Tuesday, November 10, 2015

iCLIPART.com - Say Hello to VI's Newest Team Player ~ November 2015

iCLIPART.com - Say Hello to VI's Newest Team Player ~ November 2015

Jun 16, 2015

Say Hello to VI's Newest Team Player

Vital Imagery Ltd. is extending a big welcome to the newest addition to its team.

Krista Nesbit, has assumed the position of finance assistant with the company. In this capacity, she will be dealing with many tasks, such as quotes, invoices and some customer service, all of which will put her in direct contact with our valued customers.

With a background in business administration, she has had 19 years experience working in an office environment and is looking forward to learning everything she can about the world of technology and images.

"I'm excited to learn anything new," she said. "And I'm fascinated by the scope of this business, by where the many subscribers come from."

From ardent hockey mom to community cheerleader, the woman affectionately known as 'Bing' is a positive, bubbly mother of two active young boys. It's no surprise that her interests outside of work typically revolve around family and teamwork. "I love playing, and watching my boys play baseball and hockey. I enjoy camping and spending time with my husband and our sons, being with our extended family and my dog Bailey."

Since settling in at Vital Imagery, what she's noticed most, she said, is that it's a stress-free environment. "Like nothing I've experienced before." "And the fact that I can walk to work is a bonus too."

Krista says she's enjoying the work and is excited for what's to come. "I hope to bring my knowledge to the job and support the great team at Vital Imagery."

Krista's Favourites:
We asked our newest Vital Imagery staff member to choose some of her favourite iCLIPART.com images to share with you.

Online Tool

Whether you're scrapbooking or putting together promotional materials, creating a collage of photos is a fun way to highlight a group of pictures with a common theme. And with today's online resources you can get a professional look with minimal experience. Here is one example: www.photovisi.com

Thursday, September 24, 2015

iCLIPART.com - Who doesn't love new? ~ September 2015

iCLIPART.com - Who doesn't love new? ~ September 2015

Jun 16, 2015

Who doesn't love new?

New is a word that appeals to everybody. From newborn to New Age, the connotation is that this is something wonderful or unique, something not tired and worn but pristine and.. well new.

Though old can be adored, new is necessity. People shop when it's time to update. They are exhilarated by a fresh perspective, excited by a novel approach.

Here at iCLIPART.com it's new content that makes us happy. While we love all of the wonderful images that have been on the site since the start, we also believe in keeping things fresh. We are proud to offer our subscribers a collection of more than 7.8 million images, licensed from some of the world's top illustrators and photographers. But when it comes to variety the consensus is you can never have too much.

Because it's important to us to stay current we are continually adding new content. And to make it as easy as possible for our subscribers to track down what's most current, there are the New This Month and New This Year categories included on the site. However, just in case you haven't had a chance to take a quick peek when searching for something on the site, we thought it might be nice to highlight a sampling of some new additions. Click these links for a preview:

Handy Tools:

When it comes to working with images you don't always need image editing software. Sometimes only a small alteration is required to meet your requirements. There are many handy online tools that can make changes in a flash. These two offer quick fixes for common problems:
Looking for a way to shrink a photo fast? Try http://picresize.com/ "The Internet's Easiest Picture Resizing Tool"
Want to remove a background? It's surprising how handy http://clippingmagic.com/ is for that purpose.

From our FAQ

Why does the quality become very poor when I make a JPG/PNG/GIF image larger?
The problem is, when image editing software makes a raster image (JPG, PNG or GIF formats) larger, it has to add pixels that were not there before, leaving it to guess as to what these new pixels are supposed to look like. The larger you try to make your image, the worse your image is going to look. If you need a larger file than we offer, you may wish to purchase a vector version (if available) and then use the editing software to save the image to the required size.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

iCLIPART.com - Using Photoshop's Clipping Mask. ~ June 2015

iCLIPART.com - Using Photoshop's Clipping Mask. ~ June 2015

Jun 16, 2015

Using Photoshop's Clipping Mask.

While many clients use images from iCLIPART.com for business purposes, there are a lot of projects that can be done with illustrations and photos which are purely personal. One of the most popular leisure activities for users of the website is scrapbooking.

And when it comes to talking about Photoshop's Clipping Mask, this particular hobby seemed to be the perfect choice for a demonstration of what this handy tool can do.

As everyone loves babies and they are a favourite subject in albums and scrapbooks, that was the focus chosen for this tutorial. For our purpose, we've selected a frame with adorable animals on a backdrop of flowers, hearts, circles and stripes as a starting point (Image #560893). This will be the first Layer after opening the image in Photoshop.

The photo we felt would be perfect for what would be the second Layer, is one of a sweet sleeping infant (#818803).

And now the fun begins. The first step is to turn off the photo layer.

Then, to replace the empty space with the baby's picture using a clipping mask, you would need to select the area inside the frame. In this case it's done quite simply by using the Magic Wand Tool and clicking the blank space.

The selected portion must then be copied to its own layer using 'Layer' > 'New' > 'Layer via Copy'. With the baby picture layer selected, create the clipping mask, which you will find under the Layer menu.

If, like this one, your photograph is a little smaller than the borders, you will need to increase the size to make it fit. The steps for this are 'Edit' > 'Transform' > 'Scale', then hold down the 'Shift' key, grab the corner of the photo and expand it to fit. Once it's done hit Return.

Also, as this picture is horizontal and the frame tilted we needed to use 'Edit' > 'Transfer' > 'Rotate' followed by the mover tool to get it on the right angle.

And that is it - a simple way to highlight a favourite picture using one of the great scrapbooking backgrounds you can find on iCLIPART.com.

A Useful Tip:

So you've found some images you really like but aren't ready to use them just yet. There's no need to download them, but how can you be sure you'll find them easily when you're ready to use them?

There's a special feature on iCLIPART.com, our handy basket system, that's the perfect answer. By creating baskets, or 'lightboxes', you can file images you want to find later without adding to your download history.

Using the baskets is quite simple too. At the top right corner of the page after signing in you will see in green, the 'Basket' link. Click this, then name each one. When you see an image you like, go to the drop down box at the bottom right to select the basket in which you want it saved.

A Featured Collection:

Chalkboard backgrounds have become a popular starting point for many projects including birth announcements and advertising. Here's a staff pick from our customer care specialist Lisa: http://www.iclipart.com/viewbasket.php?lbox=86551498.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

iCLIPART.com - A Welcome Addition to the VI Family. ~ April 2015

iCLIPART.com - A Welcome Addition to the VI Family. ~ April 2015

Apr 7, 2015

A Welcome Addition to the VI Family.

The newest addition to the Vital Imagery Ltd. team is our creative dynamo, a pursuer of many hobbies and interests. Corinne Hoy, known affectionately in the office as Koala for her diminutive size, has taken on the task of Content Manager. Her tasks include the organizing, processing and filtering of content, as well as fixing any issues before the images are added to the site.

"I've long had an interest in photography and image editing, so this position is a perfect fit," said Corinne. "I enjoy every aspect of the job, even the ones that some might consider a bit tedious, like fixing bad rasters."

One of the best parts, she said, is being among the first to see the wide variety of new images provided by the talented vendors each week.

Not one to shy away from trying something new, she is also excited by the challenge of working in a not completely familiar field. "The job has opened my eyes to many things. I haven't done much in the way of terminal use or computer scripts prior so that was a bit of a learning curve."

The busy mother of an energetic toddler has a diverse educational background, having thrown her creative energies and talents into a number of different fields, from theatre to cosmetology. But she is also a talented artist, a fact that provided the incentive for adding another task to her work responsibilities. "I expressed some interest in creating images and it was mentioned that it would be great to focus on education content, such as alphabets and numbers."

Corinne, however, had hoped to incorporate her love of animals into the projects. With her first collection, she managed to do just that... AND please the boss. You can check it out here.

A Featured Collection:

And for all of the other animal lovers here's a collection of wonderful photos featuring people and pets: http://www.iclipart.com/viewbasket.php?lbox=81187857.

From Our FAQ:

How do I remove the white box (background) from the image I want?

JPG files will always have a background since that type of file does not support transparency. In some cases the PNG and GIF files on our website will already have a transparent background. If you download one of the vector file formats you should be able to resave the image in your image editing software without any background. Note: you need to either have a Subscription Plus or a Professional Subscription in order to download vector images from iCLIPART. Most image editing software will let you remove the background of an image manually, and there are many tutorials on Google on how to accomplish this.

Monday, February 9, 2015

iCLIPART.com - A Little Bit About Photoshop's Layer Masks. ~ February 2015

iCLIPART.com - A Little Bit About Photoshop's Layer Masks. ~ February 2015

Feb 19, 2015

A Little Bit About Photoshop's Layer Masks.

A while back we had a request from a customer asking us if we could provide some information on how to use the Masking Layers in Photoshop. This is a great feature that can be used for many different purposes. Think if you would about a Halloween mask, behind which you can hide portions, or all of your face. The masking layers then are the same, allowing you to hide or reveal as much as you want of an image, without sacrificing anything by cropping or erasing portions.

To show you some of what it can do, we came up with our own project. Since it's currently the time of Valentines and romance, our task was all about love and marriage. The photos we chose were #264581 and #783838, newlyweds and a rose background, respectively.

The first step was to turn the former into a black and white image as we felt the contrast between it and the lush velvety hue and texture of the roses would be striking. To do so we went to 'Image' > 'Adjustment' > 'Black and White'.

We next combined both images into one Photoshop document by dragging the smaller bridal picture onto the background, which we had renamed "Roses". (This was done by selecting it in the Layers window then double clicking.)

Next we highlighted the layer for the photo of the bride and groom, and clicked the icon at the bottom to create a 'mask'. (This can also be done by going to 'Layer' > 'Layer Mask' > 'Reveal All')

With the mask selected we used the Brush tool from the bar at the left, (which you can find easily by tapping the B on your keyboard) and 'hid' the edges of the black and white photo beneath the roses so it appears as if the bridal couple are floating among the gorgeous blooms.

One of the magical things about Photoshop is that you don't have to know all of the things it's capable of doing to be able to use it to your advantage. You really can go along quite well with just a few of the basics. But should you want to increase your knowledge there are many helpful tutorials that allow you to learn as much as you want, or as little, at your own pace.

What's even more fun, though, is that if you decide to experiment and explore, the tools and techniques you can utilize to transform your images are many.

To learn more about how to put your creativity to the test with Layer Masks check out this great link: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/masking-layers.html

A Featured Collection:

Continuing our theme of love and romance we thought we'd highlight a new collection of some beautiful Valentine illustrations: http://www.iclipart.com/viewbasket.php?lbox=16325942.

From Our FAQ:

When I try and download a WMF file it opens in a program and I cannot save it to my computer.

When you get to the instruction page screen, please right click directly on the continue button and this should give you the option to "Save Target As". When you choose this option a file save box will pop up and you will have the choice of changing the file name and choosing a directory to save the image in. Please ensure the file extension is correct before you save the file.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

iCLIPART.com - Turn a Great Photo Into a Watercolour. ~ November 2014

iCLIPART.com - Turn a Great Photo Into a Watercolour. ~ November 2014

Nov 19, 2014

Turn a Great Photo Into a Watercolour.

When you search among the photographs available on iCLIPART.com or iPHOTOS.com it doesn't take long to discover the variety and quality. There is something to suit every need and style.

However, as much as a photograph can provide the perfect visual detail to a project there are times when it's necessary, or just fun to put a different spin to them. You might, for example, wish that the image you liked was a painting rather than a photo. With image editing software, you can of course achieve this. While the process might not exactly make you a Van Gogh, the results are satisfactory for most purposes and come without the expense of hiring an artist.

Author Seth Godin has said that art is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the soul of the artist. Well, the 'artist' we set onto this task has a basic understanding of Photoshop but a strong desire to learn through experimentation. The key point is how much fun it can be to take an image and see what you can do with it through a little trial and error.

The first step, obviously was to select a photo that we thought would make a great 'watercolour'. This gorgeous shot of autumn in New York's Central Park (#296795), one of the most popular downloads this season, seemed ideal.

Opening the image in Photoshop, we didn't bother changing the size, but it will be something you'll need to do to meet your needs. Our first step was to brighten the overall picture and intensify the colours just a tad by going to 'Image'>'Adjustments'>'Hue/Saturation' and changing the settings to -3 for Hue, 2 for Saturation and 1 for Lightness.

Next we renamed the background layer to 'original' then right clicked and created a duplicate copy.

With this one highlighted we chose 'Filter'>'Artistic'>'Dry Brush'. The settings used were Brush Size, 3, Brush Detail, 2 and Texture, 1. Play with these to get the effect you like. Next change the 'Blend Mode' to 'Screen'.

Highlight the original layer and select 'Filter'>'Artistic'>'Cutout'. For this purpose we set the Number of Levels to 7, the Edge Simplicity, 3 and the Edge Fidelity, 2, but again, you can play with these setting to get the result you want. Choose Soft Light for the Blend Mode and you're done.

From Our FAQ:

Can I use your images in my iPad/iPhone app?

This usage is usually covered by special licensing. Please email bizdev@iclipart.com with full details of your project, including the approximate number of images you require.

A Featured Collection:

There's a nip in the air and a chill in our bones as we look ahead to winter. This collection of photos remind that there is beauty out in the cold: http://www.iphotos.com/viewlightbox.php?lbox=57445388.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

iCLIPART.com - Showing Our Customers How Much We Care Is... ~ August 2014

iCLIPART.com - Showing Our Customers How Much We Care Is... ~ August 2014

Jul 2, 2014

Showing Our Customers How Much We Care Is...

One of the things that Vital Imagery has always taken great pride in is our level of customer service. We strive to respond to emails as expediently as possible, rarely outside the window of 24 hours and typically within an hour or two. As well we are here, in person, to answer your calls from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday to Friday.

These days when you contact us by phone, it is likely you will have the pleasure of speaking with the newest addition to our VI family - Lisa McLaren, who took on the role of customer care at the end of April. Prior to coming to us, Lisa had spent five years as an advertising consultant with The Goderich Signal Star. There, in addition to building a relationship with her clients she was also involved in graphic design, creating the ads.

"I enjoyed customer service and graphics, so when I decided to change jobs I felt the position at Vital Imagery would really suit me," said Lisa.

However, even a good move comes with some apprehension, of course. "I was nervous at first. After working at a place for five years and knowing the job, I did feel a bit like I was moving into unknown territory." Her cheerful, outgoing personality has proven to be the perfect fit for the company, though, and the transition was seamless.

"I love the people I work with here and I really do enjoy helping people from all around the world. I think it's amazing that we work in such a tiny town, but have such a large presence on the internet for images and animations."

The change in employment also brought about a big change in her personal life. A mother of a young daughter, Lisa made the decision to relocate closer to her new job and moved in with her boyfriend of 2 1/2 years and his two sons. "Leaving the paper was a big decision. Making the move to combine our families was an even greater one."

Now, spending time with her expanded family is the number one priority on her off time. "On the weekend, I am usually hanging out with the kids, but when I get time I do enjoy kayaking, fishing and camping, and reading a good book. I'm also known to be found in the kitchen trying my hand at a new recipe."

With her VI family, she looks forward to the continued challenge of life in a new career. "Every day I am learning something and seeing a new side to this unique and exciting business."

From Our FAQ:

Why does the quality become very poor when I make a JPG/PNG/GIF image larger?

The problem is, when image editing software makes a raster image (JPG, PNG or GIF formats) larger, it has to add pixels that were not there before, leaving it to guess as to what these new pixels are supposed to look like. The larger you try to make your image, the worse your image is going to look. If you need a larger file than we offer, you may wish to purchase a vector version (if available) and then use the editing software to save the image to the required size.

A Featured Collection:

It might be the dog days of summer but it won't be long before we notice the shortening days and cooling nights. The final weeks of vacation are coming to an end and youngsters everywhere will be making their way back to school for another year. In preparation, we hope you enjoy this featured collection from iCLIPART.com: Back to School Collection.