Mashing Up Deer with Kari

28/01/2011 § 1 Comment

Here we have a GIMP mash-up that is made up of the green park at school (next to the cafeteria) as the background, a deer cropped out of a Nara picture, and me, from an Easter picnic the Filipino community had one day in Spring of 2010. I once used Photoshop in 6th grade to do a few manipulations to a picture or two but those were simply manipulations and starting to learn the basics of photo manipulation. This was the first photoshop/GIMP assignment that I was required to actually take pictures from different places in the internet (or from my own photo libraries) and put them together in one picture; one mash-up.

From my experience of watching other people manipulate such pictures and actually make things look realistic (like during class that one day where we were given a whole list of pictures that actually weren’t real and were changed and altered using programs like Photoshop or GIMP (but less likely GIMP because nowadays, people have modified and created new and more advanced applications like Photoshop and if they can afford the more modern/advanced programs, they would most likely buy those programs rather than older, less efficient applications). I know from the final results of my mash-up that my skills are nowhere near a quarter as good as those of my brother (who is a fine manipulator when it comes to altering pictures and making his own media art with Photoshop and the like) or those professionals who are hired to do the CGI and effects for block-buster movies or the media artists who create the appealing ads that we see every day. However, despite the fact that my skills are nothing compared to those of a professional, I’m quite content with the result of my mash-up.

My original plan with the photos is exactly what is seen in the manipulated version. The only decent picture of myself that I could find that could fit the Nara pictures from Flickr was the Easter one I found from Facebook. It included me sitting and it was the only picture of myself that I liked. Also, when I looked through Flickr, I found the background of the park near the cafeteria and I simply liked it, even if it was very small. Finally, I chose the deer because already my plan was starting to form with me sitting on a bench, eating casually with a deer in front of me, like my pet. I think the final mash-up met up to my expections well enough.

While I was actually manipulating the pictures, I erased a lot, therefore used the eraser a lot. I also zoomed in and out a lot and changed the size of my eraser so that I could erase as much of the background as possible. Zooming in and out meant I pressed the keys Command-Shift-Equals(=) to basically do Command-Plus(+) and zoom in. Zooming out for me was Command-Dash(-). I also used the smudge tool because I realised that it was useful when I saw that my erasing was a little jagged. When I smudged myself or the deer, though, I could smooth out the ends and make the deer’s back look smoother, like it really is, or make my head look like a head and not jagged. I also used the rectangle select tool as taught by Mr. McEwen so that I could cut out the deer and on a different layer, just erase the white background and not erase the other background (CA park near cafeteria). Finally, to make the whole picture look real, I desaturated the picture (took off all the colours, leaving it with only black, white and grey) to a gray level of ‘luminosity’ because that level made the whole picture look as real as possible. Out of all the new tools, the only one I knew that existed was the eraser and although I knew you could select certain parts of a picture, I never actually used a tool like ‘rectangle select’.

There aren’t really any specific things I’d like to learn about manipulating graphics because it isn’t a main interest in my educational point of view. However, I know it might come in handy if ever I need to use media later in life and school. I think, if ever I do get interested in manipulating graphics, the easiest way for me to learn is to just play with pictures and click random buttons, which is how I discovered to ‘desaturate’ my picture (it was exactly what I was looking for at the time, too).

§ One Response to Mashing Up Deer with Kari

  • Brian McEwen says:

    Kari, you’ve done a very good job describing your process but you need to be sure to stick as best as you can to the task at hand (there is a lot of extra information you’ve included which detracts from your description of the actual task you undertook). One thing which might help with this would be to use the questions from the task as section headings in your response (this may focus your response a bit more). Transfer the level of detail from your introductory comments to your description of the task in the future and you should be able to produce excellent work.

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