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Photoshop: December 2008 Archives

photoshop-3d-video-teaser.pngPhotoshop CS4 introduces a ton of new 3D capability, which, alongside its surprisingly decent video capabilities, positions it as a useful tool for 3D.  It goes beyond the Final Cut Studio's capabilities, but it's still worlds easier to use than most more ordinary 3D modeling software.  The main tradeoffs are extra render time, zero ability to actually create complex 3D models, and limited control over your finished scene.

PS CS4 provides two main advantages to video folks: it allows you to easily place simple 3D objects inside your video, and it allows you to map video to 3D primitives other than planes.  As an introduction to these features, today's tutorial will cover the basic process of mapping a video to a 3D shape within Photoshop.
I'm still going back and forth with some programmer friends on just how reckless I should be in
my approach to "simplifying" FLVs in iWeb, so I'm afraid I'll have to string you on for a bit longer on that article.  But rest assured -- I've not forgotten, and the Frame Controls article is coming up relatively soon as well.

In the meantime, here's a piece that's hopefully more useful than most "filler" -- the technical story behind Portable Network Graphics, or PNGs.  Read on for what they are, where they came from, and (most importantly) when they're a good idea in the video production workflow.
I'm still going back and forth with some programmer friends on just how reckless I should be in
my approach to "simplifying" FLVs in iWeb, so I'm afraid I'll have to string you on for a bit longer on that article.  But rest assured -- I've not forgotten, and the Frame Controls article is coming up relatively soon as well.

In the meantime, here's a piece that's hopefully more useful than most "filler" -- the technical story behind Portable Network Graphics, or PNGs.  Read on for what they are, where they came from, and (most importantly) when they're a good idea in the video production workflow.
pixel-aspect-ratios.pngWhy do your graphic supers have funny jagged edges in Photoshop, but they look fine on (television) screen?  For that matter, how can anamorphic formats cram so much width into a regular NTSC-type signal?  The answer, simply put, is that pixels come in all shapes and sizes.

Recall that pixels are the individual points of color that make up a picture on your screen.  While computer screens and similar displays usually use pixels that are square, televisions, historically, have not.  In fact, the concept of a "pixel" didn't figure into analog television signals at all -- the NTSC specification called for 480 "lines," but the signal within those lines did not specify discrete units of width.

When the notion of digital video became a reality, the standards bodies that be decided that -- for both NTSC and PAL -- there would be exactly 720 pixels per line.  Thus, the 480i resolutions we know and love: 720x480 NTSC, and 720x576 PAL.
letterimage.pngIn the old days of digital video, choosing text for titles and other supers was easy: Arial, Times, or Comic Sans - will "size 48" work?  But as the lines have blurred between all types of creative software, we video types are constantly getting more control over our text.  And that's a good thing: a professional approach to typography improves most video, and in some cases, makes or breaks the deal.

So here's a quick glossary of font-related terms, along with a handful of best practices.
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This page is a archive of entries in the Photoshop category from December 2008.

Photoshop: September 2008 is the previous archive.

Photoshop: January 2009 is the next archive.

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