My desktop computer recently crashed, so I've had to spend some time getting it back up and running. I've just about got it, but my DVD drive is only working in Safe Mode. This caused me trouble when I tried to re-install Adobe C3 (for Dreamweaver and Photoshop, mostly). In the end, here's what I had to do:
- Copy the contents of the first disc to my hard disk, in any folder.
- Copy the contents of the payloads directories from each of the other discs into the payloads directory on my hard disk. No files were replaced.
- Run the installer (setup.exe) from the Adobe CS3 directory on my hard disk. From this location, setup looks for all of the files on the hard disk, instead of asking for the next CD.
I used my own photograph of Dale Chihuly's glass installation at ceiling of the Bellagio as the base for this seamless background. The number of objects and variety of color in this photograph made it quite an ambitious choice, but the transparency inherent in the glass artwork mitigated some of the odder blends.
I created this background in Photoshop. Here is a summary of the steps I used:
- Leaving a wide margin, copy a new image from original. This margin will give you extra source data for the blending the seams, so make it a little wider than the objects in the original photograph.
- Use the Offset Filter (Filter> Other> Offset) to shift the image 50% of its total dimensions both horizontally and vertically.
- Save your .PSD.
- Create a new layer.
- Use the clone tool to paint a large area into the new layer from the original layer.
- Align the new layer directly on top of the original layer. Set the layer blending mode to "difference" and nudging with the arrow keys will help.
- Add a layer mask to the new layer.
- With a soft brush, edit the new layer to blend nicely into the original layer. Paint black to "erase" the new layer and white to paint it back in.
- Go back to step 3 and repeat until the seams are gone.
- To check your work, first Save your .PSD, then flatten flatten all the layers and repeat the offset filter.
- If you'll be shrinking the image to a smaller pixel size in it's final form, work on the full-size image first, then re-size to the smaller size.
Here's a more thorough tutorial of turning photographs into seamless backgrounds.
Last month at the office, Photoshop suddenly became very very slow to launch and open new documents. It was really quite unbearable. In fact, I had even noticed that Word was slower to launch, but that wasn't as much of a problem as Photoshop, which I use all the time. I happened to complain of this to our Creative Director, and he said that it was the new printer driver for the brand new office copier/printer, and I should set my default printer driver to the PDF Writer.
I never would have figured out that the new printer driver was causing all of my trouble. Even when I was doing tech support for printers, if a customer had complained to me of a slow computer, I never would have thought to try a different driver.
But I did switch the default driver to the PDF Writer, and then Photoshop continued zipping along as it had in the past. Until the next day, after I rebooted the computer. Sadly, it turns out that our IT group sets a user's default printer on log-in. So I had to remember to re-set the default printer to the PDF Writer each time I logged on, or suffer with a very slow Photoshop.
After two weeks of this, I wrote a ticket to IT, asking that if they could not fix the new printer driver, to please quit changin with my default printer setting. The response I got back indicated that fixing the issue was a low priority item, and I should quit rebooting my computer so often. Sigh.
The good news is that just yesterday (3 or 4 weeks after I wrote the ticket), we have a new company printer driver. I am happy to report that both Photoshop and Word are quite acceptable with this new driver.
One of the things that I've been busy doing is working a new article. IE6 (and lower) .PNG Experiments is a series of tests of various solutions for the grey background that appears on .PNGs with alpha transparencies in Internet Explorer 6 (or lower).
The really important part of this article is the major drawbacks to any solution that is based on using the AlphaImageLoader filter. In short, doing so caused hard lockups of IE6 that some serious Microsoft ninjas were unable to resolve. My very strong recommendations is that you use a graphic-based solution such as using Fireworks to add an alternate color palette to the image, or simply re-matting the image against the desired background color.
My Macbook Air came this week. It's just as delightfully slim and just as sleek as you'd imagine. I got Firefox installed with only a bit of trouble. This may be obvious to you Mac users, but I was confused when Firefox wanted me to drag it to the fonts folder. Turns out, that's not the fonts folder — that's the applications folder.
But it's not all chocolate and roses with the Macbook Air either. We did have trouble installing the CS3 Master Collection. You see, there's no optical drive on the MacBook Air. So we connected my Macbook Air to the husband's Macbook over the network, so as to borrow the husband's Macbook's DVD drive. Unfortunately, this made the CS3 installer (which normally runs like molasses) about as slow as ...something really slow. Since it was so slow, I quit babysitting, and did some dishes. When I came back, both Macs had fallen asleep. I started them back up, but the installer kept insisting that it couldn't find CS3 Disc One. The husband did some magic with his USB hard drive, and he eventually got the install completed, but the Installer said there was a problem with Photoshop, and we should re-install.
Long story short, here's my advice should you need to install CS3 (or any of it's components) onto your Macbook Air via Drive Sharing: Do not let either Air or other Macbook fall asleep. Babysit them, or disable all of the power saving options until the install is complete. Be sure you've got the computers connected to power.
An even better option is, if you have a USB hard drive, use it to make disk images with your other Mac, hook the USB drive the to the Macbook Air, and then install from those disc images. It's going to be a lot quicker that way.
Remaining blogs about photoshop: