Monday, January 25, 2010

Sometimes You Just Goof Around

I was looking through some older files this morning and came across an old shot of a swan. Notice I said "a" swan. It crossed my feeble mind that the neck looked like the shape of half a heart. How's this for justification? February is coming up pretty quick, Valentine's Day is in February, so let's do something saleable to the greeting card industry. I'm thinking the 2011 season, as any cards that will be out for this year are already on the store shelves. I wanted to make it a little harder for the casual observer to see that it's one swan, copied and flipped to create the second participant. There's a stick crossing the tail of the swan on the right, along with some debris in the lower right hand corner. The right swan has a drop of water coming off its beak, the left one doesn't. It was a little ten or fifteen minutes project to make some whimsical. Every now and then we all need to stop and let our playful side out. Doing something, anything silly is needed by all of us. If we stay too serious for too long we tend to crumple into state of depression. I just read a quote in the paper this morning I thought dovetailed with my mood today. Apparently the author Sue Grafton said "Sometimes I wonder what the difference is between being cautious and being dead". Sounds good to me. Caution is stifling, throwing caution to the wind is liberating. Along the same line is a song that was on the charts a few months ago. Lee Ann Womack had a song called "I hope you dance". The chorus says "And when you get a chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance". It goes right along with the Sue Grafton quote. So much for "inspiration", if you'd like to know how the changes were made to today's image, hit the "read more".

The first thing that was done was to increase the size of the canvas. It's simply selecting Image/ Canvas Size/Relative and set the dimensions to 100%. Using the arrow selectors I made it so all the increase would be on the left. The background color really doesn't matter.

Next, using the Marquee Tool, a selection was made starting at the tip of the swan's nose and covering the entire image beyond the swan. CTRL C to copy and CRTL V to paste the copied image. This will automatically put the copy on its own layer. Use CRTL T to get the Transform Tool. Right click and select "Flip Horizontal". Hit enter to confirm your move. Get the Move Tool (V) and slide the copy to the left until the noses of the swans just touch.

Use the Patch Tool, set to Destination, and bring similarly textured pieces of the water to cover the sticks and water drop off the beck. The reason for looking for similar textures is that the Patch Tool tries to do some "healing" effects and, without the textures being fairly close you might wind up with some funky patterns in the water.

That's it, it's reasonably simple to do. In fact, writing about it took longer than doing it.