Archive for March, 2012

The next challenge was rolled out quick to keep us begging for more, We had to select a Board Game, see how it works, and then re-design it to improve it…. Simple?

Due to missing the first week of this 2 week challenge, my choice of games was limited – well tbh I was left with a very poor choice, 2 board games that tbh given half the chance you would burn to keep you warm at the night instead of playing them…. So that fitted in well with the redesign process.  As this challenge is done in a group, I grouped up with Simon and Akemi, we called ourselves the ‘Dropouts’ and our game of choice was the 2003 award winning Alhambra.

As we where a week behind we concentrated on doing the ‘new’ design of the game, saying that Akemi did the original Game Play design on popplet

Original Game Mechanics

We split the work between us, but at this stage there was not alot to do.

After a quick brain storming session re had redesigned the game, tbh by quite a lot, we had removed the need to have the main board – as there is just no need to see a counter.

The New Mechanics

New Game Flowchart

New Game Play Design

 Once we had settled on our new design, it was time to stick it in Adobe for the final presentation, as we had used popplet for the layout and I liked its simple look, I decided to do the same in Adobe.  The first job was to create a simple box with rounded courners and then a second box for our names and then enter the text for each team members name.  Once I had created the box, and before doing the name I selected the 3 layers and mergered them by select one layer and then pressing ‘Ctrl’ and clicking each other layer I wanted to merge.  Once all was selected and while all still active I pressed Ctrl+E to merge the layer.  I then right clicked the layer to duplicate it 2 more times so i had 3 boxes in total.  Then using the text tool i added each team members name to the box saved and merged the text to each members box and made 3 boxes like popplet

Once the boxes where ready I needed to start a new document, so selected inter paper A4 size, and switched my view to side by side.  This allowed me to drag each box across when needed but also so I could see the overall design as i dropped in each new box.

Game Play

As can be seen this is a much simpler game now, we have estimated it will take around 60 to 90mins to finish the game

The above layout was quite simple to  come to, once the boxes where placed it was then just the case of entering the right text and linking the boxes together in the right order.  I created one layer for all the ‘paths’ and one for all the ‘text’.  Before doing the ‘paths, you need to move this new layer down the list so it sits just before the background layer.  The lines where created with the ‘pen’ tool and by holding the shift button at the same time as clicking the left mouse button – this ensured the lines where straight.  Once your happy, you go to paths right click it and select ‘stroke’ set the brush size to a value (I used 13px).  The lines will now be thicker as above, and will be behind the boxes, to create space to right the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ statements I used the ‘rectangle marquee’ tool and while on the path layer just made a box and deleted the area I needed removing.

Final .psd


Make a South Park version of yourself…

The first class challeneg was to make a South Park Version of ourselves, here was the start of my problems 🙂  I dont have a photo of myself 🙂

So settled for doing a Joker version in the SP theme – tbh the Madness of the Joker from the last batman movie will be perfect.  This challenge aim was to help us work and understand layers more, as well as getting use to working with images of different sizes.  This also pulled in our knowledge from Chapters 3 and 4 from the ‘Adobe Class in the Book’ book.

The first part was to build a south park mock up of a character, by sellecting the different layers you could then choose your style – for me as i was working with the ‘Joker Idea’ so went for a ‘mad’ spikey looking nutter with a bit of the formal – so red hair and a suit was choosen.

The next part was to insert ‘our’ face into the image, due to the difference in image size, the face was massive….  So to resize it to the correct size, we selected the southpark layer called face, and then dragging ‘our face’ layer to just infront of the southpark face and then changing the Opacity of ‘our face’ so you could just see it.  We just then hit Ctrl and ???? and it auto sized it to the size of the southpark layer.

Once we where happy with the finished image, we could then flatten the finished image to make it easier to move into the background

Un-Flattened Joker psd

Keeping with the theme of the Joker, I went for a dark street for a background, this was just a case of using the ‘adobe bridge’ option and looking at the backgrounds and then double clicking the image i wanted.  I could either copy and paste one into the other, or by using the ‘arrange documents’  button (the method I went with), I just dragged the Joker into the steet background, brought him to near the front to keep him in the foreground.

I enjoyed this challenge tbh, learnt a lot more by being shown how to do it than i would by just trying it myself.  Just wished we had more time in class to finish this, as the idea of a smoking gun or a deck of cards in his hand would have finished the image.

Final .psd version

Now if that image does not make you want to go on holiday, i don’t know what does 🙂

The bridge function is now getting second nature, the ability to just browse adobe files while still in PS is great, and then the ability to view 2 or more images side by side by using the ‘arrange documents’ button is great.  So once the ‘beach’ image is dragged onto the ‘pineapple’ image it shows up behind the ‘pineapple’ as both layers are ‘viewable’, so we just click the little ‘eye’ next to the pineapple and we can now only see the beach layer.

The next job was to stick a white border around the beech image, so with the beech layer selected the stroke style is applied.  As we needed a white border the colour picker was changed to white.  Once this was done all layers are switched back on, but the beech is back behind the pineapple, and as we needed this on top as in the final image, the layers have to be arranged.  Just click on the beech thumbnail and with the left button on the mouse pressed just move it up and drop it between pineapple and flower layer.

Now the beech image shows up on top of the pineapple but behind the flower and postage stamp

Still not getting the love to book that holiday….. time to give the postcard the wow effect, but little by little.

First was to make the postage stamp ;lighter’, this is done my just changing the ‘Opacity’ of the postage layer, dropped the figure down to 25% to get a very light stamp.  That pineapple is still not doing it, so it needs to be more vibrant, like it fell of a tree.  Making sure the other layers are unselected select and pressing ‘CTRL’ and left mouse you get an option menu up, and then select Duplicate Layer.  Using this new copy layer, change to blending from the overview menu, this blends the copy layer and the original pineapple layers giving a more vibrant look – if im honest I did not see much change, but the booke says it does do the book must be right? right?

Need to move that beech layer, so selecting the beech layer and unselecting the flower we can use a tool called ‘free transform’.  This sticks a box around the image, and by holding down the shift button at the same time as you drag a corner in, this makes sure both dimensions change at the same time, the image is reduced by about 50% and then rotated slightly.  To get the final postion the flower layer is made viewable again and then the beech image is rotated until the right edge of the beech is just covered by the bottom petal.

Time to add some colour to the background, this is done by making sure the background layer is selected and then hitting the ‘new layer button’ at the bottom of the layers window – this is an easier wasy than doing the new layer route from the main menu that runs along the top of the screen.  This new layer is called clouds,  using the forground colour icon from the bottom of the tools menu, select a ‘sky’ colour.  Then making sure the cloud layer is still the active layer using the filter menu the effect cloud is selected from the render menu, and bang nice tropical sky appear’s behind the other layers.

Now need to add some text, making sure the ‘Hawaii’ layer is visable, and then ‘select’ from the main menu followed by deselect layers, this makes sure no layers are active.  Using the foreground colour selector get a ‘grassy’ green colour 🙂  Selecting the ‘Horizontal Type Tool’ and then clicking on the image just below the ‘H’ of Hawaii the words Island Paradise are typed.  This new word can be repostioned to line it up.   The next few stages are to add a bit more colour to the text and add a little shadowing to the other images

just sticking up the end link for the moment

Chapter 4 Final Image

This chapter is all about selection tools, introducing some familuar ones and some new ones (well ones I choose not to use in a past life)

We started with a image containing 7 items, and by the end 6 of the items would be moved and placed on or around the cutting board.  The first item to get moved was a Tomato, this was selected using (imo is the best tool) the quick selection tool.  With this I just moved it into the red and clicked and the tool just selected the whole tomato.  I then moved it onto the cutting board using the ‘move tool’.

The next tool that got a work out was the ‘elliptical marquee tool’, this was just dragged across the bowl of olives, and hitting the sapcebar at the same time to keep the shape.  This was moved differently to the first item, this was just moved by moving the cursor across the selected bowl and then pressing Ctrl you can move the bowl to the selected area on the chopping board.  A nice ability was the ability to move the item either 1px at a time or 10px at a time, this gives you a more precise ability in placing the object

The next bit was quite clever also, selected an image moved it and then changed the colour by just selecting image – adjustments – invert.  Very nice effect, like a sort of negative.  Then I needed 2 more of the same image but slightly bigger each time, uselly when you try to enlarge an object you run the risk of changing the shape, but just holding down the shift key while you re-sized the image kept the new image to the same shape as it got bigger – ok doing this on a laptop was interesting, but long boney fingers for the win.

Now my fav tool, the ‘magic wand tool’, you just click on the item and by some magic only the wanted image is selected.  Ok not by magic, but al long as your image is darker than the background it works very well, you can stick a rectangular marquee around the image to help with the selection process

The next tool to play with is the ‘lasso tools’  tbh i’m not a fan of these and what they can do can be done by other tools, I had to cut a carrot out so due to the shape the lasso tools work ok, but as its on a darker background I just used the ‘quick selection tool’ much quicker and easier.  Once this was cut out we had to rotate the image and place it on the cutting board.

Not used this tool before and tbh now I have used it I don’t know why, as ok its use is not often, but its so easy and precise to cut out a strange shape, esp when the object is on a two tone background, where something like the magic wand would struggle finding the edge.  You just move your pointer around the object, dont need to hold anything but the image is surrounded by a lasso as you move, then when your done just double click and your done, very nice

To finish of the new image I just cropped it using the ‘crop tool’ was meant to leave some of the ‘cut out image marks’ but I was able to cut out very close to what I needed so no need to use any ‘paint’ or ‘clone’ tools.  The next part was to make the image look like it was meant to be like this all the time, so I played with the edge of the images and applied a soft drop shadow to each of the new layers.

One thing i noticed was when i saved my layers i was left with a black logo in the layer window – there was not one in the book, so im guessing it shows its on a black background? or something?

Have to say this chapter was much easier to follow and work with than Chapter 2, a couple of the short cuts where fun on a laptop, felt like i needed an extra finger or at least the ability to bend it a different way 🙂

Finished Chapter 3 PSD