A blog to share about Adrenal insufficiency, Addison's Disease, Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, Music, Inspiration, Scrapbooking and other elements viewed through the lens of my life. I'm hoping that others who are traveling this journey may find some commonality, and maybe some information and inspiration.

Monday, December 3, 2012

ArtStudio: Using PNG files as clipping mask

You can't quite use PNG files as clipping masks like you do in Photoshop or Elements. But here is what you can do:

This screen shot shows my layer palette. You can ignore the blue background layer. I just forgot to delete it! The next layer is what I will be using as my background for this example. I also brought in a PNG file of a sunburst, which I want to "clip" the yellow transfer to.

With the sunburst layer selected, go to the Select menu and choose Alpha to selection. You'll see the marching ants around the shape. 

Now, go to Select>Inverse. Select the image layer that you want to "clip", select Edit>Cut

Here is my result. This is a destructive edit - if you decide you don't like the result, you have to back track and try again. But at least you can alter your PNG files beyond coloring them. 

And you can create shapes to "clip" photos to as well. First, I created a new layer, then using the select tool, I drew a rectangle on the new layer. Then I rounded the corners: Select>Round Corners.

I filled it with a color (any will do) using the paint bucket

Then I brought in the photo I wanted to use:

Then I resized and moved it by going Transform selection>Move,scale

I moved the shape mask layer above the image, and reduced the opacity so I could make sure I had the photo placed how I wanted it in the shape.

 On the shape layer, go to Select>Alpha to selection. Also do a Select>Inverse. Then select the photo layer and Edit>Cut. That will leave you with everything outside the selection on the photo layer deleted. Then I turned off the visibility of the rectangle layer. It could also be deleted at this point.

I decided to duplicate the photo layer and use Multiply mode on the new layer. I also duplicated the sunburst. and used a Darken blend mode on that layer.

At this point I decided to create a mat for the photo, so I selected the photo layer, then went to Select>Alpha to selection, followed by Select>Expand. I forgot to get a screen shot of that, but you can choose how many pixels you want it to expand. I then created a new layer underneath the photo and  filled the selection on that layer with brown using the paint bucket.

I then wanted a drop shadow on that layer, so I went to Filters>Stylize>Drop Shadow.

Here is what those controls look like. Unfortunately, this does not do a live update. You have to kind of guess with the sliders, then select preview to see the effect. But you can keep playing with it until you get what you want before you apply the shadow.

As you can see in this photo, I also added a border. That is done by selecting a layer, then Filters>Border>Add Border and playing with the sliders. This border happens to be on the top photo layer, so the Multiply bland mode also applies to that border. Really, I should have but it on it's own layer, but it'll work where it is.

Now to add a title. Select the text tool and tap on the screen approximately where you want the text to be. This is the window that pops up. This is where you can type your text, select the font, size, and alignment.

I typed each word on it's own layer, resized and moved it where I wanted. I rasterized the text, then did a Select>Alpha to selection as well as Select>Expand (3 pixels) , and created a layer below the word. I then used the paint bucket to fill the selection, and moved it slightly offset. I still wasn't happy with the text, so I once again selected the word, created a new layer below, and filled it with the gradient tool. That was more of what I was looking for. 

Along the way, layers have to be combined if you are doing a multi-layer project like this one. Once I was happy with the word Beach, I merged the layers so I still had a few layers to create Naupaka. 

So there is a little taste of using PNG files and shapes to "mask". It's not the only way. But that is for another post! Of course I might take this layout further by adding some PNG files behind the photo and maybe bring in some beach elements. But this is where it is right now.


Art Studio: Select and Layer Menus

I hope you all had a great weekend. It's time to talk about the Select and Layer Menus. Here's a screenshot of the Select menu. Make sure you have selected the layer you want in the Layers stack.  If you choose all, the entire layer including invisible pixels is selected. If you choose Alpha to selection, it will select on the object on the layer. 

Here I've selected using the Alpha to selection option. If you look closely you can see the marching ants:

And once you have made the selection, the options in the Select menu become available. 

These options do what they say - Border selects a border so you can then fill it with whatever color you want to. If you are used to Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, you know what the other options do. 

And here is the screen shot of the Layer menu. Some of these are also available from the layer stack at the bottom of the screen. 

One word of advice: when working in ArtStudio, like in other programs, save frequently. I have found that when I don't, the program is somewhat prone to crashing, and that means you'll lose your work. This may be partly due to my very limited space on my iPad 1. But saving often is still a good idea.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Music Wreath Progress

I thought I'd post a brief update on my music wreath project. I finally got to the store for ribbon. I didn't find exactly what I was looking for, but I did find some that will work.

I want to get some pearls to glue in the center of each rose before I attach them to the wreath.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, November 26, 2012

ArtStudio: Using the Adjust Options

 Now for more fun with effects! Here is the file I'm starting out with, the same one I used as a basis for the previous post about Blending Modes. Today we'll explore the Adjust options:

The first one on the list is Brightness/Contrast/Exposure. Here's a sample with combined adjustments of all three: 

Next on the list is Hue/Saturation/Lightness:

Curves gives you a lot of control:

You can add an adjustment point by tapping on the adjustment curve. allowing you to fine tune various aspects of the image:

And you can control specific color channels:

You can see here, you can combine various channel adjustments:

And here's an example of playing with the Alpha:

Some examples of Color Balance control:

Temperature/Tint sliders:



I didn't get a screen shot of Invert Colors. Here is Black and white, which is a good first step to recoloring the layer.

I selected a color from the swatches and chose Colorify, a super easy way to make things match whatever color palette you are playing with:

For this one, I reverted to my original file and selected Color to Transparency. 

The Adjust menu also contains Auto Contrast, Auto Colors and Auto White Balance, which would be most useful on photographs that need a bit of adjusting.

Next up: the Select and Layer menus

Sunday, November 25, 2012

ArtStudio: New File and Brining in Digi Goodies

To start a new project, select New from the File menu. The drop down menu gives you options depending on your iPad version, and your project. While it looks like I can pick the iPad with Retina option, since I don't have the new iPad, selecting this option causes ArtStudio to crash, so I don't recommend going that route without the proper equipment. 

Once you have selected the correct document size, this is what the rest of the New Image window looks like.  I normally choose White background, just like I would in PSE. 

Now the document is ready to start creating!

I store the digital files I'm going to use in Dropbox. This saves space on my already-space-challenged iPad. Generally I pull my photos off PhotoStream, but you could certainly create a project folder in Dropbox to contain everything you plan on using. 

Here is a screen shot of my Dropbox folder which contains the files I made from Anna Aspnes' ArtzyCards Crazy Life with the background I am going to select for this tutorial. I choose Copy Image to Clipboard.

Double-click the home button, go to ArtStudio. Select File>Import>Insert as a Layer>Paste from Clipboard. Hopefully Dropbox integration will be coming as a feature to make this a quicker process. It has been requested and the developer is looking at it.

Repeat the process to bring in other items you want on your page. Here is a screen shot of the background plus a transfer, with no blending modes applied.

Here is what the Blending modes pop-up looks like:

And here are some screen shots with various blend modes applied to the transfer layer. As in Photoshop or PSE, you just have to play with the various modes to see the effect, which varies depending on the characteristics of the layers. This addition of blend modes makes me a very happy mobile scrapper! I love the texture that shows through with Multiply:

Here is Burn:


Grain Extract

Grain Merge:

There is an opacity slider so you have a lot of control over each layer effect. Here is the original Multiply mod with the opacity at 39%:

Next up: Layer Adjustments