Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tuesday Photoshop Tip - Fading a Poster

I'm going to be posting Photoshop video tutorials on YouTube every Tuesday.

This week, we fade a poster by showing you how to embed a CMYK image inside an RGB image, using Smart Objects.

Smart Objects are so incredibly handy, and allow you to do all kinds of things that you can't do (or can't do as easily) any other way.

Next week, we scarf the poster up, with holes, dirt, and tatters.

If there's anything you want to know how to do in Photoshop, please let me know!

Enjoy the video!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! Joyous Solstice! Happy Chanukah! Miraculous Festivus! Happy Kwanzaa! Happy New Year! Wonderful Whatever I Missed!

It's that time of year, so all of us at Livingtree, in Second Life® have gotten together and put out a box of presents for you! I'm not going to tell you what's in it, because that would spoil the surprise! But you can come and collect yours in the middle of Livingtree Island, next to the Information sign.

Just touch the box to get a folder with all the contents.

Enjoy your Holiday! And be safe and happy in RL and SL. May you have all you need, and more than a little of what you'd like, in the coming year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Mousies!

Happy Solstice!

With the Christmas orders all sent, and everything that I can possibly get done in Second Life before Christmas done, I decided to take a short break, and get some things done for the Holidays!

So, with the tree set up, the presents wrapped and under it, and all those things done, I spent Saturday evening knitting some Christmas Mousie Stocking Stuffers.

They're based on a pattern from a book, but I modified them quite a bit to make them look more like meeses should look. (Added whiskers, and gave them bead-y little eyes, front paws, and a bit more shaping.) I think they turned out beautifully, and are adorable. What do you guys think?

But it's okay, I'm going back to work tomorrow. At least half days. And I have a new Photoshop tutorial written and ready to film, as well as the normal Tuesday PS Tip, which you'll see if you follow me here or on Facebook. It's looking like a short week, but a productive one!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday Photoshop Tip

I've been doing regular Photoshop Tips on my facebook Page for the last few weeks.

This week, I decided to post a tip that shows how you can get a drop shadow to apply to only one of the layers below the shadowed layer. But then it seemed easier to show than to explain, so I wound up making it into a video tip.

And then I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to get it up on YouTube from within my screen casting program before I finally just gave up and uploaded it directly to both facebook and YouTube. But it's done now!

In the process, of course, I had to make a YouTube account to upload it to, so now I have a RobinWoodEnt YouTube Channel with a whole one video on it!

Now all I need to do is figure out how to set it up so that the videos are automatically posted over here, too. After all, it's all Google.

Anyway, I'm planning to make a new tutorial every Tuesday, and I'll be putting them up on my website, too. So enjoy, and I hope you'll find them helpful!

Holly Sweaters for Second Life!

If you are a resident of Second Life®, and you visit my island, Livingtree, you'll find that it's covered and snow and ice.

Keep your virtual self warm. Put on a little sweater! Like the ones I just made, based on the knit design used for this year's Holiday Bear, but sized to fit men and women, boys and girls!

The sweater has a sculpted turtleneck collar, included in 3 sizes for your convenience. (It's mod though, and a single prim, so it's very easy to adjust to your own avatar.) There's a Shirt, which makes a very thick, warm sweater, and a skirt that goes with it so that it doesn't look tucked in. Or you can wear the Jacket instead, with or without the shirt, for a sleeker look.

Available in six different colors; Black, Blue, Green, Gold, Red and White. Copy/Mod/NO Transfer (but there's a Gift button on the vendor if you want to give it to someone else.) L$100, everywhere that R(S)W clothing is sold.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I'm a Lynda.com Affiliate!

Over the years, I've learned an awful lot from a site called Lynda.com.

It's filled with wonderful on-line video tutorials, covering many of the programs that I use on a daily basis, including the entire Adobe Creative Suite.

I'm not sure how I would have gotten up to speed with Dreamweaver, CSS, InDesign, or half a dozen others without the training I got there.

It's not free; but for less than a dollar a day you can get all the training you can shove into your brain! For only a bit more, you can download files that allow you to follow along as you work your way through the exercises. (I highly recommend doing that; there's nothing like being able to work on the same pages that the instructor is showing you to really "get" stuff.) We're talking real education, for pocket change!

A few days ago, they started an Affiliate Program, which allows people who were recommending Lynda.com to everyone anyway (like me) to earn a bit by doing so. I signed up right away, of course, because I honestly think that they offer top-notch training, for a better variety of apps than I've found anywhere else. I mean, I really do believe in this company, and use them constantly myself.

I was accepted into the program, which is why there's now a bright yellow Lynda.com button over in the sidebar. If you'd like to see what I'm talking about, click it, and it'll take you to the Lynda.com site, where you can watch some videos for free, to get an idea of the quality. And if you decide to purchase a membership, I'll get a bit of cash for directing you there, which I'll be very grateful for.

So go take a look!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tea Sets, Doll Tea, and Bears, oh my!

It's been a busy week for me in Second Life®, and I've gotten a fair amount done!

Just yesterday, I got the 2009 Holiday Bear finished. He'll be available from now until Jan. 1, 2010.

This year, he's a chocolate brown bear with bright green eyes, warmly dressed in a Holly green knitted cap with cheek flaps and a bright red tassel, and matching scarf. The year is on the scarf in gold yarn.

Like all of my bears, this fellow has arms, legs, and head that are carefully sculpted so that they move like the limbs on a real stuffed bear, making him very easy to pose. For your convenience, there are already 5 poses in the pack, including 3 "carry" poses with animaitons, so you can hold him in your right hand, left hand, or cuddled to your chest.

Copy/Mod - NO Transfer. Please use the Gift option on the vendors if you are buying the bear for someone else. 15 prims. L$150. Available now from the Kick the Can main store, and also from XStreet SL.

I also got the Christmas Tea Sets finished, and out in the stores.

These are the updated, version 2 Tea Sets, with new, smoother sculpts, and faster more efficient scripts. (Anyone in the same group as the set can now serve tea, and clean it up.) They're seasonal, so they'll only be out for a few more weeks, too. But they'll probably be back next year.

Totally interactive, with tea that serves itself on a click. You or anyone in your group can also change the linen colors, choosing from 3 sets, with different embroidery on the napkins. Your guests can get tea to sip and a saucer by touching the teapot, and a plate of petit fours by touching the luncheon plate. Once you have a cup, you can choose from 11 different kinds of tea to drink simply by clicking on it. They're very cool tea sets. :D

Come and see them, and play with the demo, at the Home and Garden store on Livingtree, or buy them from XStreet SL. Besides the Snow Children set pictured, I also have a Christmas Tree pattern and a Christmas Sleigh pattern.

All three are also available as Doll Tea Set, in a smaller size for little hands, but with full size petit-fours, and various kinds of pretend tea (and a few flavors of real tea) in the cups. You can get those from the main Kick the Can store on Livingtree, or wherever Kick the Can toys are sold. Come take a look!

And, if all of this isn't your cup of tea, and you don't care about SL at all, there's a new Photoshop Tutorial, too; because it's Tuesday. (Or was, when I started this.) You can find that on my my Facebook page. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Photoshop Tips, and Candle Scripts!

I've started to post weekly Photoshop Tips over on my Facebook page. If anyone reading this isn't interested in facebook, and would like to have me post them here, too, let me know and I'll do that.

This week it's a Very Short Tip, because I've been working on candle scripts for Second Life® and kind of ran out of time.

And before someone points out that I'm really posting this on Wednesday morning, no I'm not! It's Tuesday for me until I go to sleep, and wake back up, and I haven't done that. So it's still late Tuesday night, local time. Very, very local, but it counts!

Anyway, the tip is about using the Bracket Keys, which are very useful in Photoshop. You can use them with the option/alt key to move up and down through your layer stack. You can use them with the Command/ctrl key to move a layer up or down in the stack. You can just use them by themselves to change Brush Size. And there, now you know the tip, but go look anyway, because I put an extra one at the end that's not about the bracket keys at all.

In my second life, I've been working on updating the scripts in my SL candles for the last few days. I'll post a picture when they're finished (I'm told it's not necessary to put a picture in every post. Please let me know if that's wrong.)

Anyway, the new scripts are much more efficient, and because of some changes in LSL (the Linden Scripting Language) over the 5 years since I first made these candles, I can cut down on the number of scripts that are required to make them work. (More things can be controlled in the Linkset, so I don't have to put scripts in as many prims.)

The new scripts also use Glow, if you want it. (You can toggle it on or off, for both the candle itself and the candle flame.)

I also know a lot more about how to make things work in SL than I did five years ago, so the candle flames look much, much better.

And some niggling things have been fixed, because I'm a better scripter than I was. So I think you'll find these candles easier to use, too!

Anyway, they're mostly done now, so I should have pictures and things posted on Thursday. Talk to you then!