Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Halftones and Textures

Idea from: graphicdesignforum

After reading that tutorial/article, I got the idea of just creating a fuzzy soft drop shadow on a separate layer, selecting it, then applying the halftone effect to the background gradient layer. It worked and I like the look (image above). It's just a fast easy way to create an imperfect feathered selection around the text and then adding something to it.

Why not apply something else, like a texture? I like that too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Balls and Bubbles

When I was trying to create bokeh in Paint Shop Pro 9, I was playing around with the Balls and Bubbles effect and created some images I liked.

The backgrounds were radial style gradients gaussian blurred like the bokeh images were. See previous post.

I discovered there is a newer preset (version X of PSP) for making oranges in Balls and Bubbles that is WAY better than the old preset, which I blogged about a while back. Link to previous Orange.

Image Creations:

Here's that Orange preset, tweaked to create multiple oranges instead of just one.

Water Drops Preset, tweaked and warped with that Warp Brush mentioned in my bokeh post, so they didn't look so perfect.

This one was a Green Bubbles Preset. I changed the color to white.

Paint Shop Pro stuff is getting harder and harder to find online. It is not very popular anymore since Corel bought it from Jasc. Version 9 is the best version and it is old. I often get my own blog links when I google the topic! So I know that can't be very popular when my own blog shows up as a top result in a google search! LOL

Bokeh With Paint Shop Pro

I've been trying different methods for making bokeh in Paint Shop Pro 9 (PSP9).
Bokeh generally refers to blurred backgrounds in photography.

But what I was trying to create were those soft light circles that I see are so popular on Flickr tagged bokeh.

I wanted something fairly easy and fast.

Examples of some of my attempts:


1. For a nice background, I used a radial style gradient and change the angle, repeat, center points.
Then gaussian blur at 30-50.

2. For the soft light circles layer I use a round brush preset called "confetti" and tweaked the settings and variance (F11). Step and Position Jitter settings gives random placement of the circles. Oscillating Fade Opacity and Color Blend Jitter randomly varies the color/transparency.

Layer Blend Mode was set to Overlay. The brush colors were then White FG, and a dark gray BG.

This gave me some nice circles but they looked too perfectly round.
So I did two layers of circles.

Layer One I lowered the hardness of the brush setting above and/or I used Blur Average Filter set to Aperture 3. That blur seemed to looked better than gaussian blur or the other blurs offered in PSP9. Motion blur could maybe useful too.

Layer Two, now this one was just a pure fluke surprise I discovered by trying different things. I used the Warp Brush, Cloud preset and lowered the Strength and Noise, lightly touched over the circles and that gave those imperfect circles I was looking for.

3. Try a different brush stamp like a heart and use the same brush settings and variance.

Image Notes:

Background was a rainbow gradient (pj-5-crayonbow) radial style Angel 73, Repeat 2, Center Point Horizontal 77, Vertical 17. You don't have to manually set all those, though. Just drag around that circle/stick doohicky in the preview window. I don't know what it's called. Then Gaussian blur 50.

Another radial style gradient add gaussian blur.
I created the gradient based on colors from a colourlovers article on
(I love that place!)

Passionata radial gradient add gaussian blur.

Create bokeh with camera
Gradient Link (Set 4)
Warp Brush Cloud Preset