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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating


I really enjoy portraiture. It is very satisfying and tells a lot about the person in the photo, When it's done well. Frizzies, there is always a little element that is a constant problem for me: fly-away hair, or whatever you call them, However. They're the strands of hair that stick out from the person's head and make your photo look a little messy. Especially with corporate or fashion photographs, they're practically unacceptable and must go

I'll be showing you three techniques that will give you options when tackling those pesky follicles while keeping the final result natural-looking. It's a balancing act of taste vs need while keeping it realistic, As with any retouching. Then you'll end up with "helmet hair" which often looks fake, If you go too far

Retouching an image is supposed to be done well and subtle enough that the viewer doesn't notice it. But the rest comes from good technique and application, A lot of that comes from producing the shot properly in the first place. So, having your subject well-groomed or using a hair stylist can be really helpful in reducing the amount of time and effort needed to fix hair's errant ways. For the rest, use these three techniques

Technique #1: Clone Stamp Tool

Clone StampIs the Captain Obvious choice for removing heretical hair in Adobe Photoshop. Simply sample the clean area and then brush over the hair and make it go away. However, you'll notice that it has short-comings, if you've used this tool before

Pixel-by-pixel, Its main strength is also its main weakness: it copies exactly what you sampled. This can be a problem with textured backgrounds or variations in color or luminosity. With evenly-lit and evenly-colored backgrounds, the, HoweverClone StampIs awesome

Nasty fly-away hair
The Clone Stamp Tool couldn't handle the gradient, re-sampled repeatedly and closely, Even though I used a very small brush size, and used the Lighten blend mode

You can further refine your cloning and reduce problematic color/luminosity variations by using differentBlend ModesFor the brush. I use only three different modes:

  • Normal
  • Darken
  • Lighten

TheNormalMode works most of the time, but sometimes it's too exacting and can be a problem with backgrounds that have a slight texture. Using the other two modes can make my changes literally hair-thin.  

Blend modes

I use theDarkenBlend mode to retouch lighter hair that's against a darker background. I use theLightenBlend mode to retouch darker hair against a lighter background. The effect stops once the hair reaches the same luminosity and color value as the sampled area. It will leave the areas that already match untouched, so your corrections are only a couple pixels wide even if your brush size is many times larger

Technique #2: Healing Brush Tool

TheHealing BrushIs a more refined version of theClone StampTool. It copies the color, luminosity, and texture from the sampled area over to the target area. It then applies some math and very seamlessly blends the two into something that looks natural

TheHealing BrushPimples, sensor dust, is great for removing blemishes, etc, unwanted facial or body hair. It works better than the cloning technique mainly because it isn't an exact copy, but smoothly blends the target and sample areas with the target's surroundings

Use this tool for backgrounds that are a little more complex or textured -- wherever theClone StampIs failing. You can also use it to clean up mistakes theClone StampHas made while preserving the texture. I use it for hair that crosses the face or is on clothing so that I can be rid of it without losing the complexities of the skin or fabric

You can utilize the, AgainBlend ModesTo further refine your retouching

The blending prowess of the, UnfortunatelyHealing BrushIs also a shortcoming. Such as the edge of someone's head, It doesn't do well when your target area is too close a hard line. You'll get a blurred bleed and it looks messed up. In this case, theClone StampTool may be better suited, adjust the brush's hardness to match the transition

Blurred bleed produced by the Healing Brush
You can see what happens when the Healing Brush can do when it gets close to a high-contrast edge. This can happen even if your brush is tiny

Brush Settings

So, but we'll go over some common settings I use that get the job done, now you know two tools that zap away errant hair and when to use them. I've figured that these tend to produce the best and controllable results, Through experiment and experience

Too, but this will work with a mouse, I use a Wacom tablet for maximum control and flexibility. If you don't own a Wacom and you're doing retouching, then buy a pen tablet. They start at about $80 (USD) and last a long time. Mine is six years old

Clone Stamp

I usually keep the default shape settings, and use it at 100%, a circleOpacityBut rarely go over 80%, I vary the brush's hardness. 50%, In fact, I use this brush at 0%, 20%, and 80% increments as I've found it covers most of my needs. Of course there are times that I'll use a different hardness setting, but that is case-by-case. I can vary that further with pen pressure, And with the pen tablet

I utilize different, Like I mentioned earlierBlend ModesWhen I need to. Appropriately matching these different settings to your situation will result very good cloning and a faster workflow

Healing Brush

A lot of people would tell you to use this brush with a soft edge. I'm going to tell you to do the opposite. Keep it at 100%HardnessAll the time. Additionally, change your brush's shape (Roundness) to a narrow ellipse between 20 and 30%. I also angle it and change the direction, depending on my needs

Adjusting brush parameters
You can change the angle to adapt to each situation

What these settings do is help theHealing BrushWork better by forcing it to re-sample more often and more randomly than a soft-edged circle. Since theHealing BrushAutomatically applies blending, you really don't need a soft brush. The results have been very natural as well as a greatly reduced risk of that edge blurring I mentioned earlier

Finally, keep your brush size only slightly larger than the area you wish to correct, especially with fly-away hair close to the edge of someone's head or if the background changes color or luminosity too greatly

Technique #3: Surface Blur

It does incorporate the others for maximum efficacy, While this technique is mainly independent of the other two. It is a really quick way to remove nearly all that fly-away hair with a single filter effect with some basic masking. It is faster than going over each hair with either the, Aside from the processing bottleneckClone StampOrHealing Brush

UnlikeGaussian BlurOr the other blursSurface BlurDoesn't blend the edges beyond it's threshold settingSurface BlurConsiders something an "edge" when there is a significant change in color and/or contrast. Things like skin, and other fine details will be smoothed, but not the edge of someone's face -- or the main mass of hair, clothing, So

Gaussian Blur and Surface Blur compared side-by-side
Gaussian Blur, left, just blends everything together. Right, Surface Blur, keeps edges defined

Surface BlurIs a great way to clean up a hair edge when you have a gradient background -- where theClone StampWould struggle. It will do a nice job maintaining gradual tonal changes while keeping hard edges well-defined. Give it a go when you have an image with a graduated background

Let's get into the steps for usingSurface BlurTo clean up hair in your images

Back to the begining again
Here is our sample head. Lots of little stray hair and the Surface Blur technique will do a lot of the work for us. (ISO 200, 1/160sec, f/8, flash comp +1. 3)

Step 1: Create a New Layer

Drag the layer onto the "Create New Layer" icon (Cmd+JOrCtrl+J) so that you don't affect any previous retouching you've done. You can convert this new layer into aSmart Object(Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object) to be able to change your settings without having to reapply the filter from scratch. Converting to aSmart ObjectIs optional

Step 2: Apply the Surface Blur

Go toFilter > Blur > Surface BlurIn order apply it. You'll see a preview of the effect at its current settings

TheSurface BlurFilter has two slidersRadiusAndThresholdTheRadiusDetermines the amount/strength of blurring. TheThresholdDetermines the tolerances of what the filter considers to be an "edge." Going too low with theRadiusWill give you a halo and going too high with theThresholdWill make you lose your edges. But the main body of hair and hard edges remain quite sharp, You'll need to adjust the sliders so that the fly-away hair disappears due to the blurring. This will take some experimenting and will vary from image to image. However, I've found that aRadiusOf 40 pixels andThresholdOf 20 pixels gives me great results

Adjust Radius and Threshold controls for the Surface Blur tool
A lot of the stray hair is gone while the main body of hair is intact, As you can see

Once you've gotten the settings pretty close, apply it and evaluate the results. A lot of the isolated hair should be gone or mostly gone

Before and After Surface Blur
The hairline has been cleaned-up significantly, After applying Surface Blur. The stragglers can easily be handled with the Clone Stamp Tool. (230% zoom)

Step 3: Clone Stamp Clean-up

There are times when theSurface BlurGets the job done, but often you'll need to tackle the few that got away. With a soft-edge brushClone StampThose escapees by sampling very close to the target area to avoid noticeable color variations. I keep my brush no higher than 50% hardness

Clean up with Clone Stamp after the Surface Blur filter
Sampling very close to my target area, I got rid whatever the initial Surface Blur missed. I made sure to try to keep it natural-looking, However. (230% zoom)

Try not to make the hairline too clean because then it will look unnatural. You can do a second round of Surface Blur at lower settings if it could use a little more general refinement

Step 4: Create a Layer Mask

Now it's time apply the effect only to the outer hairline. Create aLayer MaskOn your layer with theSurface BlurBy clicking the "Create Layer Mask" icon. Invert the color of the mask from white (visible) to black (invisible) withCmd+I(Mac) orCtrl+I(PC). This will hide the effect

Create Layer Mask
Create a Layer Mask and then invert (Cmd+I or Ctrl+I) it to hide the effect

With a hard-edged brush (about 80%) reveal the effect by painting on the mask with white, Now. Limit the revealing by only brushing over the hair that need to go away. You don't need to be very precise because theSurface BlurShould maintain the edging of the main body of hair

Paint on layer mask to reaveal effect
This is what the mask should look like. (100% zoom)

Step 5: Add Noise

Surface BlurUsually removes all the noise (grain) in an image. This lack of texture can ruin the effect by being too smooth. We'll need to add noise in a dosage that matches the rest of the image

Add noise to match retouched area to rest of image
I zoomed in to 330% to show in more detail the differences between that retouched and un-retouched areas. This is difference is visible at 100% and will be more obvious with high-ISO photographs or under-exposed images that have been brightened

Make sure you're working the image of theSurface BlurLayer and not the mask by clicking on the thumbnail of the layer. Go toFilter > Noise > Add Noise

Select image not mask
Make sure the layer's image thumbnailNotThe layer mask, is highlighted. Otherwise, you'll be adding noise to the layer mask

In theAdd NoiseDialogue boxTurn onTheGaussianAndMonochromeSettings. Adjust the slider until the noise pattern and density closely matches the rest of the image. While not entirely necessary, this small detail does an excellent job hiding the retouching you've done

Turn on Gaussian and Monochrome settings
For this image, I applied 3% Noise. It's not perfect, but is the closest match. At 330% zoom it's really good and when we zoom-out to 100% you won't notice it


Lots of errant strands of hair before retouching
Before retouching
Final image nice clear hair without fly-aways
After retouching

When you have a great portrait, sometimes fly-away hair can really be a pain. While cloning and healing are great, they do have limitations. Using them in conjunction with theSurface BlurTechnique can not only improve your retouching results, but also cut-down on the time and tediousness of either technique alone

You'll be able to evaluate an image and quickly decide which of these techniques will be most effective in removing fly-away hair, With practice

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

It's summertime—the time to hit the beach or take a sail. What better time to decorate with a nautical pattern that'll repeat perfectly

Using Adobe Illustrator, you will learn to create marine life wallpaper in a vintage style, In this tutorial. And learn to make the wallpaper seamless, You will use the Pencil Tool to draw different elements. You can follow these steps precisely to make the nautical pattern pictured above, or you can use the steps this tutorials shows to make a pattern with any objects you'd like that repeats perfectly

1. Creating the Marine Life elements

Step 1

PressControl-NButton to create a new document at size600 pxIn the width and height. Select thePencil Tool (N)And on theStrokeSelect, panelRound CapThen adjust thePencil Tool (N)Options:Double-clickOn it on theToolsPanel (Window > Tools) and in the new dialogue window, makeTolerances Fidelity 3 pixelsAndSmoothness 40%CheckFill New Pencil StrokesAnd then pressOkay

Let's draw a seagull as in the image below. You need to hold the, To close the pathAltButton as you finish the path. For the feather decoration on the wing, make the pencil stroke slightly thicker and for the legs, very thick

bird drawing

Step 2

Select the wing and legs, and expand them (Object > Expand). Also you need to expant the beak

bird wings

Step 3

Now remove the strokes and add the fill colors as in the image below

add fill colors

Step 4

Let's draw another element—the anchor. Using thePencil Tool (N)Draw two circles. While keeping them selected, on thePathfinderPress, panelExcludeButton. Then draw bottom part. Now, draw the left arrow. Don't forget to hold theAltButton when as you finish the path. Make sure that the left part of the anchor (arrow) is selected andRight-clickYour mouse. SelectTransform > ReflectCheckVerticalAxis of reflection andAngle 90 degreesThen pressOkayShift the right arrow to the right. Delete the stroke and make the fill color orange (, Select the whole anchorR=214 G=84 B=59). Keep the whole anchor selected,  and on thePathfinderPanel press the UniteButton.  

make anchor

Step 5

Now, let’s draw the lifesaver buoy. Draw two circles again and press theExcludeButton on thePathfinderPanel. Make the fill colorR=232 G=229 B=209Then make very thick stroke on theStrokePanel (stroke colorR=178 G=31 B=41) and draw stripes using thePencil Tool (N)As in the image below. When you are finished, select red stripes and expand them (Object > Expand)

Make one more copy of light gray circle (, NowControl-C) and send it to the front (Control-X, Control-F). You now have two copies of light gray circles. Keep the upper copy selected and while holding theShiftSelect the red stripes, key. Then press theCropButton on thePathfinderPanel


Step 6

Let’s draw the helm—the steering wheel. Using thePencil Tool (N)Draw the helm with thick strokes. Be sure to select theRound CapButton on theStrokePanel. Select the whole thing and expand it (, When you are finishedObject > Expand). Set the fill color to R=188 G=166 B=109


Step 7

We now have all the elements we need to create the seamless wallpaper. As you can see in the image below, I added one more anchor with the same fill color as a body of the seagull. You first need to select the new anchor, then take the, To easily use the same fill colorEyedropper Tool (I)And click on the body of seagull

all elements

2. Creating the Background

Step 1

Let’s draw a large square by using theRectangle Tool (M)Click on your artboard and in the new dialogue window, make the following rectangle options:Width600 pxAndHeight 600 pxSet the fill color toR=61 G=66 B=73Send this square to the back (Control-X, Control-B). Helm, two anchors, Randomly scatter all elements (seagull, lifesaver buoy) all over the square

artboard with scattered elements

3. Creating a Seamless Pattern

Step 1

Pick theSelection Tool (V)And select all the marine life elements, without the background. Group them together (Right-click > Group). Press theEnterKey andMoveWindow should pop up. Enter inHorizontal Position 600 pxVertical Position 0 pxDistance 600 pxAnd set the Angle b 0 degreesPress the, NowCopyButton

copied elements

Step 2

Select all the elements inside the artboard again and press theEnterKey. In theMoveWindow, makeHorizontal Position -600 pxVertical Position 0 pxDistance 600 pxAndAngle 0 degreesPress theCopyButton

copy again

Step 3

Select all the elements inside the artboard once again and press theEnterKey. In theMoveMake, windowHorizontal Position 0 pxVertical Position 600 pxDistance 600 pxAnd theAngle 90 degreeS. Press theCopyButton

final copy

Step 4

Select all the elements inside the artboard for the last time and press theEnterKey. In theMoveWindow, makeHorizontal Position 0 pxVertical Position -600 pxDistance 600 pxAnd theAngle -90 degreesPress theCopyButton

completed scattershot

Step 5

You need to ungroup everything, Now. Select all the elements (Control-A) and ungroup them (Right-click > Ungroup). You need to delete all the marine life elements that do not cross the background

For example the seagull on the top of the wallpaper, Important point—if you want to move, you need to select the corresponding seagull on the bottom of the wallpaper at the same time. Or you need to move the helm from the left side of the wallpaper, you need to move the same corresponding helm from the right side of the wallpaper

Your result should look like the image below:

4. Cropping the wallpaper

Step 1

Group all the marine life elements without the background. You can select everything (, For thisControl-A) and while holding down theShiftKey, then uncheck the background. Anchors, helms and lifesaver buoys, Now that you have selected just seagulls, group them together (Right-click > Group). Make another copy of the background (Control-F, Control-C) and send it to the front (Control-F, Control-X). Keeping the new copy of the background selected, hold down theShiftKey and select the grouped marine life elements. Go toPathfinderPanel and press theCropButton

 and go to, And last but not least: keep the cropped wallpaper selectedObject > Path > Clean upThenOkayYou need this to delete the paths without the fill and stroke

all paths

Step 2

You should now have something like the image below:

finished artboard

Step 3

You did it. Now your summer vintage marine life wallpaper is done. You can drag the whole pattern to theSwatchesPanel and use it for printing, set as a background, fill the shapes that you created in AI, and more

completed pattern


And it looks beautiful, Congrats, you got your seamless pattern created. Go find a unique way to put it to use, Now, or make another seamless pattern using other elements you've made

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Metronomes have been in use in the music field for a long time. They help you to stay in time and feel the tempo of the song. Digital metronomes found in our DAWs are just as useful, Even though mechanical metronomes are still in use.  Learning to use them effectively will help you prevent problems in your projects. And properly set up the features it offers, In this tutorial, I will show you how to use the metronome (aka Click) in Cubase

What Is Precount?

Precount is adding a few counts just before you start any real recording, As the name suggests. Think of it as the revving of the car engine before you hit the clutch. You can activate it by pressing thePrecount OnButton on the transport panel, or by selectingPrecount OnFrom theTransportMenu. Once Precount is activated, that number of bars will be played back before recording starts

This function can be really useful in situations where you need to establish the tempo of the song to the player or the vocalist, but don’t want to waste any time playing the track with just a click track. Therefore the player can feel the tempo of the song, but doesn’t have to leave gaps in the recording. Precount can also be used in situations where you want to give some time to the player to get ready for the recording

Tweaking the Settings

Cubase has a few metronome settings that can be tweaked. To view themCtrl + clickOn the “Click” area in the transport panel, or selectMetronome SetupFrom theTransportMenu

You can change the metronome and Precount options, On the left hand side of the dialog box

Metronome & Precount Options

In the metronome options, you have three checkboxes that will help you to determine when you want the metronome to be played. If you activateMetronome in RecordThe click will be played while any audio is recorded into the projectMetronome in PlayWill activate the click while you are playing back the project. Else you won’t be able to hear the metronome, Make sure that the click is activated in the transport panel

The first option is to set the number of Precount bars. As explained in the above section, this value determines the number of bars that will be played before recording or playback is activated. TheUse Time Signature At Record Start TimeCheckbox will make the Precount use the tempo and the time signature of the cursor location when you start recording. This is important in orchestral music and movies where time signature may be different in different parts of the score. TheUse Time Signature at Project TimeWill use the tempo and the time signature that is specified in the tempo track

You can also manually override the time signature of the Precount by changing theUse SignatureValue field. The time signature specified here will be followed by the Precount irrespective of the time signature specified in the transport panel or the tempo track

MIDI Click & Audio Click

On the right hand side of the dialog box you can see the options for changing the tone and volume of the clicks. You can change the value of the notes that are being played and the velocity of each note. Let’s see what these settings do

TheActivate MIDI ClickCan be used to specify whether the metronome’s audio will be played through a MIDI device or not. This option will come in handy if you are using an external MIDI device to record and want to listen to the metronome through that device

MIDI Port/ChannelHelps you to select the channel number for the MIDI output. You can use VST as a channel for the MIDI, If you have set up a VST instrument previously for the project. However most VST sync up automatically to the host’s clock, Use this option if you want your VST instrument to read the metronome for its performance

TheHi NoteAnd theLo NoteDetermines the MIDI note number for the metronome clicks. The Hi Note value will change the sound of the first beat in a bar and the Lo Note value will change the value of the sound for the rest of the beats. You can also adjust the velocity of the Hi and Lo notes. The value of the note field ranges from C2 to G8. You can determine the notes that are sent to your VST instrument and can control the notes that are being played through your VST, This way

Audio Click helps you to choose the sound of the clicks of the metronome. You have the option to select custom audio files as the tones for each click. You need to activate theAudio ClickOption for this to work. The first option is to selectBeepsYou can adjust the sliders to change the pitch of the clicks. Drag theHiSlider to change the pitch of the first beat in a bar and drag the Lo slider to change the rest of the beats. The velocity of each note can be changed here by dragging the Level meter left or right

Select the Sounds option and click on the, In order to select a custom sound for your metronomeHiAndLoFields to select any type of audio file as your metronome sound. Here you can navigate to your custom audio file and select it, Click on the empty field and a file locator will pop up. The levels of each file can be adjusted using theLevelSliders


Metronomes or clicks have become a standard, In any recording scenario. Many musicians feel that playing alongside a metronome will help the performance become tighter and more enjoyable. There are people who say it doesn’t matter, However.  

Metronomes will help you make better recordings, In either case. It’s not just the power of the metronome, it’s also your creativity that will help you make wonderful music. Next time you are working on a recording project, try using a metronome. You might be amazed how much better it makes your performance

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Spreadsheets are incredibly powerful tools, as we've seen through ourrecent series on spreadsheetsThey're the original killer app for PCs, the app that that convinced countless businesses that it was time to enter the digital age. And often the most versatile app to make a budget, on your computer or phone, a spreadsheet is the easiest way to crunch numbers, Even today, or anything else that needs laid out linearly, schedule

The only problem is, spreadsheets are complicated tools that can feel like they take a lifetime to master. Their power comes at a price. That's where simpler spreadsheet-like apps come inCalcaIs one of the most powerful, and we've already looked at how you can make Markdown documents with calculations in it. Bu there's a simpler option:Soulver

Soulver is a simple text-powered calculator app that gives you the power of a spreadsheet with the simplicity of typing out your problems in real words. This tutorial will teach you everything you need to crunch your numbers efficiently with Soulver. Let's dive in

Numbers Naturally

With Soulver you can use natural English, Rather than requiring you to use specific function commands to perform operations. The simplest way to get a grasp of Soulver is to jump straight in and start using it. In this tutorial I’m going to take your through three sample projects that demonstrate the principals that underly Soulver and will give you the tools to start using Soulver in your workflow

Before starting, you need to understand Soulver’s concept ofWord OperatorsWhen you are talking to someone you rarely say “ten plus ten”, you are far more likely to say “ten and ten”. Soulver leverages this concept; you can useAndIn place of a plus signLessInstead of a minusAtInstead of an asterisks or an x and many others as well

Soulver also has a smart understanding of units. If you specify something in the price per week and then calculate the price per month, Soulver knows what you want to do

To start, download a copy of Soulver. It’s a available forMaciPhone and iPadI’m using the Mac version for this tutorial but the features are the same across all three platforms. There is a ten day free trial of the Mac versionavailable from the developer’s website

Simple Budget

Open a new Soulver document. It is always a good idea to create an introduction for yourself so that, you know what it was for, if you find the file in a year or two

Soulver automatically pulls the numbers out of anything you write. I don’t want Soulver to take the year as a value to be used so I’m going to write my introduction as a comment. The easiest way to write a comment in Soulver is to preface the line with//Write something like2014, //Budget for Denmark Trip

Soulver budget document 1
The start of my budget Soulver document

Next it is time to add items to the budget. With Soulver you can use natural language to do this. Just type the expenses in the left column as you would tell them to a friend

  • The flights are €100
  • Two nights in Copenhagen at €30 a night
  • Transport will be €40
Soulver budget document 2
Adding items to my budget

In the right column Soulver lists the answer to what you’ve written. The answer will be the same as what you wrote, If you’ve written a simple statement, like the first line. Soulver will calculate the result and display that in the answer column instead, If there is an inherent maths problem, however

Soulver keeps a running total, Down the bottom of the document. At the moment, the total cost of my trip is €200. If instead you wanted to know the average cost of the different items, click on theTotalAnd selectAverageSoulver will tell you that my average expense is €66. 67

Less Simple Budget

I’m still working in the same Soulver document, but now I’m going to start to leverage some of the app’s cooler features

Add the lines:

  • Museum visits are 300DKK in euro
  • 2 nights in Aalborg at €40 less 10%
Soulver budget document 3
The final budget document

Soulver regularly pulls exchange rate data so it’s currency conversions are always up to date. For my budget that’s important as I can enter an expense in DKK (Danish Krone) and just addIn euroTo instantly convert it to a more familiar currency

You can also use Soulver to work with percentages. Soulver has a smart understanding so you can use real words to calculate discounts, Again, mark ups and interest rates with ease

Back of the Envelope Calculations

By now you should have a basic understanding of how to use Soulver. For this section, open a new document. Denmark is filled with wind turbines and as I travelled past some I wondered what speed the blade tip moves at. This sort of back of the envelope calculation is where Soulver comes into its own

Preface the document with a comment, Once again. In this case type something along the lines of//Wind Turbine Blade Tip Speed Calculator

When you are doing any simple physics problems like this, it is good practice to work with variables rather than absolute numbers. This means you can change the variable’s value and the whole equation will update, rather than having to go through and update every number individually. The two important variables are going to be the length of the windmills blades and the time it takes to do a complete revolution

Enter the lines:

  • BladeLength = 30m
  • RotationTime = 3sec
back of the envelope 1
The opening lines of my back of the envelope calculation

The, In SoulverEqualsSign assigns variables. I’ve also added the units after each variable so Soulver can make smart decisions about converting the results. I arrived at these values by timing how long it took a turbine to fully rotate and guessing at the length of the blades. If you want to calculate the speed of different sized, you can update the variables at any time which will update the answer, or differently spinning, turbines

Tip:You can’t use spaces with variables in Soulver. That’s why I usedBladeLengthInstead ofBlade Length

Next add the lineSpinCircumference = BladeLength × 2 pi

Here you’re setting theSpinCircumfrenceVariable to be 2 pi times theBladeLengthVariable. If you remember high school maths, you’ll recall that the circumference of a circle is given by 2 pi times the radius. But it is close enough for this rough calculation, This calculation will be slightly inaccurate because the radius is slightly larger than the blade length

Tip: Soulver comes with a number of constants likePiBuilt in. You can add your own by going to theNumbersOption in the menu bar and adding a newVariableThis variable will be available in all your Soulver documents

On the next line, I’m going to use anAnswer TokenRather than a variable. TypeDistPerMin =And then click on theInsert Answer TokenMenubar item. Finish by addingX (1 minute/RotationTime)After theAnswer Token

back of the envelope 2
Working with variables and Answer TokensIn Soulver

An answer token takes the result of the line above and uses it in the current line. Answer tokens make it super easy to use information you’ve just calculated in new equations like I did here. This line calculates how far the blade travels in one minute. It’s around 3700 meters, For me

Tip:You can also create an answer token for any line just by typingLine[line number]

The next line calculates how far the blade travels in an hour. You need to multiply the previous result by 60. I did it by enteringDistPerHour = [AnswerToken] x 60However you can do it with variables instead. 194 meters, My result is around 226

To convert this to kilometres just enterDistPerHour in kmOn another line

back of the envelope 3
Calculating the blade tip's distance per hour

I now know that the blade tip travels 226 kilometres in an hour—what speed it is doing is pretty obvious. However, I wanted to do more calculations and I needed my result to be in kilometres per hour for them, it’s easy to convert the result, If

To do so, create a new variable calledSpeedPerHourAnd let it equalDistPerHour/hourThe result is the turbine blade tip’s speed: roughly 226 km/hour

back of the envelope 4
The final results


In this tutorial I’ve introduced you to Soulver and shown you how to go from using its most basic features to create a simple budget to using advanced features, such as variables and answer tokens, to solve multi-step physics problems. Soulver is one of the best calculator apps available; it is powerful enough to be useful but not overburdened with extra features

Explore the, Soulver has a lot more to offer—play around with it and if you’re ever stuckReferenceSection in the menubar or ask me a question in the comments

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Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Especially digital graphics that only are displayed on screens, in addition to its namesake tasks of tweaking photographs, Photoshop is great tool for graphics design. But that's not all it's good for.  With proper knowledge and thinking, one can use Photoshop to create stunning print designs as well

This tutorial will take you through the basic steps of creating the eye-catching flyer seen above that can be printed right away in print-shop-ready CMYK colors directly from Photoshop. You can follow this tutorial to make this exact flyer, or tweak the steps with the content and colors you want to get the flyer style you'd like using the same methods

Tutorial Assets

Along with some custom made vector icons that I have created in Illustrator specifically for this project, This tutorial uses royalty-free images from Envato. In the download on this tutorial's sidebar, along with a completed PSD file you can use to compare with your work, You'll find each of them

This tutorial also uses the Proxima Nova Font FamilyWhich comes with a Typekit or an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. Or use another similar typeface of your own,  You can sync that font to your computer and use it with this tutorial

Setup Document With Guides

Step 1

First, set up a document with the correct size and settings for print. Create a new document in Photoshop, and set its dimensions to216x154 mmThese dimensions represent A5 paper size with 3 mm bleed added to each edge. Set, Since we are going to create artwork for printColor ModeToCMYKAnd ResolutionTo300Pixels/Inch

new photoshop document

Step 2

Create new guides that will represent the bleed area. Illustrator and InDesign have this function built-in, we have to create it ourselves, but in Photoshop. Use theMove Tool (V) and the ShiftKey To create a horizontal guide by dragging the cursor from the top ruler. Make sure that the guide is located3 mmOn the Y-axis

add horizontal guide

Step 3

Repeat the same process to create guides along each edge of the document. Make sure that each guide is Inset 3 mmFrom its corresponding edge

finished guides

Creating the Background

Step 1

Press Shift-Cmd-NTo create a newLayerFill it withWhiteAs the Foreground Color (Alt-Backspace). Make sure that you have the CMYK SlidersTurned on so you're using print colors

cmyk sliders

Step 2

Create a newGradient OverlayIn theLayer Style PanelEdit the Gradient. Set the white slider LocationTo30%Change the color of the black slider toPale Yellow (C=9 M=6 Y=14 K=0)

gradient overlay in Photoshop menu
Add a gradient overlay from the FxButton in the layer pane
Photoshop Gradient Editor
Then customize your gradient
pick stop colors
With the colors you want for the document

Step 3

Use theRectangle Tool (U)To create a new rectangle. Set itsSizeTo216 mmBy56 mm

Create a rectangle

Step 4

AlignThe rectangle to the left top corner of the document. Fill it withDark Brown (C=49 M=74 Y=80 K=70)

Add dark brown rectangle

Step 5

Use thePen Tool (P)To add a new anchor point at the lower edge of the rectangle

add anchor point to rectangle

Step 6

With theDirect Selection Tool (A)Play around with the anchor handles to create a nice Bezier curve

bezier curve

Step 7

Follow the same steps to adjust the rectangle into the shape shown below

adjust curved rectangle

Step 8

Go toFile > Place EmbeddedThen select the People-1. Jpg image from the Resource Pack

add picture

Step 9

Use theMove Tool (V)To move the photo around the document. Place it in the upper top corner as shown below

place picture

Step 10

Create a new rectangle with theRectangle Tool (U)Set itsSizeTo216MmBy100 mm

add another rectangle

Step 11

Use theDirect Selection Tool (A)To place the rectangle directly above the photo in the upper left corner

place rectangle over photo

Step 12

In theRectangle Tool PanelOptions, selectMaskThis will create a vector mask applied to the layer with the photo

add vector mask to rectangle

Step 13

Add a new anchor point to the mask with thePen Tool (P)Create a curvy Bezier curve with theDirect Selection Tool (A)

add anchor point to mask

Step 14

The, Using the same toolsPen ToolAnd theDirect Selection ToolTry to adjust the mask into the shape shown below. Notice the position of the anchor points and the simplicity of the shape. The smoother the final mask will appear, The less anchor points you use

adjust mask to see curve

Step 15

Go toFilter > Blur > Gaussian BlurSet theRadiusTo6

add blur

Step 16

Select theSmart FiltersMask. Use theGradient Tool (G)To fade the mask from left to right

add smart filter
Gradient Direction
Set the gradient direction as left to right to blur out the image towards the right

Step 17

Create a newLayer MaskUse theBrush Tool (B)To fade stairs on the photo. Use some basic instinct and creativity

add layer mask
fade stairs to reveal brown

Step 18

Create a new Brightness/Contrast Adjustment LayerBy clicking the sun icon in the Adjustments pane. SetBrightnessTo40AndContrastTo 10

add brightness adjustment layer

Step 19

Right click on the Adjustment Layer and select Create Clipping MaskThis will apply the new brightness settings only to the photo below

create clipping mask

Step 20

Create a newSolid ColorSet Color Fill toBrown (C=30 M=80 Y=100 K=30)

add color

Step 21

Click on the vector mask from the photo layer. Hold theAltKey and drag the mask over the brownColor Fill.  This action will duplicate the selected mask

duplicate mask

Step 22

Use theDirect Selection Tool (A)And drag the top right anchor point to the upper right corner

add anchor point to color layer

Step 23

Use theBrush Tool (B)To reveal some areas of the photo beneath the brown fill. Set theLayer OpacityTo 75%

reveal photo below the brown fill

Step 24

Draw a new rectangle with theRectangle Tool (U)

Add another new rectangle

Step 25

Fill the rectangle withLight Brown Color (C=10 M=65 Y=100 K=0)

light brown

Step 26

Place the layer with the light brown rectangle beneath the dark brown rectangle

move layer

Step 27

Use thePen Tool (P)With theDirect Selection Tool (A)To adjust the rectangle into a curved shape as shown below

adjust rectangle

Adding Text and Logo

Step 1

Create a newEllipse (U)Set its dimensions to248PxBy248 pxFill it withBrown Color (C=30 M=80 Y=100 K=30)

add ellipse

Step 2

Add theDrop ShadowEffect. SetOpacityTo14%DistanceTo5PxAndSizeTo15 Px

add drop shadow
Add a drop shadow to the layer from the FxButton in the layer pane
tweak shadow
Tweak your drop shadow with these settings

Step 3

Create a newEllipse (U)Set its dimensions to400PxBy400 pxFill it withDark Blue Color (C=100 M=80 Y=45 K=50)

add another ellipse

Step 4

Use the sameDrop ShadowEffect and apply it to the ellipse. Or right-click and select, You can either recreate create the shadowCopy Layer StyleAnd then paste the layer style on the other ellipse.  Put the layer with the dark blue ellipse beneath the one with the brown ellipse

reuse drop shadow effect

Step 5

Add text with theType Tool (T)This tutorial uses theProxima NovaFamily. TheTOpTItleSIze is 17 ptAdd the rest of the text, with each one in a separate layer. Use theMove Tool (V)As outlined in the image shown below, to place each line accordingly

add text

Step 6

Repeat the same process to add new text. Set theSizeOf the first line to31 pt 

add new text

Step 7

Create a new title using theType Tool (T)Set theFOntToProxima Nova LightAnd theSizeTo18 Pt

add title

Step 8

Add the subtitle, again, using theType Tool (T)Set theSIzeTo36 ptAdjustCharacter TrackingTo-10

add subtitle

Step 9

Select both text layers. Hold down theAltKey andDragThe text to duplicate both lines below

duplicate text

Step 10

Again, use theType Tool (T)To rewrite the text according to the image shown below. Position the text with theMove Tool (V)

rewrite and reposition text

Step 11

Go toFile > Place EmbeddedAnd place the vector logoAcme-travel-logo. Ai into the document

add logo

Step 12

Scale down the vector logo and position it at the upper right corner

scale and place logo

Step 13

Add theDrop ShadowEffect. In theLayer Style PanelSetOpacityTo11%DistanceTo3PxAndSizeTo 16Px

add drop shadow to logo

Adding Bottom Photographs

Step 1

Create a newRectangle (U)Set itsSIze to 60PxBy28 px

add rectangle for bottom text

Step 2

Select the rectangle shape with theDirect Selection Tool (A)Set, In the align panelHorizontal Centers

set horizontal centers

Step 3

Go toFile > Place EmbeddedAnd place thePeople-11. JpgPhoto from the Resource Pack

Step 4

Scale down the image and place it directly in the rectangle

scale image

Step 5

Activate theRectangle Tool (U)Click , and in the options panelMaskThis action will create a vector mask from the rectangle and apply it to the photo

add vector mask

Step 6

With photo layer still selected, holdAlt-ShiftAnd drag the photo to duplicate it.  

duplicate picture

Step 7

Go toFile > Place EmbeddedSelect theCity-5. Jpg photo from Resource Pack and add it to the document

place city photo

Step 8

Scale down the image and place it above the duplicated photo with the girl

place second image

Step 9

Then, Grab the mask from the duplicated photo with the girl and place it into the new image Delete thePeople-11-copyLayer

move mask then delete layer

Step 10

This time placing the map picture, Repeat Steps 7 to 9 to add the map screenshot into the document

add map

Step 11

Select theMap-screenshotLayer and addStrokeFrom the effects button in the layer pane

add stroke

Step 12

SetSTrokeSIzeTo2PxAdjustPositionToInsideAnd setColorToBrown (C=30 M=80 Y=100 K=30)

tweak stroke

Adding Bottom Text

Step 1

Use theType Tool (T)To create a new instance of text. Set itsSIzeTo11 ptAnd itsColorToLight Brown (C=10 M=65 Y=100 K=0)

add bottom text

Step 2

Add more lines. SetSIzeTo9 ptAdjustLeadingTo13 ptAnd changeColorToGray (K=90)

add more lines of text

Step 3

Follow the same process to create a new block of text. Place them beneath the photo with the girl and the map screenshot

add text block

Step 4

Go toFile > Place EmbeddedSelectIcons. AiTo import the icons into the document. A new contextual window will appear. Select theCalendar IconAnd click OK

insert calendar icon

Step 5

Scale down the icon and place it new to the first line with time information

place calendar icon

Step 6

Repeat the same process to import the rest of the icons and place them accordingly next to each line

add remaining icons

Step 7

Use theType Tool (T)To add new text. Place it over the map screenshot. SetSIzeTo13 ptAdjustLeading To11 ptAnd changeColorToLight Brown (C=10 M=65 Y=100 K=0)

add map text

Step 8

Follow the same process to add new lines of text for the address. SetSIzeTo9 ptAnd changeColorToGray (K=90)

add address

Step 9

Go toFile > Place EmbeddedSelectIcons. AiAgain and import theGlobe Vector IconInto the document

add globe icon

Step 10

Scale down the icon and place it next to the web address

place world icon

Step 11

Activate thePen Tool (P)And create a vector shape that will represent direction on the map

Add direction vector

Step 12

In theOptions PanelSetStrokeToDashedAndColorToLight Brown (C=10 M=65 Y=100 K=0)Adjust StrokeWIdthTo1, 5 pt

make dashed stroke

Step 13

Go toStroke Options > More OptionsAnd setCapsToRoundAnd adjustDAshedLIne:DashTo3AndGapTo 3

adjust stroke

Step 14

Create a newEllipse (U)SetColorToBrown (C=30 M=80 Y=100 K=30)

add ellipse to map

Step 15

Activate thePen Tool (P)Hold theAltKey and click on the bottom anchor point. This will convert the anchor point from smooth to corner

change anchor points

Step 16

With theDirect Selection Tool (A)Move the converted anchor point down below

move anchor point

Step 17

Add theDrop ShadowEffect to the pin. Use the settings shown below to make it subtle

add drop shadow to anchor

Step 18

Create a new, AgainEllipse (U)AndFIll ColorWithWhitePlace the ellipse into the center of the pin. And that's the final touch to our flyer design

add new white ellipse


Congratulations. If you've followed the tutorial up to this point, you should have a nice design of a promotional flyer completed

You have to think in CMYK colors in order to achieve the best looking results, Remember: every time you design images for digital print. Don't forget to add bleed to the canvas (at least 3 mm from each edge). It is always good to consult directly with the printing company to avoid mistakes or troubles, If you are unsure about some advanced technical parameters

In the next tutorial in this series, we will take a look at how to impose this flyer into InDesign and prepare a print quality PDF. If you have any questions about creating a print design in Photoshop, In the mean time, leave a comment below and we'd be glad to help you out

Continue reading


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