2005-09-14

Photoshop

Image hosted by Photobucket.comAs a long time user of photoshop and similar programs (gimp, iphoto, paintshop pro, photoplus etc) I have to say that I spend way too much time editing images. Somehow I have so much fun when altering people's faces and scenes. From subtle lighting elements through to changing the landscape; got a road: change it to grass; powerlines become blue sky; acne is a thing of the past. Sure, the finished product isn't the original image, but I feel that I have contributed to the final output in an artistic sense. So I have made my friends look like aliens, removed hair, added hair, removed creases and spots from scanned photographs, highlighted the hidden subject of an image, blurred, removed and altered junk elements. As far as I am concerned, it is all good.

So when I see something cool done with photoshop, I have to wonder how they did it, and sometimes I attempt to replicate the feat. Hence my headless image on the right here was a picture by Josa Jr that was highlighted in Narbenfarkle's blog. Mine isn't anywhere near as good but it is simply a proof of concept for me. Two images, one of you and then another of the garment you are wearing in the same lighting situation. The garment solo is the toughest as you have to have the shirt open up to get the back but without your hands in shot. This would be easier if you have some sort of frame to stick under the shirt - which I wasn't about to do at this stage. Slap both images into Photoshop, select and copy the inside of your shirt and paste onto the other image then carefully erase the shirt insides so it fits around the neck area. Voila!

The pic to the right was easier because I don't look into the shirt. Just two pics. One with you in it, one without. You have to use a tripod (or similar). Open both images into photoshop. Copy and paste the image with you in it on the image without you, then erase away the head bit. You may have some issues with lighting, but this is quite simple to fix. Nice and quick and kinda funky looking.

I highly recommend that anyone with a digitial camera have a look at some of the good books written on editing images, specifically those books that list problems and solutions are the ones that I find best (if you are just beginning then you will want to hunt around for texts that are appropriate for your level).

2005-09-12

Bad Science

Ben Goldacre's web site Bad Science has some wonderfully insightful essays on science in the media and the abuse of science by irresponsible researchers. I'd write more but I would just be repeating Ben's stuff and you could already be there reading right now. So scoot! There is a lot to read. You may want to get a cup of nice tea first or warm milk. Mmmm, polyphenols and tryptophan.

2005-09-11

AFL: Brisbane Lions

AFL (Australia Rules Football Leage) is a far better game than Rugby League/Union where the ref has too much influence and skill/strategy is secondary. Soccer doesn't seem to draw much of a crowd in Australia but appears to have the same referee dependence and low scoring issue of Rugby. Grid-iron/US-football appears to be girlie.

Anyways, my alleged team, the Brisbane Lions, have had their butts kicked out of the finals by St Kilda in an embarrassingly poor show of skill on Brisbane's behalf and an exceedingly great display of skill by St Kilda. Brisbane did not make the top eight, even though they have been in the four previous grand finals and won three of them.

So my new team, St Kilda, seem to have a great chance at the Grand Final. Their first final match was close and very exciting. Unfortunately their stupid home page doesn't let me easily see who they are playing next. I have to go to the official AFL web site. Idiots.

Or am I the idiot for caring. Deep down I realise that sport is a distraction from what really matters in life. A tool used to sell junk to the kids and a hideously grotesque and wastful method of allegedly promoting healthy living and dubious role models. Can we say athlete rape? Swimmers really cheese me off, can't stand their face stuck on everything and all the hype we are forced to accept. Yay, we swim fast, it's really exciting, we jump in the water and splash like hell and touch the wall and then cheer our win. Maybe even cry when we get a prize. Then you get to see our faces on fricken Weeties packets and every second high sugar food advert. Oh, and if we win big and want to rest then we can just break contracts and still expect to get public money from these contracts. Oh yes, those medals cost the public millions. But at least it stops us from watching Johnnie Howard and his crew as they go around and misuse public money in creative and secretive ways.

How hard is it these days to buy cereal without an athlete on it. Around the time of the olympics I have to eat no-brand porridge just so I am not sick to my stomach with the self absorbed athlete smiling out at me from my fibre dense product packaging. I would like to call on the thinking people of Australia to boycott food products with any sports related person stuck on it. A museli bar will not turn you into a world class swimmer, only a certain amount of skill, heaps of dedication, a coach prepared to torture you and a whole boatload of public money will get you there.

Sport can be entertaining and does have some social linking value; a conversation is easier between people who can appreciate the finer points of any particular sport. Maybe little fat punk kids might go outside and emulate sports people and get some exercise ... then later be abusive armpits, get drunk and rape girls.

Anyways, St Kilda better win the Grand Final or they can forget my support. Damn right I'm fickle. Who wants to support losers. Loyalty be damned. I see loyalty as a two way street and the club hasn't done anything for me. Generally all I ask is that they don't lose. And they have been. Badly. Bloody Lions.

UPDATE: Bloody St Kilda.

2005-09-01

Serenity

This is the movie you were looking for ... when you went to see star wars. Exceedingly entertaining and should put a whole horde of people onto the Firefly series that got stopped because marketing screwed up.

Go see it ... when it comes out at the end of September 2005. So very highly recommended.