Adobe Photoshop Layer Madness

Being the best photo editing program on the market, Adobe Photoshop has more features than you can shake a stick at. One of the most valuble features though is it’s use of layers. Being able to have different elements of your design work or photo manipulation work on different spaces is an amazing thing. However, this is a feature that can be over used as well as abused if your not careful.

Photoshop BoxWhere do you draw the line when using layers? For me once I actually have to start scrolling for 10 seconds or more in the layers palette, I know it is time to start grouping like elements into folders to make things more organized and tidy. This is a realtively new way of thinking for me. My design process in photoshop used to consist of hundreds of layers that are unnamed, unorganized, and in general disarray. It would be nearly impossible at times to find the correct layer I was serching for to makes changes or whatever the case would be. Now though I have become more concious and aware of what I am doing with my layers and have started making groups and actually naming them all something relavent so that I can find things easier.

There are some people that take this practice a bit to far in some cases. What I mean by that is that I have seen some designers that have multiple groups, with groups inside groups, insided groups, going 3 maybe 4 levels deep. Needless to say that makes it hard to find things as well if you don’t know how deep in the folders you have to dig. Color coding the layers and groups is also a good practice but that too can be used a bit obnoxiously. I don’t like digging into a folder and seeing it go 4 or more levels deep with a rainbow of colors mucking everything up. So where does one draw the line between being organized and just being anal?

It would be nice if everyone could follow one simple method that makes things so much easier, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). If more people would latch onto that cocept, layer madness could be a thing of the past for all guilty parties. Which side of the fence do you fall on when it comes to photoshop layer management? Conservative or Anal? Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted by: Shawn Grimes on August 24, 2006

“Hey, Ya” Acoustic Version (Outkast cover)

If you’re a fan of acoustic music or the band Outkast (two TOTALLY different things), check out this video:

Mat Weddle of the indie band Obadiah Parker recently performed this cover of Outkast’s, “Hey, Ya,” at Xtreme Bean’s Studio Open Mic Night in Tempe, Arizona.

Though I’m not often a fan of cover music, this time I’m making an exception.  This guy’s cover work is REALLY good.  Those that know me know that I’m more an unplugged music nut (okay, okay - I’m a hippy), than a hip-hop music nut, so I can understand why I like it.  But, I’ve shown the clip to others this week and they seem to love it more than the original Outkast version, as well.

There’s tons of great work out there in the world.  And though I’m not a proponent of using someone else’s work, I must say that sometimes two people can take the same thing and make two totally different and absolutely remarkable results with it.

Check it out.  It’s definitely worth your time.

Posted by: Dave Smay on August 21, 2006

Rust Killed My iPod Shuffle

I love my iPod, but I think I finally killed it.  Over the last couple of months, I noticed that the amount of power (both battery life and audible decibal counts) had began to decrease.  Finally, it began refusing to turn on and, if it did, the audio was all garbled and messed up.  It sounded like it eventually was just short-circuiting.

iPod ShuffleSo, I did what I had to.  I cussed at it and then went to Best Buy and bought a replacement (I would have rather bought it for less elsewhere, but I had a gift certificate which made it practically free.)

Don’t get me wrong: I love the iPod.  I just wish it was more resistant to sweat.  After a while, I noticed that sweat had actually pooled inside the lanyard cap where the USB connection is.  The USB dongle used to be shiny, but had now actually rusted over time - even to the point where it no longer wanted to easily plug into the front of my Apple G5 tower.

If any of you out there have had this same problem (which I’ve heard others complain about), leave a comment and maybe a good suggestion in how to avoid this problem. I know Apple makes the plastic Apple iPod Shuffle Sports Case, but all the reviews I’ve read seem to make it sound like something that will break after a couple of months.  And, if that’s the case, I’d rather not bother waisting my money.

Until then, I’ll just avoid tucking it under my shirt (which means fighting with the long-hanging cords) and see what happens.  Or, maybe I’ll just buy one of those armbands I’ve seen.

What are your thoughts?

Posted by: Dave Smay on August 21, 2006

Wrong answer, pal

Paul Weir Galm is a lawyer from Oregon who took a year off from his practice to travel the world with his wife.  Sounds great, right?  (Lord knows I’d love to be able to do the same...) One problem, though.  I think the trip made him stupid.  Or at least forgetful and over-confident.

Upon returning to the States, he secured a spot on daytime TV’s, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.” And he lost the first question. Not the last question.  Not even one of the harder questions in the middle.  The first, stinkin’ question available.  You can check out the footage here.

When I look at the footage, I can’t help but to think of arrogant overconfidence.  I guess the thing I take from Paul’s lesson is this: don’t go so fast and be so confident that you think you can’t fall. Because, inevitibly, you always do.

And when you do finally fall, you just look stupid.  Just like Paul.

Posted by: Dave Smay on August 21, 2006