June 2004

Up now at Apple Motion – Quick Tour

Jaw-dropping simplicity! The attention to details is truly amazing.

While I don’t use any third-party Photoshop Plug-Ins such as Eye Candy, Xerofex, etc, they do have a bad name for “cheating” the graphics. To me, this is not exactly true because Plug-Ins are created to assist you completing the graphics, not becoming the center of attention like many thought. There’s no such thing like one click = finished piece.

If you want to use third-party Plug-Ins, go ahead! But.. make sure that applied plug-ins only steal less than 10% of attention in finished piece. The more attention it steals, the more amateur it looks. If you don’t want it to look too generic, customize the applied graphic separately by smudging, lowering contrast/saturation, etc until to a point where they doesn’t look too “plugins-ish”.

Shadow/Highlight DialogRequires Photoshop CS

So you want to brighten your photo without doing complex manipulations?

Meet Shadow/Highlight. You can call him “The Light Man”. He can create lights out of nowhere and like to eat shadows for breakfast. Got some dark photo? ‘The Light Man’ to the rescue…

Original Photo enhanced by Shadow/Highlight1. Choose Image > Adjustments > Shadow/Highlight…

2. In the Shadow/Highlight dialog box, set Shadows Amount to around 30%. Darker photo = higher Shadows Amount.

Highlights is not always necessary but it’s good for reducing the amount of whiteness in photo.

I don’t use this feature that often but it’s essential to all kinds of photographers.

During the 5 hours driving back to my home with Jetta 2000 yesterday, I hit a young deer very hard at around 75 MPH. It was raining pretty bad that day so visual distance isn’t great. Everything went slow motion after I saw that deer’s eyes..

Luckily, I turned right a bit and hit him by the corner of my car’s body frame instead of middle. If he hit my car in the middle, my car’s bumper and hood would have been crushed like a cheap soda can and windshield all cracked. I also could have been hit by a large truck following me. Adrenaline Rush saved the day.

Amazingly, the damage on my car is very minimum. The only thing that is damaged is plastic in the tire area (maybe worth around $100) and some bended plastics. There’s lot of blood and fur all across the side of my car. My leg’s pretty sore after flying off the seat (even with a belt on) and hit the driver’s wheel. Very bad headache too.

I did plan to find a nearby policemen so I can ask him/her to fill out a report but changed my mind as I remember that any nature-related accidents get a 25/75 chance of being covered by insurance company. If they’ve decided not to cover it, my monthly insurance bill will be much higher. Around $100 for a plastic part isn’t a big deal though.

Truly a scary experience.

Adobe CS’s icons are currently the most hated icon set and personally I’m not sure why. I thought it was a nice changes from previous icons where they are too cluttered and cheaply done. Of course, it takes time to remember which icons belong to what applications but after that they’re fairly easy to remember. I also like the fact that they’re more consistent with each others instead of giving each of them their own colors.

If you hated it, how come? Do you replace the icons with something else?

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