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Everything posted by Pitcher

  1. When I get version X5, I see on page 129, there is a provision for Alpha Channel editing.
  2. Here is a description of the part of the menu that concerns the alpha channel: Create from Layer Alpha Creates a selection based on the active layer's alpha (opacity) channel. Transparent areas become relatively less selected than opaque areas, i.e. more protected from changes. Tip: You can also Ctrl-click the image preview next to the layer name on the Layers tab.
  3. My version 5.0 of Adobe Photoshop Elements doesn't have "Show Channels" in the Windows drop down menu. I made sure to use your version of the tga in Photo Plus X4, and it did not show an alpha channel. I'm attaching a screen print of what I see in the Photo Plus X4. I looked in the program help for Photo Plus X4, and it said alpha is opacity. Here is where it discusses alpha: You can create a selection based on the active layer's alpha (opacity) channel using the Create from Layer Alpha command on the Select menu. When I go to the "Select" menu, there is a "Create from Layer Alpha" selection that allows you to select. Then, the pine needles look active. They are showing that they have been selected. I don't see anything that allows me to show an alpha channel like the other color channels. Perhaps, version X5 when it comes will have that feature.
  4. When I installed my program, I noticed that the Photo Plus is X4 but the rest of the Serif programs are X5. I have ordered an X5 which will be delivered soon. I saved a targa of the pine needles into the Photo Plus X4 program and clicked on the "Channels" tab. My channels don't look like yours above. My program was designed for 32 bit, and I have a 64 bit computer. I'm not sure if that is the reason, but the display in the Channels tab is tiny. When I click on each channel, the picture in the main viewer changes. The main difference between the different channels is that the background is a different color. Also, there is no alpha channel listed, but there is a RGB channel. I'm not sure what program your display is from. It occurs to me that I also have Adobe Photoshop Elements 5. I don't see where I can choose channels in that program, but if you use Adobe, and if my Adobe Photoshop Elements will work, maybe that would be the better option. It displays normally on a 64 bit computer.
  5. I was checking a little more on the Internet, and found that Serif's Photo Plus does work with Channels. You can find the Photo Plus user guide here: http://dl.serif.com/pdfs/photoplusx5-uk.pdf The part on Channels begins on page 127. The Draw Plus user guide is also online and can be found here: http://dl.serif.com/pdfs/drawplusx5-uk.pdf I happen to have Photo Plus, as well as most of the other Serif products that I picked up for free after rebate a few years ago. I think they all work together like a suite. Apparently, Photo Plus has some drawing features also. Perhaps, Draw Plus lets you do more with drawing, and you can take your products into Photo Plus to save them in various formats. I don't have a drawing pad. I guess I'll have to draw with a mouse, unless my new computer works as a drawing pad also. I have a touch screen and stylus. Obviously, this is something I have never explored before.
  6. I've looked at the book that came with Draw Plus. It does layers. I don't know if this has anything to do with channels, but I saw in the index where it does Alpha-edged bitmap. The program is from a British software company. I have several programs from the company, and some of the others are not very user friendly, but they are fairly comprehensive. Is there any other name they might use what what you are calling "channels"?
  7. About all I have is Microsoft Paint. What are some of the leading paint programs? I used to buy software that was interesting when they were giving rebates that made the software free. Maybe, I have something better and haven't thought of it. I was just looking, and I see that I have Draw Plus by Serif. I haven't ever used it. I also have an old Macromedia Creative Suite 8. I used that once upon a time for web site development, but it might have other parts that would apply. I don't even remember what the subprograms are.
  8. That sounds good! I've heard something about alpha channel several times, but I have never learned how to do it. Also, in case I forget while we're talking about how to pursue this objective, I hope you have a very happy Thansgiving!
  9. Thanks! I'll work on it. I appreciate the support. It's nice to know that it isn't totally unthinkable.
  10. I was wondering if it would be possible to create a decal that had a transparent background and to apply that decal to a transparent model. For example, I am creating a pine tree, and I am concerned about the needles. Probably, I could create the needles as hair on the pine tree branches, but that takes a lot of computer memory. Could I instead make a decal that had a transparent background and apply it to a part of a sphere that was transparent and then attach the part of the sphere to the branches? I have taken a photograph of pine needles to which I could add color for the needles and make the background transparent. Attached is my photograph. I was interested in opinions. (Be kind!)
  11. I just received a new computer for my birthday and Christmas. I can try it out for a week and take it back to the store, if I want. I sent in a request for a trial version of A:M 19 to see how the graphics card works on this computer. If you see my name and wonder why I am requesting a trial version after all these years, that's why.
  12. Venice had a busy port with its own ships and with ships from other places. Normally, the Bucentaur wouldn't be there, and most of the gondolas would be going through the various canals. Ascension Day was considered as much of an occasion as Carnival. It was like a water parade. Here they may be getting ready for it. Thanks for all of your help in showing me how to make the picture look better. I still don't quite know what to do about the style being so much different from the rest of my illustrations. The textures really add a lot. I may have to go back and texture the other water scenes and install skydomes in a lot of the other pictures. It gives me something to do in my retirement, I guess. Each time I post something here I learn quite a lot thanks to your suggestions and explanations.
  13. Thank you, Robcat, for the movie with the explanation and solution to my concerns. It was more than anyone could have ever expected. I made the changes you described, and I squashed the dome (as equally as possible by the horizontal sections) so that the complete range of the gradient would be expressed in a more compact space. I think the color of the sky and the gradient are much better. I hope you agree. I am attaching the revised picture and also a picture of the skydome as squashed.
  14. I've been playing around with the gradient some more. I will also say that I spent 4 or 5 hours experimenting with various gradients before I posted the shot above. I have now experimented some more, and I don't see much, if any, improvement. There are two questions I have. First, the color of the gradient is 100% blue. There is 255 blue 0 red and 0 green, but when I render, it has a purple quality. Secondly, the raw dome has a gradient that goes from dark solid blue to almost gray, but when rendered there is very little variation between the top and bottom. Does the rendering engine or whatever average out and balance colors somehow? I don't really feel that what is rendered is what I put into the program.
  15. That's really super! I haven't gotten the whole radial gradient thing really down yet. I need to figure out the settings for limits. Those clouds in your picture are quite remarkable also. I thought the ones you showed me how to make were a vast improvement over what I was doing before. One of the things I always worry about is whether my computer memory or processing power is up to the task. Sometimes, I worry about becoming better at this than my computer can support, but I'm willing to take the risk.
  16. Hi, Robcat! For some reason, I don't see any words in your response. Hope everything is going well with you.
  17. I've been working on ships and boats to go into the Grand Canal and people to populate Venice. I decided to have my pigs from Donark sail into Venice on Ascension Day 1600. There was a major annual celebration on that day for hundreds of years. The Doge would embark on the Bucentaur, a special ship, and go to the Adriatic Sea for a ceremony in which he would marry the Lady of the Sea, a mythical being. The marriage symbolized the close relationship between the people of Venice and the sea. Several artists have depicted scenes from this celebration. I have used their work as a jumping off point for the way the celebration looked. My scene is not a direct copy of any particular artist's painting, and I did not prepare it as an illustration for a history book. I am just writing a book illustrated by cartoons. I probably should mention also that I have made my own skydome after Robcat gave me the idea for making one and actually loaned me his. I made mine differently, because I am not nearly as knowledgeable as Robcat and needed something simpler. I made mine by creating a radial gradient in Adobe Photoshop Elements and applying it to the inside of a dome (half a sphere). Here is my latest effort:
  18. Thanks for the criteria. I am especially glad to hear that the dual extruder is overkill. Hope everything is going well with you. I haven't printed much lately because I have been busy with other projects. I'll have to finish a few things before I can get back to printing.
  19. It occurs to me that you once said that you wish your library had a 3d printer. That brought to mind that we have "Maker" centers in Houston and even in Humble that have 3d printers. For a small membership fee paid monthly, someone can use their equipment and sometimes software. I was thinking that maybe you have some "Maker" centers around you also. I think our 3d printing teacher at the library said that she had been to one in Humble (small town north of Houston) and had used equipment there to make a prosthetic arm for a little girl. She said they had heat guns and other equipment to help fine tune the sizing by making minor changes in the curvature. Hope this helps.
  20. I've seen some good reviews, but I don't know what the reviewers were trying to print. I would like to hear from some people who have printed. I thought this was interesting because it told me which printer they used, and I could see the products.
  21. I've thought about getting a 3d printer also, but I don't know if I would really do enough printing to make it worthwhile. We are short of storage space and I was wondering about the fumes from the melting plastic, etc. I am getting kind of old also. I feel funny about such indulgences for me. Here are the ones I've been looking at: https://www.banggood.com/DIY-Creality-CR-10-3D-Printer-300300400mm-Printing-Size-1_75mm-0_4mm-Nozzle-p-1085645.html?utmid=8650&cur_warehouse=USA and https://www.amazon.com/Comgrow-Creality-Printer-Upgrade-Certified/dp/B07GYRQVYV?ref_=Oct_BSellerC_6066127011_2&pf_rd_p=471a90b9-8a34-5dd9-a6f0-17598d2f0fae&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=6066127011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=GPJJS9YEA0HMSFEGM387&pf_rd_r=GPJJS9YEA0HMSFEGM387&pf_rd_p=471a90b9-8a34-5dd9-a6f0-17598d2f0fae I wonder what kind Fuchur has and what he would recommend.
  22. I'm really not thinking about an empty space inside something. I was thinking about the empty space under the trunk of his body where his legs are holding him up and under his tail. There will probably be some supports there, but I hope they will be easy to remove.
  23. I haven't printed in a month or so. I've been making Venetians to populate the city. I'm on #26. I looked up portraits from Venice in the 1600s, and I've been going through them and making 3-D models that look somewhat like them. My models are really simplifications, but the style of the outfits and jewelry are somewhat recognizable. I'm trying to get 50 of them and then make small changes in hair color, clothing color, body type, eye color, and whatever else I can think of so that I have 100 to sprinkle about and make the place look somewhat populated. I also forgot to mention that I made several ships to put in the Grand Canal. One of them that really confounded me was the Bucentaur (I never did get it really correct, because I started with a bad painting of it, and the basic structure is not quite right. Still, it looks enough like it, that people should recognize what it is trying to be.) I'm going to have my pigs sail into the Grand Canal on Ascension Day (which this year was on May 30), and lots of ships and gondolas of various types will be in the Grand Canal as the Doge (Duke) goes on the Bucentaur to the Adriatic Sea to have a wedding ceremony with the Lady of the Sea. (Every year, apparently, the Doge used to ceremoniously marry the sea, since it was so important to Venice.) The original Bucentaur was broken up for kindling during the occupation by Napoleon, but for 100s of years, this was a major event in Venice. I'm hoping to finish Venice in a few months and then have a different ship of pigs go to Texas. That will be much more primitive at that time, and I hope I can finish that landing in two or three months. I may also have a ship sail to China with a few Chinese buildings and a ship sail to Hawaii. I had not intended to do all of this when I wrote my original story, but I included a cursory treatment there and now I want to follow the pigs of Donark to their ultimate destiny. Unfortunately, there are no swine civilizations today, so it won't be a happy story. Thanks to Hamlet's self-centered and malicious deeds to his neighbors, what might have been the foundation of a swine culture came to a premature end. Thanks again for your ideas on how to improve the appearance of the Venice model. I am using the model of Venice in a book that has a much simpler style (since I started the illustrations for the book about 8 years ago when I was just beginning with A:M), so I will not be using the model of Venice with all of the bells and whistles in the book. The style will be a lot simpler throughout the book, but I learned a lot and will use the techniques in future projects. I also am able to use some of the techniques in the book in small ways that don't change the overall appearance of the picture. How about you? Have you done any printing lately? I especially would be interested in how to handle large empty spaces well. I will attach a picture of a winged lion that I was considering for printing to illustrate the difficulties to which I refer. Have you discovered any technique which might make it easier to deal with all that empty space?
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