Category Archives: Photoshop

12 of the Best Tech Gifts for Kids this Christmas

tech gifts for kids

With Christmas coming up in a few more days, I’m posting our last post for this series of tech gifts for Christmas articles – tech gifts for kids. But before I start listing down ideas for you, here are the other two posts in case you’ve missed them:

10 Tech Gifts for Men this Christmas

25 Must Have Tech Gifts for Women this Christmas

With that, let me now start listing down tech gifts all kids will surely love to have this Christmas!

Mobile Phone

There’s hardly anyone without a mobile phone these days; the same applies even to kids. As young as five years old or even younger, kids will love cell phones. In fact, they also need it. Think they can’t use it much? Try getting a touch screen smart phone with apps in Android or iOS and it discover how the little ones will tinker all over the phone playing games. But of course, they can do so much more than that if you teach them how to text or at least to answer and make calls during emergencies or even for daily chit chats over the phone.

Tablet

If you believe that phones have limited screen size, then why not consider a tablet? You can be able to install more apps including those with musical, educational, and recreational themes. Kids will love listening to songs and watching their favorite videos. They can learn their ABCs, basic mathematics, and even drawing too.

Gaming Gadgets

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a game console especially if they’re too young to understand how it works; but gaming gadgets, particularly handheld ones such asPSP, Nintendo DS, game boy, iPod touch, and the like are also perfect gifts for your young techie loves. Just make sure to set the rules when it comes to play time, i.e. about 30 minutes to an hour daily and only after study time. In case you consider getting an actual console, why not add a few accessories for specific games such as a game guitar, dance revolution, and extra controls?

Digital/LED/LCD TV

How about giving your kids their own room TV? They can’t watch most of the shows you do and neither will you appreciate what they view, so they will certainly be grateful for the liberty to watch at their own expense. Just make sure to block channels which are not appropriate for children and always set the rules when it comes to viewing time like how long is it allowed and when is it possible to do so.

DVDs/CDs

No kid can resist DVDs or CDs especially if it’s a copy of their favorite artist’s album or movie. You can also buy compilation DVDs of TV show episodes they can watch over and over again.Dora, for one is irresistible for young girls of all ages while Ben 10 works wonders for young boys.

Computer/Laptop/Netbook

Either of the three will actually do as long as the purpose for purchasing the gadget is beneficial. Kids learn computers early on these days as most schools include computer subjects in their curriculum even before middle school. Your young ones can learn a lot faster with an actual computer to practice at home. Just place restrictions for Internet usage. Should you care to teach them, particularly for Facebook or other social network site membership, limit usage at child-friendly websites by applying parental control settings.

Animation and Digital Tools

Most adults still struggle through digital software, including Photoshop. But kids will find it a breeze tinkering with animation and digital tools. If they already have a computer, software like this will definitely unleash their creative side at an early age.

Digital Camera

In relation to digital software, a digital camera is definitely worthy of this list. It doesn’t have to be a DSLR type. A simple flash and shoot variety will do. I’ve seen kids as young 3 take pictures through mobile phone cameras and digital cameras. Just teach them how to maneuver the device and navigate its interface and they’d be capturing amazing photos sooner than you think.

Digital Video Recorder

A handheld camcorder or video recorder is also another tech product kids will love. Let kids record videos of themselves, their friends, everyone at school, the rest of the family, relatives, of the places they go, and their personal experiences or thoughts. Jumpstart their love for motion picture early on; who knows, you might be nurturing a future film director at home?

Music Related Products

Tech applies to musical stuff too so you can also consider purchasing music related products such as microphones, karaoke, magic sing device, electric guitar, keyboard, drums, and so on. You can even setup a music studio or room for them at home if you don’t have any yet.

MP3 Players, Headphones and Speakers

These are yet another gift idea for music loving tech kids. Make their music experience complete by creating a playlist of their favorite songs and save it on a ready to go MP3 player. You may also give a gift of speakers for their computer or headphones for mobile phones and music player or gaming devices.

Digital Microscope or Telescope

Bring out the scientist or astronomist in your kid through a digital microscope or telescope. It doesn’t have to be a fancy one or as enormous as Hubbard’s. A starter set will actually do. With these, kids will definitely enjoy exploring various life forms including those which are microscopic in size. The telescope on the other hand will have them explore the skies, particularly at night when the moon and stars are most visible.

There are countless other gift ideas you can give children this Christmas. You can be as innovative as possible and think of gadgets or gizmos which match the child’s gender, age, and personal preference. But with this list in mind, you now at least have 12 of the best tech gifts for kids this Christmas.

Photoshop Image Retouching Tips

image retouching

Photoshop is an insanely popular image creation and editing program. A versatile tool, there are people in many industries who find this software to be a vital necessity for their art, work or hobby.

While Photoshop has become every graphic designer and web wizard’s best friend, it has become synonymous with photo editing and retouching. There are other programs available for these sorts of functions, but Photoshop has become the gold standard that is essentially a household name.

The photo editing ability is one of the things that excite people about Photoshop, drawing them to the program. Many people want to edit their photos, making images of themselves and their loved ones look as lovely and flawless as possible.

You can do this with Photoshop, but it isn’t easy. People spend a lot of time learning how to retouch images in a polished, professional way, and even these highly trained and very experienced individuals are known to make mistakes.

The following tips are not mistake proof, but they are edits that you can try now. These image retouching tips can help amateurs get started, making their photos more picture perfect.

Remove Dark Spots and Blemishes

This is one of the main reasons why people want to touch up their photos. If done wrong, it can look ridiculously fake and obvious. If done correctly, it can look lovely, flawless and natural.

Use the Spot Healing Brush to take care of dark spots and other small discolorations. This tool takes samples of the area around the spot you are correcting, and then it uses them to replace the area inside the brush.

You will want to adjust the brush size to make it a bit larger than the spot you are trying to edit. Position the brush over the area and single click to make the spot disappear.

Play Up the Eyes

You can give eyes more depth, making them more dramatic and noticeable quickly and easily.

To do this you will want to start by making a duplicate of the background layer and set “Soft Light” as the blending mode for this new layer. This will darken the image. Next, hide the rest of the layer except for the eyes by going to Layer > Layer Mask > Hide All. After that, on the layer mask, use a white brush to paint inside the eyes. This will reveal the more dramatic, dark eye area of the layer.

Smooth Skin with Surface Blur

Not everyone has smooth skin, but it seems that everyone you see in professional photographs does. You and your family can have perfect, smooth skin as well.

To do this, use the Surface Blur tool. Start by duplicating the original background layer. You will need to apply the Surface Blur settings to this duplicate layer, and you will want to lower the opacity of this layer 70% to create this flawless effect.

Eliminate Red Eye

This is so easy to do, there is no reason your family album should be filled with glowing red eyes! This is the number one reason why people want to edit their photos. Adobe is aware of this and knew that this feature would have to be an integral and simple feature for their image retouching and rendering program.

If you are using Photoshop, removing red eye couldn’t be easier. There is a red eye removing tool, and depending on the version you are using, it may be right there on the left tool bar for you.

To use this tool, you simply need to select it. Then you position the cursor over any red or otherwise discolored eyes and single click the area. The subject’s eyeballs will instantly become of a better, more natural color.

About Crop Tool

crop tool

Most Photoshop users must be aware about the crop tool that Photoshop has to offer. But most of you just know it as only a tool that can be used to cut scenes from images that you want to remove. But the crop tool has many things to offer other than to just cut images. Here in this article, I will tell you various implementations of this tool which you will find really interesting and real fun to use.

1. Simple Crop

Now every one is familiar with the crop tool and the simplest function that it has to offer which is to cut the images as required by the user.

Press the letter ‘ C ‘ to select the crop tool and then select the area by dragging the cursor till that point where you want to stop.If you are not happy with your selection, adjust the crop area by just clicking inside the selected area and moving the area that you have highlighted and then press the enter key and the image will be cropped .

original image

    

selecting the area

        final image

2. Hide Crop

This is an interesting feature that crop tool offers. Suppose if you have cropped an image but you are not satisfied with the image and you want your deleted pixels back, then this is what you need to do. Now this can be done through a simple feature that the crop tool offers, i.e. hide option. In the crop menu, you will find 2 options – Delete and Hide.

Now in this menu, the default is delete but instead you can select the hide option if you don’t want to delete your pixels but instead, you can hide those pixels and then you can get your pixels back.

Now when you have cropped your image but you are still not satisfied with the positioning, you can just move the cropped image with the help of the move tool and select the area that you require. Nice and easy.

If you want all your pixels back, just go to the image option and choose reveal. You will get all your pixels back or you will have your original image back.

 

3. Adjustments of Crop Tools

Here I will tell you how you can adjust the layout of your crop tool to get more refined crop and have a nice selection.

1. When you have your image selected and you want your crop to be of uniform from all four sizes, instead of dragging the vertices of the crop to make it  uniform, you have another simple option that lets you crop your image in a uniform size. Just hold down the ALT key and grab one of the vertices and drag it. You will notice that a uniform crop area will be selected. Try it.

2. The crop tool not only crops an image. It can also create pixels to work. Sounds insane but yes it’s true. Let me show you how through these images.

       original image

Now select the full image by dragging the cursor from one of the edges of the image. After selecting the full image, press the ALT key and while holding one of the edges of the image, drag your mouse and leave it at a point when you are satisfied that you want this much pixels to be added to your original image.

Press the Alt Key

Now when you hit enter, you will see some white pixels will be added around your image as white is the default colour for background. You can change the colour of your background as per your preference.

final image

 

As you can see, now that some white pixels have been added to your image as a background, you can add some text or other cool effects to make your image look attractive and nice.

These are basic things you need to know while working with the crop tool. I will show you how to create more cool effects with the help of the crop tool in my next posts. Till then, try these techniques.