Best of Tuts+ in March 2012

Each month, we bring together a selection of the best tutorials and articles from across the whole Tuts+ network. Whether you’d like to read the top posts from your favourite site, or would like to start learning something completely new, this is the best place to start!

Psdtuts+ — Photoshop Tutorials

Our First Look at Photoshop CS6 – Now Available in BetaOur First Look at Photoshop CS6 – Now Available in Beta

Today, Adobe announced some big news. Photoshop CS6 is now available for download in Beta. For the last several months, we have been speculating about what features we can expect to see in Photoshop CS6. This speculation was fueled by the Photoshop team’s release of several sneak peek videos that revealed some exciting new features. Now that the speculation is over and Photoshop CS6 Beta is available for us to download and try, we have been able to make a careful examination of some of its new features.

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Quick Tip: Create a Royal Gold Text Effect in Photoshop Using Layer StylesQuick Tip: Create a Royal Gold Text Effect in Photoshop Using Layer Styles

In this quick tutorial we will show you how to create a royal gold text effect using layer styles in Photoshop. Let’s get started!

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Create a Clean Twitter App Interface in PhotoshopCreate a Clean Twitter App Interface in Photoshop

In this tutorial we will create a clean Twitter app interface in Photoshop using layer styles and basic vector shapes. Let’s get started!

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Nettuts+ — Web Development Tutorials

Sass vs. LESS vs. Stylus: Preprocessor ShootoutSass vs. LESS vs. Stylus: Preprocessor Shootout

Wielding the true power of a CSS preprocessor is an adventure. There are countless languages, syntaxes, and features, all ready for use right now.

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Sexy Code Snippet Management With GistsSexy Code Snippet Management With Gists

I’ve always struggled to find the perfect code snippet management tool…until now (and it’s free). I’ll show you my preferred workflow, using GitHub Gists and Sublime Text 2.

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Create Instagram Filters With PHPCreate Instagram Filters With PHP

In this tutorial, I’ll demonstrate how to create vintage (just like Instagram does) photos with PHP and ImageMagick. Wait? What? Yes, you can do this very thing with PHP and ImageMagick, and that’s just scratching the surface!

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Vectortuts+ — Illustrator Tutorials

Create a Psychedelic, Funky Line Art PortraitCreate a Psychedelic, Funky Line Art Portrait

In today’s Illustrator tutorial, I’m going to show you how I created a retro, psychedelic, funky, 70s inspired portrait using link art, bold colors and the handy Swirl Tool.

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Quick Tip: Brainstorming Head Design, a Focus on the Eye LineQuick Tip: Brainstorming Head Design, a Focus on the Eye Line

Varying the horizontal axis line (the eyeline) and adjusting the spacing of the eyes are two excellent methods used to brainstorm new character designs. In this tutorial, we look at a few simple, but effective, techniques you can employ to give your characters personality while making them both fresh and visually interesting.

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15+ InDesign Tutorials for Magazine and Layout DesignInDesign Tutorials for Magazine and Layout Design

Do you want to learn to how to design a magazine in InDesign? Discover industry standard workflows for print design professionals, magazine layout design tips, and follow how to design a magazine cover layout that attracts attention. These are just a few of the topics you’ll find in this roundup of best InDesign magazine and layout tutorials.

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Webdesigntuts+ — Web Design Tutorials

The Benefits and Pitfalls of GamificationThe Benefits and Pitfalls of Gamification

Gamification is becoming a hot commodity around the web, but what is it? Is it being used correctly? Let’s have a look at various aspects of gamification and how they can be used and misused.

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Building a Responsive Layout With Skeleton: Starting OutBuilding a Responsive Layout With Skeleton: Starting Out

Dave Gamache’s Skeleton Boilerplate provides the perfect foundations upon which to build responsive websites rapidly and reliably. We’re going to use Skeleton and build a responsive page based on the Magazine design featured on Webdesigntuts+ recently. We’ll be looking at everything from multiple background images, through to media queries, flexible media and mobile-friendly navigation. Let’s get started!

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Quick Tip: Stitch up Your LayoutQuick Tip: Stitch up Your Layout

In this Quick Tip we’re going to create a cool stitching effect in Photoshop. We won’t be using brushes, we won’t be relying on patterns – we’re going to use a really simple and fast alternative.

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Phototuts+ — Photography Tutorials

How to Photograph Birds of Prey in WhiteHow to Photograph Birds of Prey in White

The first thing people say when they see my Birds of Prey Portrait Sessions is “nice Photoshop cutout work”. In fact, it’s not a cutout, the birds are photographed against a white background. Let me show you how.

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Camera Exposure Modes ExplainedCamera Exposure Modes Explained

If you’re just getting started with photography, the letters on your camera’s dial might feel like hieroglyphics. With a variety of modes, it can be hard to pick what’s right for the current shooting situation. Today, we’re going to explain common camera modes so that you can pick the right one for any situation and grow out of using auto mode.

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A Photographer’s Guide to Visiting NepalA Photographer’s Guide to Visiting Nepal

Nepal is a country wrapping in mystique for many. The home of the highest mountain in the world and a civilization known for living in the harsh conditions of the Himalayas, Nepal has much to offer the photographic traveler. Lush jungles cover areas of Southern Nepal which is the location of the birth place of Buddha, founder of one of the oldest religions in the world still practiced today. To the East travel becomes more rugged as compared to the more arid regions of the West.

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Cgtuts+ — Computer Graphics Tutorials

Creating The Always Popular “Invisibility” Effect With Maya & After EffectsCreating The Always Popular “Invisibility” Effect With Maya & After Effects

In this tutorial from James Whiffin you’ll learn how to create a truly awesome invisibility effect using Maya and After Effects. James will cover creating a fractal material in Maya to use as a transition for the cloaking effect, and how to composite displacement maps inside of After Effects, using the luma values of ambient occlusion and depth map layers to achieve this popular effect in our shot.

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Creating An Animated Fish Swarm In Blender Using Particles: The Complete WorkflowCreating An Animated Fish Swarm In Blender Using Particles: The Complete Workflow

In this new two part tutorial from Frederik Steinmetz, you’ll learn how to create a truly unique fish swarm animation using Blender. Frederik will guide you through the entire process of Modeling, Texturing, Rigging and Animating a realistic school of mackerels. You’ll then learn how to create a spiraling, tornado like effect for the swarm using particles.

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An Introduction To UVMapping In 3d Studio Max Using The Unwrap UVW ModifierAn Introduction To UVMapping In 3d Studio Max Using The Unwrap UVW Modifier

So UVMapping… you hate it, I hate it. But unfortunately it’s a necessary step in the process of completing most cg projects. In this tutorial we’ll look at creating uvs using the ‘Unwrap UVW’ modifier in 3D Studio Max, and discuss what uv mapping is, why it’s necessary and some ways to approach it.

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Aetuts+ — After Effects Tutorials

The Naked Truth About 3D RotationsThe Naked Truth About 3D Rotations

Third of the series: “Naked Truth About…” In this video I am showing issues with rotations in 3D space and ways to deal with them. Have you ever wondered what is the difference between Rotation and Orientation? We set two keyframes for rotations and the layer rotates strangely. Has it ever happened to you? Those problems are NOT After Effects specific. This video explains the way rotations in 3D space work. Once you understand the concept – it will be easier for you to tame rotations not only in After Effects, but also in other applications. Have fun.

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Quick Tip – Implementing Droplets and Watch FoldersQuick Tip – Implementing Droplets and Watch Folders

When working with video files on a daily basis, alot of time is spent converting videos into different formats, whether for web, archive, or editing purposes. Add onto that the interruption of opening and closing programs to convert your files and you’ll end up spending less time being creative and more on technical chores. In this quick tip tutorial, we look at two simple ways to save you time by automating the process of conversion using droplets and watch folders.

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Helpful Tips For Improving Promotional Documentary Video

Promotional video content for the web is a powerful way to communicate a message and it is used by many companies and organizations. It allows communication in a variety of forms including spoken word and visual imagery but it also facilitates a connection with the audience on a more subconscious level. A promotional video containing a product, message or guidance must look professional – but before you spend your annual marketing budget employing a production company, ask yourself if you can achieve appropriate results by applying the hints and tips below.

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Audiotuts+ — Audio & Production Tutorials

A Guide to Producing an Epic Orchestral TrackA Guide to Producing an Epic Orchestral Track

Although I’m not a huge fan of epic productions, they are definitely the thing that producers/directors/game developers search for nowadays. Now, as a whole, epic orchestral tracks can be heard on movies, TV, commercials, video games, trailers. They always support tension, battle, chase – all of these extremely dynamic moments that always catch the attention of the customer. This tutorial is a guide that I do hope will help you create your own epic orchestral track. Let’s get started!

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How to Minimize Noise In Your MixesHow to Minimize Noise In Your Mixes

Home recordings are infamous for having noise. Background noise from outside and indoor noises from the air conditioning and people shuffling around in the next room. Home recording studios are usually never sound isolated enough. Even though you might have a great sounding room, with acoustic treatment carefully placed all over, you’re still going to run into sound isolation issues.

The biggest issue is noise, and in the following tutorial I’ll run through a couple of ways you can minimize the amount of annoying hiss and noise from your home recordings.

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Making An Electro/Dubstep Bass Patch In FM8Making An Electro/Dubstep Bass Patch In FM8

If you fancy a bit of departure form virtual analog, subtractive synths you could try dabbling in FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesis. Native Instruments FM8 is the perfect way to get involved with this edgy sound creation method. Lets take a look at how to create a typical roughed up bass patch that you could use for Electro house or Dubstep.

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Activetuts+ — Flash, Flex & ActionScript Tutorials

Build a Stage3D Shoot-’Em-Up: Sprite TestBuild a Stage3D Shoot-’Em-Up: Sprite Test

In this tutorial series (part free, part Premium) we’ll create a high-performance 2D shoot-em-up using the new hardware-accelerated Stage3D rendering engine. We will be taking advantage of several hardcore optimization techniques to achieve great 2D sprite rendering performance. In this part, we’ll build a high-performance demo that draws hundreds of moving sprites on-screen at once.

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oCanvas: A jQuery- and Flash-Style Library for HTML5 CanvasoCanvas: A jQuery- and Flash-Style Library for HTML5 Canvas

With the advent of tools like Adobe Edge and libraries like EaselJS, more resources are becoming available for developers looking to create interactive HTML5 content. Many of these tools are being geared specifically for Flash developers to make the transition from ActionScript to HTML5 canvas a smooth one. This article will overview oCanvas, an HTML5 library that developers might not only find invaluable but also very easy to use.

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How to Build a Python Bot That Can Play Web GamesHow to Build a Python Bot That Can Play Web Games

In this tutorial we’ll explore the ins and outs of building a Computer Vision-based game bot in Python, which will be able to to play the popular Flash game Sushi Go Round. You can use the techniques taught in this tutorial to create bots for automatically testing your own web games.

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Wptuts+ — WordPress Tutorials

Using Custom Image Sizes in Your Theme and Resizing Existing Images to the New SizesUsing Custom Image Sizes in Your Theme and Resizing Existing Images to the New Sizes

In this tutorial you will learn how to generate custom sized images for you to use in your WordPress theme. Why use custom image sizes? So you won’t have to edit every image you upload to the Media Library. This way every image uploaded will get all the custom defined image sizes generated automatically. It can be inserted into the post or page using the Media Gallery or from the loop. Continue reading to find out how.

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The Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, Part 4: On Theme OptionsThe Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, Part 4: On Theme Options

In the last article, we took a deep dive into the various types of menus that are supported by the WordPress API. Although they aren’t necessarily part of the Settings API, they play a key part in development especially when working on more advanced plugins and themes.

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The header.php – What Needs to Go in It and What Doesn’tThe header.php – What Needs to Go in It and What Doesn’t

In this tutorial, let’s talk about the header.php, an essential file for any WordPress theme. I’ll show you a nice header file example and give tips about what needs to go in it and what doesn’t.

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Mobiletuts+ — Mobile Development Tutorials

3D Game Development with ShiVa3D Suite: Project OverviewD Game Development with ShiVa3D Suite: Project Overview

Curious about 3D game development? Now is the time to learn! This five-part tutorial series will demonstrate how to build a simple game with ShiVa3D Suite, a cross-platform 3D game engine and development tool. This series was originally intended for Tuts+ Premium members only, but will instead be given away to the community for free with each portion published back-to-back over the next 5 days. Read on to begin your journey into 3D programming!

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Android Essentials: Creating Android-Compliant LibrariesAndroid Essentials: Creating Android-Compliant Libraries

Android libraries can be packaged and reused in other Android applications using the new Android Library feature of the Android SDK. In this quick tutorial, you will learn how to create simple Android library files that can be reused in multiple projects and increase developer efficiency.

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Enabling Google Analytics to Gather App StatisticsEnabling Google Analytics to Gather App Statistics

Google Analytics is a service provided by Google that makes it easy to track what users do. The Google Analytics team released an Analytics SDKs for mobile platforms including Android, iOS (Apple), and mobile websites. In this tutorial, learn how to include and enable this technology within your Android projects to gather important information about how users are using your applications.

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