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Perfect Layers is now available for pre-orders at a special introductory price for the month of June of $99.95 (the regular price will be $129.95). You also can download a free preview of Perfect Layers, but this is only a test build that contains some bugs that onOne will fix for the final release. The purpose of the free download is to gather user feedback and fine tune the initial version 1 release, which is scheduled for mid to late June.

Perfect Layers 1.0 is free to owners of the Perfect Photo Suite 5.5 (aka Plug-In Suite 5.5). Perfect Layers will appear as a software update
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when it becomes available. If you'd like to purchase the Perfect Photo Suite, enter our discount coupon code - PSSPPT06 - during the checkout process at onOne Software for an instant 15% discount.

OnOne has been making excellent plugins for years and continues to lead the pack with their innovative and friendly user interfaces. Plugins are meant to reduce the work load, and Perfect Layers is going to be a huge time-saver for professional photographers who need the extra power of layers to edit quickly and efficiently, as they are often under severe deadlines. And Perfect Layers will also open up the door to more creative endeavors — including stunning visual effects and complex photo montages.

Photoshop really became a major player when the ability to work with layers was introduced to the mix back in 1994 when version 3.0 was released. It’s ironic that so many years later Adobe would be following in the same footsteps with Lightroom — by creating an amazingly powerful photo editing app, but leaving out something as vital as layers to the workflow. Thanks to onOne, that all important missing ingredient is now available. Photoshop trainer and guru Scott Kelby, who was involved in the design of the plugin, has stated that the impact Perfect Layers is going to have on photographers using Lightroom makes it “a game changer.” We whole-heartily agree.

Perfect Layers allows you to create layered files from within Photoshop Lightroom or Aperture and to create and edit multi-layered Photoshop files directly from Lightroom and Aperture. So what is the main advantage? Most photographers would agree that having the ability to take two exposures of the same scene and then merging them into one file after correcting the overall exposure would be a huge plus. And it is. Perfect Layers makes this effortless work, and the files that Perfect Layers creates are non-destructive and can be opened and edited by Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.

The other main attraction is that Perfect Layers brings the power of blending modes into Lightroom. By blending layers together you can control the brightness, contrast and color of an image, which can result in dramatic improvements.

Perfect Layers lets you control how much of a layer is visible by using the same MaskingBrush and MaskingBug tool found in PhotoTools 2.6. You simply paint with the MaskingBrush to reveal or hide the areas of a layer, and you can create gradient masks with the MaskingBug. The tools work together and are non-destructive, and when you use Perfect Layers with a Wacom tablet, you can control the brush size or opacity by how much pressure you apply while painting.

Another fantastic time-saver is that Perfect Layers comes with presets already built in for color correction and black and white conversions. And you can use the built-in masking tools in Perfect Layers to selectively place and control the intensity of your color fill effects. All in all, this Perfect Layers is a great plugin to have in your toolbox.

onOne Perfect Layers Requirements
Operating System — Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6, Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Optional Host Application — Adobe Lightroom 2 or 3, Apple Aperture 2.1 or 3.
Processor — 2 GHz or faster Intel Core 2 Duo or equivalent.
Display — OpenGL 2.0 Capable video card with 256 MB of dedicated VRAM at 1280x800 and millions of colors or higher.

Perfect Layers Online Video Tutorials
You can fnd a collection of online video tutorials for Perfect Layers at the onOne site. Topics include: Getting Started, Supported Files, Perfect Layers and Lightroom, Perfect Layers and Aperture, Blending Duplicate Images, Exposure Blending, Swapping Heads, Changing Skies, Texture Blending, Blending to Control Color and Contrast, Using Color Fill Layers, Combining Multiple Lights, Focus Stacking, Creative Composites.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
You can get some free cloud textures at Bittbox. Here's the story: It was a bright sunny day here in OKC today, and I got lucky enough to get some good shots of some photogenic cloud formations. I’m not the best photographer in the world, but they are really big, so even though they might not be the clearest images, they can still be used nicely under the right conditions. (You can click on the images and get the full size ones from Flickr).

How To Download The High Res Versions
Some people have asked how to get the high res versions. Go to Bittbox, click on one of the images y
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ou like, and you'll be sent to Flickr. Once there, click again on the image you want. Now you'll be taken to a new page that will have a button that says "Actions" floating above the top left of the photo. Click on that and select "View all sizes". Again you'll be taken to a new page, and this time there will be a download option for all sizes, including the largest, full size version.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
Here is another set of Photoshop brushes from Obsidian Dawn: This set of brushes is made up of various foliage that has been painted by hand, on a canvas. So, you’ve got that nice canvas texture, some paint texture, etc. Included within are various stems, grass, and leaves – some single, so that you can put them together however you like, and others already arranged in bunches. This set was made to accompany my Painted Flowers Photoshop and GIMP Brushes set. That one is made up of various flowers, all with the same pretty canvas texture. These are all very high resolution images, with the aver
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age brush size being about 2000 pixels.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
Head over to pixlr-o-matic and you apply some interesting filters to your photos, then save them. It works well and is a great tool to have online when you need to get an effect on a photo and you need to do it on the run and fast. Here are some key points about the service, from their FAQ page:

What is Pixlr?
Pixlr is the creator of online cloud-based image tools and utilities. Today we have three applications in our suite: Pixlr Editor, Pixlr Express and Pixlr-o-matic. They are built in Flash and you need to have the Flash plug-in (get flash) to get it to work, however, 98% o
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f all computers have flash so you are probably set. We also provide screengrabbing tools Pixlr Grabber and one click photo sharing
Who needs online tools?
The pixlr services is built for both non-professionals and professional users with editing needs such as editing web images to be posted on social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, or image sites like Flickr, Fotolog, Photobucket etc. It's also widely used by professionals for fixing images for news sites and blogs etc.
Why Flash and not HTML5?
We are very pragmatic when it comes to development and use the tool best suited for the product we build. Flash still gives us big advantages compared to HTML5, like the 98% penetration of flash, open/save files local and a bunch of other stuff.
How about privacy?
From Flash 10 and later, images are opened direct and local in your browser (i.e we don't see them in any way and they don't leave your computer). Files that are posted to us via the API or our add-ons are automatically deleted from our servers after 5 minutes.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
Here are some new Photoshop brushes from Obsidian Dawn: This set of free Photoshop and GIMP brushes is made up of various flowers that have been painted by hand, on a canvas. So, you’ve got that nice canvas texture, some paint texture, etc. These flowers are not very detailed, just some basic flowery shapes. Some fun embellishments to add just about anywhere.

This set also includes a few brushes that are made to either add or remove the center from a flower, in a semi-circular shape. For example, if a flower that you like doesn’t have a center “dot” and you’d like it to, you can use
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one of those “center circle” brushes to create it. And the same applies to the opposite – if you want to remove the center area of a flower, use one of these as an eraser to get rid of the flower center. They have the same canvas texture to them.

Keep your eyes open over the next few days – I have a “Painted Foliage” set to release along with this one, for the stems, flowers, grasses, leaves, etc. All with the same pretty canvas texture. These are all very high resolution images, with the average brush size being about 2000 pixels.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
Receive a savings of 10% on an order of US$350 or greater purchased through the Adobe Store. The Adobe NA Education Order value must be US$350 or greater excluding taxes and shipping for the 10% savings to be applied. When purchasing through the online Adobe Store or Adobe Education Store, you must enter offer code Adobe10 in the shopping cart prior to checking out when prompted to do so.

Orders must be placed between May 26, 2011 (9pm Pacific time) and June 3, 2011 (11:59pm Pacific time). This offer is valid only to customers with shipping addresses in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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. Offer is limited to one discount per customer. Offer is not valid for Subscription products, licensing, or OEM bundles. Applicable local sales taxes and shipping charges may apply. Void where prohibited.

$260 USD off Creative Suite 5.5 Master Collection Full Version with offer code Adobe10. Only at ends June 3.

Dreamweaver CS5.5 Full Version only $360 USD with offer code Adobe10. Only at through June 3.

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium Upgrade only $360 USD in the Adobe Commercial Store. Offer code Adobe10. Ends June 3.

Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium Student and Teacher Edition only $404 with offer code Adobe10. Ends June 3!

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
Work through this step-by-step tutorial, How To Create A Photo-Realistic Orange From Scratch, and learn how to use some important Photoshop tools while you're at it.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
Adobe has released Lightroom 3.4.1 and Camera Raw 6.4.1. The Lightroom 3.4.1 update includes these enhancements:
• Additional camera support for several new camera models including the Canon Rebel T3i, Nikon D5100 and Fuji FinePix X100
• Corrections for issues introduced in previous versions of Lightroom 3
• The Lightroom 3.4.1 update includes an important correction for a bug introduced in the Lightroom 3.4 release

Download Lightroom 3.4.1 for WINDOWS
Download Lightroom 3.4.1 for MAC
Download Camera Raw 6.4.1, for MAC
Download Camera Raw 6.4.1 for
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(posted by Jennifer Apple for
You can read 10 free power tips taken from the Dreamweaver CS5 Missing Manual Book over at The tips include:
• Put the Insert Bar in Its Place
• Save Your Workspace
• Always Define a Site
• Use the Files Panel to Manage Files
• Make Room in the Files Panel
• Show Line Breaks
• Remove the Browser Navigation Bar
• Use the Tag selector
• Increase the Font-size in Code View
• Turn off CSS Background Shorthand

Dreamweaver CS5: The Missing Manual
Web designers, web producers, and webmasters rely on one program above a
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ll others to design, build, and manage professional websites: Adobe Dreamweaver (download a free trial). It provides the tools you need to create everything from simple HTML pages to database-driven PHP pages. But what makes Dreamweaver so versatile is also what makes it difficult to learn. This bestselling guide offers you with clear, jargon-free explanations to help you master this sophisticated program -- and bring stunning, contemporary websites to life.

Written by veteran Dreamweaver teacher and author David McFarland, Dreamweaver CS5: The Missing Manual takes you through site creation step-by-step, from building your very first page to launching a template-driven, fully interactive site. You'll hone your skills with the help of hands-on, guided tutorials throughout the book.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
Adobe has posted the 30-day free trial download of InDesign 5.5.

To help you evaluate Adobe's software the "try and buy" versions offer almost every feature and function of the product for you to test-drive. In most cases, the trials can easily be converted to purchased versions without needing to reinstall the software. The trial period begins on the first day you launch the software and continues for 30 days. When the trial expires, you must purchase the software to continue using it. To start the trial, launch your software and click the "Start Trial" button on the first screen t
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hat loads.

To uninstall your trial version, close any open Adobe software on your computer and do the following: In Windows, open the Windows Control Panel and double-click Add or Remove Programs. Select the product you want to uninstall, click Change/Remove, and then follow the onscreen instructions. In Mac OS, double-click the product installer in Applications > Utilities > Adobe Installers. Authenticate as an administrator, select Uninstall Components, and then follow the onscreen instructions.

If you have tried an individual product such as Flash Professional CS5.5, you can either convert that directly to the same product or convert it to one of the Creative Suite 5.5 editions that contains Flash Professional. Alternatively, if you tried an edition of Creative Suite 5.5 but decide to buy an individual component that is part of that edition, you can simply enter the serial number for the purchased product to convert your trial to the individual component you purchased.

(posted by Jennifer Apple for
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