations.
If this video’s not self-explanatory, see today’s Quick Tip.

032911: Contributing to Mac Lab Student Stock Here’s a quick refresher course.
Please take the time to sort and rename your files correctly.

032811: Mac Lab Mentor Week A short video describing the week to come.
As promised, here’s the final cut of last week’s rough cut class video.

032511: Exhilarating Experimentation Igniting mental fireworks.
Every creative journey begins with a single step. Take your own step today.

032411: New School and Old School Tricks More additions to your skill sets. File.
New tricks and workflow for improving your Photoshop game.

032311: Sailing Into Brighter Skies Old Tricks + New Tricks = Photoshop Fun
Be honest, how many of you are using these workflow techniques?

032211: Bridal Veil Fail How to save a badly composed picture. Starter File.
It starts with a crop and ends with a new trick.

032111: Modular Poster Print Gotchas Need to know info for prints. Starter File.
More working smart workflow plus the customary extra tips and tricks

031811: New Illustrator to Photoshop Magic Oh, will some of you love this!
Smart workflow preserving layers, image size, and resolution.

031711: Using Custom Grids to Accurately Layout Your Work A new Ruler Game!
Another step in our continuing Work Smart campaign

031611: The NOT March 17 TOTD Skocko gets confused about the date
True, I may not know what day it is but I do know this is a killer tip!

031511: The Rockin’ Croppin’ Heart=Stoppin’ Jaw-Droppin’ TOTD Do it!
Strategies to get out of your creative rut and a new tool to drool over

031411: Post Review Reminders and Tips Required must-know info.
Three new tips included with the reminders. Watch ’em. Learn ’em. Love ’em!

030911: Progress Report Prep Set up your projects as shown
Don’t forget to show your work in full screen

030811: Experimental Cave Painting Practicing what I preach with Mac Lab Stock
Multiple Layers + Blend Modes + Opacity Changes + Masks = Cave Painting PSD

030711: Breaking Free of Perceptual Boxes Feed your mind!
Journey through the Best of Reel and various Student galleries (see post)

030411: Preparing Images for Print Must-know info! Starter File.
I’m hoping everyone will produce print-worthy artwork. These are the final steps.

030311: Can Camera Raw Really Make a Difference? See for yourself. Starter File.
I only make a few adjustments. Many more are possible. Try this on your files too!

030211: Using the Mini Bridge to Open Illustrator Files As Smart Objects
Work with Smart Objects to preserve the link to the vector information

030111: Enhancing in Camera Raw Reminders of tutorials past
Try this on your favorite images to see how well it may work for you

022811: Breaking the Rules From ordinary to extraordinary in 5:27
After following my steps, experiment on your own and push the creative envelope

022511: Forward Into the Past Praise and kudos to you and a few reminders
Critical information — especially for our new classmates (and forgetful old ones)

022411: Animating an Image Progression Yes or No, here’s what you’ll build today
Before rejecting Flash, you have to give it a try. No exceptions. Starter File.

022311: The Great Flash Question Flash = Yes or Flash = No | Starter File | Animated Example
In your comment, Yes = You want to learn Flash, No = You don’t. Vote now!

022211: Student Stock Surprises Zooming, panning, and cropping: The missing link
A great way to find the picture hidden within the picture

021811: Auto Tone the Image Not to be confused with Auto Tune the News
Combining Photoshop’s auto and manual features to transform a blue, blue image

021711: Playing with Patterns And multiple Artboards and Apply Image and Blend Modes and Masks and Keyboard Shortcuts and the Gradient Tool and…

111611: Battle of the Bands Using a brush to make a selection
Of course, first you have to make the custom brush, but that’s easy!

111511: The Joy of Selections | Joy Part II Patience pays when making good selections
Selection skills separate the contenders from the pretenders in Photoshop

021411: For Love of Simplicity Words of wisdom from one who has made the same mistake
Know when to stop and remember, there’s a difference between simple and ordinary.

021111: 1,000,000 Free Hyper-Detailed One-of-a-Kind Images 90° and 180° aren’t enough
This technique enables you to create virtually endless background image possibilities

021011: 100,000 Free One-of-a-Kind Images And you’re free to use ’em!
There’s more to this tip than meets the eye. Lots more.

020911: Creating Brushes and Saving Symbols Some not-so-top-secret techniques
Sure, you probably knew about these, but have you thought to use any of these strategies? Ai Symbols Brushes in Shared > Photoshop Brushes > Mac Lab 01.abr

020811: Illustrator + Photoshop = Custom Brush Sweetness Make precision custom brushes
Plus you’ll learn a few other techniques that will help you work smarter

020411: Using Text as a Mask And a few of other must-know strategies and techniques
I refer to the link as a lock in the layer but you get the idea, right?

020311: 16.7 Million Colors at Your Fingertips With my thanks to two enterprising students!
Learn to access all the colors of the workspace with the click of a mouse and three keys

020211: The Taming of the Brush Create custom brushes, custom brush sets, and brush previews. Another of those required skills I expect you to learn and love

020111: Brush Panel Party You’re invited back for more experimentation
But today I actually expect you to follow the instructions

013111: The Brush Tool and Brush Panel A rockin’ tip to launch the second semester
Launch Photoshop and work along with the video to make these skills your own

1125+26+2711: Finals Instructions for all classes
Be prepared when called on by following all instructions

112411: Mac Lab Mentors Calling all interested students. Who wants to teach? Sign Up | Brainstorm | Audio Star Search | Video Star Search |

illustrator112111: Listen to Your Heart You never know what ideas are waiting for you
Five little letters tell a story with heart (Hear the Art)

photoshopillustrator112011: Traditional Calendar Layout Trick Use Illustrator to help Photoshop skirt the rivers
Illustrator’s Grid Tool is one key to a clean calendar layout

photoshop011911: Poster Primer A preview of the public service poster project
Yes, you must work at the specified size you’ll find in the video

photoshop111811: Calendar Critique What works and what doesn’t
If you’re going to show what you know, you should show you’ve been paying attention

photoshop111411: Compositing 101 Selecting a circular object and using it in another image (File)
This silly tutorial is the foundation to building complex compositions

photoshop111311: New and Improved Vignettes Thanks to Ryan Hayes for the heads-up on this one
Lots of new tips and tricks in this one that I expect you to know and use

photoshop011211: Vignettes Two ways to focus the viewer’s attention on your subject matter (File)
Many other skills you want and need to know are included in the video

ml_favicon011111: Quick Tips Quips A short video about the nature of the Quick Tip expectations
Need to know info regarding your responsibilities

ml_favicon011011: Quick Tips Your new best friend and your assignment today
By popular demand, a new resource debuts today on the blog

photoshop010711: Workflow, Resolution, and Presets Addressing common problems Correction
Useful strategies everyone can, should, and will use (what a tyrant I’m becoming)

photoshop010611: Stock Strategies Addressing issues many students are encountering Part II
Strategies from everything from photography to Photoshop, including how to approach MLS

bridgeillustratorphotoshop010511: Mac Lab Stock Imagery for your projects Stock Home Page
The Mac Lab moves towards self-sufficiency and artistic independence

bridgephotoshop010411: Reminders, Reflections, and Remonstrations Pay heed or pay the price
Making sure everyone understands what we’re all supposed to be doing

bridge010311: Filters, Stars, and Labels The magic wands of sorting
Amazingly useful ways to push the sorting of files to the next level of efficiency

bridge010211: Sorting, Renaming, Resizing, and Exporting Too useful for words Ratings Oops
More evidence that Bridge is you and your media’s new best friend

bridge010111: Stacks and Keywords Time to get organized
Use Bridge to organize all of your photographs (we’ll get to all the other file types it handles)

bridgephotoshop123110: Desktop Calendar Back from my mini-vacation and ready to tip
Everyone will create a custom desktop wallpaper calendar and display it

flash122610: Rethinking Flash Boldly going where no Mac Labber has gone before
Since I preach trying new things, I’m going to embrace ActionScript 3.0 via Code Snippets

flash122510: Intro to Animation Learn this and you’ve given yourself a present Bonus Video (Files)
The overstate script + nested timelines = the fundamentals of elegant animation

flash 122410: Intro to Interactivity Where it all begins Bonus Video (File)
Master this simple strategy to build interactive Flash projects (even websites)

flash122310: Flash Intro Setting up our workspace
You’ll need to use this workspace to follow along with future tutorials

hungersite122210: Click a Good Deed Done in 30 seconds  (Link) has been donating food and supplies to those in need since 1999

illustrator122010: Make-Over Steps How to make it happen (File)
A behind the scenes look at how and why these two logos were modified

illustrator121810: Logo Make-Over Charity begins at home
Two logos are critiqued in order to determine what works and what doesn’t

flash121710: News Flash! Students have a choice
Using Flash to highlight how students grow (or don’t) in the Mac Lab and in life

illustratorphotoshop121610: The Key to Good Design One example
Critiquing a well-designed logo to highlight what works and what doesn’t

illustrator121510: Logo Notions Play along with these rules of the road
Helping you avoid these common logo design mistakes + workflow strategies

illustratorphotoshop 121410: AI + PS = Working smart with Smart Objects (File)
Using Smart Objects saves time and allows for flexibility in the design process

illustrator121310: Keeping it Simple Need-to-know info for your logos
Pointing students to the LogoMotion page for guidance and inspiration

illustratorphotoshop121110: AI + PS = Steam-Driven Workflow! (File)
Workflow tips in taking Illustrator Files into Photoshop on individual layers

illustratorphotoshop121010: The Zombie Glow Part I | Part II Following through with yesterday’s tip
Working in Photoshop to make your Illustrator artwork come to life

illustratorphotoshop120910: AI + PS + Zombie = A wickedly great tip! (File)
Enhancing an Illustrator background separate from the foreground in Photoshop

illustratorphotoshop120810: The ABCs of Type + Other things I see kids doing (File)
Previewing type in Photoshop, implementing in Illustrator, and avoiding common mistakes

illustrator120710: Appearance Panel Because the first time wasn’t a charm (File)
Answering common questions using Illustrator’s Appearance Panel

flashillustratorphotoshopimovie120610: In a Dream Animating multi-layered artwork in iMovie (preview)
A peek inside an animation process that should excite every digital artist

fail120510: Epic Fail! Oops. Got too busy and completely forgot to record a tip
The 365 dream is gone but the Mac Lab Video Tip of the Day lives on

illustrator120410: Constructing Logos Simplicity is the key Bonus Tip
Using the Align Panel, the Shape Builder, and Symbols to construct and save logos

illustrator120310: Positive and Negative Space + Logo workflow and strategies (File)
Working with type, shapes, and the Shape Builder Tool to create logos

illustratorphotoshop120210: Printing Smart It’s all in the preparation. Watch: Bonus Tip (File)
All students must understand how to prepare artwork for printing

illustratorphotoshop120110: Custom Photoshop Shortcuts + Illustrator tip
Recolor Artwork tip and setting essential custom shortcuts in Photoshop

illustratorphotoshop113010: Illustrator’s Clipping Mask + Photoshop and a whole bunch of tips (File)
Taking Illustrator artwork into Photoshop after applying a Clipping Mask + trim tips

photoshop112910: Blur and Blend Photoshop saves a bad shot (File)
Sharing a few techniques that turned a bad photo into an image that now hangs on a wall

photoshop112810: Upsampling Trick + Poster in this bonus video (File)
Use only when it’s absolutely unavoidable and you must upsample a raster image

photoshop112710: Before You Ask Me to Print Watch this video and learn a few things
Must know info about printing if you want your prints to turn out great

illustratorphotoshop112610: Navigating About a Large PSD Plus a preview of tips to come (Fonts | File)
Using Illustrator templates in Photoshop and navigation about a 20″ x 30″ file at actual size

photoshopprezi112510: Prezi Credits Find the whole process here (File)
Using grids and third-grade math to layout a collection of images

illustratorphotoshop112410: Recolor Artwork Basics +Explanations about yesterday’s tip + Extra (File)
The second video explains mistakes in the first video as we learn a few new tricks

illustrator112310: Bitmap to Vector Tracing the bitmap (the easy way)
Learn to place, resize, and trace images in Illustrator

illustrator112210: Bitmap Symbols Get your head in the game

flash112110: Dynamic Flash Intro to this set of videos (File)
Don’t underestimate how easy and powerful dynamic content is to use

illustrator112010: Custom Symbols Customizing and saving your custom symbols library (File)
Since this is a required project you might as well get a start on your own custom symbol library

illustrator111910: Saved by Symbols Use this powerful and useful archiving feature (File)
Since this is a required project you might as well get a start on your own custom symbol library

illustrator111810: Twist and Shout That’s what I’ll do if you misuse and abuse these tips (File)
A look at the Appearance Panel, Graphic Styles, and Effects

illustrator111710: Stroke a Dope Like Ali’s classic strategy, these tips will help you succeed (File)
Align, Distribute, Stroke, Duplicate, Create Outlines, Shape Builder, and your logo

illustrator111610: Align Panel Basics Some simple strategies to help you work smarter
How the Control Bar and the Align Panel can make your digital life so much better

illustrator111510: Customizing Type and Logo Motions Shapebuilder and rotational fun
Essential workflow and graphic techniques that will help you in designing your logos

illustrator111410: OpenType Options How to find the hidden characters in OpenType typefaces (File)
Ligatures, glyphs, and alternate characters available to you if you know where to look

illustrator111310: Typography Shortcuts Works in virtually all Adobe apps (File)
Learning the difference between a font and a typeface in addition to typographic shortcuts

illustrator111210: Cycling Through Typefaces What Illustrator can’t do, Photoshop can (and vice versa)
For some reason this is only a problem for Mac users that will (hopefully) be rectified soon

illustrator111110: Creating a Logotype Exploring some basic tricks graphic designers use
Why some students choose to ignore this tip is a mystery to me

illustrator111010: The Selection Tool A collection of useful tips for using Illustrator’s Black Arrow
That little black arrow is capable of more tricks than you might imagine

illustratorphotoshop110910: You are a Desktop Picture From Illustrator to Photoshop to your desktop
Some very basic techniques in learning to use these two powerhouse programs in concert

finder110810: Using the Network Connecting to other computers, sharing files, Finder tricks, and…
You are expected to know how to navigate the Finder from any computer in the Mac Lab

Learn it all.