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Master graphic design for only $39 with this bundle

Is mastering graphic design at the top of your to-do list for the year? If so, it's never too late to tackle that goal. No matter your level of design expertise, keep your skills sharp with The School of Graphic Design Mastery Bundle, now only $39. 

As creatives, it's essential to continually be learning to keep up with the latest updates in the industry. Packed with seven in-depth courses and over 350 lessons, this bundle contains everything you need to master graphic design. And our pick of the best tools for graphic designers will complement it perfectly.

A course designed for all abilities

If you're a beginner, you'll start with the fundamentals of top industry software, such as Adobe Photoshop CC, Illustrator, and InDesign, and move onto design theory, branding, and more. You'll learn what each design platform does, and extensively review topics such as typography, photo manipulations, branding, magazine layout design, and logo design (for more, see our guide to logo design). Real-world exercises are provided, allowing you to practise what you learn as you go.

Once you master the basic concepts, you'll jump into more advanced theories and practices. A few topics you'll tackle include: taking a complete look into proper layout design, learning how to brand an entire digital marketing campaign (including social media assets), and diving into Adobe tips and tricks to help speed up your workflow. You'll also be assigned more meticulous projects to complete – such as creating a full photo manipulation project for a large poster ad, or taking on a full logo and branding design project from start to finish. The 40 hours of content will equip you with everything you need to be confident in your graphic design abilities. 

With courses dedicated to working with clients as a freelancer, in an agency, or on an in-house team, you'll get extensive training on how to showcase your graphic design work. Techniques in creating polished presentations, building your portfolio effectively from scratch, and understanding how to display your designs successfully, will be taught with guided video tutorials. Best yet, you'll have unlimited access to all the content, allowing you to visit each concept or lesson time and time again.

The School of Graphic Design Mastery Bundle brings you everything you need to jumpstart your graphic design career or merely brush up on your skills. Usually $1400, you can master design for only $39 (that's 97 per cent off)! Add valuable skills and credibility to your ongoing creative portfolio and conquer your goals today.

*Prices subject to change. Software not included.

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Baby Yoda was nearly a lot less cute (and a lot more horrifying)

Artists certainly nailed what the world wanted from a toddler-sized Yoda when they created Baby Yoda for The Mandalorian last year. We, and the rest of the galaxy, can't get enough of those endearing eyes, super-long ears and oversized space jacket. But newly-released concept art reveals that the mini-Yoda wasn't always intended to capture our hearts with sheer adorability.

In fact, one early mock up of Baby Yoda shows that Disney could have gone in quite a different direction, leading us to believe that in an alternate universe there lies a Baby Yoda who is, in short, TERRIFYING. Let's take a closer look at the design, which definitely wouldn't make our list of top 3D art

Actual Baby Yoda

Take a moment to soak up those chubby cheeks

It was vital the character of Baby Yoda was perfect (see him above) – they were dealing with one of the most iconic characters in film history, after all. And, as John Favreau discloses during the newest episode of Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian (try Disney Plus for free to get involved), getting the final design just right – cute, but not too cute – was a long process that involved viewing hundreds of concept drawings. 

These drawings swung wildly, one way or the other: too cute or too ugly. And the version below gives the final character a totally different feel. A pretty horrifying one, actually. 

Baby Yoda

Just. Not. Okay.

Though there are echoes of the final Baby Yoda within this design, the small and rounded eyes, cavernous ears and stomach-turning curly hair are at odds with the enchanting depiction that made it out of the studio. Though the face is squidgier, the toddler actually looks older, and those plump cheeks are not ones we want to squeeze. Unlike the final version, the features don't pull us in and we find ourselves wanting to look away – not a great feeling to have when faced with the coolest small being in the universe.

Seeing the different renditions together as above feels like spending time with a bunch of Yoda's siblings – all of which have wildly different personalities. (Including Danny Yo-Vito, according to Twitter user Blanked_Space).

Fans everywhere are overwhelmingly appalled at what could have been, with expressions of gratitude pouring in for the appearance of the final render. Judging by the response to Sonic the Hedgehog's design misfire last year, Disney did well to get it right. 

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New Adobe Creative Cloud logo is much more… creative

With over 50 Adobe apps available, you'd be forgiven for sometimes struggling to tell them apart. In an attempt to address the issue, Adobe has begun updating its entire brand identity, and the most dramatic change so far is a brand new icon for Adobe Creative Cloud.

A far cry from its current red-and-white iteration, the new Creative Cloud icon (below) features the logo atop a bright, colourful gradient which "brings the colours of [Adobe's] product brands" together. Check out the best Creative Cloud Plans if you're ready to get to grips with its many creative apps, from Illustrator to Photoshop. 

Creative Cloud icons

Old (left) vs. new (right)

The new splash of colour certainly helps Creative Cloud look a little more, well, creative. As the umbrella that unites Adobe's many apps, it makes sense for it to enjoy a more artistic appearance – since that's what Creative Cloud is all about. The previous icon looks positively corporate in comparison.

It isn't just Creative Cloud that's enjoying a new coat of paint. The Adobe logo itself has been given a more subtle makeover, with a slightly different hue of red. In a blog post about the identity refresh, Adobe calls the new colour "warmer and more contemporary".

Adobe logo

“Warmer and more contemporary” (aka “more red”)

Across the board, Adobe is tweaking icons for all of its products with the removal of borders (taking them even further into the realm of flat design), and the addition of rounded edges to any icons that were previously square. Both changes are designed "so that the system can flex to accommodate a range of operating systems and devices".

When it comes to helping to tell the products apart, Adobe says that as it rolls out more updated icons, it will be "using colour to organise products into categories such as Video & Motion or Photography, to ensure customers can easily find the products they need". 

Photoshop icon

As if the Photoshop logo couldn’t get any simpler 

While Creative Cloud undoubtably contains some of the best software for digital art, the sheer amount on offer can sometimes be confusing (check out this unmissable video explaining all 50+ Adobe apps). It's great to see Adobe take some measures to help users differentiate between apps, as well as highlighting the creative aspect of Creative Cloud. Check out today's best Creative Cloud deals below. 

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Pop culture creatures become scientific drawings (and we want them all)

We've seen all sorts of fantastic creative projects during lockdown, and this series by a Texas-based illustrator is a whimsical delight. 'Unnatural History' takes several fictional creatures from the worlds of film and TV, and transforms them into vintage-style biological studies.

From Stranger Things' Demogorgon to everyone's new favourite alien, Baby Yoda, the collection by Chet Phillips features over 20 creatures, complete with latin names and descriptions. As with all of Phillips' work, the series was illustrated using Corel Painter (one of many great photoshop alternatives). 

Baby Yoda

Baby (we mean Puer Versionem) Yoda

The illustrations are all available to buy via Phillips' Etsy page, either individually or as a beautifully presented box of 10 (including one original sketch). The reviews on Phillips' page are filled praise: "I Love Chet's work," one says. "It allows me to show my love for pop culture in a totally unique way."

Stranger Things

Straight from the upside-down

We love the authentic vintage style of Phillips' illustrations, and can't help wanting them all – it doesn't help our wallet that they look so great as a full set (below). The project is a delightfully tribute to fantasy and imagination, not to mention a welcome distraction from these strange times. 

Creatures

We want them all. 

It's a testament to Phillips' skills that these wildly disparate creatures now look like they could all belong to the same (very strange) universe. If a brand new creature is ready to spawn from your own imagination, head straight over to our list of essential character design tips. 

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From playtime to profit – how I turned my animation hobby into a profitable business

Garry Pye has been drawing cartoons all his life. Despite no formal artistic education, he went from hobbyist to full-time animator after discovering Reallusion and their 2D animation software six years ago. 

I have been drawing cartoons ever since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I am a self-taught artist, illustrator and animator who specialises in creating characters, backgrounds and prop content. I started working as a content developer in my spare time, and this has turned into a full-time business. I now have over 1,400 assets available online, which I sell to animators around the world.

From the age of 17, I worked with my father in our family trophy store – for 31 years, in fact. But my true passion was drawing cartoons. And I dreamed of one day being able to do that as my full time job. 

In this article, I’m going to share with you how Cartoon Animator (formally CrazyTalk Animator) helped me to jump from working in that trophy store to creating a profit-making, successful full-time online business. 

Garry Pye

Garry Pye in his studio

Discovering animation

Since I was a child, all I’ve ever done is draw – learning from great fantasy artists like Boris Vallejo and Frank Frazetta, and the incredible comic artists of MAD magazine like Mort Drucker and Jack Davis. I mimicked their styles until eventually I developed my own. 

I always had a fascination with 2D animation, and although I experimented many times with it, I did not have the skills or patience required for traditional frame-by-frame cell animation. Then I came across a piece of software called CrazyTalk Animator, which promised aspiring animators the opportunity to produce professional results without the tedious frame-by-frame work. 

Discovering this software changed my career. After installing it, in a matter of hours I was making things move. About 3 months later, I was creating funny short animated videos (such as the one below) to entertain my friends. 

I soon realised this tool could really help businesses of all types to be able to immediately tell a story, or demo their concept for business or education purposes.

Building a Business

Very quickly, I started to sell my art in Reallusions 2D Marketplace, and have continued to do that for the last 6 years – adding more and more characters, backgrounds and props. Eventually, I opened my own Theme Store on the Reallusion site, and even began representing other artists' work. 

In my 31-year career working in my family trophy business, I learned many of the skills I would need to turn my hobby into a successful new career. I learned how to operate a business on a day-to-day basis, from marketing and advertising to sales and manufacturing, and also taught myself software skills including Photoshop and CorelDraw. And, of course, customer relations and communications – which in my opinion are the most vital skills for business owner. 

I look at where I was with CrazyTalk Animator 6 years ago compared with where I am today, and it demonstrates something truly wonderful about this software: it grows with you. The software guides you through those early days of basic animation, so that as your confidence and skills grow, you become more comfortable exploring the more professional tools within, and your animations become more polished as a result. 

Garry Pye's animation

One of Garry Pye’s animations

Collaborating with developers and becoming a Reallusion community manager

As my digital content business grew, my hobby not only became my full-time job, but I also opened my own market store to sell my creations and also help other artists like me to get into world of digital creation.

I believe there are many more artists like me out there – talented designers and artists who struggle between work and their passion. That’s why I recently officially became a Reallusion Spokesman and Community Manager. I want to share my true passion with others, and help more artists to succeed.

Two Theme Stores: Reallusion Content Store & 2D Marketplace 

Garry Pye's animations

Garry Pye’s ‘Little Mates’

Reallusion offers several different areas on the website for developers to sell and promote their products, from hobbyists to professionals. 

The first step in becoming a content developer was to sell my characters, props and backgrounds in the 2D Marketplace, a wonderful platform for artists at any skill level. The Marketplace allows you to load any content at no cost, and you make a healthy commission from each sale. Reallusion provides you with the templates you need for marketing, but the look and design of your marketing is entirely in your control. I still load all of my new content to the Marketplace today and it’s a fantastic site for being seen by potential customers. 

Once my catalogue of content had grown in size, I was invited to join the Reallusion Content Store which has the advantage of being controlled by Reallusion itself, including all marketing, which is extensive. The secret to both the Marketplace and the Content Store was to remain relevant and current, creating and uploading new content on a regular basis so the audience I was building would return to see what new content was on offer.

Then I was invited to open my own Theme Store on the Reallusion site, which meant that my store was now featured on the main page, giving me considerable more exposure on the site and once again building on my brand. By this time I had a large following of loyal customers that had been accumulated through each level of the sites platforms, from Marketplace to Content Store and finally to Theme Store, where I now represent other artists and help promote their work. 

All Stars – My latest series of characters created with Cartoon Animator 4

Garry Pye

As well as making standalone characters, I knew from the beginning of my work as a content developer that I wanted to make series of characters as well, so that animators would have a range of characters to choose from, all with the same distinct and recognisable style. 

For the All Stars I chose a vector style of design, with no black outline, which I felt was more suitable to the needs of media presenters for corporate training videos and slideshows (my target audience for this series). The characters are cartoony, but still based on normal human proportions. Fun, but professional. 

I would certainly have been able to create the All Stars in CrazyTalk Animator 3, however Cartoon Animator 4 gave me several distinct advantages. The main one was that with CTA4, I am able to add additional layers to the face, meaning that for the first time you could create things like hair that has multiple levels, each of which can either be visible or invisible to change a characters hair style, or even animate the hair sections using the Deform function. Moustaches and facial hair could now be easily turned on or off without having to have them built in to the nose sprite, making sprite selection much easier.  

In addition, the new G3 360 Degree Heads allow much more natural movement for character animation. I did not incorporate the full arc of movement with these characters heads with The Bendies, which was a design choice. And the option is always there should I choose to expand the characters style and incorporate it later.

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Cinema 4D tutorials: 13 of the best

These Cinema 4D tutorials will help you to create some brilliant 3D artwork. Tailored for beginners and seasoned users, the tutorials will advance your skills and have you using the software like a pro. 

As one of the CG industry's most popular 3D modelling, animation and rendering applications, Cinema 4D boasts a designer-friendly interface and super-powerful toolset. Though it's known as the 'easy' 3D software, it packs a powerful punch with its ouput. For those reasons, Cinema 4D has become a favourite among digital artists wanting to create show-stopping 3D art.

If you are in need of some more inspiration, you can head over to our selection of the best 3D art around. 

You'll find the beginner tutorials at the top of the page, and the more advanced content further down. Let's get started…

Nail the basics

01. Get to grips with the basics of Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: Basics

Four top tips to get you started

This quick but super-useful tutorial explains the first four things you should get to know when beginning to use Cinema 4D. From becoming familiar with the UI to using MoGraph, trying out volume modelling, and utilising Team Render, it explores four crucial pillars of the software. And if none of those words mean anything to you, you should get involved immediately.

02. Learning Cinema 4D R19 

Cinema 4D tutorials: Introduction to Cinema 4D

Discover the power of Cinema 4D and its tools with this brilliant tutorial from the Greyscalegorilla team

If you don't have the most recent version of Cinema 4D, never fear. The brilliant team at Greyscalegorilla have created over 200 tutorials to help digital artists, including some brilliant free Cinema 4D tutorials such as this one, Introduction to Cinema 4D, in which you'll learn how to build this mine cart tunnel animation. Create the scene from scratch by learning how to light, model, animate, add dynamics and render the final sequence. 

(Also from Greyscalegorilla, this neat how to create animated 3D text in Cinema 4D tutorial will halt the hunt for 3D text plugins.)

03. Rig a simple cartoon character

Cinema 4D tutorials: Cartoon character

Use the Sketch and Toon module to create cartoon characters

Discover how to rig a simple cartoon character with with this easy-to-follow Cinema 4D tutorial from EJ Hassenfratz. Using Cinema 4D's powerful Sketch and Toon module, you can transform your 3D artwork into a cartoon-like illustration with just a few clicks of a button. Here, you'll use it to create cartoon characters.

Following on from the above, Hassenfratz has also created a brilliant two-part Cinema 4D tutorial in which you can learn how to animate a simple character and some handy tips and tricks for creating animated GIF characters.

Going further

04. 15 expert Cinema 4D tips

Cinema 4D tutorials: 15 expert tips

Discover how to boost your skills and master Cinema 4D

This rundown of 15 expert tips contains essential information ranging from layer organisation to detailing. It will speed up your workflow and add new dimensions to your process. 

05. Make realistic plants in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: model plants

It’s a simple but effective process

Most scenes will benefit from having organic touches like plants and trees. This tutorial will take you through how to model them using Cinema 4D. It's a simple, effective process that takes advantage of MoGraph tools, with a very low polygon proxy object used as a placeholder.

06. How to create hair in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: hair

Make complex and vibrant 3D hair

Give your character an extra dimension with some realistic 3D hair. Hair is a notoriously tricky thing to get right in 3D, but this step-by-step tutorial will see you modelling it like a pro. 

07. Cinema 4D shortcuts

Cinema 4D tutorials: shortcuts

Learn how to quickly navigate through some key features

This Cinema 4D trick could revolutionise your workflow is a guide to the shortcuts that will definitely save you time during your design process. It shows you how to quickly open a text field and how to find the most useful menus.

08. How to model concept art in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorials: How to model concept art in Cinema 4D

Build your dream motor without getting your hands dirty

Here's a use for Cinema 4D that might not have occurred to you; in this tutorial, How to model concept art in Cinema 4D, Michael Tschernjajew explains how he used Cinema 4D to create concept art for a range of vehicles destined for a PlayStation 4 game.

09. Triggering Dynamics in Cinema 4D

If you want to create dynamic simulations in Cinema 4D but need to take full art directional control over them, Triggering Dynamics in Cinema 4D from Eyedesyn should sort you right out. It'll introduce you to the basics of dynamics, explain how to use Ghost Dynamics to trigger them, and it'll show you how to record mouse movement to keyframes using Cappuccino.

10. How to sculpt in Cinema 4D

Cinema 4D tutorial: Sculpt

Six steps to sculpting success

Learn how to use Cinema 4D's powerful Sculpt tool in six easy steps with this guide, How to sculpt in Cinema 4D.

11. Intro to the Cinema 4D Time Effector

Cinema 4D's Time Effector is a powerful tool for automating animation. In Intro to the Cinema 4D Time Effector from Eyedesyn you'll learn some Time Effector basics, how to combine it with other Effectors to vary your animations, how to use the Random Effector for more interesting and organic animations, and much more besides.

12. Cinema 4D's Character Builder

Rigging might strike fear into the hearts of rookie 3D artists, but get to grips with Cinema 4D's Character Builder in this guide to both the standard and advanced Biped setup using Cinema 4D's Character Builder.

13. How to make your 3D objects dance

This Cinema 4D tutorial explains how to make your 3D objects dance: bring a shape (or object) to life and make it 'dance' to music. Learn how to create an animation involving complex expressions and dynamics.

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The best smartphone tripods in 2020

You're here because you want to know what the best smartphone tripods of 2020 are so far, and that's exactly what you'll find right here. Smartphones have made massive inroads into camera tech, and a quality smartphone tripod can really help produce professional-looking images and video. 

While many of the best camera phones come with optical image stabilisation and help smooth out unwanted camera shake, there will always be times when more stable support is needed. Whether you want to shoot a piece to camera without the arm-outstretched vlogging look, or capture a long exposure photo in low light, it’s a good idea to attach your phone to a tripod.

But don't worry, this doesn't mean lugging a tripod the size of the Eiffel tower around (although if that is what you're after, browse our best tripods article). There are plenty of ultra-compact tripods on the market designed specifically for phones. And the best ones are so compact, they can sit on a table top, each tripod leg being around 20cm long, folding down to the size of a 500ml water bottle. 

The best smartphone tripods available now

Best smartphone tripod: Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod Kit

Our pick of the best smartphone tripods right now is the Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod Kit with universal smartphone clamp. Manfrotto’s PIXI mini tripods have been around for several years and have established a reputation for good quality at a reasonable price. The particular version is a two-part kit comprised of a PIXI Mini tripod and Manfrotto’s Universal Smartphone Clamp. 

This simple, spring-loaded clamp can accommodate a phone up to 84mm wide – more than enough for even a phablet-sized device like a Galaxy Note 10. The clamp’s grippy jaws hold your phone securely, and the clamp itself attaches to a small ball head atop the PIXI tripod, making it easy to tilt your phone up or down for high or low-angle shots, though only with the phone mounted horizontally. 

You can also detach the clamp and mount a lightweight interchangeable lens camera to the ball head instead, increasing the tripod’s versatility. And when it’s time to get on the move, fold the tripod’s legs together and they form an ergonomic handle that makes handheld vlogging much more stable and comfortable.

Best smartphone tripods: Joby GorillaPod Mobile Rig

Joby’s GorillaPod Mobile Rig looks more like a stick figure than a typical tripod, thanks to its arm-like supports on either side of the phone holder. These can be used to mount compact LED lights or a separate microphone, helping you boost the quality of your footage. The GorillaPod’s extra-flexible legs allow you to instantly bend them to any angle for effortless set-up, and you can even wrap the legs around objects like railings for extra variety in shot compositions and framing. 

Your phone is held securely in Joby’s GripTight PRO Phone mount. This uses a single locking knob to simultaneously secure your phone and to switch between horizontal and vertical positioning – an option lacking in many clamps – though the do-it-all knob means it’s possible to accidentally release your phone when you only want to rotate it. The clamp is mounted on a tilt hinge for extra framing flexibility, and above the holder is a cold-shoe-type mount ideal for attaching a compact shotgun mic.

Best smartphone tripods: Joby GripTight PRO TelePod

Next in our roundup of the best smartphone tripods is the Joby GripTight PRO TelePod. The trouble with most mini tripods is that they have to be perched on a table if you need extra height, but that’s not always an option. The TelePod can stand tall thanks to its nifty telescoping centre column, which extends up to 79cm. It’s a clever trick, though the three tripod legs are still as short as those on a typical tabletop tripod, meaning it’s not the most stable phone support when your phone is balancing high up. 

Alternatively, you can take hold of your phone and use the TelePod as a monopod support to keep your phone level when recording panning shots. Not only that, but the tripod legs can fold together to form a handle, then, with the centre column outstretched, you’ve got a good quality selfie stick. Joby even includes a Bluetooth remote so you can control your iPhone or Android phone’s camera not just when it’s on the end of the selfie stick, but from up to 90 feet away. The supplied phone holder is Joby’s feature-packed GripTight PRO Phone mount that compliments the TelePod well, with its extensive adjustment and quality build.

Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini

The smaller sibling of the Joby GripTight PRO TelePod, the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini is still a great option for a lot of smartphone camera enthusiasts. First of all, weighing at 32 grams, this is not going to slow you down, and with its diminutive size, it take up a lot of room either. It's the cheapest tripod that Joby currently make, but it includes the companies trademark flexible legs, made with several moveable joints.

Because of this, you can stand the Joby GorillaPod Mobile Mini up exactly like a mini table-top tripod, or attach it to something with its wrap-around legs. For less than $20/£20, it will come with a phone mount too, so you're good to go from the off. If you're looking for an extremely portable, convenient (yet small) tripod, this is a fantastic option.

Best smartphone tripods: Benro BK10 Mini Tripod and Selfie Stick

If you like the sound of the Joby TelePod’s tripod and selfie stick versatility, but are less keen on its hefty price tag, Benro may have the answer with its BK10. It performs the same tripod-to-selfie stick transformation for a fraction of the cost, yet it’s still made by a well-respected tripod brand and feels much better made than the bargain price would suggest. With the telescopic centre column outstretched, your phone can rise up to 91cm off the deck, though as you’d imagine, balancing your phone this high when the tripod’s legs are so short is a bit precarious. 

You can’t have everything at this price, and Benro’s phone clamp is very basic. It does hold reasonably securely though, and while it won’t rotate between horizontal and vertical orientation, the tripod’s compact ball head will let you do this. Somehow Benro has also managed to throw in a Bluetooth trigger for remote camera control, and its 30-metre range is easily enough for most shooting scenarios.

Best smartphone tripods: Manfrotto Compact Light Smart

The last, but not least, to feature on our best smartphone tripods 2020 list, is kind of a big deal! Most phone tripods are so small they end up compromised in terms of support, especially when you use a phone tripod for regular shoots. Manfrotto's Compact Light Smart smartphone tripod has no such drawbacks, as it combines a smartphone clamp holder with a full-size travel tripod, just as you’d use for an interchangeable lens camera. This enables a genuinely usable 131cm max shooting height, as each leg of the tripod has four sections so they spread far wider than the single-section legs on a standard tabletop tripod, significantly boosting stability.

Naturally this does mean that at 39cm long when packed, this isn’t the most compact phone support out there, but it is very small for a ‘proper’ tripod, and at only 840g, it’s also extremely light for its size. The included phone holder isn’t as fancy as the clamp you get with a Joby GorillaPod Mobile Rig, but it does the job, and the same can be said of the basic ball head, which also allows your phone to rotate through 90-degrees to shoot in portrait mode. Factor the price, which is less than some tricked-up tabletop tripods, and this Manfrotto support certainly gives you a lot for the money.

How to choose the best smartphone tripod

A phone tripod is only as good as the mechanism it uses to hold your phone. Whereas a traditional camera will have a dedicated tripod mounting point, nowadays you’re lucky if there's a headphone jack on your phone. This means a smartphone tripod will usually be bundled with a mounting clamp that grips your phone, similar to a phone holder for your car. All the tripods on this list come bundled with a phone holder, so they’re ready to use. 

What’s more, phone tripod manufacturers also recognise that today’s phones are much wider than those from a few years ago, so you should be able to mount even the widest XL/+/Max-sized devices with ease.

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Why the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is a game-changer for your creativity

For many professional creatives, having a laptop that doesn't just help you unleash your creativity, but also speeds up your creative workflow is essential. It means you’ll be able to easily hit deadlines, and by working faster, you can take on more work.

If you’re looking for the ultimate creativity and productivity machine, then, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is the perfect choice for you – and it can prove to be a real game-changer that can transform your creative workflow.

For a start, it’s one of the most powerful laptops in the world, with Nvidia’s latest and greatest RTX-capable graphics cards installed. These amazing GPUs allow the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo to accomplish intensive graphical tasks, such as 4K video editing and 3D rendering, incredibly quickly, and offers a big speed boost to your workflow. For 3D animators and modellers, Nvidia RTX GPUs also allow you to add advanced ray tracing lighting effects to make your creations look even more realistic.

Also packing a high-end 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i9 processor and bags of RAM, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is also a killer multi-tasker, allowing you to power through tasks both creative and professional. 

Gone are the days where you have to leave your laptop alone while it struggles to complete a single task. Thanks to the super-poerful hardware in the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo, you can keep on working on it while it completes those tasks in the background.

Those features alone would make the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo a formidable productivity machine for any creative, but this unique laptop has another trick up its sleeve: dual 4K displays.

That’s right. As well as having a stunning 15.6-inch OLED 4K screen, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo has a second 14-inch 4K touch display, known as the Screenpad Plus, above the keyboard. This second screen is a revolution when it comes to boosting your creative workflow. 

Not only can you use the second screen to display additional applications – such as an email app – giving you more space to work on the main screen, but you can also move tools from certain creative apps, onto the Screenpad Plus. This gives you quick and easy access to your most-used tools, while freeing up more screen real estate on the main screen.

For digital artists, the Screenpad Plus can transform into a sketchpad with the included stylus, allowing you to instantly draw, paint and doodle digitally.

The main 15.6-inch screen is no slouch, either. As well as offering stunning 4K resolutions, it’s also 

Pantone and DCPI-3 validated, which means colours are vibrant and – most importantly – accurate.

By packing the kind of power you’d usually see in a desktop PC, with two gorgeous screens, into a portable laptop body, the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo really is a game-changer when it comes to boosting your creative workflow.

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Cartoons for key workers are a heartwarming delight

We've loved seeing examples of the creative community coming together during lockdown, and this latest cartoon project is a truly heartwarming example. A psychologist and a cartoonist have come together to capture the one moment key workers are most looking forward to when lockdown ends, and the results are delightful.

Last month, psychologist Kevin Dutton asked key workers to share the moment or memory that's currently keeping them going, and cartoonist Rob Murray is now illustrating them each inside a bottle. #BottleMoments has seen Murray capture over 50 moments inside bottles, and they're guaranteed to raise a smile. If they inspire you to get drawing, our how to draw guides will keep your skills as sharp as your pencil. 

Dutton is currently sharing Murray's efforts on Twitter, along with a quote from each key worker themselves. Moments captured so far include postponed weddings, delayed travel plans and lots of family reunions, including this care home worker who can't wait to visit her own nan:  

"As a cartoonist working for magazines and newspapers, you spend most of your time poking fun at situations," Murray told Good Morning Britain. "The positive thing about this project is that it is about normal people, and their normal lives." "The major theme is connection," Dutton added. "It shows us that as a society, the DNA of what gets us through is being together." 

Murray's cartoon pencil style is perfect for capturing these often simple moments of togetherness – the drawings are a touching token of appreciation and hope for key workers during a time of great hardship and courage. Placing the moments in a bottle is an inspired touch, capturing them and almost turning them into timeless vignettes. Key workers can share the moment they're most looking forward to with the hashtag #BottleMoments – and it might just get bottled up by Dutton and Murray.

Other recent displays of solidarity within the creative community have included Rob Biddulph's free drawing lessons for kids. Rob recently attempted to break the world record for the largest online art lesson with over 10,000 viewers (he's still waiting for the official result). For more inspiring examples, check out our best free resources for creatives stuck at home.

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Lego's comical guide to working from home will brighten your day

Known for its problem-solving approach, Lego has tackled one of the most universal problems facing workers at the moment by creating a tongue-in-cheek guide to working from home. The step-by-step picture guide will teach you exactly how to handle the unique challenges of WFH, and how to "be awesome" at it.

Recreating the on-point vibe of an office (remember those?) within the comfort of your home involves remembering to get dressed, sitting properly at your desk (no dining chairs allowed – see our best office chairs if you're struggling with this), personalising your desk and then remaining on task at all times. It's a lot to take on, but following Lego's guide should see you right. 

If all this Lego talk has whet your appetite, you can head over to our best Lego City sets guide. But first, let's take a closer look at Lego's WFH instructions…

Lego step 1

Dress appropriately

The first step is to dress appropriately. 'Appropriate' in this case, is to take on the strategy of newsreaders everywhere (we assume). Your top half is all that matters here. As long as you don't stand up during your video call, you can follow the Minifigure's lead as he models a business-ready top half and more-than-casual-Friday lower body attire.

Lego 2

Follow proper ergonomics

Next, get your build on and recreate the ergonomics of your office set-up. Lego has created a stable structure to rest a laptop on, and we're sure those Lego books fit together more solidly than our wobbly tower would. And if the tower of books won't cut it, here's our pick of the best desks around right now.

Lego 3

Personalise

Now it's time to soften things up with some personal touches. Lego's idea of personalising your desk seems to involve adding a looming picture of your boss on your left (it might help to keep you on track), and an interloper visitor on your desk (pretty accurate in our case).

Lego 4

Start working

And finally, to work. Which may be easier said than done, of course. As Lego suggests, that picture of your boss is totally expendable when the inevitable procrastination begins. And how is your cat meant to resist that mouse, anyway?

So, if you're not totally happy with your WFH set up, perhaps Lego has given you the tools to get it right – heart patterned underwear and all. We certainly send our thanks to Lego for making light of a tricky work/life situation. 

Getting creative with a WFH set up is widespread during lockdown, as we saw with this ultimate work from home set up that divided opinion recently. And it isn't only work-from-homers that are unleashing design creativity in the time of COVID-19. This optician now has a perspex screen in the shape of a pair of glasses to shield its reception staff, which has taken the internet by storm. 

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Forget the iPhone 12, everyone's talking about the iPhone 13

While the iPhone 12 is still yet to be released, some seem to have forgotten about it already as new leaks today speculate what the iPhone 13 could look like. It might be over a year away from release, but the iPhone 13 is set to feature one camera to rule them all. By which, we mean four. 

According to a regular Apple-leaker by the name of, er, Fudge, the iPhone 13 could contain the first four-camera setup in an iPhone. It could also feature a LiDAR scanner (currently only found in the 2020 iPad Pro), making it a portable AR powerhouse – great for choosing your next sofa.

The iPhone has been a permanent fixture in our round up of the best camera phones, with the 12 looking likely to bump the 11 off the top spot any time now. But if these iPhone 13 camera leaks are anything to go by, its younger sibling won'tlast long in poll position. 

But, as we mentioned already, the iPhone 12 isn't even out yet, so let's step back for a second. The iPhone 12 rumours suggest significantly improved cameras over the current iPhone 11, including enhanced autofocus and zoom. It will, however, allegedly contain a mere three cameras. Not only could the iPhone 13 contain a feature a whole extra lens, but two of its cameras could rock massive 64MB sensors. Fudge also shared a rough layout for the device:

While it'll come as no surprise to anybody that the iPhone 13 will feature a better camera than the iPhone 12, it could open up huge possibilities for creatives and photographers on the move. With its countless photo editing apps, the iPhone is already a superb device for photographers, but could the iPhone 13 become the first to rival your DSLR? Time will tell, but our best camera guide is safe from smartphones for now.

Fudge reminds us that, as with all leaks, these should be taken with a huge pinch of salt. But with the rate that smartphone photography has advanced over the last few years, it's easy to get carried away by what the next few years could bring. 

While this is all very exciting, the iPhone 11 Pro's camera is still seriously impressive. If you want the best iPhone camera available right now, check out the best deals below.

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Collaborate better than ever with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020

CorelDRAW Graphics Suite has recently had an exciting update, giving designers game-changing collaboration tools and sophisticated AI enhancements, not to mention a performance boost that makes it faster and easier to create flawless designs while streamlining the entire creative process. 

With these new capabilities, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 sets a new standard for productivity, power and collaboration, making it more tempting than ever before. But if you're unsure whether CorelDRAW is for you, or are concerned about making the switch from other software, fear not. Here's why CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 is a powerful tool to add to your design arsenal.

Collaborate more efficiently

CorelDraw

Make comments and annotations is now easier than ever

Collaborating on your designs is now easier, as clients and colleagues can annotate and comment directly onto your CorelDRAW files. Removing the time wasted on back and forth emails, a mess of attachments, and patched together workflow solutions, Corel has delivered a fast and simple way to get everyone on the same page (literally), thanks to the new cloud-based CorelDRAW.app.

And even though users now have the ability to add comments and mock up their ideas directly in your file, sharing your work in this way doesn't mean compromising the integrity of your design, as with Dynamic Text Co-editing, you control which elements can be changed. You can set design elements such as font size, colour and image placement so they can't be moved, while allowing your collaborators to make text edits. 

Keeping track of changes and approving work is also simple, as CorelDRAW supports Single Sign-On (SSO) to Microsoft Office 365 and G Suite accounts, meaning that teams can manage their files in Google Drive and SharePoint. With Cloud-based versioning and a simple approval process utilising CorelDRAW.app, long email chains are now a thing of the past.

These new CorelDRAW.app collaboration features are included with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite subscriptions and enterprise licences. As part of its response to the Covid-19 situation, Corel has also extended this functionality to  all CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2019 and CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 users for a limited time, ensuring that designers can enjoy these new, powerful ways to stay connected at a time when working together brings extra challenges. 

Stay streets ahead of the competition

CorelDraw

Create all this and more with CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020

Unlike other creative software, CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 offers a number of flexible ways to license the product. Users can choose a monthly subscription, or pay a one-off fee to own their software licence outright.

The suite is good value for money, too. When you subscribe to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020, you get Corel's signature vector editing software, CorelDRAW, together with Corel Photo-Paint. 

It’s good to note that CorelDRAW supports vector illustration and page layout in a single app, so there’s no need to switch between separate products (like Illustrator and InDesign) to manage this workflow. Best yet, this complete package is available for around the cost of Adobe Illustrator CC alone (as a single app on an annual plan).

Use multiple Apple and Windows devices

CorelDraw

CorelDRAW in Windows

Both macOS and Windows users can benefit from the new CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020, with optimised suites that make the most of both platforms.

Windows users can make quick adjustments in the Touch workspace, and work with a stylus on compatible tablets, while Mac aficionados can enjoy native apps with their own unique look and feel that support their favorite macOS features including Sidecar, TouchBar on MacBook Pro, and more.

With all this, why not give CorelDRAW Graphics Suite 2020 a try? Sign up for a free trial today.

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Burger King’s genius Social Distancing Whopper will make your eyes water

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease in certain countries across the world, brands are facing a new challenge: how to promote the reopening of their stores and restaurants while also encouraging social distancing. While some have opted for simple, informative messaging, Burger King Italy has chosen a more humorous approach – and it's right on the nose.

The brand recently introduced a new Social Distancing Whopper. It is, quite simply, a Whopper with extra onions (three times extra, to be precise), and it promises "to keep people away from you". It isn't quite as medically sound as a face mask (our where to buy a face mask guide has you covered there), but this tongue-in-cheek ad is one of the more creative takes we've seen on social distancing.

The concept, created by agency Wunderman Thompson, is actually available to buy in Burger King's Italian restaurants. One US YouTuber asked his local Burger King to recreate the dish, and described it as "the most pungent taste" he has ever experienced. A success, then. 

The Social Distancing Whopper isn't Burger King's only creative response to the need for social distancing – it is now offering huge cardboard crowns (above) to diners at its German restaurants. And while these creations are obviously designed to raise a smile rather than offering genuine protection, there's a level of ingenuity and design that raises them above mere opportunism (unlike McDonald's's disastrous social distancing logo).   

We've loved seeing creative responses to the 'new normal', such as one optician's eye-catching safety screen. And if all of this makes you feel like unleashing your own creativity, learning how to make a face mask is one sure fire way of combining safety and style. 

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Create stunning images with thousands of Lightroom presets

The way an image is edited in post-production sets the tone of how it will be perceived. If you're looking for breathtaking and unique treatments for your upcoming photo projects, you've come to the right place. Spark new inspiration and let your imagination run free with 7000+ Professional Lightroom Presets and create beautiful final images efficiently and effectively. Best yet, the complete package is only $39. 

Compatible with Lightroom 6 and Creative Cloud on both Mac and PC, this bundle brought to you by asset powerhouse Eldamar Studio packs a punch no matter what type of mood or look you are aiming to create. Choose from over 7000 presets compatible with both RAW and JPG images and pick from overlay categories such as fashion, food photography, black and white, family portraits, cinematography, and so much more. 

Want to upgrade your photography production? Check out our Photoshop tutorials, and these amazing photo editing apps. Or why not invest in one of the best laptops for photo editing?

Enjoy endless possibilities

With theme-specific Lightroom presets for a distinctive feel or mood, you'll have endless possibilities for projects of all kinds, no matter the size. You'll have access to presets in themes such as dark and moody Halloween, fairy tale romance, cold glow winter, magic forest, analog film, and so much more. There are also simple treatments such as color correcting, and Instagram Lightroom presets for any type of photo, making it a great bundle no matter what your editing style is. 

Lightroom presets

This complete pack comes complete with lifetime access, making it a vast overlay asset library to have for photographers and graphic designers of all calibers. While other preset bundles have licensing rights that usually expire or have to be renewed over time, this package includes a commercial license with unlimited access. Great for the never-stop-creating designer, the license never expires and allows you to use the elements time and time again for web or print projects. With updates to the presets included in the bundle, you'll always be kept up to date with the latest and greatest content available and be informed if any new preset categories or overlays are added. The possibilities are endless.

While this professional Lightroom preset bundle is typically sold for $69, it is currently price-dropped for a limited time only to $39. Start planning your next photo session or graphic design project and take your editing possibilities to the next level with thousands of ready to go Lightroom presets geared toward any genre. 

*Prices subject to change. Software not included.

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