Posts Tagged ‘ Photoshop ’

Post

Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I like to take off walking around the back roads in town, camera usually in tow in case I come across anything interesting to photograph. Saturday I went out walking, but changed my regular route, and went a completely new way. For some reason I didn’t bring my camera though, and ended up kicking myself for it. I walked past interesting buildings, unusual lamp posts, serene landscapes, and even horses grazing (which surprised me, to say the least – I was like 3 minutes away from the center of town).

So yesterday I was determined to take the same new route and capture all the interesting things I had seen the day before. But the world just doesn’t look the same from day to day. Actually, I felt kind of philosophical, thinking about it. Still, I did manage to take a few photos I kind of liked. Here are two of them:

Along the Rode by Karissa Cole 2013 NOT STOCK all rights reserved Along the Rode by Karissa Cole 2013 NOT STOCK all rights reserved

Not much to look at, admittedly. But I saw potential in them.

At this point, I should probably confess that I’m a bit addicted to custom Photoshop actions, and adjustment layers in general. It’s terrible, I know, and I should really seek professional help, I’m sure. But sometimes it pays off. After some aimless tweaking I had turned those photos into these:

2 On the Road by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved 4 On the Road by Karissa Cole 2 On the Road by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

Being a big fan of the warm, vintage kind of style, I quite liked the way these photos looked now, especially the one of the building. But, still, just uploading them as is felt incomplete. I mean, I wanted to share them, but in a more interesting way than “Hey, here are some pictures I took and then edited for no real reason other than because I could.” So I set about finding a good way to combine these photos with some good old general digital art. The warm tones reminded me of old postcards, which led me to create this:

Post by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

Detail shots:

Post up close (1) by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved Post up close (2) by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved Post up close (3) by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

I snagged the wood texture at this source. The rest of the image was very fun, and really quite simple to create. I increased the aged feel of the two photos, even staining them here and there. I then created the back of a postcard, which is so simple it’s almost ridiculous. I downloaded a stamp and placed it in the corner, aging it with the rest of the card. Then, using a decent handwriting font from dafont.com (the ultimate collection of free fonts, in my opinion) I completed the look.

It’s really not a very complicated idea. It’d probably be a fun exercise for Photoshop newcomers. But I think it’s still kind of a cool way to take your own photos and give them more life. I mean, I don’t want to be presumptuous, but, if every picture tells a thousand words, I think there’s quite a story that could be told here.

Wishful Thinking

Wishful Thinking by Karissa Cole 2013 ea1701

You know?

__________________________

Made in Adobe Photoshop CS4, with a little of this, little of that. And smudging. Lots of smudging. Think I went a bit overboard on some of the coloring. But, I suppose, when passion is involved, overboard is to be expected.

Drink Me, Drown Your Sorrows

MSF1 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

Did you know Daft Punk is coming out with a new album, Random Access Memories, May 21st? This information just recently reached my ears, and I found it quite delightful. So much so, in fact, that I cannot stop listening to the teaser ads that are floating around YouTube. Actually, it’s the looped songs I keep playing, in anticipation of this long-awaited new album. I’m liking it.

Oh, and also, I took some pictures of some fruit today.

MSF7 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved MSF2 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved MSF5 by Karissa Cole 2013 MSF4 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

They were all very obliging pieces of fruit. I haven’t seen such pleasant, bright colors in a while. I placed them in a rectangular glass vase full of a lemon-lime soda and took about a hundred photos.

MSF R8 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

MSF R11 TAG TEAM by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved MSF R13 by Karissa Cole  all rights reserved2013

I should have waited until daytime, so I could make use of some natural light. But, to be honest, I am extremely impatient. Despite this, though, some of them came out pretty neat.

MSF6 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved MSF3 by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

Incidentally, I just realized, grapefruit and grapes look nothing alike.

Drowning

Drowning by Karissa Cole 2013

I think I’m drowning.
Can someone lend a hand?
Can someone save me?
‘Cause I don’t think I can.

I’ve never felt more like I was drowning than I have over these past few weeks. But, this is, after all, an art and design blog, so instead of simply writing about it, I take any personal trauma and turn it into something at least resembling creativity. Of course, I have to admit, I am very tempted to write about all the stress in my head and heart. But suffice to say something I really wanted and was thrilled to finally have was harshly ripped away from me, very suddenly, and all too soon. Coping with this has been the hardest thing ever, and more than once I thought about giving up. The first 4 stages of grief and I are really getting acquainted.

Earlier today sitting around wishing I could go back in time and change things was driving me mad. So I went for a walk, trying to clear my head. It was a nice day today, and I just walked for miles. I ended up taking a few random photos along the way. Here are some of them:

C C1 C2 C3

For every decent photo, though, there are about 4 rejects it seems. This was one of the many I took and found particularly unimpressive:

IMG_4661 by Karissa Cole 2013

Now, normally I’d probably have deleted it. But surfing around online (which I’ve been doing a LOT this week, just trying to keep my mind occupied) I ended up getting this idea; turn a photo of a street into an underwater scene.

After I got home from my walk and fussed around with the photos I considered worth keeping, I started messing around with the street scene. An hour or so later I ended up with that introductory image up there, the main attraction of this post.You know, there’s some sort of message in that, I think: taking a reject and turning it into a prize…

Anyway.

I toyed around with adding some kind of sea life, or maybe a diver. But I’m not an experienced photo-editer, so I decided against it here for fear I’d really mess it up. I didn’t want to leave it totally empty though, so I searched around online for quotes or song lyrics about water or drowning. I stumbled upon “Drowning (Face Down)” by Saving Abel. I’d never heard this song before, but it fit with me and with what I was feeling for this image. (Incidentally, I have not stopped listening to it for an hour now.) I feel sheepish about the fact that I basically just plopped the words in there, but I think they work okay.

Drowning before and after

I don’t do photo manipulations much, so this was a nice project to play with. I’d like to get brave and try adding some other elements into this kind of water fantasy scene in the future. I had been working on the long-awaited yeti pattern and story, but now, because I’d been messing with it during these awful weeks of stress and upset, the whole project is sadly crawling with unhappy memories. I’ve had to push it aside, at least for now. Actually, I’m thinking it’ll probably be therapeutic, frogging it and just starting over. In fact, why not? There’s a lot of things I have to start over now anyway.

I’m in Love

All rights reserved. May not be copied. © Karissa Cole 2013.

All rights reserved. May not be copied. © Karissa Cole 2013.

All rights reserved. May not be copied. © Karissa Cole 2013.

All rights reserved. May not be copied. © Karissa Cole 2013.

All rights reserved. May not be copied. © Karissa Cole 2013.

All rights reserved. May not be copied. © Karissa Cole 2013.

So I’ve been thinking about this kind of shoot for a little while (about 3 years or so), and, well, today seemed just right to go ahead and give it a try.

I have to say, I feel pretty good about this considering it’s a first attempt. I think I learned a a bit about blurring and composition. Eventually I hope to reproduce this macro photography setup and put to good use what I learned from this session. Of course, I believe I promised a yeti story/pattern, so that’s probably what I really should be working on first. (To any wondering where the aforementioned yeti is, he’s coming, I promise! Was even working on it earlier today.)

Next time I do this, think I’ll use a tripod and some really shimmery paper as a backdrop, because, as I have discovered, one can’t really go wrong with shimmery paper.

Now I suppose I should go clean up the mess I made. In retrospect, I might’ve poured out a bit too much glitter. . .

Baby Yeti

Baby Yeti - © Karissa Cole 2013 - All rights reserved

Baby Yeti – © Karissa Cole 2013 – All rights reserved

Sometime last week I think I was thinking about yetis. This is probably because of all the monster snowstorms that’ve been hitting my hometown lately. Well, today, I was all by my lonesome so thought I’d drag out my tablet and doodle something up. With abominable snowmen already on the brain this little sketch is what I came up with.

______________________

Illustration specs:
• Drawn in Adobe Photoshop – Sketched on paper, traced with Wacom.
• Font: “Earth’s Mightiest Bold Expanded”
• 03/02/2013

Please do not reproduce this design. If you share just be sure to link back here. T.Y. from the artist.

______________________

Okay, now, I don’t want to be a tease or anything, as nothing is a sure deal (especially when I’m involved), but I’m gonna go ahead and say it anyway: My short story and/or amigurumi pattern followers can consider this a sort of a preview for my next story-crochet project. Actually, as it so happens, I’m off to work on this project right now. So wish me luck! I’ve been pattern blocked lately. But hopefully baby yeti will fix that for me.

Oh, and just remember, even baby yetis can get cold sometimes. Always lend them your scarf if you can. They will be most grateful, and may even invite you over for tea.

All That Glitters – Apophysis/Photoshop Tutorial

What you need:

• the free fractal program Apophysis 7x
• photo editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop
• and basic knowledge of how to use both

What we’ll be making:

PS - 9 All That Glitters - Apo_Photshop Tutorial by Karissa Cole

Personally, I think a good tutorial should both clearly explain how the specific piece was made (so you don’t go nuts stuck with generalities, trying to figure out how they got that one detail just right), and provide several variations to try (so you’re not stuck with an exact replica of someone else’s work.) This is what I’ve tried to do here. If you follow the following steps closely, your result should look very similar to the image above. But I’ve also listed some variations you can try, so you can completely customize your final fractal.

Some things to note before you begin:

• This tutorial assumes you’ve already got working knowledge of Apophysis – how to create a flame and new transforms, where to enter in variations and variables, and how to make overall image adjustments. If you’re completely new to the program check out the Apophysis F.A.Q and be sure to also check out this icon-identifying tutorial as well.

If you use this tutorial – especially if you follow the steps to the letter – please respect my artistic rights and link people back to this blog. This is a courtesy to others who may wish to learn how to use this technique and to me (after all, I spent all this time creating this tutorial – and if you like it enough to use and show off, then I deserve a bit of credit.)

This whole process is fairly quick – less than an hour from start to finish. But as with all digital art endeavors, it might be a good idea to save your progress frequently to avoid losing anything you make.

If you are not specifically instructed to change the value of a certain variation, leave it at its default setting. For example, the default variations for a transform are: linear3D: 1; everything else: 0. If you are asked to change julian to 2 but nothing else is mentioned, only change julian, and leave linear3D at its default value of 1. This applies to weight values (default: 0.5), too.

Screen shots follow each step. Click any screen shot to see it larger.

When ready to begin, start off by opening up Apophyis 7x (or whichever version you have – it just must be 3D capable) and create a new blank flame.

Impatient folk – like me – who just need to know the bare essentials of this flame should take a look at the following (however, those who want the step-by-step with pictures can just treat this as a summation of what we’ll be doing):

xform 1)
• Weight: 0.05
• noise = 0.15 (try experimenting with values between 0.1 and 1.0)
• blur = 0.25 (try experimenting with values between 0.1 and 2.0)
xform 2)
• Weight: 0.95
• linear3D = 0.2
• spherical = 0.75 (try experimenting with values between 0.45 and 0.95)
xform 3)
• scale down twice; move and flip
xform 4)
• scale down twice; move and flip
xform 5)
• linear3D = 0
xform 6)
• linear3D = 0
• julian = 2; julian_power = 2

Depth blur: 0.2
Pitch: 60
Yaw: 10
Perspective: 0.7
Scale: 110
Gamma: 2
Brightness: 12

Step-by-step:

Open up the Transform Editor and make the following adjustments to Transform 1:

Weight: 0.05
noise = 0.15 (try experimenting with values between 0.1 and 1.0)
blur = 0.25 (try experimenting with values between 0.1 and 2.0)

Not much should be happening so far, so don’t worry if all you get is a bunch of “static”.

xform1

Add the following transforms with the specified features:

Transform 2

Weight: 0.95
linear3D = 0.2
spherical = 0.75 (try experimenting with values between 0.45 and 0.95)

xform2

Transform 3

• Scale down twice by the default factor of 125 (try experimenting with scaling down (or up!) by a different factor)
• Move the transform to the left and and rotate (see photo for reference but experiment with placement and position)

xform3 - scale twice

xform3 - move and flip

Transform 4

Weight 0.70
• Similar to transform 3, scale down twice by the default factor of 125.
• Move the transform to the left and and rotate. Note that this transform does not need to be placed in exactly the same spot as transform 3. See photo below for reference, but experiment with placement and position.

xform 4

Transform 5

linear3D = 0 (all variations should now be set to ‘0’)

xform5

Transform 6

linear3D = 0
julian = 2 ; julian_power (Variables tab) = 2

xform6

We’ve created all the necessary transforms. Now we’ll open up the adjustment window, and watch our fractal really take shape. Experiment with the pitch, height, yaw, and depth blur values. I used the following:

Depth blur: 0.2
Pitch: 60
Yaw: 10
Perspective: 0.7
Scale: 110

adjust pitch, blur, camera

(A note on scaling: for this piece I increased the scale but drastically decreased the zoom, thus allowing for about only 10 minutes of rendering time. Increasing the scale and zooming out this much does decrease quality somewhat, but as I had processing with Photoshop in mind for the final product, it didn’t matter. Adjust your fractal’s scale and zoom as you see fit.)

Switch to the Rendering tab of the adjustment window and change:

Gamma: 2
Brightness: 12

adjust brightness

Adjust the camera settings (rotate, X axis, Y axis) as you see fit. As I mentioned earlier, I zoomed all the way out. I also shifted the fractal up and to the right a little.

Now choose a gradient you like. I used a default. The gradient you choose will dramatically alter the way your fractal looks, so play around with it a bit. To spice things up a bit, hit the key combination ctrl+alt+n to randomize the color values.

When you’re happy, render your fractal! We’ll then open it up in our editing program to add some glitz (a word I never thought I’d use. Ever).

Open up your fractal in Photoshop. Set it to screen against a black background. (Ignore the fact that the screen shot says the blending mode is “Normal”. Heh heh. . .)

PS - 1

Create a new layer (ctrl+shift+n) [blend mode: normal] between your background and your fractal. With your circular gradient tool (shift+g x2) active, select a midtone color from your fractal (by alt+clicking). On this new layer create a gradient emanating from the center of your fractal. Lower the opacity of this layer, if need be.

PS - 2

Create a new layer (ctrl+shift+n) [blend mode: screen] above your fractal. With the same midtone color and a large, soft, round brush (low opacity) selected, paint lightly near the center of your fractal.

We’re creating our base light source here, so think about which bit of your image you want to be lit the most, the least, and somewhere in between.

PS - 3

Create another new layer (ctrl+shift+n) [blend mode: screen] and repeat this process, only this time narrow down the beam of light you paint.

PS - 4

To add a lens flare create a new layer (ctrl+shift+n) [blend mode: linear dodge] fill it with neutral (black), and set the lens flare at the epicenter of your light source.

PS - 5

For more lighting effects, duplicate your fractal layer [blend mode should still be screen], rotate it 180 degrees, stretch it and position it so it looks like a light trail from something crashing into the center of your fractal.

PS - 6

Continue duplicating your original fractal layer, warping it and positioning it in your image. Play around with the opacities of each duplicated fractal. (Be sure to erase any hard edges you may have during this part.) Optional: Create a color balance adjustment layer to fine tune your colors.

PS - 7

To add some neat finishing touches create a copy of all the visible layers (crtl+shift+alt+e). Duplicate this layer. To create a “glass-like” look apply the Smart Blur filter (default settings) to this layer. Lower the layer’s opacity a bit.

PS - 8

Fuss around with the colors and sharpness of the image until you’re satisfied. Then save your image. Done!

PS - 9 All That Glitters - Apo_Photshop Tutorial by Karissa Cole

Each of the following images were made using the techniques above:

All That Gliggers - Wishing Well's Magic by Karissa Cole 2013

Party (2) by Karissa Cole 2013

All That Glitters - Epiphany by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved (2) All That Glitters - Original Glitter by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

I only just stumbled across this method yesterday, so I don’t doubt that there are limitless variations one could come up with using these steps as a base. I highly encourage anyone to experiment and have fun!

Colored Flames and Crashing Silence

The idea of breakfast didn’t seem all that appealing for some reason this morning, so instead I decided to pick up where I left off last night in my Time and Space (and Fractals) post and just slipped right into Apophysis. At this point I’m a little lightheaded from not eating or drinking anything yet, but I freakin’ love what I came up with, so I figure it’s worth it:

Epiphany by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved (2)

Crave You by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

I think I like working digitally when I’m a bit on the groggy side. It makes everything I accomplish seem that much more awesome to me.

Time and Space (and Fractals)

I was sitting here for about 30 minutes trying to figure out how to begin this post. I was aiming for something elegant, sort of smooth that just draws you in, and laced with a fair amount of levity to keep things fun. But I got absolutely nothing, so I’ll just jump right in.

Recently, I was perusing my favorites on deviantART and I came across an Apophysis-created piece I faved a while back made by love1008. Almost all of the Apophysis works he has in his gallery are stunning. If you have the time I highly recommend checking it out.

The beautiful creations got me thinking about working in Apophyis 7x again. Fractals were the first kind of digital art I ever really got into. These days I don’t dabble too much; my computer can’t handle rendering so well. But I thought I’d play around with it today, my day off.

Here’s what I came up with:

Cosmic Order - ea1701 art and design blog

ole 2013 all rights reserved

Primary Core - ea1701 art and design blog

Computing (2) by Karissa Cole 2013 all rights reserved

When I Think of You by Karissa Cole 2013 all right reserved

Each was made in Apophysis, and then edited in Adobe Photoshop. I had both love1008’s and JP-Talma’s works in mind for most of these. I haven’t achieved the style I was shooting for yet. But I thought these ‘not-quite-rights’ were still worth something.

I can never tell when I’ll be in the mood to work in any given medium. And since my creative side is somewhat akin to a bratty, scheming child who throws and fit and then gives me the silent treatment when upset or pushed, I just usually go with the flow and work with whatever feels right at the time. I find that I make nothing worthwhile if I try to force things. But I’m hoping maybe I can bribe that little digital artist in me to be willing to play around with this stuff more this weekend. I think I could come up with some pretty good stuff if I waded around in the program for a bit.

I still really like the general effect of one of my oldest fractal pieces, “Ok, Go”:

I think I’ll rifle through my old data discs to see if I can find the original flame. It might be fun to work off of this, an image from 2009, to create some new stuff for 2013.

Now, normally, I’d like to end this post with something witty. But I can’t think of anything. So I propose a compromise: I’ll pretend to say something humorous, you pretend to laugh (or at least chuckle half heartedly).

I figure it’s really a fair enough deal.

Walking through Space

WalkingThruSpace by Karissa Cole

Recently I was asked to create a tutorial regarding some of the celestial things I make. This is not it. Actually, this is, for lack of a better word, practice.

I’ve never actually made a full celestial-related tutorial before. I’ve done a few walkthroughs but no step-by-steps. This is probably partially because when I’m working in Photoshop I completely lose all track of everything – time, layers, processes – and just go with the flow, see what happens. That and I’ve never considered my work worth repeating. But there are a few beginners out there who, for now anyway, disagree and would like to know how I do what I do. So I thought it might be fun to rise to the challenge of creating something neatish and writing down the steps used so someone else could follow along.

The piece above is my very rough draft. A testing ground, if you will, for techniques and design aspects. I didn’t include all of the exact steps, but rather the general methods used. The final tutorial I create will most likely deal with a more complicated image in depth; this blue one is really very simple and didn’t involve all that much. But it served me well here, where I could use it to help myself figure out how I might want to lay out the future tutorial. I’ve taken my notes and learned what I need to improve upon for the final guide. Now I just have to, you know, make it.

I may end up back-burnering the tutorial for just a bit though, as, in other news, I’ve been in an amigurumi-making mood for a week or so and I’m just on a roll. Four new patterns are already either in the works or completely done.

I’ve also got another relatively big project in the works. Nothing too phenomenal, but there will definitely be some new stuff – ami patterns, short stories, illustrations, and new photo shoots – showing up soon. Somewhere in all of this the tutorial will be published, of course. Keep an eye out!

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