Friday, September 30, 2016

Tequesha Portrait - Rebelle version 1.5 Test #3 - SurfaceBook

"Tequesha" - This is a woman I met a few days ago that gave her blessing in painting her portrait. She's very charismatic and photographs really well with a unique sense of style which makes it easier to paint/draw her. As a result I put a lot into this project to test some of the more subtle aspects of the new Rebelle 1.5 update. To be honest, I struggled a bit with this. I tried a new canvas and it worked great but black didn't blend like I initially expected. Ironically considering the canvas texture, that's accurate from what I remember from working with real watercolors. I had to get creative as a result to achieve the rich blacks that I wanted but I lost some of the highlights as a result. This is where more practice is needed and probably more patience as well.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Douche Bro - Rebelle 1.5 testing - SurfaceBook

Douche Bro...because we all know at least one especially in this oh so positive election year. A friend described one of her ex boyfriend's as a "douche bro" although to be fair, based on her own description of events, she was being a whiny, selfish cunt and her ex gave up as a result. But Douche Cunt simply didn't work so I ran with Douche Bro instead. I tried to have a bit more fun with this project while testing out the new tools in Rebelle v. 1.5. I may do some more with this later considering it was a really enjoyable project to complete even though, it's not to be taken seriously. I realized I don't really push too many projects with a lot of vibrant colors so I ran with that. The full Saturday Morning Cartoon version of colorful color palettes.

Rebelle Version 1.5 testing - SurfaceBook

The latest version of Rebelle released a few days ago with a lot of improvements. Two of the biggest additions that I am happy to see are the ability to FINALLY free rotate the canvas through touch and pinch and zoom support. Escape Motion has also added better color mixing tools, better control over palettes, the ability to fully customize the UI layout, speed improvements throughout, tool optimizations, more brushes and brush features. It's awesome.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Street Photography 0923 - Nexus 6p - Photo Director 8 - SurfaceBook

"I was hotter than her at that age..." - Photography is a hobby that's becoming a passion. Especially street photography because you usually don't have any time to set up. It's literally point, shoot and hope for the best. Some of the moments a photographer can capture in this way are truly awe-inspiring making me respect the craft even more. One part skill - another part timing and luck. What's even more fascinating to me is that these moments are happening around us, everyday, all the time, from the most subtle to the totally outrageous. Being able to capture them takes true skill.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Custom Theme Backgrounds - Xara Page Layout and Design - SurfaceBook

"One Life to Live" - I was going to name this "Mahogany" but I thought that was pushing it a bit too far. I created backgrounds using some previous illustrations. The background graphics are part of two design projects I finished but wanted to use them elsewhere. I considered going back to Indesign CC for a bit today and ultimately shot down that idea because for all intends and purposes, it's a rip off. Leasing desktop software is just fundamentally wrong and I can't support it. So I jumped back into Xara Page Layout and Design (which you can actually PURCHASE). It's a pretty good layout application but the developer truly forces you to work on their terms, not necessarily based on industry standards. Definitely not based on Indesign or Quark. But once you get over some of the strange UI choices and some wonkiness with how certain tools function, you can design with a lot of depth in Xara. It's not better than Indesign, but for my needs, it doesn't have to be. I can run with it for the time being until a better Indesign alternative arrives. I'll be more than happy to use Adobe software again...if I'm paid to do it. Otherwise...Adobe gets no love and neither does any other developer leasing software.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Multiple Exposure Testing, Nexus 6p - Photo Director 8 - SurfaceBook

I've been experimenting with multi-exposure a bit. It can be tricky. The first problem is using a video as the source for your image requires the best resolution possible which is currently 4K (3840x2160). 4K resolution may be all the rage when it comes to film and video, but 4K doesn't have the same impact in the world of photography. Simply put, the average flagship smartphone in 2016 has a 16mp - 20mp (megapixel) camera. A 4K video translates into a 8.3 megapixel image. So you can imagine my frustration when I forgot to change my Nexus 6p from 1080p (1920x1080) recording to 4K before working on these projects. Image quality isn't the best as a result.

Friday, September 16, 2016

What a difference a day makes. Photo Director 8 Testing - SurfaceBook - Nexus 6p

"Morning Stroll" - Cyberlink updated their entire creative suite a couple of days ago. I didn't think I'd be able to afford any of the new applications but was lucky enough to buy Photo Director 8. It has some new features that are really cool like video-to-photo transfers to present sequences of motion. There is also a new panorama mode that allows users to put together their own panoramas using the new tools. I can't wait to try as well as all of the new filters and editing suite. Baby steps first though. All of the custom filters and settings I've built in Photo Director 7 transferred to version 8. I'm testing those to see if there have been any major changes because some of the algorithms that control the filters and parameters have been updated so the results may not be the same as the previous version of the software. This also makes for a great reason to go out and shoot more photos and load some old favorites too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Photo Director 8 is available! Too bad I don't have it yet. Back to Photo Director 7.

This is Taryn in a composite image and is the focus today for Street Photography and image processing. I only took one photograph of her, because it was spur of the moment on a busy sidewalk. I really like Taryn's hair and her overall look caught my attention. I couldn't monkey around with any of the 3rd party camera apps with their manual settings. I had to rely on the stock Google camera app for Android Nougat. Point and shoot. The photograph turned out really well and allows me to point out some more cool things about Photo Director 7.  


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lightning (Final Fantasy XIII) - Rebelle - SurfaceBook

"Lightning" (Final Fantasy XIII) - I completed Final Fantasy XIII a few years ago on PS3. It had more positives than negatives and I really liked Lightning as a lead character. With a large cast of characters featured in the game, many of them annoying, Lightning's character is one of the few I actually cared about. 

Monday, September 5, 2016

"Changing Time" - Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013 model), Nexus 6p - Power Director 14 Ultra - SurfaceBook


"Changing Time" - Android Nexus Devices/SurfaceBook/Roland XP-50 - Power Director 14 Ultra

While capturing photographs over the last few weeks I've also been recording time lapse and slow motion video. The final compilation combines those efforts with some older HD footage and time lapse footage, in combination with some animated .gif footage I was working with from a couple of my favorite films. A smorgasbord of Nexus devices were used and final production duties were completed on the trusty road warrior, SurfaceBook with Power Director 14 Ultra handling production duties and final output. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

More Photo Experimentation! More Stuffs! - Nexus 6p, Nexus 5, Galaxy S3 - Photo Director 7 Ultra - SurfaceBook

"Groovy" - Nexus 5 - Custom filter, HDR Split Toning 01. The photography posts have been in abundance lately mainly because I'm learning a lot of new techniques using Photo Director 7 Ultra. Newly discovered aspects of the software inspired me to experiment with some old images captured over the last few years. "Groovy" is a perfect example of this as the results are from learning how to better control split-toning in Photo Director 7 Ultra. It's a great effect that doesn't work in every situation but when it does, it's really good. Some of the application of filters are very subtle , almost nonexistent, simply because not every image requires a nuke of filter. Others benefit from drastic changes brought on by extensive filters because of the nature of what was captured or the state of the photo. Creating my own filters gives me more insight as to when to be subtle, when to go crazy with it or when not to use a filter at all. Process. There's nothing we can't accomplish when a good process is in place. Learn and build.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

New Batch of Custom Filters - Nexus 6p/Galaxy S7 - Photo Director 7 Ultra - Surface Pro 3

"Tasha" - Custom Filter, HDR Non Ugly Artistic 02, Natasha has been the subject of many of my pieces over the years. She captured this image using a Galaxy S7 and I created and applied the filter. Tasha photographs really well which is a essential for this type of work and similar projects. The idea behind the filter is to try to gain a old vintage painting look in HDR without sacrifices all of the attributes of the original photo. Photo Director 7 Ultra has a developer preset that attempts this but I didn't care for the excessive grain and noise or the over saturated colors.