Part Three: Computer Compositons - done at home or during open work time
At your workstation: OPEN the TIFF file (from the server or flash drive) in Photoshop. SAVE AS to the desktop as a Photoshop file named <sec-lastname-shapes.psd>. Keep the original TIFF file of your scan in reserve, in case you need to go back to it.
In the Photoshop file, confirm that the mode is Grayscale 8-bit and the image size is appx. 8.5x11 @ 300 ppi. (It might be smaller if you made your scan area smaller.)
Use Image/Canvas Size: Make the canvas size 9x12 inches using white to fill.
DUPLICATE the background layer and name the new layer <working>. Make <working > the active layer - it should also be visible.
Copy and Paste just the line of the Shape
Use the Magic Wand tool to select just the shape. Start by setting magic wand's tolerance to 96, contiguous and anti-aliased. Click in the middle of the black line. The entire line should be selected.If the selection doesn't look right, vary the tolerance and try again. You want to select only the black line itself, not the white space inside the shape. If elements other than the line get selected, you can delete them from the selection using option-lasso.
Once the selection is good, COPY and PASTE. This will put just the shape on its own layer with a transparent (checkerboard pattern) ground. Name this layer "large."
Make two smaler versions of the Shape - with unchanged line weight
Make a duplicate of the layer <large>. Rename it "medium." Use Edit/Transform/Scale to reduce it to 75% (on both dimensions).
Use the sampling tool (eyedropper) to sample the gray of the line; this will make it the foreground "color."
Command-click in the layer icon of the <medium> layer. This will re-select the line. Use Edit/Stroke set to "centered" and "3 pixels" and to "foreground color." This will thicken the line.
Again, make a duplicate of the layer <large>. Rename it "small." Use Edit/Transform/Scale to reduce it to 50% (on both dimensions).
Command-click in the layer icon of the <small> layer. This will re-select the line. Use Edit/Stroke set to "centered" and "6 pixels" and to "foreground color." This will thicken the line.
You now have a large, medium and small version of your shape, each on its own layer.
Set the three rotations of your three sizes. Don't change rotations for the rest of the exercises (except for the freeform)
Activate the <small> layer and rotate the shape (EDIT/TRANSFORM/ROTATE) by a significant amount; the exact amount of rotation is up to you. Do the same for the <medium> layer. The three versions should be clearly rotated differently from each other. SAVE.
These rotations should not be modified throughout the following exercises (except in the freeform).
Make a white opaque layer with a black stroke
Activate the <working> layer. SELECT ALL and FILL with white. This will give you a clean white background for your compositions. Rename the layer <white>. Move it above the small-medium-large layers so that it hides them.
With the <white> layer active, SELECT ALL and then use EDIT/STROKE. Create a five-pixel wide black line inside the frame.
The layer structure of your Photoshop file should now be
white (opaque, with a black stroke around the edges)
large (large shape on transparent ground)
medium (medium shape on transparent ground)
small (small shape on transparent ground))
background (original scan unmodified except for enlarged canvas)
For the following exercises, you will be duplicating your small, medium and large layers, and working with the duplicate layers. Leave the original three small, medium, large layers unmodified (and below the <white> layer) so they can serve as your source for the shapes for the following exercises.
Try to be as creative and as visually aware in arranging your compositions as possible - given the limitations for each layer.
Layer 1: Simple closed composition: DUPLICATE each of the shape layers once. Move the three duplicate layers above the white layer. Compose the three shapes interestingly within the frame, without any overlap or edge crop. When you're satisfied, combine the three duplicate layers into one layer. (Activate all three and MERGE layers.) Name this layer <layer 1> and make it invisible. SAVE.
Photoshop tip: If the selected tool is the move tool, you can make the correct layer active by putting your cursor over part of the shape you want to move and doing a Command-click.
Layer 2: Simple open composition: Again, DUPLICATE each of the shape layers once. Move these three duplicate layers to the top. Compose the shapes interestingly, with no overlap, but have each shape be cropped to some extent by the frame. Combine the three duplicate layers into one layer. (Activate all three and MERGE layers.) Name this layer <layer 2> and make it invisible. SAVE.
Layer 3: Complex closed composition: DUPLICATE the large shape layer once, the medium shape layer twice and the small shape layer three times. Move these six duplicate layers to the top. Compose the shapes interestingly: have multiple overlaps but no edge crops. MERGE the six layers and name the combined layer <layer 3>. SAVE.
Layer 4: Complex open composition: DUPLICATE the large shape layer once, the medium shape layer twice and the small shape layer three times. Move these six duplicate layers to the top. Compose the shapes effectively: have multiple overlaps and at least three edge crops. MERGE the six layers and name the combined layer <layer 4>. SAVE.
Layer 5: Size variation by scaling: Duplicate only your large shape layer three times. Move these three duplicate layers to the top. Select one of these duplicate layers use Edit/Transform/Scale to make this shape 75% of the original size. Make another duplicate shape 50% of original size, so you have versions of your original large shape 100%, 75% and 50% of the original size. They should all be in the same orientation (i.e. not rotated to each other). Put these three shapes in the same positions as the shapes in <layer 1> - large same as large, 75% large over medium and 50% large over small - but these shapes won't be rotated the same as the ones in <layer 1>. Combine the these layers into one layer named <layer 5>. Make it invisible. SAVE.
Layer 6: Value variation by opacity: Duplicate only your small shape layer three times. Move these three duplicate layers to the top. Select one layer and make the opacity 65%. Select another and make the opacity 35%. You should now have three versions of your original small shape at the the same size, but three different opacities. Again, put them in the same positions (but not rotations) as in your <layer 1> composition with these three opacity variations. Combine into layer <layer 6>. SAVE.
Turn all visibilities off except for the background layer. SAVE.
The final version of file <sec-lastname-shapes.psd> should have the following layer structure:
background (original scan)
Freeform Composition and Value Inversion
Make a duplicate file of <sec-lastname-shapes.psd> complete with all of its layers. (Select it on the desktop, and then do File/Duplicate).
Name the duplicate file <sec-lastname-freeform.psd>. Delete all of the layers above the white layer, so you are back to just five layers: background, small, medium, large and white.
Duplicate the shape layers multiple times and move the duplicate layers above the white layer. Do a free-form composition using as many copies of your three shapes as you like. You can overlap, partially crop, and even rotate shapes (but don't resize or change opacity). Put extra time into this composition - you will eventually be printing it.
With the image looking the way you want it, Flatten Image. SAVE AS <sec-lastname-freeform-flat.psd>. CLOSE.
Reopen <sec-lastname-freeform-flat.psd>. SAVE AS <sec-lastname-freeform-invert.psd>. Use Image/Adjusments/Invert. This will invert the values - giving you light lines on a dark ground. Use Image/Adjustments/Levels: bring in the black input slider (top left slider) enough to get a solid black ground, then bring in the white input slider (top right slider) enough to get nice bright lines. SAVE.
The three files <shapes>, <freeform-flat> and <freeform-invert> will all be submitted to the VSST drop folder - with the section and name information included. Put the three files into the drop folder individually.
Digital Files are due in AW Express before or at beginning of class 3b - Thursday 4/19.