So how good are you with Adobe Photoshop?

Erik Johansson is incredibly talented in visual art. His videos and web page show how a real master blends real life and virtual reality. Watching his creative process you understand that nothing is too much or too difficult to achieve his artistic ends. You also realise he is prepared to put 123 layers into his Adobe Photoshop creations to achieve what he wants. The blending of real and imagined is seamless. The detail is infinitesimal and he is incredibly painstaking in the way he goes about creating his images. Technology can shift the boundaries and imagination can reach out and use its limitlessness to show itself. What can be imagined now was restricted before but that same imagination has to be very disciplined and precise in its thinking to achieve its goals with technology. Near enough is not good enough and precision is everything.

Merge two Word documents into one

insertLast night I was working on an assignment for the Year 10s and worked out duplicating a page would save me a whole lot of time. It’s been a long time since I have needed to merge Word documents so I had forgotten how to do it. You cannot duplicate pages in Word like you duplicate slides in Powerpoint. Luckily , the Microsoft Support instructions work like a charm and I saved myself time and energy. It means you keep formatting, backgrounds, customisations when a cut and paste isn’t the answer. It’s as easy as creating a new page and using the insert function and object, where you insert from a doc file you have. I then just had to delete the bits I did not want.

Tux Paint app

Tux PaintTux Paint is a very versatile app for creating your own images. There are computer and HD versions too. It has been designed with younger children in mind but if you want to get in touch with your inner child , or you want an easy, straight forward app to able to explore creating your own images , then Tux Paint is worth a look.Tux Paint2 Graphically it is very smooth and slick. It has a clean, well designed interface which gets you going quickly. You feel like exploring and experimenting. It doesn’t have the subtlety in brushes of other paint apps but it’s a good place to start and it produces very clear images which would show well on an IWB. The sounds which come with it make you laugh but you can turn the sound off if you don’t like it. Those who use it , love it. With the new, upsurge in colouring books for adults, Tux Paint is a good electronic version of that because it is very calming to create the images. As you can see , the free version comes with some unobtrusive advertising.

MyPaint Beta on Windows 10

MyPaint WindowsI installed the MyPaint Beta for Windows from the MyPaint site and it went smoothly. It looks clean, it functions well, the brushes installed. You have to remember to download the brushes and then install them from within the programme under the brushes tab at the top. It doesn’t look as flash as the Linux version but it has a very convenient and clear layout. Installing the Wacom tablet was not as straightforward as usual. I had to search for drivers which would work because the first file I found on the Wacom site did nothing. There is a forum where you can download the pen drivers from LucieG45’s post and that version worked for me. I then downloaded the Bamboo Dock which is a very handy utility for the Wacom tablet. Now I am all set and ready to go on Windows 10 as well.

Fotowall for Linux Mint 17.2

I downloaded Fotowall from the packages manager on Linux Mint 17.2. As you can see from the video it runs on Ubuntu as well and it is a great graphics programme which automatically loads Gimp if you wish to customise selected images further. My version of Fotowall is not doing the web searches for images and I shall investigate that. It’s not a problem as such because I would probably use this for my own images. I love the feature of turning text into image and the fact you can write text on the overall image as well. FotowallIt really is a great piece of software for those who like to make impressive images but have limited artistic talent. Technology is really helping lift us up visually. We need artists and graphic designers to point us in the right direction but tools like Fotowall are graphics enablers. You can use it to print posters, design desktop wallpapers, image montages. It’s quite versatile.

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