graphicxtras / Andrew Buckle

Plugins and resources and presets for Photoshop, Illustrator and others

andrewshapes.com and Photoshop shapes and fonts

Have to say that I am baffled by google at times, that the site seems to be able to suck millions and trillions of pages and many of them detailing stuff from about 2001 or pages that no longer exist or pages with noindex in them (I assume it does ignore those pages but mysteriously they turn up in their pages a lot) and yet a new site (well, one that has been out there for a few months now) and with quite a few references and pages around the web to it, still only has 18 pages indexed even though the site structure is as basic as it comes (there are 53 or so pages in total) Pages on it’s google blog with only a line or two of text end up listed in seconds but pages with lots of information, forget it

 

Related to this – I have been doing some searching via google and why is the search so hard to use now. Certain key words sway the search massively. I was searching for a “Maidstone Mayor 1960s Peter Robinson” .. now I would assume that the search would at least try and keep it related to Maidstone but certain keywords like Peter Robinson (Irish politician) sway the search away from Maidstone and the reference to Mayor seems to force New York Major to the fore and 1960s.. well, I was half expecting multiple references to the Beatles to appear. Just having the word Mayor in the search was enough for popular pages with the word Major (a single reference) to appear in the search – truly weird. To me, pages with actual information on the Maidstone Mayor (Peter Robinson) in the 1960s should have appeared at the top of the search – no swaying the search to popular pages but just to the actual pages with actual information in. Finding this more and more on the search for Photoshop brushes, Photoshop shapes etc.. pages with the word brushes in or shapes etc might appear or Photoshop might appear but many times only a single reference word such as brushes will appear in article (and it might be that they are ‘brushes with’ and nothing to do with Photoshop brushes at all. Is search ever going to connect with relevance to the search i.e category search. but then again, perhaps the simplicity of a single search box would be lost

Anyway, enough of the whinging – it does no good as the pages will still probably be only 18 indexed in another two months or so and I will still probably find no more information about actual Photoshop brushes than I did before

http://www.andrewshapes.com .. there are quite a few pages on that site, it is all about Photoshop shapes (as well as Photoshop elements shapes) and also fonts and they can be used in any application (which has always been a problem for fonts.. when people search for Paint shop pro shapes they find psp shapes but they might not find fonts and as fonts can be used in PSP in the same way as fonts, there is no difference) Same with corelDRAW and many other applications. Having an entire list can be a little distracting.

Andrewshapes – Photoshop shapes / fonts / designs

Been working on a new site, well a spinoff site from my old graphicxtras.com one, called Andrewshapes.com The Andrewshapes.com will have all our shapes / fonts and any new shapes and fonts created will be added to that site (and not graphicxtras). The site also includes a lot more pictures and information about the shapes and fonts such as how to install the designs, how to modify them, how to combine the unique shapes, how to apply effects to them, how to use in 3D designs, how to export the shapes, how to use them with plugins, use the shapes in Illustrator and word etc – a lot. The pages also will include links to my cafepress and zazzle t-shirts etc as well as all the videos I have been creating related to the shapes / fonts. Last and definitely not least, a lot of new free / freebie items for the shapes and fonts to tryout the sets. The freebie sets are often themed on one or two shapes but I have tried to create some more unusual but related shapes to the set

 

Anyway, the site is http://andrewshapes.com

The shapes and fonts on the site include trims, contours, distorted shapes, abstracts, panda bear shapes, bears, letters,vintage text, robin shapes, owl shapes, insects, sea creatures, sharks, sea shells, starfish, stars, polygons, fleur-de-lis, embellishments, horses, horseshoe shapes etc – over 30,000 or so (perhaps more) shapes / font designs. All for commercial as well as personal work, all by Andrew Buckle

New Photoshop brushes

Recently added a lot of new brushes sets for use in Photoshop on my site

 

The brushes are for use in Photoshop as well as Photoshop elements as well as GIMP and Xara and Paint Shop Pro in many others

The brushes are for use on the PC and MAC as well as other platforms, all are in PNG format. Commercial use brushes. They are easy to load via the file open command of Photoshop as well as the file place command. They can also be used as Photoshop patterns and displacements and textures and much more.

 

Zazzle .. selling products on zazzle

Zazzle.com

Been on Zazzle.com for quite a while and read many a blog and article on the subject about how to actually sell items on Zazzle. I know a few people who have been doing very well on Zazzle but also some people who have been on Zazzle.com for a while and received only a few sales.

Don’t rely just on your zazzle page

It does seem a key thing is not to rely on your Zazzle page. Sell your products on your own website, sell them via blogs, sell them at fairs, get the word out – any way you can. Each day more and more items are added to Zazzle.com – make sure your items are not lost in the crowd.

Quick create

The “quick create” is a nice feature on Zazzle even if there is no actual explanation – it does create 100 products in a quick and easy way. I generally use a large 3000 x 3000 or so picture and that seems to work well with most of the products. Some of the items such as the tie and the mugs often require additional work, though sometimes the end result (for a mug etc) can be an abstract design – instead of a face, half a smile appears and that is often just as pleasing a design as the core Zazzle design. Can’t say I have used quick create for all my Zazzle products, just some of them as pillows etc are not included in the quick create, and I quite like creating the pillows and cushions. Anyway, you can quickly go through all the items and delete the ones that haven’t worked or do a quick customization on the item. I wish the product display would list what the items are – many look much the same, so it is hard to know if you are editing a t-shirt or mousepad or belt buckle.

Zazzle api / panel

Once you have the products, another option is to use the zazzle api and add all the items to your own hosted website. I found this didn’t work for one website hosting but it was fine on my Linux one. Anyway, perhaps it was me. Or you can use the lovely zazzle panel which displays many of the items in your store (or other stores) as well as all the items referenced by a search term. Personally the search term approach is a little limited and I wish the zazzle panel would allow category or keywords or easily defined groupings of products. Still, the Zazzle panel works well and doesn’t seem to add much (or any) drag on the web page especially if placed outside of the core div for the webpage. It would be great if Zazzle.com added some additional variants of the Zazzle panel, perhaps a up down panel or a spinner or spherical design.

CafePress

There are also other similar sites to Zazzle.com – CafePress etc comes to mind.

Zazzle.com and videos

Another place to promote your zazzle.com items are video sites. With applications like Quicktime or some of the screen capture tools like Expression Encoder etc, a video can be quickly created. Of course, you could take even more care and develop a powerful promotional video using After Effects or Premiere etc – all selling your wonderful Zazzle.com related items.

Creating items for zazzle.com

Anyway, I sometimes go weeks without creating any items for the Zazzle.com site; sometimes I can spend all day creating different items for Zazzle. The upload / product create is fairly straight forward and it doesn’t take long before the product appears on your Zazzle pages, as well as a link direct to the product. It is useful to take those links and add those to your twitter feeds etc occasionally (you really don’t want to do it for all the products as people will get fed up – surely – with seeing 100s of messages selling mousepads etc).

Zazzle guidelines

A useful set of files are zazzle guideline files – PNG format etc. You can find them via the zazzle site and it gives the size etc for all the mousepads, t-shirts etc. I have used them as a start point for the Zazzle.com items and created my own PSD files with layers etc for quick creation of designs (as well as permanent record of the creation of the designs)

Zazzling

The world definitely does need more mousepads. Love to see a Zazzle.com mouse as a product though. Zazzle.com is a very useful site and really worth checking out, especially if you have a design or loads of designs you think the world needs to see.

My site on zazzle.com

Of course, after all that – my Zazzle.com is

 

http://www.zazzle.com/graphicxtras1

 

Got about x number of products such as t-shirts, pillows etc on the site. What sells best on Zazzle.com, I have no idea. I suspect that pillows are never going to be the biggest seller but I really like creating the pillows. T-shirts.. ? posters? Anyway, carve out your own niche and also try a load of different items – don’t just caught doing the same items over and over. I created a lot of t-shirts when I first started, probably others do the same. Hopefully the mix is a little better now. 98% of the zazzle items on my pages are created using the shapes / brushes off my site http://www.graphicxtras.com. 2% are other items such as 3D renders or pictures of Maidstone or photos I have taken over the years

Curved frames / masks for Photoshop and Photoshop elements

The latest release on graphicxtras.com is a set of 100+ rounded frames for use with Photoshop and Photoshop elements.

The shapes are in standard CSH format and can be loaded via the custom shapes tool / palette. Use them in commercial as well as personal use, create items for sale etc. The designs are all vectors for any size of work. Use as a source for Photoshop brushes, Photoshop patterns, export to Illustrator and psp etc. You can use them on a PC and MAC

To find out more about the new frames shapes (pack 195)

To purchase the frames, please check out the shareit.com page

A few example pics of the masks / frames applied to an image can be found below

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

Toolbox plugins – Illustrator plugins

Just added a new site called toolboxplugins.com which will host my Andrew’s Vector Plugins for Adobe Illustrator CS6 (the plugins for CS5 etc are still available on graphicxtras). So far I have added 7 plugins for use in Illustrator and they include the mesh plugins, heart plugin, star cauldron, spiral plugin and shapefx and warp plugin. They are now all interactive toolbox plugins (as with the name of the site) and appear in the Illustrator toolbox. The plugins can be used to create amazing designs in Illustrator in seconds.

Development of the plugins took a little time as there were some serious changes between Illustrator CS5 and CS6. The plugins also are now 32bit and 64bit.

Image

I have added also a number of video tutorials and will add more over the next few weeks on the toolboxplugins.com site as well as via youtube.

For more details about the plugins, please check out the toolbox plugins site

More example pictures below

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The distort mesh plugin uses an existing selected mesh and then distorts the mesh in 1000s of different ways. As the mesh can be filled with paths and symbols and text and images etc they are also distorted in countless amazing ways.

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The shapefx plugin comes with four different plugins (all the plugins come with multiple plugins with additional effects). The shape FX tool creates frames, cross designs, diagonal designs, X themed designs, abstract art sketch designs and much more

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The spiral plug-in generates a vast range of different spiral designs, gap spiral designs, abstract spiral designs and many more. The spiral designs are all standard paths so can be further modified by fills and strokes and graphic styles as well as beautiful strokes (as with the above image of the spiral)

Frames Collection – Shapes, Brushes etc for Photoshop (R)

Frames shapes / brushes / patterns / fonts collection for Photoshop

Instead of creating smaller packs (though the smaller packs of frame shapes etc still exist, I am putting many of my sets into larger themed packs and one such is the ‘Frames collection’.

1000s of frames
The frames collection includes virtually all my recent frame themed sets (it doesn’t include all the frames I have ever created as that would have to include 1000s of other ‘frames’ I created many years ago – not even sure I have them around on any of my backup CD sets – probably all melted away by now). The frames collection includes 1000s of items such as frame brushes, frame shapes, frame fonts, frame vector shapes in EPS format as well as colorful PDF designs and frame patterns. The set is mainly for use in Photoshop (most versions) as well as Photoshop Elements. The frames fonts and eps designs can be used in PaintShop Pro, Illustrator, Microsoft Word, Indesign and many other applications.
The brushes / frames shapes etc are all for Photoshop CS6, CS5, CS4, CS3, CS2, CS1, 7 as well as Photoshop Elements. Photoshop and Adobe are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Frames commercial use
The frame shapes, brushes etc are all for commercial use – yes, you can use them in virtually anyway way such as creating items for sale etc (books, dvds, videos, adverts etc). The frames are all royalty-free and are by graphicxtras.com

Purchase frame collection from shareit

If you want more information as well as more picture as well as a free sampler sets of the frames collection then please check out the graphicxtras.com website for more details as well as videos etc

CSH frames / ABR brushes – frames etc
The frames collection includes all the frames in shapes format CSH (load the custom shapes via the Photoshop shapes palette and use via the shapes tool in the Photoshop toolbox). The frames shapes are all vectors for any size of work so if you want to use them as icons or use them with posters etc, you can. The brushes are all in standard ABR format (so you can’t use them in any other application though you should be able to use them in GIMP ? as well as Postworkshop Pro.. perhaps? haven’t tested them in those recently). You can, in Photoshop, use the brushes to export the brush designs as PNG files and then you can use them in PaintShop pro etc. The frames patterns are all 300 dpi, mixed size and stored in PAT format (and again can generally only be used in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements). You can save the seamless tiles to a PNG format and then they can be used in other applications.

Frame font shapes
If you want to use the designs in other applications then the font sets / frames fonts are the best .. 100s of great frame designs from crackly frame shapes, weird frame shapes, circular frame shapes, square frame shapes, distressed frame shapes and many more – all are in truetype TTF format files. The frame truetype TTF files are easy to use and install, simply add the TTF files to the control panel in Windows (though the exact approach has changed over the years but with the most recent version, simply drag the TTF file into the panel). The fonts are easy to install on the mac via the fontbook application (which can be found in the applications folder of the PS X operating system). Really easy and in some ways, easier than the PC as the install is just for the user and requires no privileges to add the font. Once installed, the frames fonts can be used as you would verdana or Times new roman etc  – just type A or B etc to generate the frame design which can be further modified or blended etc into the image or design.

EPS frames
The frames collection also includes the same designs in EPS format and the frame eps shapes can be used in many different applications such as Illustrator and Indesign. The frames collection also includes a selection of frame PDF vector shape colorful designs. The PDF files can be loaded into many applications but some of the PDF files are multiple portfolio PDF files and can only be really used by Photoshop (in other applications, you only see the first PDF design).

Below, you can see a selection of thumbnail gallery images of the frame shapes, brushes etc (though not all the shapes etc in the collection are included below … there are quite a few examples for you to check out)

Thumbnail gallery of corner shapes

borders gallery

frames gallery

Dash gallery font

trim gallery

ribbed gallery

wavy gallery

window gallery

mottled gallery

frame edge gallery

Mottled shapes gallery

Border image gallery

Thumbnail gallery of the border shapes

border gallery

Thumbnail gallery of the borders

corner gallery

rounded gallery

wheel gallery

Illustrator swatches

Been updating a lot of the graphicxtras site over the last few weeks and it has all sort of settled down now. Still a few things I want to work on but I really want to spend more time adding new items as well as just working on my comic drawings, coding etc instead of re-visiting the Illustrator swatches html pages. I think I have spent too much time on them for a lifetime.

The Illustrator swatches pages now include a number of new sets for use in Illustrator CS6 CS5 CS4 etc. They are all easy to use and apply and can be applied to standard paths and text as well as symbols etc. they are all for commercial as well as personal use, totally royalty-free. In standard AI format, they can be loaded quickly via the Illustrator swatch palette. Will try and release all new Illustrator swatches sets with the AI file in version 10 as well as CS6 (allowing for better editing of the patterns with the new pattern editor tool).

The Illustrator swatches are all vectors for any size of work – they can be re-colored, modified in countless ways as well as combined in millions of ways either by using transparency and blend modes as well as the excellent appearance palette. The Illustrator swatches can also be exported to other applications

There are a number of free samplers on the page as well as many examples and also a number of tutorials / information / details about the swatches. Will be adding more free samplers of the Illustrator swatches over the next few weeks.

Illustrator swatches for uses in CS6 CS5 CS4 CS3 etc

 

 

 

Christmas brushes for Photoshop (shapes etc)

Been running a few experiments on keywords for the Christmas page on my site. Noticed that if you search for Christmas brushes in the images, I can’t find a single one of my images and even more, some of the Christmas brushes are not even brushes or they are just listed as xyz_1.. so much for marking images with more useful names – if google places images with barely a word Xmas in the top listings… I have been running the site with the title ‘christmas graphics resources’ and de-emphasising the brushes and shapes but I really think perhaps that is now a bad idea so I will be re-writing those.. I mean, how is my site ever going to compete with Christmas !! as a keyword. Anyway, i just wonder if I emphasis the keywords brushes and shapes along with Christmas, does that impact on all the other pages that have brushes and shapes mentioned… ?? the way google ranks etc has always baffled and that perhaps shows in the way I have structure the site – which has always been creating new products first and search engines second.

Anyway, I am not sure now if any of my pages or images will ever actually get listed again in google, however many times I change the site or try and tighten or improve the text etc for the various pages (apparently high quality content…) hmm, I doubt if that is the case – Shakespeare could write my text and I am certain it will struggle to appear in the listings.

Added a few more Christmas products to the Christmas page on graphicxtras.com – Christmas crackers this time around. I will work on some more but I am probably really overloading the pages and especially the Christmas one. I really wish I had started from this page structure back in 1996 or so instead of endlessly changing my mind – the Christmas pages would probably now be doing a whole lot better

The Christmas page now has a load of different Christmas items such as shapes, brushes etc all spread over teddy bears, candles, angels, baubles, crackers, presents, trees, snow flakes etc.

Used to have all my Christmas items on digiscrapwarehouse and Digital designer etc websites .. but now, the graphicxtras site is it.

if you want to check out the Christmas items – please check out the site

Eagles / Kids / Hexagons / Frogs / Elephants for Photoshop, Illustrator, PSP …

Been re-designing the graphicxtras website and instead of adding 100s of pages related to hearts, frogs etc – all the pages for a particular category such as ‘frogs’ are all now on a single page… so hopefully will be the key page for Google as well as searchers for frogs (shapes, brushes etc) on the site

Adding more images to each of the pages (though in the process of the cleanup of the site a lot of pages have been deleted – and of course, the search engines will probably link to those for the next 1000 or so years) Already started to add more videos to the site as well – though looking at the stats for those, very few people actually seem to click the videos.

The latest actual additions to the site are
eagles
kids
hexagons
frogs
elephants

The site has been trimmed from about a 1000 pages to 104 pages at the moment, though I suspect I will add more to the site but they will be themed additions. Most of the pages (not all) are now in the main directory instead of being in a complicated sub-folder structure.

Hopefully now the search engines will actually start to pick up on all the pages and start to store the ‘actual’ links instead of endlessly referring back to the dead pages. I have been going around all my blogs, twitter, etc feeds and changing all the links and I am certain there are a lot more out there. A lot of links I cannot update and many of them have been wrong since day one anyway – normally mistypes etc or folders etc than never existed as well as pages with weird extensions added onto the url (never understand why they appear). Removed all the entries related to pad files – never sure I ever got a single visit via any of them other than a few key download pad sites.

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