Category: Tech


Photo doodles

I’ve been exploring one of my favourite graphics programs, Twisted Brush, more extensively recently.  It is well worth checking out (you can try before you buy). These three pictures are photo-based and rely on the Alpha Filter layer to ‘expose’ parts of the image underneath.

Heron Sketch2

Heron in Princes Park (sketch 2)

Masks1

Masks

Clayton Square Jellysketch

Clayton Square, seen from St John’s Beacon, Liverpool – Sketch

Artensoft Photo Collage Maker

I really enjoy messing around with digital imaging. Right from the act of creating images (photos, abstract, fractals etc.) through to editing and altering the images and combining them into collages and overlays.

A great program for doing the collages, image mosaics and overlays is Artensoft Photo Collage Maker. It is simple to use, with stunningly effective results. You load a master image, followed by one or more folders full of images into the program. Then a set of options for creating the collage. The program then creates a patchwork image from thumbnails from the included folders. Two images that I have run through the program are shown below.

DSCF3945_created_using_Artensoft_Photo_Collage_Maker

A moonlight shot of the Sacre Coeur in Paris using other photos from a visit to the city.

DSCF0174_created_using_Artensoft_Photo_Collage_Maker

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral with thumbnails from shots around the cathedral and the city centre.

Image15 Collage - Charcoal

A self-portrait using various snaps of me. The end result was put through a charcoal filter to give the fuzzy monochrome effect.

There are also galleries of collages on the site – the program is a lot of fun and gives opportunity for some real creativity.

Once again the link is:

http://www.artensoft.com/ArtensoftPhotoCollageMaker/

There are many screen capture applications available at a wide range of prices – including the screen clipping tool that ships with Windows 7. But StepShot differs in that you can automatically export a series of screenshots as .pdf, .html, .rtf, .jpg and other formats, as well as saving each capture individually as an image. When you export to a document, it uses one of a selection of attractive templates (you can choose from a drop down list).

The program is easy to learn, and to use. You can set hotkeys for ‘region’, ‘window’ or ‘full screen’. The one thing that I would like to be able to customize is, when saving individual images, the default image format. It defaults as .png format and my personal preference is .jpg – as it stands in this version, you have to re-select the format for each save.

Below is a series of captures showing some basic screens from the program.

StepShot_10_38_34

The ‘File’ tab includes all the normal functions for opening and saving projects, importing images as well as settings, such as ‘hotkeys’ etc.

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The ‘Screen Recording and History’ tab shows the captures you have taken as well as the facility to delete individual captures, insert items, etc.

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The ‘Edit Current Image’ tab, as well as the routine editing functions, allows you to add annotations, insert items (images from file and clipboard, etc), and open the image in your chosen external editor (the default is MSPaint).

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And the two images above show how the exported .pdf file looks with the default template. To me, this is the most useful feature of the program. It is great to be able to produce a sequential set of graphical instructions or tips without having to import each image manually into a desktop publishing, web publishing, or word processing document.

A big thumbs up to the program designers!