I came across this great photo series on Flickr, entitled Pencil vs Camera by artist Ben Heine. It is always interesting to see how different mediums can be combined, especially when it comes from reality (photos) and imagination (drawings). Ben used a traditional method to do his sketches. All the graphic elements shown come from his own stock/production. He drew the sketches, took the photos, and edited them.
Here at Digital Anarchy we have always been a big supporter of how illustrations can play a role within photography. Our plugin ToonIt! Photo lets you create cartoon effects, like shading and lines, from your own photographic images. Learn more about ToonIt! Photo here.
I had a few extra moments to play with the Pencil vs Camera concept using my own images and ToonIt! Photo. I shot these photos in Santa Cruz, CA on a very overcast day about two years ago. I would have liked to have a more pleasing sky but you can’t always get what you want, right? Here are the results:
Continue reading Pencil vs Camera and ToonIt!
While I find captchas as annoying as, well, everyone else does, I also enjoy the beauty of their randomness. Our company Digital Anarchy builds some of its products around that idea, like our Texture Anarchy pattern generator for Photoshop textures. Texture Anarchy harnesses fractal noise, algorithms and other techy chaos into really pretty textures.
A few days ago, I posted an ad in the Talent section of Craigslist. The captcha that I had to fill out, ‘discontented bacon’, was geekiness to its max. More on what this talent ad was for in a few days… we’re excited.
Continue reading The beauty of randomness: Captchas.
I recently came across a blog post by Fuzzy Duenkel, a photographer over in Wisconsin. He makes a pretty passionate case against using scene swapping (e.g. the type of stuff you do with Primatte and green screen) for traditional, ‘classic’ portraits. By and large I agree with him. I don’t think it’s a great use of the technology to put someone in a place they’ve never been so they can say they were there. For novelty photos and the like, it’s great, but for a ‘classic’ portrait, maybe not so much. But there’s more to portraits than just the classic look.
Image by Deverie FX, www.deveriefx.com
Continue reading Portrait Illusions – Green Screen and Other Tricks
Good article on Ragen.com about the ‘4 techniques for spicing up corporate photos‘. This website typically reports and comments on Public Relations news, so it’s interesting to find this article. But since 1,000 words equal one photograph, or so the saying goes, it makes sense.
Summary of the four tips to take compelling corporate photos, which is almost an oxymoron:
“1. Change the angle. The easiest way to add interest to a potentially boring photo is to move your camera off-center. Try shooting from the sides, above, below, or behind—a different perspective can go a long way… [For instance] Salvo says she’s had some success taking award photos from behind the stage rather than in front.”
Ok, this isn’t a corporate photo. But it’s an interesting angle of my dog and his little friend.
Continue reading Spicing up corporate photos.
If you pay attention to news sites covering digital graphics, there have been interesting articles surfacing about the the Avatar movie. There is quite a bit of talk about the philosophy and technology behind the movie, perhaps a tad on the over-analyzing side of things, but personally, I still find this topic more interesting than a rant about the new iPad.
In Post magazine — consistently a terrific source of film related news — there are two articles about how director James Cameron took motion capture into a new level of technology. The article ‘‘Avatar’ Introduces a New Era in Filmmaking‘ talks about his vision of a system that provides performance capture rather than motion capture. The article ‘Director’s Chair: James Cameron – Avator‘ goes into more detail about this new system, called the Simulcamera.
Continue reading Avatar technology… & philosophy?
Digital Anarchy exhibited at the Senior Portrait Artists (SPA) Event earlier this week. It was yet another trade show, but this time we were on the island of Coronado, just off the sunny coastline of San Diego, CA.
We stayed and worked in the grand Hotel de Coronado, which is a grand hotel dating to 1888 and considered a National Historical Landmark. (Interesting history is here.) It was wonderful to be in a hotel that was next to the beach and lined with palm trees, especially during the winter, but the lush surroundings did present a small problem. Continue reading Trade show amid the palm trees.
Here’s a great article on staying positive at work, despite the recession and whatnot. The article includes a number of tips on accomplishing a positive mind, most of which are applicable to life in general, not just work.
Smiley face courtesy of our 3D Photoshop plugin, called 3D Invigorator, which creates 3D objects and logos. Fun stuff. Continue reading Benefits of Being Positive
With so much technology around, can you use it to enhance photographs to tell more complete and compelling stories?
One beautiful example comes from Todd Sanchioni. Todd is a San Francisco based photographer who recently had an exhibit that featured Laos street musicians. The photographs were compelling in their own right, but he added an mp3 player to each piece which played the music of the musician in the photo.
While Todd is certainly not the first photographer to do such things, I thought it was a particularly good reminder that as we’re out shooting, it’s easy to capture other media. Our cameras can capture video. Our cell phones can record audio. It’s never been easier to add extra dimensions to photography.
The photo should always be able to stand by itself, but if you can add more context and meaning by including audio or video, there’s a great deal to be said for that. Of course, some common sense should be applied to this type of mixed media. Mp3s along with photos of musicians and their instruments adds depth to the piece. Putting mp3s of war sounds next to war photographs would, in most cases, take away from the photos.
I think for mixed media to really work, the artist/photographer needs to really understand all the media types they are working with. If that’s the case, the overall effect can be quite stunning.
Digital Anarchy recently added an interesting artist to our ToonIt! Photo gallery. Her name is Chrissie Campbell and she is truly a woman of many mediums and skills. I love the main image on her website’s About page. It seems to pull in all of her talents: painting, photography and digital manipulation. Very contemporary and strong but with a delicate stylization.
It’s fun becoming friendly with someone online, then discovering details like where she lives. Chrissie’s business name is ‘Kakadu Design’ and it didn’t occur to me what that indicated until I visited her website and looked at the promo images. Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Continue reading Outback art with Chrissie Campbell.
Yesterday, I joined Photoshop product manager Bryan O’neil-Hughes for his Photowalk. This was part of the effort by NAPP to get folks out and taking pictures. There were photowalks all over the nation because of this.
It’s a pretty cool idea and was great fun. Adobe rockstar Julieanne Kost joined us along with a few other Adobe folks. The walk itself was fairly short in length and mostly went a few blocks around the Adobe campus in San Jose. You’d be surprised at how long it takes for 50 photographers to go a few blocks. In any event, this led to many photos of the Adobe building (there also seemed to be a good deal of photographers taking pictures of photographers).
When you go on walks like this, it’s interesting what your choice of lens does to your photos.
Continue reading Photowalkin’ (and camera lenses)
Jim Tierney, the President and ‘CEA’ of Digital Anarchy, recently sat down to talk with Grant Friedman of Colorburned.com. This is a terrific blog and info site that I became aware of when Grant contacted us about some of his online contests. Jim and Grant had a lively conversation via email, as many of us do these days. You can read Colorburned’s interview with Jim Tierney here on their site.
Continue reading Chief Executive Anarchist on Colorburned.com.
A few days ago, I received a great email from a new customer named Mark Edwards. He wrote us a nice note about his purchase of ToonIt! Photo, which is our Adobe Photoshop cartooning plugin, and attached some images to his email.
Mark said, “Thanks for the cool tool. After only a few minutes of playing around with it, I decided to buy it (original and toonit versions of one picture attached). Love it!”
Mark’s ToonIt image:
Continue reading Professional geeks love ToonIt!
I love when good art is enveloped by good promotional methods. (Note: All images shown here are borrowed from the respective websites.)
Awhile ago, YouTube linked me to the artist website www.philinthecircle.com. The artist is Phil Hansen aka Phil in the Circle. He’s a fascinating guy who paints/draws with unusual media, like a large scale portrait of Jimmy Hendrix made of colored matches or a Britney Spears portrait made from chewed up Starbucks pastries. He seems to make money in part on posters of the pieces. He burned much of the work in his themed series called Goodbye Art.
Continue reading Offbeat art & new era marketing.
I always enjoy reading a breakdown of how the design process happens or where inspiration comes from. Some interesting sources are the Creative section of Communication Arts’ website; the Creativity blog on How magazine’s website; ideas from Moo.com‘s business card customers; and the illustration blogsite Drawn.ca.
Recently I designed a logo for our new CarToonIt! Bundle, which gives a discount on the purchase of ToonIt! Photo. This product bundle is our Adobe Photoshop cartooning software that now also works in Apple’s Aperture.
The CarToonIt! logo was pretty easy to make because I based it off our existing ToonIt! logo. But that short design process made me think about my design revisions for the ToonIt! logo, which happened over a few weeks’ time, and I thought it would be fun to post some of the iterations here. Enjoy!
My original concept sketch:
Continue reading Creating the ToonIt! logo.
Just read an article on one of my favorite industry news sites, www.studiodaily.com, which is related to Studio Monthly magazine. It’s about a new SciFi film that uses relatively low budget techniques to tell a story about the futurism of Mexico. The film is Sleep Dealer and the director is Alex Rivera.
I always enjoy reading about people’s hardware and software choices and moreso about their creative decisions. But what I really enjoyed about this article was the final interview question asked of Rivera.
Note: This movie still has been reposted from Studiodaily.com. Continue reading Find your inner freak.
Steven Parke is an amazing photographer and artist who Digital Anarchy became friendly with about two years ago. It’s taken almost that long for us to show his amazing work in our online gallery. Busy lives.
Steven is using Flickr as his gallery medium these days, though he used to show a wider expanse of his work in a gorgeous website called Imagecarnival.com. Seems like he has his creative fingers in lots of stuff including commercial portraits, musician photos, CD covers. If you click around his People set, you will see a lot of interesting and even recognizable people. Steven is quite humble about his accomplishments. One of my favorite photos in this set is the lead singer for a band called MILKSHAKE!.
Continue reading At long last, Steven Parke.
In Photo Techniques magazine there was this quote attributed to Chuck Close:
“Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work.”
This sort of misses the point of inspiration. Obviously, you can’t stare at clouds all day, but that doesn’t mean you have to have your nose to the grindstone continuously either. I think a lot of inspiration is simply keeping your mind open and aware of what’s going on as you move through life. Inspiration doesn’t need to be lightning bolts and explotions. It can be simple things like ice cubes. Here’s a recent example of some macro shots I did:
Continue reading Inspiration