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Photoshop Actions

Are you spending too much time with repetitive tasks in Photoshop? Photoshop actions enable you to record a process and save that information as an action which you can then use for other tasks down the road. Not only that, you can edit actions after the fact and customize them to suit your needs.

While you can make an unlimited amount of actions, including color correction, below is an example of how to resize images ideal for Powerpoint. Take some time to plan the steps of the actions before recording.

1. Select “New Action” from the bottom right of the Actions window. Title the action and click “Record.”


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2. To resize the image, go to the Image menu and select Image Size. Change the resolution to 150dpi.

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3. Now SAVE AS a JPEG to a specific location on your computer.

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4. Finally, click the “Stop” button at the bottom left of the Actions window. You can now use this action on individual images by pressing the “Play” button or Batch Process an entire folder.

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The Robert Frank Collection Online at the National Gallery of Art

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The Robert Frank Collection at the National Gallery of Art is the largest repository of materials related to renowned photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank. Spanning Frank’s career from 1937 to 2005, the collection includes vintage and later prints, contact sheets, work prints, negatives, three bound books of original photographs, technical material, and various papers, books, and recordings.

For a complete account of photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection, see Robert Frank photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection. The spreadsheet lists subjects photographed by Frank, in chronological order, along with the corresponding number of photographs, contact sheets, and work prints in the collection and the accession number of each object.

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The Classicizing Chicago Project

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The Classicizing Chicago Project from Northwestern University brings together several different digital collections and scholarly essays about Classical antiquity and its pervasiveness throughout the city of Chicago. The site currently contains two open-access, searchable collections. The Bosher Collection is a searchable digital database of performances of Greek and Roman drama on Chicago stages dating back to 1840. The Atlas is a digital archive that includes illustrated essays with audio, video, and walking tours currently in development. Both collections add to the project’s focus on the ways in which “the Greek and Roman past permeate Chicago and its environs in both familiar and surprising ways.”

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Saving Images in LUNA

For Saving Single Images in LUNA:

  • Once you find an image you want to save, click on the thumbnail. This will give you a larger-sized image with cataloging information.
  • Click on “Export” button in the upper right corner.
  • If the image is going to be displayed in PowerPoint, select the size closest to 1536 pixels.
  • Save the file to a specified location.
  • Unzip the downloaded file. The image is inside the folder and can be dropped into PowerPoint at this point.

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To Save a Group of Images in LUNA and Export to PowerPoint:

  • Either open a media group or create a new one. For information on media groups, see LUNA’s video tutorial here.
  • Once the media group contains all the images you want, in the order you want, click on the “Export to PowerPoint” button.
  • This will bundle the set, open PowerPoint, and populate a new slideshow with both images and cataloging data.

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Happy Holidays from the Visual Resources Center


We would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and a happy new year!!

Please Note: The Visual Resources Center will close on Tuesday, December 23 and remain closed until Friday, January 2, 2015.

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Digital Stories at the Wellcome Collection

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The Wellcome Collection in London explores connections between medicine, life and art through both physical and digital exhibitions. Mindcraft is a new Digital Story that explores a century of madness, murder and mental healing, from the arrival in Paris of Franz Anton Mesmer with his theories of ‘animal magnetism’ to the therapeutic power of hypnotism used by Freud.  Through an immersive scrolling interface including image galleries, video, and interactives, the Wellcome Collection asks who really is in control of their own mind, and where does the mind’s power to harm or heal end?

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LUNA is Down Monday 11/24

LUNA is down this morning and we are working to get it back up and running. If you have any questions or if we can help with anything please call (773)702-0261. Thanks for your patience!

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Leonardo da Vinci’s Work Seen in New Light


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A French scientist has made an interesting discovery about Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine.” Using a scanning technique called layer amplification method (LAM), scientists and art historians can view and analyze what happens between layers of paint. It is now possible to see that Leonardo originally painted the portrait without the animal, then added it, but with different fur. Pascale Cotte, who developed the technique said, “The LAM technique gives us the capability to peel the painting like an onion, removing the surface to see what’s happening inside and behind the different layers of paint,” he told BBC News. “We’ve discovered that Leonardo is always changing his mind. This is someone who hesitates – he erases things, he adds things, he changes his mind again and again.”

More information can be found in an article posted by the Guardian.

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There’s a lot more to being a professional artist than just making art full time. Artists need to organize visual records of their work, develop artist statements, maintain contact lists, and track exhibits in which their work is shown. GYST is a software program designed by artists, for working artists, to make the business aspects of being an artist much simpler.

The program, which comes in a Basic and a Pro version, allows users to easily manage the business of selling artwork. While both versions offer tools to track artwork, archive resumes and artist’s statements, and offer legal information, the Pro version offers additional tools like sample contracts, condition reports, insurance information, and the ability to track expenses for supplies. Both versions are available for a 30-day free trial and come in PC and Mac versions

GYST has also published a manual for artists, offering advice on grant writing, residencies, and gallery representation, for example. There are worksheets and a reference section as well.


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Photoshop: Cutting Out the Background

Have you ever wanted to eliminate the distracting background from sculpture photographed on-site?  Cutting out the background can be very easy or a bit challenging, depending on how complex the image is. The magic wand tool can be a very effective tool when your background is simple in nature.


1. Select the magic wand tool from the toolbar.

2. Click on the area you want to sample. The magic wand will outline the area with flashing dotted lines.

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3. Initially, the magic wand may only pick up some of the background. Use the sub-tools to add or subtract to the selection and continue clicking on the areas to add until the sculpture is isolated.


4. Use the Exposure tool to adjust the background to white or black, pulling it to the far right for white or far left for black.

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5. You may need to use the clone tool to clean-up areas that the magic wand tool missed.






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