Quiz: A Vocabulary for Images

March 27, 2014

Here are 11 terms you should know. You may be familiar with most of them through the work you have done with Pixelmator.

pixel: stands for picture element. It’s the smallest part of an image on a screen.
resolution: how much information there is in an image, how many pixels/inch
opacity: how much of an image is showing through. 100%, it’s all showing, 0% means nothing is showing
hue: what we normally think of as color: red, yellow, green, blue, etc.
saturation: how much of the color is there. The thicker richer the color, the greater the saturation.

value: the darkness or lightness of the image
bit-mapped image: an image made up of pixels. When you blow it up, you may notice “jaggies” if there isn’t enough resolution.
vector-based image: an image built from mathematical formulas. As you enlarge it, the math scales the image up, and the resolution stays very high.
additive color: color you get through a screen. Colors are created in the screen and projected to the eye
subtractive color: color you see from paper, or paint. White light hits the paper, and all the colors are absorbed by the paper, subtracted, except for the color you see.
RGB  vs. CMYK: Red, Green and Blue create all the colors on screens. Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black create all the colors on paper, or paint.

Here’s what happens when you enlarge a bit-mapped image too far!


Project #6: Photo Compositing: Jekyll and Hyde

March 21, 2014

Do you have a good side and a bad side? Find out by making two convincing self portraits. Start having some creative fun with Pixelmator, and see how powerful this tool can be.

For Project #6, take a picture of yourself, and make two different portraits: one with a mirrored version of your right side, and one with a mirrored version of your left side.


After you have the two sides, mask the background and put in a new background.

Here is a picture of a Morse student, along with two of her left side and two of her right side. After I looked at them, I decided the left was most interesting. I took it, masked the background, colored her eyes, and put her in a landscape from Pandora (Remember the movie, Avatar?) Here’s the finished work, a reduced size copy, but still pretty spooky. Click on the picture if you want to see the entire, panoramic view.


So, a finished project should have 5 pictures:
Your original self portrait.
Your left side, doubled.
Your right side, doubled.
Your left side done artistically in a fantasy background.
Your right side done artistically in a fantasy background, (not the same background).

The tutorials at the Pixelmator site are excellent: very short and broken into easy bits. You can understand one tool at a time. Go to http://www.pixelmator.com/tutorials/ for some great ideas and instruction.

You can work a long time to perfect your skills with this work. Use 3 or more layers. Use the Magic Wand tool to remove the background from an image, so you can place on image layer on top of an improbable background. Use the Marquee and Move tools to move the image around. Use the rubber stamp tool or the healing tool (looks like a BandAid) to change the shape of parts of the picture. Use Edit and Transform to adjust scale. Use all the controls under Image to adjust color and shading so that one image looks as if it’s part of the other image. Can you cast a shadow over the background of the image using the Lasso tools and Image controls? Use the Blur tool and rub with it to take away the hard edges, so it doesn’t look like you just cut one picture out and dropped it on top of the other.

You may need to use other tools. Try to solve problems yourself, or ask for help if you’re looking for a certain effect and having trouble achieving it. Experiment and play around with the entire tool set.

You should submit five finished designs, and post them to VoiceThread. Make them all different, and show that you are getting increasingly skillful and adept at handling the Pixelmator tool set. Put the three finished designs all in one VoiceThread.