A new year, a new me ! I’ve been using Dietpower software on and off for many years . Unfortunately the diet was mainly ‘off’ last year ( We had a summer for a change and I took a 2 month Stay-Cation and hit the beach every day ) The net result is that despite having been focussing on resistance training and improving my overall strength I have gotten a bit behind with my cardio training 🙁 The great thing with Dietpower though is the sense of certainty you get, that you can control you weight loss goals, and it gives you a great motivational purpose, to burn up those calories. I’ve already lost 4 lbs in 2 weeks, and I’m starting to get back up to speed on the rowing machine. Hopefully by the time all this rain stops and the days start getting longer again I will be back up to speed. I should be ready for sunny runs down the beach and days cycling in the New Forest ! Bring it on 😉
New Forest Walks
I’ve been getting a little more adventerous with my New Forest walks, I can listen to a whole chapter of a book in an afternoon whilst walking around. There has been a bit of a scare amongst Dog owners regarding s mysterious and deadly illness that has been striking down dogs. I don’t have any thing against Dogs or there owners, but I must admit that so many of them using the same areas on such a continual bases does tend to spoil the special remote feeling and sense of escape you can get.
I’m working my way through ‘Photoshop CC The Missing Manual.’ I’ve read up on Photoshop Elements in the past but to be honest found it rather uninspiring. A big part of Elements is the focus on consumer features, such as organising and sharing photos, guided edits, and automated fixes. Whereas a lot of the clever technology in Photoshop has made its way into Elements, I’m starting to realise just why despite being great value for money, Elements does not seem to cut the mustard as a pro-level tool. Adobe seem to be able to dumb it down just enough that some one who’s used the real thing would be continually annoyed ! It’s all about productivity at the end of the day I guess. Having said that a lot of the Keyboard shortcuts are the same ( all ?) and it has made a great learning path. I always thought that the main difference is that the Pro version supports CMYK colour mode for printing, but as I am learning CMYK mode is often not even required for sending to a pro. printing press use these days.
I’m making Audiobooks one chapter at a time using the Text to Voice feature of Mac OSX. I am really very impressed with it too. I like to listen to Ava as she tells me all about Photoshop and she rarely gets things wrong. You would perhaps be a bit sceptical if you had not heard just how good the quality of voice syntheses is these days. The samples take up about 1Gb /per voice/ – They are CD quality until I import them into iTunes at 64KBPS to fit on my iPod shuffle.
The really great thing though is that rather than sitting on the Sofa and focussing all my attention on reading, I can be out walking in the New Forest or at the gym, or even doing chores ( not that I do many of those LOL !) I seem to be able to learn via listening to a voice a lot faster then reading, probably it saves a bit of brain power that can be used for learning.
I had a play around with 3D in Photoshop CC yesterday, there are so many awesome learning resources on the Web these days, it’s a wonder that any one can still sell books or training. Have a look at Nettus+ 3D Tutorials, I watched the Airport one yesterday, Alas my Macs don’t seem to want to play along since they don’t have enough VRAM. Fortunately I have a PC with the required 1GB and that did enable me to have a go.The idea is that you can create 3D ( text) objects and them position and light them so that they look like there are really part of the photo, pretty amazing stuff really. As with a lot of things in Photoshop it’s a better idea to follow a tutorial or guide, since after a few minutes of just playing around with the sample files, I’d totally ruined it and my brain was hurting ! Once you get it all set up properly Photoshop can take several hours to render the photo, which I think gives you sense of how powerful this technology is. What it’s doing is calculating all the shadows and reflections and making it look as if your 3D object is actually in the environment.