Thursday, October 29, 2015


Adobe® InDesign® CC is a powerful page-design and production application that offers precision, control, and seamless integration with other Adobe professional graphics software. Using InDesign, you can produce professional-quality, full-color documents and print them using a variety of output devices, including desktop printers, high-resolution imaging devices, and high-volume color printing presses. You can also design publications for a broad range of electronic devices, such as tablets, smart phones, and eReaders, and export InDesign document in several formats, including PDF, HTML, and EPUB.Writers, artists, designers, and publishers can communicate to a broader audience than ever before and through an unprecedented variety of media. InDesign supports this with its seamless integration with other Creative Cloud components.

Here is a great overview tutorial for InDesign by our main man Terry White.  He's definitely a geek, but he's thorough and doesn't talk too much.

And, here is a decent short video that is good for quick review if you forget something Terry has said.  Please watch both of these videos and remember: they will always be here if you need to review.

Designing on the Grid

Design and the process of "designing"--put simply-- is the way of visually organizing elements onto a picture plane.When creating multi-page documents, the grid is the principle way of organizing page elements. A grid divides a page into columns. An artist can follow the columns strictly, or use them as a rough guide to work within. 

The Gutenberg Bible visual example follows a very rigid grid structure: the two columns of text have the same line length.The two columns of text also have the same vertical length.
However, the grid can also be used with much flexibility. In the visual reference example of the New York Times layout from 1918, the grid is more complex and versatile. This grid divides the page into eight columns.

We will be doing two separate introductory assignments using InDesign.  One based on a strict grid structure, and one that chooses to completely deviate from the grid in its aesthetic. 

In Class Assignment:  Designing on the Grid

In Class and Homework Assignment:

Please note: In order to obtain the clipping mask for the hand (pointer), we will also have to go back and refer to another assignment. 


Additional Homework:  Get all your assets (jpegs) from your assignments into the class.  You will post all your assets to a blog with a short 1-3 sentence description of the work, your intent and (possibly) how you made the work.   Here is a video on how to create a blog.   Note that all work needs to be posted on this blog as it is part of your final grade. 

Here is a video on how to work in blogger.  You may use your MCA email address?  Blogger is easy, and links to your email accounts. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Week 10_Photoshop Final

This week we are finishing up with exclusive Photoshop assignments.  I'm embedding more photoshop tool tutorials which should round out the tools you haven't used so far in the course.   These tools are probably "lesser used" and you may or may not require them (often) in your future work, but I'm putting them on here so you know the capabilities and can use them if you ever need to.

Perspective Crop Tool

Color Picker and Color Sampler

Ruler, Note, Count Tools--this is a longer tutorial... kinda boring too. 

Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush, Patch Tools

Photoshop Painting Tools

History Brush

Magic Eraser, Background Eraser Tools

In Class Assignment: Painting in Photoshop

Outside Assignment:

Homework-Collaged Poster

You will create a poster based on a call for submissions (see below).   

*at least 10 images, half must be authored by student*--must use some element of type. You may also use painting techniques from the painting exercise (see above).   Files and a detailed outline of procedures for the painting exercise are found in the STUDENT RESOURCES folder on the classrooms folder. 

Here is a site that has many links to other Poster design contests that you might be interested in entering.  

You will receive an extra 10 points if you complete the submission process and enter your poster in one of the contests above.  This project will require some research and some critical thinking and idea generating/brainstorming.   It would be wise to use a sketchbook to organize your ideas and your designs before executing the digital manipulation. 

SAMPLE POSTERS FROM PREVIOUS CLASSES:  (note: these were not required to submit or required to create posters for a specific reason) 

Dada and Surrealism

A lot of this course has been reflecting on Dada and Surrealism.  I thought it might be a good idea to post a short lecture that was given on the subject to help delineate and understand the main reasons (context) and characteristics of the movements.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Hey guys,  I just got this email.   I hope you are registered for next semester. :) 

"It seems that a large number of students were not aware of registration this round prior to the Advising lunch period.   This seems to go back to students not checking their MCA email since they were emailed this information from the Registrar's Office as well as from their advisors.  Please remind your students to check their MCA email regularly.  If they don't know how to, refer them to  If they can't find their answer there, they can email also remind any students who have not yet registered that they need to do so."

If you haven't registered or didn't know about registering,  please get with your advisor and let them know.   Some of the classes fill up early, and you definitely want to get in there quick so you get to take the classes you feel best suits your needs. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Double Exposures and the Exquisite Corpse

Self Portrait as a Drowned Man, 1840, Hippolyte Bayard, Combination Print.

In the middle of the 1800s, Hippolyte Bayard was one of the earliest photographers to create a combination print, where two separate images are juxtaposed in a single photographic print. Following Bayard’s experiments, there are many combination prints and double exposures that were made as photographic prints throughout the Victorian Era. 

Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

In the camera, a double-exposure requires releasing the shutter to create one photograph, then carefully rewinding the film back to the same frame, and releasing the shutter again to create another photograph on top of the first one. An example of this process can be seen in Henry Van der Weyde’s image of Richard Mansfield as Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde

Henry Van der Weyde

In the 1920s, Dada and Constructivist artists cut and pasted found photographs, their own imagery, and various printed elements together to form an “anti-aesthetic” collage that challenged the viewer to decipher multiple messages within the final composition. El Lissitzky’s The Constructor (seen below/to the right/left) is an example of this type of work. Lissitzky’s self portrait combines his own head with fragments of machinery along with a hand that is interpreted as “THE HAND OF GOD” (use small caps to get out of the do-we-capitalize-god-question) passing over his face.

In Class exercise: Using layers to create a double-exposure

In Photoshop, the double exposure can be made by putting two images on separate layers, then adjust the blending mode of the top layer.

1. Create a New Document using File > New. Set the width and height to 12 by 10 inches (notice the units of measurement pull-down menus as 10 pixels results in a much smaller document than 10 inches). Set the resolution to 72 DPI and leave the color space in RGB mode. Name it "lastname_double_exposure".

2. Open Hand01.jpg included the Week_9_assets folder in Student Resources on our classroom folder. The file will open as a new tab in the main window. Click on the tab and pull down and away from the toolbar so the image is opened in its own window. There are many ways to copy the hand into the new document we are using to assemble the double-exposure. One method is to use the Move Tool to drag the hand layer (in this case, the background layer is the hand layer) into a different document. Click on the Move Tool in the Tool Palette, then click on the hand and drag it to the center of the double-exposure document that we left open.

3. Notice that when the hand is dragged into the double-exposure document it appears very large. The hand file contains more pixels than the double-exposure file.  In the Layer Palette, double-click on the name “Layer 2” to rename it “hand01.” Notice "Layer 1" beneath the layer, "hand01". Layer 1 is completely transparent. It was the first layer that PhotoShop generated when the new document was created. By moving the hand into the new document, we created a new layer. Click once on Layer 1 and then click on the trash can icon in the bottom right corner of the Layer Palette.  Now the layer hand01 is active (indicated by a blue highlight). To scale the hand so that it fits into the document, click Edit > Free Transform.

4. When the image to be transformed does not run off the edges of the file document (as this one does), it is easy to transform it by using the arrows at one of the four corners of the transformation box to click and drag towards the center of the image.  In this situation, it is easier to use the transform tools in the Options Palette at the top of the document because we cannot see the edges of the transformation box. First click on the link icon between the width and height percentage boxes to maintain the aspect ratios (or proportions). Now enter 65% into either the width or height box and notice that the other box also takes on the 65% value. Press “Return” or “Enter” on your keypad to finalize the transformation.

5. Open Hand02.jpg and use the Move Tool or another method to bring the image of the second hand into the double-exposure document. Notice that it has already been scaled for you. While the second hand is still active in the Layer Palette, click Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.  Press "enter" or click the "check" mark to accept the transformation. In the Layer Palette, double-click on the name of Layer2 to rename it, “hand02.”

6. Use the Move Tool to move the separate layers into position so they are overlapping each other. Clicking one time in the Layer Palette activates a layer. Notice that whichever layer is active can be moved with the Move Tool. Once both layers are named and positioned, use the Layer Blending Modes pull-down menu in the top left area of the Layer Palette to choose “Multiply” on the top layer, “hand02”. Leave the hand01 layer in Normal mode. Blending modes define how layers interact. We will continue to explore these in our Exquisite Corpse Assignment.

The double-exposure happens in the area where the two images overlap. Multiply blending mode allows us to see the two images together, as if they were photographed on the same piece of film. In the next exercise we will crop the image so that only the double-exposure remains.

Cropping and adjusting the hue

1. Click on the Crop Tool in the Tool Palette and notice the options for this tool in the Options Palette beneath the PhotoShop menu items. Enter “6 in” into the crop Width box, “9 in” into the Height box, and "72" into the Resolution box. Drag a crop box around the area of the document where the two layers overlap. Notice that the crop tool will only create a rectangular shape in the aspect ratio of 6:9 as you are dragging. Finalize the crop by pressing Return or Enter on your keypad or by clicking the check-mark icon in the top right area of the Options Palette.

2. Add “Hue/Saturation.” Adjustment Layer above the layers palette. 

3. In the Hue/Saturation Dialog box, check the “Colorize” button and then use the Hue slider to create a cyan wash over the image. Click OK when you are satisfied with the colorization.   I moved sliders to Hue 196, Saturation 41, and lightness was left at 0

Here was my final result before I cropped the image.

Exquisite Corpse

“Exquisite corpse” (in French, cadaver exquis) is a parlor game that the Surrealists developed in 1925. In this game, each player submits images (drawings, paintings, photographs) of heads, torsos and legs which are combined to produce surprising bodily results. We will be playing this game using images of each other that we captured in class on a digital camera as well as by using images from pop culture, found on the web. In the past, we have placed Lindsay Lohan’s head on John Goodman’s body, George W. Bush’s head on Paris Hilton’s body (with the dog), and so on. It's more fun to try this with pictures of your friends or family!

Creating and manipulating layers

1. We’ll work on top of the double-exposure file that we just created, so save the file as “exquisite-corpse.psd.” 

2. Keep exquisite-corpse.psd open and use File > Open in PhotoShop to open all of the documents used in this exercise (on the disk, the files are: arm.psd, back.psd, ear.psd, head.psd, shoes.psd, and torso.psd). The files will open as tabs in the main window.

3. Move all of the body parts into the exquisite-corpse document, just as we moved the hands into the double-exposure document in the double exposure exercise. Use the eyeball icon in the Layer Palette to hide and show the layer to quickly assess which image is on the layer. 

4. Click on a layer and drag it above or below another layer. The order of the layers in the Layer Palette is referred to as the “stacking order”. This determines which image appears in the foreground or closer to the viewer’s eyes and which images fall to the background. Organize the layers so that they appear like the stacking order in the Image below. 

Notice that the layer palette has a left and right arm! Name the first arm, “right arm” then use the Layer Menu > Duplicate Layer… and name the duplicate layer, “left arm.” Use Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical to flip each arm (be sure to activate the layer first) and then Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to distinguish one from the other. Name the second arm "right arm."  

5. Click on each layer to activate it, then use the Move Tool to reposition the layer and Edit > Free Transform in order to scale it. Some of the layers will need to be scaled.  Also, it is always safe to scale an image down in PhotoShop; however, it is usually not a good idea to scale an image up (or to make an image larger than it is) as this could cause pixellation.  Pixellation=bad (in most cases)

6. Once each layer is renamed, repositioned and scaled, click on the top layer once to activate it, then hold SHFT, and click on the last layer in the stacking order above the adjustment layer from Exercise 2. Click on the Layer Palette Pull-Down Menu in the top right corner of the palette and choose “Create Group From Layers…” In the dialog box, name the new group, “corpse.” This will make a new folder in the Layer Palette for all of the body parts. Layer Groups are used to organize the PhotoShop Layer Palette.

Adding an adjustment to some layers

We want to add an adjustment layer to the top of the Layer Palette, except there is one major problem: doing so would cancel out the adjustment layer in use towards the bottom of the palette. This is a little tricky, but one way to make an adjustment layer act on only some layers is to merge all parts of the image that should respond to the adjustment, add the adjustment on top of that layer, and then use a clipping group to clip the adjustment to that layer.  Okay.  How do we do that you ask? 

1. Expand the “corpse” group (click the sideways arrow on the left side of the name) so that you can see all of the layers within the group. Click once on the top-most layer to activate it, then SHFT+Click on the last body layer in the group (ours is “torso”) so that all of the body parts are highlighted. 

2. There is one trick here: we never merge layers without keeping our individual layers in tact somewhere else. That is to say, we never simply choose “merge layers.” Now this part is important, hold the Option (OPT) key on your keypad before you click on the Layer Palette Pull-Down Menu (top right of the Layer Palette) and choose, “Merge Layers.”

Adding the Option Key results in a new layer above those that were activated containing all of the activated layers flattened together. Notice that ear was at the top of the list, so the new layer “ear (merged)” is the merged layer. Use the eyeball icon to turn this layer on and off and notice that while you have a layer that has merged all of the body parts, you also have each body part on a different layer. This will give you flexibility if you need to make revisions after merging the layers.

3. Drag the merged layer outside of the group so that it is on top of the stacking order in the Layer Palette. Close the “corpse” group folder and turn off its eyeball icon.

4. Click on the merged layer to activate it then add an adjustment layer for Hue/Saturation. Use the “Colorize” button again and add a wash of orange. Notice that this will colorize the entire document.

5. Hold the OPT key while clicking on the line between the adjustment layer and the merged layer. You will see the cursor change to an icon that looks like a square next to an arrow. When you see this cursor change, click the mouse. This will create a clipping group between the adjustment layer and the merged layer. Now the adjustment layer will only affect the merged layer. The background images should appear cyan again.

6. Use the Blending Mode Pull-Down Menu in the Layer Palette to set the mode to Linear Light and enter 50% for the layer opacity (to the right of the Blending Mode Pull-Down Menu). A decreased opacity enables the viewer to see through the image on this layer, and helps to blend the two layers. Sometimes these methods can create a murky image where the foreground and background are hard to decipher. Remember that every image communicates a message.

If your image doesn't look like the image above, that's okay.  It's really an awful exercise. This point was really for you to experiment with blending modes and clipping groups, creating groups and applying adjustment layers, etc.  Moving on to the good stuff!!!! 

Exquisite Corpse: Outside Assignment

You will be creating body parts from a list I have drawn up.  Each of us is responsible for placing an image of body parts on the server.   You may take images of the body parts, or you may "steal" images of body parts from the internet.  You must "author" a minimum of 2 images for body parts, and you must "author" a minimum of 2 images for places.

 Be advised that we can interpret the body part loosely.  Meaning: YES,  use a bull's horn for ears if you like.  But, the body part must be something that comes from an animal or another human being. NO: Don't try and replace the "torso" with a car radiator.... it's too far fetched (even if it would make for an interesting image).   Okay, well, maybe you could/should use something like a car radiator, but be careful.  Remember:  we are all picking and choosing from the images to create our new exquisite corpse.   Please place something on there that is feasible and capable of producing a decent result. 

STEP 1: After finding/creating images for use, you will place it on the shared files, label it "lastname_bodypart" (if you don't label it with your last name, i cannot give you credit.  If you don't label it with the body part name, your teammates are going to have difficulty using the part in their exquisite corpse--and again, I won't give you credit) You will have a body part for all of the following. 

Remember: At least two of these body images must be authored by yourselfAt least two environment images must be authored by yourself.
Two of your images must come from a non-human object/animal.  

YOU will also be responsible for creating your own "face" or "head" image.   You may use someone famous or (preferably) yourself to place into the image.   You may also blend your face into the head of an animal if you like.   The sky is the limit!  But, remember to place files on the server for your teammates by no later than Tuesday night, so we can put our corpses back together in time for Halloween. You will be graded on this, no late entries, no exceptions.  Failure to do so will result in a zero for the project.  

A few cool ideas for you to ponder. 

Maddie Corron

Friday, October 2, 2015


Collate jpeg images of all the work you have done so far in the digital foundations course.  Using blogger or another program, create a blog highlighting the work, with a short description of the projects.    Here is an example of a student blog from a summer "digital foundations" course.

To view sample blog:  PLEASE CLICK HERE 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Week 7 Scanograms

Using the scanner.

Go to Applications and find the "image capture" application

After you open image capture, if you see a blank gray screen like this,  click on "show details" at the bottom right of the screen.

The scanner will begin by creating an overview "full bed" scan of the object or document you are trying to capture an image of.   At this point, you will also want to select the type of file you wish to create (tif., jpeg, etc.) and also you can tell image capture what to name the file and where to place the file once the scan is complete.   In the example below, the name of the files will be Scan. filetype, Scan1.filetype, Scan2.filetype, Scan3.filetype,  and so forth... also note that these images will be placed in the "Pictures" folder on the computer.   You may prefer to designate them to the desktop while active and working with them, then place them into designated folders afterward

After the "Overview Scan" image is complete, and to capture a specific range of the scanner's surface area, click on the "use custom size" then click and drag a rectangle around the area you wish to scan.

 Last, but not least, you need to select a resolution for your image.  If you want to print a 300 dpi image at 8x10 of your document area,  and the cropped document area is 4x5, then you will have to scan at 600 dpi.
Resolution for printed images
Resolution is measured in dots or pixels per inch (dpi or ppi). The resolution of the scanned image is a necessary factor in the final print or on-screen output. In consumer or prosumer situations, such as personal ink jet printers or laser printers at stores like Kinkos or Costco, the print will look fine at a resolution of 200 to 300 dots per inch. In professional print environments, the rule is simple: ask the printer for the print specifications including file resolution and color space.
Resolution for screen presentations Any image that will be used on-screen, for instance on a website or in a video, will need to be saved only at screen resolution, or 72 dots per inch. The file size is directly connected to the amount of pixels saved in each inch of the bitmap or raster file. Image files saved at screen resolution are much smaller in file size than images that are saved for printing.
To determine the resolution to enter into the scanner software, simply acknowledge the size of the object on the flatbed, then decide how large you want the object to print on the page. If the object is, for example, 4 by 5 inches and the objective is to make a 4 by 5 inch print, scan the object at 200 – 300 dots per inch. If you want to make an 8 by 10 inch print, either scan the object at 300 dpi and increase the scale to 200 percent, or scan the object at 600 dpi at 100 percent scale.   Enough already!!!!

But wait.  One more thing: File formats such as JPEG, PNG, and PDF are used to compress the size of the file, and therefore often result in a loss of digital information. File formats such as TIFF and PSD are less “lossy” (the image does not lose digital information due to compression), and are therefore better format choices if the intent is to manipulate the image in an editing program such as Photoshop.  I will use Tiff.... this makes a larger file size, but after the image is complete in photoshop, then you can save it as a jpeg for printing, or alter the image to 72 dpi for easy publishing on the web. 

A scanogram is the digital method of producing a “contact” image, reminiscent of a photogram. The first photograms were made by photographic pioneers, William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins in the mid-1800s. Photograms are made by placing objects on sensitized paper, exposing the objects and paper to light, and processing the paper to reveal the print. A camera is not necessary for the production of this type of graphic image; and the result is more like an abstract impression of the object than a highly detailed rendering. Like a photogram, a scanogram is made by placing objects on the “sensitized area,” or the scan bed, where the surface is exposed to the digital capturing devices that generate a file.


Scan one, or several objects to see how they work with the scanners.  Some objects may capture better using the image capture and epson scanners.   Select an object to create your scanograms.  Using the pen tool, cut the object out.   Then, you will create the following for next week:

1. Scanogram-using the initial object to create a complex pattern.  Altering the opacity, applying filters, gradients, and transforming the initial object to create the new pattern.   Create Sketches (either digitally, or manually) and show them to me before you leave class.

2. Scanogram II- use the initial object to create another object.  Rehash the initial object by appropriating it into a representational "new" object.  You may research images online or use your drawing skills to show me the possible final project.  Please show me your ideas before you leave class so I can make comments and suggestions before you begin work.

Cutting out an object using the pen tool

Remember, using selection, or specific layers will allow you to "transform" and edit specific areas, shapes or colors on layers.