Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A life in a Day: Youtube Movie

I usually don't write much here, but recently when I came across the movie by Amit Agarwal for a life in a day, Youtube project, I was not able to stop myself. It was mainly due to few reasons, one being that it was his blog, Digital Inspiration that inspired me to blogging. So would like all of you to watch this one first:

Now, what is this Life in a Day project. Its an initiative by Youtube to gather all the videos generated by users on and around July 24th and make a full feature length documentary film from it. One can get more infomation about it here.

What makes this project so inspiring? The experiment is to do with User Generated Content and it reaffirms my belief that future lies in User Generated Content. Does that mean production houses who roll out so much money to produce such content would go Bankrupt!! Obviously no!! They would need huge server space and intelligent softwares to figure out the type of Content people would like and it would be hosted on their servers, because once there is a huge content out there, it would be really messy to find the one which would suit my mood. Lots of investment would be made on it and the need of a Video Search Engine would surely arise, not only based on the metadata(text attached with the video) but also basd on the objects inside the video(A MPEG7 specification). All these developments again reaffirm my belief the future is going to be a CREATIVE Economy. Machines are there to take care of the methodolgical work and Humans are just born to be creative.

I know, I have thrown lots of ideas in this post.. But these are the few things which were going on my mind.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Converting an image to Statue/Stonify using Gimp!

Here's a tutorial on how to turn a person into stone using GIMP. This cool effect lets you create a statue out of any person's photograph. It's not as daunting as it may seem. Try it out and let your creativity flow.

How to Turn a Person into Stone

Yeah, you can now petrify anybody you like, and it won't take you more than an hour to do so! Learn how to turn an image of a person to statue with this simple GIMP tutorial.

Because this tutorial uses GIMP, you need to have either the Windows or the Linux version of GIMP installed. I did this using v2.3, though I guess the basic steps would remain the same irrespective of the version you have installed.

Step 1: Choosing the Image


It's not that easy to convert every possible image using this method. The best images are portraits with consistent background. If you don't have such an image, you can try removing distracting elements from the background and then apply this technique for the statue effect. The above image has been sourced from Lina's photostream.

Step 2: Layers


Open your target image and duplicate its background layer. You can call the new layer 'Stone' or 'Statue' or something similar.

Step 3: Desaturate

This means to turn the image into a grayscale one. To do this, click on Colours>Desaturate. You can choose between the various options and pick the one which gives best contrast. Contrast can then be altered by Colours>Levels. Tweak it until you're satisfied with the way the image looks. This step is not necessary if you choose a grayscale image to start with.

Step 4: Draw a selection path

Path tool

Now we need to draw a selection path to select only the subject. Take care to leave out all background elemenstep4ts in this step. To do this, the Magic Wand tool from the toolbar can be used. If there are areas where the colours are similar in the background as well as the subject, use the path tool to select only the subject. Here you'll have hold down CTRL and click to set points all along the path you desire and finally join the last point to the first one and hit ENTER.

Once the path is drawn, use Select>From Path to turn it into a selection.

Step 5: Invert

Next invert your selection (Ctrl+Shift+I) and delete to remove everything else except your subject.


step 5b

Step 6: Applying the Stone Effect

step 6

Finally we will apply the stone effect to the image. This is done using the 'Bump Map' filter. Go to Filters>Map>Bump Map. A dialog box with a preview window and lots of sliders opens.

In the Map Type drop down box, select either the Sinusoidal or the Linear Maping mode. Move the slider for 'Depth' till you're satisfied. the 'Azimuth' and 'Elevation' sliders control lighting and you can play with that to alter the shadows and lighting in your statue. Try out various combination and apply them till you're satisfied with the effect you get. The previews sometimes may be brighter than the actual photo, be aware of that.

Step 7: Final touches

step 7

Go to the Path pane and select 'From Path' and 'Magic Wand' to again select the subject. Create a new layer, setting its mode to 'Overlay'.Fill this layer with a stony colour, either grey or dull brown, depending on the effect you want.

Sit back and enjoy your art!!

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