“IsThreadDesktopComposited” Error

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I was done with my “library” source image for cloning. I was able to upload it to the Fog server. And, yes, I was able to deploy the image to a target workstation. I tested the imaged PC – ran several programs and apps, checked the network. Then I fired up Firefox and this error popped up:

Error when opening Firefox

Error when opening Firefox

It says that Firefox could not locate the entry point “IsThreadDesktopComposited” in the User32 DLL (Dynamic Link Library). Did a search and found answers.

It’s not a Firefox problem. That’s why reinstalling or upgrading Firefox (from 3.6.3 to 3.6.4) didn’t solve it. I found out that this only happens to Windows XP. The culprit is the “dwmapi.dll” file found in the System32 folder. Dwmapi.dll is a Windows Vista file that may have been installed in the said location by another program.

To fix the problem, open C:\Windows\System32 folder. Locate and delete dwmapi.dll. Restart Firefox to check if the problem still occurs.

Source:
Microsoft Support

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Polaroid Collage Effect

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This Photoshop tutorial will add a collage of Polaroids effect to a photo.

1.  Open your image in Photoshop and duplicate it. Name your duplicated image, e.g. “polaroid”, and place it on top of your Background layer.

2. Create a new layer between the Background and polaroid layer. Name it “bground”. Press “D” to load the default Foreground and Background colors. Fill the bground layer with black by pressing Alt + Backspace.

3. Add a new layer named “photo” between the polaroid and bground layers. Press “M” to fire up your Rectangular Marquee tool. Make a square selection anywhere inside the image. Fill the selection with black by pressing Alt + Backspace. Press CTRL + D to deselect. Here’s a selected portion of my image and how my Layers Palette looks like after the third step.

Marquee Selection

Marquee Selection

Layers Palette

Layers Palette

4. Select the polaroid layer. From the menu, click Layer > Create Clipping Mask. You may also use CTRL + Alt + G as a keyboard shortcut. Notice that only the portion where our filled selection (photo layer) lies is revealed. And on the Layers palette, the polaroid layer is indented with an arrow pointing to the layer under it.

Clipped

Clipped

Indented Image

Indented Image

5. Select your photo layer. From the menu, click Layer > Layer Style > Inner Shadow… Play with the settings a bit to get a somewhat engraved photo. Here are my settings:

Distance – 4px
Choke – 1px
Size – 9px

Inner Shadow

Inner Shadow

6. Click on your bground layer and then create a new layer. Name it “border”. Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, make a rectangular selection around the photo layer. This will be the Polaroid’s border. Fill it with white by pressing CTRL + Backspace. Press CTRL + D to remove the selection. From the menu, click Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow… to add a shadow effect. Play with the settings. You won’t see the results immediately because of the black background. This is how I set mine:

Opacity – 40%
Distance – 1px
Size – 4px

Drop Shadow

Drop Shadow

7. Select the photo and border layers, press CTRL + T to bring up the Free Transform tool. Rotate your Polaroid in any direction you like. Press Enter to apply the changes.

8. Select the polaroid, photo, and border layers and press CTRL + G to group them as they compose the Polaroid. Notice that in the Layers palette, they’re contained in a folder called Group 1.

9. On the Layers palette, select and drag Group 1 to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the palette. After you release the mouse button, your group folder will be duplicated giving you a second polaroid. This will be named Group 1 Copy by default.

10. Expand your Group 1 copy folder by clicking the triangle beside it. Select its own photo and border layers. Make sure your Move tool is active, press “V” to make sure it is. On your canvass move and rotate the second Polaroid anywhere and anyway you like. Below is a screenshot of my Layers palette and canvass with the second polaroid.

Second Polaroid

Second Polaroid

11. From this point, we’ll just have to repeat steps 9 and 10. We duplicate the group folder, expand the duplicate folder, select the photo and border layers, move and rotate to reveal other parts of the image. We’ll do that until we have revealed the image. If you want a polaroid to overlap a certain polaroid, select its group folder in the Layers palette and drag it on top of the other groups. You may also change the black background. Create your own custom background or download any background you like and place it on top of your bground layer.

For questions, you may eMail me at email me.You may download the PSD file here. A printable version of this tutorial is available on Scribd.

Polaroid Collage

Polaroid Collage

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