Category Archives: Tools

SmudgeGuard – Handy Accessory For Wacom Users & Graphic Artists

Yeah, I know – it looks kinda weird. And what is the SmudgeGuard exactly? As you can see from the product shot, it’s kind of a glove – one that only covers the pinky finger and the meaty area of … 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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Adobe Illustrator plugin Phantasm CS Studio Offers Duotones,Vector Halftones, Filters, Live Effects Color Adjustment & More

Adobe Illustrator plugin Phantasm CS offers in-line embedded image editing, color checking and separations, duotones and vector halftones, filters and live effects color adjustment. Looks like a pretty great plugin for Illustrator users who do a lot of bitmap image placing. Personally … 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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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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Wacom Bamboo Graphics Tablet: Nice Entry-Level Tool, But Limited

I recently had the opportunity to try out a Wacom Bamboo graphics tablet, having purchased one for my Dad this holiday season. Dad is not a graphics guy by any means, but I use my Wacom tablets for so much … Continue reading

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Color Blindness Software Tools for Artists

Just stumbled across these handy Mac OS X software applications to help designers and artists simulate the effects of color blindness on-screen: Sim Daltonism and Color Oracle. Sim Daltonism works as a floating palette which converts an area under your … 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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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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Color Theory Resources

Primary, secondary, tertiary, complimentary, analagous, brightness, hue, value, saturation, tints, shades… do these words mean anything to you? They should. A post by cartoonist Matt Glover points out ColorFAQ – very basic web guide to color theory. It got me … Continue reading

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Pencil Grades: An Overview

I touched on the awesomeness of using multiple pencil grades in a previous post on essential cartoonist tools before, but there’s a great overview specifically on pencil grades by cartoonist Matt Glover. There’s some decent additional pencil grade classification information … Continue reading

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Ten Essential Low-Tech (and Cheap!) Tools for Cartoonists & Illustrators

Still using that pencil you found in the couch and an old dictionary as a drawing board? Don’t feel like the biggest computer wiz when it comes to graphics software? There are plenty of inexpensive tools out there that will … Continue reading

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Archive That Artwork! Backup Tips & Software Advice for Mac OS X

Backup. It’s something most computer users – let alone artistic types – never think about, at least not until after it’s too late. Trust me, once it happens to you, it will never be forgotten. Perhaps I can convince you … Continue reading

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Wacom Intuos3 Graphics Tablet Review for Cartoonists & Illustrators

***Update: See my review of the Wacom Intuos4 graphics tablet *** I have been holding off on writing up a review of the Wacom Intuos3 graphics tablet until I had a chance to work with them for some time and … Continue reading

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Pantone Huey Monitor Calibration Tool

I recently purchased one of these Pantone Huey monitor calibration gizmos to enhance my on-screen ability to proof colors for accuracy when printing. In short, it’s awesome and worth every penny. Read on for more… Continue reading

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