#Lesson One – How to transform your doodles into GREAT Photoshop Art

•March 14, 2009 • 3 Comments

Welcome to our first lesson on “How to transform your doodles into GREAT Photoshop Art”! I believe that many of us are mischievous at times and like to doodle on adverts we get in from our letterboxes. I do recall myself drawing moles with long and ugly hair, moustaches, wrinkles and thick eyebrows etc on useless advertisement papers when I was young. I would then laugh at the amusing faces. Well, today we will be doing something rather similar, but in a digital way. We’re gonna use the famous tool – Adobe Photoshop! We will be transforming a doodled image into a somewhat “beautiful” art!! Pranksters, are you ready? (Adapted from http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/tutorials/index.cfm?featureID=1795&pn=1)

Before

Before

After

After

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01. Find yourself a decent high-res stock image, or use an image of your own. For this illustration I’ve chosen a quirky futuristic image of a model, which you can download for a small cost from iStockphoto at this link: http://tinyurl.com/5j2jog. You can use any portrait that has a fairly clear background.

02. We’re going to insert some layers behind the figure later on, so we need to create a layer mask. First, select the Pen tool, and create a path around the edge of her face, hair and arms. Then right-click (Ctrl + click) your path, and pick Make Selection. Then go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to create your layer mask. Name this layer ‘Woman’.

03. To replace the background that we’ve just got rid of, create a new layer and call it ‘background’. Move this layer to the bottom of the layer stack. Choose a light purple and a dark purple, and fill the layer with a radial gradient, making sure the lighter shade is in the centre.

04. Right-click on the layer mask you created in Step 02 and select Apply Layer Mask. Next, cut out her left arm and paste it onto a new layer. The arm doesn’t look right where it is, so we’re going to rotate it towards her body slightly. After you’ve done that, merge the arm and woman layers together. Then select Image > Adjustments > Desaturate.

05. Grab a piece of paper, and something to draw with – this could be pencil, pen or inks. Sketch out some drips, similar to flowing blood. Be as messy and as rough as you want: the messier, the better. Use the photo of the woman as a reference point so that your drips will work with her body when you scan the drips into Photoshop.

06. Scan your drip drawings and open them Photoshop, dragging them onto a new layer named ‘drips’. Set the blending mode to Multiply. This gets rid of all the white and leaves you with only black. All you have to do now is move them around to see where they would fit best. I drew mine so that they would come from her fingertips and eye, but it’s up to you. Have as many drips as you like – have fun and experiment with markers, felt-tips and paint.

07. Open splat.psd from the cover disc and drag it onto a new layer called ’splat’. Make sure to put it behind the ‘woman’ layer. Next you need to desaturate it (as in Step 04) and set the blending mode to Multiply.

08. Next, have a hunt through your sketchbooks and anywhere else for doodles you’ve done, or grab a pen and get doodling, to create the materials for the next step. These can be as random as you like there are no rules here.

09. Next, scan in all of your doodles, drag them into your document, and stick them in a folder called ‘doodles’. Select a doodle’s layer, go to Image > Adjustments > Invert, set the blending mode to Screen, and play with its positioning. Repeat this for all your doodles.

10. Go to http://tinyurl.com/6sbbsp, download the image and drag it onto a new layer called ‘nebula1’. Drag the layer to the top of the layer stack, and set the blending mode to Screen. Select Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and enter a brightness of 5 and a contrast of 50 respectively. Then select Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation and drop the hue to -90. Leave the other controls alone.

11. Go to http://tinyurl.com/6jj2r4, download the image and drag it onto a new layer called ‘nebula2’. Change the blending mode to Screen and play with the colours. You can use any star field or space scene as a means of creating a bright and colourful textured overlay for your images. It’s just a matter of experimenting.

12. The background is looking a bit bland at the moment so let’s embellish it. Open bg_texture.psd from the cover CD and drag it onto a new layer above the ‘background’ layer. Set the blending mode to Overlay and select Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast and enter –10; 100. Rename the layer ‘texture’.

13. We’re nearly there – just one more flourish of colour. Download the image from http://tinyurl.com/5kystq, drag it onto a new layer and set the blending mode to Screen. Mess around with the brightness and contrast, and the hue and saturation. Make sure you keep it bright and colourful.

14. For the finishing touches, create an adjustment layer. Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Colour Balance and enter these values: 17; 1; 22. You can keep adding to this image as much as you like, throwing in any hand-drawn elements you have to hand, or whatever you dream up. Digital is good, but mixing it up with oldfashioned recycled doodles is better. Just to finish, select Layer > Flatten Image, then Filter > Sharpen > Sharpen. You may want to increase levels and saturation as well.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson! Have fun doodling!

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Digital Technology as an impact on Art

•March 14, 2009 • 19 Comments

I would say: Digital Technology + Art = Digital ART!!

Do you agree?

I would say digital technology has transformed traditional activities such as painting, drawing and sculpture to new forms of ART – what we call “Digital ART”!

Before we discuss about digital art, let’s look at some forms of art before the arrival of digital art.

Prehistoric Art

Prehistoric Art

Sculptures

Sculptures

Paintings

Paintings

Now let’s look into a form of modern day art: digital art. We actually can get most forms from an art genre known as New Media Art. New Media Art comprises of digital art, computer graphics, computer animation, virtual art, Internet art, interactive art technologies, computer robotics, and art as biotechnology. The following are the areas of discipline for New Media Art:

  • Artistic computer game modification
  • Ascii Art
  • Bio Art
  • Computer art
  • Digital art
  • Digital poetry
  • Tradigital art
  • Electronic art
  • Evolutionary art
  • Generative art
  • Hacktivism
  • Information art
  • Interactive art
  • Internet art
  • Net art
  • Performance art
  • Radio art
  • Robotic art
  • Software art
  • Sound art
  • Systems art
  • Video art
  • Virtual art

In the next post, we will look more into New Media Art… Stay tuned…

What is Digital Art?

•March 13, 2009 • 1 Comment
Digital Art Intro Image

Digital Art

What is Digital Art? It is art created on a computer in digital form. Wikipedia’s definition is: Contemporary art that uses the methods of mass production or digital media.

A Digital Image

Digital

Again we ask ourselves, “How do we define “digital?” (since the definition was “in a digital form”).  A digital system uses discrete values but isn’t always symbolised numerically. The word “digital” comes from the same same source as “digit” and “digitus” (Latin word for finger) as fingers are used for discrete counting.

Puzzled

Probably the above ain’t really a good explanation. I’ve got a better explanation (hopefully it helps you understand better) from http://www.techterms.com/definition/digital. This is how it goes:

Digital information is stored using a series of ones and zeros. Computers are digital machines because they can only read information as on or off — 1 or 0. This method of computation, also known as the binary system, may seem rather simplistic, but can be used to represent incredible amounts of data. CDs and DVDs can be used to store and play back high-quality sound and video even though they consist entirely of ones and zeros.

Unlike computers, humans perceive information in analog. We capture auditory and visual signals as a continuous stream. Digital devices, on the other hand, estimate this information using ones and zeros. The rate of this estimation, called the “sampling rate,” combined with how much information is included in each sample (the bit depth), determines how accurate the digital estimation is.

Compact Disc

Compact Disc

For example, a typical CD audio track is sampled at 44.1 KHz (44,100 samples per second) with a bit depth of 16 bits. This provides a high-quality estimation of an analog audio signal that sounds realistic the human ear. However, a higher-quality audio format, such as a DVD-Audio disc, may be sampled at 96 KHz and have a bit depth of 24 bits. The same song played on both discs will sound more smooth and dynamic on the DVD-Audio disc.

Since digital information only estimates analog data, an analog signal is actually more accurate than a digital signal. However, computers only work with digital information, so storing data digitally makes more sense. Unlike analog data, digital information can also be copied, edited, and moved without losing any quality. Because of the benefits digital information offers, it has become the most common way of storing and reading data.

Analog TV

Analog TV

*Analog (http://www.techterms.com/definition/analog)

As humans, we perceive the world in analog. Everything we see and hear is a continuous transmission of information to our senses. This continuous stream is what defines analog data. Digital information, on the other hand, estimates analog data using only ones and zeros.

For example, a turntable (or record player) is an analog device, while a CD player is digital. This is because a turntable reads bumps and grooves from a record as a continuous signal, while a CD player only reads a series of ones and zeros. Likewise, a VCR is an analog device, while a DVD player is digital. A VCR reads audio and video from a tape as a continuous stream of information, while a DVD player just reads ones and zeros from a disc.

Digital Devices

Digital Devices

Since digital devices read only ones and zeros, they can only approximate an audio or video signal. This means analog data is actually more accurate than digital data. However, digital data can can be manipulated easier and preserved better than analog data. More importantly, computers can only handle digital data, which is why most information today is stored digitally. But if you want to transfer video from old analog video tapes into your computer so you can edit them, you’re not out of luck. You can use a digital to analog converter (DAC) to convert the analog information into a digital signal that can be recognized by your computer.

I hope it really helps you get your concepts right. Please do not hesitate to comment. Thank you! 🙂

Hello world!

•March 13, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Welcome to iTechSquad! This my first post. Hope you’ll visit this blog more often for more updates coming your way.