Quick Tip: Improving your digital painting skills

I was having fun today digitally painting from scratch and was trying to brainstorm who to get better and more photorealistic. One problem that I found I had, like many others have, is never completely committing to changes. I found that I was working with way too many layers. A layer or groups of layers for the base drawing, the base colors, the left eye, the right eye, the mouth, the hair, the left eyebrow, well you get the idea. Therefore, as an experiment I took my usual process and throw it out of the window. Every time I made a change I would do it under 5 layers and then I would merge the visible, a.k.a. progressive enhancement. I kept moving around the painting and making big or small changes as long it was under 5 layers. All that I used to create this was a Adobe Photoshop CC and my Wacom Tablet. I tried to use only bits of reference, such as getting the eyes to look more natural (they were too dark and a little weird looking). The hair is tons of layers of using the Hair_Strands brushes from Dan LuVisi’s brush pack (I think my favorite brushes ever! Found here). I don’t think that I will always use this technique but I think that the results speak for themselves:

Dream Girl | Digital Painting
Dream Girl

So if you are trying to improve your digital painting skills, try this out!

Quick Fix: How to fix Microsoft Office 2013 Error Code 30045-6

Are you getting the error when opening Microsoft Office 2013 error code 30045-6 updates for office are ready to be applied , but are blocked by one or more apps? There is an easy fix.

I too had this same problem and tried, without success, to use the repair method. However, I figured out how to fix this on my own accidently. I fixed this by following these steps:

  1. Disabling updates (File -> Account -> Update Options)
  2. Exiting out of Word
  3. Open Word back up
  4. Turning automatic updates back on (File -> Account -> Update Options)

I have not had a problem with this annoying problem since.

Quick Review: Kike Escalante’s Photoshop Flat Shadow Action

Today, I am going to review Kike Escalante’s Photoshop Flat Shadow action. This Photoshop action is a awesome, 2 second dynamo of an action that makes creating flat shadow effects easy. I definitely give this photoshop action a 5 out of 5 stars!

Playing around with the action I found that it not only works with individual layers but also with groups which is really cool. This action runs in about 2-5 seconds making it where you can play around with is action a lot. Below are a few experiments that that show the capabilities of the action as well as a how to use this action and a download link:

My psych series finale tribute! Going to miss Shawn and Gus!
My psych series finale tribute! Going to miss Shawn and Gus!
Batman logo test
Batman logo test
Complex test of the action
Complex test of the action

To use this photoshop flat shadow action: Download and unzip from the link below and double click the FlatShadow.atn file. This will load the action and you must open the “Action” window (F9 or Window->Actions). Click the arrow next to the FlatShadow folder, click FLATSHADOW below the FlatShadow folder and click Play Selection button on the bottom bar. This will run the action and make your awesome flat shadow!

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Photoshop Quick Tip: Quickly Try Brush

If you do not want to install a photoshop brush as a preset (such as one time use brushes) just simply double click the photoshop brush .abr file and it will be added to the open abr brush using tool (blur, burn, brush tool, etc). Thus, you do not have to slow down your startup of Photoshop in order to try or use a photoshop brush just once.

Photoshop Quick Tip: Wacom Tablet Optimization

Today, I have two quick tips for Wacom tablet optimization for Photoshop. These will help you to maximize your efficiency with both Photoshop and using your Wacom tablet. Both tips require you to access the Wacom Tablet Properties application that is installed along with your drivers. I am using a Wacom intuos3 6×11, Photoshop CC, and Windows 8.1.

HINT: It is usually a good idea to not change these for all programs and to change them just for Photoshop. To do this add Photoshop to the Applications and select.

Tip 1:

This will change the size of your brush in Photoshop easier than even using the keyboard shortcuts of open and close square brackets. Change the Touch Strip function on whichever side you want (if you have two sides) to Keystroke with UP being [ (square bracket open) and DOWN being ] (square bracket close). This will make it where your brush size will be changed with the touchstrip and is very useful and faster than even the square bracket keyboard shortcut.


Tip 2:

I tend to zoom in and then fit to screen a lot so this tip will make it where you click the upper button on the pen it will perform Fit to Screen (ctrl+0). Change the Pen top click to Keystroke and in the Keys do CTRL+0 (zero). This is MAC key + 0 (zero) for you mac people. It should look like {Ctrl}0. You can name this Fit on Screen or something like that since it really does not matter.