Update 00:31 25-Apr-06: Designorati seems to be back up now.
Important Notice–Designorati off line: as of this time (this update written 22:00 24-Apr-06) the server supporting Designorati has fallen off the face of the earth. These tutes really are there, so try again later, because they ARE worth your time.
Dig, if you will, the illustration. I'll wait.
Done? Good. I borrowed it from a post Jeremy Schultz, a graphic designer from West Des Moines, IA, and my colleague at Designorati, wrote. He's m4d wizardly in Photoshop, and this is proof.
This is actually the tale of two incredibly worthwhile tutorials he did. One shows how to use Photoshop's shrinking-violet sister, ImageReady, to do a powerhouse conditional action and saving it as a droplet. Droplets are cool 'applets' generated from PS and IR actions that live on your desktop, or wherever; just drag your files to them, drop, and they process. They're little robots.
Jeremy's tute about ImageReady conditional droplets is here. Go read it. It's good.
Now, as ki113r as that was, the image really made an impression with all of us at Team D:. It's the heart of graphic design, really; solving the problem of communicating, and oh, so deftly. We all asked Jeremy how he did it, and he decided it would make a jim-dandy tute on its own.
And it does. Go read it!
It reminds of the importants of fundamentals, that true wizardry happens best when you use the basics to generate impact. Layers, Magic Wand, Spherize filter, brush palette. Not much more.