Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blurring the background in Photoshop

Jack Sparrow was selling some knickknacks. Jack is clear enough but the market background is cluttered and distracting.

If you want to accent a foreground and diminish surrounding clutter, Photoshop offers several possibilities beyond just blacking out the background.

(1) In Photoshop (CS3), select the background you want to obscure or distort using the magic wand.

(2) To bring Jack into the picture better…
Go Filter > Artistic
(3) Using the Artistic Palette try different effects from Color Pencil to Watercolor.
(4) Experiment particularly with the Brush Strokes and Sketch options.
(5) Each filter option has adjustments, for underpainting, for example, you can adjust the brush size. Also the scaling, and relief of texture, as well as the light angle. 
Filter > Artistic > Underpainting was used; it obscured effectively without drawing attention to the technique as other options do (eg Neon Glow or Plastic Wrap.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Word callouts as speech balloons

Adding a speech balloon, a conversation bubble, Word lumps these under “call outs”, to a graphic needs a few steps if you don’t have any specialized tools for this.

A work around: 

(1) Paste the picture into a Word page.
(2) Go View > Object Palette > Callouts.
(3) Drag the Callout onto the Word page.
(4) Go Format > Object > Layout > Tight.
(5) Type into the callout, Comic Sans caps suitable.
(6) Snapshot using PrintScreen (Win) or Grab (Mac).
(7) Save as a jpg file.

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