Truckers Of The Apocalypse

28 December, 2007

Hard Truck Apocalypse is one of the latest releases in the long Hard Truck Series. You might know the games in the franchise as Hard Truck – 18 Wheels Of Steel, or Hard Truck Haulin’. Their basic concept was to simulate the trucking/hauling business by giving more attention to the actual driving than the actual financial and bureaucratic elements involved in the real profession. The player was beginning the game with a beaten up rig and the aim was to build up reputation and eventually buy more trucks, hire drivers etc in making a large transport company. There was no ending in the game unless you had lost all your money and your only truck was terribly damaged, something that made you loose interest in the game after a while, cause all you could do was to transport goods from one city to another and gain more profit and that was it. No storyline, no real substance, nothing to keep you going for long. Product life cycle equalled to one week on your hard drive then back to the box and of to the self to catch dust . In that vein several titles came out: Hard Truck 18 Wheels of Steel, Hard Truck 18 Wheels of Steel Across America, Hard Truck – Pedal To The Metal and finally the recent (and pinnacle title, in my opinion) Haulin’.

Hard Truck Apocalypse is something completely different and new to the Hard Truck series. For one, it does not play the same, nor does it feel the same as the rest of the games in the series. Best of all, H.T. Apocalypse finally has a storyline to follow! And this storyline comes in 2 varieties according to how you start off the game. It also has a huge map for you to explore! Read the rest of this entry »


Powering Up for Photoshop!

27 December, 2007

If you’re, like me, spending endless hours on Photoshop, drawing or just editing/retouching photos, or just doing collages, you’ll probably want more out of your machine. Chances are that you already know most if not some of the tips I’ll give you below. By the way these tips are for PC users only.

Again, these are intended for the serious artist or the professional that demands more out of the application and works with large format artwork for print. If you’re editing small images for everyday or web use, you’ll definitely not need all this gear, as your everyday pc does the job beautifully.

First of all I would strongly recommend a dedicated system for running Photoshop and other graphics/DTP applications like Illustrator, Corel Draw, Quark Express etc. The reason for that being that Photoshop draws a hell of a lot system resources upon running, so for instance if you’re having a mail client, a download client or a web browser also running at the same time, they also drain system resources and therefore hold back valuable resources that would have been allocated to Photoshop otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »


Merry Christmas!

24 December, 2007

Merry Christmas to all of you and a happy new year!

May 2008 bring you every happiness, success and good health for you and your families!

(Click on the thumbnail to enlarge the card!)

Vagpod

PS: Feel free to save the picture, print it for your friends and family, or send it via mail πŸ™‚

If you’d like to see the car illustration only and how I did it click here.


RAM efficiency for Photoshop

24 December, 2007

Very often I’m working with large sized files that have a lot of layers and consume most of my pc’s RAM. It is also very common for some filters and plugins not to work due to lack of memory.

Here are a couple of tricks to do when this happens:
1. If you’re sure that you’re ok with your work and don’t need your history levels anymore, go to: Edit > Purge > All

If the filter still refuses to work, save your image, exit and restart Photoshop, load up your image again and try the filter now.

If you see no luck again, then you’ll definitely need more memory with that file, which only means bad news if you’ve already reached the 2GB limit of RAM on 32bit XP based machines 😦

Another tip I can give you on saving RAM for your work is to avoid using the copy / paste command (Ctrl+C – Ctrl+V).
Data stored to the clipboard consume RAM space.
Instead use the Alt+Drag combination: with the Move Tool (V) press alt and drag your selection to create a copy of it.
Also to copy whole layers use the duplicate layer command (Ctrl+J) – or right click on the layer in the layers palette and select Duplicate Layer.

Click here to read a post where I cover more aspects on how to make your machine more efficient for Photoshop use.


Photoshop: Brushes, Paths & Shapes

23 December, 2007

Here are a couple of excellent and extensive tutorials on 2 really hot subjects of the ol’ Photoshop:

Brushes Dynamics
Photoshop has an array of adjustable attributes to each and every brush. The tutorial above describes those attributes of the brushes and what happens when you change those dials πŸ™‚

Shapes, Paths and the Pen tool
To be honest with you, I’ve been working with Shapes and Paths for only one year now. Before that I was doing my masking using either the polygonal lasso tool, or the magic wand and on very rare occasions the freehand lasso tool, thinking that paths is just a trendy tool that only real pros use! Was I silly or what?

One afternoon last year, Read the rest of this entry »


Red Eye Removal Photoshop Tutorial

22 December, 2007

I was retouching some pictures of my sis this afternoon and in some shots I had to remove those scary red Dracula eyes.

For this procedure I had found a great and easy tutorial in the past, unfortunately I can’t find the link to it. I will describe the process as it is worthwhile to share cause it only takes less than a minute to remove those red eyes! In fact my sis’ eyes are beautiful, it’s her temper sometimes that reminds me of Dracula πŸ˜€ hehehe!

1. With your picture opened go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Channel Mixer… and hit OK on the next dialog

2. Set the dials to: Output channel= Red and Red=0% , Blue=50%, Green=50% don’t change anything else. You’ll notice a color change in your picture but fear not!

3. Click on the adjustment layer’s mask to select as active and fill the whole picture area with 100% black (paintbucket Tool – G). The picture will return to it’s original color.

4. Select the white color from your swatches and a soft brush and paint on the red area of the irises. The red will dissapear giving it’s place to the natural color of the eyes.

5. Flatten your image: Layer > Flatten Image, or right click on the background layer on the layers palette and select Flatten Image there.

That was quick! wasn’t it?


HotRod at last!

22 December, 2007

It’s been a very long time that I wanted to do an illustration of a badass American HotRod! I love these sexy monstrous looking vehicles! So apart from collecting thousands of Hotrod photos from the web I have not been too active on the actual design front.

A few days ago, I was browsing some hotrod pictures on webshots, when I surfed in a gallery of wallpapers featuring hotwheels toy models with a Christmas themed background! I thought that this is a wonderful idea for a Christmas-card! So the “Hotrod illustration” initiative woke up in me and I begun developing the idea of the Hotrod more seriously, as this would be the item that will be featured in the foreground of the card.

allconcepts_web.jpgThe actual development process proved to be a lot of fun as I wanted to create a rather futuristic Hotrod instead of a classic one, but with a serious doze of retro involved. After all hot rod craziness begun in the 50’s along with Rock’n’Roll, I definitely didn’t want to leave these elements out of the creation.

A few thumbnail 2-minute sketches helped me to establish a radical form for my vehicle, I didn’t want to go too far on the wild side with the design; I was looking for something fresh, futuristic yet maintaining that 50’s Rockabilly tradition. Read the rest of this entry »