Did you know Adobe makes a program that lets you make your own custom panels/palettes for Photoshop and in design? Well not many people do, so lets talk a little bit about Adobe Configurator. Adobe Labs offers the free utility for Mac or PC and give it a try, but if you’d like to learn more continue reading.
If you want to make a panel with all your favorite drawing tools like the brush tool, gradient tool, smudge tool, eyedropper tool and, a few of your favorite actions you totally can with absolutely no knowledge of coding. The above image was created in about five minutes and has all the Photoshop tools and commands I frequently use. It was super easy to create a custom panel and export to Photoshop CS6 or Creative Cloud (InDesign only supports CS6). Configurator made it easy to drag and drop tools, menu items, scripts, actions and other objects you might want quick access to in your own panel design.
How do you make your own panels/palettes? Honestly I’m still learning the software myself so I thought I would share a YouTube video from people with a bit more knowledge then I. The video below is from the previous version of Configurator but I think the fundamentals are the same.
Having grown up on the shores of Maui, Hawaii, Norm has always had a love for drawing. Since leaving the Islands’ beautiful beaches and landing in Oregon he went to college and received a degree in graphic design. Now living in Beaverton, Oregon, Norm has been working as a full-time graphic designer and illustrator for the last 12 years. He has spent countless hours perfecting his craft as a freelance illustrator working on several children’s books, a few video games and creating numerous educational products. His ability to draw has given him the chance to do the thing he truly loves — Create.
If you’ve been following Once Upon a Sketch for any amount of time you’ll know that I have been looking for a portable digital drawing solution. I’ve tried drawing on my iPad with expensive stylists and even tried Microsoft’s Surface tablet, but nothing I found ever made me feel like I was drawing on my Wacom Cintiq. Maybe I’m just spoiled but I wanted a product I could do professional grade work on, on the go. First off, I would like to mention that there are two different products in the Wacom Companion line. It can get a little confusing so let me explain. The Cintiq Companion is a drawing tablet running Windows 8. It’s pretty much a full-blown computer crammed into one of Wacom’s drawing displays. Since it’s running Windows you can use any of your favorite creative applications like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign. While it’s brother the Cintiq Companion hybrid is an android-based drawing tablet. While on the go it acts like a normal Android-based tablet allowing you to use any of the Mobile versions of drawing software but when you plug it into your Computer it stops running Android and acts like any other Wacom Cintiq. To make it even more confusing both products look the same.
This post will be focusing on the Cintiq Companion running Windows 8.
More information about the Wacom Cintiq Companion.
Wacom is the leader in drawing tablets for graphics professionals. Wacom’s products have traditionally been desktop-based until they released the Cintiq Companion in August. The Companion is designed to be the first portable graphics workstation (Thanks Popular Mechanics, I could not have worded that better). It’s not an iPad or an android tablet it’s a full computer inside of a Wacom 13.3in Cintiq. The Companion runs 64bit Windows 8 and has a full HD display with a touchscreen stylus combo with 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. Continue reading
Last month on our podcast we had a roundtable conversation about Adobes new subscription model and it turns out that Adobe was listening. We got the chance to speak with Terry Hemphill a Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe. He heard our Conversation and approached us with the intent to speak with us about some of the confusion and concern regarding Creative Cloud. At first we were a little skeptical about speaking with a representative from Adobe. We were afraid that it might just be a long pitch for their products but we found Terry to be very open and honest with his answers. Before we spoke with Terry we put out a request for questions that, if you had the chance, would want to ask Adobe about creative cloud and we got a lot of great responses. Here are a few of the questions we asked him. Thanks for your input;
Why ONLY the subscription model rather than allowing for a perpetual license?
Why is the cloud subscription model better for me as a customer and as an illustrator?
What would you suggest young freelance artists or students do if they cannot afford to pay a monthly fee?
If you sign a one-year contract with Adobe and have to end it early what is the penalty?
If your customers are paying you month to month what incentive is there for you to upgrade your products competitively?
Has the outcry from the community at all affected Adobe’s plans for Creative Cloud?
We certainly got to ask him a lot more but those are just a handful of the questions we asked. Give a listen to the whole conversation to hear everything we talked about.
There has been a lot of fire out there about Adobe changing their upgrade policy and some users feeling like Adobe is taking advantage of their monopoly on the design application market. So I thought I would go through and find a few alternatives to Adobe applications. I’m not saying that any of these are better than Adobe’s offerings I just wanted to put out a list of a few alternatives. I’m only going to focus on the major design (No web apps) applications like Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. There are tons of alternatives out there but I decided to focus on a handful from each category. I did not have time to go through and write a description for each piece of software but I did grab their marketing description from their website to give you an idea of what the application is advertised to do. I personally work on a Mac, having that in mind I tried to find applications for all platforms not just focusing on my side of the computer world. I have not used all of the software, but I did go through and make sure that it was reviewed well and generally excepted to be a good product.
The price range on the software I’ve selected runs the gamut. Some are expensive, some are reasonable, some are free and most come with trial versions so the barrier to giving it a shot is only the time you have to invest.
So try these applications and decide whether any of this software will work in your creative process.
GIMP is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and more.
Acorn is a photo editor built for the rest of us. With a simple interface and tools for adding everything from text, shapes, and effects, you can make the perfect picture in seconds and minutes, not hours and days.
A simple but lovely natural media painting and sketching program. Art oriented, but capable of loading/saving photoshop files. A very cheap alternative to Painter, with a stripped down, elegant interface.
Corel Painter is a raster-based digital art application created to simulate as accurately as possible the appearance and behavior of traditional media associated with drawing, painting, and printmaking. It is intended to be used in real-time by professional digital artists as a functional creative tool.