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Command line image manipulation

By using OS X, that is based on Unix you're already part of the cool crowd. However, if you want to be a real geek designer, you need to be able to manipulate your images from the Terminal. Just learn this and watch the trainees eat from the palm of your hand.

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Be warned before your hard disk fails

There is nothing more frustrating than a hard disk failure. And every HD fails at one point. It's sure as death. However, there is a technology called S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) that is built into most modern hard drives and it can give you early warning that you need to get your stuff moved to another disk. To check the SMART status of your HD you can open the Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility, click on your HD icon and check the last row on the bottom right. If it says Verified than you're safe.

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For the weekend: Marathon Open Source

If you feel like playing a free nineties look first person shooter on OS X, try the recently released Marathon: Aleph One. You will need to download the Mac OS X Marathone Aleph One file and the Marathon Infinity demo files for Macintosh and place them all in one folder to play. You can also download the high-res textures from the same page to enchance the looks and you can even modify these simple image files to customize the game for your preference.

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Erase to history

If you make changes on your picture and want to revert parts of the image back to the image that was saved you can use the Erase tool (press E) and keep Alt pressed while erasing. This way the Erase tool will not erase the image to reveal the background color, but it will bring back the details you have in the saved image.

Wish real life was as easy as PS.

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Use Liquify with caution

Liquify is a great filter for adjusting the shape of your subjects. Apple-Shift-X brings up the Liquify tool, where you can warp, twirl, pucker and bloat your image, among other tools. The combos that help you change the size of your brush dynamically will work here as well.

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Must visit Mac blogs

Must visit Mac blogs.

Special welcome to the people coming over from Macsurfer, as the top referrer to CreativeBits! I visit Macminute for my news, but here are some related blogs that are definitely worth at least one click:

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Windows vs Mac monitor Gamma

Windows monitors are a bit darker than Mac monitors, therefore if you're sending an image to a client of yours who is using Windows you might want to consider correcting the Gamma of your image to make sure your client sees similar range of colors as you do on your Mac. Same goes for optimizing a web site for PC users. Once you're happy with the image on your Mac and ready to send to a PC, jump to ImageReady (Apple-Shift-M) to compensate your Gamma. Select Image/Adjustment/Gamma...

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Hell froze over?

Remember when Steve Jobs introduced iTunes for Windows? Well, this is a similar situation for me: I'm going to recommend a Microsoft application for your Mac. Expression is an amazing free illustration tool. You can simulate water color, chalk drawings or any other illustration tool realistically in no time. Most importantly all you illustrations will be vector based, which means you freely scale them to any size you want. Also, you can export them from Expression to PS in layers for further manipulation.

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Quick file compression

Did you know that you can compress your files in OSX without any third party plugins? If you need to archive a huge folder or email a big file, just Ctrl-Click the file/folder and select Create Archive of ... from the contextual menu. It creates a Windows compatible .zip file and does it fast. It can't be any easier.


Creativebits is a blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

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