Friday, May 13, 2005

Fun With Photoshop

Andy requested that I explain what I did in Adobe Photoshop® CS to make the images for this blog. Here goes...I will try to explain it the best I can without actually showing you...

First off, I took the pictures displayed at the top as a header. Two pictures were actually taken: one being of the "globe" up close and another being farther away. Using the picture of the globe up close I used what is called the "magic wand tool" in Photoshop to cut this image out as it appears on the right-hand side of the header. The way this tool works it that after you select a part of the image you want to cut out, it automatically selects surrounding areas of similar color, thus making your job a little easier. However, it doesn't just take one click of the mouse to highlight the entire globe and only the globe. This is because the globe is not one uniform color, and the background (tree) colors were similar to that of the globe. Once I had the entire globe selected I used the "eraser" tool to delete the background areas that had been selected. Finally I ended up with what you see pictured at the top.

Using the picture of the globe at a distance I cropped it to the size shown above and including the necessary parts (ie: the globe). I then flipped the image horizontally so that the globe would be on the left-hand side of the image rather than the right-hand side. To obtain the swirl effect, I used the "radial blur" filter. I adjusted the "center of radial blurryness" to be concentric with the globe. I did this because I wanted to extend the circular effect of the globe, and I also thought this fit in well with the idea of solar system rotation. I then overlayed a transparent to white radial gradient over the image, again centering it at the globe. The reason I did this is because I didn't want there to be a lot of activity on the right side of the image and interrupt to larger right hand globe.

I didn't do anything fancy for my name. I just added some text in a font I liked and used the "eraser" tool to erase parts of the text to make it appear like it is passing through the globe.

The way Photoshop works is that it deals with separate layers of the image you are making instead of the image as a whole. That means you can move individual parts of the image separately from the whole, and apply different properties to them. This helped in all of the images, but it is most noticeable at the top of the sidebar. The top layer is a green object, and under it is the bottom of the globe. I set the transparency of the top layer to 38%, thus achieving the effect shown. Also, a simple dark green to light green color gradient was used at the top.

Well that about does it I think. Go enjoy Adobe Photoshop my Padawan. :)


Blogger Michael-Fay said...

Oh, is that all??

Gee-Hosephat Mikey!! I am inspired... Now I just need to know how you put that picture into the blog settings. I couldn't figure that out.


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