larryb123456

custom avatars and signatures

746 posts in this topic

OT is usually "Off Topic" when used here on this forum. I'm not familiar with BOT, nor did anything leap out at me searching for it with Google.

Cheers and Regards

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Hello, bphlpt:

It's been a very long time since we've communicated.

I hope things have been going well for you.

It's great to see *our* avatar again !

Thanks for the OT definition.

Perhaps (?) BOT stands for "badly off topic".

Chairs and En Gardes to you too, my friend !

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As I see it the message is there allright but in a more subtle (or if you prefer less obvious) way, I do like the second more.

Grazie per il suggerimento.

Ho apprezzato il "trial and error".

Attendo i vostri suggerimenti prossimi.

Così a lungo, per ora.

Failing in the translation trap :ph34r:

I can translate "Così a lungo, per ora." back to what you probably meant :unsure: (So long, for now.):

http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/So+Long+for+Now

but what you actually wrote means more or less "like this for a long time, so far" :w00t:

P.S.

What do "OT" and "BOT" stand for?

I've noticed you and Tripredacus using these terms.

OT = Off Topic

BOT = Back On Topic

@bphlt ;)

http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/BOT

jaclaz

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I like my image better, you like your image better, and never the twain shall meet.

You aren't telling me that Google Translate made errors, are you ?

Such blasphemy !

Yes, I feed "So long for now." into THAT PIECE OF JUNK GOOGLE TRANSLATE (lol) and it *spewed out* "Così a lungo, per ora."

OT

BOT

OT

BOT

OT

BOT

OT

BOT

Così a lungo, per ora.

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Yes, I feed "So long for now." into THAT PIECE OF JUNK GOOGLE TRANSLATE (lol) and it *spewed out* "Così a lungo, per ora."

Naaah, poor little google translate did what it could, idioms are idioms:

http://en.bab.la/dictionary/italian-english/cosi-a-lungo

http://en.bab.la/dictionary/italian-english/per-ora

Ci vediamo...

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ci_vediamo

o, meglio, ci si vede.

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1268606&langid=14

The google translation ;):

http://translate.google.com/translate_t?hl=it&ie=UTF-8&text=Ci+vediamo%2C+o+meglio%2C+ci+si+vede.&sl=it&tl=en

jaclaz

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Thanks for the resource link - http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/ - jaclaz. I should have used that instead of Google. It also should have been obvious since OT and BOT are usually used as a "matched set" :)

Cheers and Regards

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Yes, jaclaz, idioms are idioms and idiots are idiots (LIKE THAT PIECE OF JUNK GOOGLE TRANSLATE).

See you, or better, you see !

In "computer language", that's (C:) C:\U, or better, C:\U (C:) !

Larry

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BTW, the beta of Photoshop CS6 is out (60 day trial). It's very nice too:

-the new camera raw 7 is fantastic, and of course you get a new version of bridge too

-not only they improved 3D features again, but now it also works on video files (pixels, vector, 3D and video content all in one app!)

-revamped interface yet again

-improved keyboard shortcuts (ctrl-J now working on layer groups for starters)

-the crop tool works in a completely different way now (it's great)

-improved typography -- it's pretty much on par with Illustrator and InDesign now (character and paragraph styles, better anti aliasing, support for ligatures, a lorem ipsum generator, etc)

-easy dashed/dotted lines (strokes on paths) sort of like Illustrator does it

-there's now a textbox to search for layers and buttons to filter them as well. Really helpful on documents with loads of layers

-content aware patch tool

-the liquify filter is so much faster now

-improved print dialog (also, contact sheets and PDF presentation)

-some tools are now "skin tone aware"

-as if content aware fill wasn't amazing enough, we now have the remix tool to just as easily move stuff around

-autosave (and you can work on a different image while a large one is saving in background)

-the "automatic" tools are not completely worthless anymore

-layer styles on groups (instead of having to resort to nested smart objects or such tricks)

-new rich mouse cursors

-new paint-like paintbrushes and nice tablet improvements

-vector layers and snapping to pixels

-group clipping masks

etc... there's *so* much more to it. It's simply fantastic to work with. Well worth the upgrade.

It's nice to see that some companies can still take something already amazing and full featured and *still* manage to improve it quite a lot! And also radically reinvent and improve their user interface and tools all the time, always ending up with great results. Unlike MS who often manages to turn something great (Win7) into a complete disaster (Win8) and repeated fiascos (Win ME, Vista, 8)

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Hello, CoffeeFiend:

You just don't know how much I've *appreciated* your sincere and detailed efforts to help me over the last few months.

I know that your Post took a lot of time and concentrated effort to put together.

To be very honest with you, CoffeeFiend, a lot of your Post is kind of like a "foreign language" to me, for I don't have the slightest idea what "camera raw", "bridge", "content aware patch", "skin tone aware", "content aware fill", and "remix tool" are.

As far as the beta of Photoshop CS6, I'm sure it would be so far over my head that I'd never understand it without many, many months of total concentrated effort. It's kind of like things need to be learned "incrementally". That is, one moves from the first grade, to the second, to the third, etc., and not from the first grade directly to college in one step. I have Photoshop 5.0 (i.e., Neanderthal version), and to go to CS6 in one step would be like going from first grade to college for me.

My son has CS3 (I think), and I might give that a try, for I think it has "smart objects", which can make constructing video animated GIFs relatively easy. (I'm not sure of the accuracy of all the comments in that last sentence.)

I feel that I've "mastered" PS 5.0, and I can use it quickly and efficiently to make images.

I know that PS 5.0 pretty much only has the *basic* tools, but I like it because when using it, I feel like I am actually "painting" again. To explain that sentence: in actual painting, it is a very *simple* and direct step-by-step exercise (one mixes up a color, applies it to the canvas, and repeats that process until the painting is finished); with PS 5.0, I feel a great similarity, because step by simple step, I "craft" or "construct" an image.

I get a great deal of pleasure in this crafting.

I'm now into trying to get better at making animated GIF images. I like the facts that they are more complicated than "static" images and that much more thought and *analysis* has to be put into their making, in order for all the different "sub-set animations" in the GIF to coordinate *perfectly*. (I make each frame in PS, and just use the animator for the animation.)

I haven't yet explored using the "special effects" in the animator, but I will as a next step. (Really, I kind of think that animator effects obviously SCREAM *effects*, and that is kind of "tacky" to me.) I kind of like the "purity" of the frame-by-frame construction of my *own* effects.

I am using PS just for my own enjoyment to slowly and patiently make images, and not to make money, as you do.

I can *fully and totally* understand why you need to stay CURRENT in all your software.

If I were using PS 5.0 to make money (and to "compete" with individuals such as yourself), I'd be "dead in the water".

Again, CoffeeFiend, Many, Many, Thanks for your help.

A way that you could help me would be to give some constructive criticism -- (that is, if you care to, of course, and have the time and energy to) -- about the images I create on this thread.

For it is with such feed-back criticism that I can see things that I hadn't noticed before, and, in the process, improve as an artist.

Sincerely,

Larry

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You just don't know how much I've *appreciated* your sincere and detailed efforts to help me over the last few months.

Meh. Nothing to it.

I know that your Post took a lot of time and concentrated effort to put together.

It's really not bad bad (and quite disorganized/unstructured/missing stuff too).

It's kind of like things need to be learned "incrementally". That is, one moves from the first grade, to the second, to the third, etc., and not from the first grade directly to college in one step.

You can skip certain versions without losing much (typically the versions like the one you're using, which add relatively little new features individually). But going from CS2 or CS3 to CS6 would be quite a jump. Going from something so old, you'd basically have to learn from scratch, and even un-learn some bad habits, methods and workarounds to old limitations.

Anyway. You can safely ignore my previous post. I guess I'm just really excited about the new features (I could start a new topic about it but we don't have a lot of Photoshop users around in the first place).

A way that you could help me would be to give some constructive criticism -- (that is, if you care to, of course, and have the time and energy to) -- about the images I create on this thread.

Unfortunately, my design critique skills aren't my strong point. I'm more of a photographer than a designer (ironically I get paid more for the former than the latter -- totally my fault though).

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A way that you could help me would be to give some constructive criticism -- (that is, if you care to, of course, and have the time and energy to) -- about the images I create on this thread.

Unfortunately, my design critique skills aren't my strong point. I'm more of a photographer than a designer (ironically I get paid more for the former than the latter -- totally my fault though).

CoffeeFiend, Photography is *just as much* a Fine Art form as Painting or Graphic Design, and as such, the same basic criteria for a successful image in all three genres apply: composition, color balance, type of image, to mention just a few.

I'm sure you give a lot of attention to cropping your Photography images (i.e., "composition") as well as the other aspects I mentioned.

Face the fact, CoffeeFiend, your design critique skills are probably *very strong* (perish the thought -- lol) since you are a PHOTOGRAPHY ARTIST.

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@jaclaz

This Post has absolutely no relevance on a Art thread, but I guess it would qualify in the sense of "mental" Art.

I'm putting the Post here, thinking that you might see it.

How did you get so *absolutely fluent* in writing the English language, even down to the infinitesimal nuances?

If one didn't know better, they would think you were from a primarily-English-speaking country.

When you write (or speak) English, how do you "turn off" the Italian part of your brain?

English is the only language I know.

If I knew another language, when writing something it would be about a half-and-half combination of English and the other language (i.e., absolute gobbledegook).

Did you learn English as a young child?

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a half-and-half combination of English and the other language (i.e., absolute gobbledegook).

Hey, don't knock it off until you've tried it ;) I for one think Chiac rocks. You essentially pick whatever words works best, regardless of the language. I like to "borrow" some beautiful and expressive words from other languages now and then too. No offense taken or anything.

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@CoffeeFiend

No offense taken or anything.

I'm glad.

Your post was educational for me.

I had never heard of Chiak before, or the concept of actually speaking in two (or more) languages at one time.

A lot of the time, when I speak in just the only one language I know, English, it turns out to be gobbledegook.

When this happens in the future, and people accuse me of speaking gobbledegook, I'll just say, "No, I was speaking Chiak!" (lol)

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I made an animated GIF userbar for Tripredacus based on his avatar image and his "label" underneath that image:

Animated_GIF_114frames_0_10sec.gif

Specs: 114 (unique) frames, 0.10 second display time per frame, 255 colors, 350x19px, 327 KB.

For those of you who might be interested, I'll describe the details of the construction of this userbar.

(Each of the 114 frames was made in Photoshop 5.0.)

http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/ shows the PS layers used, from top to bottom.

I'll discuss each layer, starting from the bottom and working my way to the top.

The linear-gradient bottom layers were made first.

These layers comprise all 114 linear gradients -- (each 350x19px) -- used to give the background, back-and-forth, "sweeping spotlight" effect.

Please note that this effect was not a "canned" effect from an animator, but that I made each frame myself, as I'll describe in this section.

Each gradient was made using only two colors: a medium gray (R,G,B=128,128,128) and white.

I chose this gray to give a "metallic feel", which would be compatible with the figure in Tripredacus's avatar.

As shown in the link above (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/), the gradients just cover the area in-between the heads of the figures.

I moved across this area in 2% increments from left to right and back again.

To simplify the discussion, I'll give a "notation" to characterize the linear gradients.

Let G(X) stand for the above-mentioned gray at X%. Let W(Y) stand for white at Y%. In the PS Linear Gradient Editor, when white was at P%, I made a gradient conforming to [G(P-10%),W(P),G(P+10%)].

The gradient shown in the above link (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/) was half-way between the two figures in the userbar, and it was made in the Linear Gradient Editor by [G(40),W(50),G(60)].

The gradient in the first frame was [W(0),G(6)], the second frame was [W(0),G(8)], the third frame was [W(0),G(10)], the fourth frame was [G(0),W(2),G(12)], etc., moving in 2% increments until the right side of the gradient was reached, and then reversing the direction, moving in 2% increments until the starting point, frame 1, was reached again.

The gradient traversing took 114 frames, and then, of course, it "looped" indefinitely.

I wanted the background "spotlight effect" to move smoothly and not be "step-by-step clunky", and a display time of 0.10 second per frame worked out well for that.

The "template layer" above the gradient layer in the above link (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/) was made by linking and merging:

1) the 350x19px black -- (black 1px, inside) -- border with the two black end rectangles attached (these rectangles provided a background for the avatar figures to move on);

2) all the text;

3) the ellipse, white with opacity=40%;

4) the 2px-spacing black scanlines, with opacity=20%;

5) the background without the linear gradients.

I next constructed all 114 frames upon which the avatar images would "ride" by linking and merging the template layer with each gradient layer below it, in succession.

Tripredacus's avatar images, shown in the above link (i.e., http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/), were made by downloading his 100x100px avatar from MSFN, reducing it proportionately to 75x75px, sharpening it in PS, and adding the two parallel right-angle "extensions" (so that the figures would not look "cut off" as they scrolled up and down on the black background, as you can see as you watch the animation).

I chose the 75px-tall size, since I've found, based on past experience, that this is an ideal size for vertically-scrolling images in a 19px tall userbar.

The image on the right is from Tripredacus's avatar, and the image on the left was made by simply rotating it horizontally in PS.

http://postimage.org/image/fgkgdgrk3/ shows the left-side figure in three positions. The image on the left is frame 1, the image moves 57px up to stop at the middle position before coming 57px down to return to the starting point, shown on the right side.

http://postimage.org/image/qduiacc5z/ shows the right-side figure in three positions. The image on the left is frame 1, the image moves 57px down to stop at the middle position before coming 57px up to return to the starting point, shown on the right side.

The images moved one pixel per frame in the vertical scrolling.

I knew, based on past experience, that the combination of 1px-per-frame movement and a display time of 0.10 second would give very smooth motion.

As the figures move *over* the template, they cover up the template's black 1px border.

The black-border layer at the top of the image (discussed above at http://postimage.org/image/6e1kxr3y3/)

restores everything as it should be, when the top three layers are linked and merged.

Making the red "pulsations" on the text is the final step in the construction of the animation.

I used red because the color works nicely here, and it is in the color scheme of Tripredacus's MSFN signature.

I knew, based on past experience, that a display time of 0.10 second per frame would be too quick for comfortable viewing of letter-to-adjacent-letter pulsations.

To get around this limitation, I simply colored in the red outline for a letter, say "T" in Tripredacus, on two successive frames, say frameX and frame(X+1), and I did this for all red letters.

Therefore, even though the *actual* display time per frame is 0.10 second, the *effective* display time for each red letter is 0.20 second, which gives comfortable viewing.

The complete text has 27 characters, and since we are "doubling up" the text frames with the red outlines, the text is actually displayed for 54 frames. I wanted it displayed for 57 frames to match the vertical scrolling of the figures and the back-and-forth of the background-gradient "spotlight", so I simply did not color in the red outline for 3 frames in-between "Tripredacus" and "K-Mart-ian Legend".

Mission accomplished!

If you look closely at the animation, these 3 non-colored frames, provide a little "pause" in the red pulsations between "Tripredacus" and "K-Mart-ian Legend".

I started the red pulsation on the "T" in "Tripredacus" when the left-side figure's mouth was displayed in the 19px tall graphic.

The pulsations continue from left to right, and the red pulsation on the "d" in "Legend" is shown when the right-side figure's mouth is displayed.

I feel that the last 2 sentences combine to produce a nice effect.

I hope that you all enjoyed seeing this animated GIF, and I also hope that some of you benefited from the detailed steps in the GIF's construction.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

@Tripredacus

Can you please enlighten me on what your member name, Tripredacus, means *to you*?

What does "K-Mart-ian Legend" mean *to you*?

Is Tripredacus a Transformer?

Is the figure in your avatar actually "Tripredacus"?

Is the figure in your avatar a Transformer?

I'd like to present this animated GIF as an example of my work on another graphics forum I'm on, if it's O.K. with you, of course.

Many Thanks!

Sincerely,

Larry

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edited by larryb123456
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