Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Illustrator – Find, Download, Install and Use Scripts

Harness the power of scripts to automate tasks in Illustrator

Where Photoshop has Actions, Illustrator has Scripts that help you automate complex and tedious tasks. You don’t need to know how to write code – just how to copy and paste it to harness the power of scripts to automate your workflow in Illustrator.

From scripts which make a rectangle the size of the artboard, which make metaball shapes and divide text frames you’ll find lots of practical use for scripts every day. I’ll show you how to find  scripts online that you can use. I’ll show you how to find free scripts for Illustrator, how to download scripts and install them. I’ll even show you how to make a script file if you can find the code but it’s not in a downloadable format.

So you will  learn to make use of .js and .jsx scripts and how to copy and paste script code from a web page and save it correctly so you can install it into Illustrator. I’ll also show you how to run the scripts you download.

Some of the scripts discussed include join reasonably which joins paths better than Illustrator does and a range of other handy scripts.

Helen Bradley


Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Illustrator – Create a Wave Repeating Pattern

More complex than it looks, here’s how to make a Wave Pattern in Illustrator


Learn how to create a wave pattern in Illustrator. You will see how to draw the starting shape and how to fill it. You will learn how you can test it to see how it will look and then adjust it if necessary before continuing.

You will use the Shape Builder tool to build the actual pattern starting piece and the new Pattern feature in Illustrator CS6 & Illustrator CC to make the repeating pattern swatch.

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Thank You Texture Creators!

Recently I made a post giving thanks to the wonderful font creators who distribute their work for free. Today I’d like to thank the image and texture artists who are doing the same and making my life in Photoshop so much easier. If you are looking for texture resources then I cannot give any higher recommendations than these. The links provided will take you to specific textures, but each author’s entire portfolio is worth exploring.


Skeletal Mess – A brilliant independent image and texture author. – A massive archive of free images and textures. – Another great texture resource.






 – Many useful day to day surface textures.












Monday, July 28th, 2014

Illustrator – single shape with multiple strokes and fills

Create a multi-dimensional Illustrator shape from a simple star


Learn to create this multidimensional shape in Illustrator starting with a simple 20 point star.

You will learn how to make the points of the star round, how to fill it with a color and a pattern then how to create the outside and inside strokes.

The entire effect (minus the background and text) is one single resizable fully adjustable vector shape.

Helen Bradley

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Microsoft Word – Rotate Text

Learn the secrets of how to Rotate Text in all versions of Word – 2003, 2007, 2010 & 2013

One of my most popular blog posts deals with the problem of rotating text in Microsoft Word. The issue is that in prior versions putting text in a shape and then rotating it just rotated the shape – not the text – sucks huh? 

While the newer versions of Word work more reliably – not all of them do! Here’s the video version of that blog post – you will see how to rotate text in any version of Word from 2003 onwards and also see what doesn’t work so you don’t waste time trying!

I’ll show you how to rotate text through 90 degrees, 180 degrees and any other rotation you need and we’ll use Text Boxes, Word Art, Tables and Shapes to do it.
Helen Bradley

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

How to Find, Install and Use Free Photoshop Brushes

Find Free Brushes Online to use in Photoshop

Learn how to find and download free and for fee brushes for Photoshop. See how to install these brushes into Photoshop and use them in your work.

This video covers all the steps in downloading and installing the brushes so you can ensure they are  always available to you.


 Helen Bradley

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Illustrator – Cartoon Style Illustrations

Create Cartoon Style Illustrations in Illustrator

Learn to create cartoon style illustrations in Illustrator.

You will see how to make shapes using the line tool and ellipse tool in Illustrator then how to fill the shapes using the Live Paint tool.The process is simple to do and fun.

Because it uses simple shapes and does not require extensive use of the pen tool it is a great way to learn more about using Illustrator without needing to be able to draw or use complex tools.

Helen Bradley

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Illustrator – Create Curly Shapes

Curly Bracket Style Frames in Illustrator

Learn how to create curly frames in Illustrator – the sort that resemble curly brackets that you use in your word processor.

You will see how to take a bracket or brace character from a font, add it to an Illustrator file and turn it to Outline type so you can work with it. You will then break it apart to get the curly shape, copy it, rotate, reflect and join it to make a curly bracket frame shape.

You can then do with it anything that you can do with a regular shape in Illustrator.

This technique is handy for scrapbookers and graphic designers and it looks great on invitations including wedding invitations. It is a fun and easy to create effect.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Illustrator – Tricks of the Appearance Panel

Tricks for Using the Appearance Panel in Illustrator

Learn tips and tricks for using the Appearance Panel in Illustrator.

You will see how to add multiple fills, how to add extra shapes to a single shape, how to move and resize a shape.

You will also see how to make part of a shape transparent using a transparency mask effect created inside the Appearance panel.

This video is ideal for intermediate level Illustrator users and will expand your knowledge of Illustrator tools.

Helen Bradley

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

Illustrator for Photoshop Users – Part 1

If you already use Photoshop you’re well on your way to using Illustrator


Designed specifically for people who already use Photoshop, this video is part 1 of a series on  learning Illustrator. What makes this video different from most is that it uses what you already know about Illustrator from using Photoshop as a starting point.

The similarities and differences between Illustrator and Photoshop are explained and the video introduces you to the basic tools in Illustrator that you need to know to create designs.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Illustrator – Create an abstract dimensional flower

Create a Multi Layer Dimensional Flower in Illustrator Using Just One Shape

Learn how to create a multi layer dimensional flower in illustrator using just one shape.
You will see how to use the Appearance panel to duplicate the shape, fill it with partially transparent gradients and then blend it all together.

The shape also has an optional dotted stroke offset inside all the petals – all done using the Appearance panel.

This is an intermediate level Illustrator tutorial so you will need some basic Illustrator skills to be able to follow along.

Helen Bradley

Sunday, July 6th, 2014

Lightroom – Process an image

Process an Image in Lightroom

Learn how to process an image in Lightroom. You will see how to evaluate an image, how to process the entire image and then how to bring out details in the image using the Graduated filter.

See how to add multiple graduated filters to the photo, how to stack them and how to get around the problem where a filter which adjusts the skies also affects areas in the image you don’t want to affect.

Helen Bradley

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Lightroom – Hand Tint a Photo Effect

Create an Old Time Hand Tint Effect to a Photo in Lightroom

Learn how to apply an old time hand tint effect to a photo in Lightroom. You will see how to convert the image to black and white and then how to color it using the  Adjustment Brush. This technique can be applied to a range of images and the effect works well when you want a hand tinted look for your photo.

Helen Bradley

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Illustrator – Paint Vector Shapes with the Blob Brush

Paint Vector Shapes in Illustrator Using the Blob Brush

Harness the power of the Blob Brush in Illustrator

Learn how to paint vector shapes in Illustrator using the Blob brush new in Illustrator CS4. This cool tool lets you draw shapes as easily as painting them and doesn’t require you to use the Pen tool – which lots of Illustrator users hate!

This video also covers use of the Smooth and Pencil tools for reworking vector paths in Illustrator.

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Remove Edits to a Photo in Camera RAW

It’s not easy to find, but you can strip away the camera raw edits from a photo

Sometimes I look at the edits I’ve made to a photo a few months later and I think – What was I thinking? I simply hate what I did to the photo. I want the original image back so I can work on it again. But how to do that? You see there is no reset button in Adobe Camera RAW that matches the Reset button in Lightroom. It’s easy to do in Lightroom but not obvious how to do it in ACR.

If you get stuck like this and you want to reset an image in Camera RAW, first open the image in Camera RAW and then go to the Presets panel:


Open the flyout menu and choose Camera RAW Defaults. Instantly all your fixes will be removed from the image – whether they were applied in Camera RAW or Lightroom and the image will be back to how it looked out of the camera – Yeah!