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Ivan's blog

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About the desktop picture

I've seen many graphic designers and operators using highly vivid desktop pictures. The colors around your work highly influence your judgment of the color schemes in your design.

For example, if you have a warm desktop, you might overdo cool colors to compensate, but once you print your artwork and take it out of the context of your screen, you will feel that you overdid the cool colors.

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Add reality to your objects

I see many times artworks where a placed object just doesn't look real and it's alien to its environment. One trick to make it belong is to add shadows and colored lights taken from the environment to your object.

In this example we are going to put a shadow on the grass and add green and blue highlights on the ball to make it look more realistic.

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File security

Several people asked me about FileVault, which was a new feature in Panther OS X 10.3.

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Leave your Mac on overnight

OS X has a built in function to run so called cron scripts that fix your file system and hard disk in general. It's scheduled to run automatically during the night if the computer is idle. Some essential operations run every night, others only once every week or every month. So if you want your Mac to be healthy the most important thing you can do is to leave it running overnight, especially if you have worked on it all day and moved around big files.

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Change your brush dynamically

I've seen many advanced artists with big experience to open the drop down menu of the brush to change the size and softness of it when using the Brush, Clone stamp or Eraser tools. It's precise, but very time consuming and clumsy. There is a key shortcut which can help you almost simulate the dynamism of a tablet but using the regular mouse and keyboard.

To decrease or increase the brush size press "[" or "]". To change the softness of the brush press Shift+"[" or Shift+"]".

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Fix your horizons

It's a common task to rotate images that are tilted and the horizon is on an angle. Most of the time you can't guess for sure how much you have to rotate the image to get it fixed. With this little trick you can precisely rotate your image to make the horizon perfectly horizontal.

Select the measure tool (or just press "I"). Drag the ruler over the horizon.

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I started this blog because I wanted to share those interesting and sometimes useful bits and pieces of information that I find out about Mac OS X and the different graphic software that I use as an art director.

From time to time I would also like to showcase some of my artwork and hopefully receive comments, so that I can learn from from you, the reader.

Thank you for reading my blog.


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

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