Here are some of the best tutorials and articles published on the Tuts+ Network over 60 days in March and April. You might be surprised at how much you can learn from a site outside your area of expertise. Why not make it your goal this month to learn a new skill? Whether it’s motion graphics, web development and design, music production, Flash, illustration, logo design or digital art, the Tuts+ network is an excellent place to start the journey.
Vectortuts+ – Vector & Adobe Illustrator
How to Create a Vector Illustration and Prepare it for Micro-Stock Sale
This tutorial details a professional workflow for creating vector illustrations and prepping the artwork for these sites. I’ve also included a bunch of time-saving tools and tips as well. Let’s get started!
How to Illustrate a LeBron James Cartoon Character
Hello fellow vector artists, I am a cartoonist/illustrator who specialized in retro style vector cartoons. You can find more of my work and books at my web site. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how I use Adobe Illustrator to create vector cartoons.
Learn a Professional Workflow for Illustrating a Comic-Style Header Image
In this tutorial, we’ll review a professional workflow for illustrating website header images in comic style, which are destined to integrate into WordPress themes. This is a great way to make your blog stand out and get promoted on the top web design galleries. Let’s get started!
How to Create an Alarm Clock Icon
With simple shapes and gradients, this easy tutorial will show you how to create an alarm clock icon. We’ll be using Illustrator CS4 for this tutorial, but those of you with older version should be able to follow along as well. Let’s jump into this tutorial, which beginning illustrators will find especially useful!
Accentuating with Color in Vector Illustration – Vector Plus Tutorial
We have another great Vector Plus tutorial exclusively available to Plus members today. If you want to learn how to control your shading and coloring with your vector art, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. Learn a professional workflow for creating color controlled vector illustrations, along with numerous other techniques!
How To Make A Skateboard For Digital Printing – Vector Plus Tutorial
We have another great Vector Plus tutorial exclusively available to Plus members today. If you want to learn how to create skate graphics with Illustrator CS4 techniques, then we have an awesome tutorial for you. Learn how to create skate graphics with shapes, lines, and patterns, and mount them on a board, then prep for digital printing!
How to Create Exploded Isometrics
Exploded isometrics are my subject in this third and final tutorial on the topic of isometrics. If you have not read either of the first two tutorials on isometrics, then I suggest you start with them: Basic Isometrics and Orthographics and Advanced Isometrics Using the SSR Method.
How to Create Cartoon Characters from Everyday Objects – Vector Plus Tutorial
We have another great Vector Plus tutorial exclusively available to Plus members today. If you want to learn how to create novel cartoon characters, then we have a fun tutorial for you. Learn how to create characters from everyday objects that work great for illustrated cartoon style posters!
The Mechanics of Comics
As an audience we accept comics for what they are; a medium, conveyors of information. What we less often realize is the technicality and process of how that information has been communicated to us. This is a good thing. When the artist gets it right, the comic book reader becomes immersed in what’s being told – not how.
Create a Milk Bottle with a Funny Cow Label
In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to create a 3D milk bottle. We’ll also cover how to create and apply a cute cow label to it. Let’s have some fun with this one!
Nettuts+ – Web Development
How I Can Code Twice as Fast as You
We’re all familiar with text expander programs; though I would surmise that the percentage of us who use them when coding is quite low. To change things up a bit, today I’m going to you how to create custom text-expander scripts that will save you a great deal of time. If you’re unfamiliar with such programs, you must watch this! After reviewing the screencast and tutorial, I’d love to hear how you save time when developing.
How to Add Variables to Your CSS Files
Let’s try something different on nettuts+ today. Any designer who has worked with large CSS files will agree that its major weakness is its inability to use variables. In this article, we will learn how to implement variables by using PHP and Apache’s URL rewrite mod.
The 13 Most Essential Plugins for WordPress
WordPress is a very powerful and flexible blog/content management system, but the thousands of plugins really help to extend the basic functionality. Here are 13 essential plugins that you should immediately install after finishing the WordPress installation.
How to Build a Super Duper News Scroller
This week, we’ll learn how to combine PHP, SimplePie, and jQuery to build a simple news scroller widget for your website. It’s much easier than you might think; so let’s begin.
10 Challenging but Awesome Flash Techniques
These days, most Flash developers know how to circumvent the multimedia platform’s short-comings and properly utilize its strengths. Here are some very clever Flash techniques that you can apply to your site, making them more useful, beautiful and unique.
Design a Beautiful Website from Scratch
Have you ever wanted to design a beautiful website but just didn’t know how? To be honest, a few years ago, that happened to me too. While browsing the web, I saw so many nice looking websites and wished I had the skills to create such designs. Today I can and I’m going to teach you how to do so too! Essentially, it requires a few Photoshop skills and an eye for detail. Through this tutorial, I will point out these tiny details which make a website design look beautiful. Fire up Photoshop and let’s get going!
20 More Excellent AJAX Effects You Should Know
Back in October we wowed you with 20 Excellent Ajax Effects You Should Know. The post went on to become one of the most popular ever published at Nettuts+. This time around we have twenty more equally excellent Ajax effects for you to know and love.
How to Become a Freelance Web Developer
Have you ever wanted to be a freelance web developer? Whether you’re working for the man or developing as a hobby, there are some tried and tested tips you can use to ease yourself into the life of a freelance web developer – even if you only do it part-time.
So today we’re going to go over how to actually become a freelance web developer, and all that goes with it.
The Best PSD to HTML to WordPress Video Series Available: New Plus Tutorial
Since I began running Nettuts+ nearly a year ago, the number one tutorial request I’ve received is for a PSD to WordPress screencast. Today, we’re releasing a complete series on our Plus site. Over the course of fourteen videos, I will personally teach you how to take a PSD design and convert first to HTML, and then to a dynamic WordPress site. This was a massive undertaking; I hope you’ll consider signing up if it interests you.
Fun With CSS Shapes
I bet a bunch of you don’t realize that we can create the illusion of shapes by using 100% CSS. By utilizing the border property in creative ways, we can make some really interesting polygons. In this week’s screencast, we’ll figure out a way to create speech-bubbles without resorting to background images.
Audiotuts+ – Music & Audio
A Basic Guide to Acoustic Treatment
After touching on the critical subject of acoustics and room treatment in a few recent tutorials, I felt it was fitting to create a basic guide to acoustically treating your work space. I get asked about this subject a lot so I’m hoping a run down of the essential technique and kit needed will be of some help to readers.
The Process of Score Composition
This tutorial marks the first in a series of tutorials on composition – specifically composition that might be appropriate for film and television. In this piece, we’ll talk a bit about the philosophy behind this particular series of tutorials, and get into the process of composition itself.
Getting More From Your Tracks With Delay
Delay is a simple device with a wealth of possibilities for adding interest and production value to your tracks. This tutorial will examine different ways that delay can improve the sound of your music and inspire creativity.
Creating Run Machines in Reason’s Combinator
Some of Reason’s most-loved patches are the Combinator’s [RUN] patches. These patches are very useful as the Combinator plays along with your song, often inspiring as song starters or templates. However, it is scary to turn the rack around and see hundreds of cables go from this device to that device. It’s not that complex; once you’ve figured it out you can make great background patterns and drum machine templates for your songs.
Create Gated Sequence Effects with Ultrabeat
Ultrabeat is Logic’s secret weapon when it comes to drum sounds, but it can also double as a extremely powerful gate sequencer. In this tutorial we’ll take one pad sound and create a complex layered sequence. There’s a screencast to follow along with!
The Top 6 New Features of Cubase 5
The new version of Cubase has landed with some pretty impressive new features that will be interesting to both new and seasoned users alike. Let’s take a look at a few ground-breaking features the new version has to offer and see if these latest additions keep Cubase up there with the other big guns.
How to Create Excitement in Your Music With Tremolo
Tremolo was always one of those plug-ins that my eyes completely skipped past. It wasn’t until some experimenting and tips from other composers that I began to see the potential behind this simple device.
In this tutorial we’ll look at some examples of how tremolo can help you make some truly interesting and unique sounds, including several techniques used to create the final piece from the “How To Create a Compelling Ostinato” tutorial.
20 Ways to Keep Evolving as a Musician
I started to learn to play music properly when I was twenty. I bought the books, practiced for an hour or two a day, and got some lessons. I could often sense my progress, but not always. There was something new to learn each day, and from time to time I could tell my playing jumped up to the next level. But that was over half a lifetime ago, and though music has always been an important part of my life since then, I haven’t always had the time to play regularly.
How to Achieve Good Translation in Your Mixes
What is ‘translation’ and how does it relate to our mixes? A mix that displays good translation will play back well on a number of sound systems, with all its individual elements remaining clear and balanced. In this tutorial, we look at how you can achieve this with your own mixes.
The Producer’s Guide to Putting Passion Into Vocal Delivery
“It’s in the can,” “On tape” and “It’s a wrap!” You all gather in the plush leather, shag-pile comfort of the engineering room and wait as the final touches are put to the mix. Anticipation is running high, everything is technically perfect, the rhythm tracks tock to the clock of the heart with precision and feel, perfectly locking in and connecting the bottom end to the mids and linking them to the highs with emphatic punctuation into an harmonious arrangement that captures the feel and energy of live.
Flashtuts+ – Flash Design & Development
Build an Efficient Flash Decalsheet System
I came up with the idea of creating what I call Flash DecalSheets from the stickers that come with model airplanes and have been using “Decals” to skin my own Flash applications ever since. A DecalSheet is basically one large image (.JPG, .PNG, or .GIF) that gets cut up into smaller images called ‘Decals’, which are Bitmaps and can be used anywhere DisplayObjects would usually be used.
Build a Dynamic Flash and XML Slideshow with Scripted Transitions
Content updates in Flash can be difficult and time consuming due to the many steps involved. Simply reading content from an XML file means that importing new assets and recompiling the swf is no longer necessary. This tutorial will cover dynamically loading images from an XML file and then deal with inconsistencies in image dimensions using the GreenSock Tween Max animation library.
Create an Impressive Magnifying Effect with ActionScript 3.0
In this tutorial we’ll create a magnifying glass effect, demonstrating use of the displacementMapFilter. The effect can be achieved in a relatively short space of time and with very little code.
Smoothly Animate a Character Using Motion Tweens
In this tutorial we’ll see how we can create a caricature, split it into different layers then arrange the pieces properly as graphic symbols. Finally we’ll look at how easily we can smoothly animate the caricature by using motion tweens. This is a lengthy tutorial, so let’s get started!
Create a Dynamic Slideshow Using ActionScript 3.0 and HTML
In this screencast I’ll show you how to create a dynamic slideshow using ActionScript 3.0 and how to grab the images from an xml file. We’ll keep the FLA empty except for the path to our Document Class and also create a custom class that will act as the engine for the slideshow. This is a file you can use over and over again, I hope you find it useful!
Build a Dynamic Flash Gallery with Slider Control
In this tutorial, we’ll create a gallery which displays all image files in a given directory. A slider is used to browse easily through the images.
Create a Rain Effect in Flash Using ActionScript 3.0
In this tutorial we’ll create a dynamic rain effect using ActionScript 3.0. The effect can be customized in many ways by just changing a few lines of code. Let’s get started!
Build a Dynamic Guest-book with XML and ActionScript 3.0
Guest books are a great thing to enhance the online experience your viewers receive. The ability for the viewer to talk to you and others, respond to questions you’ve raised, comment on your work or just to socialize means a guest book is a must have for most web sites. Let’s see how we can build our own guest book with ActionsScript 3.0, XML and PHP.
Create an Attractive Flash Video Player
In this tutorial FlashDen Top 100 author flashjunkie shows you how to create a slick Flash video player without typing a single line of code. The video player allows you to pause, play, scrub through video and adjust volume. We hope you enjoy this screencast tutorial!
Setting Up a Flash Development Sandbox
Welcome to part one of the Flash Development Sandbox Tutorial! In this tutorial we’re going cover ActionScript development outside of the Flash IDE. As much as we would like to put it off, the day is coming closer and closer when we will no longer be able to write complex applications in Flash and will be forced to choose a different editor.
Aetuts+ – Adobe After Effects
Create an Elegantly Handwritten Text Reveal
In this tutorial you will learn how to animate a handwritten text sequence with ink bleeding through the paper to create an elegant old-world style title reveal.
Create a Stunning Website Demo Presentation
As our world moves more and more onto the internet there are lots of websites that are worth showing off. In this tutorial Markus shows us how to create a clean and elegant solution to show off your favorite site.
Dunk Your Logo in a Wave World
Adam brings back his charm in this tutorial that is all about the rarely used Wave World plugin. You will learn all the ins and outs about this plugin that can even do 3D!
Create a Breakup Into Particles Logo Transition
A very popular request is how to make a logo breakup into particles and reform into another logo. There’s many ways to achieve this and most of them require a full 3D application, but in this tutorial we learn how to achieve it all in After Effects using a 3D particle systems and a few smoke and mirrors.
Create a Stormy, Electric Type Reveal
This tutorial gives a different twist on how to use the powerful Form plug-in. Learn how to use it to create a mysterious and electric type reveal.
Create a Breathtakingly Awesome Rain Scene
In this massive 2 part tutorial inspired by the work of Pierre Michel, Alex Verlan shows us how to create the dramatic slow motion rain drops falling scene entirely within After Effects.
Create an Ethereal Morphing Letter Canvas
Once in a while a new (or in this case very rarely used) technique appears on the scene and suddenly you start seeing it everywhere. Well we have a feeling that this is going to be one of those. In this tutorial Satya shows us how to use the built-in radio waves plugin to create an incredibly beautiful and ethereal animation of morphing letters.
Animate Type the Old-school Way
It’s easy to get excited over the latest plugin or technology, but that inevitably leads to stuff that all looks the same. So to get something new and original, sometimes you just need to go Old School! Before computers, the way to produce type animations was to get creative with some props and a camera. Lloyd shows us how to use some reflective paper and a camera to capture some very fresh type animation. Of course he will also show you how to use After Effects as a finishing tool to bring it all together; this is Aetuts+ after all!
Create a Mysterious Smoky Logo Reveal
In this fun tutorial, Adam walks us through the write-on effect as well as a new way to implement trapcode’s particular to create the popular simulation of an appearing wisp of smoke. He shows us some options to this effect as well how to customize any logo apply these principles in any way you wish.
Design an Awesome 80′s Inspired Title Animation
We are very happy to welcome Nick Campbell (aka The Greyscale Gorilla) to the Aetuts+ family. He’s an incredibly talented designer and a fantastic teacher. In his first tutorial for us he shows us how to create this awesome 80’s style title animation. He covers a whole bunch of awesome little tips that are sure be useful on any After Effects project.