I can vouch for the above, went through the same things 10 months ago, the AIR fully loaded and SSD blazes away with PS6. Subscribe to my newsletterReceive photography tips, news, and wonderful landscape photos to brighten up your day. Edit Photoshop image files on your Mac faster and easier – without adding a custom external keyboard! Utilizing a multi-color printing process, the shortcut keys are color-coded and heat fused to ensure long lasting durability.
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In this graphic design tutorial, I am going to show you how to draw a realistic Apple MacBook Air. The Bevel and Emboss layer effect gives the screen area a 3D appearance and the Gradient Overlay gives it the metallic surface. Draw another rounded rectangle that should be slightly smaller than the first rounded rectangle above. As you can see below, the inner shadow inside the screen adds depth and avoids a flat appearance. To make the desktop wallpaper look more realistic (and not so flat), add an Inner Shadow and an Inner Glow. Below, you can see the subtle difference between a camera made from one circle versus two circles.
As you can see, we have modified the base shape to mimic the elegant curves that the MacBook Air is known for.
The layer style in the previous step has given the base of the computer greater depth, but I feel it’s still not enough.
Switch over to the Eraser Tool (E) and, in the Options Bar, set the tool’s Opacity option to 30%. Draw a very small rounded rectangle on the right of the groove that we drew in the previous step. Hit Ctrl + T, right-click inside the transform box, and then choose Flip Vertical from the contextual menu. I hope you enjoyed this Photoshop tutorial and have picked up some useful tricks and techniques!
Customers on the Adobe support forums have been reporting issues with severe flickering when using some 13? MacBook Air models while using Adobe Photoshop, particularly the larger brush tools. Apple needs to hear from customers who experience the problem, and needs details on exactly which systems have the problem.
We will continue to research this, and if we find a system that reproduces it, then we can file a bug with Apple and have some hope that they might investigate.
Also, thanks for the video - that is definitely a driver or GPU issue, though with that kind of flickering I'd also suspect the LCD driver circuits. Newer chipsets like those in the new MacBook Air tend to occasionally have sporadic quality control issues.
As for users who are experiencing such issues, Adobe advises you to contact AppleCare so the problem can be diagnosed and hopefully quickly resolved by Apple. On the release of the second generation of MacBook Airs in late 2010, the new models seem to demand consideration. Is the 11″ MacBook Air the perfect laptop for working the photographer working on-location?
For the traveling photographer, the 2GB RAM that ships with the base configuration of the Apple MacBook Airs simply isn’t going to cut it. The 11″ MacBook Air comes with the bare essentials – the standard MagSafe power adapter, extension cord, and a square packet.
The packet includes a slim, perfect-bound instruction manual, software agreements, and standard white Apple stickers so you can broadcast your expensive taste in electronics. Almost equally mind-boggling is knowing that Apple will inevitably make an even thinner and gorgeous design that will leave your wallet even lighter. Of course, the big question with the appealing design of the MacBook Air is whether it comes with sacrifices that limit its usefulness for the professional photographer.
On the underside of the MacBook Air, one nice touch is a set of four rubber bumpers in the four corners, which keep the bottom of the laptop just slightly raised off surfaces and scuff-free. For as thin and light as the Air body is, it’s actually a little amazing just how nice the build of this machine feels in the hand. The one point where there’s a detectable flex is on the screen – the very thin aluminum casing of the screen does give in the center when the Air is squeezed near the light-up Apple logo. My old laptop is an ancient beast – a vintage 2004 15″ Apple PowerBook – a true dinosaur in computer-years. The 13″ MacBook Air features the same connections, but also features a built-in SD cart slot.


The MafSafe power connection has been around since 2006, and while it’s not a new feature, the design fits in perfectly with the new MacBook Airs. The keyboard of the MacBook Air is pretty much the same keyboard found on the MacBook Pro line.
One thing of the new 16:9 aspect ratio sported by the new MacBook Airs is that content is, unsurprisingly, narrow. Overall, the battery life of the 11″ MacBook Air is good , but not excellent compared to the larger MacBook Pro models.
With light tasks like web surfing without heavy video viewing, the 11″ Air does deliver on the 5-hour estimate specified by Apple. Aside from general day-to-day use, one other consideration is the very low power consumption of the Air models while not in use – up to 30-days standby juice. Overall, I found general that the modest MacBook Air was more than up for general Photoshop work in terms of quick editing – cloning, layer masks, layer adjustments, etc.
If anything, the stock interface of using the Air’s touchpad was the most limiting factor, due to the slight awkwardness moving sliders with the touch-based interface. Adding in my preferred interface – a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet – makes processing on the Air much easier, though it takes it out of the realm of an ultra-portable, too. The workaround I found was in rendering 1:1 previews for the batch prior to editing, which made checking focus on a batch import a breeze. Overall, I had no complaints with the speed of using the Develop module in Adobe Lightroom 3.
Again, just as with Photoshop, the biggest stumbling block of RAW processing is the fact that you’re using a labtop – using a trackpad on any laptop, even one multi-touch enabled – is far from ideal. To test the new 11″ Air, I setup a simple experiement – pitting the laptop against my current workhorse, my Apple Mac Pro.
My test for these two machines was simple – I exported 60 RAW (Nikon .NEF) files from my Nikon D3 at full resolution to 80% quality JPGs and timed the task. So, is the 11″ MacBook Air the perfect laptop for working the photographer working on-location?
However, in terms of delivering an ultra-light platform for mobile editing, the 11″ MacBook Air proves a completely viable solution when size and weight are of paramount concern. I can’t help but think that the MacBook Air line is something famed nature photographer Galen Rowell would have appreciated.
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We will be using layer styles to make beautiful surfaces and manual tweaking techniques with the help of the Pen Tool, Convert Point Tool, Free Transform, Brush Tool, etc. Start by creating a rounded rectangle using the Rounded Rectangle Tool with Radius of 35px and a light gray color (#e0e1e3). Switch to the Direct Selection Tool (A), select the two bottom anchor points and move them up.
But it would be nice to have something on the screen to make it look like the computer is powered on and to make our work look more interesting.
The wallpaper should now just be inside the screen; the parts of the photo outside of it has been masked away. If we only used one circle, the FaceTime camera would appear to be flat and would look empty. Select the Bezier handle at the bottom anchor point and pull it to create a smoother curve. Use the Brush Tool (B) with a soft brush to paint the lower part of the selection with black. On a new layer, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to make a thin, horizontal selection and then fill it with white. We did this so that the highlight conforms with the curve on the base, making our work as realistic as possible.
Look over to the Tools Panel to make sure that the Rectangular Marquee Tool is the active tool, then, on the canvas, right-click inside the selection and then choose Stroke from the menu that appears.
Make sure that the duplicated shape and the black shape we drew are selected, then press the Intersect button at the Options Bar. Draw a linear gradient going from white to black to fade the reflection as we get nearer to the bottom of the canvas. I tried to bring all the details in this tutorial, because basically drawing Macbook Air in Photoshop is very simple.
Affectionately coined MMi, we're a community over 900,000 strong who love modifying our iPhones. Adobe representative Chris Cox posted on Adobe?s support forums stating he believes the problem is caused by a driver or GPU issue, or possibly a problem with the LCD driver circuits. Some Air owners have been reporting issues with Wi-Fi and Apple has issued a ?capture? order to Genius Bar representatives to take broken machines and send them to Cupertino for further analysis. Certain reports are suggesting that upgrading to Mavericks solves the problem which indicates the issue may be caused by software. Though Apple does offer a 1.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo setup, this is only an option with the 128GB SSD model at additional expense.
Thankfully, the late-2010 models feature the option of upgrading to 4GB of RAM, unlike the original MacBook Air.
The base model of the 11″ Air ties with the MacBook for the cheapest Mac with display at $999.


Price and performance aside, that shiny piece of aluminum is going to look good in its box. Thin, sleek, and impossibly spare, the case design for the 11″ MacBook Air is a stunning work of industrial design. There’s zero creak, the screen closes absolutely flush to the body, and the the hinge has no play. After using the MacBook Air for the past several weeks, it’s actually hard to imagine using anything heavier.
As much as I’d love to see it, even a Firewire 400 port seems as though it might be too thin for this design. Considering there are only two USB ports with one likely to be needed for an external drive, the issues of importing, transferring, and backing up with the MacBook Air certainly highlight the very limited connectivity of this setup. However, due to the very limited real estate, the only issue here is potentially tight fits with USB port.
It’s not a dealbreaker, but back-illuminated keys would certainly be nice for editing, keywording, etc in questionably-lit locations on assignment. For any photographer not used to multi-touch on their min workstation, the gestures-enabled trackpad is beautiful for quick navigation.
In contrast to the real estate of a larger screen, the relatively short height of the screen means that the working area in programs like Adobe Lightroom becomes extremely tight, even when hiding some content panes. The reason being is simply the limited space available for battery cells in the extremely thin unibody design of the Macbook Airs. With processor-intensive tasks like photo development, the work time can dwindle to 2-hours. Even with the wispy 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, apps open with almost shockingly alacrity and general computer tasks are fast, fast, fast. Despite diminutive processing power, the solid state drive lends a snappiness to the machine that belies its true specs when compared to mechanical drives. In other words, the basic retouching tasks you’d be performing on-location or while traveling. Using keyboard shortcuts helps diminish this problem to a degree, but it’s still not an ideal situation. Here, the Air really seemed to struggle to render the images at 100%, which can be important when checking focus or determining detail effects like noise reduction or sharpening. However, this system of editing assumes the luxury of time to render 1:1 previews (albeit also with the necessity of checking focus).
For exacting edits based on technique and focus, it makes sense to edit as completely as possible before this level of granularity of selection, and then to batch render previews as needed. For the kind of quick edits would would need to process in the field – exposure, WB, curves, etc – changes are pretty much instantaneous and smooth. However, with its compromises also come a level of freedom that translates into an efficiency impossible with heavier setups. For the last six months I’ve been lugging my 27 inch iMac to my Photoshop courses and with some further afield courses coming up it was about time. With normal operation I haven’t notice any difference between my iMac and the Macbook Air, even when performing most operations in Photoshop.
So you spend more time on your photos and less time learning and memorizing program shortcut keys! Repeat the previous process on the duplicate shape, but this time, use the path from the inner screen. As is usually the case with my work, I showed you how even the smallest details (like in the highlighting of the FaceTime camera) can make a powerful impact in the realism of the graphics you create. He runs DesainDigital where he regularly shares tutorials, design information, and visual inspiration. According to him, he says Adobe hasn?t been able to reproduce the issue, suggesting that it could be a particular run or series of MacBook Air models that are having problems. For me, this necessary upgrade gets the MacBook Airs to a bare minimum for photo editing and processing. The interesting aspect of this included USB dongle is that it eliminates the need for an optical drive and disk to reinstall the software. Not only for surfing the web, but also for working with the cluttered (and scrollbar-filled) panes of Adobe Lightroom, too. For anything more serious, the format of a laptop simply isn’t viable, regardless of the power. Aside from a difference in the processors, we’re also talking 9GB RAM in the Mac Pro vs 4GB RAM in the Air.
The 11″ MacBook Air, with its limited processing power and even maxing out to 4GB RAM, is far from the perfect engine by any standard when it comes to photographic software. When it comes to saving large files or doing processor intensive tasks I’m already expecting to wait for these things to complete so a marginal difference is not even noticeable.
We will also cover how to create a slick reflection that can be used in many graphic design situations. Go to Layer > Merge Visible to merge all the visible layers into the new layer without affecting the original layers. For all of the reasons above I would not hesitate to recommend this laptop however I think it is very important that you buy the highest specification you can with the upgrades to RAM and CPU.
The process for cleaning the ClearSkin keyboard cover is slightly different (see FAQ in the Service category). But, if you add all those details together, you’ll get yourself a highly realistic result.




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