Friday, April 30, 2010

MagicPicker Color Wheel Panel Now Photoshop CS5 Compatible

Click to view larger

Anastasiy's intuitive color picker panel for Photoshop is now compatible with Photoshop CS5. If you're coming to Photoshop from Painter, this hue wheel-based color selection panel will make you feel right at home. And if you are a long time Photoshop user, you'll welcome this intuitive panel to your interface.

MagicPicker can be set up to operate in either a purely visual mode or with numeric input and control. MagicPicker supports Photoshop CS5, CS4, and CS3 on Mac and PC (all Windows). MagicPicker can be purchased for $14.

Highly recommended.

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Now Shipping

Long anticipated Adobe Creative Suite 5 is now shipping, including a 30-day trial is available for download.

Check it out!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Photoshop CS5 Color Selection Options

Adobe Photoshop CS5 offers several methods for sampling color, an especially important activity for digital artists. Following is an overview of the available color selection tools.

The Eyedropper Tool now features a color sampling ring (CSR). This visual aid provides a direct comparison between the current and sampled colors. A 50% neutral gray outer ring visually isolates the colors for accurate comparison. Use the ALT/OPT key to invoke the CSR.

The heads up display (HUD) color picker (requires OpenGL) lets you quickly choose colors while painting in the document window, where image colors provide helpful context. Users have the choice of either a hue ring or vertical picker, combined with a shade/value square (Preferences > General).

The HUD display is accessed via the keyboard shortcut Shift + Alt + right-click (Windows) or Control + Option + Command (Mac OS). After clicking in the document window, you can release the pressed keys and temporarily press the spacebar to maintain the selected shade while you select another hue, or vice versa.

Photoshop CS5 now includes an optional keyboard shortcut to invoke either the standard Adobe or system Foreground/Background color picker. Use the Keyboard Shortcuts menu to add your preferred mapping.

With these color selection options, the digital artist will no doubt find a picker that suits his workflow!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

William Low: Traditional Illustrator Goes Digital

William Low is an award winning painter & illustrator with a reputation for exploiting light, color, visual perspective and emotion to create images that viewers find an immediate emotional connection with. Even with decades of painting under his belt, William Low continues to grow artistically.

His latest computer paintings reveal a seamless transition from traditional to digital media. He was not surprised that his digital work met with resistance at first, given the computer's reputation for producing cold, sterile images. Utilizing his skills as a painter, William has helped to change this perception. His digital images are remarkable for their emotional depth, color, texture and even their painterly brush strokes. In fact, many people are surprised to learn, when they see his work on the printed page, that the images were not the product of traditional media.

William has created a trio of highly informational and inspiring videos in which he details his digital illustration process:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Google Earth: 3D Manahattan on the Desktop

Click to view larger

Google Earth recently added full texture mapped imagery to the 3D view of Manhattan. The result is a jaw-dropping simulated three-dimentional representation of NYC. By orienting my view in Google Earth, I captured the above shot of the southeast corner of Central Park highlighting the Plaza Hotel and the Apple Cube. Below is a video that demonstrates the amount of detail in the Google Earth representation of Manhattan.

Don't expect to fly around quite so nimbly as the video—it takes a lot of processor to render this amount of detail. The fact that it is possible at all is what amazes me.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

John's Watercolor User: Kevin Parnell

Click to view larger

Artist Kevin Parnell says of Painter, "This program gives me the ability to use so many different media, and to experiment with many different styles. I’ve done a lot of “impressionistic” style images, and now am exploring more “artsy” photo styles."

"Your watercolor brushes that I used were the Gel Wash, Gel Splatter, and Gel Mixer. I also used a little Real Soft Pastel for some of the edge detail, and a Diffuse Camel watercolor brush for some texture. I used French Watercolor paper as the canvas surface."

You can see more of Kevin's work at his website.

If you have an example of art created with John's Watercolors, send me a JPEG—your work may get featured here!

John's Watercolors are $35. You can purchase these brushes by clicking the PayPal "Buy Now" button below. If you don't have a PayPal account, an option to pay via credit card is offered as well.

If you've been frustrated trying to master digital watercolors, John's Watercolors for Painter are the answer!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Russell Brown's Top 5 Photoshop CS5 Features

Julianne Kost: Painting in PS CS5 - Part 1

Adobe Evangelist Julianne Kost has a nice explanatory video of Photoshop CS5's new natural-media Bristle Tips feature:

Photoshop CS5 Advanced Painting Mixer Brush Up Close

Click to view larger

Today is the Day! Adobe has officially announced Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended software (as part of Creative Suite 5). Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS5 Extended will be available as stand-alone applications or key components of the Adobe Creative Suite® 5 family.

Of principal interest to digital painters are the new Mixer Brush, which offers on-canvas color blending, and Bristle Tips, which let you create lifelike, textured brush strokes. The Mixer Brush lets you define multiple colors on a single tip, and then mix and blend them with the underlying hues on your canvas. When starting with a photo original, you can use a dry, empty brush to blend the existing colors while at the same time adding a painterly effect to the image.

Mixer Brush settings provide extensive control over the wetness of the brush, the load rate to add paint to the brush, the mixing rate between brush and canvas colors, and whether the brush is refilled, cleaned, or both after each painting stroke. The 3D Bristle Brush Preview provides a realtime visualization of the current Bristle Brush's Tilt, Bearing, and Rotation. This visualization aids the artist's control of the brush.

In conjunction with these new mixing features, Photoshop CS5 incorporates precise control over stroke characteristics of its painting tools with Bristle Tips. Bristle Tip shapes include Point, Blunt, Curve, Angle, and Fan in both Round and Flat varieties. Bristle Qualities define key bristle properties such as shape, length, stiffness, thickness, angle, and spacing, which affect how the color is laid on the image as you paint.

Another highly useful feature is the new HUD (Heads-Up Display) Color Picker, which provides instant access to in-image color selection via keyboard shortcut. This color picker can be configured to different sizes, as well as either a Color Wheel (shown) or Color Strip.

In upcoming posts, I'll be detailing additional features of Photoshop's new superior painting features. Check in often!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Photoshop CS5 Sneak Peek: Painted Poster Art

Click to view larger

Today's Photoshop CS5 sneak peek image serves two purposes. It highlights Photoshop CS5's painting capabilities, and it additionally advertises Russell Brown's 2-day Virtual Photoshop Worlds workshop at the HOW Design Conference this June 6th & 7th in Denver, Colorado. This workshop will concentrate on CS5's painting capabilities using avatar masks as the theme. I will be joining Russell for this inspiring and educational event. Perhaps we'll see some of you there!

Be sure to click on the image to check out the high resolution version.

Stay tuned for more Photoshop CS5 sneak peeks!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Photoshop CS5 Sneak Peek: Dueling Paint

I've put together a quick video that simultaneously demonstrates Photoshop CS5's painting capabilities as both a "from scratch" tool and photo interpretation tool. Which one is faster? Watch to find out!

Adobe Creative Suite 5 will be previewed on April 12th.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nature by the Numbers

A beautiful short film by Cristóbal Vila that visualizes the re-occuring Fibonacci number sequence in nature. A visual feast!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Paint Sneak Peek: Layered Painting

Click to view larger

Today's Photoshop CS5 sneak peek image focuses on painting in a layered environment. This was done a few weeks ago during Photoshop's 20th anniversary.

In timely news, Adobe has released Ideas 1.0 for the iPad. Adobe Ideas is your digital sketchbook, letting you capture and explore ideas anywhere you go. Adobe Ideas is an ideal companion for the professional design applications from Adobe, including Adobe Illustrator® and Adobe Photoshop® software.

Stay tuned for more Photoshop CS5 sneak peeks!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Paint Sneak Peek: Interpreted Portrait

Click to view larger

Today's Photoshop CS5 sneak peek image focuses on portraiture. The source photograph has been graciously supplied by my friend Mercer Harris of Mercer Harris Photography in Washington, Georgia. Adobe Creative Suite 5 will be previewed on April 12th.

I am happy to report that I've been given the green light from to author a Photoshop CS5 that will specifically cover painting. The title is tentatively slated for a Q3 release.

Stay tuned for more Photoshop CS5 sneak peeks!