Sometimes It’s the Little Things

Last week I spent some time exploring a few sims and taking photos.  It’s amazing how much I remember and how much I have forgotten about taking photos in SL.

Part of the joy of photography in SL for me is getting to play around in Photoshop after taking photos.  I love trying out different things – it’s a discovery process for me, because I am largely self-taught when it comes to Photoshop.

I have an older version, back before the subscription model started, so I actually own the software.  It’s outdated, yes, but it still lets me do lots of fun things.

One of the pictures I took last week I wasn’t really happy with.  It seemed kind of bland and blah.  I played around with cropping and then tried some different effects, but I didn’t really find anything I liked.  So I set the photos aside for a few days and worked on other things.

Yesterday I sat down to do some editing and picked this photo back up.  I cropped it and added some background blur.  I still wasn’t happy with the photo, so I added a simple lens flare effect.  It completely changed the photo.

Sometimes it’s the little things that make you happy. 😀

5 Ways to Make Your Photoshop Life Easier

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

Some very helpful information on how to organize and personalize your Photoshop workspace(s) to work better for the way YOU work.

I didn’t even realize I could change some of these options, so I shall have to do some experimenting of my own with these.

Source: 5 Ways to Make Your Photoshop Life Easier

Spice up a Boring Background with a Shadow

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

An interesting post on how to add some depth and interest to your backgrounds using Photoshop.

I’ve used this technique before, but generally to add some texture to a photo rather than spice up the background.  I shall have to give it a try. 😀

Source: Spice up a Boring Background with a Shadow

When 50% is Good Enough

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

I think most of us would say we don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done we’d like to accomplish.  Since days aren’t going to get any longer, it’s all about finding ways to make more of the time we have.

One of the ways to do that is to let machines do some of the work for us.  For example, I have a washing machine to wash my clothes.  I still have to sort colors, pre-treat stains, and choose the water settings, but once I’ve done that, the machine does the rest.

So when it comes to photography, can you automate some of your processes to help speed up your work?  Of course you can!  Photoshop expert Dave Cross explains how in the article below:

Source: When 50% is Good Enough

Practice Makes Perfect

Summer is a relaxing time for many people.  Sadly, not for me.  I am eagerly awaiting the start of school in the fall already.  Why?  I have a child who is involved in 3 different activities this summer, and playing chauffeur has gotten a bit old. :-/

Getting up before the sun has never been on my to-do list, and I like it even less during the summer.  However, I am trying to make lemonade out of lemons, so I’ve been using the extra time to work improving my skills – in dance, in photography, in photoshop – I even tried some melted crayon art projects! 😛

I’ve been collecting a number of outfits and items with an eye towards doing photos with them.  So I finally unpacked all the items I got from the June round of The Arcade, including Sweet Thing’s ballerina costume.

I did have a time figuring out the new Slink Pointe feet.  I got the feet on and figured out the HUD pretty easily, but when I added the shoes, they were too small.  I tried changing the size of the feet with the HUD, but that really only affected the ankle area.  I tried to see if I could modify/enlarge the shoes, but they are mesh and it wouldn’t work.

So, I finally contacted a CSR – turns out the shoes are rigged mesh, so I had to change the size of my feet by altering my shape.  My feet are generally set to 0 – a holdover habit from invisiprim shoes, I guess.  Anyhow, I set my feet to 34 in the appearance editor and voilá! – the shoes fit perfectly!

Now I’ll know for next time when my shoes don’t fit. 😛

I decided that since I was dressed as a ballerina, I would do some ballet dances and use the slo-motion animation trick to try and snap some pics.  I have a ton of static ballet poses, but sometimes I can’t find just what I want.

I love watching ballet anyway, so I just set my HUD to play and started snapping.  I took way more photos than I used, but that’s part of the fun.  Then I decided to make a collage of some of the better snaps.  Here’s the result:

Dreaming

I used ballet dance animations from Abranimations and MyANIMATIONS for the pictures.  I turned on slo-motion for the animations (read about that here if you’re interested) and had a blast.  Once I had a series of pics, I headed into Photoshop and started working.  I made a basic background, added a simple light effect and then copied the dance pics onto it.

Then, because I like playing around, I started trying out various actions and effects.  I ended up using one from the Nik Collection – I should really use it more often, there are some great options in it!

 

Save

How To Create a Realistic Backdrop In Photoshop

Image Source:  simpleicon.com
Image Source: simpleicon.com

This is a quick and fairly straight-forward tutorial on how to create a backdrop in Photoshop.

It doesn’t go into how to select/remove the original background, but there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube for that part of the process.

Source: How To Create a Realistic Backdrop In Photoshop

Register for the FREE Windlight Virtual Book Fair! – Windlight Magazine

If you’re interested in learning, this sounds like a great opportunity!  A virtual ebook fair, where you can find some great FREE ebooks on topics like GIMP, Blender, fashion, photography, and more!

Sign up today! 🙂

One of the main goals of Windlight Magazine is to provide free and/or low cost training and resources to our readers in the areas of the arts. To further this goal, we have created a virtual book f…

Source: Register for the FREE Windlight Virtual Book Fair! – Windlight Magazine

SL Tutorial: Background removal with layer masks – YouTube

Another fabulous tutorial from Daeberethwen Arbenlow – how to remove backgrounds using layer masks.

This technique is a useful option when using a traditional green screen isn’t the best choice.

I can’t wait to try this one out!

Using Photoshop Art Brush To Make A ‘Painted On’ Effect

I saw this brush technique tutorial and decided to try it out with a LOTD photo that I was having trouble finding inspiration for.

You know, those photos where you work/play around editing for hours, and it just doesn’t seem to come together?

After letting this one sit for a few days, I decided to try this technique using the photo.  I haven’t spent a lot of time playing around with brushes and making my own, so it was nice to refresh my memory about some of the settings.

LOTD 264

Not quite the same effect as in the tutorial, but I was using a different kind of photo. 🙂

It was fun to play around and see how the different brush settings created different effects as I worked on the layer masks.

Give it a try and see how you like it.

Source: Using Photoshop Art Brush To Make A ‘Painted On’ Effect

Tutorial: Low poly artwork in Photoshop – OLIVIA BAINBRIDGE

I saw this article and decided to give the technique a try.

It was much more time consuming than I had anticipated, even with a relatively simple subject.  It did, however, appeal to both my OCD and my love of abstract artwork. 🙂

Here’s my attempt:

Polygon Experiment
This is just a rough and rather rushed attempt, but I like the way it turned out.  There is a definite ‘art’ to creating your polygons and keeping the shading realistic.

With this attempt, I drew each polygon with the lasso tool as I went.  I think next time, I might attempt to use the same polygon shape each time (create an action and make it less hand/mouse intensive).

But it was very calming and cathartic work.  Try it out!

This week I’ve been having fun experimenting with low poly art work in Photoshop to create some clean, modern, and colourful work like this parrot. It’s a pretty simple process so here&…

Source: Tutorial: Low poly artwork in Photoshop – OLIVIA BAINBRIDGE