Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pen Tool E-Book Progress

Hey guys!  I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  I just wanted to share a little update with you concerning the progress of the pen tool e-book tutorial.

The documentation is nearly complete, and we're almost ready to begin adding picture assets.  Progress is coming along nicely and we'll be able to publish soon.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Nvidia Normal Map Plug in for Mac Issue

It's been brought to my attention that the Nvidia normal map filter plug in for Photoshop apparently does not work for Mac at this time.  Since I do not use Mac, I was previously unaware of the issue.  My apologies.

I still don't have a permanent solution for the problem as a whole, however, I do have a (sort of) fix for a more specific instance; the Captain America Shield.

If you are a Mac user who has done the tutorial and gotten stuck at the normal map, I have created a bump map that does a pretty decent job of picking up the slack.  I went ahead and created the bump map for you, since this issue sort of slipped up and caught me by surprise, but since a bump map is a simple gray-scale image, it's one that you can create yourself without a plug in.

Click the "captAmericaShieldTutorialBump.jpg" to open in the image gallery.
Right click on the image and choose "save as" to save it to your hard drive.
Activate the 3D layer and in the 3D panel, activate the "Layer 1 Front Inflation Material" layer.
If you have a texture installed in the normal map, remove it by clicking the icon next to "Normal" and choosing "Remove Texture."
Click the icon next to the "Bump" field and choose "Replace Texture".
Navigate to the folder on your hard drive where you saved the "captAmericaShieldTutorialBump.jpg" and select it.
Change the bump amount to approximately 16%.
  • If the bump mapping fits improperly, click the icon next to "Bump" and choose "Edit Texture".
  • Click the "Image" menu and select  "Image Size".
  • Verify that the image size is 1024 px by 1024 px.  If not, resize to make it so.
  Render to check effect.

Please note, I have not done a full render with the alternative bump map yet, so you may have to adjust the bump amount to get the desired results.

Captain America Shield Tutorial Alternative Bump for Mac

Here is the normal map I created for the original project so that you can see the results for yourself.  Install it using the same method as above except you will want to install it next to the area labelled "Normal" in the properties panel.
Captain America Shield Tutorial Normal Map

I realize this is a temporary fix to the overall issue, and again, I apologize for not having the information needed to predict the problem.  If anyone finds a solution, by all means, feel free to share it with us.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hubble Deep Field

Wikipedia: Hubble Deep Field

One of the coolest things ... ever.

Short caption if you're too busy to read the wiki:  Once the Hubble Telescope was finally up and running properly, its operators (out of boredom, i guess) pointed it at the darkest, emptiest, most devoid section of space they could find.  In other word, for all intents and purposes, they aimed the lens at the cold, black, nothingness of infinite space.

They exposed the image for 11 days, to capture the greatest amount of light possible, and with no nearby starlight to contaminate the expose, they ended up with this.  All of those 10,000 little specks, every single one of them, are a separate galaxy, previously undetected by humanity.  If you didn't feel utterly insignificant in the universe before ...

Like I said ... cool.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Vector Tools Tutorial "Book Cover"

Hey folks!  The last tutorial I did required a little bit of pen tool use.  After it was finished, I thought to myself "Self, maybe it's time you did a pen tool tutorial."  So I started working on the script for the video, intending to make a relatively light weight tutorial just to expose users to the idea of the pen tool.

That "quick" tutorial soon evolved into a 20 page document. (Wow!)  So again, I thought to myself "Self, this is way too big for a video tutorial!"  So that left me with two choices.  I could heavily edit the document and remove a lot of the information, or since it's already a pretty comprehensive instructional document, I could just take it all the way and create a complete PDF/E-book type thing showcasing all the coolness of the pen tool and Photoshop's vector capabilities in general.

I chose the latter.  The PDF will include everything you ever wanted to know about the pen tool and vector shapes (well, at least everything I know about them).  This will be Saberune Design's first comprehensive instructional guide.  We're all pretty excited about it and we can't wait to share it with you!  Stay tuned as we update you on our progress.  Thanks!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

3D Photorealistic crayon Tutorial for Photoshop cs 6 Extended

Hey, folks, here's a new tutorial.  I know it's a lot longer than usual, but there's a lot of stuff going on here and I felt like I wouldn't be doing it justice if I shortened it any more than it already is.

Things covered in this tutorial:
Custom keyboard shortcut creation
Pen tool usage and work path creation
converting vector shapes into 3D objects
Using maps to manipulate lighting, reflection, gloss, and specularity.

Resources provided:
Image-Based Light
Bump Map