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Old Dec 29, 2011, 11:16 PM   #1
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Default Wild Card - More Spheres

This process really intrigues me, I am having SO much fun with it. I've also done a few extra things, just playing around with it and have come up with some different ideas. Here's one of my first attempts, taken the same day I took the pier pictures (which I posted here for the festive lighting challenge).

Cloudy night:



I've been archiving my old picture files recently, making copies of old CDs, putting the files on hard drives and then making sure they are key-worded. Tonight I came upon the pictures I took in 2005, with a Panny FZ30 I very briefly owned. I didn't get along with the camera at all, but did get a couple of shots that were sort-of neat. This is an adaption of one of them.



Last one for this thread. It might be incomprehensible to others, but I rather liked it. This is what it looked January 3, 2011. Today there's no snow in sight and I was walking around in a sweater.



I finally made a separate album just for spheres. You can find others (and I had a hard time deciding on the third one for the thread) here: http://mtngal.zenfolio.com/p827894707/e2da13076 . This is just SO addicting!
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Old Dec 29, 2011, 11:46 PM   #2
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mtngal, these are awesome! I love them! Can you tell us how you did it?
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 7:41 AM   #3
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These are fantastic! Love the second one.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 9:39 AM   #4
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I started with the original picture, copied the layer (the background and only layer at this point). Then I draw the square on the top (copy) layer and make the sphere on it. I've made a custom action to do it, since the process is always the same and very simple, making the three step process into one command. Then, since I use a Mac, I use the circle/elliptical tool to select the globe only (discovered that using the shift key keeps the tool a circle instead of an elliptical and using the option key will start the circle in the center). Using those two keys together and starting from the obvious center makes it very simple to select the sphere. Then use command-J to make a separate layer of just the selection (globe), then delete the middle layer. That way you can put the sphere back on the original picture without the corners the process creates.

You can do other things if you want - in the case of the third one I used a gaussian blur on the background layer, to blur it some, it was too busy with it sharp.

I tried adding both an inner glow/outer drop shadow but couldn't quite get it the way I wanted by using the layer options. There's one like that in the album that came out all right, but it could have been better. I thought about making a bunch of them and resizing them down small enough to make them Christmas tree ornament size and creating a tree. It sounds like a neat idea but I'm not really great when it comes to graphics arts things - I can't create a still-life or arrange anything and have it look good. Always frustrated me so I'll probably not try it (now if someone else want to try, be my guest to use the idea, would love to see someone get it to work).

There's two ways or rotating a selection. In CS4 you can use the transform tool (under the edit menu) and under it there's a selection to rotate 180. You can also use an option under image to rotate 180. If you use the tool under Image to rotate the section it is automatically deselected. If you use transform under edit, the selection is still selected, you don't have to re-select it (which means you can use an action, rather than going through the menus yourself).

I just played around with PSE6 (it's on my other half's computer) and discovered that there's a transform option under the image menu, just under rotate. It doesn't have the option to rotate 180 by selection, but if you use free transform you can rotate. I found if I held down the shift key I was able to hit 180, while not holding it down meant that I slightly missed it (which actually gives a different, interesting effect). The advantage of using transform is that your square remains selected - you don't have to select it again to do the second polar coordinates.
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 9:45 AM   #5
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Hi,

Very impressive effect. The last image is especially so.

And, thank you for explaining the steps used to create these.

I've got to it a try.

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Old Dec 30, 2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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These are great...I like the last one best!
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Old Dec 30, 2011, 4:43 PM   #7
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Wow mtngal what an excellent idea! It's a bit too advanced for me (I don't know how to work with layers....) but I really need to learn! All three are very nice, but the last one gives you the illusion that the glass sphere is floating in midair. Very nice.
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Old Jan 1, 2012, 7:44 PM   #8
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I started to play around with this technique, and thought I made some decent images, but THESE!!! Back to the drawing board for me!!
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Old Jan 2, 2012, 8:04 PM   #9
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Thanks for the compliments.

saly - using layers doesn't have to be mysterious or scary, it's actually very, very easy. I almost always copy the original layer (command-J for mac, I think it's control-J for PC but am not sure) before I do anything to a picture. That way if I really get it messed up, I can just delete the layer I was working on and start over. You can do just about anything to a layer that you can do with the first (background) layer. Give it a try, it really expands what you can do with a picture, and as long as you leave the background layer alone it's all reversible until you flatten it and save it as a jpg. If you think you might want to make changes later, save the layered file as a photoshop file before flattening and saving a separate jpg file, that way you can make changes later to the photoshop file.
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