The Adobe Photoshop suite still reigns as pretty much the number 1 image editing software to use for both professionals and amateurs alike. Of course, being number 1 and being as good as it is, well, acquiring Photoshop tends to be a pretty pricey affair.
So, if you are in a pinch and need to edit an image but need to do more than just the photo app on your phone norm, then it might be well your worth to check out the free online image editor called Pixlr.
Started in 2008 by Ola Sevandersson in Sweden, Pixlr (from a period when dropping letters from words when naming your product was still hip) quickly gained traction as a fantastic, albeit online, alternative to Photoshop, so much so that the giant Autodesk eventually acquired it in 2011.
These days, Autodesk Pixlr offers their extensive range of editing tools on a wide variety of platforms, including web, desktop and mobile app.
It works well, gives you a lot of fantastic image manipulation tools for free, makes good use of your cloud storage if you have any, and even throws in some training videos to get you started.
It’s certainly helped me out of a pinch once or twice over the years!
Related Link: https://pixlr.com
Chantelle’s client needed some pink and black Playgirl / Playboy themed cupcakes for an upcoming birthday party, meaning of course that I was asked to fire up Photoshop in order to oblige.
Included in the downloadable zip file is a 300 dpi print quality PNG file plus the .PSD for further alterations. The print sheet contains 30 disc toppers, half pink, half black.
Although you could print these out on a edible icing sheet, Chantelle instead chose to print them out on cardboard, stick them to a fondant disc, which then topped the cupcakes in question. Quite funky actually…
Anyway, you can grab the zip file here: Download Cupcake Topper Print File
Friday night saw me very restless, unwilling to do much other than just lie around. Jessica was fast asleep in bed and Chantelle was hard at work (as per usual) in the kitchen. Seeing as I wasn’t in the mood to game, work on the computer or watch television, I finally gave in and grabbed a pencil and eraser.
I was trying for a cartoony style character, which unfortunately as you can see for yourself, didn’t quite pan out.
Oh well, this is the result of only messing with a pencil and eraser pretty much once a year! :)
And a couple of in progress shots just because technology makes this so easy to do these days (i.e. hide layers):
Back in January 2011 (well actually it was more like the evening of the 31st December, 2010) I whipped up a quick ballpoint sketch based on one of the McFarlane figurines that I own.
Well over a year and a half later, and finally making the time to install and test drive Adobe Photoshop CS6 this evening, I now present the fully coloured version of “Royal Black Guard”.
(And yes, it did feel good to take a break from the usual evening activities for a change…)
Seeing as Chantelle got me roped into her little side-project idea of baking the best tasting treats you’ll ever receive as a gift, the website I whipped up for her needed an appropriate logo.
Despite the fact that I am of course rusty as hell, I managed to churn this out over the course of an hour, the end result of which isn’t all that bad if I say so myself. (In any event, it was a great excuse to pick up the old pencil and eraser once again!)
Related Link: https://www.facebook.com/TheHelderbergCakeCompany/
One of the many things that make Photoshop such a powerhouse when it comes to image manipulation is its ability to be extended through things like custom brushes and shapes, generated by users themselves.
Photoshop CS3 custom brushes are packaged as .abr files and to install them is actually pretty simple.
First, download the custom brush .abr file you wish to install (it may be zipped, in which case extract it first). Next, browse to the install path of your CS3 installation. Locate the Presets folder, and in that, the Brushes folder. The most common path under Windows is usually:
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CS3\Presets\Brushes
Move your downloaded .abr file into that folder. Note that the file name determines the label under Photoshop, so it is a good idea to give the file a nice descriptive name, like “Polka Dot Brushes.abr” for example.
Now simply restart Photoshop, and you’ll find your new brushes available for use in the system.
For Jessica’s 1st birthday party Chantelle came up with the idea of incorporating Jessica’s little footprints the hospital did for us at a month old as part of the thank you card. And seeing as she is now a year old, it made perfect sense to take a new set of footprints and then contrast the two next to one another!
After the first failed attempt at using a commercial baby footprint kit from Mr Price Home, Chantelle did what any other conscientious mommy would do, grabbing Jessica and dumping her feet straight into some (baby-safe) yellow paint.
The new, yellow prints where then handed over to me on my arrival home from work one evening, where I was tasked in digitizing and converting them such as to get the appearance similar to our original black ink on white paper prints.
A couple of minutes with my trusty scanner and some old fashioned Photoshop manipulation, I produced the goods, and then it was back to the cutting board as Chantelle fashioned the front of the oversized thank you card.
Back to me came the cut and paste job, where again I got to sit down with the scanner and Photoshop, ending up with this (which Chantelle then went and pasted on colorful cardboard backing, to be handed out at the big birthday bash):
And that my friends, is just how much our little Jessica grew in one year.
Impressive, no? :)
I needed to come up with a small 16×16 web icon to denote adding or taking an action to/against an audit and so came up with the idea that a hand being stuck up in the air might just work pretty well in this particular instance.
So out came the Genius tablet and before you knew it, there was a nice 48×48 waving hand in a simplified (but rough) black outline with a minor flesh tone shading on a transparent background.
Resized down to its intended 16×16 dimensions and voila – the perfect little take action hand icon, which I’ve slipped up here as a .png image file together with its Photoshop .psd source in case it is of any use to you.
So another quick black pen on normal printer paper, hastily scribbled down in front of my work keyboard while my mind happily drifted into problem solving mode to deal with some issues raised on one of our important projects.
As you can see from the subject matter, no doubt my brain was craving some good wholesome coffee, but considering that one now has to walk all the way downstairs just to make a cup, it might not exactly be getting all that much in the near future.
Certainly nowhere near the levels it has grown used to! :P
The small black and white drawing has been scanned in and blown up using my nifty little Canon LiDE 100 Scanner and then moved over into Photoshop where my Genius tablet and I happily coloured it in, before uploading it here.