Ever wanted to make all your photos have a 1:1 aspect ratio? Well, let’s be honest, it’s not very practical, unless you fancy chopping your subject’s head and feet off or squashing the image. The other option is to extend the background. In this quick tip from Terry white, he shows you how to easily extend the background in a portrait using Photoshop CC.
Wondering what the latest tools for audio post-production in Adobe CC have to offer? Then look no further than this demo by Adobe Master Trainer (I need this job title!) Maxim Jago! At IBC 2014 last year, he did a seminar on what Adobe Pro Video tools have to offer. It might be 24 minutes long but it’s worth it!
For more on Adobe Creative Cloud, check out 0ur Adobe Creative Cloud Hub or give us a buzz on 03332 409 251 or email Adobe@Jigsaw24.com
In January 2015, Wacom launched the Cintiq 27QHD, the latest in the Cintiq range of top-end display tablets. This meant out went our previous tablet crush, the 24HD. So here we present our all new, updated guide to all things Wacom, including the Cintiq range, Cintiq Companion, Intuos and Intuos Pro, Bamboo and Stylus options.
So which Wacom is for you? All will be revealed in our rundown below…
Wacom Intuos Pro tablet
- Wacom Intuos Pro special edition
This is very much the graphics tablet that most people will want to use (though bear in mind that when it comes to the larger models, it’s not necessarily the tablet that everyone will actually need!) and is perfect for designers, 3D artists, videographers and more – essentially anyone who spends a decent portion of their day in Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress or editing tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer.
As with the Intuos5, there’s still a small, medium and large option, and with multitouch functionality, you can set up shortcuts such as ‘swipe’ to undo, ‘pinch’ to close a window and more. While the small is a good choice if you need a more portable option, for most creative work we’d recommend the medium. Essentially, the more detail you need to go into (or the more screens you’re using), the bigger the model you should go for.
Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Small Pen & Touch here – £155 (£186 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Medium Pen & Touch here – £199 (£238.80 inc VAT) saving you £50 for a limited time!
Buy Wacom Intuos Pro Large Pen & Touch here – £329 (£394.80 inc VAT)
Buy the special edition Wacom Intuos Pro Medium (with matte aluminium finish) here – £245 (£294 inc VAT)
Wacom Intuos tablet
Go for this if… you want to use a graphics tablet but aren’t after the precision or size of an Intuos Pro. It’s the perfect entry-level model.
The Wacom Intuos tablet is new entry-level offering in the Wacom range. For anyone who knew the Wacom range before this new model, this has essentially replaced the Wacom Bamboo.
There’s a bit of a myth that graphics tablets are only for, well, graphic designers, but actually the pen and tablet approach is useful for everything from basic image editing to navigation. What this Intuos does is allow you to be far more precise in your on-screen movements than you can be with a mouse.
I’ve now moved on to an Intuos model, for example, and although I do use Photoshop and InDesign, this is infrequent. The Intuos allows me to be far more precise in the way I navigate on-screen, moving windows and selecting text more naturally than I could with a mouse.
With a new streamlined design, the Intuos models come in either small or medium sizes, with multitouch options available for those who want additional navigation.
Buy Wacom Intuos Pen-only Small Tablet here – £49 (£58.80 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Small Tablet here – £65 (£78 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Intuos Pen & Touch Medium Tablet here – £129 (£154.80 inc VAT)
Wacom Cintiq display
Go for this if… you work with illustrations, 3D design or any field where you’re more likely to deal with texturing, fine art or brush work.
Wacom Cintiq brings together the Intuos’s pen and touch input with a high res display to create a piece of technology that is, quite simply, unbeatable for digital artists. Rather than having to interpret your on-screen movements on a tablet, you get to paint directly onto the screen, allowing you to achieve incredible accuracy. It’s also completely customisable to your way of working – each stand allows you to position the screen in a way that is comfortable for you, and the ExpressKeys and TouchRings can be tailored to your needs.
- Wacom Cintiq 27QHD
There are a number of sizes available – the Cintiq 22HD is a desktop version with a 21.5″ full HD display, while the newly-released Cintiq 13HD is a far more portable option. The latest version, the Cintiq 27QHD, is right at the top end, with improved hi-def resolution in its 2560×1440 pixel active workable area, a distinctly slimmer and lighter form factor, and a new customisable ExpressKey Remote Control which can be placed on your tablet or on your desk for more flexible working.
Buy Wacom Cintiq 13HD here – £539 (£646.80 inc VAT) saving 10% for a limited time.
Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen-only display here – £1269 (£1522.80 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Cintiq 22HD Pen & Touch display here – £1499 (£1798.80 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen-only display here – £1799 (£2158.80 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Pen & Touch display here – £2099 (£2518.80 inc VAT)
Wacom Cintiq Companion 2
Go for this if you… are a business that wants to combine your graphics tablet and laptop into a single piece of kit.
The Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 is the ideal tool for artists and designers who need to work on the move. As a Windows 8.1 tablet, it can run full versions of high capacity creative software from Adobe, Autodesk, Corel and more, but can also be used as a Cintiq display when attached to a Mac or PC. Featuring a 13.3″ 2560×1440 display, Pro Pen with 2048 pressure levels and pen tilt, six programmable ExpressKeys and multitouch functionality, the Cintiq Companion 2 offers the most intuitive and natural pen-on-screen drawing experience.
There are actually five models in the Cintiq Companion 2 range – Value, Standard, Premium, Enhanced and Enterprise (specs haven’t been released for this yet), the difference between each being memory (ranging from 4GB to 16GB), storage (from 64GB to 512GB) and processing power (ranging from Intel i3 to i7). The better specced models also come with Windows 8.1 Pro as opposed to standard Windows 8.1, as well as an additional stand and carry case. See the full feature list and how each model stacks up below…
Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Value – £999 (£1198.80 inc VAT)
Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Standard – £1083 (£1299.60 inc VAT)
Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Premium – £1333 (£1599.60 inc VAT)
Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 Enhanced – £1666 (£1999.20 inc VAT)
Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus and Bamboo Stylus
Go for these if you… want to be able to play around with ideas while on the move. It’s a nice solution for iPad users who want to benefit from Wacom precision without carrying around a graphics tablet.
The Intuos Creative Stylus, Bamboo Stylus Fineline and Bamboo Stylus Solo and Duo models are new additions to the Wacom range that allow you to get creative on the move. Paired with an iPad, they allow you to sketch and paint ideas using a rubber nub tip, while benefitting from the same kind of artistic control that Wacom are known for.
The big thing to bear in mind here is that there are three main products available. The Intuos Creative Stylus is a professional-grade option and the more fully-featured, effectively turning an iPad into a mini Cintiq option. It includes 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity for more fine-tuned artwork, and includes Palm Rejection technology that means only the input of the new 2.9mm nib pen is picked up by the iPad. What’s great for designers is that you can create work on the move, then transfer designs into professional applications like Photoshop.
Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (2nd generation)
For those who require a stylus more for note taking and sketching than technical drawing, Wacom have introduced the brand new Bamboo Stylus Fineline. With a 1.9mm nib, 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and the ever-popular Palm Rejection technology, the Fineline is designed for use with iPad for precise note-taking, natural handwriting, doodling and navigation.
Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline
The Bamboo Stylus, however, is the more basic option. New updates to the 3rd generation stylus sees a new longer-lasting 6mm nib for smooth writing and improved sensitivity, making it still an incredibly accurate device for quick sketches, note taking and navigating on touch screens. There are two versions available – the Solo, which just includes the carbon-fibre, 6mm nib; and the Duo, which also includes a ballpoint pen.
Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo
Buy Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus (2nd generation) here – £54.16 ex VAT (£64.99 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Fineline here – £40 ex VAT (£48 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo here – £12 ex VAT (£14.40 inc VAT)
Buy Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo here – £20 ex VAT (£24 inc VAT)
Got a question? Call us on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com to find out more about the different models from Wacom available or the best graphics tablet for your creative workflow.
By Ade Leader
We’re really pleased to announce that there’s a new member in the Jigsaw24 family. MatrixCMS are a Knutsford-based software company who provide a leading master data management and product information management system for anyone dealing with large product portfolios that are published on the web, on mobile or in print.
What does this mean for Jigsaw24 customers? Well, we’re now able to offer the MatrixCMS software solution, and will be working closely with the team in Knutsford to provide the solution to anyone needing a centralised product management and design workflow. This is the perfect tool for any creative or product management department who deal with a large number of product assets, including multilanguage text, imagery, videos and more.
The solution includes:
• Integration with Adobe Creative Cloud. MatrixCMS plugs directly into Adobe InDesign.
• Consistent product marketing. MatrixCMS centralises product assets, including descriptions, images and videos for consistent marketing across multiple platforms, online and print.
Some of their key customers include:
– Go Outdoors.
We’re really excited to get working with the MatrixCMS team, and no doubt you’ll be hearing plenty more about this great solution in the near future. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to see it in action, as we’ll be holding demos at our new Soho services and customer experience centre too.
Can’t wait? I’d encourage you to head on over to www.matrixcms.com to take a look at some of the great videos and resources Matrix have put together to show off the solution at its finest. Watch this space!
e7 is the UK’s leading iPad deployment scheme for schools. Made up of three separate programmes – a free iPad pilot, iPad training for teachers and a full iPad 1:1 rollout – it’s everything you need to successfully roll out iPad on a 1:1 basis.
But how does the e7 scheme work? Our talented design team have explained the whole thing in this natty superhero-filled infographic (just give it a click to see it in more detail). If you have any more questions about the scheme, and want to get involved, give us a call on the details at the bottom.
Want to know more about the e7 scheme? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.
By Ade Leader
From the millions of iOS apps available on iPad to intuitive Mac notebooks and desktops, the Apple ecosystem is making it easier for business users to stay connected. Find out how with our infographic below (just click on the image to see our faceless hero in more detail)…
Want to know more about making the most of Mac and iPad in business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.
By Ade Leader
By now, most schools are familiar with Apple technology. Teachers and students have always loved Mac for its creative solutions, while iPad and iPod have changed the way pupils access information and resources.
But the Apple ecosystem is about real learning benefits; it’s about helping schools find new ways to enhance the experience students have on a daily basis, to embed IT into lessons in a way that wasn’t previously possible and to level the playing field when it comes to accessibility.
To find out more about how Apple can help your school, and ways that our team can make the transition to new technology a smooth one, get in touch with us on the details below and ask about our training sessions.
Anytime, anywhere learning
There have been 8 million iPad devices sold to schools. From the small and mighty iPad mini with Retina display to the full-sized and powerful iPad Air, there are different models to suit different needs. Whichever you use, iPad lets students learn in the classroom, the corridor, at home or even on the way to school.
Notebook and desktop computers
From the lightweight and portable MacBook Air and Mac mini desktop to the powerful MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac Pro, there’s a Mac for every classroom function. As well as supporting creativity, Macs are intuitive and do everything (and much more) that’s possible on a PC.
Support for every type of learner
Whether watching video, listening to audio, reading, writing or using physical movement helps students best, there are solutions available to help.
Mac and iPad include built-in features for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), plus support for up to 21 languages.
iPad as a study aid
90% of students believe that tablets help them study, while 43% of teachers currently allow students to use iPad in lessons.
Parents love iPad too
According to Kid Industries, 77% of parents believe that tablets can help children’s learning and creativity, and Apps In my Pocket reported that 88% of parents who use education apps with kids support the use of iPad in primary schools.
The content your students need
iTunes U includes over 500,000 free lectures, videos, readings and podcasts, and iBooks is an interactive library that has both free and paid-for textbooks from leading publishers, such as Collins, Hodder Education, Pearson and Oxford University Press.
Over 100,000 education apps
There are thousands of education apps aimed at children available in the App Store. Many of them are completely free, and through Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme, even more are available with a 50% discount.
Mac and iPad can both be connected to a classroom display using Apple TV, which lets you wirelessly stream the device screen in HD for presenting to peers. And go for a touch screen display to take interactivity and group work to the next level.
Storage in the Cloud
Photos, videos, documents, music and apps all saved in iCloud against each Apple ID for access on any device.
Safe backup and wireless
Make sure your students always have access to the resources they need and that their work is never lost. Whether backed up through Apple’s Time Capsule, WiFi rolled out across the whole school or dynamic web filters to keep students safe.
Touch screen technology is now commonplace in many classrooms. Recent research claims that around 47% of schools are trialling or using iPad in lessons, and whether students are using touch technology in class or not, there’s no denying that the smartphones in their pockets are leaving them wondering why you ever needed buttons to make a call.
Slowly but surely, the technology at the front of the classroom is starting to catch up. Ten years ago, an interactive whiteboard seemed like something from a sci-fi film, but now we’re facing a future where the whiteboard is being replaced by something entirely new.
Interactive touch screen displays and multitouch surfaces are a far more advanced way of getting a class engaged. Best thought of as a giant tablet or a TV with touch technology, they open interactive learning up to the whole class, increasing engagement, involvement and collaboration. From class presentations to group work, they integrate collaborative ICT into the classroom to an unprecedented level, and for a similar price to a standard interactive whiteboard and projector.
Touch technology has been proven to help engage students; interacting with the technology improves engagement with the subject, and makes learning a more meaningful experience. We’re seeing it with iPad, where the introduction of interactive mobile technology on a one-to-one basis is helping improve attainment, and a recent study in the US even saw the maths test results of students who used interactive textbooks over standard paper copies rise by 20%.
In many ways, this boost in attainment is helped along by the rise of interactive touch technology for personal use. Students are used to, and are familiar with, using devices that have multi-touch functionality, and in some cases they are, let’s be honest, far more comfortable with them than adults.
This visually rich learning experience creates an environment that feels familiar to many students and makes it all the more appealing. In fact, such is the appeal of touch that it has been suggested that the technology can even increase attendance levels. Schools that have successfully integrated touch into their classes have seen attendance levels increase because students have engaged with the technology far more than traditional teaching methods – especially when combined with 1:1 device schemes.
But what about practical uses? One of the biggest benefits is collaboration between students and with the teacher. On a basic level, students can be given group challenges such as doing a puzzle – this is particularly useful if the display is being used as a multitouch surface. You can usually have four students at a time using the display which, as well as being great for developing their skills at working together, means students not using the display don’t have to wait as long as if they were using it individually.
To really get the most from interactive displays, though, let students work together to complete a mindmap on a topic. Interacting with video, images, documents and animations, they can plan and conceptualise, then share the information with other class members. Take a look below for some lesson ideas from the team.
Practically speaking, it’s not always going to be possible for students to work in small groups around the display, but that doesn’t mean there’s no chance for interaction. While most interactive displays can double up as a whiteboard, one of their major advantages is that teachers can lead the lesson as they usually would but open up the technology to students using mobile devices, allowing them to interact and share resources.
The CTOUCH that we have recommended below, for example, uses software called Smoothboard Air that lets iPhone and iPad connect to the display so that students can annotate content, or mirror their own device’s screen if they want to share a video or other video resource. Students just need to scan a QR code on their device and they can chip in during lessons, sharing things they have found (don’t worry, teachers stay in complete control assigning permissions to participants as needed!).
We recommend… CTOUCH
The CTOUCH range is a great choice if you want to improve interactivity and collaboration. With different mounting options (upright for presentations or a flat surface for group work) and wheels which make them easy to move between classrooms, they are a flexible option for schools. They come with Ctools Plus (digital whiteboard software) and Smoothboard Air (mobile device connection when using Windows 8).
CTOUCH is available for £1994 (£2392.80 inc VAT) for a 47″ display. Give us a call on 03332 409 218 for more information or to arrange a demo with one of our education team.
We know that eSafety is one of your first concerns when it comes to pupils accessing the internet. Not only do you have to make sure they aren’t accessing anything inappropriate, but you need to be able to keep personal information secure and remove any risk of bullying or abuse.
Here, we’ve answered some of the most frequently answered questions we get about eSafety in the classroom.
How can we guarantee eSafety?
“eSafety is about giving schools a way to let students access online resources in a safe and secure environment. This is achieved through a combination of web filters and device management that prevent access to specific content, but still give enough freedom for students to explore and learn in their own way.”
How does a web filter help?
“Web filters do a number of things, but essentially they’re an easy way to lock down specific content and keep students away from anything you absolutely don’t want them seeing in lessons. Many web filter solutions even have a granular approach, so you can pick and choose what you want different groups of students to have access to.”
Can teachers have individual control?
“Yes, you can essentially create different admin groups and give teachers control over their own departments – so if a science teacher wants students to be able to see a YouTube video, for example, they can unblock it on certain devices without affecting the others in the school.”
What about when students leave the school?
“The other aspect of eSafety is device management which, as well as giving you more control over the devices themselves, will help get parents’ support. You’re able to apply a filter on content and apps even when the iPad has left your network, so parents don’t have to worry about what content is being viewed on them outside school.”
One of the problems we have is students using social media, like Facebook. Do you have any suggestions?
“One of the big benefits of our recommended solution, LightSpeed Systems, is that it includes a tool called My Big Campus, which can be used as an alternative to Facebook in that students can interact with their peers, but it also includes ways to share resources and collaborate. The best part, though, is that the whole thing is monitored by a character called Bob Campus who keeps an eye out for bullying and inappropriate behaviour.”
Want to know more about eSafety, web filters and more? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.
By Ade Leader
Wondering how Apple’s Mac and iPad can help teaching and learning in schools? Take a look at our infographic, covering the learning benefits, the Apple family, what parents think of it, and common uses across schools.
By Ade Leader