I have been posting most of my updates on Facebook but decided to start doing them again in my blog, right here. I am able to put in a lot more content in my blog than I would in a post on Facebook. In addition, I can increase traffic to my website at the same time. Stay tuned for regular updates right here on the Planet Postmoderna website.
This week at school was pretty fun (as it is every week). I learned a lot. I finished up my Ywing model for my 3D Modeling Class and turned in three panoramic images processed in Photoshop, to my Advanced Image Manipulation class.
For the mid-term of my 3D Modeling Class at The Art Institute, I polished off my 3D Model of a Ywing. It is nothing fancy. I didn’t UV unwrap it or add in any detail textures (although I could have if I wanted to). I wanted to keep it simple (as simple as this could be of course). I stayed with my basic geometry and added some additional detail and materials. I placed in the background, a picture of a nebula. I also added three lights. One is a light blue area-light that matches the color of the left side of the nebula. The second is gold-toned light placed on the right side and matches the color in that area of nebula. The final light is a spotlight that is the same color as the overall nebula. This in addition to the area light on the right, gives the model a more golden hue instead the the light grey it really is. When the model rotates in the turntable animation we learned to create, you can see the changes in the blue and gold light as it hits the model.
In my Advanced Image Manipulation class, we learned about the CieLAB color method. LAB stands for Lightness and A and B channels. A represents the hues between red and green (complimentary colors) and B represents the hues between Yellow and Blue (also complimentary). The ability to modify colors in these channel makes it possible to make a picture look a lot better (See below). Of course you could make similar changes in Photoshop using conventional modifications of contrast, hue, saturation, etc, but this technique was fast and achieved some pretty good results. LAB Mode can be found in Photoshop under the Image>Mode menu.
We took a really washed out picture of a green hillside from the Sequoia National Park and literally fixed it into what you see in the second version. At first, I thought, “No way!” Boy was I wrong.
We started by adjusting the brightness in the lightness histogram in LAB Mode by going to the Image>Adjustments>Curves Menu. After that we adjusted the color settings for A and B. I was amazed at how we turned a totally washed out picture into the following.
Our next picture was a contrast project. We took a picture of The Wave, a rock formation found in Arizona. I could lie and say, I took the picture myself (the formation requires a 20 mile hike into the wilderness to get to) but I won’t. 🙂
We took the original picture (shown below) and improved it’s contrast, adding detail through playing with the shadows and highlights. This created some amazing results. We did this by using the Unsharp Mask Filter (Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask). I know. The filter name seems contradictory but, boy does it work. Since the picture was already rich in color, we really did not have to adjust the color. It was just the contrast we needed to play with.
Also, as part of my Advanced Image Manipulation class projects for Mid-term, we had to create three panoramic pictures by using the photo merge function (File>Automate>Photo merge), adaptive lens filter and the perspective cropping tool. The three below are what I put together. I saw some pictures done by other students in class that blew me away. They were amazing. Mine still show a sharp bend in the perspective. Turns out this is because I was pretty close to what I was photographing. Equally interesting is I can almost create the same effect (without the extra steps in Photoshop) by just using the Panoramic function on my iPhone. The difference between both would be when and if I were to take a panoramic shot of a distant landscape. In that case the approach in Photoshop will definitely be better and I would be able to achieve some really good results. For “quick and dirty” though, if you want to take a good panoramic shot, the Panoramic function of most smart phones works pretty good for most scenes.
It was interesting to see how we could create these in Photoshop. I am going to be on the lookout for ideal Panoramic settings every time I go hiking and while I am out and about. I have my “artist eye” turned on now so watch for more from me.