Download a free trial of Photoshop or any Adobe Creative Suite product.
Get an instant 15% off Topaz Photoshop Plugins, onOne Plugins, and NIK Plugins.
SG3xpress Photoshop Plug-in From Media Lab - Quick Tutorial
The SG3xpress Photoshop plug-in from Media Lab is a new product that converts Photoshop designs to WordPress themes and fully-functional blogs.
Starting with Photoshop CS, Adobe introduced a feature with its own palette (like the layers palette) called “layer comps”. Most Photoshop users have never used the feature, but it turns out to be tremendously useful, enabling you to:
• Save snapshots of multiple revisions of your document to try out different ideas, colors, and elements
• Save snapshots of multiple versions of your document to show clients
• Create snapshots of multiple steps in a process for making tutorial graphics or videos
• Make a multi-page website or WordPress theme all in one Photoshop file (with SiteGrinder 3 from Media Lab).
According to the Adobe website, "Without layer comps, a designer might need to save several versions of a file, each with different variations for the layers. With layer comps, a designer can simply save a layer comp as part of the file. Even better, Photoshop also allows you to easily turn layer comps into Adobe PDF documents with each layer comp as its own PDF page. These PDF documents can then be used as presentations to show the variations of a document."
To do this, after you create all the layer comps for a document, choose File > Scripts > Layer Comp To Files, then choose PDF.
What are Photoshop Layer Comps?
Another way to look at it is to think of layer comps as bookmarks that preserve what a document looks like at various points in time as you work on it. You can give layer comps custom names, and later you can return the document to the state preserved in the layer comp.
What we mean by “preserve what a document looks like” is actually simple:
• By default, layer comps just remember which layers were hidden and which were visible at the moment you created the layer comp.
• Returning the document to that state is called “applying” the layer comp, and is done using the layer comps palette.
• When you apply a layer comp, Photoshop just hides the layers that were hidden when the layer comp was originally created and shows the layers that were visible when the layer comp was originally created.
• Layer comps save with your Photoshop document, so they’ll be there after you close your document and open it again later.
Creating a document with several layer comps is quite easy:
1. Create and position the layers that you want to have visible for any specific reason.
2. Make a new layer comp to preserve the current state of the document.
3. Name the layer comp what you want.
4. Hide any layers unique to the design you were just working on and leave visible the layers used on both the previous design and the new design you are starting. Create any new layers you need for the new design.
5. Go to step 2.
Layer comps aren’t fixed and unchangeable. At any time you can update a layer comp you made earlier to reflect the current state of the document by using the layer palette’s “Update layer comp” command if you want to add layers to or delete layers from an existing layer comp.
Say you make a layer comp and then realize you forgot to include an important element like the company logo. Simply apply the layer comp you want to update, and make whatever changes are necessary such as making the logo layer visible. You'll notice when you make changes to a document after you've created a layer comp, the icon for the active layer comp moves to "current document state". Click in the rectangular area containing the name of the layer comp you want to update (not on the square to the left of the name), so it is highlighted. Then right click and select "update layer comp" or click the little circular update button at the bottom of the palette. The little icon will appear next to that layercomp’s name in the palette, indicating that it is updated and active.
Creating Web Pages from Photoshop Layer Comps
You can name layer comps whatever you like to help keep track of them. To tell SiteGrinder that a layer comp is meant to be a page on your site you add the “-page” hint to the end of its name. The -page hint is only used on layer comps, never on layers or layer groups.
Note: No layer comp page can have the same name as another layer comp page. SiteGrinder will warn you if you have two layer comps named “blog-page” for example.
Here’s an overview of how you’d use layer comps with SiteGrinder to create web pages:
1. Create and position the layers that you want to have on any particular page of your site.
2. Make a new layer comp when you are ready to start on another page, or want to do a quick build to see how things look so far in a browser.
3. Name the layer comp what you want (usually matching to a button or menu name) and add the -page hint to the comp.
4. Hide the layers unique to the page you were just working on and leave visible the layers used on both the previous page and the new page you are starting.
5. Go to step 2.
WordPress Special Pages
In addition to creating standard web pages with layer comps, you can also create special pages to include as part of a WordPress theme.
These include the following:
• Unique "single post" versus "multiple post" view pages
• A "404" error page to display when the user clicks on a link to a page of your blog that doesn't exist for some reason
• A search results page used to display results when site visitors search your blog
• An archive page to display archives of your blog
• A "front page" that can act as a unique landing page for your blog
• An "author" page with information about the blog author
Let's take a look at how this is done in an actual Photoshop file.
In our sample template, FancyDesignUp.PSD, let's look at the layer comps menu. Click on the little square next to each different layer comp in turn to see what we’ve included on each page. (Or use the left and right arrows at the bottom of the layer comps palette to cycle through them.)
You’ll see that different layers are set to be visible and invisible for each page. Some of these layer comps, like home-page, about-page, and gallery-page, match the names of items in the menu at the top of the site. The menu layers are visible in all of the layer comps and SiteGrinder is smart enough to automatically link a button or menu item to the page of the layer comp with the same name. So the main pages of the site are all built and linked together automatically for you.
OK, now we’re ready to move from Photoshop to SiteGrinder, so we can see what happens in the browser: Select File>Automate>SiteGrinder 3 from within Photoshop.
We'll skip over the SiteGrinder Report and Compression tabs for now and go directly to the Build & Deploy tab.
1. You'll see a page listed to match each of the layer comps you created and named with the -page hint.
2. Click the pages you want to build.
3. Click Build at the bottom of the column below the checkboxes.
The SiteGrinder Design Manager will open and you can preview your pages here, and make changes to various CSS styles. Since we're focusing on Photoshop today, the main thing to notice is that there is one page built to match each layer comp. You can click on the name of each page in the Design Manager to view it in the browser.
WordPress Photoshop Plug-in Creates Wordpress Blogs & Sites
Designers can now create PSD to WordPress Themes in Photoshop with Media Lab's NEW SG3xpress for Wordpress Photoshop plug-in. In addition, Media Lab has released the SG3xpress Add-on for its SiteGrinder 3 for users who wish to add advanced blog and WordPress Theme-building to the already powerful SiteGrinder 3 website creation software.
If you know Photoshop then you already know enough to start creating WordPress themes and blogs for yourself and your clients. Creating a blog or a WordPress site in Photoshop is easy with SG3xpress. Now you can go directly to WordPress with your design saving even more time and money for yourself and your clients.
"SG3xpress is great! If you are a graphic designer or web developer like myself you will find the SG3xpress for WordPress Photoshop plug-in to be an invaluable addition to your toolkit," said Chipp Walters, CEO of Altuit. "If you are a SiteGrinder 3 Platform user like me the SG3xpress add-on extends the power of SiteGrinder and is a must have for every SiteGrinder 3 user."
Adobe Coupons & Offers
Visit the Adobe Coupon Codes & Special Offers Page to see the latest specials and upgrade & bundle deals from Adobe — including 80% Off on Photoshop, Lightroom, Dreamweaver & Flash for students. Find upgrade options and deals at the Adobe Store. Get up to 80% off at the Adobe Education Store.
Creative Suite 5.5 Subscriptions Available Worldwide
Subscription editions of Creative Suite software are just like regular Creative Suite products — they are installed on your computer and provide all the same features and functionality. Find out more about monthly or annual subscriptions.
Exclusive onOne Photoshop & Lightroom Plugins 15% Coupon
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code - PSSPPT06 - during the checkout process at onOne Software for an instant 15% discount on any onOne product. This includes Genuine Fractals and their amazing Photoshop Plug-In Suite.
OnOne’s new Plug-In Suite solves six of the most frequent problems photographers will encounter in Photoshop. This suite has been granted American Photos Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award for Top Image Editing Software. The Plugin Suite includes:
Perfect Resize (formerly known as Genuine Fractals) is renowned by both photographers and printers for its finesse at increasing images to more than ten times their original size while maintaining the sharpness and detail you started with. Think of this as the industry standard for image resizing.
Perfect Layers brings a layered workflow to Photoshop Lightroom. With Perfect Layers you can create and edit multi-layered Photoshop files directly within Photoshop Lightroom or Apple Aperture. Use it to change skies, composite images and even create layouts.
Mask Pro is used to remove the tough stuff — such as hair, smoke and glass — while retaining the fine detail. You choose what colors to keep, then paint away what you don’t need.
PhotoTools Pro packs hundreds of high-calibre photographic effects into one user-friendly plug-in. It’s fast and easy to use. Gives your photos that pro quality look.
PhotoFrame Pro lets you enhance your pictures with hundreds of such design effects, or simply drop your image into a pre-fab layout in Photoshop, Lightroom or Aperture.
FocalPoint helps to control focus and minimize visual noise. Draw the eye to specific points in your images by using selective focus, depth-of-field and vignette effects.
PhotoTune lets you can compare images side-by-side and easily color correct and enhance them. PhotoTune optimizes the dynamic range, color and sharpness of your image without the need to know all the complicated controls in Photoshop like levels and curves.
Exclusive 15% Discount On Topaz Plugins, Bundles And Upgrades
Enter our exclusive discount coupon code PHOTOSHOPSUPPORT during the checkout process at Topaz Labs for an instant 15% discount on any Topaz product, including bundles and upgrades.
Topaz Labs Photoshop plug-ins are specifically designed to expand a photographer's creative toolbox by harnessing powerful image technology developments. Photographers everywhere are now taking advantage of the creative exposure effects, artistic simplification, unique edge manipulation, and top-of-the-line noise reduction offered in Topaz products. The Topaz Photoshop Plugins Bundle is a super powerful Photoshop plugins package that includes the following Topaz products:
Deliver stunning and dynamic images with this uniquely powerful plug-in that features HDR-like abilities and enhances exposure, color and detail.
Topaz InFocus uses the latest advancements in image deconvolution technology to restore, refine and sharpen image detail.
A three-level detail adjustment plug-in that specializes in micro-contrast enhancements and sharpening with no artifacts.
The fastest and most effective masking and extraction program with one-click mask refining.
Highest-quality noise reduction plug-in that removes the most noise and color noise while preserving the most image detail.
Provides creative simplification, art effects, and line accentuation for easy one-of-a-kind art.
Take control of the detail depth of your images with extensive smoothing, texture control and edge enhancement tools.
Drastically improves the quality of web images and other compressed photos.
Learn more about the Topaz Photoshop Plugins Bundle. Download a free trial version.
Photoshop Masking Plugin Fluid Mask - Exclusive Instant Discount
The 4 1/2 out of 5 star review of Fluid Mask at MacWorld begins by saying that this "Photoshop plug-in takes the pain out of extracting backgrounds," and goes on to recommend the latest version, stating that "Fluid Mask is a very effective tool for separating objects from their backgrounds. It offers a variety of useful features for tackling almost any difficult image, from wispy hair to complex foliage. Online video tutorials and live training sessions help ease the learning curve."
Our friends at Vertus, the makers of Fluid Mask Photoshop Plugin, have set up a special exclusive discount for PhotoshopSupport.com. Go to our Fluid Mask page for a special, exclusive discount link.
Fluid Mask is designed for photographers, image editors, graphic designers and all those who take digital image editing seriously. In a streamlined interface and workflow, Fluid Mask instantly shows key edges in the image and provides comprehensive easy to use tools that work with difficult-to-see edges and tricky areas like trees & lattices. Fluid Mask will also preserve all-important edge information for a professional quality cut out. Go to our Fluid Mask page for more info.
Auto FX 15% Off Special Discount Code For Photoshop Plugins - Coupon Code S94525
Our friends at Auto FX have given us an exclusive special offer discount coupon code S94525 that will give you an instant 15% discount on any and all of their amazing Photoshop plugins and even their special Photoshop Plugin Bundles.
All you have to do is apply coupon code S94525 during the checkout process and you'll have your amount recalculated to include the discount. Below is an overview of their Photoshop Bundle Deal, which the S94525 coupon code will add another 15% discount to. Enjoy!
The Auto FX Plug-in Suite provides a comprehensive selection of visual effects from the world's premier developer of Adobe Photoshop Plug-ins. This suite of products works with Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4 and CS5. Auto FX Plug-in Suite includes 165 effect filters and thousands of instant effects to improve your images. Purchased separately, the products in this suite are worth over $1,400. By purchasing the Plug-in Suite for $499 you'll save $900.
Auto FX Plugins - Discount Coupons - Mystical Suite & DreamSuite
Find out more about
Special Deals On Nik Software Photoshop Plugins - Viveza, Complete Collection - 15% DISCOUNT COUPONS
Follow the links below and the 15% discount will be AUTOMATICALLY APPLIED to any purchase you make, or use our exclusive discount coupon code - NIKPSS - during the checkout process at Nik Software for the instant 15% discount. This exclusive discount coupon code can be applied to all the latest Nik Software Photoshop plugins, including Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, and The Complete Collection (big savings).
Nik Software The Complete Collection (Plugins Bundle)
The Complete Collection includes all of Nik Software's latest award-winning plug-in software titles for Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture including: Dfine, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Sharpener Pro.
The Complete Collection features products with Nik Software's patented U Point® technology, giving photographers the most powerful tools for precise and natural photographic enhancements and corrections without the need for complicated selections or layer masks.
The Complete Collection is offered in two editions: (1) the Complete Collection Ultimate Edition includes support for every plug-in to work in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture, and offers Color Efex Pro 3.0 to work in Capture NX 2 as well. (2) the Complete Collection for Lightroom and Aperture includes support for each plug-in to only work in Lightroom and Aperture. Click here to compare both editions
Color Efex Pro 3.0
52 photographic filters with over 250 effects for professional quality images. Completely Original. Completely Indispensable.
Nik Software Color Efex Pro 3.0 filters are the leading photographic filters for digital photography. The award-winning Color Efex Pro 3.0 filters are widely used by many of today's professional photographers around the world to save time and get professional level results. Whether you choose the Complete Edition, Select Edition, or Standard Edition, you’ll get traditional and stylizing filters that offer virtually endless possibilities to enhance and transform images quickly and easily.
Patented U Point technology provides the ultimate control to selectively apply enhancements without the need for any complicated masks, layers or selections. Control color, light and tonality in your images and create unique enhancements with professional results. With 52 filters and over 250 effects found in Color Efex Pro 3.0, you can perform high quality retouching, color correction, and endless creative enhancements to your photographs. Download a free Trial version.
The most powerful tool to selectively control color and light in photographic images without the need for complicated selections or layer masks.
Two of the most important factors in creating great photography are color and light. Mastering the art of selectively correcting or enhancing each of these is now possible for every photographer without the need for complicated masks or selections, or expert-level knowledge of Photoshop. Integrating award-winning U Point technology, Viveza is the most powerful and precise tool available to control light and color in photographic images.
U Point powered Color Control Points, placed directly on colors or objects in an image (such as sky, skin, grass, etc.), reveal easy-to-use controls that photographers can use to quickly adjust brightness, contrast or color in a fraction of the time needed by other tools. With Viveza you’ll spend more time shooting photographs and save hours of image editing. Download a free Trial version.
Silver Efex Pro
Complete power and control to create professional quality black and white images in one convenient tool.
Silver Efex Pro from Nik Software is the most powerful tool for creating professional quality black and white images from your photographs. For the first time, all the advanced power and control required for professional results have been brought together in one convenient tool.
Featuring Nik Software’s patented U Point technology to selectively control the tonality and contrast of the image, Silver Efex Pro includes advanced imaging algorithms to protect against unwanted artifacts, a comprehensive collection of emulated black and white film types, a variable toning selector for adding traditional toning techniques, over 20 one-click preset styles, and a state-of-the-art grain reproduction engine that help produce the highest quality black and white images possible from your color images while providing more freedom to experiment. Download a free Trial version to use Silver Efex Pro.
HDR Efex Pro
Experience the power, control, and creative expression of HDR. This all in one toolkit lets you achieve your best HDR images ever, ranging from the realistic to artistic.
HDR Efex Pro is the essential new standard for creating amazingly high quality realistic to artistic HDR images with a revolutionary new all-in-one workflow. HDR Efex Pro includes a vast selection of one-click visual presets for incredibly fast results, advanced tone mapping algorithms, powerful and detailed HDR controls, and patented U Point® technology
Follow our discount coupon links, or enter our exclusive discount coupon code - NIKPSS - during the checkout process at Nik Software for the instant 15% discount. This exclusive discount coupon code can be applied to all the latest Nik Software Photoshop plugins, including Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, and The Complete Collection (big savings).
lynda.com Online Training Library - View Free Video Clips
Subscriptions to the lynda.com Online Training Library provide anytime access to tens of thousands of video tutorials covering Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, web design, digital imaging, 3D, digital video, animation, and many other topics. View free video clips.
For less than a dollar a day, members have the opportunity to stay current and keep skills sharp, learn innovative and productive techniques, and gain confidence and marketability - all at their own pace. Premium subscriptions include instructors’ exercise files so that members can follow along with the exact examples onscreen. Customers learn at their own pace and may stop, rewind, and replay segments as often as necessary. View some free video clips (high resolution).