The Mac Lab

Tag: photoshop

Coming Into Alignment (Week 14)

by on Dec.12, 2011, under Blog

Never underestimate the vital importance of finding early in life the work that for you is play. This turns possible underachievers into happy warriors.
Sir Ken Robinson / The Element

Forget what life used to be
You are what you choose to be
It’s whatever it is you see
That life will become
Jackson Browne / The Fuse

Sometimes turning work into play is simply a matter of choice. To help with that choice I’d like to offer a crash course in Photoshop so that those of you who choose, may transform ordinary photographs into something far more beautiful.

As with most everything in life, how far you go will likely depend on how hard you’re willing to try.

We have five days. Let’s get right to it, young Jedi.

Photoshop Resources: Everyone: Watch this video. Yes, MLCS students will play along too because Photoshop will be a necessary tool for all of us to use effectively as the year unfolds and the Tips of the Day are filled with must know info.

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Go Pro (Week 29)

by on Apr.11, 2011, under Blog

Your blog looks very clean, and has great content. Your tutorials have always gone above and beyond. In fact, the format of how you taught is vastly superior to any class I have taken at the university. The systems you embedded in us not only taught us how to use the applications, but also how to use our creative process to generate new ideas. In turn this has given us the ability to apply our creative processes to our fundamental methods of learning. I don’t just know how to use Photoshop, Photoshop has become a well tuned mechanism of my conscious and subconscious mind.

You should be proud; the fundamental skills I acquired in your classroom have put me leaps and bounds ahead of my peers. Whenever anyone asks how I got started with my profession, I tell them I came out of one of the best multimedia high schools programs anywhere.
— Brian Sweat / CSU Chico Senior

As self-serving as it is for me to use Brian’s kind words to open this week’s post, he does illustrate a point I’ve been trying to drive in all year:

The systems you embedded in us not only taught us how to use the applications, but also how to use our creative process to generate new ideas. In turn this has given us the ability to apply our creative processes to our fundamental methods of learning.

(continue reading…)

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Gallery 036 — 1011 Illustration

by on Jan.01, 2011, under Galleries

kiera_h_01_smSo many of you have begun to explore your illustrative skills that it’s time to open this gallery. Don’t submit until after you’ve enhanced your illustration in Photoshop.

Kudos: Freshman Kiera H has fallen in love with the Pen Tool and is being compensated by clients. Details in Week 15 blog post (coming soon).

1011 Illustration Gallery


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Forward Looking (Week 14)

by on Dec.13, 2010, under Blog

mark_l_sp_02_smThat men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.
Aldous Huxley

We spoke last week about the relationship between time invested and skills acquired. We spoke about how that formula not only applies to the Mac Lab but how it spills over into each of our lives. A highly competitive world awaits you. Be a hero in your own life and invest your time wisely.

Required Reading: Please read this post (to the dots •••••) before moving on to the required viewing.

Required Viewing: Please watch this video and this video before moving on so you’ll know what I’m expecting this week.

Required Warning: Tomorrow will be Groundhog Day if you or your peers skip the required reading and/or viewing. You might want to encourage one another to follow instructions today. WordPress delivers accurate counts and I’d rather not run everyone through the same assignment tomorrow. But the choice is yours.

Kudos: Freshman Mark L threatens to become an illustrator extraordinaire and a Mac Lab legend in his first year. The sky’s the limit if he keeps acquiring skills like these. Wow! I wonder where he learned to enhance his Illustrator file like that?

Guilty Pleasure: Yes, the impending release of Tron Legacy (blocked at school) influenced the choice of Mark’s brilliant illustration.

Gallery Slots: Is your work in the Galleries yet? These images have made the cut so far: FLOAT | Self Portraits | Logos | Posters (coming soon)

Final Words: Your past is not your potential. (Marilyn Ferguson) So get cracking on your future!

1214: The stats show that virtually everyone hit the post and videos one and two yesterday but my observations after the fact leave me wondering if some of you paid attention to what you were reading and watching. There are a few more logos in the gallery to help you understand what I’m looking for. Keep it simple and elegant and check the Logo Motion page for additional guidance. I will continually refer you to these pages for ideas: Inspiration Logos: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | By looking once again you’re immersing yourself in Stage Two: Saturation.

The unconscious, though one cannot force it, will not produce new ideas unless it has been painstakingly stuffed full of facts, impressions, concepts, and an endless series of conscious ruminations and attempted solutions. On this we have the testimony of many creative people.
— Morton Hunt / The Universe Within

Repetition is part of the process. Rock and roll with it!

TOTD: Today’s Tip of the Day is a continuation of Saturday’s Tip in which we explore the power of Smart Objects when working on Illustrator files in Photoshop. Starter File.

1215: Please watch this video and follow the instructions. Examples from video: I’m NOT lovin’ it and make up your mind. NEVER use two design tricks in one logo. The galleries I was speaking of in the video are these: Inspiration Logos: 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 |

1216: Please watch this video and try to use the advice in your own logo design. I’ll be in early but will be leaving before 2nd period. Follow the advice and guidance I’ve given you when designing your own logo. Can’t wait to add more to the gallery!

1217: Please watch today’s Tip of the Day because it’s about you. If you want to play with the SWF, it’s right here.

One Word: TRON! (Can’t wait to see it Monday. I have homework all weekend.)

Wanted: Fifty-eight images in the Self Portrait Gallery. Ten images in the Logo Gallery. Where’s yours? And what about FLOAT? Pretty sad how few entries we have.

Coming Up Next: Posters! 0910 Gallery | 0910 Jobs Page | 0809: 01 | 02 and some of these. See Inspiration for additional ideas.

Parting Words: Have a safe and happy holiday. For those of you who want to continue to play (it’s not work if you enjoy it), Adobe offers free 30-day trials. I’ll continue to tweet and publish and maybe—Maybe!—even post during the break.

As always, remember to do something to make the world a little better place.

1218: Extreme Make Over for today’s Tip of the Day.


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Treasures and Maps (Week 32)

by on May.10, 2010, under Blog

paul_b_greeble_smWe’re making treasures
They’re making maps
Skocko / Dream

The story behind that quote is NOT required reading but it is proof that dreams can be a creative conduit, so long as one pays attention to the details and captures the essence before the inspiration fades in memory.

Treasures and Maps. Think about the variety of interpretations one might arrive at while pondering those metaphors. When applied to the Mac Lab, the treasures might easily be the wonderfully creative artwork (Paul B) many of you are producing. As for the maps, the they in they’re might refer to search engines and random links others have generated that drive traffic to our little site. From the email I get, it’s certain that many people consider your work something to be treasured. The following is from a Senior Adobe Education rep:

Wow! Wow! And WOW!!! These are stunning!

I’m sooooooooo impressed with the quality of this work I’m going to share them with members of the Adobe Education team. Now I FOR SURE want to do an Adobe Showcase on your students.

I pointed him at these posters, btw. Just in case you weren’t aware, kids in the Mac Lab produce work that just doesn’t happen in most high schools. We’re making treasures in here. And it looks like Adobe is going to add a new map sometime next year when they roll in with their camera crew to record a your story.

Time is short. Make the most of what’s left in this school year to create a few more treasures of your own.

Tutorial Update: Four new Photoshop videos in CS5 Central. (Trust me, you’ll want to see these.)

0511: Last week I noticed that Google Analytics wasn’t counting any full-width pages. Not one. Turns out I’d put Google’s script in the wrong place on the template. I experimented over the weekend and discovered a few other D’oh! problems and I think I’ve finally got it dialed in because for the first time the Google stats match the WordPress stats (which had never happened before).

So what? you might say. Well, now I have two independent sources informing me of how many (or how few) of you are navigating to specific pages. And the two sources agree: Many of you are skipping the tutorials.

Hey, I want you to have time to work but you’ve still got things to learn along the way. Head over to CS5 Central and learn a few new techniques today.

0512: Three new Photoshop videos (PS 101) via CS5 Central.  Basic, but I bet most of you don’t know everything that’s in ’em. 😉

Congrats! Corey S won GUSHD’s Got Plans? poster design competition. A slightly modified version of this poster will be distributed to every classroom in every school in the district. Smaller versions will be sent to every family too. Thanks to Venetia, Philip, and James for their entries as well.

District 840: A mammoth last minute push saved the day. This poster will be plastered all over the school for STAR testing. The (nearly) 6′ tall version currently on display upstairs will be revised as there is room for improvement. (Hey, it’s going to remain on display for the next year. Don’t you want to make the tweaks we all agree will improve the final result?)

Thanks to Christopher Canel, Kyle Wheaton, Philip Behnam, Zack Tatar, and Fadi George (on Pen Tool) for their terrific work on District 840!

Palm Café: The big cheese from Food Services will be coming out to review redesigns for the District’s menu very soon. Details on Jobs Page.

0513: Read this post. I’m serious, read it.

Good News: We get to enter 12 items in the District Art Show this year!

Bad News: Submissions are due Monday.

I was told the good and bad news yesterday after school. Lucky you read this post so you’ll understand that I’ll expect you to polish your best work for submission. I’ll be printing and mounting all day Monday so work like the dickens today, tomorrow and over the weekend if you want to be chosen. (You can download trial versions of the software.)

Disclaimer: I don’t like being judge and jury but there’s really no other way to do it. I’m going to pick the 12 best pieces, period. If you think you have something wonderful, show me… after you’ve asked three others.

In Other News: Adobe just launched a new ad campaign:


You guys know how excited I am about CS5 and how much I love using Adobe’s products, but dang, if any of you drew such a pitiful heart, I’d send you straight back to the computer to fix it. (Just in case Adobe does fix this — and I sincerely hope they do because this is embarrassingly bad — here’s a screenshot of the page they just uploaded.)

0514: Since we’re in STAR testing mode and none of you were here yesterday, please read the 0513 update (and do what it says).

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