Link

sharelink-app

The smartphone is really a very powerful computer in your pocket.

It is now very easy to copy & share files between your gadgets (mobile devices) & PC.

The easiest method would be to store everything you want to share / backup online. This would be ideal if you have unlimited cloud storage and easy access to high speed broadband connections.

Alternatively, you can copy the files on your smartphone to your desktop PC wirelessly using WiFi instead of Bluetooth. It is certainly much more convenient than a transfer by a USB drive. If you don’t have a USB OTG (On The Go) cable, this option is a “NO Go”.

This is how I set it up for my ASUS Zenfone 2.  Your phone will come packaged with its own software.

If you happen to be a Zenfone user, just dive right in.     🙂

 

“Hello Zentalkers, today we will look at a very innovative app called share link which is one of the core apps of Zen UI. Share link allows you to share content between your mobile & PC or mobile & any other mobile.”

Source: How to transfer files between Phone & PC using Share link app.-Fan Share

Macro Photography – The Ultimate DPS Tutorial list

Macro Photography is amazing. It can transport you into another world that is weird, exciting and fascinating.

This list by Digital Photography School could well be the Ultimate Tutorial list for beginners. It contains 9 newest tutorials and 15 of the most popular ones over the last few years.

There is a whole new world out there waiting for you.  Have fun!   😉

DPS Macro Photography

 

Magic Forest Photoshop Tutorial

Here’s a great Photoshop tutorial if you are interested to learn Digital Image compositing. A fantasy theme is always appealing with its mystical charm.

A beautiful lady, a lone white wolf and dancing fireflies in a magical forest. So many fascinating stories to be told!

It gets a DO-DID-DONE Top recommendation for its great learning & entertainment value.

You will like:

  1. The great fantasy theme as mentioned
  2. Clear instructions in text. No voice but it has a nice background music.
  3. The good steady pace which makes it is easy to follow
  4. The many techniques & tricks to learn, especially to blend everything together in a realistic scene & environment
  5. It is not too lengthy (18m 27s) for a tutorial that covers so much
  6. The stock images used are provided (Hint: the link is in the video description)
  7. You can do magic and the final result is a work of art
  8. A fun project for your artistic creations

No surprise that it ranks among my favourite tutorials.

Let’s create some magic!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Skill level: Intermediate

Tools: Pen, Smudge tool, Eraser, Lasso, Brush, Transform, Filter (Distort / Twirl)

Techniques: Layer Grouping, Gradient Map, Layer FX, Clipping Mask

Summarised for the busy person

  1. Extract the model from the background with the Pen Tool. You can use any selection tool that you are comfortable with. The Pen is chosen for its accuracy though it will need more work. If you are already a Pro, skip to 4:15.
  2. Tidy up the hair with the Eraser using a soft Brush.
  3. Create  a flowing  hair effect with the Smudge tool (Brush 13px, Strength about 75%)
  4. Drag the model onto the forest background (6:53). Resize & Position.
  5. Add some leaves in front of model for some realism. Select & copy from the foreground. Resize, Rotate & Position as necessary. Use the Eraser tool to blend in the leaves. Top Tip: Use a Group named leaves to manage other copies in subsequent steps as we progress.
  6.  Create a Gradient map (10:03) to create the Global lighting effect. Choose Black to White gradient. First color Purple 7e00ff, second color Dark grey 1e1e1e. Change Blending mode to Soft light, 70% opacity.
  7. Create the fireflies in a layer named Sparks above the model (10:53). You will use a Brush which is part of the download.
    1. Reset the brush colors.
    2. The larger the brush size, the better.
    3. After applying, head to FX / Blending options (Outer Glow, +Opacity to 90%, Change color to Orange ff6c00, +Elements Size: 28px )
  8. Add a tombstone to the background – Drag, Drop, Transform, Position (12:20). Move it below Sparks layer. Top Tips: Ctrl+T shortcut to Transform & Shift + Alt while dragging corners to resize from center.
  9. Add moss to the tombstone (12:43). Same steps as step 8 with the moss above tombstone layer. Match the tombstone with Transform by  Ctrl + dragging a corner to angle it (12:58). Create a Clipping mask & change the Blending mode to Soft Light. Next, add a layer mask and go around the edges of the moss with a black soft brush.
  10. Add leaves. Opacity 80%  & use Eraser for any touch-ups
  11. Add an Old Lantern on the tombstone – Drag, Drop, Transform, Position (14:53).
  12. Add the Lantern light. Create a new layer above the lantern.Change Foreground color to Orange FFae00. With a soft edge brush, paint the light. Change the layer Blending mode to Screen, Opacity 85%. Set Brush opacity to 25% & paint around the tombstone to add some light.
  13. Add a wolf – Drag, Drop, Transform, Position (16:09). Add leaves. Eraser for touchups.
  14. Select Sparks layer, re: Step 7 (17:35). Apply Filter / Distort / Twirl, Angle 50.
  15. Zoom out & enjoy!

As always, if you find this tip useful & helpful, do click Like and let me have your feedback in the comments.

Feel free to share if it will help others. Sharing is caring. 😉

Get started with Pivot Tables

As an EXCEL user, if you have been creating a lot of tables and have not yet been introduced to Pivot Tables, you are missing out on EXCEL’s most advanced & powerful business intelligence (BI) solution for data analysis. It comes with EXCEL and there is no need to pay for a plug-in.

Pivot Tables empowers you to visually & interactively slice & dice (BI’s jargon for filtering & segmenting your data repeatedly) your data to get to the level of data you require for reporting & analysis. And to further aid your analysis, present your results graphically as Pivot Charts which are linked to your Pivot Tables. They are dynamically updated as you work with the tables.

While this sounds rather complex, EXCEL’s implementation of this business intelligence solution is excellent while keeping it elegantly simple. You don’t have to spend too much time to master it. Once you have understood the concept & learnt Pivot Tables, you get to focus on the data analysis work at hand. Its intuitive software user interface is certainly appreciated. No longer will you be bothered & distracted by a badly designed user interface that encumbers your productivity.

Head on to this free tutorial by GCF (specially selected by yours truly to aid in your noble effort) to equip yourself with this new skill. It gets straight to the point and takes you through step-by-step. Watch the videos first. Then download the work file to practice as your learn.

Click here for the GCF free Pivot Tables tutorial.

You now have a new weapon. Your boss will be impressed. It will change your life. Promise!

If you want to know more about the history of Spreadsheet softwares, let me know. I would be more than happy to oblige. I have been using them since the introduction of PCs to the world.

As always, if you find this tip useful & helpful, do click Like and let me have your feedback in the comments.

Feel free to share if it will help others. Sharing is caring. 😉

gcflearnfree_org-excel2013

Fear not the Pen Tool

The mere mention of the pen tool is enough to intimidate Photoshop beginners. It has a formidable reputation of being a very difficult & challenging tool to learn.

Why should you learn this tool? This is the most powerful & advanced tool available to you to make precise & accurate selections to extract the image of a person / object from the background.

Fear no more. It’s time to unleash the power of this awesome tool.

You can actually learn it without being too overwhelmed by watching the following video training tutorials.

Glyn Dewis gets you started in this 11:34s video.

 

If it is now too easy for you, then you are ready for Aaron Nace who covers the topic in under 18 mins.

 

It’s awesome cool, yeah? Have fun! Make sure you practice to familiarise and you will have  a new powerful tool in your toolkit.

As always, if you find this tip useful & helpful, do click Like and let me have your feedback in the comments.

Feel free to share if it will help others. Sharing is caring. 😉

 

How to Create a Real Drop Shadow in Photoshop with Layer Styles

Shadows have always fascinated me. We are inseparable. We can never run away from it.

So let’s have some Photoshop fun with shadows.

In this 4m 23s YouTube video (under 5 mins), A.J. Wood takes us through the simple steps.

 

The tutorial starts at 45s. If you already know how to cut out the figure using Magic Wand & Refine Edge, skip to 1:53.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SKILL LEVEL    Easy

TOOLS

  • Magic Wand selection  / Refine Edge
  • fx / Drop Shadow
  • Free Transform & Warp

 

Steps summarised for the busy person

  1. Cut out the figure to a New layer with Magic wand & Refine Edge
  2. Select the New layer.
  3. Click on fx (at bottom of Layer Panel) / Drop Shadow to create the shadow
  4. Set Opacity to 100% and Size to 10 to soften the shadow.
  5. Separate the Drop Shadow from the actual layer (Right click on Drop Shadow / Create Layer)
  6. Select the Shadow layer
  7. Do Free Transform (Ctrl+T) & Warp the shadow
  8. Soften the shadow by setting layer opacity to 50%

 

If you are compositing images & need to recreate shadows, this method will come in handy.

There are many ways to create a shadow. Sometimes, it is just painted on with a brush but you need to understand light very well before you attempt to do so.

If you are just beginning to learn Photoshop, try this for a quick fun project.

As always, if you find this tip useful & helpful, do click Like and let me have your feedback in the comments.

Feel free to share. Sharing is caring. 😉

 

 

 

 

Ninite- Install and Update All Your Programs at Once

You know how time-consuming this process when can be when:

  1. setting up a new computer OR
  2. reinstalling the programs after a hard disk reformat.

I happen to be setting up a new desktop now.

Ninite is a good solution as long as you have a fast broadband connection.

Tick the popular apps in the list and download & run the provided custom installer / updater. How simple is that?

NiNite

Ninite will

If you find this tip useful & helpful, do click Like and let me have your feedback in the comments.

Feel free to share. Sharing is caring.     😉

 

Free Guide on Tethering — Photofocus – Feed

If you’re looking for more control when shooting, consider tethering. Connecting a computer to your DSLR camera opens up a brand-new world of opportunities in image making. The images can then download for review on a bigger screen or for sharing with clients. You can gain greater control over your in-camera adjustments and get a more accurate picture…

via Free Guide on Tethering — Photofocus – Feed

12 Sites That Will Teach You Coding for Free

There’s plenty of help out there to get started with programming. Plenty of language choices too.

Splendid for a creative project.

Go ahead, choose your poison!

Here’s Entrepreneur.com’s menu list for you:

  1. CodeAcademy
  2. Coursera
  3. edX
  4. Udemy
  5. aGupieWare
  6. GitHub
  7. MIT Open Courseware
  8. Hack.pledge()
  9. Code Avengers
  10. Khan Academy
  11. Free Food Camp
  12. HTML5 Rocks

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/250323

Creating a PDF file with PDF Creator freeware

This is super simple. As long as your application (eg. MICROSOFT OFFICE) can print, you can create a PDF file.

Just download this freeware PDF Creator, install it and you are ready to go.

The download link is here >> PDF Creator Download

In your application, go to the Print Option. Instead of selecting your usual printer, select PDFCreator from the printer list.

Selecting PDFCreator from the Printer List

Select PDFCreator from the Printer List

Click the PRINT button and after a short wait, you will be asked where to save the file. Browse to the desired folder location and give it a filename. Your PDF file will be created, ready for sharing.

There are many other freeware out there for creating a PDF file of course. I am a long time user of PDF Creator and have found it to be robust and it comes at a good price, FREE.

And yes, you will obviously need a PDF reader (ADOBE, usually) to open & view the output file!