Archive for July, 2010

Save the made up!

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I got to thinking…I do this alot and do genuinely lose sleep over this kind of stuff. After watching a lot of true blood and various other vampire…y werewolf…y type things what about all the other weird made up animals/things. They never get a look in. Then..I got to thinking, are they endangered species? Not that i’m planning on shooting one. But are they protected species?

Some bigger ones up on flickr.

The britpips

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Just come back from my lovely honeymoon and spent 2 weeks in Mauritius. I loved it and also had a lot of time sitting about on planes, at airports etc. It got me thinking about the wildlife britain has. Nothing here will really kill you. Nothing big enough to trample on you and nothing small enough (venemous) to sneak up on you and bite you.

It’s not sunny enough here to have things that are brightly coloured…if anything, everything here is pretty much brown, grey or black. For a while I thought it was rubbish, there was nothing exciting…nothing with risk. But having been away a while I really missed all the British wildlife.

The risk got annoying after a while, checking all the corners of the room before you go to bed…checking in your shoes in the morning. You get none of that nonsense in Britain. So with that in mind I started trying to think of all the creatures which sum up Britain.

First things first though this came from a website I stumbled over on twitter, colonel windpipes musical brigade go have a look it’s filled with loads of great artists contributions to a band made up of all sorts of creatures and characters. So here are my contributions. The best of british.

Albert the washboard playing badger…

Stockton the drum playing hedgehog…

Agnus the clarinet playing stoat

and finally Norris the guitar playing rabbit…The Britpips.

Also If you want to see it bigger it’s up on flickr

How to…show and tell

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Been getting some questions of late as to my preferred doodle method so thought i’d share. Lots of people do things differently but I thought I’d outline my process it’s always good to share even if someone knows a better more efficient way. So i’ll Attempt to walk you through as best I can to get you to this…

I like to do all my drawing on paper, pencil first then use pen. My preferred pens are these mitsubishi uni pin fine liners, they’re real quick drying, come in loads of line weights, last for ages and are waterproof. Once the piece is finished it’s onto the scanner. Make sure the scanner is clear of any dust or fluff same goes for the drawing if you’ve used a rubber make sure all the wee bits have gone. First off My names rob johnson and I’m a PC but i’ll show the directory as well as the PC shortcuts. I do all my scanning through Photoshop which can be found File>Import >Twain…blah blah blah and the name of your scanner. Once it’s fired up I generally scan the piece in colour and at 300 dpi you can have higher if it’s for print but mine is just for general digital use. Once you have the Jpg into Photoshop the first thing to do is desaturate the image, this will remove all the colour turning it to black and white. You can use the shortcut Ctrl+Shift+U or in the menu Image>Adjustmens>Desaturate. Now what we need to do is sort the image to try remove some of the other noise around it to get a good solid line. To do this we’ll adjust the levels, this can be done by pressing Ctrl+L which brings up this window…

You’ll see that the levels window has three arrows pointing up just below the graph a black on the left, grey in the middle and a white on the far right. As a general rule you move the black arrow to the right to the highest nearest peak & the white into the left until you reach the first part of the graph. The midtones are controlled with the grey arrow in the middle this will be where you will see the big difference. Move it too far right you’ll see alot of mess, move it too far left it will wash it all out. So you’ll have to find a happy medium. Once you’re happy with the levels, ok that and next open up the brightness & contrast Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast… here you’ll probably want to increase the Brightness and The Contrast which should leave you with a nice clean line. It will take a bit of playing around with but generally if you’re going to play about with the levels & brightness try and get them right first time as if you do it over and over again information does get lost in the process.

Now comes the clever bit, separating the line from the white background. You’ll see in your layers window (F7 If you can’t see it or Windows>Layers) there only is one layer. Select all Ctrl+A or Select>All this will put a little dotted line around the whole image. Now copy the image Ctrl+C or Edit>Copy. Now find your Channels window if its not open you can switch it on here Windows>Channels this will have 4 layers in it RGB, Red, Green and Blue what you need to do is add a new layer to this which can be found at the bottom of the window just left of the bin…

This adds an alpha Channel. By default this will switch off all the other layers, then you paste Ctrl+P or Edit>Paste. This will paste your whole image in and make it look no different. Now With the Ctrl button held down left click the layer you pasted into. This will highlight the lines selected…

Now we have the lines selected switch off your alpha layer (the little eye to the left) and switch on the other 4 RGB, Red…etc return to your Layers window F7 or Windows>Layers here create a new layer Ctrl+Shift+N or using the little icon left of the bin switch off all the other layers. All you should see now is the selction over a chequed background…

What we need to do now is fill this selection, however before we do that we need to invert the selection, to do this press Ctrl+Shift+I or Select>Inverse , the selection will still look the same. Now select A colour And fill the selection with the paint bucket over in the tools or just press G. When you fill the selection you should now have just the lines on a transparent background…

We’ve done it…woohoo! all that’s left to do is add couple of layers underneath the lines layer and colour them in whatever colour you want…bosh…

I hope this was useful to someone, It may be basic to some and others may do the same thing differently, have fun & Goodluck.

The day the music died

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

It’s not looking good for my ye olde Ipod. The headphone jack seems to be playing up so I can only hear through one ear. My Ipod has gone deaf in one ear…he is old bless him. Gutted. It’s going in to get fixed and in the meantime will have to make do with my mini-disc player and old compilations from 2001 ace-ics!