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February 20, 2007 meeting notes:

Graphics SIG & Software

Affluent Aficionados of Graphics, (my alliterations are really stretching the dictionary!)

We had a real treat at our February meeting as special guest, Jack Hord, literally ran through in about an hour all the steps it takes to re-make a logo better than the original with requested changes. An email discourse jump-started the eventual volunteerism of our previous SIG leader who figured he could make this 3D graphic with only 2D software. "Not possible", I kept insisting. I was wrong!

Books I have recently touted as helping the photographer with photo-relevant adjustments would not help anyone complete the task set before us here. Software-savvy Jack used both CorelDRAW! 9 and Corel's Paint Shop Pro X to make a 3D-looking logo. First he worked in vector (line) format with circles and an off-center sunburst gradient. While available in PSP, gradients allow easier interaction in CorelDRAW!. Then he used raster (photo-like) layers to accommodate bevels for curved letters and circle edges. I could have taken about 5 full pages of notes, but my hand can't write fast enough while my eyes follow along on the large screen. After I saw the "rows and rows" of layers, my mind sorta shut down as they are my <gulp> downfall. But as long as I have Jack's email address, I'm okay. <pleasant sigh> (c;

It turns out that PSP has a 3D feature for items selected under Effects | 3D Effects | Inner/Outer Bevel, while in a raster layer. This allows the light source to appear from a direction you can set like turning the minute hand on a clock. This was what I had obviously been missing. Glad I didn't make any bets!

Taking one step (or many steps) further, Jack re-made the logo in the pro 3D program, 3D Studio Max. We were overwhelmed by the talent of this guy as the logo came to life, spinning like you'd see on television.

As a reader bonus, Jack says, "Anyone interested in the animated logo can see it online: This Quicktime file is 10MB  I created it in 3D Studio Max. As of 2/22, it still needs some metallic texturing."

Can you say, "Shinier?"

Next, we looked at the photos for entering the annual Digital Wizard Contest at Ken Persons used his Photoshop v4 to create several trial entries to get the group excited. If you look at previous winners on their site, you can get an idea of what can be done. For those who'd like to try it, that will be our assignment for March's meeting. Contest deadline is March 31st.

Come join us the third Monday of March at 7pm, Central Library to see some of the group's "wizardry" and more. Yes, Jack, you're invited back also if you dare enter this contest also!

  - Bruce Switalla

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