This page is a record of my work for the Image Projects, Part 1 and 2 for the Intro to Digital Media Class.
The aim of these projects was twofold. In part 1, I was required to create two images related to a "parenting" topic; a website banner and a 100x100 pixel icon with limited colors.
In part 2, we were required to use the techniques used in the part 1 of the assignment to take images that we took captured ourselves with a camera, or public domain images and combine them in a novel manner.
For both parts, I used a Lenovo T410, with Adobe Photoshop CS6 Software as my visual editor.
Background and Foreground Images used
Foreground 1 Picture: \Image Project\foregn01.jpg
Foreground 2 Picture: \Image Project\foregn02.jpg
Background Picture: \Image Project\bkgnd02.jpg
For my banner image, I tended to stick fairly close to the tutorial. This was my first time working with masks, so I tried to follow it closely for the first draft. I chose background image number two, and foreground images numbers one and two.
First, after setting my image settings to 1000 by 400 pixels, I used the crop tool to choose a portion of the background that I thought would best reflect the image design I had in mind. I wanted a more primary blue background to work with in contrast to foreground image 1’s blue eyes, and to match the jeans of the kids from foreground image 2. To that end, my crop was done in mind with leaving about twenty five percent of the green field in place, much less seeing the green field taper off towards the right to better allow for foreground 1’s picture. I copied my background selection to the new PSD and made sure it was properly in place.
Second, following the tutorial, I painstakingly used the magnetic lasso, to cut out the right hand three children from the foreground picture two, choosing to cut off the adult’s hand at the wrist. I needed to find the right position for it against the background and this involved cutting off the legs of all three kids at a reasonable point to make it appear they were walking through the field. I zoomed in, and used eraser tool to carefully remove any stray pixels, and remove the adult’s hand and the far left child’s left arm to a point at the soldier. The reason I removed their arm, is that it looked a little awkward with having no adult’s hand to hold onto, and removing the arm implied the child’s arm was swinging.
Third, the foreground 1 child’s picture was a lot more difficult. I spent considerable time using the magnetic lasso to try and clip only out the arm and face, leaving the shirt behind. However, each time I tried, it didn’t have the look I anticipated. Ultimately, I chose to take the whole picture, only cutting out the white background. The image was then pasted onto my main PSD, on the far right on a new layer underneath the layer with the children from foreground picture 2.
Before doing the layer masking, I established the text layer. The only difficult part here, was finding the right font. Ultimately, I went with “Elephant” for my font and italicized it. I picked black, because with a blue-green color scheme, there aren’t a lot of other good color choices to work with. While it would have been simple matter to do orange or red to do the opposing color complement, it would have clashed with the more cool color scheme.
The last thing to do was the masking effect. While I’m familiar with the gradient tool, it had never occurred to me to implement a transparency before. Following the tutorial fairly closely, I implemented the masking technique so that on foreground picture 1, the transparency would increase towards the bottom of the picture. My rationale for doing in that direction was that given the sharpest part of foreground picture 1’s image is the hands and dandelion, that would stand out the best, even as a partial transparency, so maintaining more opaqueness on the face of the child in the picture towards the top would better allow people looking at the picture to see the details of the face, as blurry as it is, and still make out the hands and dandelion clearly, even under the transparency.
To build the icon, I went back to the tutorial video as I had for the banner, this was first experience with reducing any kind of image to less colors short of the automatic process used to make GIFs that programs such as MSPaint or Irfanview use when saving said images. It took me some time to figure out what I wanted to turn into an icon. An one hundred pixel square is not much to work with, and to convey the same kind of imagery in the primary banner and limiting myself to three colors requires some thought in what part of either of the Foreground Images I used to construct the batter.
My first instinct was to cut one of the three children out of the Foreground Image 2, and make the icon as an easily identifiable child that way. I spent considerable time trying to find the right image, but after watching the tutorial vid and experimenting with the Indexed color option, I ultimately moved on to the other image of Foreground Image 1 with the girl and dandelion instead. It’s not that any of the three children could have worked from Foreground Image 2, it’s that trying to find a working three color schemes was proving more difficult than I had initially anticipated.
I copied a square portion of Foreground Image 1 by using the select tool solely on that layer, and holding down my shift key to ensure that Photoshop kept a square selection field. While it’s possible to use the general click-and-pull option with the select tool and select an exact square’s worth of any picture, it’s considerably less difficult to simply use the shift key.
When I had my square selection, I copied over to a new PSD; and used the magnetic lasso and Clear function to eliminate the white background into a transparency. After removing the generic white background layer that comes with any newly created PSD, I went to the Mode Change tool under the Adjustment menu and engaged Indexed Color option to change generate the icon.
Previous experiments with only using shades of black and white for Foreground Image 2, made me realize that it would serve best if I stuck to a similar colors used in the original image, and if possible a warm or cool color scheme. Given that Foreground Image 1’s material runs mostly on warm colors, that is the direction I decided to go. I chose three custom colors; a bright yellow for the girl’s hair, a slightly a maroon shade of red for her shirt, and a slightly dark orange for her skin tone. This had the effect I wanted, as most of the core details survived the color transition; the only thing that didn’t work out exactly was that the dandelion lost much of its own detail, but retained enough to be recognizable.
The last step was to use the Image Size function to reduce it to a 100 x 100 square as opposed to a 290 x 290 square.
For my image project, I wanted to show a little of my nerdy side and have some fun.
To see the completed image click here
To that end I took this picture of myself at last year’s St. Louis Comic Con, in front of a fan-created TARDIS from Doctor Who: My Photo and decided to improve upon it.
I went searching the web for two public domain pictures that I would need for this project. First picture I needed was a suitable starry background, as some of the more memorable episodes of the current run of Doctor Who do feature the TARDIS in space. The other public domain picture I required was a high quality picture of a TARDIS. While the one in the original picture is decent fan-recreation, it’s surrounded by costumes for sale, much less obvious wear and tear.
Here were the two pictures I found, with their original sources.
Original photo credit goes to Babbel1996, under Creative Common's license 2.5. See here for details: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tardis_BBC_Television_Center.jpg
Original photo credit goes to NASA, under Creative Common license 2.5. See here for details: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wide-field_view_of_the_Summer_Triangle.jpg
The starry background serves as my base. I used the same technique from the tutorial video and used the magnetic lasso tool to painstakingly cut both the TARDIS and I from their original photographs and paste them as their own new layers over the starry background.
Using the Transform tool’s Scale mode, I adjust the sizes of both the TARDIS and my own photograph, and moved them into the positions that I wanted.
Next, I wanted to make the costume that I was wearing a little more movie accurate. The main thing I would need to do here is change the vest color from orange to red; as Mary McFly in the Back to the Future series starts off with a Red vest. To that end, I used the Magnetic lasso tool again to slowly map out sections of the vest. Once I had the selection I wanted, I used the Adjustment tool’s Hue/Saturation mode under the Image menu to change the color.
Within the tool, I selected the Colorize option; this replaces the color of your selection wholesale; not using it merges what you have already. I replaced the color with a red tone, and increased the saturation to make it a more vibrant red.
I also applied this same strategy to my brown shirt; except instead of red, I went for a blue tone. This was primarily done because wanted to keep the tone of the project more to a red and blue scheme. I found a hue that worked, and then used a combination of the blur and smudge tools to eliminate out the logo.
Next, I used the magnetic lasso again to copy a portion of my left arm; namely the portion around exposed skin and watch. Copying into a new layer, my goal was to remove the green paper strip around the wrist and replace it with suitable looking skin. This proved the biggest single challenge; I found tutorials online that suggested using the Patch tool for this.
To use the patch tool, you have to select the area you want to replace and then drag the selection over to what you want to replace it with. For me, this meant selecting the green and white paper strip and dragging it over carefully to match the shadowed and regular flesh of the arm next to it. Once you let go the mouse button, the patch tool merges your selection of what you’re trying to replace with a copy of what you’ve dragged to replace it with. I had to repeat this process about four or five times to eliminate most of the green and white color, and then used the Blur tool to smooth around some of the stray pixels.
If you notice in the original TARDIS picture, there are reflections in the windows and on the title bar on both sides. My next job was to eliminate these as best I could. While the normal TARDIS windows on Doctor Who are lit from within, I chose the other direction to give better visual pop to the look. To this end, I relied on the magnetic lasso again, and when I had a window selected, I used the Adjustment tool’s Levels function under the Image menu to darken the windows.
Sliding the left most slider on under the main bar graph rightward until it had darken sufficiently, I followed up with use of the brush tool set to black to cover any stray pixels.
For the title bar, this presented a far more time consuming process, but I wanted the black to look reflective for my last step, so this was necessary versus just using the brush tool for a dull black. I focused on the title bar facing the camera first, and when I had it completed, I focused on the other. The second title bar had just enough scattered pixels that using the magnetic lasso were not a feasible option, as the lasso kept incorporating the letters of the title bar. Using the brush tool would have taken a little too much time, so I instead removed the second title bar entirely.
Making a copy of the first title bar on a separate layer, I moved it to the position of the second bar and through a combination of the Transform tool’s Skew and Distort modes, made the copy look like it fit where the second one had been.
My last step was to light the beacon on top of the TARDIS. Longtime fans of the show will tell you that while the TARDIS is moving through space and/or time, the beacon pulses with a light. It’s simple enough to create a lens flare, but I wanted to keep with the blue-red color scheme, so I added color to the lens flare.
Now, if I just wanted a plain lens flare, I would have just created one over the main TARDIS picture, but since I’m adding color, I needed a new layer. Once the flare is in place properly, all I had to do was use theAdjustment tool’s Hue function with colorize to make it a blue shade.
The last thing I did while using the Save for Web function was to reduce the original massive size of all the elements to about 30% of their original size to a 1063 by 896 pixel size.
And we’re finished. Allons-y!