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What is your trick!

pankerbelle
Posts
Joined: May 2010
I know everybody has a secret or a little trick to perfecting your LO. I am curious to know ( because I have no idea and mine look like doo doo every time) Whats your trick to making those people you extract flow so smoothly into the LO! I cant get mine to look like it belongs, they always look unrealistic and awkward. What am I doing wrong lol Mentor me PLEASE
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Kazadoodle
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
I don't think I have that trick down either.  But then I thought, do they need to be?  Lately I've been looking around at a lot of art journaling and altered art (paper, hands on!) and I've noticed that those artists don't bother with being perfect, they just do!  I think the problem with digi is that we get hung up on how perfect it can be.  We tend to undo and undo, or at least I do.  Instead of focusing on the art and the creation, we focus on the ... what's the word?  I'm not sure.  Technique?  Technical is probably a better word.

I'm trying really hard to just throw it down and not worry to much about perfect shadows, or perfect proportions or even perfect extractions.  

I just said a lot without saying anything, didn't I?  I tend to do that.  Sorry.

I hope you find your answer.
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naughtsncrosses
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
For the most part, I'm with Karin - I don't care about my shadows.  I am far more concerned with getting what's in my head on screen before it flits away than anything else.  I scrap with Lumapix FotoFusion and it automatically shadows everything that you add on your page (you can change colour, angle, blur, how much etc) so when I can't be stuffed I just let it decide and live with it!

BUT when it really DOES matter to me, I will take the element or whatever it is and go into PS and use http://www.digishoptalk.com/gallery/search.php?searchid=396679Bec/Psyren's Shadow Mistress Action (which you can get from Digiscrapaganza).  It must be idiot proof because I can use it.
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Hollie
2377 Posts
Joined: Mar 2010
I always extract with a 1px feather and use a 4px feather on hair.

I also always clip a blank layer to each element and paint with a 0% hardness brush, 8% opacity black, for subtle shadowing of the element. It helps to ground them in the scene more.
Hollie
Designer - Holliewood Studio   
Owner - MischiefCircus.com
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eryn
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
I use different techniques depending on the page. I might blur the outer edge of an extraction, sometimes i've added a subtle glow, but usually I add shadows to the edges like Hollie said.

Another thing that really helps is extractin far enough in. Often people extract right at the edge where there are major light problems. I go further in to remove the harsh outlines.
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MissB
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
I know everybody has a secret or a little trick to perfecting your LO. I am curious to know ( because I have no idea and mine look like doo doo every time) Whats your trick to making those people you extract flow so smoothly into the LO! I cant get mine to look like it belongs, they always look unrealistic and awkward. What am I doing wrong lol Mentor me PLEASE


I use shadows.  It's all about the shadows.  I hear there's a pretty good workshop for that.  
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LauraPM
Posts
Joined: Jul 2010
I do pretty much all my extractions by hand with the eraser tool. I work in PSE7 and I am rarely happy with other methods. I zoom in arount 400% and just pick an edge and work my way around. I tend to use tiny straight lines by clicking on a spot to erase it moving over a little bit, hold the shift key down and click again. This will erase a straight line between the 2 points. Generally speaking I can get a much better and cleaner curve than if I freehand erased. As was mentioned above, be sure to trip off enough. When I think I'm all done, I use the manic eraser option and click 3 or 4 times to help erase stray pixels. Then I put a green (or other color that will stand out) stroke around it and see if any remaining unerased pixels stand out. If there are, simply switch back to the eraser tool and erase any wierd green spots that don't belong. When I'm all done I take the stroke effect off, by clicking on te effects (ex?) icon on the right side of the icon for that layer, and uncheck the strokes box.

There are actions you can get to make putting on and taking off the stroke but once you get used to it, it's pretty easy to do.

Remember to play with your distort option if you want to change the angle it is seen at. Won't explain that unless you ask. I,ve done a lot of talking already!
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pankerbelle
Posts
Joined: May 2010
Love all these answers and I am so glad to hear people say that sometimes its more important to get your idea down rather than fuss forever with tiny details. One of my biggest problems has been the need to perfect everything to the point of insanity. I will trash a completed page if I cant make it look like I think it should. This is why my gallery has 3 LO's in it hahahaha. I am planning to take the shadow workshop in a week or two, I have some things that needed my attention first. I am hoping it will make the details go a little faster for me and not so intimidating. But honestly you must admit when your surrounded by such talented people in the gallery, its really hard to work up the nerve you need to put your mediocre stuff in there lol just saying....
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naughtsncrosses
Posts
Joined: Apr 2010
It's easy to say 'don't be intimidated' but that's easier to say than do.

Have a look at http://www.mischiefcircus.com/forum/showthread.php?t=562this thread and hopefully you'll feel comforted by the fact that we ALL start somewhere.  :
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LauraPM
Posts
Joined: Jul 2010
I do a LOT of my slow extracting when I'm watching TV or wanting to be creative but not in the mood or right space to actually work on a page, so that way they are the pre-extracted when I am ready to work on a LO.

I whole heartedly agree with get your ideas down on the page and then tweak, fuss, adjust, shadow, etc., once you are relatively comfortable with the basic LO.  And try to be a gentle on yourself as possible.  It is a process.  I am only REALLY happy with about 1/4 - 1/3 of what I post here, LOL!  Maybe 1/2 on a really good week.  So even if it's not perfect to you, it is apt to look really, really good to others!  Just for grins, I posted an early LO in the forum that Edeena linked above.

But, like Edeena said, it is easier said than done.  Maybe you could plan on some "practice" LOs or something, pieces that came out almost how you wanted them to, or not what you wanted but you still liked the colors or something?
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pankerbelle
Posts
Joined: May 2010
I do a LOT of my slow extracting when I'm watching TV or wanting to be creative but not in the mood or right space to actually work on a page, so that way they are the pre-extracted when I am ready to work on a LO.

I whole heartedly agree with get your ideas down on the page and then tweak, fuss, adjust, shadow, etc., once you are relatively comfortable with the basic LO.  And try to be a gentle on yourself as possible.  It is a process.  I am only REALLY happy with about 1/4 - 1/3 of what I post here, LOL!  Maybe 1/2 on a really good week.  So even if it's not perfect to you, it is apt to look really, really good to others!  Just for grins, I posted an early LO in the forum that Edeena linked above.

But, like Edeena said, it is easier said than done.  Maybe you could plan on some "practice" LOs or something, pieces that came out almost how you wanted them to, or not what you wanted but you still liked the colors or something?


Thanks all for the wonderful ideas. Some basic design and color tutorials would be an awesome addition to the tips and tutorials thread lol .
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LauraPM
Posts
Joined: Jul 2010
There are scrap book design tuts out there, can't remember what site(s) I saw the on, sorry!  Since traditional is not my strongest style, I thought it might help me, but after reading a few I found it actually stiffled my creativity, lol! I was trying too hard to play by all the 'rules'! I may not be the norm though. I've seen your work and honestly fond think you need that kind of help! But the tutes are out there if you want them.
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