30 Days of Creativity: Day 7

Saxon tackles a dragon!

My latest experiment is the result of a curious creativity surge and a Saturday evening with nothing else to do.  I wanted to work exclusively with Photoshop Elements®, also known as ‘Photoshop Lite’ by some.  I also wanted to do some work with layers and masking, neither of which I really know much about.  I do have a great book called Layers (2nd edition) by Matt Kloskowski, which helps to understand how to do a lot of cool things with layers.  However, you do have to poke around Elements a bit to find how to set the layers.  (Go to your layers stack, click on the layer of interest, then select what type of layer you want – Normal, Multiply, Dissolve, etc. – from the drop down menu.)

Likewise, I didn’t know how to set up a mask and I couldn’t find it from the main drop down windows.  However, this is where Matt’s book really helped me out – and thank you to Adobe® for putting this power into Elements!  There is a little button on the bottom on your layers stack that looks like a square with a circle cut out of it.  This will add a mask to your selected layer so you can work with it.

Naturally, I picked something nice and difficult to work with, like my furry cat.  I masked out the background (my window shades) and eventually had to copy the resulting image into its own layer.  I tried fill layers, but they kept showing me the background, so I grabbed an image off the internet.  This image is the Skyrim© dragon.  It made a nice backdrop and it looks as if Saxon, my cat, is trying to catch a dragon! 😉

Basement cat killz ebil dragon

Now, as for the colors… no, my cat is not purple.  He is actually black.  But I had taken the image inside so the white balance was off and he looked brown with yellow eyes.  (His eyes are green-yellow and look green more often than not.)  To to correct the white balance, I used the function Enhance>Adjust Color>Remove Color Cast.  Well, a purple cat is about as far away as you can get with this function, so I decided to leave it as not only a lesson learned, but because I thought it was fun. 🙂

I used another layer (select, copy & paste) to make the blanket green, just for contrast.  His eyes were the only serious thing I did: Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Hue/Saturation.  Now, it isn’t a perfect match, nor was it a perfect selection (zoom in on his left eye and you can see the flaw) but this is a little closer to his natural eye color – still yellowish, but green at the same time.  I know the selection around the cat isn’t perfect either, but I liked the back lit look so I didn’t try harder to fix it.

All-in-all it is a very “Photoshopped” image, but it was fun to make – and that’s the idea, isn’t it? 🙂

 
© Manic Monday (manicmonday123) 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Manic Monday (manicmonday123) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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