Posts Tagged ‘ wallpapers ’

Spaced Out Blue Period

I legitimately did not realize it was November until I previewed this mini-blog post and saw the date in the upper left corner. I can’t help but wonder what would’ve happened if I had waited until tomorrow, or next week to kill some time in Photoshop by making these two simple celestial-themed wallpapers and then posting them here. I mean, it might’ve been weeks before I realized the month had passed. Given my state of mind, it would not surprise me much..

ea1701 practice space 3

ea1701 practice space 4

I am supremely tired, and in one of those I-wish-I-could-fall-asleep-and-never-wake-up kind of moods.  But every time I close my eyes my brain goes into overdrive. I can’t even get to sleep. So, I thought I’d blog.  I’ve got to do something, and I’m too tired to do anything else.

Here are some other quick ‘scapes I’ve done up over the past couple of days:

ea1701 practice space 1 ea1701 practice space 2 Practice by Karissa Cole 3 2013

This one is a free PSD download. Click the image to be directed to deviantART.

This one is a free PSD download. Click the image to be directed to deviantART.

I’ve gotten myself into the habit of using really saturated, over the top colors in my pieces (as you can plainly see). The two pieces I made today, at the top of this post, are a bit less gaudy.  I like ’em, and I want to try to get back into that style. I would also like some banana pancakes. We shall see which of these goals I am able to meet first.


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


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”.


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)


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’)


Transform 6

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


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.

December’s Space

December 'scapes by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved (1)

Birthday [December 'scapes by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved (3)]

Lonely [December 'scapes by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved (4)] (2)December 'scapes by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved (2)

With December quickly coming to a close I thought it fitting I post these. I present to you the ‘scapes I made this month. (cue dramatic yet ethereal background music)

It’s funny how creativity works; I had no real intention of making these but the desire just took hold. I went a week where I spent most of my free time in Photoshop. These last two are really what I have to show for it. If I make 5 ‘scapes and I fall in love with even just one of them, then I count myself successful. And here I’ve made two pieces I love. So I think that makes me quite lucky.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet by Karissa Cole 2012 all rights reserved

New wallpaper pack, includes widescreen, iPad, and iPhone resolutions. Mwhahahaha.

the Good, the Bad, and the Weekend

I really love my job. It’s pretty near the opposite of what I thought I’d be doing for a living – goes to school to be a graphic designer, ends up becoming a math tutor – but usually it’s fun, going into work. My schedule alternates; I work with a certain group or set of tutees (yes, that is a real word, stop harping me, you know who you are) Mondays and Wednesdays and a separate set on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Tu/Tr days are my favorite. I work with a nice bunch of people and it’s my favorite subject – Finite Mathematics. So normally these days go pretty well. But Tuesday I had an abnormally good day, better than most.  I ended up using my good work-day vibes and making this ‘scape:

Walking on Sunshine by Karissa Cole 2012 - All rights reserved

I dubbed it “Walking on Sunshine.” It was a lot of fun being enveloped by this piece, even if just for a little while. And it was nice to be in such a good mood.

Going into work today, though, I had this sinking feeling things would not go quite as well as they had before.

I hate being right about that sort of thing.

The day started off okay, then took a nosedive. But not wanting it to be a total wash, I did what I did Tuesday. Only instead of taking my good work-day vibes, I fed off the bad work-day to make this:

Bad Day's Break by Karissa Cole 2012 - All rights reserved

This one’s been given the title of “Bad Day’s Break.” All things considered this piece could exhibit a lot more anguish. I mean, I didn’t even add any explosions or anything. So I guess that might be indicative of the fact that maybe today wasn’t all that horrible. For the first time though, I am not looking forward to going back into work next week.But I figure the bright side is if mega highs and lows like I’ve had this week keep up I will have plenty of emotional inspiration for the next month and half (when the semester ends and I get a new batch of hopeful students.) Yay bright side!

I will try to savor this weekend though. Got some crocheting to do, some Wacom assisted digital illustration. Lots of fun stuff. By Sunday night I’ll probably be dying to get my hands on some math equations, but for now, some serious chillage sounds pretty good.

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