In this screencast I’ll demonstrate how to pixelate or obfuscate text in Photoshop.
I usually use Skitch for such things, but one day it wasn’t working, and all I had to hand was Photoshop – so I hunted around and found that it works just as well. It’s just knowing what to click. Once I figured that out, I thought why not share it with the world.
Here are some written instructions, just in case you’re not a video person.
Using the rectangular marquee tool (M), draw a selection around the area you’d like to pixelate.
Now head over to Filter – Pixelate – Mosaic to bring up a little dialogue box.
Here you can select the Cell Size, meaning how pixelated you’d like the selection to appear. Photoshop even gives you a preview option – how nice is that?
When you’re happy, click OK and Photoshop will burn your pixelation into the selected layer. Press CMD+D to deselect the marquee, or head over to Select – De-select. Next, share your anonymous masterpiece with the world.
I had some editing to do the other day that, for one reason or another, I wanted to do on my Windows machine. I tried several open-source utilities, but none of them can cut the mustard like Adobe Premiere Pro can.
However, the only legitimate version I have is Premiere Pro CS3, vintage 2007, purchased for good money back then (which I’ve all made back, thanks to a three-day editing job I got for BBC interactive, literally a week after I bought it). Those were the days before Full HD video was commonplace, and way before anyone dared to mention the idea of 4K. But I digress.
So I tried to install Premiere under Windows 10, and to my surprise all worked rather well – until the registration part came and told me that this app could no longer be activated.
Here’s a list of handy keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Premiere Pro. I keep forgetting these little helpers every 6 months or so…
By no means an extensive or complete list, here are the ones that I like using:
SPACE – Playback at 100%
K – Stop
J – Play 100% backwards (multiple presses accelerates back)
L – Play 100% forwards (multiple presses accelerates forwards)
Left Cursor – step forward one frame
Right Cursor – step back one frame
V – Selection Tool
B – Ripple Edit Tool
N – Rolling Edit Tool
X – Rate Stretch Tool
C – Razor Tool
Import / Export
CMD/CTRL+M – Export Media
CMD+I – Import Media
Create your own Shortcuts
Premiere has a handy menu in which we can lookup existing shortcuts, as well as setup our own. There are so many functions, and not all of them have pre-defined shortcuts. Head over to Premiere Pro – Shortcuts and save whole sets of shortcut setups.
Needless to say, we can also change existing shortcuts to something more personal here.
Photoshop has an interesting set of filters that let us turn ordinary images into fascinating Bokeh Effects. Those can be useful as a nice alternative for gradient backgrounds due to the elements of randomness they can bring, or for foreground effects akin to those created with plastic cameras.
I recently recorded a quick voiceover in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5, but I ran into an issue for which the fix wasn’t exactly obvious. Here’s the problem:
When you mark a track to record some audio and start the recording, the full mix is being played back through your speakers (or headphones). This includes your own voice with a small delay which is useful in a studio setup, but not so much when you’re the only operator on the setup.
How can we turn it off? Turns out there is, as always, a solution to the puzzle.
Head over to Preferences – Audio and find an option that reads Mute input during timeline recording. Once checked, your own voice will still be recorded, but no longer played through the mix at the time of recording.
Opening several JPG or PNG images in Photoshop is the easiest thing in the world: just select several in the Windows Explorer or in the Mac Finder, right-click to choose Open, and Photoshop brings in each image as a new document.
But when we try the same with raw images, it won’t work: although Photoshop shows us the raw processing dialogue for all our chosen images, and lets us make individual changes, as soon as we hit Open at the bottom, only the current image is opened as a new document.
Sometimes we want to reproduce an image using a brush stroke. It’s a handy way to replicate a 2D object along a path for example. Using the standard brush for this though, we’ll find that we can only reproduce a single colour image. But what if we want to reproduce all colours in our image?
It’s easy to create an effect of draped cloth in Photoshop, like in the image above. We can do this with the Gradient Tool. It’s the icon with an actual gradient on it, sometimes hiding behind the Paint Bucket or 3D Material Drop tool (if you don’t see it, left-click and hold for about one second for the multiple icons to appear, or press the keyboard shortcut G repeatedly).
Once selected, choose Difference as the mixing mode at the top left of the screen, and make sure that the colours are set to back and white (other colours can give “very creative” effects shall we say).
Now start moving your cursor in short strokes from left to right, then right to left. Every time you change direction, the image is inverted. Add a diagonal stroke in every so often. You’ll create magnificent drape effects in no time!
I’ve finally worked out how to export 4k and 2.7k footage with my 6 year old version of Premiere Pro. That’s exciting news and gives the software a new lease on life!
With the standard export presets, tweaked to a resolution higher than 1920×1080, I’ve always encountered the following error message:
Invalid framesize/framerate for this Level. Please lower the Frame Dimensions, Frame Rate or increase the Profile and Level and try again.
Turns out Premiere has actually given me the answer to my problem right there in that error message, I just never really read beyond “lower the frame dimensions”.
Let me show you how to overcome this 1080p limitation in Premiere Pro CS 5.5 and export hi-res video without a hitch, but first make sure to check video production company phoenix so that you can get a quote.