Starting off the list is “The Sum of All Crafts”. This chick dabbles in a little bit of everything craft-wise. Valerie has an awesome blog. When you first see it, especially if you are a digital artist/designer, you think you’ve stumbled upon a hybrid crafts site. Along the top menu bar are topics such as “Swirly Flowers” and “Punch-Art Samples”. These are the cutest ornaments and flowers for embellishing anything you make. But, that is not it! Well, it is that, but, it has much, much more! She has, literally, hundreds of downloadable vintage images for use in crafting and art. Check out the side bar “Labels”. She has quite a bit there, all categorized for you! Near the bottom, under Zetti/Steampunk, I think, she has some great ‘parts’. Beginning January 23, 2011, Valerie released a set of images to use in making Zetti and/or Steampunk art, or any kind of art for that matter. There are arms and heads and some neat mechanical parts. LOL You got to check it out. The give away of the Zetti/Steampunk stuff runs for thirteen(13) days, so, make some time and enjoy all this chick has to offer. I bet there is something there you will like!
This next link comes with a tip for convenience. I found it as an answer to a dilemma. When we did our ‘Round Robin’ at DW, each person would add their part, then, save the .jpg and post it on the forum for the next person. We each added our part with our program of choice, Photoshop, PSP, Paint, etc. But, to post it, it could only be in .png or .jpg format. Our forum will host a .psd file, but, only up to about 8 mbs. Anything over that and it would not post. So, you can imagine the difficulties in trying to add your part to an ‘established’ image. The first parts end up being almost completely covered up by subsequent artists’ additions.
As it so happened, all of us were using Photoshop, so, we were all working in layers. I recalled a website I have used a time or two, Min.us. My Yahoo mail attachments don’t show .png files, for some reason, so, I had been using Min.us to post logos and previews of the monthly freebie kit for Miss Edna. By sending her the link in an e-mail, she could easily access the images and download them, too. Easy-peasy! I suggested we try this for our Round Robin and it worked great! After each person added what they wanted, they uploaded the piece to Min.us and posted the link in the forum. The very act of uploading generates a link. One doesn’t have to register to use this site; some folks don’t like registering all over the place. We still had to post a .jpg on the forum pages to share each addition of our parts, but, it made working on the piece so much easier. Min.us is a great way to share a working document, even a .psd!
I just want to add: I know that you don’t really want to mess with what another person has added, but, sometimes, just moving an element over a tiny bit to make room for your parts, or, maybe, slipping your addition in behind other parts, is necessary. In a way, this defeats the premise behind a Round Robin – you work with what you get. But, we were in an educational state for this challenge, learning about Zetti as we went. I think it will be alright for this. LOL Everyone seemed happy with the final piece. The whole point is to be able to share the files within our group and Min.us was fab for that!
Okay! Next! Have you ever taken a snapshot, or seen one, that would look awesome as a piece of art hanging on your wall? Some are ‘ready to hang’, whereas, with some, if they just had that ‘artistic rendering’, they would certainly be masterpieces. Now, you can do this to a photo and the results are phenomenal! Check out Vangobot’s “Pop Art Machine”. If you prefer the ‘Masters’, this may not be it, but, well, try it out on one of your photo images and see what comes out of it. I am not even going to try to explain how this works, but, two artists created this ‘robot’ to turn simple images into gorgeous pieces of art. Their site has some videos that show all about it. Then, there is the ‘machine’. LOL It’s under “Interactive” at Vangobot’s. You can upload an image, like that wonderful photo, and apply any one of several dozen ‘styles’ to it. You have to try it out! It is amazing!
I took this image from my hard drive and applied all of the styles, on by one, before deciding on the one I chose. Here’s the before image:
This is after, with the ‘Hull Curves’ style implemented:
I opted for a subtle change, but, well, check it out. Here are a few more style examples:
Isn’t that cool? I had to take a screenshot and then crop it to have a copy of my own, but, I think it is awesome! Imagine the possibilities! I played around with my image: