Announcing Technique Thursdays Post #1

Thursday, September 02, 2010
Welcome to Technique Thursdays!  I will be sharing a technique with you each week. (ok, will do my best to do it weekly! LOL)  Sometimes it will be one of my tried-and-true techniques, and sometimes it will be something new I've just learned myself.  Join me on my ever-evolving journey of learning and creating.
Let me say right up front, I do NOT know everything and will never pretend I do!  I learn something new every single day and live for it!
I get asked all the time how I did something or created an effect.  I’ve learned from many amazing people in my 23 plus years of drawing digitally.  I’ve learned my own “tricks of the trade” from trial and error or by making a lovely mistake and liking the results.  Yes, accidents can prove to be of value.
My goal here is just to show how I do it and “pay it forward”.  My wish is for all of us to grow and learn from each other and share knowledge.  As with so many things, there are usually several ways to do something.  These posts will be just my personal recommendations based on my experiences.  Please feel free to share your personal ones also here and in the DDS forum. 
I also want to thank my wonderful team members Dar and Marcie at DDS for helping me with these.  They test my instructions and edit my content to assist in covering as many bases as we can and control my ramblings, which they have lovingly labeled “Ooze Control”.  
We may also now and then bring you posts from other team members at DDS who would like to share what they know and have learned. 
I personally work in CS4, but have previous PSE experience.  We will do our best to try and explain any PSE instructions when they are different from CS.
Getting your workspace ready to design
I recommend these view settings when you are working in Photoshop/PSE:
PS:  Under the View menu, make sure that Extras, Rulers, and Snap are selected.  If you want the grid also, you can turn it on under the View menu > Show. 
PSE:  Under the View menu, make sure that Rulers and Grid are selected.  Again under the View menu, click on Snap To and make sure that Grid is selected.
Rulers help you relate to the actual size of something as it will appear when printed.  I also have a ruler at my side at all times for reference. (I have my quilter’s cutting mat as my desk mat not only to protect it, but to see reality of sizes.) 
Snap is an awesome tool that gives your curser something to “stick” to.  I have ALL set on my Snap To settings.  Very handy when you want to align something or have your grid on and want exact sizes. 
Extras are a bunch of little options that are just way too handy to not have on.  These work with your snap settings.  

Using Guides: CS and PSE8 only
I also use Guides a lot when creating templates and the settings above help because then they snap to the guides and other objects on other layers.  Use View>New Guide to input exact placement of a guide, or simply use your Move (V) tool to drag a guide out from your rulers to where you want it (for PSE you can only drag a guide; there is no menu item).  Note: with the above items on, your guides also snap to layer edges of objects.  This is nice when you want to align something to something else. Guides do not print; they are merely lines to... well... guide you!  You can turn them off or clear them from the View Menu also.
Creating an element:
Open a new file, sized at least 2-4 times the size of the final element you want to create. This gives you the best quality for the element, and you can reduce the size as a last step.  Set your resolution to 300 ppi and choose a transparent background.  
General Tips
*IMPORTANT* – Save your work. OFTEN! 
Make layers work for you!  When I create, I create using many, many layers.  For example, I paint different colors on separate layers, and I create different pieces of objects on different layers.  This way I can move them around, change styles and attributes of individual items, turn layers off until I’m finished with items I’m not happy with and redraw.  You never know what you might want back later. 
Always remember . . .  this is ART!  Not a science, not something that has to be exact!  Trust your eyes.

Meet us here next time to learn how to make your own Photo Corners. :)
Ciao, Cilenia


  1. Jody said...:

    Thanks for some nice tips - looking forward to thursdays from now on!

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Looks like your website is having issues? I get an error message whenever I click on the SHOP link. And I really want to take advantage of the $1 Tuesday deals!

  1. Cilenia said...:

    We just became aware, the server has gone down. We are working on the problem. THANK YOU! We will extend the $1 Tuesday when fixed. :)

  1. Anonymous said...:

    Fixed already! Thank you from a happy shopper ;)

Post a Comment

Go ahead, tell me what you think! :)

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

© Cilenia Curtis 1986 - 2012 | Infinite Dimensions | The CAD Wizards
All content is copyright protected and owned by Cilenia Curtis. For permission to use any contents from these pages, please email Cileniac at yahoo dot com.