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Introduction to Pen Tool

Pen tool usually we see in photoshop which helps us to create a path and select the characters. The pen tool is one of the great performance tools in after effects also; with the pen tool, we can draw a shape easily and create different masks; masks are used to merge the multilayers in after effects. With the help of the pen tool, we can draw shapes and create the path to animate; we can do animations, text animation, and shape animation with pen tool Now, let’s see some of the animations with the help of the pen tool.

Using Pen Tool in After Effects

First, we see how to draw a line with the pen tool and animate a line.

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Step 1: Create a New Composition.

Step 2: Create a Shape layer where we can draw the shape of the line and animate it.

Step 4: Select the Stock of color which you like; always select an attractive color because it gives beauty to the animation.

Step 5: Now here we go with the drawing, draw a shape of your wish with the help of a pen tool, draw a line like a curve’s no issues even you don’t get the correct shape because we have another option to correct the shape we can see that in the next step.

Every time we will not get a good drawing, however, we use the pen tool; while using the pen tool, in some places, we cant manage the curves and shapes; in such cases, we have an option to correct the shape and curves; let us see how

Step 6: Go to the shape layer, content, shape. Select the path as shown in the below image. Once we select the path, we can find the points in our drawing.

Step 7: Now, select the selection tool to adjust the points in the drawing; by adjusting that points, we can bring the shapes according to us to get good shapes.

Step 8: We can see the anchor points in the drawing now; we can select every point and adjust the drawing.

Step 9: By adjusting the points, we can get our shapes.

Step 10: In this step, I am going to explain very important and useful option Trim paths; let me tell something about the trim path; some of the users who use aftereffects rarely may don’t know about this because it hides under the shape submenu, this tool allows you to adjust the layer paths. We can do multi animations with this trim path like Map route, infographic, text stroke, text box, circle bursts.

Step 11: In this Trim path, there are two main options start and end.

Step 12: Now, change the values of start and end.

Step 13: Here, we change the values of start and end.

Step 15: At the starting point, increase the value of End to 20 now; we can find a small line.

Step 16: When we move from start to end position, we can see the animation of the line moving from starting to end like a snake.

Step 17: Here, we have the vector mode to edit the values to make our animation smoother.

In this process, we saw how a shape is animated with the help of a pen tool, here we draw a line with a pen tool; with the help of a path, we create a shape, and we use trim paths to animate that line by changing starting and ending points. Not the only shape we can animate a particle with the help of a pen tool.

Particle Animation with Pen Tool

Following are the steps of creating animation with the pen tool.

Step 1: Import any of the objects which you willing to animate; here, I am importing a ball.

Step 2: We can animate the object with keyframe animation by changing the start and end position; it’s a basic normal process anyone can do.

But if you need to do something different or creative animation, just go through the pen tool.

Step 3: Select the shape layer where we are going to draw a path for our animation.

Step 4: Select the pen tool to draw the shape.

Step 5: Now draw a shape according to our animation requirement, we have imported a ball object, so I draw a shape of up and down because I feel that the ball need to fall from up to down and jump step by step so I started the first point at the top and draw an up and down shape and ends at a corner where the ball needs to stop.

Here you can see how the shape is; in this shape, the ball is going to travel, you can find the first point out of the screen where the ball travels from out of the screen.

Step 6: For every object, there will be a centre point; in this process, we need to change the centre point to the bottom because we have an object ball; if the ball has a center point in the middle while touching the ground, its center point will meet the ground where it won’t look professional, so I changed the center point if we have any other object we can change the center point according to the requirement.

Step 7: Go to the Shape Layer, Contents, shape – Path 1 – Path. Select the path and copy, make sure both the path is selected while copying.

Now the ball is hidden because while applying the path copy to position to the ball, it moves in that path.

Step 9: By adjusting the key points in the timeline, we can manage the animation like fast starting and slow at the end.

Conclusion

In this process, we animate a ball using the pen tool; we draw a shape and create a path and copied the path from the shape layer and pasted in the object position by that the object follows the shape positions. By using this as a sample, we create many other animations. Like ways, we can animate any object by using the pen tool.

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Visual Effects Vs Special Effects

Introduction to Visual Effects vs Special Effects

Visual Effects are popular with the name VFX and Filmmaker as well as video producers incorporate it in their live shots for creating imagery or for manipulating action which makes them more interesting and realistic. In other word combination of live-action footage with CG elements which creates realistic imagery are called VFX. Special effects create by applying different types of tricks for having illusions of any particular screen, object, or effect on set during shooting, and it is used by filmmakers, in television, theatre, video game, and some other related industries.

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Head to Head Comparison between Visual Effects vs Special Effects (Infographics)

Below are the top 5 comparisons between Visual Effects vs Special Effects:

Comparison between Visual Effects and Special Effects

Visual effects

Special Effects

Visual effects are abbreviated some time as VFX and used for creating imagery with live actions on a digital platforms for giving it a more realistic look with less expense. Special Effects abbreviated as SFX and use for creating the illusion in different shots which creates the whole background and theme for the story of a particular scene. It sometimes becomes more expensive to have the desired result with the arrangement of SFX.

Visual effects combine live-action footage with generated imagery for obtaining a realistic look and this imagery may include digital or optics, animals, or creatures. Visual effect deals with those effects which may be dangerous, impractical, expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes impossible to capture on film. SFX is commonly categorized in two sections, one is mechanical effects and the other is optical effects where mechanical effects generally accomplished at the live-action shooting and includes props, sceneries, scale models, pyrotechnics, animatronics as well as atmospheric effects for getting desired results and in Optical effects, there are some techniques involves for creating photographically form of images or film frames for giving that shot real-world look.

VFX incorporated with the addition of a different type of effect such as adding explosion in any scene and it can be done digitally that means it can create everything with the help of digital media which SFX can do one set and by doing this it adds digital enhancement to the shots. Whereas SFX creates an effect on set during live actions that mean a number of elements used with live actions scene and these elements express the story of that scene properly. You can understand it as practical effects that perform on the shooting set with help of crew and props.

It is generally preferred by filmmakers as the addition of digital elements for creating an environment of any shot and making it realties such as fire, water, and many other things added digitally on the scene of shot for giving the feel of these elements on scene. Whereas SFX refers to filmmakers as effects that create by adding physical elements on the set or practices such as smoke, fire, and many other objects involve physically for narrating the story of the scene.

As we know it works with the digital platforms so when it requires to apply that effects on wide-area which were capture on set and not appropriate according to the requirement of the scene then it will easy to do this with VFX or it also required when you want to have an additional element with that shot. SFX is used at the time of the creation of natural effects such as rain, snowfalls, and many other atmospheric effects required during performing a particular scene, and for this, it must need proper planning. Many other things are there which need SFX.

Key Difference between Visual Effects and Special Effects

Visual Effects and Special Effects are work parallel to each other and when the filmmaker or director and its team have not got their desired effect on set then they go with VFX and VFX come over SFX in this matter. Let me explain to you that for example there is the scene of action and set member creates smokes on set for giving smoky effect but due to the flow of wind it flowing in opposite direction in place of the desired direction and that is the time when designers use the smoke of VFX for maintaining it in their desired direction with the desired impact.

Visual Effects can create with dangerous effects than Special Effects cannot create even with lots of expense for example with VFX we can create high explosion effect without harming actors, stunt people as well as team member who is working on that scene whereas if you go with the on-set process then there will be lots of risks with more expense for creating these type of effect.

It was discussion of VFX and SFX for adding effect, elements during doing multimedia platform task. Now you can analyze on your own basis what is the importance of both types of effect in their field of work.

Conclusion

Here in this article, we told you all major aspects of Visual Effects and Special Effects which are necessary for understanding their features, using and working capacity. Now you can find out the benefits as well as losses of using them in the creation of effects during the making of different types of digital media staff.

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Custom Shape Tool In Photoshop

Introduction to Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop

Custom Shape Tool in Photoshop is pre-created vector artwork elements already installed in Photoshop software. These custom shapes are convenient to use; they significantly save time. Photoshop custom shape tool is beneficial while making any specific form of shapes/complex design. If you do not have a suitable brush, use predefined custom shapes present. These Custom shapes differ from brushes. You can smoothly scale the size of shapes from smaller to bigger and vice versa without compromising their resolution. This gives you more opportunity to explore the complexity of the designs.

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What is Photoshop?

Photoshop is widely used by many professional photographers, editors, and designers for various tasks like retouching or editing and manipulating. Besides these, Photoshop also does color correction, photo restoration, clipping path, and damage expert of old photographs; this task looks minor in changes but significantly impacts editing/designing.

How to Use Custom Shape in Photoshop?

Let’s take a look at the custom shapes available in Photoshop:

First, let’s see how to select a custom shape tool. In the toolbox, a rectangular shape is available; if you drag the cursor, you can find various shape tools that are looped beneath it.

In the control bar, a few settings need to be considered; Photoshop allows us to draw three different kinds of shapes. 1) vector shape 2) Path outline of shape 3) Pixel-based shape, where Photoshop will fill color to it.

In most cases, vector artwork will prefer the select shape layers option from the control bar.

A Custom Selection of Shapes From ToolBox

Custom Shapes in Photoshop for Creative Application

Step-by-step guide on how to start using Custom shapes in Photoshop for creative application.

Step 1 – The image shown above is the actual/previous image.

Step 2 – Create another document for the web.

Here I selected a butterfly custom shape with a fill black color with no stroke.

Step 5 – Drag an image you would like to place in the custom shape of your choice.

Now we are going to place this image in our butterfly custom shape.

In the Layer panel, we can see three layers; the topmost is our image, which we will use; after that is our custom shape, and the bottom layer is the background layer.

But now our landscape image cannot see properly through the custom shape. To fix this, Edit- FreeTansform-adjust the image by hitting the handles; you can adjust the view of your image; once you are happy with the clipped mask, Hit Enter.

This is our end result after using the clipping mask to a custom shape.

Conclusion

Photoshop has become one of the popular software in the graphics industry. Its applications in the designing world are outstanding; that is the reason it is loaded with powerful features for designing or editing any images or photographs. I hope you understood the custom shape tool well and got detailed knowledge from the above information. It is easy to use. You can do a lot of new experiments by using this tool for different creative graphic artwork.

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How To Create And Use Text Effects In Adobe Firefly.

If you are looking for a way to create awesome and unique styled text and fonts, you’ll want to have a look at Adobe’s brand new generative AI tool called Adbobe Firefly. With Adobe Firefly you can quickly and easily create fully custom text effects using text prompts and nothing else. The results are pretty damn impressive.

Everyone and their dog is getting in on the generative Ai craze at the moment and while there are quite a lot of social issues surrounding AI and the future of human usefulness. You can’t argue that some of the tools coming out are absolutely incredible, take Midjourney and Stable Diffusion for example. While Midjourney is still the king of the Generative AI image creation space Adobe has recently entered the fray with an all-new service called Adobe Firefly.

Adobe Firefly is a powerful online design software suite that provides users with an array of features to create stunning visual content. For example, one of the standout features of Firefly is its ability to create text effects that bring words to life on the screen. From 3D effects to gradients, textures and shadows, Firefly allows designers to add depth and dimension to their typography, making it more visually appealing and engaging for the viewer. So follow along as we take a closer look at how to create and use text effects in Adobe Firefly, so you can elevate your designs and take them to the next level.

Use Adobe Firefly to create amazing text effects and interesting typography.

On this page go to the very bottom of the screen and enter the text you want to stylise.

Next to this enter the text prompts that you want to use to create a stylised text style. For example, I’m going to be using the “DOWNLOADSOURCE” as my text and “orange and black, cyberpunk”

Once the initial creation has been rendered you have several different customisation options. You can choose one of the 4 style types at the bottom of the screen to get a different render or you can use the panel on the right to adjust the base font (not many options yet) and some of the other effects.

The biggest influence on design is the Text Effect Fit option which allows Adobe Firefly to create text effects more freely using space outside the character’s frame for effects like dripping lava etc.

The biggest factor in creating content using Adobe Firefly is text prompts, so experiment with a ton of different prompts to get the best results. Hopefully, Adobe Firefly will get a bigger font library to work with in time because the official one at launch is pretty basic and doesn’t really allow all that much creativity.

Wireless Tool Keeps Super Bowl Players In View

Everywhere the Giants and Patriots went on a bus during Super Bowl week, including daily practices or media events, the team’s security forces knew when players and staff arrived, when they departed and where the buses were at every second of the day and night.

They even knew how fast the bus traveled at any given moment.

Thanks to a hybrid wireless GPS system developed by US Fleet Tracking, running on a network from KORE Telematics and using Google mapping as well as cellular services, the location of players and staff while they were on their respective buses was under constant surveillance and monitoring. The application in play is machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, which industry analysts say is taking off both in the business enterprise and the consumer environment.

While the sports franchise is clearly one of the technology’s prominent users, the tracking tool is grabbing traction everywhere—from home security surveillance to ensuring million-dollar freight deliveries arrive at the right warehouse, to determining that the pizza delivery boy just hired isn’t stopping by OTB in between stops.

For example a user can create a ‘fenced’ zone using Web-based aerial mapping software and be alerted if a vehicle, or person carrying the device, enters that prohibited area.

In one use, a construction company ‘fenced’ homes under construction to track vehicles in and out of the work area. Using the device data reports, the company then reviewed weekly time sheets. The first week of use showed disparate information, with employees claiming full workdays when the data showed their actual job site time was closer to half a day in some cases.

“It lets companies track and monitor and also determine more efficient processes and mechanisms for greater productivity for both the business and the employee base,” says Hunter. Cost justification is easy, he adds, once companies have the data whether it’s on work activity, vehicle use or product inventory tracking.

“The typical return on investment for our customers is within the first two to three weeks of service,” he says.

In one case, a company tracked actual vehicle fleet use, and determined that delivery routes were inefficient—which meant higher fuel costs, greater wear and tear on vehicles and increased maintenance costs. By using the data the business adjusted schedules and routes, saving on everything from gas and manpower to insurance costs.

“There are lots of benefits to this technology. It compliments GPS but it also takes GPS to the next level,” says Sam Lucero, senior analyst covering M2M connectivity for ABI Research. “Right now the application is still quite fragmented but many people would be surprised how sophisticated systems are and development is increasing”

Sophistication is exactly what’s happening at US Fleet Tracking. Hunter is readying a wearable wireless device, in three separate form factors, that can be used for a wide variety of needs. The 3/8-inch thick and four-inch tall device (about the size of an iPod Nano) can be used for a wide range of needs. It can be a security ankle bracelet for law enforcement purposes or a monitor for athletes who want to keep track of their pace and routes on workouts.

Page Segmentation And The Effects On Link Building

The major search engines, in an effort to refine the quality of search results, are looking more closely at how a target page is organized. The indexer will parse the page’s layout and identify what it thinks are the most important blocks, and give those blocks preference in the index.

This smart idea by Yahoo, Google and Microsoft may have profound implications for webmasters — and the outcomes may not be so stellar for webmasters caught unprepared.

The Chaos of Link Building

Traditional link building remains a chaotic affair. Webmasters develop what they believe is compelling content and hope that people will create links to their work product, just as they make links to useful material on other sites. These links help influence search-engine rankings; the more that well-trafficked sites link to a specific page, the higher the page’s rankings generally become.

Keyword density plays a part, too. The more keyword-rich a page is, generally speaking, the more likely it will rise in the search results, and then become a page that others choose to link to. Of course, there are various, ever-changing permutations of the search algorithms to prevent people from gaming the system, but in general, links are built from content that people find, determine to be useful, and share with others from their own sites.

The Importance of Page Segmentation

Not all links are created equal, however. Links provide varying degrees of benefit to the destination site. In the past, the major concern was cross-linking pages on the same site, but the search engines are deploying new strategies for ranking the significance of a link based on where it falls on a given page.

A Look at Current Search Engine Trends

Search providers are exploring ways to scan the visual content of how a page is organized to find Web content structure. Microsoft, for example, has patented VIPS – a vision-based page segmentation algorithm, which its chief researchers claim “presents an automatic top-down, tag-free independent approach to detect Web structure. It simulates how a user understands Web layout structure based on his visual perception.”

Yahoo filed a patent application in 2008 for a search algorithm that also looks to visual cues instead of the HTML structure of a page to discern the semantic content of a page. Google received a patent for a method of identifying visual gaps on a page, with the original filing dating to 2006.

The upshot: The relative importance of terms within a page becomes a function of its perceived significance given its position within the visual presentation, irrespective of the HTML structure of the document. Search engines are likely weighting links based on their prominence and location within the page’s semantic presentation.

Page Design Strategies

If the object of the game is link maximization to influence page rankings, then the smart money says webmasters ought to structure content based on search engines’ relative rankings of different segments of the page.

Patent applications from Microsoft, Yahoo and Google suggest that search engines are providing relatively higher scores to links in sections that the indexer interprets as having the most semantic value given the page’s visual structure. Therefore, including links in-line within articles and blog posts may be more useful than simply including them as a “references” section, or as a list of links in a side column or widget.

Links from footers and navigational headers are likewise probably of lower value. In addition, links in areas like filler text may have their value significantly degraded when search engines evaluate whether they’re housed in places that contain duplicated content on a site or on the Web.

Place links in higher-profile segments of the page, and structure a site to avoid putting relevant information in a place that could be interpreted, given its physical placement on a page, as less important. For example, a law firm’s site should not include its primary areas of practice in an “about us” sidebar, three-quarters of the way down a side column on the home page, with no significant mention of it elsewhere on the site.

HTML5 to the Rescue

One great thing about HTML5 is you don’t have to rely on a search engine’s discretion of what is part of a template and what is part of the content area if you declare it in your code. The following HTML5 tags are ideal for template specifications:

Improving search rankings isn’t as easy as it used to be. Designing sites with an eye toward how the algorithms work, even if the benefit is mathematically marginal, is better than relying on a search engine’s best judgment.

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