Archive for April, 2009

Spot the Ball

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

One of my favorite childhood memories of football when I was a child was “spot the ball”. There would be a picture in the local newspaper and for 25p, you got something like 25 chances to put an x in the center of the football. The catch was that it had been removed from the image.

As an example, look at this very misleading image from a game last fall (Blitz United Red ’97 vs ESC Black ’97):

Which player is it near? :->

Which player is it near? :->

In this case, the action suggests that it is near one of the players. I would tend to rule out a header just due to the stances. And of course, I am probably right about the lack of header, but I think the player in red (ESC) has just booted it and the player in white (Blitz) missed on a tackle.

Here is the ball:

Up, up, and away

Up, up, and away

I can’t remember if the real game was as rigged as my images. And while I know how to do this with Gimp, I couldn’t tell you how to do this pre-digital.

I also tried another image trick, I wanted bobble heads. I took an image and removed the heads. I then shrank the original and added in the heads I had saved to the side. I didn’t try blowing the heads up, I didn’t want the extrapolation of bits too make the faces look fake:

Bobble heads

Bobble heads

I think I probably needed to shrink it some more. Or I needed a higher number of bits in the original.

By the way, all of the originals here can be found over on Barry’s smugmug. Even with a course in high school, I can’t take good pictures…

Instead of adding color, take it away

Friday, April 10th, 2009

My friend Barry will take an image, remove all color, and then create focus by coloring just an item in the shot:

See how the soccer player pops out of the image

See how the soccer player pops out of the image

I was playing with an image my wife took of me three years ago:

Me, grinning in the snow

Me, grinning in the snow

Which actually provides an almost good close-up:

grinraw

The raw face

While everything else looks vibrant, the face is too pale.

So I did the opposite of what Barry would do:

A black and white face

A black and white face

I also added some color? Perhaps, but the biggest filtering was to Oilify it:

The face has been run through the oilify filter

The face has been run through the oilify filter

And finally, I got started down this path because of this tutorial: Create a statue effect using Gimp (nsfw). Trying to apply that to a ‘clothed’ figure does not seem to work:

Statue effect, can you tell?

Statue effect, can you tell?

A brave new world

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I use GIMP for almost all of my image editing. I’ve gone from randomly applying filters to actually planning ahead of time how I am going to modify a picture.

So I wanted a simple, yet evocative title and perhaps logo for the website. After all, it is to be a showcase of my skills.

I picked a color scheme that had a gold already in my Gimp palette. The logical choice to go with it was a blue, i.e., the colors of the Golden Hurricane, my alma mater. I’m not sure I have the official color scheme, but no matter, I like it.

So I picked a font from dafont.com: Nu School Militia. I had used it in the past on a tshirt design to try and get that Space Marine look. Anyway, the first effort is here:

First Tulsa Labs header

First Tulsa Labs header

I struggled with whether I wanted the words on the same line or not. I toyed with wanting to add a dynamic menu area on the right. Also, I probably had a darker font at some point.

The next issue is that to get a header box, I want a curved corner on my panes. To do that, I have the exterior color, the border, and then the interior color. And then the pane is assigned a ‘background-color’ that is the hex value of the interior color I used in Gimp. Well, the jpg ends up looking washed out.

My solution is to go to a png, which allows for tranparency, unlike a jpg. I can also change my borders such that if I just provide the border color and have the interior and exterior be transparent as well. So I went to this as my header:

Second header logo, uses transparency

Second header logo, uses transparency

You can see I decided to go to just one line. And I decided I did want an image. What popped into my mind was a rocket ship. I’ve got a simple art deco ink on a piece of scratch paper. But it isn’t good enough for a webpage. And I’ve decided that while I’ve known all along my sketching sucks, I can do image composition. So off I went to google images to search for retro rockets, art deco rockets, and steam punk rockets. No luck on finding what I wanted.

I did come across a stock image of the R100, but it was facing the wrong way. Hmm, the image on the wikipedia site looks okay.

Anyway, I took an image and started a stenciling process. I also flipped the airship to go left to right. That left the ‘R100′ on the fuselage marring the image, since it was mirrored. I then found this Gimp tutorial: Complete Stencil Tutorial Using a Free Program on instructables.

I started playing with it and got an image I liked. I thought about also leveling the airship, but when I saw this effect:

Final header

Final header

I was really happy. A nice side-effect of scaling the image size of the pure text to take the R100 is that I accidently stretched out the ‘Tulsa Labs’. I could have easily fixed this, but I loved the effect. It isn’t as crisp, but it gives it that Irwin Allen look (Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, etc).

Also, serendipity reared its pretty head – the blue tint in the R100 went well with both the text color and the planned background.

The only remaining problem, which I could solve by cropping the image, can be seen by viewing TulsaLabs.com from both Internet Explorer and some other browser. With other browsers, the image gets cropped nicely across the bottom of the R100. With Internet Explorer, more of the R100 is shown. Ehh, I can live with it being different.