Steven Powers (SMP): April 2011

How To Convert and Combine Video Clips

This is a video tutorial I did recently and I wanted to add it to my site archive.  If you have seen it just ignore it, but if not, check it out and let me know what you think.  It covers the use of freeware to convert various video types and then combine them into a single file.


Site Update

I just up dated the site to load faster and reorganized some things to remove clutter. I also redesigned the portfolio page and fixed the links to open in separate tabs.

WIP "Alien In a Hostile Land"

"Alien in a Hostile Land"
At least that is the working title so I can easily find it at a later date.  This WIP (Work In Progress)  is a personal project that didn't really start with a brief.  I normally try to make a point to create a brief for all projects in a simple text format .  Then I add progress notes of what to work on next.  This way I have a to do list of items to proceed with when I work on it again.  Instead of using Bridge with Photoshop to track or browse files, I use IrfanView Thumbnail Viewer (that installs with IrfanView) because it is a very light weight app.  It will allow me to also open the files in any external editor.

In this case, the parts just started to come together. It started with me doodling in Photoshop with a simple soft brush, opacity controlled by pressure, working on a value sketch (gray scale only) to see what I could find within the scribble.  The technique is similar to looking at a cloud and finding a shape within it. In a short time I had created a little alien in perspective.  I cleaned up the silhouette a bit, added texture, rim lighting and a very simple "throw-away" background shown below.

"Alien Invader"

Aspect Ratio ...Simplified

Aspect Ratio (AR) is just that, a ratio between the width and the height of an image.  There is an in-depth wiki on the matter HERE.  But most artists really just want or need the simple version and how it relates to us.

Tutorial Page

I updated my tutorial page.  It isn't the design I was going for, but it will do for now.  If you haven't already checked them out, please feel free to do so.

If there is anything that you have questions on or would like me to cover, let me know.  If it isn't something I can cover, the chances are that I can point you in the right direction.


Finished! (Somewhat)

After fighting with Blogger to design my page (I bought my domain this time) The page is suitable, for now.  I am currently looking for a web host so I can have full control over the site design.  This way I can include all of my projects in one location; or at least linked from one location.

8 or 16 Bit Color Depth For Digital Painting

The question to use 8 or 16 color continuously comes up. I have tried to get a definitive answer to this question, but found nothing concrete. I have been using 16 bit for some time now. Mostly due to the advice of a friend who happens to be a professional photographer. I have to say I don't really notice a difference in my paintings, but I kept at it since it might help with better print results. This question wouldn't be coming up again if it weren't for the fact that I am looking to move to a Linux environment. Unfortunately I use Photoshop and Adobe only supports Windows and Mac OS's. But the alternatives,such as GIMP among others, only support 8 bit color. So do I really need 16 bit color?