Virtual Tuning Mania

15 August, 2009

One of the many trends that came along with the Fast & Furious movies and the Need For Speed Underground series of games is the “art” of tuning and modifying your car to look as stupid and ridiculous as possible!!!

By that I mean the addition of ‘shark fin’ like spoilers, ‘dragon’ like body-kits full of air vents and grille and the necessary addition of hundreds of stickers of performance (therefore expensive) part brands that your car will never have. A must ‘mod’ is the neon lights under the car! Look dad, my little Seat has been captured by UFOs! Look how it glows!

So it’s bloody typical: you can have a Honda Civic that values up to 3,000€ at the most and still have another 6,000€ worth of tuner stupidity mounted on it!! The car looks like it can rocket up to 60mph in less than 3 seconds whereas reality brings that figure up to something more than 8 seconds. And you tweak it, tune it, buy this spark plug and that exhaust pipe, tweak it some more and tune it some more till one day the poor bastard falls apart.

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Photoshop: non-destructive Layer Merge

27 March, 2008

Here’s a marvelous shortcut for merging a number ofΒ  different layers into a new single layer, without loosing the original ones! This is a very useful technique for when you are not sure of the outcome of a layer merge, or when -for some reason- despite merging them, you still need to keep some layers separated for later use. Furthermore, the technique expands the horizons for more experimentation with various layer blending modes.

The following technique works from Photoshop 7 onwards to the latest versions (thank you for the info liverbones!) , for older versions please check and let me know πŸ™‚ Read the rest of this entry »


Snow in Athens

17 February, 2008

Well chaps! It has happened again! It is snowing! Pouring white cool flakes in the middle of the dirty old crappy city!

I love snow! Basically when snowing one can’t do much, the roads get really slippery and very dodgy to drive (unless you own a bulldozer that is!) so all you can do is stay in and enjoy the view outside!

Last time that we had such a heavy snowfall in Athens was in 2002, then again we had some snow last year (or was it the year before that?) but not so much; it is snowing since yesterday (Saturday) and it has stopped later on today’s afternoon, correct according to the national forecast.

Still, I think I won’t be able to make it to work tomorrow πŸ™‚

UPDATE: It is now 03:30, Monday morning and it is snowing again! (and if you’re wondering what I’m doing up so late in the night then read this)

Wooohoooo! As Sinatra sung once: “Let it snow, let it snow let it snow!


Photoshop: Converting Raster Images to Custom Shapes

5 February, 2008

One of the most useful tricks of our trade is the ability to convert within Photoshop a raster image to a custom monochromatic shape.
What’s the use of that? First of all, as you can understand, whenever you bring up the size of your shape, it never looses it’s “quality”, in other words it doesn’t pixelate like raster images do as you pump up their size.

The downside of that is that the shapes produced are monochromatic only; you cannot turn a full color image to a full color vector shape by doing the following procedure. Nevertheless it is a very useful technique that produces stylized monochrome graphics, mostly useful in applications where large scale printing is needed afterwards, eg. monochrome logos: you will be able to scale up to any size your logo without loosing on the image’s quality. Read the rest of this entry »


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?