November 19, 2009

Degrading Color for Hand Tint Look

Filed under: Uncategorized — kiddokozai @ 12:52 pm

As you can see, these examples were toned down, or “tinted” as we called it in the old days. The technique de-saturates color until the image is almost grayscale. Rather than desaturating using the Hue/Saturation functions, the Gradient Map has a much softer hand,and I think doesa better job

Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map…
You can simply hit ‘okay’ to dismiss the opening dialog, or play with the settings. The Mode should be set to normal, so if the image looks like a negative, then reset that pull-down. Leave it set to 100% and do nothing else.

Now, use the Opacity slider to adjust the effect of the Map. At 100% the image will be grayscale. I have found this to be the best method of converting color photos to grayscale for newsletters and other print projects that use a PDF to print to a Duotech or other “rapid” on-demand printing process.

Carved into a tree…

Filed under: Uncategorized — kiddokozai @ 12:04 pm

the reader asked:

> I have a cilent that wants his menu

> buttons to be on a tree.

> And then the text on the buttons he wants

> to look handwritten or carved. (?)

The first thing we think about in such a scenario is the old-fashioned tradition of carving your girlfriend’s name, or your initials into a tree. This technique is fine for the effect, however for buttons at a web site, they would be much more legible if you simply nail sign boards to the tree. Tilt and cock them to look home made, and even have a bent nail here and there to drive home the concept.

FIRST: For this effect you need a chunky, poorly designed font because most of these kinds of signs are routed into wood either by hand, or using lettering patterns made for router use. I’ll approve the use of the world’s most stupid font — just this once — “Comic Sans” because it’s a uniform thickness font, and it does look like an amateur wrote the letters with a router.

If you have a lot of signs to do, I recommend stepping the wood background enough times, in a file large enough to accommodate all the buttons you’ll be needing. This way you only have to do the processes once.

The wood we selected has a nice dark, aged look to it, much like one might find in the Ozarks lodges.

Once we have our lettering, we’ll keep that layer for safety — but we won’t actually be using that layer. Now we’ll make a selection of the type, move to the wood grain layer and then pick up a copy of the wood grain into the selection and move or “float” it to its own layer. Then we’ll adjust the color so it’s lighter — like freshly cut wood.






1) Select the Type: Command (Ctrl) Click the type layer

Then turn it off by clicking its “Eye” icon

2) Select the Wood Layer by clicking it in the Layer Palette

3) “Float” a copy: Command (Ctrl) J copies to a new layer

4) Image > Adjustments > Levels (Command or Ctrl L)

now pull the right-hand slider toward the center and watch carefully as the type lightens.

Making the Cut

Now we make the cut by using the Bevel & Emboss layer style.

At the bottom of the layers palette, with the floated layer selected, choose the “f” button, pull-out menu and select Bevel & Emboss

Style: Inner Bevel

Technique: Chisel Hard

Direction: Down

Here’s the way my Bevel & Emboss Settings turned out

All the other settings, depend on the size of the type and the finished art desired. For Depth, you want the edges of the cut to almost meet in the center of the letter. You’ll also want to back off a bit on the opacity of the shadow areas do they’re not so black, and a bit of the wood shows through.

Agustus 8, 2009

Barong and Rangda

Filed under: Uncategorized — kiddokozai @ 3:30 am

Barong and RangdaThe natural world to the Balinese is one held in balance by two opposing force: the benign, beneficial to man, and the malign, inimical to humanity. The destructive power of sickness and death is associated with the letter force and the evil influence of black magic. If black magic prevails, a village falls into danger, and extensive purification ceremonies become necessary to restore a proper equilibrium for the health of the community. Dramatic art is also a means of cleansing the village by strengthening it’s resistance to harmful force through offerings, prayers and acts of exorcism. Such is the symbolic play of the two remarkable presences-the Barong and Rangda.
Barong, a mystical creature wit h a long swayback and curved tail, represent the affirmative, the protector of mankind, the glory of the high sun, and the favorable spirits associated with the right and white magic. The widow witch Rangda is its complement. She rules the evil spirits and witches who haunt the graveyards late at night. Her habitat is darkness and her specialties lie with the practice of black magic, the destructive force of the left. Both figures are of the same earthly substance, possessing strong magical prowess. Somewhere in a mythical past, the Barong was won over to the side of humanity, and in the play, fights on behalf of the people against the intruding death force of Rangda.

barong&rangdaOften the struggle occurs within the framework of popular story; for instance; an episode from episode from Mahabratha. Yet the essence of the Barong and Rangda play remains the eternal conflict of two protagonists. Because the play is charged with sorcery and magic charms, extensive offerings are made beforehand to protect the players during the performance.
Usually the Barong enters first, cleverly danced by two men who form the forelegs and hind legs, the first man manipulating the mask. A Barong’s appearance varies with the kind of mask it wears, which may be stylized version of a wild boar, a tiger, a lion, or occasionally an elephant, the most holy mask and the one used in the play is that of the Barong Ketket, “ The Sovereign Lord of the Forest”, a beast representing no known animal. In the extreme coordination of lively Barong, one forgets the fantastic creature isn’t acting on its own accord, as it mischievously sidesteps and whirls around, snapping its jaws at the gamelan, and swishing flies its tail.
After the Barong’s dance, everyone falls silent. From behind the temple gate appear the splintery fingernails that foreshadow the dreadful vision of Rangda. From her mouth hangs a flaming tongue signifying her consuming fire, and her neck, a necklace of human entrails falls over her pendulous breasts. Howling a low, gurgling curse she stalks the Barong while waving a white cloth from whence issue her overwhelming magic.

They collide in a desperate clash of witch craft. In the protection of the Barong lies the preservation of the community, represented by the “kris dacer”, men armed with kris daggers. At one point in the fight, when the victory of the Barong’s assistance by violently attacking Rangda. The witch’s spell reverses their fury back into themselves, and they begin to plunge the blades of their krisses inward against their own bodies. But the Barong, with its own powerful charm, protects the crazed men from inflicting self-harm.
In most plays, this phenomenal self-stab-bing is enacted when the kris dancers are in trance. No matter how forcefully they plunge the daggers against their chest, the tips of the blades do not puncture the skin. At the end of the play, the kris dancers are revived by the pemangku, who sprinkles them with holy water which has been dipped in the berad of the barong. (The beard, made of human hair, is considered the most sacred part of the Barong.). A final offering is made to the evil spirits by spilling the blood of a live chicken.

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