Monday, February 23, 2015

Hurray For Hollywood...and Photoshop

Today's image is just a little goof on the fact that the Academy Awards were last night.  Just in case some readers are too young to figure out what it's supposed to represent, it looks sort of like film did back in the day.  You'd have to thread some plastic (celluloid) through the camera on sprockets.  (Little wheels with teeth on them to engage the holes you see.)  Another limitations the young folks might not realize is that you had to change out the film after either twenty four or thirty six shots.  You couldn't shoot all day and then dump everything anywhere.  There was no preview screen and you didn't know if you got the shot until the slides or negatives were "developed" using chemicals.  My, how things have changed.  To get an idea of the steps used to make today's image, hit the "Read More". 

I probably want to put in a disclaimer.  Everything to "assemble" today's image was done in Adobe Photoshop (PS).  The original shots were stored and optimized using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (LR)

The image is a series of Smart Objects.  First a rectangle was put down on an empty Layer.  On a new Layer the openings for the sub-images were laid in using the Rounded Rectangle Shape found under the Custom Shape Tool (U).  Just pull out one shape and then copy, copy, copy (CTRL J three times).  Using the Move Tool (V) with the Shift key held down, slide each shape into position.  With the Move Tool still selected, use the controls in the options bar to create an equal spread. 

Next place the "film stock" under the shapes.  It would be a rectangle with an area covering the shapes.  Fill it with Black.  Select all the Layers and use the Move Tool controls to center the shapes vertically in the "film Strip.

I made the sprocket hopes with the Brush Tool (B).  A square brush was selected from the alternate Brush shapes available in PS.  In the Brush Engine the spacing was moved out to give a hole, space, hole space arrangement.  The cursor was placed slightly off the edge of the "film stock" and click once.  Move the cursor to the opposite end and use Shift click to draw the "line".  Copy (CTRL J) the line to a new Layer and using the Cursor Keys and the Shift Key to move the line to the other side of the film.

Shift click on all the Layers and then right click in one of the Layers Panel boxes.  Pick Convert to Smart Object from the dropdown.  That's make the layout one controllable piece.

Add a new Layer.  Import the images and start assembling the shots over the large spaces.  Create Clipping Masks for each image.  With the ALT Kay held down, place the Cursor between two Layers.  You'll see a bent arrow.  This will clip each photo to the "film strip.  Once everything is assembled, make all those Layers (including the film strip Smart Object) a Smart Object.

Put the new Smart Object into the Free Transform mode (CTRL T).  Right click in the object and select the Warp option.  On the options bar click on the icon that looks sort of like a fan.  To the left you will see a dropdown that says "Custom"  Click on the dropdown and select the flag shape.  To give a three dimensional look to the strip right click inside the bounding box and use any of the options you need (Skew, Distort, Warp, etc. to move the "flag" around until you get an interesting look.

Put a Layer under the whole Layers stack and add any background you like.  The shadow is just a Brush (B) line that's been put through the same transformations as the flag.  You're done.