Blending Techniques for Motion Graphic Backgrounds

A great way to generate new backgrounds for your video productions is to combine textures. Explore some techniques for blending background textures in this tutorial. Watch more at

This tutorial is a single movie from the Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Creating Backgrounds course by author Rich Harrington. The complete course is 2 hours and 32 minutes and shows how to create backgrounds for video projects using Photoshop and After Effects.

Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Creating Backgrounds table of contents:

1. Background Essentials
2. Gathering Source Materials for Backgrounds
3. Working with Gradients
4. Designing Backgrounds with Photo Sources
5. Designing Backgrounds with Video Sources
6. Designing Backgrounds with After Effects
Conclusion |

Limited Time Video Interviews

We have all experienced limited time with interviews before.  You want to use that time wisely.  In this course, communication specialist Amy DeLouise shares some great tips on how to maximize the time you do have and use it effectively with your interviewee.  


Avoiding Obstacles: Limited Time Interviews

To learn more, I've created a new course with communication specialist Amy DeLouise called Art of the Interviews for

There is a real art to conducting an on-camera interview.  Doing research and prep work ahead of time is huge. Join me and communication specialist Amy DeLouise as we team up to show you how the pros prepare for, organize, and conduct great video interviews. Learn about performing background research before you "set foot on set," positioning the subject in front of the camera, building trust, avoiding common mistakes in questioning, capturing secondary audio for use in a podcast, and much more. Amy brings years of interviewing expertise to this important subject, while I offer tips that will help make editing easier and reduce the amount of money spent in post-production.

Topics in this course include:

  • Planning interview goals
  • Anticipating interviewee's answers
  • Conducting background research
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Building rapport
  • Teasing out supporting points
  • Getting transcripts
  • Avoiding obstacles with challenging interview subjects

You can check out the class here -

Cropping a Photo in PowerPoint

A strong PowerPoint presentation has a good balance of text and visuals. You can incorporate photos into your slide deck by placing a photo into a slide box and scaling it to your liking.  In this course I’ll show you how to bring a photo into your PowerPoint project and crop it into a slide to move and scale it to your liking.

Photos, Videos, Charts & Shapes: Cropping a Photo

To learn more, I’ve created an exciting course called PowerPoint: From Outline to Presentation, for

Creating an effective visual presentation should lend itself to a strong speaker support.  This comes from having compelling visuals and effective slide decks that communicate content to an audience.  Occasionally presenters forget about this because they are too wrapped up in the overall presentation.  In this course, I’ll share my workflow for building an effective PowerPoint presentation, starting with a strong outline. Learn to create the outline, get input from collaborators, and then transition that outline to an initial slide deck. Once you're in PowerPoint, I will show you how to format your slides; add tables, graphics, movies, and animation (like transitions and reveals); and prepare and rehearse your presentation for your final audience. Having an organized workflow starts with a cohesive outline.  It’s all about making your presentation come to life.  In doing this, you’ll give a valuable presentation that the audience won’t forget.

Topics in this course include:

  • Setting a schedule and goals
  • Working in stages
  • Building an outline
  • Using an outline to create your initial slides
  • Formatting text
  • Changing templates and themes
  • Using photos, shapes, and charts in PowerPoint
  • Adding video
  • Animating your slideshow
  • Consolidating, testing, and rehearsing you presentation

You can check out the class here -

The Inverse Command

There is a really good trick to using the inverse command effectively in Photoshop.  In certain instances it’s easier to select the area that you don’t want affected and then select the inverse command.  This is a good method to use when you’re working with more simplified backgrounds or bright blue skies.  I’ll walk you through this method using Photoshop.

Refining a Selection: The Inverse Command

To learn more I've created an exciting course called Practical Photoshop Selections with

Take charge of Photoshop and make better, more targeted image adjustments with selections—including hard-to-select objects like hair, fuzzy edges, and color ranges. Rich Harrington reveals the importance of precise selections, whether you're masking, changing color and tone, or even storing transparency, and shows you how to make them with the tools in Adobe Photoshop CC. Dive into the Select menu commands and the Marquee, Lasso, and Magic Wand tools, and then learn how to refine your selections with Expand and Contract, Smooth and Feather, Quick Mask, and other controls. Photoshop power users will also enjoy advanced techniques involving the Color Range command and alpha channel selections.

Topics in this course include:

  • What are selections?
  • Creating masks from selections
  • Moving a selection
  • Selecting with the Quick Selection tool
  • Transforming a selection
  • Using the Refine Edge command
  • Selecting a color or tonal range throughout the image
  • Making a selection with the Pen tool
  • Saving a selection as an alpha channel
  • Creating a selection from multiple channels with the Calculations command

You can check out the class here -