Here's your chance to see how I set up my InDesign & Photoshop workspaces. My method is geared toward the multi-tasking designer, photographer and web designer across a variety of screen sizes and setups.
I have dual monitor setups in my office, a widescreen in my home office and a laptop for on the go. I am also working in a variety of projects from editing photos to mocking up web designs and working on publications. My workspaces accommodate this sporadic work style, offering a complete and efficient workflow.
Watch the video to recreate my InDesign & Photoshop workspaces and continue below for a brief overview of how to create your own workspaces.
Working with Panels
To dock a panel, drag it by its tab into the dock, at the top, bottom, or in between other panels.
To dock a panel group, drag it by its title bar (the solid empty bar above the tabs) into the dock.
To remove a panel or panel group, drag it out of the dock by its tab or title bar. You can drag it into another dock or make it free-floating.
As you move panels, you see blue highlighted drop zones. These indicate areas where you can move the panel. For example, dragging panels to dock left of the tool bar will highlight in a vertical blue line on the far left. Docking panels below other panels will highlight with a horizontal line between the panels. If you drag to an area that is not a drop zone, the panel floats freely in the workspace.
Note: The position of the mouse (rather than the position of the panel) activates the drop zone, so if you can’t see the drop zone, try dragging the mouse to the place where the drop zone should be.
To move a panel, drag it by its tab.
To move a panel group, drag the title bar.
If you don't see a panel, you can open it from the Window drop down menu.
Let me know your preferred workspace setup in the comments!
4 Steps for Perfect Perspective Crops in Photoshop
Designers rejoice! This quick Photoshop tip is sure to assist you with all of your artwork photographing challenges.
Here's the situation. I often find myself photographing artwork for artists to use in their portfolios, promotions, websites, etc. For the most part this is a fairly straight forward process, however, that's not so when you need to photograph artwork behind glass. Reflections and glares end up in your photograph and they are a nightmare to remove in Photoshop.
The Perspective Crop tool to the rescue! In just 4 steps you can fix any perspective issue in your images.
What You'll Need:
A photograph or image where the perspective isn't straight.
Before we begin fixing perspective, we need an image. If you are taking the photo yourself here are my tips to overcome the glare and reflections issue.
Take the photograph at an angle. Yes, this means your perspective will be off and you'll most likely get a bit of the background and frame. That's what we intend to fix in Photoshop. The photo in this tutorial was taken with me slightly below the image and shooting up toward it. This position ensured that I wasn't in the photo, removed all overhead light glares and surrounding reflections. It also minimizes the distortion of the photograph as much as possible making the perspective fix in Photoshop that much smoother.
Time to bring your image into Photoshop. Then head over to the Toolbar and Click & Hold over the Crop tool. You will see additional options appear. Select the Perspective Crop tool.
Next, draw a rectangle that covers as much of your image as you can. Make sure you stay inside the edges of your image.
Now you will select each of the 4 corners, one at time, and Click & Drag them to the corresponding corner of your image. Follow the lines of the perspective currently in the image, not the straight one you want to create.
Once you outlined your image, Apply your crop. You should see the image straighten presenting an improved perspective.
That's it! Now you can quickly fix the perspective of any image.
Design a Better Poster
Hi designers! In this tutorial I show you a neat way to bring out your text at the bottom of a character or movie poster without losing detail in your photo.
What you'll learn:
• How to use layer masks for a non-destructive process
• Using gradients to create a contrast on your photos
• How to make text pop off a busy photograph
Open the image you want to cut the background out of in Photoshop. Then double-click the layer and hit OK to unlock it. Make sure it is a high resolution (300DPI) for print projects.
Remove the background from your layer. There are several ways you can do this. If the background is a solid color you can use the Magic Wand or Quick Selection tools. This tutorial will not go in depth on how to cut out an image from the background since the focus is on saving and placing a transparent image into InDesign.
Next go to File>Save As and make sure you select PNG from the drop down. Note this only works for RGB files. Since you can convert all elements of your print project into CMYK when you save your PDF in InDesign, you can use this RGB file for any print or web project. Give you PNG file a name, choose the location to save it and click Save. Select None in the PNG options pop up window and click OK. You have now successfully created a transparent file to use in your print projects.
Now let's open up InDesign. Create a new document to your desired size. Mine is a sample album cover so it is 4.724 inches square with a 1/8 inch bleed.
Drop in your background image by clicking and dragging it from your folder into InDesign or CTRL+D (Option + D on a Mac) to Place. Then move the background image until you are happy with the placement. You can also resize the image by holding down CTRL+Shift (Option + Shift on a Mac) and clicking and dragging a corner of your image. This constrains the proportions as you resize the image. Make sure your image goes all the way to the red bleed lines.
Drop in your transparent image by clicking and dragging it from your folder into InDesign or CTRL+D (Option + D on a Mac) to Place. Follow the steps above to resize and place your transparent image. You shouldn't see any background color on your image. If you do, make sure you saved the file as a PNG. Note I would clean up this image with some color correction to better match the background image. This is just to show you how a transparent image from Photoshop can be dropped into your print project in InDesign quickly.
Now that you dropped in your transparent PNG image, you can continue designing your document. Add text, more images, etc. I cleaned up the PNG file in Photoshop by adding some color corrections. I also used the Blur tool around the outside edge of the entire image to soften the harsh lines. This makes the final PNG blend better with my background image when I drop it back into InDesign.
Pro Tip: Keep your designs consistent and use colors from your background and transparent images for the text.