Category Archives: Productivity

Scanned Sketch Prep — Free Photoshop Action

Here’s a freebie for all my loyal readers: a free Photoshop action I created myself to eliminate repetitive tasks I (used to) go through each time I scanned in a new sketch for further work in Photoshop. Boost your productivity … Continue reading

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6 Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts For Illustrator Users

Here are a few handy keyboard shortcuts in Photoshop for those of you out there like me who spend an inordinate amount of time in the Creative Suite primarily using Illustrator. These are not keyboard shortcuts that you can use … Continue reading

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Zen Of The Pen

Sharon Steuer’s free “Zen Of The Pen” PDF is an excellent introduction to the inner mysteries of the vector pen tool in Adobe Illustrator. Update: Sharon has kindly asked me to remove the link to that PDF, she’s working on an updated version. … Continue reading

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Symmetries – Vector Path Software Tool

Symmetries from Earthlinksoft Software is an interesting symmetrical vector object generator tool. The control system is very intuitive, requring no knowledge of how to manipulate vector paths. While simplistic, it gives one a high level of control over exploring interesting … Continue reading

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Free ‘Flatting’ Photoshop Plugin For Comic Artists

Just stumbled across these handy – and free – Photoshop plugins which should be a huge time-saver for comic artists who ink & color their pages in Photoshop. A process also known as ‘flatting’. These have to be a huge … Continue reading

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Automated Online Estimated Tax Payments For Freelancers & Self-Employed

Just a quick tip for the freelancing and self-employed — that pain you feel paying all your taxes at once because you’re too lazy or forgetful to dole out your quarterly tax payments to Uncle Sam? It’s over. If you’re … Continue reading

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Fill Vector Paths Old-School Paint Bucket Style in Illustrator CS3

If you are like me and you are wondering why in the world Adobe decided to eliminate the previous functionality of the Paint Bucket tool in Illustrator CS3 with the introduction of the new ‘Live Paint Bucket’ tool, fear not … Continue reading

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Essential Adobe Illustrator Plug-in: Select Menu

A plugin that I always forget to tout, since the functionality it provides seems so intrinsic to Illustrator once it’s installed, I forget it’s a third-party enhancement. Select Menu for Adobe Illustrator (Mac and Windows, free) from Graffix Software is available … Continue reading

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Illustrator CS3 Tip: Create A Color Group From Selected Artwork

A great quick tip, from the excellent design blog BittBox, to create a color group of all the colors in an Illustrator document: Select all the art in your document, go to the Swatches fly-out menu and choose “New color … Continue reading

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Cartoon Art & Halftones Tutorial: From Inkjet Printer to Photocopier

A cartoon illustration & design project for a friend’s party required the resulting art to be suitable for reproduction on a photocopy machine. After some trial, error, Google search, trial, error, Google search, trial, error I discovered the magic combo … Continue reading

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Default Folder X – Essential Mac Productivity Utility Software

Default Folder X is one of those shareware utility applications that seem pretty handy while you are demoing, but until you use another Mac without Default Folder installed (or the demo runs out), you don’t realize exactly how perfect the … Continue reading

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Digital Coloring Tutorials by MAD Magazine cartoonist Tom Richmond

If you aren’t familiar with cartoonist Tom Richmond, make yourself familiar. This guy’s work is absolutely amazing. Very much in the style of Mort Drucker from MAD Magazine — only taken to the extreme. Not only is his cartooning & … Continue reading

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Productivity Tip: Floating, Transparent Reference Images Using Screenshots & Free Software Afloat

Ever need to temporarily reference another document while working on something – this may be an image, or instructions, or a PDF file. Many times you want it floating right on top of your current document so you can refer … Continue reading

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OS X Tip: Move Windows In The Background Without Activating Them

Here’s a quick tip for you Mac OS X users out there: you can move any window behind the currently active window (also known as the window that has “focus”) without activating it/bringing it to the front. This one’s real … Continue reading

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Tip: Increase Productivity Using Adobe Illustrator’s Layer Masks

The excellent Illustrator blog BittBox has a nice Adobe Illustrator Layer Mask tip/walkthough on how to use this highly useful, productivity-enhancing (and fairly obscure) feature of Illustrator CS and higher. Layer Masks are basically clipping masks that apply to the … Continue reading

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