Building Tiled Backgrounds Using Photoshop and Illustrator – taterboy
November 3rd, 2009 | Filed under: Design, Illustrator, Photoshop, Tutorials

I can’t wait to get back to publishing Flash tips and code, but we’ve been so wrapped up in ChessJam lately leaving so little time to clean up code and make things more component-ized. I am enjoying the break from programming though, doing illustration again has been very rewarding.

Fixing Blotchy Textures:
In producing tiled textures for some of the background paintings and 3D renderings, I found that even though the tiles did not really show any seams, they were creating some weird patterns over the whole tiled area. They needed tweaking without a long and laborious process of exporting and rendering. The key for me was to have a realtime preview of what I was working on, seeing how the tile would look tiled over a larger surface while I was painting in Photoshop. There may be better ways, we always appreciate feedback, but this worked really well and now my textures are much less blotchy.
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Photoshop Tips Though the Years – taterboy
March 28th, 2009 | Filed under: Design, Digital Art, Photoshop, Tips

Can you believe Photoshop is almost 20 years old? It was initially distributed as scanner software by a company called BarneyScan in 1988 and Adobe officially released Photoshop 1.0 in 1990. A tear comes to my eye as I think about all we have been through and how much Photoshop has evolved over the years. “Our baby is all grown up! sniff, sniff.” With each new release came new features, some highly anticipated while others I still wonder what they are used for. As an artist though, is it really about the features? The art is created inside you, we use the photoshop as a tool to express our creations to the world. It was just a lot more barebones back then. I guess this is my version of the famous story, “Walking To School Barefooted, Uphill Both Ways”. That’s right, when I was a young man, we didn’t have a Navigator Palette and all those fancy Layer Effects. We still made art, and it was good. So, what if our our monitors only had 8 bit color at 640 x 480 resolution. That’s what it means to be old school! (Not to take anything away from all those really old school individuals who endured 1bit color.)

I started using Photoshop at version 2.5, though I have not adopted all the features that have come out over the years, I have learned a few things. I remember scoffing when Layer Styles appeared in version 6, everything new just seemed to be focused on filters and effects. I can do a perfectly good drop shadow from scratch, I thought; maybe even faster then it took someone to open the Layer Styles palette and enter in their settings. I did come around though and appreciate how all the styles are non destructive and adjustable.
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