Archive for April, 2007

Demon Webhosting? Stay Away!

Friday, April 20th, 2007

Connectivity supplied by Demon InternetI’ve worked with a lot of web hosting companies, large and small, over the years, but I’ve got to say my worst ever experiences have been with Demon Internet.  And the very worst part is that it’s still ongoing!

Last year Demon’s hosting platform went down for a couple of weeks.  Now there’s not a webhost out there whose servers don’t go down at some point – but for two weeks?!  Then it came back up briefly and it looked promising – well that and the promise of the compensation for not meeting their uptime guarantee.  But the compensation was never forthcoming and what’s more the platform went down again almost straight away, this time with the added ‘bonus’ that all the data was gone.  No websites. 

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Using Wacom Intuos 3 with Photoshop (ExpressKeys and Touchstrip)

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

Expresskeys setup for PhotoshopI said in an earlier post that I was experimenting with speeding up my workflow in Photoshop by making more use of the keyboard shortcuts and that I would write more as well about using the Wacom tablet’s built in buttons (called ExpressKeys).  These are a group of buttons on either side of the active area of the graphics tablet and the idea is that you use your dominant hand with the Intuos pen (or mouse) and your other hand on these buttons (hence there is a set either side, but that’s not to say that you can’t use both sets if you prefer).

After experimenting for a while the way that I've found most useful with the Express Key buttons so far is in the following configuration (shown in the photo above):

  • Two buttons set to [ and ] keystrokes in order to increase/decrease brushsize – this works quite well and is much quicker than the right click (on the pen) provided that I do not need to change the pen hardness at the same time
  • One button set to the keystroke Control D – this allows me to quickly deselect any previous selections that I’ve made using for example the magic wand tool or the lasso.
  • One button set to the ALT modifier – this is most handy when selecting a source, such as when clicking to choose the area you wish to clone stamp from or when setting the source point for the healing brush.

These settings can all be programmed through the [tag]Wacom[/tag] Tablet Properties which you will find in Control Panel. 

Expresskeys Setup in control panel - click for larger image (click for larger image)

Also on the Intuos are the touch strips (again one either side), which by default are set up to enable you to very quickly zoom in and zoom out in [tag]Photoshop[/tag].  This is somewhat useful but it zooms in on the center of the screen which means that you still have to do a lot of panning to locate the part you really want to zoom in on. 

Touchstrip Setup in control panel - click for larger image (click for larger image)

Again this is setup in Wacom Tablet Properties which you will find in Control Panel. Click on the Advanced Options to set the action for press and hold at the ends of the touch strip and also to set the touchstrip on the dominant hand side to only work off the pen touching the strip (rather than your finger, as most often you will have the pen in this hand).

Intuos Touchstrip Advanced setup in Control Panel | Wacom Tablet Properties

Buy a [tag]Wacom Graphics Tablet[/tag]Wacom Intuos 3 A4
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