Big List of Free Adobe eBooks!


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May 29, 2015

by Pro Design Tools

Get the Free "Adobe CC Design Basics" eBook!

Pro Design Tools houses a big list of everything Adobe in the way of past and present eBooks for one and all, of all levels of expertise.  Click here for the complete list of free eBooks from Adobe Photoshop to After Effects and everything in between.

For instance…

4 Fantastic Free Books to Boost Creativity & Inspire Your Best Work


Recently we put together a series of free books for Adobe software with over 20 different titles you can download on how to best use the different major products… These books have been trem­endously popular and well-received.

But since Adobe software is all about creating, for some time now we’ve been meaning to add another collection of free books simply about creativity – something that everyone in the world can use and benefit from… So finally, here is that set! You can legally download and use the four PDF e-books below to inspire your own creative process and help improve your work, no matter what you do in life. They are (in our view) all easy, enjoyable, and enriching reads.

Book #1: The Creative Aid Handbook (142 Pages)

Download "The Creative Aid Handbook" Free!

Co-creators Richard Tapp and Nicole Smith of Kooroo Kooroo rightly describe The Creative Aid Handbook as a outside-of-the-box resource to get your creative juices flowing: “We wrote, designed, and illustrated a book featuring unusual tips to nurture your creative well-being, boost your creative intellect and foster internal inspiration. Meant to serve as a mini-resource for your creative projects and food for your creative thoughts. We’ve included our own valuable refer­ences and resources we know and trust as a means to help you get your projects done. We want to give you the creative push from a direction you may not have thought of, be it informative, inspirational, or simply entertaining.”

Read more…

Need a Creative Cloud Disc/DVD, Backup, or Offline CC Installers?


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May 28, 2015

by Adobe and Pro Design Tools

(Thanks to Rodney Mitchell for posting)

Get the Adobe CC 2014 Offline Installers: Direct Links

The Creative Cloud is cool because it offers access all major tools that Adobe makes at an affordable price… But here are four recurring challenges we still see out there since Adobe discontinued boxes and switched over to Cloud-only application downloads:

  1. Folks with slow or limited Internet connections who need to complete large (multi-gigabyte) downloads to get started with their Creative Cloud memberships.
  2. Customers who’d like to download the CC software using one computer with a high speed network, but install it on another, different machine (or more) without redownloading.
  3. Users who just want to maintain secure backup copies of the offline CC 2014 installers should they ever be without connectivity and need to quickly reinstall their products.
  4. People who have difficulties with the new Creative Cloud Desktop application manager (maybe not showing apps or updates) and want to download their tools without using it.

We run into each of these situations often enough that it’s become high time to write an article about them… And fortunately, we’ve got solutions to all four of these problems for you, though these are somewhat insider tips and not widely publicized.

How to Get the Adobe CC Installers for Offline Use or Backup

OK, this is the easier one so we’ll take it first. It solves problems 2, 3, and 4 above. Normally when using the Creative Cloud you don’t have the opportunity to see or store/make copies of the application installer files that are downloaded to your computer – everything happens automat­ically and behind the scenes.

What’s New & Different in Adobe CC 2014?

But if you use our collection of Adobe CC 2014 Direct Download Links then you can easily get around that if you want… In other words, you can still download, copy, move, install, and back up all your installation files the traditional way when you want or need to – e.g., burn to a disc, put on a USB flash/thumb drive, use on another system, download once and install multiple times on networked computers, etc.

You’re still downloading and using the exact same CC program installers from the same Adobe servers, but now you’re doing it without using Adobe’s Creative Cloud Desktop App or Download/Application Manager (AAM) – and taking care of it yourself so that you have more options and greater flexibility with file management and reuse. This works for either the CC trials (the free level of Creative Cloud), or for a paid membership of any kind. You can get the standalone CC 2014 installation files here.


All of the Creative Cloud product updates to date (for all CC 2014 applications) are also available for direct download and offline use, on both Windows and Mac OS.

Special: Legally download dozens of free Adobe books for a limited time!

How to Get or Order a Creative Cloud Disc/DVD from Adobe

So maybe you thought when Adobe stopped selling boxed software, you might never see another disc from them again, right? Fortunately they realized that not everyone (yet) has the available bandwidth to download large multi-gigabyte files error-free over slow or unsteady Internet connections – especially in rural, remote, or less-developed areas of the world… So good news, Adobe does actually offer the option for Creative Cloud customers to receive free disc media with all the CC 2014 desktop tools on it, whenever and wherever necessary (worldwide).

Sign Up for Creative Cloud and Get Free CC 2014 Disc Media If Needed

All you have to do to get it is join to be a Cloud member at any level – even if only for one single month… Then contact Adobe’s Customer Service Team (Instant Live Chat works well, click “Still need help? Contact us”), explain the situation, and they’ll send you out a DVD right away contain­ing all the CC applications for Windows or Mac OS, at no extra charge and without further obligation. Once you get the tools installed off of your disc and running locally on your computer, the software will need to connect online very briefly to validate your member­ship – and then annual members can run for up to 99 days offline without having to revalidate or reconnect.

See this discussion for more details (or this one for even more information) on the free disc option, or sign up here to get started now.


And remember, for requesting a DVD if you need one, Adobe’s online chat is fastest! (Just click “I still need help…” and make sure you get the Customer Service Team.)

Do you have any further questions on the Creative Cloud?  Check out our extensive Creative Cloud FAQ, or just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

See Also…

New Adobe CC 2014 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

Top question: “How much is it to make a video?”


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May 27, 2015

by Nils Granholm, Cavus Media


So… how much is it to make a video?

This question is asked of me so many times a week. I think people are expecting me to say $50 bucks….just not so.

Top question we get: “How much is it to make a video?” I thought I would put a few things down on “paper” to help address, but certainly not answer that question entirely.

Liken that question to “How much is it for a house?” A house is probably more familiar to you and with that, you know you would add many variables to help get a better answer. Location, size, amenities, customization etc etc. This is really the same thought process one needs when asking how much a video costs. We compare home prices by either having been through that process before or simply searching the internet.

A video has just as many variables and should not be compared to your friends son’s neighbor that owns a camera and a mac. I am not disparaging your friends son’s neighbor, but in most cases, it really wont be the same thing.

The items you need to price in your mind is like any project, time and equipment. Most of us in this industry will have a daily rate for labor. Someone with good experience, decent camera gear, will cost between $500 – $1500 a day (8 hours). That may or may not be sticker shock, but again, those rates can soar much higher than that if you have blockbuster imagination.

Recently we did a shoot requiring a camera operator. (Before I go on here, the title camera operator seems to have lack luster feeling to a client, they think it is just someone that holds the camera and pushes record and that is simply wrong. Someone that is competent, understands composition, lighting, sound, motion and can juggle the many features of the camera comes from years of experience, schooling or both. Knowledge of lenses, supporting gear and keeping thing rolling comes with a price.)

So, now you have someone running the camera and most likely supplying the camera which the camera body alone has cost the owner $5,000 and up, not including the lens(s), sound gear or anything that holds it. So, that daily rate is getting you a competent person, a nice camera and in some cases a tripod and the lenses. $25,000 of stuff now at your door. Now we have to talk about lighting up your scene, this is often another human body. Ideally a proper lighting person with lighting gear, which again, is not just any-ole light. These lights they choose are color balanced and purpose built. Because you are shooting outdoor in the sunlight, you are not off the hook. The sun must be controlled with lots of diffusion and fill lights or you will be unhappy when you see how unflattering a 12 o’clock sun can be. Ways to cut corners here, is rent some diffusion and most likely the camera operator can direct neophytes on how to hold it, where to hold it or you can get more gear on the set that can be set up… still requiring those extra bodies and rental fees for the extra gear.

Sound…this is another area where a great deal of experience and schooling are involved to get really good sound. If are you doing a simply interview with one person, often the camera operator can attached a lavaliere mic to the speaker and pull the sound right to the camera. When you get into multiple people talking, outside noise or multitude of sound issues, another body is needed. A sound engineer will show up with many different kinds of mics, sound recorder which is in the tens of thousands of dollars. He/She will have a daily rate as well to include this gear and the experience they bring. They have to work closely with camera operator and cast to ensure everything is on point. These are just a few examples on how a video gets priced.

When you ask how much a video is, from a professional, please understand that offering to barter and/or a small fee is simply not going to get you the people or gear you need to shoot something that we consider professional. Thanks to DSLR cameras and some other entry level cameras, many people call themselves professionals and offer services on the cheap. Again, I am not in any way putting down people with entry level gear, I have seen AMAZING videos with entry level gear…but that AMAZEMENT is caused by talent behind the gear.

When you start seeing $4, $5, $10,000 > budgets on a proposal, it is because they have worked with you to find out what you need and know what people and gear to bring to get you the product you want. It makes life easier for everyone if you say what your budget is, we can reverse engineer your idea and get you something that will curtail to your budget. If you have a modest budget, then please don’t expect the Avengers Movie. Just so you know, the budget for Avengers 2 was $250,000,000.

Now, back to earth…when you ask how much a video costs, be as descriptive as possible and be upfront as you can about your budget. The budget does not stop when the camera does, now we have to pour all that recording into an editing station, review all the footage, multiple times and sew it all together, marrying the sound, lighting techniques to give you a product you and the crew can be proud of. Custom graphics takes time and that too can often be another body.

Most of us are hungry for work, but we can’t give away the farm to get you that amazing video you want. We will work with you!


FREE: 15GB of Cloud Storage via


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May 26, 2015


OK.  I’m cheap.  And brief.  But here’s (another) 15+GB of FREE online secure cloud storage for you to try out, with lots of included free options.  Of course, you can always upgrade for as little as five bucks a month for even more storage, but as I said– I’m cheap.

Check it…


  • 15GB of cloud storage
  • 1 user, free
  • No maximum file size limit
  • Windows, Mac, and Linux clients
  • Multiple user support; 5 users for free
  • 30 day file revision history
  • 30 day file recovery
  • Sync desktop files
  • Mobile app access

Sharing Files

Sharing the contents of folders in Copy is simple and effective.  All you have to do is right click on a folder, and click Share.  A public link will be created that you can paste into an email, or share on social networks with the included Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus buttons.

Copy simple sharing menu

Copy has two types of sharing: Simple and Secure.  Simple sharing creates a public link that anyone can access.  Secure sharing creates a link that’s “invitation only,” and requires recipients to verify their email address with Copy.

With securely shared folders, you can specify permissions that each user has.  The available permissions are: Can Edit & Sync, View Only, and Can Manage.

Who Should Use Copy?

Anybody looking for lots of free cloud storage space with excellent features, perhaps as an alternative to Google Drive (which doesn’t support Linux) will like Copy.

Copy is also great for businesses – even with the free plan – due to the free plan supporting up to 5 users.

With 15 GB of free space, sync clients for almost any operating system, and fantastic mobile apps, there’s a lot I like about Copy.

Copy creates stunning photo galleries

Shared links display a simple file list, yet when you click a photo it will enlarge to fill your entire screen.  The interface isn’t cluttered at all; it’s simple, clean, and effective.  There’s a “Save All” link, so the person you’re sharing with can download all the files in the folder.  Copy even displays CR2 files natively, making this a great service for photographers who work with RAW files.

Copy is great for sharing photos

Check it…


Memorial Day: ‘Just a Common Soldier’


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Memorial Day May 25, 2015


Profile picture for Freedom Alliance

Here in the United States, today is Memorial Day.  I wanted to take a break from our daily Tips & Tricks to share with you a brief video that has great impact, especially today, but no matter where you are in this world.  It is produced and edited by a very good friend of mine, Guy Noffsinger, who put this together for The Freedom Alliance. Freedom Alliance supports our troops and their families through educational scholarships, recreational therapy, and activities that help injured heroes heal.

‘Just A Common Soldier’, also known as ‘A Soldier Died Today’, is one of the most popular poems on the Internet. Written and published in 1987 by Canadian veteran and columnist A. Lawrence Vaincourt, it now appears in numerous anthologies, on thousands of websites and on July 4, 2008 it was carved into a marble monument at West Point, US. Set to music by the author’s son, composer Randy Vancourt, it has been released several times as a record, most recently on November 1st, 2013 by American singer Connie Francis.

After syndicated U.S. advice columnist Ann Landers reprinted parts of Vaincourt’s poem in 1991, it went the pre-digital equivalent of viral throughout the English-speaking world. In 2005, the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y, incorporated words from the poem into a marble monument. In 2009, the Royal British Legion sought and gained permission to use Just a Common Soldier as part of its annual poppy campaign. This year marks the poem’s 25th anniversary.

“Larry” Vaincourt grew up in the Châteauguay Valley and was living in Deux-Montagnes when he wrote Just A Common Soldier. His wife, Doreen, still lives in the home where the couple raised five sons, including Randy, who lives in Toronto today and handles reprinting requests for the poem.

Vaincourt only started working as a columnist for the Watchman in 1983, which was the year he turned 60 and sold the last of the photo studios he had long operated in Pointe-Claire and Deux-Montagnes. In 2004, he won the Quebec Community Newspaper Association award for best column, for his humorous account of the long underwear he had worn during the Second World War, when he had served in England as an airplane mechanic with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Vaincourt also wrote a novel, which he finished a month before he died in 2009, and has yet to be published.

His son Randy says he wrote Just a Common Soldier at a time when some of his friends at the local Legion in Deux-Montagnes had started to die: “His circle of friends had started to get smaller and smaller, and these were just ordinary soldiers like him, and he thought about how little the public knew about all these ordinary men and women who had served.”

Shortly after he had written the poem, he sent an item on a whim to Ann Landers titled the Tissue Issue, about the proper way to place a roll of toilet paper — with the paper rolling out over the top of the roll, or out from under the bottom? Landers never published the item, but it sparked an ongoing personal correspondence and friendship. In 1991, Vaincourt was about to publish Rhymes and Reflections, the first of three books of his columns and poems, when he asked Landers for an endorsement for the book jacket — and she said yes. Vaincourt sent her a copy of the book, and it was while reading it that she came across Just a Common Soldier.

No matter where you today, remember those fallen heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice so that you could live a better life. Please share this video with your friends and family, especially on a day like today.

The ALL NEW (and FREE) Lens Distortions App


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May 22, 2015

By Lens Distortions, LLC

The ALL NEW Lens Distortions app – Stunning photographic overlays add character and dimension to your shots.

Optimized for iPhone 6
Compatible with iPhone 4s+

Lens Distortions look real, because they are real. Made from optically-captured elements, including actual sunlight, haze, and fragments of glass.

Incredibly simple workflow and feature-rich controls make editing easy.

High resolution export helps Lens Distortions integrate beautifully into your photo editing workflow.

iPhone Screenshot 4
iPhone Screenshot 5


Customer Reviews

Take your social media photography to the next level

Instagram and VSCO Cam are great apps but if you want to take your shots to a new level of creativity and give it that cinematic edge, use Lens Distortions. Although it might not apply to every shot you take, it will definitely enhance your shots with an artistic edge.

Look no further. Get the app. Now.

 Just the right touch

Very clean effect. I like to create artistic photography on the go. And with the lens distortions it gives me the ability to give my photos a HD quality refined touch that I’ve been searching for. I’m a fan!

Good fog

The fog and lens flare are pretty good, I’ve hidden parts of this one photo without making it noticeable that I edited it. To the dude who says it crashes, like with all apps, if it crashes, restart phone and the app -fixes crashes forever. Cheers.

Getting Started with Adobe After Effects


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May 21, 2015

by Paul Andrew, Envato


After Effects’ extensive and professional-level array of tools and features has made it the first choice for professional and amateur filmmakers and animators for a number of years now.

But for anyone that is just starting out with the application, it can have an intimidating learning curve. So, to help you create video backgrounds for your website and to also help get you on the path to visual storytelling genius, we have a 10 part video course that has been specifically designed to help anyone that is stepping into the world of After Effects for the very first time.

Logo_x2_retinaThis tutorial series has been published as part of our Master Video in Web Design event. For more articles, tutorials and free files click here.

Before you dive into the tutorials, perhaps you should download this After Effects cheat sheet, it will help, especially when it comes to learning After Effects terminology.

Course Overview & Introduction to After Effects

After watching these tutorials, hopefully you will feel more comfortable working within After Effects. For the remaining 10-Part Series, free source files, and to get you on your way with After Effects, click here…


Applying Disney Magic to Motion Graphics


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May 20, 2015

By Caleb Ward, PremiumBeat

It’s no secret that Walt Disney Animation has been on the cutting edge of filmmaking innovation for over half a century now, and this video from 1957 proves it. Walt Disney himself guides the viewer through a tour of the multiplane camera, a device designed to add never-before-scene levels of realism to cartoons. This video is simply fascinating. Take a look…

(Walt Disney’s MultiPlane Camera (Filmed: Feb. 13, 1957)

The filmmaking techniques covered in this video have certainly stood the test of time — and there are a more than few takeaways for both motion graphic designers and filmmakers. Click here to see a few of the motion graphic takeaways from Walt Disney’s multi-plane camera demo.

Here’s a demo I made a number of years ago using Apple Motion (the same can be applied via After Effects, as well) that demonstrates the 3D effect that Disney created over 50 years ago…




LookAt, the Collaborative Cloud for Video Makers


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May 19, 2015

by lookat

LookAt – Video Collaboration

The Easiest Way for Video Makers to Share and Discuss Work in Progress

Given the heightened presence of video content today, it’s becoming increasingly used as a means for business development as well as personal expression. As 300 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube alone every minute, the desire for your video to stand out against others necessitates advanced production methods and procedures. Collaboration is a key component of producing a quality, memorable video, as different figures bring varieties of expertise to the table. Video production shouldn’t be an isolated effort due to the many nuances of the workflow, and teamwork will nearly always produce the best results.

Still unconvinced? Read on to learn about the benefits of collaborating during the production of video materials.

Time efficiency
Video production is a results-driven work process, and timely edits and updates are needed for the production to move swiftly and stay on schedule. Online collaboration allows film professionals to complete projects faster instead of having to wait on dated methods of communication like file sending and FTP uploads.

video collaboration

Cloud-based collaborative platforms are elemental in streamlining the process of video production. Changes are automatically saved to the cloud, thus avoiding lost works in progress and saving you much needed space on your hard drive. Furthermore, other collaborators’ output will be instantly accessible within the platform, no matter when or from where they are working. You’ll also be able to access the work in progress from any computer, not just the desktop at work or your laptop at home.

Lower budget
A faster turnaround saves everyone in the production cycle a lot of time, and time equals money. Furthermore, in line with globalization, outsourcing allows video producers to scout for talent and view the portfolios of film industry professionals all around the world. Different countries have different salary expectations, and the workload given to a freelancer can help you cut costs, thus appropriating funds for another initiative within the workflow.

Collaborate with LookAt

The global nature of today’s technology allows talent from far-flung locales to offer their professional services over the web. The diverse range of talent allows different techniques, perspectives, and styles to be offered to the film production. The use of international talent also expands your range of contacts, setting up the possibility of future collaborations and networking with a diverse range of professionals.

By maintaining a dialogue within a collaborative video platform, concrete feedback is linked to footage. On-the-spot comments and freehand markers within these platforms pinpoint exactly what changes need to be made to the video content and where. Since the comments are concrete and their execution is clear, resolving edits becomes fast and easy.

video collaboration

Happier clients
The figures financing the production will feel more at ease if they’re updated with new drafts of video output. Regular check-ins via digital collaboration will eliminate the need for formal meetings, therefore freeing up more time for actual work on the video. The more your clients feel that they’re assuming active roles in the workflow, the more satisfied they will be and the less room you will have for error.

Version management
Never confuse versions again! The latest version of your video and all previous revisions are clearly organized and easily accessible in the LookAt environment.

Contextual commenting
Easily sketch changes and add, share and respond to comments frame-by-frame.

Real-time video review and collaboration
Share your projects with everyone involved.

1 Video: Unlimited versions, Free Forever

Check out more information and pricing on multiple video at lookat.

The World’s First Throw-and-Shoot HD Camera


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May 18, 2015

by Lily

Lily is the world’s first throw-and-shoot camera. It lets anyone create cinematic footage previously reserved for professional filmmakers. Lily is waterproof, ultra-portable, and shoots stunning HD pictures and videos. No controller required. Focus on your activity while Lily flies itself to capture your adventures.

Pre-order now at


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