Sunday, April 4, 2010
Welcome to Non-Geek Tutorials. We've been creating Flash projects since the 1990s and we're still going strong! Along the way we've mastered a few other programs such as Photoshop and After Effects. We'll be creating great tutorials for all these programs, so keep checking back!
One thing we have learned in our Flash career, is that most people can't wrap their brains around ActionScript. It's a complicated programming language that just became more complicated with the release of 3.0. That's where we come in. We show non-programmers how to create anything they want in Flash without writing one line of code! Everything from banners, to ads, to video games and casino games (that keep track of your winnings). It doesn't matter if your ninety years old, or five years old, we make Flash easy to learn.
Our method is simple and fast. No writing code, no debugging code, just an easy to use method that frees everyone up to be as creative as they want to be without having to worry about programming. We've spent years putting together this Flash E-Book (over 630 pages with thousands of illustrations!) so we're inviting everyone to check it out! We're only charging a few bucks for it (about the same cost as 5 Lattes); remember, every penny we make from the book helps feed our little workers for another day.
Tweet Tutorial

Flash tutorial

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Monday, March 15, 2010

A really cool effect that can be done in a matter of minutes, is the mirrored effect. When it's done correctly it really has a great look. Let's get started! Right-click on the image below and select Save As:

Save it to your computer. Next, open this image in Photoshop. The first thing we'll do is remove the background (white part). Before we can remove the white part we need to convert the Twitter logo a layer. We do that by double-clicking the Background layer's thumbnail:


The new Layer window will pop-up. Change the Name to Twitter Logo:

Hit OK when you are done. So, whenever you want to remove information from the Background layer, you have to perform the previous steps first. Next, click on the Magic Wand (in the latest versions of Photoshop it will be a subselection of the Quick Selection Tool::
twitter tutorial

Using the Magic Wand tool, click on the white background of the Twitter logo:

Now, normally you would just hit delete and the background will be gone. I'm going to show you a better way to remove backgrounds. Let's invert the selection so that the logo, and not the background, is selected. We do that by going to Select, and Inverse:

The selection should just be around the logo now:

Now we can click on the layer mask icon:
twitter tutorial

Now everything that isn't selected on our layer will be gone:

We're almost done! Next, go to Image, Canvas Size:
twitter tutorials

When the Canvas Size window opens, select Relative. Next, type 3 in the Width and Height fields:

Relative means that it will make the canvas 3 inches wider and higher than its current size. Hit OK when you are finished. the new canvas should look like this:

Next, we'll create a new layer. Click on the New Layer icon:

We're now going to fill this new layer with black. Go to Edit, and Fill. In the Fill window change Use to Black:

Hit OK when you are finished. Your canvas should now be black. We now need to drag our new layer below the Logo layer. Click on the new layer and drag it below the logo layer:

Next, select the Twitter Logo layer so it's highlighted:

Click on the Selection Tool:

Move the logo image upward just a bit:

So now we'll make the mirrored image. In the Layers palette click on the Twitter Logo layer's thumbnail:

Now, drag this thumbnail down to the Create a new layer icon:

You should now have a copy of the Twitter Logo layer:

Next, with this new layer still selected, go to Edit, Transform, and Scale:

Select the top middle transform box:

Now, drag this transform box downward until the image is completely below the original logo:

When you're done hit Enter on your keyboard. Next, select the Selection Tool again and drag this copied image upward until it's flush with the top image:

Next, go to Filter, Blur and Gaussian Blur:

In the Gaussian Blur window, change the Radius to 3:

Hit OK when you are done. The copied image will now be slightly blurred. Next, we'll add a new mask to this image. Before we do that, however, we'll apply the existing mask to the layer. We do that by clicking on the mask thumbnail of the copied layer:

Now, click-and-drag this thumbnail to the Delete layer icon:

Photoshop will ask you if you want to apply the mask before removing. Select Apply:

This layer will no long have a mask. We're now going to add a new mask. Click on the Add layer mask icon:
twitter tutorial

This new layer now has a mask. Next, select the Gradient Tool:

At the top of the Photoshop screen click on the Gradient Edit button:

The Gradient Editor window will open up. Select the Black, White gradient and click on OK:

Next, we're going to click on the bottom of the canvas with our Gradient Tool, and click again at the top of the copied image:

Release the mouse button and the copied logo should now fade to black:

The last thing we'll do is change the transparency of the image. In the Layer's palette, select the Opacity slider and take it down to 36%:

The final image should look really good now:

If you want to make it look even better you can add a gradient behind the logos. Maybe a black to blue gradient.
Friday, March 12, 2010

In this tutorial we're going to place an image of a girl walking into a beach scene. We'll then remove the background of the girl's picture to make it look like she's actually on the beach. We'll be using a Mask to create this effect. Before we begin download the files by clicking here. Open both pictures in Photoshop:

Next, click on the Selection Tool:

photoshop tutorial

Now, drag the picture of the woman walking, over to the beach picture:


Position the girl walking image so that she's barely in the water:


We're now going to remove the background from the girl's picture. Click on the Add vector mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette:


You'll now see a second thumbnail on the girl's layer. The girl's picture now has a Mask attached to it. This Mask allows us to paint away the background. Select the Brush Tool:


Change the size to 62, and the Hardness should be 50%:

photoshop setting

Next, make sure black is the foreground color:


We can now start paiting away the background. Position the brush tool on the girl's picture and begin painting away the background:


Keep painting away the background. Don't paint too close to the girl. We'll be fine-tuning our mask in a moment. When you're finished paiting away the majority of the background the girl's image should look like this:


Before we can paint away the background near the girl's body, we need to change the brush size. In the Brush settings, change the Master diameter to 12, and the Hardness to 90%:


The brush size should be much smaller now. If it helps you to Zoom in go ahead and do that (Ctrl + Spacebar). Now, paint away the rest of the background:


If you accidentally paint away part of the girl don't worry. This is why using a mask is so much better than using the Eraser Tool. When you use a mask to remove a background you're not destroying the image. You can bring back anything you want by simply changing the foreground color. For instance, let's say that we accidentally painted away part of her leg:


This information isn't really gone. We just need to change our foreground color. Change the foreground color to white:

photoshop mask

Now, paint over the part of the leg that is missing. Keep painting until the leg is back to normal:

photoshop mask

So, as you can see, when the foreground color is white we can bring back the deleted information, when the foreground color is black we can delete this information. When you're done the girl's background should be completely gone. Next, we'll make it look as if her feet are in the water. We do that by changing the foreground color back to black:


Next, change the brush settings. Change the Master Diameter to 14, the Harness to 0%, and the Opacity to 40%:

photoshop mask

Now, click the paint brush on her feet. When you're clicking the brush tool on her feet make sure you don't completely erase them. For instance, on her left foot you want to barely see it, as if it's under the water:

photoshop mask

When you're done you should have a realistic image. In another tutorial I'll show you the keys to matching colors of pictures to add to the realism.