Monday, May 26, 2008

Movies Memorial Day

My fav was P.S. I Love You (2007).
What's not to love about this movie?
Great cast, great music, hunky guys.
I love romantic comedies.
Hilary Swank was good in this movie.
Gerard Butler is so good lookin'.

Based on the book by Celia Ahern who is from Dublin, Ireland, so it had to have some good old Irish in it, right. She is a producer for the ABC comedy Samantha Who?. Yes, I had already read the book. I can't remember much about it.

Some of the movie cast:
Lisa Kudrow as Denise Hennessey (30 Jul 63, Encino, CA)
Hilary Swank as Holly Kennedy (30 Jul 74, Bellingham, WA)
Gerard Butler as Gerry Kennedy (b. 13 Nov 69, Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
Kathy Bates as Patricia Rawley (b. 28 Jun 48, Memphis, TN)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan as William 'Billy' Gallagher (b. 22 Apr 66, Seattle, WA)
Harry Connick Jr. as Daniel Connelly, (b. 11 Sep 67, New Orleans, LA)

Lots of videos at YouTube on this movie. Here's a search link for the soundtrack.
P.S. I Love You Soundtrack

My Favs:
If I Ever Leave This World Alive, Flogging Molly
Galway Girl (Gerard Butler sings it in the movie. There's also a version by Steve Earle.)
Get Off, Prince (look for the karaoke scene)
Last Train Home, Ryan Star
Love You Till The End, The Pogues
More Time, By Need To Breathe
Same Mistake, James Blunt

A lot of the good songs aren't on the soundtrack CD.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bullet Buttons

In Paint Shop Pro9 make buttons instantly with Balls and Bubbles Artistic Effect.

Tube them.

Here are some buttons I made, if anybody wants them.

Transparent so you can cut out the ones you want.
Use as is, or tube them.
Add drop shadow if desired.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Inkscape 0.46 Gradients

I was recreating some Paint Shop Pro gradients in Inkscape by tediously entering the color code and stop in the gradient editor.
But wait, look at that Gradient Tool over there in the left side bottom of the screen. Wow. You can do all kinds of stuff with it if you know about it. I need to type up some notes on that.

Okay, so say you have an image and you want to make a gradient using the colors in that image. How do you do that in Inkscape?
Import image.
Create an Object. ( I clicked on the rectangle tool and mouse dragged to make a box.)
Click on Gradient Tool and drag it over the Object you just made to create an initial gradient.
Double Click anywhere on that gradient line and it creates a new gradient point or Stop. Click on that Stop to select it, click on the Dropper Tool, click on the color you want from the image, and viola, that color is now the selected Stop color.

See gradient features New for version 0.46.

The following is not new to this version of Inkscape, but I thought it was a handy tip.

Create an object, duplicate it several times, select all, evenly distribute (Object, Align and Distribute), click gradient tool and drag over all the objects, select a gradient. Instead of individually filling each object, the gradient is spread out over them all. This looks really nice when used with a monochromatic (?) color scheme or same color, different shades.

Gradients over multiple objects
Also an example of this in the online manual here. (Look for "The eight objects share a common Gradient" section.)

Inkscape 0.46 Copy/Paste

Still diligently working in the new Inkscape and learning new features.

When did copy/paste screenshots and copy/past images from outside applications start working in Inkscape? I distinctly remember that NOT working when I was using Inkscape 0.45. This is extremely handy for learning. When I have a popup window within Inkscape that I want to capture for the settings, Alt/Print Screen to capture just the popup window and then Ctrl/V to paste it in Inkscape. I'm so relieved that works now!

HOWEVER, I discovered Inkscape is dumping junk files in at least a couple of places on my hard drive. I think these may be the screenshot images. What does that mean if I delete them? Will the image NO longer be in the svg file I pasted it into and saved? Yup. Now how would I know that? That's abnormal behavior for a graphics program. Inkscape is LINKING to an image file it creates and dumps in my svg folder. The svg folder ends up getting lots of junk files dumped in it. I also found junk files in my C:\Documents and Settings/User folder. Some of these predated Inkscape 0.46, so this was happening with the older version Inkscape also. I don't really mind that it does that; I would like to know about it, though, so I can delete what I don't want.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Inkscape 0.46 Turbulence

Probably the most interesting new effect in Inkscape version 0.46 is Turbulence.

I've been playing around with just two effects together to learn what it can do.
1. Turbulence
2. Color Matrix

You can come up with a LOT of different textures with just those two. I made clouds (like Photoshop), grungy metal, silky cloth, water, fibers (like Photoshop), stripes, etc. It's endless. Just with those two effects together.

Objects, Filter Effects,
Add Effects: Turbulence & Color Matrix
I didn't change connectors area.

Start Here:
Type Turbulence (Fractal Noise seems to give a smoother look.)
Base Frequency .001 and .002
Octaves 7
Seed 0 or slide to vary pattern.

Color Matrix
A little difficult to figure out.
This seemed to work:
Row 1 is Red
Row 2 is Green
Row 3 is Blue
Row 4 is darkness/lightness

I set everything to zero.
The I entered a 1.00 in row 4, column 3 and got gray.

Saturate or Luminance to Alpha from the Type drop down seemed to give you various grays too.
Different look, though, and I was trying to figure out the coloring.

THEN if you want a soft blue, for example, enter a 2.00 in row 3 column 4


1. Turbulence results have transparent areas, which you don't notice because in Inkscape the background is white.
So put it on a layer by itself and add different colored objects layered underneath it, so you can see what it really looks like.

2. Export as *.png to preserve transparency. However, you need to drag the layer off other layers below it before you export, otherwise the lower layers seem to get exported along with it.

3. When you move the object the effect changes. So dynamic, not fixed.

4. I always forget to check mark the filter so it's applied to the selected object.
5. Artifacts. Zoom in/out to get rid of them.
6. Pattern is bigger than object size.

7. Base Frequency:
1st parameter max and 2nd parameter min = vertical stripes
1st paramater min and 2nd parameter max = horizontal stripes

Blue Stripes

Type Fractal Noise
Base Frequency .400, 0.00
Octaves 5
Seed 0

Color Matrix
Everything to zero THEN
row 3 col 1 = 1.00 (blue)
row 4 col 5 = 1.00 (dark/light)

red = a 1.00 in row 1 col 1
green = a 1.00 in row 2 col 1


Type Turbulence
Base Frequency .015, .001
Octaves 7
Seed 0

Color Matrix
Everything zero, then row 4 col 3 = 1.00


Type Turbulence
Base Frequency .022, .271
Octaves 1
Seed 143

Color Matrix
Type is Luminance to Alpha

Grungy Metal

Type Turbulence
Base Frequency.001, .001
Octaves 5
Seed 41 or slide it around til you get what you want.

Color Matrix
default THEN
row 4 col 1 = 1.00 (col 4 = 0)

Silk Cloth

Type Turbulence
Base Frequency .004, .056
Octaves 1
Color Matrix is default, THEN row 4 col 1 = .40 and col 4 = 0

Wispy Sunrise Clouds

Type Turbulence
Base Frequency .004, .017
Octaves 5
Seed 150 or whatever you want.

Color Matrix
everything to zero, then
row 1, col 5 = 1.00
row 2 col 1 = 1.00
row 3 zero
row 4 col 4 = .50

Reference Video Link:
Episode 058 - Filter Effects
(See UPDATE2 note below.)
There is a clouds effect in the sample .svg (read comments), but it is quite different than what I'm doing here. The effect I was going for is more like the render clouds effect in Photoshop that you come across often in tutorials.
The sample svg cloud effect adds Flood and Composite layers. I think this might change transparency, dynamic, pattern size observations I listed above. I tweaked this filter and made a nice old paper texture and also some soft puffy clouds that looked different than what I made before.

Soft Puffy Clouds

Turbulence Type is Fractal Noise (but try Turbulence for a different look)
Base Frequency 0.011, 0.014
Octaves 7
Seed 336

Color Matrix
Changed it to default.
In the sample svg file you change Row 4 all zeros except Col 4 = 1.00

The rest of the settings are the same as the sample svg file.
I used a blue gradient that fades to white, so the clouds disappear on the bottom.

Old Paper
Same settings as the soft puffy clouds, only change the colors to various shades of light beige.

Flood color is #F9F5E1
Linear Gradient Colors are f5edc3ff, faeda6ff
Don't forget to try Type Turbulence instead of Type Fractal Noise, might like it better. Turbulence is a bit rougher.
Can you add Displacement Maps to that for a torn paper look? I tried it, but couldn't get it to work. I might not have the connectors right. I don't know if you can add it into the same effects stack or if you have to add it on a separate layer or what. I copied the object and moved it to a layer beneath, then added Turbulence & Displacement Maps to get torn paper edges. It doesn't look very good. Can see the edges of the textured paper layer on top.

On the old paper layer I tried the old way to make a rough edge: object to path, add nodes, add jitter. That's too fine, though, but it did fade the edges into the torn edges layer below it. Inkscape became extremely sluggish at this point.

The *.png export did not transfer the rough edges very well either. Here's the screenshot.

Anybody have better ideas on old torn paper look? Please leave comment.

Manual Section on Filters
Color Matrix Section

Gotta watch the memory in Inkscape.
I have to exit and reload when I hear my puter start to grind. Task manager tells me it becomes a major resource hog the longer I work in it. I wonder if it's the History? Can't clear it.

Sample file included with Inkscape 0.46 software:
Shows how to add noise to an object - layer turbulence (source alpha) with composite (source graphic)
Type: Fractal Noise makes it noisy as opposed to Turbulence which gives it a completely different look.
Base Frequency is "locked together" or NOT linked so it only has one parameter instead of two.
Clearly demonstrates how Composite confines the effect to the borders of the object. It is set to Atop, try different Operator.

This is in reference to the Episode 058 - Filter Effects
video mentioned above.
There are TWO sample *.svg files with same name, newer version (dated 27 Apr 08) adds several more effects like sharpen and emboss. Click on the original flower picture, go into Effects, Raster, Add Noise. ALL the flower pictures get noise? Not sure why? Get some interesting textures that way, though.
Direct Link to both of these sample *.svg files.

UPDATE 11 Feb 11
Comments about Filters in Inkscape v0.48
here (Grouping object to filter.)
here (Change color with Flood.)