Thursday, November 08, 2007

Computer design

Last weekend I demonstrated designing using the computer at The North Wales Embroiderers' Guild Biennial Exhibition, this is the third time I have done this, but this year I was so pleased to find that far more people took an interest in what I was doing. Even husbands came to sit next to me hoping to be able to help their wives with their design. Older women are also buying computers and asking which software they should be using.
I have also found there is a lot of interest on the Fibre and Stitch Yahoo group in designing using the computer. I said I would share some of the things I do on my blog.

Above is a page I'm swapping with Dianne of FaeryDi's Fibre Feats or "Fiascos" in Australia, who wanted a page inspired by Art Nouveau. This was inspired by a great favourite of mine, Klimt, this is his Tree of Life. I love spirals and these are really special.

This is a photo, but it would have been better if it had been scanned in, but as I use my laptop in the evenings, I took a photo and downloaded it to the laptop. I then played with it in PaintShopPro 9.

Map 1

This was selected using the magic wand by clicking inside one of the spirals, then saved with a new name. It was rather large, so it was cropped and this again was saved under a new name.

Map 2

These were left open and minimized.

Then a new image 7"x7" square was made using a gradient which was turned diagonally in the Materials Properties box. This has a Resolution of 100 pixels per inch.
I often use displacment activities, but here is a Displacement activity that you will love. In PaintShopPro in recent updates (I use PSP9) they have added the Displacement Map. I had used this in other programs, but I love this one. It's very technical, but not difficult to do. One image displaces the pixels in another image. as I understand it, very roughly, the light pixels go in one direction, the dark another and the medium stay the same. It's enough for me that it creates interesting images.

Go to Effects/Distortion/Displacement Map. I find it easier to use Tile Map to displace the map, here you can make the map larger or smaller. The first map is usually the image itself, but if you click on the little downward pointing triangle you will get images of all the maps you can use, and the first maps to show will be the ones you have minimized. It was then played with in the Displacement Properties and Edge mode. Don't forget the Blur will make a lot of difference too, the lower the number, the clearer the image.
You can run through all these and choose the effect you want, play with all the changes that can be made. When you think you have found an interesting one, click OK, but don't worry if you find you don't like the effect, just click Ctrl and Z to undo the last one. A very useful little trick.

This is where the fun starts. Choose Adjust/Colour Balance/Black and White Points and click the Random parameters button or the 'dice' as I call it. This gives you a most wonderful change of colours. Some will be disappointing, but others will make you go 'Wow'. Click OK on one you really like.

Now go to Effects/Artistic Effects/Enamel and again use the 'dice' Until you find an interesting effect. I like using a low Blur on my images and they quite often look stitched and textured.

Finally you can finish by creating a border around the work. Click Images/Add Borders/ and click symmetric. Choose a colour from the image by using the colour picker, which you can drag over to your image. Click Ok when you are happy with it.

Those of you who are beginners have my permission to use these images as starters. Click to enlarge the image, then Right click on the enlarged image and Save As to a folder. you can then open this using the Browser in PSP.

It might be a good idea to print out these instructions. You can do this by clicking or double clicking on the Title of this post. When you have just this one post showing, Right Click on the post and choose Print Preview. When you are happy with the size of the print, click Print.


Vicki W said...

Excellent tutorial! Thanks so much.

Sue B said...

Mags you are an absolute wiz with this subject.

Purple Missus said...

This is really interesting Mags. I've always promised myself to have a go at designing on the computer - you have made it look really easy to understand. Thank you.

Waltraud said...

So great, thanks for the tutorial!

Susan D said...

Thanks for the tutorial. You'll be coming to Liverpool next year then to see the Klimt exhibition at Tate Liverpool???? It's the 1st comprehensive exhibition of his work ever staged in the UK according to the Tate website.

Anonymous said...

Una G says thankyou so much for your help in the Zine, I am working on the design and will post it when finished. I think I can do something similar on Photoshop will try it and post it to show you.

Joanna van said...

What a great tutorial...another thing to add to my wishlist..paintshop pro

Sequana said...

Just another thing for me to spend time on.....*L*.....and i have so much xtra time too.

Oh, btw...this is Annie in Chicago from FnS

Fran├žoise said...

Great tutorial Mags!

Dianne said...

Thankyou, thankyou for the wonderful tutorial - AND for my gorgeous page!!!!!

arlee said...

Thank you Mags--i've had PaintShop for years and never been able to do much with it, being self taught, but this will really help out!!!!

Sarah Nopp said...

Great tutorial. I think it is fun to see all the computer aided design happening. And it is graet to see people letting go of their fears and just Trying it!

Conni said...

Wonderful effect and tutorial! Thanks!

meggie said...

What a great tutorial! Your talents are many.

Maggie Grey said...

Now, where did you learn tricks like that, Mags? I think the PSP displacement maps are better than Elements, as it's so easy to choose. Mind you, I don't use Elements much, so I may be doing things the hard way.

I used to think it was my fatal attraction that pulled in the husbands to computer demos. Sadly I fear it is just the fascination with computers.

There is much more interest in computer design now and I think a lot of it is due to the digital camera revolution. Batsford finally agreed to let me do a book on stitching out the designs, but only after I mentioned digital photos!

Susan said...

I so enjoy using the computer and your tutorial is absolutely excellent. Yet, it is the subject I want to comment awesome. I, too, just adore Klimt and the entire Viennese period in which he lived and worked. It is so nice to see novel ways in which his art still influences and touches people. Thanks so much for sharing your technological expertise while using his simply makes the "learning" process that much more beautiful.

Liz said...

Ooh, Mags, this is wonderful - I'm going to sit down and go through this with one of my own photos. Thank you for taking the trouble to write it.