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Photoshop Gradient Map

Few weeks ago a member in one of a Telegram group had asked, 'What kind of effect to create as the sample image'. He provide the image of Snowden film as shown below.

So if you look at the man character named Snowden, it used 2 tones (or 3 tones) of color to render the character's face. In Adobe Photoshop, one of the the effect that we can use is Gradient Map.

A post by a member in the Telegram group

Photoshop Gradient Map

We show you how easy to use the Gradient Map effect in Adobe Photoshop, the classic way. Just prepare your subject photo with no background to works on.

Play the Video in HD

Perhaps, the most difficult part in Gradient Map is to get the perfect tone colors.. that's all.. enjoy.

When you upgrade to Windows 10 from Windows 7, you'll notice that the Control Panel was missing. At the same time you'll notice a new Windows Settings (a gear icon) in the Start Menu. Microsoft was hide the Control Panel in Windows 10 (I'm not sure about Windows 8), maybe for some acceptable reasons.

Most of the settings you can get through Windows Settings itself in Windows 10, such as setting up your internet connection, etc. However the Windows Settings in Win10 does not contains all the settings that you might looking for.

This is the reason you may need to access the Control Panel instead. The Windows 10's Control Panel is different than Windows Settings, some task you need the Control Panel to access it, such as when you would like to change your Administrator's account name of your PC.

So here is video tutorial to show you where is the Control Panel in Windows 10. You can then create shortcut for easy access to the Control Panel later.

Where Is The Control Panel In Windows 10

Control Panel in Windows 10

Sometimes we need to change black & white image to other color the easy way without need to remove the black first. For example, in this sample image of the classic VW Buggy, the original image is black & white jpeg image, so the idea is to change the VW Buggy from boring black to any other color of your choice, for your poster design let say.

Make It Solid Black Bitmap Image

First of all, you need to change the source to solid Bitmap Image. So open Adobe Photoshop..
→ set the image to Greyscale (to make sure its only black & white)
→ then convert to Bitmap (to make every pixel of the image is solid black pixel - Mono)
Save it to .PSD (.TIF, or .BMP also can)

Change The Color In Vector Graphic App - Illustrator

Open Adobe Illustrator and you can start change the color of the VW Buggy van and enjoy your design with it.
→ in Adobe Illustrator, Open the saved file
Select it (using Selection Tool)
→ At the Fill Color tool, change the color as you like

Video Tutorial Change Black & White Image To Any Color The Easy Way

Make sure you watch it in HD & please subscribe the Youtube Channel to support us.

Previously a friend asked, how to create box packaging in Illustrator. So we try to make a very basic way to make a box packaging using Adobe Illustrator CC. Based on a typical rectangular box shape as white box image shown above, here is the video tutorial.

Please set the video to play in HD quality to clearly see the tools and the menu used.

This simple tutorial we manage to capture on how to create round text for one of our clients. Sorry for the silent video :D

Watch it in HD quality to follow step by step.. feel free to ask anything related to the tutorial title in the youtube comments or in the comment box below. Remember to subscribe the youtube channel too.. enjoy..

Dealing with artwork tracing from jpeg image to vector, such as trace logo from jpeg image is common to graphic or visual designer. The real problem that we, as designer often facing are not the complicated artwork itself, but to find the correct font used in the artwork.

Let say a client request to vectorise a logo (to convert or trace from jpeg image to vector illustration) for their company or product, when the owner of the logo itself don't know the font name used in the logo, the designer have to find it out to use the font as the text in the logo artwork.

After hours wasting time searching for the correct font used with negative result, we may end up with a decision to trace the font text instead.. and here we share some of our font tracing tips to make the complicated job a bit faster & easier.

Hope you find it useful and can apply for your tracing works. If you have question, you can ask via youtube comment or in the comment box below.. enjoy..

Please subscribe the video channel & remember to share ;)

How to write simple Arabic (or Jawi) words in Adobe Illustrator..? Some 'designers wannabe' asked. Ok here we show very simple way, no additional 3rd party apps, or converter needed.

Firstly you need to know the Arabic (jawi) words that you need to write using Adobe Illustrator. Make sure you know the spelling as we will choose letter by letter using Illustrator Glyph.


Feel free to ask anything related to the video tutorial in our youtube channel's comment section, or in the comment box below. Don't forget to subscribe our channel too.. 😊

Some user asked us how to draw or we usually say it vectorize jpeg image with Adobe Illustrator. Well we try to do some video tutorials here.. sorry for no audio yet. Next time we will try to add audio features on our next video tuts.

Notice that the image (jpeg) is put on bottom Layer, and lock it to avoid it moved.. and we create new Layer 1 on top of it, make sure to Select this Layer 1 to work on it.

Considering you know how to use Pen Toll, you can see our previous post on how to use Pen Tool tutorial..

Sometimes when we download a PDF document, such as an eBook, Tutorial, or any other PDF file, and the time we open the document, it request password to unlock. This means the PDF file was password protected (security enable). It can't be opened until we get the password to open or view it..!! Why they password protect it..? Because the documents are important or valuable, should not be opened and viewed by anyone without the owner's permission. In other words only permitted users are allowed to open, view and read. But, yes we can unlocked the protected PDF files..!!

#OMG.. one man's fun is another's hell..?

What Is PDF File

Before that, PDF file is Portable Document Format - one of the best universal (not really but can say so) format that support mostly any device, pc & gadgets. Yes it's created by Adobe System, but was released as open source. A PDF file usually can be read using Adobe Reader app, which is free to download, also can be read using any 'PDF Reader' apps. So PDF is a file format, not software.

It can be created or 'Save As' → PDF using any supported softwares. When a PDF file being created using software like Ms.Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc, using command 'Save as PDF documents', it will save the documents 100% just like it was created using different software.

PDF vs Word

Unlike Ms.Word documents, when we create a Word document, save it in .doc or .docx format (Word format), the .doc file will not guarantee be as similar as the original source when it being open at other pc, because the Word format is depends on the local computer that read the file. If some specific fonts were used in the Word document at origin pc, the other pc which receive to open the file might not know the specific fonts used, as the Word document did not save the fonts together, instead it replace with standard fonts in the (other) local pc. So the receiver did not know what's being changed. Also the documents formatting, margins, tables, graft, might seems different or more worst missing some elements in the other pc without the receiver realised it.

So here comes the PDF format to solve this problems. In fact PDF format can save all elements, fonts, table, graft, graphics (raster & vector), formatting, margin, etc. all contents are 100% just like the documents was created (using Word itself, or any other software). Not just saving in PDF format keep the file small in megabytes (or perhaps kilobytes), also no issue on viewing it on other pc or platforms.

Protected PDF File

One of the very good points in using or saving as PDF format, we can password protect the PDF file, where other format don't have this feature. How to lock a PDF file..? Basically there are 2 types of setting PDF security password:
  • Password Protect to Open the document
    block users from view and read the PDF document
  • Password Protect to Print and Edit the document
    disable users from print and disable users from trying to edit the PDF documents using other software (i.e Word, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.)

    How to Password Protect your PDF document..?

    In Adobe Illustrator:
    Designers are familiar with this app..

    File > Save As > Adobe PDF > Save > follow image ↓

    In Adobe Photoshop:
    A designers, artist, photographers must have app to work with..
    File > Save As > Photoshop PDF > Save > follow image ↓

    In Microsoft Office Apps:
    (In Microsof Office, you should have Adobe Acrobat Installed)
    Follow this guide.

    Using Adobe Acrobat Pro
    Or we can also use Adobe Acrobat Pro to set those password and better handling the security features. Using Acrobat Pro, there are several types of securities we can set.

    So when we password protect our documents, eBooks, this mean the PDF files are secure from unauthorised download / viewing..? Well.. not really..

    Unlocked Protected PDF File

    This is what we gonna share about..!! How to Unlock Password Protected PDF File..? Can it be unlocked..? Well yes, perhaps some of you already knew, and some may still keep thinking no way a protected PDF file can be unlocked..!!

    Yes, even I personally think no it cannot previously.. lol. As a PDF user, probably you ever use some free online services for PDF, like 'convert file to PDF', or 'convert PDF to other file', or 'merge PDF files' and etc. via online. Like it or not there are (many) services that offer free Unlock PDF file.. indeed.

    Good News Is Bad News

    For PDF users, I mean users who always like to download PDF books, be it tutorials, or anything, when the PDF was password protect we end up with frustration. Of course, we need to buy to read the PDF eBooks, cracking the password is illegal, I must say this ☺. But for some of you who never knew that unlocking password protected PDF is available, might surprise to see there are many sites offer Unlock PDF files for free.

    No I'm not promoting any websites or any services.. I'm just sharing knowledge for our own use. Remember one thing, Unlock password protect PDF file of your own forgotten password for the PDF files that belongs to you.. that sounds better ☺

    At the same time we knew this good news, the ability to unlock protected PDF files, it's a bad news to PDF creator, eBook writer, publisher, any one who deal with secured PDF files (me too). Then how to avoid users download and illegally unlocked (or cracked) the PDF file's password..? Good thing is we, as (one of) PDF creator, writer, we can still password protect our PDF documents securely, cracked-proof.

    Change The Key Lock

    For serious PDF creator that wanna password protect your PDF documents, you need to change the password you use. Make a high secure password.

    Using Adobe Acrobat Pro there are 2 ways to password protect your PDF file:
    • Password Security - set the password to protect from Open, Editing & Printing.
    • Certificate Security - set 'digital ID' which is more secure, using 128 bit & 256 bit AES
    From Acrobat, File > Properties > Security (tab) > Security Method: > Password Security

    As a normal user, I just choose Password Security as my protected PDF documents. I don't wanna use the Certificate Security, because it seems more complex and if anything happen to my pc, it might hard for me to get the protected files when the 'digital ID' was damage, (I guess). So I remain with password security, easier for me to create the 'formula to remember' ☺

    So when you use Password Security..

    Choose whether you wanna protect the document from being Open (read) or just choose Restrict Editing & Printing only ↓ (setting shown below just for example)

    The key to get high secure password is to use all characters combinations:
    small letters + CAPITAL Letters + Numbers 123 + Symbols ={&-

    Notice when you set the password in the password box, there is password's strength bar indicator on the right with Weak, Medium & Best. Make sure your password combination is set to Best (green color bar). Then click OK, and Save your PDF file.

    Test it

    You can try to Open it, if you have set the 'password to Open'.
    You also can try to Print it if you have set 'Printing Allowed: None'.
    You can also try to open it with other software (i.e. Photoshop, Word) to test it if you have set 'Changes Allowed: None'.

    This way, any tools might take million of years to unlock or crack the password. I have test my personal password protected PDF document with high secure password combination, and these are among the results using..

    "It would take 1.2 million years to remove the password" - small PDF #failed

    Several times I tried to unlock using ↑ PDF Unlocker.. also #failed

    And I've been using some more free online PDF unlocker, also end up with error, which normally these tools easy and successful to unlock normal password protect PDF file.

    So the conclusion is you can unlock password protect PDF file (if you forgot the file's password). And if you serious in protecting your PDF file, make it hard to unauthorised user or hacker to crack your document's password. There is possibility but make it million of years just to unlock a file..

    Last but not least, don't forget your password, nobody will live million of years ☺
    designer, illustrator, founder of