New Course now available from lynda.com

Hey all!

My latest title from lynda.com – Perspective Drawing in Adobe Illustrator is now live and available for viewing. This is a great way to make sense of this complicated feature in AI. In this course, I show you how to build a simple two-point perspective illustration, shown above.

Be sure to check it out and give me feedback. The responses so far have been overwhelmingly positive so I’m a happy camper.

You can find the course here.

Happy Holidays and a couple of upcoming events

First, I want to wish you and yours a very happy, safe and loving holiday season. Thank you all for your friendship and support over the past year.

Next, I wanted to bring you up to speed on a couple of upcoming events that I will be presenting at.

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The Chicago Design Museum will be hosting Adobe Evangelist Paul Trani and me for a presentation on January 8th showcasing Adobe CC including Photoshop 3D, CC Libraries, Fixed Layout ePub and more! Don’t miss out and register HERE.

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I will also be at the South Dakota AIGA on January 15 presenting “Adobe Day” – featuring CC 2014 updates and my Photoshop for Designers Tour. You can find out more information HERE.

Lastly, Adobe has announced the end of Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition, ending on May 1, 2015. I wrote a detailed blog  over at the C2 website about what this means for users and alternative solutions including Fixed Layout ePub. You can read about it HERE.

This will lead into a presentation on February 20 “Transitioning for DPS SE” which will cover Fixed Layout ePub and alternative options for those using DPS SE. Watch for more information after the holiday break.

Getting my Geek on (twice)!

So I’ve been lacking in posts lately and for that I apologize. It’s been a whirlwind of events and classes including Birmingham, Los Angeles for two more lynda.com titles and a full schedule here at C2. And while this has been overwhelming at times, I wouldn’t trade it for the world because it has allowed me to revisit and have not one, but two great experiences in the past month and half.

BATMAN

Batman

First, while I was at Adobe MAX, I took an afternoon for myself and visited the Warner Bros. Studios. It was a fun tour and loved seeing behind the scenes of some of my favorite shows (including a visit to the Big Bang Theory Set – Bazinga!). But the highlight was seeing the Batman 75th Anniversary exhibit – complete with all the vehicles from the movies. You can see the images from the exhibit below.

IRON MAN

Iron Man

The second came this past week when I was out at lynda.com. I finished recording my titles early and so I had an extra day in LA. What to do, what to do? Oh wait – go to Disneyland! I was floored to find out that they had the Hall of Armor Exhibit by Stark Industries on display so I beelined it over to see my favorite Avenger (Thor and Cap had exhibits too but the lines were huge!).

The entire original movie-used armors were there including the Mk 42. Very neat to get up close and see the details.

MAX Recap Pt. 4 – Sneaks and MAX Bash

Sneaks!
Sneaks!

The evening of day 2 came to a head with the always anticipated MAX Sneaks session. This year Ben Forta was joined by Joseph Gordon Levitt (@hitRECordJoe). It was a nice change of pace to see the focus be solely on the tech and presentations, with limited (lacking) interaction between Levitt and Ben. An interesting observation is the presentations all ran short of the 5 minute limit with no one having to get “the hook”. I have to say I did miss the antics of last year’s with CHiPs Erik Estrada coming out to “arrest” the presenters who ran long.

The finished Kaiju Project Posters shown at MAX Sneaks with Russell and "Rusty".
The finished Kaiju Project Posters shown at MAX Sneaks with Russell and “Rusty”.

That being said, the presentations for the most part were amazing. First up was special guest Russell Brown talking about the RB@MAX Kaiju Project and presenting the winning poster to the audience. He was a hit with his trusty steed “Rusty” hopping along to the music on stage.

Defog!
Defog!
PM Zorana Gee shows off Photoshop Design.
PM Zorana Gee shows off Photoshop Design.

Next were the presentations by Adobe engineers and the interns who developed some pretty cool ideas. My favorites were Project Para, Defog (hit of the show in my opinion), Gap Stop (crazy video editing) and Photoshop Design. Check out the videos below for the sneaks.

The evening ended with the ever popular MAX Bash featuring Kings of Leon as the headliners. It was great to catch up with old friends, make some new ones and enjoy the food, beverage and music. I wish I could say I closed the joint, but I had early morning commitments the next day so I had to behave. 🙂

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MAX Recap Pt. 3 – Inspiring Presentations and MAX Pavilion!

The Day 2 Keynote at MAX was all about “Inspire”- having special guests take the stage and talk to us about their work, their life and how creativity has impacted them in both.

First up was Ami Vitale, a Nikon Ambassador and photojournalist. Her images from India, Africa and other exotic locations were amazing. She found the beauty in life even during civil unrest and wars. Her photography was amazing and that was before she showed us baby pandas in China.

Ami Vitale giving a very inspirational speech on her photography and being a woman in the industry.
Ami Vitale giving a very inspirational speech on her photography and being a woman in the industry.

Next up was illustrator Jason Seiler, who talked about his work as a political cartoonist, character illustrator and portrait artist. He broke down his famous Time Magazine Man of the Year illustration of Pope Francis. While his work may appear traditional, he does work mainly in Photoshop. But don’t ask him which it is, it angers him! “The media shouldn’t matter or get in the way, the subject and the results is what counts”.

Illustrator Jason Seiler takes us through the process of creating the Time Man of the Year illustration of the Pope.
Illustrator Jason Seiler takes us through the process of creating the Time Man of the Year illustration of the Pope.

After Jason was a very special guest, the one and only Weird Al Yankovic. It was an odd setup – two chairs, an interviewer asking random questions and Al giving very brief and blunt answers. His biggest applause came when he talked about “Word Crimes” and how his latest album had hit #1. He was very subdued but open during this “conversation”.

Oh yeah. Weird Al Yankovic showed up to talk about his work.
Oh yeah. Weird Al Yankovic showed up to talk about his work.

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Finally, Filmmaker Lee Hirsch took the stage to talk about his work and his latest film “BULLY” which has evolved into “The Bully Project”. This was the most emotional presentation I have seen at MAX. After previewing the film, Lee asked everyone to stand and close their eyes. He then asked anyone who has never been bullied to sit down. As we opened our eyes and looked around, no one had sat down. It was a very powerful image. Adobe also announced that they will be partnering with The Bully Project to help end bullying including a virtual collage, and making donations during the keynote for every tweet. Adobe had raised over $20,000 just that morning from this effort.

Filmmaker Lee Hirsch talks about The Bully Project.
Filmmaker Lee Hirsch talks about The Bully Project.

Next up was the show floor at the MAX Pavilion, here you could meet the product teams, talk about features and software, try out the new updates and more! My home base was the Community Lounge in the center of the room. I also participated in several Behance Portfolio reviews and even answered questions while staffing the Photoshop/Lightroom booth along Adobe team members. It was a whirlwind of energy, from the Adobe Youth Voices mural with Lee Hirsch making a traditional collage for The Bully Project, to TypeKit having a cool retro lounge with examples of fonts and font books to review. There was even a CDW bus complete with Flux Capacitor and Root Beer stand (featuring Milwaukee’s own Sprecher root beer!).

The Grimes Brothers! Aaron, Benjamin and Nate.
The Grimes Brothers! Aaron, Benjamin and Nate. Always fun to see them!
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The Adobe Community Lounge and Behance Review area are buzzing with people!
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Adobe Inspire Magazine had their own create space where attendees could make their own art to add to the banner of Inspire. Watch for a cool time lapse in an upcoming issue.
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C2 Represent at the Community Chalkboard!

Adobe MAX Recap Pt. 2 – Gallery Fun and MAX Keynote

So one of the fun opportunities that came out of going to MAX was the opportunity to exhibit some of my artwork at the Surf Club Gallery in Hollywood curated by former Adobe employee and cool cat Rick Miller. The event featured artwork from local tiki artists and Adobe community members. It was a lot of fun and a great time was had by all including a very swank birthday cake for Rick.

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Surf Club Art Gallery owner/curator Rick Miller and I.

Now, onto Adobe MAX Day 1 (Day 4 for me). Tuesday marked the first Keynote address by Adobe. It was very cool to see new faces showing off the new features of Adobe’s mobile apps including updates to Line and Sketch. I’ve already found real-world uses for Adobe Shape and Premiere Clip so those details will be coming in a later post. All the apps are FREE to use and connect seamlessly to your Creative ID – which was the underlying theme for the keynote. All your assets, apps and files are synced through your Adobe Creative ID. This new structure and communication between all these inputs either through the new CC Library or via my CC sync have been a joy to work with and have already made me more efficient even when on the road.

Hey look! It's Bert Monroy and Corey Barker!
Hey look! It’s Illustrator Guru Bert Monroy and KelbyOne instructor Corey Barker!
The Adobe Community Team all set for the Keynote!
The Adobe Community Team all set for the Keynote!
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Our seats for the MAX Keynote.
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David Wadhwani opens up the Keynote address.
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Scott Belsky emcees the new Adobe apps.
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My new mantra.

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Adobe MAX Recap Pt. 1 – The Kaiju Project

Wow. It’s already been almost a week since I have returned from Adobe MAX and my brain is still spinning from the experience. I thought I would share with you some of my thoughts and musings about MAX and the Russell Brown at MAX pre conference – The Kaiju Project.

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I arrived on Friday to assist with the setup for the pre-con and was happy to see fellow Kaiju ranglers Jennifer Willis, Monika Wolff, Maria Masiar and my buddies Sean Teegarden and AJ Wood. I was also blown away at the sight of one of the THREE Kaiju monsters created by the Stan Winston School of Character Arts.

Russell Brown, the man behind it all.
Russell Brown, the man behind it all. I think he’s contemplating how to top this year’s event.

Saturday started off like any other weekend morning – dressing up in costumes, watching Rayce Bird convert Maria into the Kaiju Princess, Russell mounting his steed and the attendees rolling in for a whirl-wind three day workshop.

Russell and Rusty entertaining the students taking photos.
Russell and Rusty entertaining the students taking photos.

The event was focused on using mobile devices to capture images and ultimately create movie posters based on the Kaiju theme. Special guests including Julieanne Kost, Corey Barker, Lisa Carney, Chris Converse and more gave tips and tutorials on how to enhance and create the posters or even animate them using Edge Animate.

Uh oh. We have a man down. Ok just some legs.
Uh oh. We have a man down. Ok just some legs.
Russell mounting "Rusty" the Kaiju for the first time.
Russell mounting “Rusty” the Kaiju for the first time.
"Whoa Rusty!"
“Whoa Rusty!”
Closeup of the Kaiju Princess makeup.
Closeup of the Kaiju Princess makeup.
Rayce Bird applying makeup effects to Maria.
Rayce Bird applying makeup effects to Maria.
Russell and Maria.
Russell and Maria.

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Matt Winston from Stan Winston School propping up the Kaiju arm.
Matt Winston from Stan Winston School propping up the Kaiju arm.

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The finished Kaiju Project Posters shown at MAX Sneaks with Russell and "Rusty".

The finished Kaiju Project Posters shown at MAX Sneaks with Russell and “Rusty”.

In the end this sold out session created some stunning works of art which were on display during the MAX conference and also highlighted during MAX Sneaks on Day 2.

This was by far the biggest Russell Brown event I have ever been a part of. It was inspiring, entertaining and overwhelming at times with the shear size of the models! I look forward to whatever the mad genius comes up with next including hearing his ideas on his next big event ADIM 15 – “Shakespeare on the Sea” . But for now, Russell has rode off into the sunset on his trusty stead “Rusty”.

Coming up next – Gallery Showings and MAX Day 1 Recap!

Photoshop World Recap!

Wow! What a week that was. Glad to be home and back in the normal day-to-day routine, but I already miss all my friends at Photoshop World. For the third year in a row, I hosted along with the local Las Vegas Adobe Groups, our annual Adobe Community Photoshop World Kickoff. This year was by far the best we’ve had with a number of PSW instructors and Adobe guests coming out to meet and greet with the local Las Vegas community. Special thanks to RiRa Irish Pub for putting together a birthday surprise for Bert Monroy.

Bert Monroy enjoys his birthday dessert with myself and Krystal Homser,  Adobe User Group Manager.
Bert Monroy enjoys his birthday dessert with myself and Krystal Homser, Adobe User Group Manager.
Some of the PSW Instructors and special guests.
Some of the PSW Instructors and special guests.

This year wound up being more than I expected for a number of reasons, but mainly because I ended up presenting three times at the Expo Hall this year – twice at the Adobe theatre and once with my friends at Wacom.

It was an interesting and exciting trip being on the other side of the fence and showing my projects to attendees. I loved the feedback after presenting and answering questions at the Adobe booth on Photoshop and Lightroom.

Presenting "Creative Composites" at the Wacom Booth. Photo: Kristina Jacob
Presenting “Creative Composites” at the Wacom Booth. Photo: Kristina Jacob
Presenting how to recover a bad photo at the Adobe booth. Photo: James Conway.
Presenting how to recover a bad photo at the Adobe booth. Photo: James Conway.
Presenting "Photoshop Quick Tips" at the Adobe Booth. Photo: Theresa McLellan Jackson
Presenting “Photoshop Quick Tips” at the Adobe Booth. Photo: Theresa McLellan Jackson
Answering questions at the Adobe Booth. Photo: James Conway
Answering questions at the Adobe Booth. Photo: James Conway

When I wasn’t presenting, I was catching some of the sessions I haven’t seen before either because they were new instructors or new topics. I was pleasantly surprised with Lindsay Adler and her honest delivery when it came to portrait photography and also newcomer Tim Wallace presenting photographing automobiles. I mean how can you go wrong when the drive a Lamborghini onto the classroom floor??

Tim Wallace discusses how to photograph exotic cars
Tim Wallace discusses how to photograph exotic cars

There was a lot of fun to be had as well, from the Tweetup and After Hours Party to Midnight Madness (which I missed for the first time in years). It was a great way to meet new people including instructors and discuss anything from Photoshop to sausage making (not kidding but that’s another post).

Photoshop World instructors hanging out at the Tweetup.
Photoshop World instructors hanging out at the Tweetup.
Instructor Colin Smith shows off his motocross skills at the After Hours Party.
Instructor Colin Smith shows off his motocross skills at the After Hours Party.

This was by far the most fun I’ve had at a Photoshop World. Not taking anything away from any of the previous 9 I have been to, but this one had a case of the giggles right from the start with the blooper reel from the keynote ending with a rousing edition of “Spongebob Squarepants” (which by the way Scott Kelby does a great Mr. Crabs impersonation). Russell Brown was in rare form, going with the Pirate theme of the event. Even the attendees were a fun bunch to be around.

Photoshop World Guru Best of Show Winner Patrick LaMontagne taking a call with the help of Author/Instructor Scott Valentine
Photoshop World Guru Best of Show Winner Patrick LaMontagne taking a call with the help of Author/Instructor Scott Valentine
Arrr! Russell Brown is as animated as ever.
Arrr! Russell Brown is as animated as ever.

So I am exhausted, my brain is full and I have a lot more fond memories to keep me going until the next Photoshop World. Thanks to everyone involved on both sides of the event for making this a great and entertaining conference! 

I want to also give a special shout out to my co-blogger Kristina Jacob for her help and friendship! Check out her posts at Kristina Jacob Photography. Also Stephen Bell and Ajna Adams from the KelbyOne team you couldn’t have asked for better team members!

Here are some videos from the event including my personal favorite moment, Keynote speaker Joel Grimes talking about his trip to Iceland with his two sons and using Lightroom Mobile.

2014 Las Vegas Keynote

Classes and Expo Recap Video