Search This Blog

What are Image Sensors and Colors?

Q: What are Image Sensors and Colors?

When photography was first invented, it could only record black & white images. The search for color was a long and arduous process, and a lot of hand coloring went on in the interim (causing one author to comment "so you have to know how to paint after all!"). One major breakthrough was James Clerk Maxwell's 1860 discovery that color photographs could be formed using red, blue, and green filters. He had the photographer, Thomas Sutton, photograph a tartan ribbon three times, each time with a different one of the color filters over the lens. The three images were developed and then projected onto a screen with three different projectors, each equipped with the same color filter used to take its image. When brought into register, the three images formed a full color image. Over a century later, image sensors work much the same way.

Additive Colors
Colors in a photographic image are usually based on the three primary colors red, green, and blue (RGB). This is called the additive color system because when the three colors are combined in equal quantities, they form white. This system is used whenever light is projected to form colors as it is on the display monitor (or in your eye).

The first commercially successful use of this system to capture color images was invented by the Lumerie brothers in 1903 and became know as the Autochrome process. They dyed grains of starch red, green, and blue and used them to create color images on glass plates.

Subtractive Colors
Although most cameras use the additive RGB color system, a few high-end cameras and all printers use the CMYK system. This system, called subtractive colors, uses the three primary colors Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow (hence the CMY in the name—the K stands for an extra black). When these three colors are combined in equal quantities, the result is a reflected black because
all of the colors are subtracted. The CMYK system is widely used in the printing industry, but if you plan on displaying CMYK images on the screen, they have to be converted to RGB and you lose some color accuracy in the conversion. On a printout, each pixel is formed from smaller dots of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black ink. Where thesedots overlap, various colors are formed.

It's All Black and White After AllImage sensors record only the gray scale—a series of 256 increasingly darker tones ranging from pure whiteto pure black. Basically, they only capture brightness.
How then, do sensors capture colors when all they can do is record grays? The trick is to use red, green, andblue filters to separate out the red, green and blue components of the light reflected by an object. (Likewise,the filters in a CMYK sensor will be either cyan, magenta, or yellow.)
There are a number of ways to do this,including the following:

1. Three separate image sensors can be used, each with its own filter. This way each image sensor captures the image in a
single color.
2. Three separate exposures can be made, changing the filter for each one. In this way, the three colors are "painted" onto
the sensor, one at a time.
3. Filters can be placed over individual photosites so each can capture only one of the three colors. In this way, one-third of the photo is captured in red light, one-third in blue, and one-third in green.
When three separate exposures are made through different filters, each pixel on the sensor records each color in the image and the three files are merged to form the full-color image. However, when three separate sensors are used, or when small filters are placed directly over individual photosites on the sensor, the optical resolution of the sensor is reduced by one-third. This is because each of the available photosites records only one of the three colors.
For example, on some sensors with 1.2 million photosites, 300-thousand have red filters, 300-thousand have blue, and 600-thousand have green. Does this mean the resolution is still 1.2 million, or is it now 300-thousand? Or 600-thousand? Let's see. Each site stores its captured color (as seen through the filter) as an 8-, 10-, or 12-bit value. To create a 24-, 30- , or 36-bit full-color image, interpolation is used. This form of interpolation uses the colors of neighboring pixels to calculate the two colors a photosite didn't record. By combining these two interpolated colors with the color measured by the site directly, the original color of every pixel is calculated. ("I'm bright red and the green and blue pixels around me are also bright so that must mean I'm really a white pixel.") This step is computer intensive since comparisons with as many as eight
neighboring pixels is required to perform this process properly; it also results in increased data per image so files get larger.
more to come regarding this topic..................
Q: what is PGP?
PGP combines some of the best features of both conventional and public key cryptography. PGP is a hybrid cryptosystem.When a user encrypts plaintext with PGP, PGP first compresses the plaintext. Data compression saves modem transmission time and disk space and, moreimportantly, strengthens cryptographic security. Most cryptanalysis techniques exploit patterns found in the plaintext to crack the cipher.Compression reduces these patterns in the plaintext, thereby greatly enhancing resistance to cryptanalysis. (Files that are too short to compress orwhich don’t compress well aren’t compressed.)

PGP then creates a session key, which is a one-time-only secret key. This key is a random number generated from the random movements of your mouse andthe keystrokes you type. This session key works with a very secure, fast conventional encryption algorithm to encrypt the plaintext; the result isciphertext. Once the data is encrypted, the session key is then encrypted to the recipient’s public key. This public key-encrypted session key is transmittedalong with the ciphertext to the recipient.

The combination of the two encryption methods combines the convenience of public key encryption with the speed of conventional encryption.Conventional encryption is about 1,000 times faster than public key encryption. Public key encryption in turn provides a solution to keydistribution and data transmission issues. Used together, performance and key distribution are improved without any sacrifice in security. to be continue............

What is Digital Photography?

Q: What is Digital Photography and How to Become A Digital Photographer?

Digital cameras are only a few years old and are just now beginning to make serious inroads into photography. They have yet to be fully accepted by some photographers. However, despite some current limitations, digital cameras are the wave of the future and it's only a matter of time before most photographs are taken with these kinds of cameras rather than traditional film-based cameras.

Photographers who don't accept digital cameras generally base their arguments on the fact that the images are not as good as film-based cameras. Yet these same photographers most likely use 35 mm SLR cameras that are not as good as 8 x 10 view cameras. And if they do use 8 x 10 cameras, they don't use the even better mammoth glass plate view cameras used by Jackson and Muybridge after the Civil War. If they really wanted quality, they'd be using mules to carry their equipment. So much for their argument being based on the quality of the image.

The sad truth is that the quality of images has hardly improved at all since the first daguerreotypes of the 1840's and albumen and platinum prints of the late 1800s. What's happened is that both cameras and photographic processes have become easier and more convenient. Digital cameras are just another step along this path. Images captured with these cameras are admittedly different, but you'd be hard pressed to prove they are inferior. Many of the arguments you hear today about digital cameras are but echoes of the sentiments expressed when the 35mm Leica was introduced in 1925. Suddenly there was a camera that was easy to handle in the most difficult situations and with a long roll of motion picture film, capable of capturing one image after another. It may have used a much smaller negative, and hence been "inferior," but photographers who held onto their big, awkward box cameras were soon bypassed by history.

Another argument against digital cameras is that they are mainly of the point and shoot variety. That means they are fully automatic and don't have the controls that photographers have traditionally used to get great photos. This implies they are used for vacation pictures or photographs are taken as documents of family events. However, there is a certain elitism and snobbishness about this point of view. In general, the photographer brings more to a great photograph than the camera does.

But even if objections to image quality and lack of controls were true, these will change over time as more sophisticated, yet still affordable, cameras are introduced. Image quality already rivals or exceeds 35 mm film in high-end cameras. And these cameras also have the same controls as a professional 35 mm SLR.

Their only drawback is their price, but prices are falling rapidly now that image sensors are solid state and Moore's Law is at work. In the meantime, you can get good pictures with point and shoot cameras, but to get great ones you still need to understand what the camera is doing for you automatically. If you understand the basic functions of your digital camera, you’ll find it easier to expand and improve your photography. It's this understanding that gives you the creative control you need to record a scene realistically, just the way you saw it, or to instead capture the feeling or mood instead of the details making up the scene. Your understanding of a few basic principles makes it possible to take a photograph that bestexpresses what you want to convey.

Like artists in other mediums, as a photographer you have a set of "tools" that can make your photographs not only exciting and interesting to others but also unique to your own, very personal view of the world around you. The basic tools you have to work with are the way sharpness, tone, and color interact in the scene being photographed, the vantage point from which to take the picture, and the light under which it’s photographed.

You can choose to keep everything in a scene sharp for maximum detail or to blur it all for an impressionistic portrayal. You can keep some parts sharp and dramatic while letting others appear soft and undistracting. You can use black-and-white to emphasize tone, the innumerable shades of light and dark in every scene, or color to capture bright and powerful or soft and romantic colors. You can photograph the same subject at dawn, noon, dusk, or at night, in sun, rain, snow, or fog. Each of these variables will influence the image you get.

All of this is possible by adjusting only three controls on your camera: focus, shutter speed, and aperture. These three controls, however, when combined with patience, experience, and your own personal view of the world, lend themselves to an infinite variety of possibilities, which makes photography a life-long interest and challenge for even the most experienced professionals.

When learning and practicing photography, remember that there are no "rules," no "best" way to make a picture. Great photographs come from experimenting and trying new approaches even with old subjects.

What are CCD And CMOS Image Sensors?

Q: What are CCD And CMOS Image Sensors?

Until recently, CCDs were the only image sensors used in digital cameras. They have been well developed through their use in astronomical telescopes, scanners, and video camcorders. However, there is a new challenger on the horizon, the CMOS image sensor that promises to eventually become the image sensor of choice in a large segment of the market.

Charge-coupled devices (CCDs) capture light on the small photosites on their surface and get their name from the way that charge is read after an exposure. To begin, the charges on the first row are transferred to a read out register. From there, the signals are then fed to an amplifier and then on to an analog-to-digital converter. Once the row has been read, its charges on the read-out register row are deleted, the next row enter the read-out register, and all of the rows above march down one row. The charges on each row are "coupled" to those on the row above so when one moves down, the next moves down to fill its old space. In this way, each row can be read—one row at a time.

It is technically feasible but not economic to use the CCD manufacturing process to integrate other camera functions, such as the clock drivers, timing logic, and signal processing on the same chip as the photosites. These are normally put on separate chips so CCD cameras contain several chips, often as many as 8, and not fewer than 3.

CMOS Image Sensors
Image sensors are manufactured in wafer foundries or fabs. Here the tiny circuits and devices are etched onto silicon chips. The biggest problem with CCDs is that there isn't enough economy of scale. They are created in foundries using specialized and expensive processes that can only be used to make CCDs. Meanwhile, more and larger foundries across the street are using a different process called Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) to make millions of chips for computer processors and memory. This is by far the most common and highest yielding process in the world. The latest CMOS processors, such as the Pentium III, contain almost 10 million active elements. Using this same process and the same equipment to manufacturer CMOS image sensors cuts costs dramatically because the fixed costs of the plant are spread over a much larger number of devices. (CMOS refers to how a sensor is manufactured, and not to a specific sensor technology.) As a result of this economy of scale, the cost of fabricating a CMOS wafer is one-third the cost of fabricating a similar wafer using a specialized CCD process.

Here are some things you might like to know about CMOS image sensors:

- CMOS image quality is now matching CCD quality in the low- and mid-range, leaving only the highend image sensors still unchallenged.

- CMOS image sensors can incorporate other circuits on the same chip, eliminating the many separate chips required for a CCD. This also allows additional on-chip features to be added at little extra cost. These features include anti-jitter (image stabilization) and image compression. Not only does this make the camera smaller, lighter, and cheaper; it also requires less power so batteries last longer.

- CMOS image sensors can switch modes on the fly between still photography and video. However, video generates huge files so initially these cameras will have to be tethered to the mothership (the PC) when used in this mode for all but a few seconds of video. However, this mode works well for video conferencing although the cameras can't capture the 20 frames a second needed for full-motion video.

- While CMOS sensors excel in the capture of outdoor pictures on sunny days, they suffer in low light conditions. Their sensitivity to light is decreased because part of each photosite is covered with circuitry that filters out noise and performs other functions. The percentage of a pixel devoted to collecting light is called the pixel’s fill factor. CCDs have a 100% fill factor but CMOS cameras have much less. The lower the fill factor, the less sensitive the sensor is and the longer exposure times must be. Too low a fill factor makes indoor photography without a flash virtually impossible. Tocompensate for lower fill-factors, micro-lenses can be added to each pixel to gather light from the insensitive portions of the pixel and "focus" it down to the photosite. In addition, the circuitry can be reduced so it doesn't cover as large an area.

- CMOS sensors have a higher noise level than CCDs so the processing time between pictures is higher as these sensors use digital signal processing (DSP) to reduce or eliminate the noise. The DSP is one early camera (the Svmini), executes 600,000,000 instructions per picture.

What does an animation required

Q: What Does An Animation Required

We consider that an animation is hard work, there is so much to think of, and even with all the digital tricks that a computer can do for us.

To make a short animated film. There is quite a list:

-- Starting with the Producer who has an idea …

-- The Writer creates the story and dialog.

-- Casting Agent. The 3D modeler models the characters.

-- Make-up and Costumes. Then chooses materials and maps them onto the characters.

-- Sound records the necessary tracks and times them.

-- The Director decides how best to tell the story in terms of location, shots, transitions, compositions and overall style.

-- The Actors and/or Animal Wranglers work out the performance action, timing and delivery.

-- The Photographer chooses the best camera angle, lens and any camera moves.

-- The Lighting Cameraman places lights to illuminate the scene and create the right mood.

-- The Set Designer and Props will decide what needs to be in shot and what does not, the age, style and entire look of the set.

-- The Special Effects Designer is consulted for any 2D to be added afterwards or projected now, and works out any explosions or particle systems.

-- The Compositor grades the film, matching shots to create an overall smoothness and composites the elements together.

-- The Offline Editor matches shot to shot with the sound, adding new tracks and pacing the film.

-- The Online Editor formats the film, adding titles, credits and removing glitches.

please do response /feedback me.....
this will encourage me to serve you people more.


What is Cryptography?

The Basics of Cryptography
When Julius Caesar sent messages to his generals, he didn’t trust hismessengers. So he replaced every A in his messages with a D, every B with anE, and so on through the alphabet. Only someone who knew the “shift by 3”rule could decipher his messages.

Encryption and decryption
Data that can be read and understood without any special measures is calledplaintext or cleartext. The method of disguising plaintext in such a way as tohide its substance is called encryption. Encrypting plaintext results inunreadable gibberish called ciphertext. You use encryption to ensure thatinformation is hidden from anyone for whom it is not intended, even thosewho can see the encrypted data. The process of reverting ciphertext to itsoriginal plaintext is called decryption.

Q: What is cryptography?

Cryptography is the science of using mathematics to encrypt and decrypt data. Cryptography enables you to store sensitive information or transmit it acrossinsecure networks (like the Internet) so that it cannot be read by anyone exceptthe intended recipient.
While cryptography is the science of securing data, cryptanalysis is the scienceof analyzing and breaking secure communication. Classical cryptanalysisinvolves an interesting combination of analytical reasoning, application ofmathematical tools, pattern finding, patience, determination, and luck.Cryptanalysts are also called attackers.Cryptology embraces both cryptography and cryptanalysis.
How does cryptography work?
A cryptographic algorithm, or cipher, is a mathematical function used in theencryption and decryption process. A cryptographic algorithm works incombination with a key—a word, number, or phrase—to encrypt the plaintext. The same plaintext encrypts to different ciphertext with different keys. Thesecurity of encrypted data is entirely dependent on two things: the strength ofthe cryptographic algorithm and the secrecy of the key. A cryptographic algorithm, plus all possible keys and all the protocols thatmake it work comprise a cryptosystem. PGP is a cryptosystem.

Conventional cryptographyIn conventional cryptography, also called secret-key or symmetric-keyencryption, one key is used both for encryption and decryption. The Data Encryption Standard (DES) is an example of a conventional cryptosystem thatis widely employed by the Federal Government.
Caesar’s Cipher
An extremely simple example of conventional cryptography is a substitutioncipher. A substitution cipher substitutes one piece of information for another.This is most frequently done by offsetting letters of the alphabet. Two examplesare Captain Midnight’s Secret Decoder Ring, which you may have owned whenyou were a kid, and Julius Caesar’s cipher. In both cases, the algorithm is tooffset the alphabet and the key is the number of characters to offset it.For example, if we encode the word “SECRET” using Caesar’s key value of 3, we offset the alphabet so that the 3rd letter down (D) begins the alphabet.
So starting with
and sliding everything up by 3, you get
where D=A, E=B, F=C, and so on.

Using this scheme, the plaintext, “SECRET” encrypts as “VHFUHW.” Toallow someone else to read the ciphertext, you tell them that the key is 3.Obviously, this is exceedingly weak cryptography by today’s standards, buthey, it worked for Caesar, and it also illustrates how conventionalcryptography works.

How many type of offset printing exist?

Q How manay type of printing we use?

here are some types of printing we use for the publication.

1. digital printing
2. screen printing
3. offset printing machine
4. digital offset printing
5. offset printing equipment
6. offset printing ink
7. dry offset printing
8. offset printing technology

I will furthere provide the tutorials about the details of types of printing later.
enjoy you stay!

What are the Applicaitons of Offset Printing

Q: What are the Applications of Offset Printing

When you read a newspaper, browse through a magazine or even glance at brochures in the mail spare a thought and think about what it takes to print and publish such vast amounts of information and graphics. Offset printing is responsible for almost 40% of all printed material that you see around you.

It would be difficult to create a complete list of the applications of offset printing. If something needs to be printed, offset printing can do it. Here are some examples of the applications of offset printing to get you thinking on the entire scope of offset printing.

Newspapers are probably the most visible example of offset printing that is a part of everyone’s life. Every morning you are greeted with an application of offset printing. It is to the credit of the speed of offset printing that such high volumes can be generated every single day. Books are another application of offset printing without which life would simply not be the same. Whether for education or entertainment, books are the life source of many a people and they have offset printing to thank for making books affordable. The law too has to thank offset printing for making the legal process more streamlined. Large volumes of legal forms and documents are printed using offset printing. Businessmen would be lost without offset printing. Important financial data is at their fingertips thanks to offset printing. The marketing and advertising industry would regress by centuries if it weren’t for offset printing. The entire direct marketing industry would perish. Offset printing is used for printing flyers, brochures, PR material and a host of other marketing applications. Thus, offset printing affects every aspect of our lives – social, economical, educational, professional, legal and even our relationships! Hallmark just wouldn’t have the same effect without offset printing now would it?

What is offset printing?

Q: what is offset printing?

Offset printing is the most commonly used printing method today. Over 40% of all print jobs are carried out using offset printing.
Offset printing works in a simple manner. It uses three cylinders to transfer the image onto the substrate. The first cylinder is mounted with the printing plate. The image on the printing plate is ‘right’ reading or written with the right side up. The first cylinder is inked and the image transferred or offset onto the second cylinder, which is mounted with a rubber blanket. The image on the second cylinder is thus reversed or becomes ‘wrong’ reading. Finally the image is transferred from the blanket cylinder onto the third cylinder or the substrate. The substrate is mounted on the third cylinder also known as the impression cylinder. The image once again is reversed and becomes ‘right’ reading or right side up in the final printed version.
A unique characteristic of offset printing is that the image and non-image areas are on the same surface level. The printing method uses the chemical fact that oil and water do not mix to print from a single surface level. In fact, offset printing acquired this method from lithography and thus it is often referred to as litho offset printing as well.
Types Of Offset Presses
Offset presses are primarily of two types:
1. Sheet-fed Offset Printing Press: In this kind of offset press the printing is carried out on single sheets of paper as they are fed to the press one at a time.
2. Web-fed Offset Printing Press: In this kind of offset press the printing is carried out on a single, continuous sheet of paper fed from a large roll. The sheet is then cut into individual sheets of desired sizes. There are many more differences between the various types of offset presses.
The Offset Printing Process
The offset printing process requires a fairly large investment in equipment and set up. However, once the infrastructure is in place, offset printing itself is relatively inexpensive. There are many things to know about the offset printing process from creating the artwork to operating the press and binding.

How to make a female body?

Q: How to make a female body?

I am going to begin this tutorial by addressing one of the most commonly asked questions that I receive: how to draw women's breasts (heh, I never thought I'd actually be making a tutorial about this. One of the most important things you should consider is to make your subject look natural; you can draw an attractive female without making her look like a "silicon implant ad.
The main problems people seem to have with drawing breasts are the shape and the placement. A lot of artists (professionals as well as ametuers) make them look like balloons that have been taped onto the subject's chest; this is hardly a natural look. If you look through figure drawing books, you'll see that they are more like halves of a sphere or overturned teacups rather than balloons.
Now, note the position. Imagine a central guideline that runs down the center of your subject's body, as shown at the left. The breasts are at 45 degree angles from that center line, and are about halfway down the chest (shown by the red diagonalguidelines). Be very careful not to draw them too close together or too far apart, or too high on the chest; these are commonly made mistakes. As you will see in examples below, this basic rule of the 45 degree placement will apply to prettymuch whatever pose you are using.
Note how the breasts are still located at 45 degree angles from the center line of the body. Oh, also take note of the shading. After looking at various examples, I find that shading in this fashion (rather than just following the lower curves as you would shade a sphere) makes them look more natural.
Here is one last pose to go over the size and placement. It's harder to see here, but the breasts are still at the 45 degree angle from the center line. The leftmost breast is to draw as a half-sphere, not as a full sphere. If you want to exaggerate the size, that's your choice, but I personally don't think its necessary.
Now, lets move on to the neck and shoulders. When you draw the shoulders, notice that they are slope down smoothly, they aren't flat. Try to take the musculature structure of the neck and shoulders into consideration, especially if you are going for a more realistic look. They should be shaped more like a clothes hanger, and not drawn flat an hard.
One more thing I wanted to cover regarding the torso is how to draw it if an arm is lifted. I have personally found this difficult sometimes, so I figured it was a good thing to go over. If the arm is lifted, then the back of the torso will be exposed. Although a female's torso isn't as round and full as a males, it should still stick out in the back. Don't make the upper torso too narrow. Notice also how the top of the right-most breast doesn't just keep curving inwards in a circle; remember that it is not a full sphere, so it is attached to the muscles of the shoulder.
Next, let's move on to the arms. The arms consist of three basic sections: the upper arm, the foream, and the hand. Each can be represented in prelimiary sketches by oval shapes. Now, I know some people don't like using the shapes; you do not have to do it this way, this is just one possible way to go about sketching arms. Some books recommend using cylinders, but it's better to use flat ovals because they more closely match the shape of the arm. If the arms are held loosely at the side, the hands should come down to the middle of the thigh. The elbows should be at about waist length.
Once you have your basic shapes of the arms down, you can refine them and make them look more realistic. This is a little more difficult. When drawing the arms, don't make them straight and flat; arms have muscles, after all. Never draw a straight arm as just a long cylinder (unless you are doing a super-deformed/chibi pic). The arm starts at the shoulder. Notice how the shoulder bulges out slightly, then curves back down. The arm tapes slightly inwards until you reach the elbow. At the elbow, the arm widens again just after the elbow where the biceps are. The elbow itself can be a little daunting to draw. Remember that the arm doesn't just start curving in the other direction; there is a joint, and it should be shown.
There are more examples below. Here are some more poses for arms, this time showing how the parts of the arm overlap. It issometimes easier to visualize the overlapping or foreshortening if you use basic oval shapes first, but again, you do not have to use them if you do not want to. Notice how in the topmost picture, the arm that is moving away from us tapers and grows smaller the further away from us it is. These poses are a little more difficult to refine. It is very important that you pay close attention to the way each par of the arm is facing, and how the elbow is to be positioned. Try to imagine the arm as two different shapes stuck together: the cylindrical upper arm, and the forearm, which is sort of shaped like a bowling pin with a bump on the bottom.
That should help you in determining the position of the elbow. Legs can be another problem area for artists. It's hard to make them shaped properly (especially when you don't practice very much, like me...) Just like with the arms, it is important not to make them perfectly straight like cyliders. It is especially helpful to use ovals to help you get the shape right rather than cylinders, because the ovals better suit the shape of the thighs and calves. The upper part of each leg should be thicker, rounder, and shorter than the lower part of leg. When drawing the legs, start them thicker at the top, then taper them down until the reach the knee. As with the elbow on the previous page, the knee should be defined; it's a joint and should be drawn, the leg isn't made of rubber. Notice how the knee bulges outwards slightly; the leg doesn't just go straight down. The muslces on the lower leg, especially the calves, should protrude a little. Here are some more poses. I didn't use the prelimiary ovals this time because I forgot, but you should be able to see the oval shapes of the various parts of the legs. Again, I would like to bring attention to the knee, especially in the lower pictures. When the leg is ent, the knee can be drawn like a flat plane. I shaded these legs to help give you a better idea of their form. There are better details on this in various figure drawing books, but since you don't often see every bone and muscle on an anime character, I didn't feel the need to go over everything. The calves obscure part of the thigh. The lower part of the legs that are liftedup are not visible, since they are hidden behind the rest of the leg. Well, just as its important to be able to draw someonefrom the front, you may also wish to draw them from behind. In which case, it helps to know how to actually draw someone's behind. I wasn't going to add this, but since many anime girls are draw in skin tight suits or swimsuits, it's kind of important. Just be careful how you make the legs connect to the rest of the body. There's more info in the next section of this tutorial.
All right, now that we've gone over the major areas in detail, lets put them all together and make a full body pose. When drawing your subject, you can either begin with the prelimiary ovals and circles, or you can go straight to the final draft, whichever you are most comforable with. If you are using circles and ovals, then you will notice that the main body (torso and pelvis) are composed of two basic shapes, both of which curve inwards towards the stomach. I'm not going to go over thesea lot, because they have been well documented in other figure drawing tutorials. Make sure that both of these shapes, as well as the head, are aligned along a central guidline (as shown). This guidline is pretty much the spine of the character, and will determine the pose she is going to be in. Notice here that the center line curves to the left a little on the pelvis; this is because her weight is shifted and her left hip sticks out slightly (which makes the pose a little more interesting than if her weight is evenly balanced). The body can be equally divided in half as shown to by the red guidlines. You can use that as a general reference when determing how long the legs should be in proportion to the rest of the body, but often times in anime the length of the legs is exaggerated, for both males and females, and it looks just fine. When drawing the midsection, remember to try to keep the hourglass figure shape. Female anime characters will generally have thin shoulders, a thin stomach, and a somewhat round waist. Be careful to make the curves look natural, unless you are really good at figure drawing and can exaggerate the proportions. I have found side views to be difficult, since I had a hard time finding decent reference pictures. Notice that the body is composed of the same basic shapes, except the shapes have been rotated around. One of the things you need to consider when drawing from this angle is the shape of the upper torso. As you come straight down from the neck, the chest will stick out slightly at a sharp angle as you come to the collarbone. After that point, the torso is drawn at a smooth diagonal until you reach the hemisphere shape of the breasts (remember that they are half spheres; don't draw them like beach balls!) Beneath that, the torso continues to protrude outwards slightly until reach the bottom of what would be the ribcage (its a little over one headlength down from the shoulders). After the ribcage, curve back inwards a little for the stomach. Other things to look out for are the shape of the legs (the thighs round out in front, and are flatter in back, while the lower legs are just the opposite) and the subject's behind (make sure you don't exaggerate it too much).
For the final pose of this tutorial you may actually need to draw at one point from behind. Just as before, the subject can be equally divided in half. Things to look out for at this angle include the neck; it connects up into the skull, and shouldobscure part of the face. The midsection should be somewhat hourglass shaped, but again, don't overexaggerate the curve unless you really know your anatomy (you have to know the basics before you can start bending the rules). Don't overdefinethe lines on the behind, since there's little reason too. Be careful when drawing the arms; from the back, the elbows should be more prominent than usual. Check out the section on arms for more information. That concludes the female figure drawingtutorial. I hope this gives you an understanding of basic anatomy, and helps you out when drawing full body.

Creating A Cloud in Corel Painter

Creating a Cloud Sponge in Corel® Painter™
Clouds are one of nature’s amazing displays of fractals. What are fractals, you ask? The world is full of them. Fractals are self-similar patterns that are repeated at all scales of view. A fern is a prime example; the shape of a fern leaf is repeated whether the leaf is large or small. While not always obvious, clouds are also made up of pattern elements that repeat at any scale. Clouds can be very difficult to illustrate convincingly, so I’m going to show you how you can create a fractal-based Cloud Sponge in Painter. We’ll be using an existing brush variant (Sponge) to create a new sponge variant with a cloud fractal as its Dab. Let’s get fractalized!

Creating a Fractal Source Pattern
To make a convincing cloud sponge dab, we’ll need a source of fractal imagery. Conveniently, Painter has a fractal generator built right into it: The Make Fractal Pattern dialog. This tool is located in the Tool palette’s Pattern Selector flyout menu. Alternatively, you can use CTRL/CMD+9 to launch the Pattern palette to access the flyout menu. Note that you must have a document open in order for Make Fractal Pattern to be available (not grayed out). The Make Fractal Pattern dialog has several adjustable parameters which can be used to control the appearance of the fractal pattern field. Feel free to play around with the sliders to get a sense of how they affect the fractal preview. For my example, I’ve set Power=-98%, Feature Size=100%, Softness=35%, Angle=0%, and Thinness=100%. Output Size is toggled to 512 (512X512 pixels). Keep the Channel pop-up set to the default Height as Luminance setting. Press OK and Painter will generate a new file with the fractal pattern on the canvas. It is generally a good idea to apply the Negative command (Invert in Photoshop), found in Effects: Tonal Control, to the resulting fractal. Basically, you want the black areas of the fractal pattern to predominate over white. This is because the dark areas will become the mark made by the Cloud Sponge.

Modifying An Existing Variant
We are going to use an existing variant, the Sponge (Brush Selector Bar: Sponges) to create our Cloud Sponge. Select the Sponge variant. In order to preserve the existing Sponge variant, create a copy by using the Save Variant command (Brush Selector Bar: Flyout menu) and save a new variant named Cloud Sponge. This gives us an exact copy of the Sponge variant to modify while preserving the original Sponge variant. Be sure to now select the new Cloud Sponge variant from the Sponge Variant pop-up list in order to make it active for Dab surgery.

Selecting & Capturing a Cloud Dab
Select the Oval Selection Tool (Tool palette) by pressing the O key. Select a circular area in the central portion of your fractal pattern. We want this selection to have a soft edge so we’ll feather it. Access the Feather command via the Selection menu. Set the feather amount to 50 pixels. This will give a nice soft edge. At this point, you have a soft-edged circular selection positioned over your fractal pattern. We are now going to set the stage for capturing a Dab for our Cloud Sponge. With the selection active, Cut the selection (Edit: Cut) or CTRL/CMD+X. Select All (Select: All) or CTRL/CMD+A and Clear the canvas (Edit: Clear or press the Backspace/Delete key). Now Paste (Edit: Paste) or CTRL/CMD+V to copy your soft-edged circular fractal pattern to the blank image. Using the Layer Adjuster Tool (Tool palette), position the circular pattern in the center of the document and Drop the layer (Effects: Drop) to the Canvas. Press the R key to activate the Rectangular Selection Tool and make a selection slightly larger than the visible soft edge of the circular fractal pattern. Select the Capture Dab command (Brush Selector Bar) to Capture your fractal pattern. We’re almost done.

Adjusting the Cloud Sponge’s Behavior
There are a couple of adjustments we need to make in order for the Cloud Sponge to properly behave. To make these adjustments, go to the Brush Controls: General palette. Change the Subcategory pop-up from Grainy Hard Cover to Soft Cover. Set the Opacity pop-up from None to Pressure. These changes will provide you with a pressure-controlled, soft-applying Cloud Sponge.

Try It Out
The most obvious use of the Cloud Sponge is to paint clouds! Fill a new canvas with blue (or a gradient of light to dark blue) and select white as your current color. Paint a few experimental strokes. Apply varying degrees of pressure to increase and decrease the cloud fractal. I also find the Cloud Sponge useful for creating a soft-edged vignette around images, particularly photographs. Create a new layer over an existing image. Select White as the current color. Paint from the outer edges inward toward the image. Apply lighter strokes as you get closer to the desired vignetted edge. The resulting vignette has a nice dreamy quality.

Auto Painting inCorel Painter

The Photo Painting palette in Corel® Painter™ IX

A major feature addition to Painter IX.5 are the Photo Painting palettes. These three palettes—Underpainting, Auto-Painting, and Restoration—initially made their debut in Corel® Painter™ Essentials 3. The functionality of the Underpainting and Restoration palettes remain the same. The Auto-Painting palette, in the other hand, has been supercharged in Painter IX.5. In this installment, I’ll provide brief descriptions of the Underpainting and Restoration palettes, and focus on the new powers of the Auto-Painting palette.

The Underpainting Palette
Painter IX.5 utilizes the Photo Painting Palette to organize a three-step process for transforming a photo into a painted result. The palettes are organized into an easy-to-understand workflow. The topmost sub-palette is the Underpainting Palette. In traditional painting, the artist often initially creates a preliminary color/compositional underpainting on the blank canvas before building up detail. The Underpainting palette is basically this technique in reverse. The Style Pop-up menu is used to perform global corrections to an image. Options include Lighten, Darken, Lower Contrast, Increase Contrast, High Contrast, Color Shift, Color Change, Desaturate, Saturate, Intense Color, and Black & White. These corrective functions are applied as a full preview to the image. Use the Reset and Apply buttons to either delete or accept the results. The Edge Effect Pop-up mimics the old darkroom technique of using a mask to soften the edges of a projected negative in an enlarger. It’s a great effect for focusing attention on the subject of a photo. The Underpainting palette offers three variations: Rectangular, Circular, and Jagged. The width of the feathered edge is controlled with an Amount Slider. A photograph contains highly defined detail. The tools in the Underpainting palette specifically simplify the photographic source by removing the fine detail. The Smart Blur filter—found in the Underpainting palette—is particularly adept at this. The resulting simplified image approximates the traditional artist’s underpainting. The Smart Blur control simplifies an image by blurring low contrast areas while maintaining sharp edges. The result can approach the look of watercolor. Smart Blur epitomizes the notion of underpainting.Once you’ve used the Underpainting palette to perform image adjustments to your liking, you may want to clone your image. Conveniently, the Quick Clone button is located at the bottom of the Underpainting Palette. Clicking this button creates a Clone, clears the cloned image, and enables Tracing Paper. Note that, beginning with Painter IX.5, you can now adjust the opacity of Tracing Paper in 10% increments. This is accomplished by clicking and holding on the Tracing Paper icon located at the top right corner of the image window.

The Auto-Painting Palette
Tucked away in the Brush Selector Bar’s menu are a set of commands for recording, saving, and playing back strokes. This long-time Painter feature enables the automatic playback of a brush stroke onto a image. This function works particularly well hand-in-hand with cloning. Rather than hand paint each stroke, the Playback Stroke command randomly applies a designated stroke to an image. While useful, this function has lacked sophisticated control. Playback Stroke mechanically applies the same stroke exactly as it was recorded with no variation. Enter Painter IX.5’s new Auto-Painting palette. The Auto-Painting palette is a laboratory filled with controls for adjusting the character of applied strokes. The Stroke Pop-up initially contains a dozen-and-a-half pre-recorded strokes for use with the currently selected brush. Positioned immediately below is a set of sliders to control various aspects of the applied stroke: Randomness, Pressure, Length, Rotation, and Brush Size are all user adjustable. Unlike the Brush Selector Bar’s static Playback Stroke function, the Auto-Painting palette enables full dynamic adjustment of the variability of the selected stroke.

The Stroke Pop-up List
This list provides a variety of pre-recorded strokes with descriptive names like C-Curve, Hatch, Scribble, Single Sketch Line, Squiggle, etc. In order to assess the character of each of these saved strokes, I recommend that you select a simple brush like the Scratchboard Tool (Pens), then select each stroke from the list and click on the triangular green Play but-ton (bottom right of the Auto-Painting palette) to observe the character of resulting stroke. Either click on the square gray Stop button or click in the image window to stop the auto-painting. If you don’t like the resulting auto-painting, you can delete it with the Undo command. The five slider controls adjust the character of the applied strokes. Below is a description of each of the slider’s function.

The Randomness Slider
This slider adjusts the random variability of the Pressure, Length, and Rotation parameters. As the slider value is in-creased, variability increases. Reducing the value to 0% results in no variability.

The Pressure Slider
This slider can either decrease or increase the pressure values of the current stroke. The slider’s value range is from 0% to 200% with the 100% value positioned at the center of the slider. Values under 100% will reduce the pressure values associated with the stroke (Width, Opacity, etc.). Values over 100% will attenuate the pressure values. When the Random checkbox is enabled, Stroke Pressure will be variable.

The Length Slider
This slider can either decrease or increase the length the cur-rent stroke. The slider’s value range is from 0% to 200% with the 100% value positioned at the center of the slider. Values under 100% will reduce the original length. Values over 100% will increase the original stroke length. When the Random checkbox is enabled, Stroke Length will be variable.

The Randomness Slider
This slider adjusts the random variability of the Pressure, Length, and Rotation parameters. As the slider value is in-creased, variability increases. Reducing the value to 0% results in no variability.

The Rotation Slider
This slider controls the angle of the applied stroke. When the Random checkbox is disabled, the stroke will be applied at only the specified angle. When the Random checkbox is enabled, the stroke’s angle will vary within the specified slider value.

The Brush Size Slider
This slider can either decrease or increase the tip size (width) of the current stroke. The slider’s value range is from 0% to 200% with the 100% value positioned at the center of the slider. Values under 100% will reduce the original tip size. Values over 100% will increase the original tip size. When the Random check-box is enabled, the original tip size will be variable.

Using the Auto-Painting Controls
The power of the Auto-Painting palette is its ability to randomize multiple components of a stroke. This randomness mimics the variability found in hand-applied strokes. For this reason, I recommend keeping the Pressure, Length, and Rotation sliders’ Randomness check-box enabled. Use the Randomness slider to increase and decrease overall stroke variability. It is tempting to adjust the stroke width using the Size control in the Brush Property Bar. Don’t do it! Unless you need to radically change a brush variant’s width (for use on a high resolution image, for example), it is best to control brush width using the Auto-Painting palette’s Brush Size slider. Why? if you start changing brush width via the Property Bar’s Size control, then use the Auto-Painting Brush Size slider, it becomes difficult to easily predict (and thereby control) the applied stroke’s width. I recommend that you initially paint a bit with a brush you intend use with Auto-Painting and, using the Brush Property Bar’s Size control, set the desired size needed for the image it is to be applied to. Then, while Auto-Painting, adjust the size using the Auto-Painting palette’s Brush Size slider. This approach eliminates an unnecessary variable that makes it difficult to accurately control size. Be aware that some brushes—particularly those using the Continuous Stroke Dab Types—will need to have their Feature Size (Brush Property Bar) adjusted to achieve the desired brush hair density within a stroke.

Adding Your Own Custom Strokes to the Auto-Painting Palette
The Auto-Painting palette comes stocked with a varied set of strokes. However, you may find that none of the existing strokes have the precise character you desire. Fortunately, you can record and add your own strokes to the list. This is done via the Brush Selector Bar’s flyout menu. Here you will find the Record Stroke and Save Stroke commands.

I recommend using a simple brush like the Scratchboard Tool to create recorded strokes. Some brushes have highly charactered brush dabs that can hide the primary stroke nuance of width change. If you want to incorporate stroke width change in an Auto-Painting applied stroke, then you need to be able to sense it when you record the intended stroke. Before recording a stroke, it is very useful to practice a bit to get a feel for the dynamics of the brush. Once you are comfort-able with your stroking performance, you’re ready to record it. Select the Record Stroke command. The next stroke you apply to an image (preferably a blank test image) will be recorded. If you don’t like the resulting stroke, return to the Record Stroke command and try again. When you feel you’ve got a good take, select the Save Stroke command. The Save Stroke dialog will appear prompting you to give the stroke a name. Click OK. The new stroke will now be appended to the Auto-Painting palette’s Stroke pop-up list. Note that there is currently no way to delete strokes from this list. As a result, you probably don’t want to indiscriminately add strokes to the Stroke list, making it unwieldy.

The Restoration Palette
This palette is used when working with a cloned image. When a cloned photographic source has been auto-painted, it is useful to restore some of the original fine detail to the stroked clone. The Restoration palette handily places the Soft and Hard Edge Cloner brushes within easy reach. These brushes will re-introduce the original imagery to the stroked clone. Use of fine detail directs the eye. By re-introducing detail to the subject areas of an image, the viewer’s eye is attracted to these areas.

Pre-Simplify Your Photograph
Before beginning the auto-painting process, you’ll want to simplify your source photo and perhaps add a bit of character to the edge of the image. This is done in the Underpainting palette. For my image, I applied the Jagged Vignette edge effect and Smart Blur (50%). This serves to reduce the signature look of photographs: fine detail and hard rectangular edges.

Zeroing Out the Auto-Painting Palette
The Auto-Painting palette is the heart of the Photo Painting palettes. This is where you’ll tweak the appearance of applied strokes to the canvas. By default, the slider controls of the Auto-Painting palette are set to produce a pleasing effect for first time users. However, I find that in practice it is a sound working method to initially zero out these sliders’ values. By zeroing out, I mean that the sliders are set to their neutral values, thereby not introducing any expressive bias to the initial strokes. A zeroed out stroke will render the stored stroke data exactly as it was created. In doing so, this provides you with a known baseline from which you can begin to intelligently adjust the character of the currently active stroke. The zeroed out slider values are:
Randomness: 0%
Pressure: 100%
Length: 100%
Rotation: 0º
Brush Size: 100%
At these settings, the applied stroke will render exactly as created. The 100% settings enable you to add either less (-100%) or more (+100%) of the associated value (Pressure, Length, and Brush Size). I generally begin an auto-painting session by setting the sliders to the their neutral values, then select my intended stroke and brush variant. I then test this combination on a blank canvas to assess the stroke character. You’ll notice that with the stroke zeroed out, there is no variation to the applied strokes—they are all the same size and angle. For this tutorial, I am using the C Curve stroke. This stroke produces a nice curve to applied strokes, giving them a convincing hand-applied nuance. You’ll find it instructive to try out the various installed strokes in the Style pop-up list to visually understand what they look like. Choose one that suits your imagery (or create a new one as described in the previous installment). Once you’ve got your stroke selected and preliminarily adjusted, open your source photograph and make a Quick Clone (File menu) of it. By default, Quick Clone enables Tracing Paper. I prefer to work with Tracing Paper disabled (Canvas menu). This allows me to see the full effect of the auto-painting as it builds up. Choose the brush variant that you going to use. For my example, I am using the Smeary Round variant (Oils). As I mentioned in the first Auto-Painting installment, I keep the selected variant at its default size and use the Auto-Painting palette’s Brush Size slider to control the stroke width. This keeps things simple.

Adding Expressive Stroke Character
Begin to add variety by adjusting the Randomness slider to 100% and the Rotation slider to 360º. The Pressure slider can be used to either decrease or increase the original stroke pressure. This comes in handy for adjusting the appearance of texture-interacting variants like Chalk and Pastels. Otherwise, I keep it set to 100%. The Length and Brush Size sliders are where you’ll likely spend most of your stroke adjustment time. These are the key adjustments for scaling a variant/stroke combination to your image. Because I chose the Smeary Round variant, I will additionally be adjusting its Feature Size (Brush Property Bar) to control the applied stroke’s hair density. You can use the Randomness slider to adjust the aggressiveness of the applied stroke’s randomization.

Let’s Auto-Paint!
Check to ensure that the Clone is the currently selected image. To begin to auto-paint from your source photograph, you’ll need to set your brush variant to act as a cloner (if it isn’t from the Cloner Category). Do so by clicking on the Clone Color icon (the small rubber stamp in the Color Palette). This will dim out the color selector and tell Painter to instead paint using the color from the source image. Begin the auto-painting process by clicking on the Auto-Painting palette’s Play button (green triangle at the lower right corner of the palette). The source photograph will begin to be rendered by the current stroke/variant combination. At this point, it is likely that the scale of the strokes need to be adjusted. Click on either the Stop button (red square to the left of the Play button) or anywhere in the image to stop auto-painting. Use the Undo command (CTRL/CMD+Z) to clear the initial strokes and adjust your Length and Brush Size sliders. Initiate auto-painting to observe the change in the applied stroke. If necessary, Undo and tweak the Length and Brush Size sliders as needed. I additionally adjusted the Smeary Round’s Feature Size to get the desired hair density.

Localizing Brush Size for Subject Emphasis
A trick of traditional painter’s is to use small, more refined strokes for areas containing the painting’s subject. This enables finer detail and directs the viewer’s attention to these important areas. I simulate this technique by initially auto painting my source photograph with intentionally larger, coarser strokes. I then use the Lasso Tool (Tool palette or L key) to create a loose selection around my subject area. I apply a wide feather (40-50 pixels) to the resulting selection using the Feather command (Select: Feather). I’m now ready to apply refined strokes to only the selected area with these finer strokes subtly feathering into the already applied coarse strokes. As before, you’ll need to adjust the Length and Brush Size sliders to achieve the desired result. I additionally adjusted the brush’s Feature Size.

Fine Tuning the Subject Emphasis
Once I arrived at the desired auto-painted brushwork, I wanted to further refine my subject’s emphasis. This is done using the Restoration palette’s Soft Cloner. This airbrush-like tool enables you to locally restore selected areas of the pre-simplfied source photograph. Use light pressure to slowly bring areas of the subject into crisp focus. A little bit goes a long ways, so exercise restraint. The goal is to maintain the painted appearance of the image while adding a hint of detail in order to catch the viewer’s interest.

Create Your Own Recipe
This tutorial provides a simple formula for auto-painting images. The results will be very different depending on the stroke/variant combination used. I used 2 levels of brush size; more levels can be employed for greater stroke complexity. Try using different strokes at various points in the auto-painting process for even greater variety. For the more adventurous, you can further embellish an auto-painted image with some of your own hand-expressed strokes. Have fun!

3. Adobe InDesign Tips and Tricks

Q: Find Patterns You Can Automate
To be efficient in InDesign, automate the repeating elements in your documents. For example, the Text Variables feature (which debuted in CS3) is ideal for handling repeating elements, such as variable running heads in a book or catalog, or the current date. You can find a list of premade text variables in the Type > Text Variables > Insert Variable submenu. If you don't see any, your document was probably created in CS2 or earlier. You can load text variables from another InDesign document (such as one created in CS3 or CS4) by choosing Type > Text Variables > Define, then clicking Load.

Q: Master Items and Books
A: Say you have several documents in a book, each of which ends on a right-hand (odd) page, and you want each following document in the book to start on a right-hand page. In InDesign CS3, choose Book Page Numbering Options from the Book panel menu, then choose "Continue on next odd page" from the Page Order options. Click Insert Blank Page to automatically add a left-hand page to any document in the book that ends on an odd page. However, the inserted pages are always based on no master page. To give those blank pages master page information, you have to manually drag a master onto them.

Q: Make All Frames the Same Height or Width
A: So you have a whole bunch of frames on the page, and you want them all to be the same height (or width). Select one of the frames and enter the correct height (or width) in the H (or W) field in the Control panel. Press Return. Now, select all the other frames you need to fix. Choose Object > Transform > Transform Again Individually. Presto! All of the frames change their height (or width) to the previous amount.

2. Adobe InDesign Tips and Tricks

Q: Weird Lines in InDesign
A: Are you seeing purple or green lines as you move objects around the InDesign CS4 page? Maybe some arrows, too? Nothing's wrong with the software. Those lines and arrows are the new Smart Guides feature in action. The purple guides are the alignment guides that pop up when your object is positioned at the center of the page. The plain green lines that pop up indicate when one object is aligned with the sides or center of another. When three or more objects are on a page, you may see green arrows and distribution indicators as you move one object around the page. These distribution arrows indicate that the space between the three objects is identical.

Q: Wrapping Outlined Type Around a Path
Once type has been outlined, it's very difficult to flow that type accurately around a curve. While Illustrator's Warp or Envelope Mesh commands can get you part of the way, they often distort the letterforms. Another option is to copy and paste the outlined type into InDesign, ungroup it, and then copy and paste the letterforms one-by-one on to the shape you want the type to wrap along. You can select each letterform with the Type tool and manually adjust the letter spacing. The undistorted letterforms will follow the path you want. If your workflow calls for it, you can then copy and paste the adjusted shape back into Illustrator. Once in Illustrator you may need to unmask the selection, but then you can continue with your wrapped type design.

Q: Navigation Shortcuts
A: Unless you work only on one-page documents, you need to navigate around InDesign files. To do so quickly, use these shortcuts: * Jump from page to page = Shift-Page Up and Shift-Page Down * Jump from spread to spread = Option/Alt * Jump to a specific page = Command/Ctrl-J * Jump to the last page you were on in a document = Command/Ctrl-Page Up

Q: Locate Missing Fonts
A: If you search for a missing font using the Find Font dialog box but can't locate the troublemaker on a page, cancel out of the Find Font box and bring up the Story Editor. Your cursor will be where the missing font is.

Q: Magnification Shortcuts
A: Everyone needs to zoom in and out on the page, so the more efficient you are at this, the more productive you'll be throughout the day. Here are some frequently needed magnification shortcuts: Zoom in a little: Command/Ctrl and = (equal) Zoom out a little: Command/Ctrl and - (hyphen) Actual Size: Command/Ctrl and 1200 percent: Command/Ctrl and 2400 percent: Command/Ctrl and 450 percent: Command/Ctrl and 5Fit page in window: Command/Ctrl and 0 (zero) Fit spread in window: Command-Option-0/Ctrl and Alt-0Type in arbitrary zoom percentage: Command-Option-5/Ctrl and Alt-5Toggle between last two zoom amounts: Command-Option-2/Ctrl and Alt-2

Q: InDesign Lock Files
Have you noticed file icons that contain the word "LOCK" and a little padlock? Those are InDesign Lock files. InDesign creates them when you have a file open so that no one else can work on it at the same time, but the Lock files are supposed to disappear when you close the file. If you're seeing the Lock file icons after you've closed that file, something's wrong, but it isn't a nightmare. Just delete the icons -- you won't hurt anything

Q: Edit Styles Quickly
If you haven't tried the Quick Apply feature, you're losing out. Not only does it let you apply styles quickly, but it allows you to edit styles quickly, too. Press Cmd/Control-Return/Enter to open the Quick Apply panel. Type as many letters as needed to get to the name of the style you want to edit. Then press Cmd/Control-Return/Enter again. You're now in the Style Options dialog box for the style. Make your edits and close the dialog box to change the style definition. Easy!

Q: Copy Multiple Table Cells at Once
It used to be that when you copied tabular data from a word processing or spreadsheet document into an existing InDesign table, you had to do it cell... by cell... by cell. In InDesign CS3 and CS4, can copy and paste table data from multiple cells into multiple cells by choosing the cell, not the content of the cell.

1. Adobe Indesign Tips and Tricks

Q: How to Join Open Paths
A: Let's say you're using InDesign CS3, and you want to join the endpoints of two separate open paths. You go to Object > Paths, but you don't see a command in the submenu that seems to do the job. You're not out of luck. InDesign CS3 does have commands that will connect the endpoints of two separate open paths, but they're tricky to find.Go into the Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. In the Product Area dropdown menu, select Object Menu and find Paths: Connect. This command creates a line that connects any two open paths. Assign a keystroke to the command and click OK. While you won't see the command in the menus, it will work -- click the Direct Selection tool, drag over two end points (one in each path), and then hit the shortcut you created.You can also assign a keyboard shortcut to Paths: Join. This will merge two endpoints into a single point and join the paths. However, the points have to be less than 6 pts from each other.In InDesign CS4, the Join command will do the work of both Connect and Join in CS3. And the command is in the logical place: Object > Paths > Join.
Q: How Can I Show Guides at Certain Zooms Only?
A: When you zoom out on your InDesign document, do all those guides clutter up your screen? Sure, you can hide the guides or turn off the layer showing the guide or change the view options for the guides on a layer. But here's a better technique. Before you start dragging guides out, go to Layout > Ruler Guides, and change the View Threshold from 5% to something higher, like 101%. From that point on, any guide you create will only be visible when you are zoomed in to 101% or higher. This means that guides that you need for close up work are visible when you're zoomed in, but they're not visible when you zoom out to see the entire page.

Q: How Unlink Text Boxes Without Disturbing Their Contents?
A: You can unlink text boxes without disturbing the boxes' contents by running one simple script that you already have. In InDesign CS3, open your Scripts panel (Window> Automation> Scripts) and look in the Application folder, then the JavaScript folder. You'll see a script called SplitStory. Place your cursor in one frame of the story and double-click the script name in the panel. InDesign will split all the frames of the story into individual frames.

Q: What is Alphabetize Lists?
A: To quickly place a list of words in alphabetical order, make sure each word is in its own paragraph and select the entire list. Then open the Scripts panel (Window > Automation > Scripts). Go to Samples > JavaScript, and find the listing for SortParagraphs.jsx. Double-click this script and InDesign automatically alphabetizes the list of words. This script also sorts numbers from lowest to highest. Unfortunately, it puts 10, 11, and 12 immediately after 1 and before 2, so it's not exactly a perfect sorter.
Q: How Can I Add Files to a Book?
To add individual InDesign files to an InDesign book (File > New > Book), choose Add Document from the Book panel menu or click on the plus sign at the bottom of the Book panel. To add multiple InDesign files, drag and drop files from the Macintosh Finder, Windows Explorer, or Adobe Bridge into the Book panel. You can drag and drop multiple files at a time. You can even drag and drop a top-level folder, and all the InDesign files in that folder, as well as all the subfolders, will be added to the book.

Q: Safe Style Editing
A: If you have the Type tool in a text frame and realize you want to edit a Paragraph or Character Style but don't want to apply that style to the selected text or paragraph, select Shift-Option-Command (Mac) or Shift-Alt-Ctrl (PC) and double-click on the style name you wish to change. Alternately, Control- or right-click on the style name in the panel and choose Edit "Style Name."

Q: Draw, Reposition, Continue Drawing
A: Start drawing a frame in InDesign, then (still holding down your mouse button) press and hold the Spacebar so you can reposition the frame. Once it's in the correct position, release the Spacebar and continue drawing.

Q: Compare Two Layouts
A: You have two InDesign layout files that look identical, but you suspect they're not. Short of going through every page with a fine-toothed comb, how can you find the differences? Simple: Export each layout to PDF with a unique name and then use the Document > Compare feature in Acrobat Pro 8 or 9. It can churn through even the longest layout files in a minute or so and present you with a page-by-page breakdown of where formatting, position, and/or text changes occur in the two PDFs you selected.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin