This Blog Is Moving!

Jan 8/14 0
COMMENTS

Lots of changes have happened throughout 2013, including the incorporation of my design business. I no longer operate under my name (I actually changed my last name as well!) I launched two websites at the end of the year: one for my new business and one for personal artwork and tutorials.

PLEASE UPDATE YOUR BOOKMARKS:

To learn more about my new graphic design company, visit rednebulainc.com.

To follow my personal blog, and see artwork and Photoshop tutorials, visit jenngarman.com.

If you have any questions, please contact me via the comments below, or email jenn@jennsteinhauer.com.

Digital Bits Tutorial: How Smart Objects Save Your Sanity

Nov 25/13 0
COMMENTS

How Smart Objects Save Your Sanity

As seen on page 92 of Canadian Scrapbooker magazine’s Winter 2013/14 issue, available December 1st, 2013!

Welcome to digital bits! Here I will outline some simple ways to add digital elements to your projects using Adobe Photoshop. Enjoy!

HOW SMART OBJECTS SAVE YOUR SANITY: Edit Your Images in Photoshop Without Wrecking Them

In the midst of digital layout construction, you may find that an element requires a bit of tweaking to fit the style or colour scheme of your layout. Normally, this could be a tedious process: duplicate the original (if you wish to keep the original state), edit as needed, save the changes, and import into your layout. Then, if you find the edits still aren’t right, you’d need to repeat this process.

Thankfully, Photoshop has a brilliant solution, saving you time, hard drive space, and aggravation. The solution is Smart Objects.

What Is a Smart Object?
A Smart Object is a graphical element that has its important data “saved” within the document, allowing for edits without losing quality, resolution, or other important information. In other words, it allows you to make edits without destroying the integrity of the original image.

There are multiple ways to create Smart Objects. Here are three of those methods:

  • Instead of using Copy > Paste to embed an element into your Photoshop document, use File > Place. This converts your element into a Smart Object, embedding a “copy” of the original directly into your document.
  • If you have a vector* graphic you wish to embed into your Photoshop document, you may simply Copy > Paste the graphic and it will automatically create a new layer and embed your vector as a Smart Object.
  • Right-click on the layer containing the element you wish to convert into a Smart Object. From the drop-down menu, select Convert to Smart Object.

blue_vector

* A vector graphic is a non-raster image (or non-photographic). It is created via mathematical formulas and consists of lines, points, and curves. These graphics are usually created in Adobe Illustrator or other similar vector software. The blue graphics I use on this page are vectors. You can see above how the element has been created from lines, points, and curves.


How Smart Objects Work
There are hundreds of uses for Smart Objects, ranging from simple to complex applications. Here are two of the most common uses.

1. RESIZING
When resizing a Smart Object, the integrity of the image is maintained. This allows you to enlarge any image without losing the resolution, or quality.

Smart Objects: Resize Original

Original Element (dog)

Smart Objects: Resize Smart

Enlarged as a Smart Object

Smart Objects: Resize Non-Smart

Enlarged as a Non-Smart Object (notice the fuzziness)


2. EDITING
There is no need to tediously edit your elements outside of your layout document. Double-click the icon on your Smart Object layer to open up—and edit—your object. A Smart Object is a copy of the original element embedded right into your Photoshop document. Your original file will remain untouched.

Smart Object Editing: Step 1
2a. Double-click the icon of the Smart Object you wish to edit. In this case, it’s the dog.

Smart Object Editing: Step 2
2b. This will bring up an isolated copy of your Smart Object. We will edit this element.

Smart Object Editing: Step 3
2c. For this step, let’s add a black stroke around the outside of the dog graphic.
2d. Select Layer > Layer Style > Stroke, create a 6px black stroke and select OK.
2e. Select File > Save to save your edits. The changes will update automatically within your main document.


How to Undo Edits to your Smart Object

1. If you’ve just recently edited your Smart Object, and you haven’t closed it yet, simply CTRL-Z (Windows) or CMD-Z (Mac) to undo your last action. Save the Smart Object again to apply the changes back to your original document.
2. If you have closed the Smart Object, you will need to double-click the icon on your Smart Object layer to open up your object.
2a. If you have resized the Smart Object, you will need to resize the image back to the size you want it to be. If you applied effects–such as a drop shadow–you can right-click the effects under your Smart Object in the layers panel and select “Clear Layer Style” to remove the effect.
2b. Save your Smart Object to apply the changes to your original document.

If you’d like further help with Smart Objects, please feel free to contact me, or leave a comment below!

Digital Bits Tutorial: Easily Recolor an Image in Photoshop

Oct 24/13 0
COMMENTS

I found this wonderful tutorial video that explains how to quickly and easily recolor part of an image using Photoshop. It’s a bit long, but it gives you great step-by-step instructions.

Enjoy!

Digital Bits Tutorial: Using Puppet Warp in Photoshop

Aug 24/13 0
COMMENTS

Using Puppet Warp in Photoshop

As seen on page 78 of Canadian Scrapbooker magazine’s Fall 2013 issue, available September 1st, 2013!

Welcome to digital bits! Here I will outline some simple ways to add digital elements to your projects using Adobe Photoshop. Enjoy!

USING PUPPET WARP IN PHOTOSHOP:

Have you ever been working on a layout and you run into a component that isn’t quite shaped the way you need it to be? Perhaps you have a banner at the top, but part of it needs to be moved to accommodate a photo. You like where the other part of it lies, though, so what can you do? The answer is Puppet Warp!

What Is Puppet Warp?
Puppet Warp is a feature within Photoshop that allows you to distort certain parts of an image while leaving others intact.

Using Puppet Warp: Step 1

1. Select the layer containing the image you wish to manipulate.


Using Puppet Warp: Step 2

2. Select Edit Puppet Warp.


Using Puppet Warp: Step 3

3. A mesh pattern appears on your image, showing the shape components.


Using Puppet Warp: Step 4

4. Place “pins” on the parts of the image you wish to keep pinned down. I have placed four pins: three on the left to pin down that side, and one on the right to act as my active movement pin.

Using Puppet Warp: Non-active Pin

Non-active pin
(the stay-down pin)

Using Puppet Warp: Active Pin

Active pin
(the movement pin)


Using Puppet Warp: Step 5

5. When you are satisfied with your pin placement, click and drag the active pin in the direction you wish to move it. I chose to move the right side of my banner upward.


BEFORE: Banner is in a relatively straight line.

Using Puppet Warp: Banner (before)

AFTER: Left-hand side position has been maintained, while right-hand side has been moved upward.

Using Puppet Warp: Banner (after)


Logo Design Process

May 31/13 0
COMMENTS

Your logo is the most important part of your marketing structure. It is the face of your business, and most often it is the first impression a potential customer has of your business practices. It needs to tell a story in a very short amount of time, and thus, it should be carefully developed.

My logo design process includes research of your competition, your industry, and the following five development steps.

STEP 1: VISIONING
We sit down and discuss your vision for the company, product, or promotion for which the logo will be created. How do you differ from the competition?

STEP 2: PERSONIFICATION
In this stage we will discuss how to personify your logo. A series of creative questions will be asked to extract the meat of the vision outlined in Step 1.

STEP 3: SKETCH CONCEPTS
We will take away all of the goods we discussed in the first two steps, and come up with a series of sketch concepts. Icons, shapes, and rough lettering will be formed at this stage, and additional questions may be addressed over the phone if needed. Once we have a solid set of 3 – 6 concepts, we will meet with you again to present the ideas. Your logo is always designed from scratch.

STEP 4: BLACK & WHITE PROOFS
Once we have explored the sketch concepts and decided on one with which to move forward, a refined, digital version in black and white will be created. We will present this proof and discuss the finer details of its shape, lettering, and placement of elements. Colours will only be discussed once the black version has been finalized.

STEP 5: FINAL DESIGN
Colour options will be presented as discussed at the end of Step 4. Once colours have been finalized, you will be presented with a complete package containing your new logo in various formats for all media types, as well as a usage guideline booklet.

CONTACT ME TODAY FOR A FREE QUOTE!

VIEW SOME OF THE LOGOS I HAVE COMPLETED.

Digital Bits Tutorial: Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop

May 26/13 3
COMMENTS

Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop

As seen on page 110 of Canadian Scrapbooker magazine’s Summer 2013 issue, available June 1st, 2013!

Welcome to digital bits! Here I will outline some simple ways to add digital elements to your projects using Adobe Photoshop. Enjoy!

CREATING A CHEVRON PATTERN WITH PHOTOSHOP:

Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 1

1. Create a new document: 12″ square in size, 300dpi, RGB colour format.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 2

2. Set your foreground and background colours as you like.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 3a

3a. Show your grid by selecting View › Show › Grid.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 3b

3b. What your document looks like with the grid activated.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 4

4. Fill your document with your background colour.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 5a

5a. Select your Rectangle tool and your foreground colour. Create a rectangle in the width you prefer using the grid. With the Move Tool selected, press Alt and drag the first stripe to the right to duplicate. Repeat across, using the grid to equally space the stripes.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 5b

5b. Your stripe pattern completed.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 6a

6a. Select all layers (as seen on left.) Select Layers › Merge Down to combine all layers into one. Rename the layer if desired.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 6b

6b. Your layers merged.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 7

7. Select your entire document (Control-A, or Command-A on a Mac). Select Edit › Transform › Rotate, and once your stripes are selected, drag and turn with your mouse until you achieve the angle you wish to use for your stripes. Select any other tool to confirm your rotation, and select the Apply button when the dialog box appears. Using your rectangular marquee tool, select a vertical strip from the centre of your rotated stripes, copy to your clipboard, and open a new document as you had in Step 1. Paste the new strip into the document.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 8a

8a. With the Move Tool selected, press Alt and drag the stripe to the right to duplicate. Using your marquee tool, right-click the new stripe, select Free Transform › Flip Horizontal to reverse. Nudge the second stripe up against the first one to create your chevron pattern.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 8b

8b. Select your layers. Select Layers › Merge Down to combine layers. With the Move Tool selected, press Alt and drag the first chevron stripe to the right to duplicate. Repeat across. Nudge stripe sections together to ensure there is no space between.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Completed Pattern

9. Your completed chevron pattern.


Creating a Chevron Pattern with Photoshop: Step 10

10. Convert your image into a pattern for future use by selecting Edit > Define Pattern. Name your pattern ‘chevron’ and select OK. Close the document.

HOW TO APPLY YOUR PATTERN TO A SHAPE.

Applying a Pattern to a Shape in Photoshop

May 25/13 0
COMMENTS

HOW TO APPLY A PATTERN TO YOUR PROJECT USING PHOTOSHOP:

You’ve created a pattern using one of the tutorials found in this category. Now, let’s apply it to a shape.

digital bits - creating glitter application step 1

digital bits - creating glitter application step 1a

1. In a new or existing Photoshop document, double-click the layer containing the shape to which you wish to apply your pattern. (Be aware of where you’re clicking – make sure you’re clicking on the empty space on the layer, just to the right of the name “Shape 1″.)


digital bits - creating glitter application step 2

2. In the Layer Style dialog box, click on Pattern Overlay, and select your pattern from the drop-down menu. You may alter the colour of your pattern in the next step, or select OK to complete the application as is.


digital bits - creating glitter application step 3

3. To alter the colour of your pattern, select Colour Overlay in the same Layer Style dialog box as in Step 2, and click the colour box to select your colour. Hit OK once you have selected the colour you wish to use. Change Blend Mode to Multiply, and hit OK to apply these new changes.


digital bits - creating glitter application step 4

4. Your pattern has now been applied!

Logo Design: Why Clarity Is Important

May 10/13 1
COMMENTS

Grab one of your business cards, and have a good look at your logo. Is it easy to read? Chances are it is, but every once in a while I come across a business card that I have to really look at to see who the company is. Some of them blow my mind, such as the one below. Read more…

The Great Logo Hunt Contest

May 9/13 0
COMMENTS

I am pleased to announce the first ever Great Logo Hunt Contest, running May 23-26, 2013! This contest is an interactive scavenger hunt that you can easily complete in the course of your day-to-day activities! There are some unbelievable prizes to be won! Click the link in the navigation above for the details.