Freebie, My Art, Inpaint, Links & the Usual Prattle

My goodness!  It seems like forever since I posted last.  Over a month!  Sheesh!  I finally finished the online course that was consuming so much of my time.  At the same time, it has been a battle with the depression.  Once I reclaimed my ‘space’, it got better for me.  I have spent the last week, or two, designing up a storm.  I missed playing on Photoshop!  I had several things to work on for Magickal Scraps and I wanted to do a challenge at my Digital Whisper group.  So, I have been busy!  The difference, now, is that the stuff I do is for me!  I have my grandson with me this summer, too.  This is his first summer that he didn’t go to daycare.  He’s going to turn eight(8) next month.  The boy is eating me out of house and home!  He must be going through a ‘growth spurt’!  He had a full breakfast, which included grits and bacon, plus two pb&j sandwiches, all for lunch today!
I joined in with the designers on July’s Daily Download at Magickal Scraps.  Unless something changes, I will be working on all of the monthly kits for the DD.   I really enjoy it and have a lot of fun with it and the ladies who all collaborate on it.  Some of the color palettes and themes are too cool, too!  Check out the slide show above.  That is July’s DD.  To get any or all of the past DD’s, just go to MS Forum, to the Daily Download section.  The links are left up for a while, so, you should be able to get what you want.  Also, the ladies all have little goodies they give away on their blogs.  Snowy, Edna, Kyra and Nana all have their own blogs.  I linked each one for you.  Check them out!
A lot of my time is spent working on the challenges from both, Magickal Scraps and Digital Whisper.  Snowy and a couple of the ladies post challenges for us, like, the Colour Challenge, Template, Brush, and Quote Challenges.  But, then, there are the Story Challenge and the Photo Challenge.  The Story Challenge has us writing our own story in a layout each month.  It is supposed to be a ‘highlight’ of our year, month by month.  The Photo Challenge varies, but, this month we are taking any photo we have taken, such as a flower, and extracting it to make elements.  The challenges give you a lesson while working on it, as a rule.  I learn something every time!

With the Digital Whisper group’s challenges, Kimmie posts a new image every Sunday.  I have really been inspired by some of them.  (DW is an invite only group, but, if anyone would like to give them a try, e-mail me and I will happily send an invite to you.)  Here is a recent one I worked with.  We started out with the image of the bridge.  This is where I went with it:

(click to view larger image)
This next piece was for the challenge during the week of the 4th of July, so, “Freedom” was quite an appropriate title for this one.  Right away, after seeing the image of the cage Kimmie gave us, I thought of that song from years ago, “White Bird”, by The Joy of Cooking.  Here’s a YouTube video of that song.

Here is the original image by Asif Akbar of India and the extracted cage.

I extracted the cage so I could alter the door on it.

I thought the cage was the perfect image for ‘freedom’.  I used masking and the clone tool to change the cage door from being closed to being open.  It was good experience for me.  The challenges are fantastic!  And, here is that piece that I did:

The text says, “White Bird Must Fly or She Will Die”, a verse from that song.  I’m not real sure about the song’s meaning, but, hey, I think it goes without saying that we have to live life and experience all it has to offer us – good or bad.

I love doing these kind of images!  I devote my DeviantArt account for my art, more or less.  I place all this sort of stuff in there.  There isn’t a whole lot of art that I haven’t shown here, in there, but, it is growing.  One day, I might prepare a portfolio.  LOL  I’ve also made a few ‘resources’ for download, there.  They are all free terms.
I’m excited to share something that I found.  Photoshop has recently come out with CS5.  The major new addition to their vast array of PS tools is “Content Aware”.  Ya’ll probably know what that is, but, just in case, it is a feature that let’s you remove a part of an image and fill in its place with the surrounding background.  It’s pretty awesome!  You can see a short video on this particular feature when you click the link, above.

Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but, I don’t have that much money to spring for the new version, CS5.  As much as I would adore having it, I must be sensible.  I must!  I must!  LOL  So, I had resigned myself to the fact that my ‘clone tool’ was going to have to do the job, if and when, I need to remove an object from an image.  Which, actually, is more often than I realized.   Well!  Let me tell you!  Just the other day, I stumbled upon a peachy little program that performs a function with results much as the new Photoshop’s tool has.

Inpaint is a program that will remove an object from an image.  Plain and simple.
 Doesn’t that sound cool?!  I tried it myself and it really did the trick.  I used an image of a Monte Verde Toad, from P D Images.com.  Below, I show the before shot and the final image.  Not too shabby!  What impressed me most of all were the reviews I read on it at Giveaway of the Day.com.  From several comments it appeared the program went over very well.  Many said it was quicker than Adobe’s newest feature.  Though the program is no longer available for free at the Giveaway of the Day website, you can still download it for free at the Teorex.com site.  Here are my results:

BEFORE INPAINT

AFTER INPAINT

Visual by www.PDImages.com

What this little jewel does is it recognize the pixels bordering an area you mark off with a ‘selection tool’.  Then, all you do is click ‘Run’ and watch it go!  It will remove the pixels you want out and replace them by matching similar pixels from that surrounding area you marked off.  In the image of the frog, above, his foot touches the edge of the image.  That may be why that corner of the ‘after’ image is a little discolored.  It still looks quite natural.  I experimented with several images and this one turned out good.  Another image that I tried was of a solid blue sky with the tower Big Ben over to one side.  It didn’t fill in with the blue quite as it I had hoped.  It got darker down near the bottom.  I realize, however, that the tower touched the bottom edge of the image.  There were no pixels, or very few, for the program to ‘copy’.  That, and the fact that, in the sky, there were numerous color variations.  So, in my humble opinion, I should try to use this tool away from the very edge of images from here on out.

I’m sure you can imagine how sweet it would be to have this tool.  You could remove your ex from all those great shots of you.  Or, perhaps, take an unsightly sign, or some trash, for example, from an otherwise great shot.  Um, I guess that is all the same thing as removing one’s ex.  ROFL!!!!  You could remove about anything from an image.  Inpaint is a free program, however, in order to register it and be able to save your images, there is a fee.  It is very reasonable, though, particularly when you consider your options.  There are a couple of license options for you to choose from, personal and business.  Both are very reasonably priced!  Finally, I might add, there is also a way for you to get it for free which is not bad, at all.  I’ll let you find that out for yourselves at Teorex.com.  LOL

I’d like to take a minute to mention the “Giveaway of the Day” website.  If you sign up for daily e-mails, you get daily featured product offers which are always free for that day only – 24 hours.  They offer some awesome programs, with honest reviews, plus reader comments, to help you decide if you want it or not.  The folks posting there are brutally honest.  They give it a whirl and give their feedback.  But, isn’t that what we want?  I’ve gotten quite a few really nice ‘must have’ programs for free.  I should let you know that the programs, though free, come with no support.  It is but a small concession for all I have received.  Inpaint was one of them.

Last, but, not least, I have some things for you all.  One of my efforts to ‘streamline’ things is to get my files in better order.  I have an almost full external hard-drive that really should be weeded out.  With one program, WinOptimizer6, I removed over 6gigs of junk the first time I ran it!  “6” gigs!  (click link if you would like to try this wonderful ‘optimizing tool’.  It’s FREE!)  So, I have been doing some each day, condensing, deleting, archiving old stuff, etc, and I found some goodies you might like.  Do have fun and enjoy yourself!  As usual, click on the image to go to 4Shared for download.

They would be good for collages, ATC’s, scrapbooking, or whatever! 

Next are some simple, but colorful, old wooden doors.  I originally used the door image for “grunge” practice.  I included the ‘greyscale’, too.

Both of these are CU and completely free to do what ever your little heart desires.  TOU’s are included in file.  Thank you for being so good to, and for me!

I guess that is it.  I do want to remind you that I have updated the “Resources” page.  Click on it at the page menu at the top of the page.  There are more ‘vintage’ links.  Until next time, which shouldn’t be as long, I bid all adieu.  NO MORE ONLINE COLLEGE COURSES FOR ME!
Generously give out smiles.  They’re always free and can be returned.
Hugs,
Su

SU CheshireCat

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5 thoughts on “Freebie, My Art, Inpaint, Links & the Usual Prattle

  1. Gosh! It's so good to see you back with us again lady. You've been missed. I love what you did with the bridge. Your artwork is really lovely. And of course, I am so so glad that you will be doing the DD's with us every month. Thanks for some great info which I will check out later today. Hugs, Edna B.

  2. Hi Su,So good to hear you are “back in town”LOL! We really missed you, believe me! Great you will do the coming DD too!!! August isn't too far away anymore, hahahaha! I have been busy like crazy it seems, I've made a lot of stuff, all waiting on the “shelf”to be a freebie on the blog. In the meantime I am slowly advancing with my story, Adventure in Always-Remember Land. It's great fun to work on it, but it's not so easy. But I must get it done, I just want to! Nice for you you have your grandson with you, I think it's a good thing to have somebody to take care of, for you, but don;t forget: not ALL time is for him, you deserve some “free”time too hey! You just have to find the balance between them. And now with spirits up, you can throw yourself on the DD, lots to do there! Have a fantastic weekend, HugsKyra

  3. Hi Suruha,I'm MoMeMa a Mixed media artist and everything else! member of DW. Great blog you have here and thank you for sharing your creative thoughts. Link Up with us at my blog, FOLLOW ME, FOLLOW YOU or just grab my button too!jijiji. Stay well my friend. Stay in touch!MoMeMa

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