Category Archives: Tech Sessions

Find here the content of our demo days

Tech Session: Adobe Illustrator intro

Create a New Document ( FILE >> NEW )
– set size and orientation

Create some basic shapes
– rectangle
– circle
– click and drag to set size
– shift-click and drag to keep proportional/square
– double-click: manually set specific size

Alter the shapes
– color, stroke
– Selection Tool
– Move
– rotate
– scale (shift scale)
– copy, paste (EDIT >> COPY or EDIT >> PASTE)
– undo (EDIT >> UNDO or command-z)
– multiple select ( shift select)
– group / ungroup ( OBJECT >> GROUP )
– align

Advanced shapes
– Direct selection tool
– Pen tool (for angles and curves)
– Add anchor point, delete anchor point
– compound shapes

Grouping, ungrouping


Slicing, merging dividingshapes (for cropping especially)
– (pathfinder panel)

Placing images (sample image here)


Images for tech session 9/15

Raster Image Tech: Masking

For today’s demo, download the following files. (CTRL+click to download)

We’ll use these to try out the following techniques:

  • Masking with Layers: Raster shapes
  • Masking with other images: Clipping Mask
  • Masking with Shapes: Vector graphics

Important Reminder

Hey people – when you’re shooting, make sure you set your camera to save at the MAXIMUM size – you need all the pixels you can get for this project.

You can always downsample to get a large digital file smaller, but you can’t upsample without sacrificing quality.

Here’s a longer exploration of these terms, if you haven’t encountered them before.

Tech Session 8/25: Compositing

You’ll need these to work with in class:

Methods to be covered today:

  • adding part of one image to another image
  • erasing part of an image

Tech to be covered today:

  • Opening a New Document
  • Opening an Existing document
  • Saving
  • Resolution and Size
  • Adjusting the image
  • Selection
  • Erasing stuff
  • Copy, paste
  • Transform, distort
  • History

Required Bookmarking/Scrapbooking

For this class, you should keep an online scrapbook of links related to our course material: technical tips, artists’ pages, thematic interests. You don’t have to use your real name for this, but you should post 2-3 links per week, with comments. Tag your links for this class with the tag 2010arts341 so we can see your stuff.

At semester’s end, you will be asked to submit you scrapbook to the instructor as part of your grade.

I recommend you use Tumblr or delicious. If you have something else you’ld rather use, please ask.

Compositing: Quick Cheats and Dirty Tricks

1. When shooting two pictures to combine, pay attention to linear perspective. If you shoot both pictures from the same angle you’ll have an easier time combining them.

2. Images with greater depth-of-field can be easier to composite – especially if the foreground elements go off the page. So Picture 01 below will be harder to achieve than Picture 02.

Picture 01 - Less depth-of-field

Picture 02 - more depth-of-field

3. You can even use the blur filter to exaggerate the depth-of-field.

closer and blurred for exaggerated depth of field

4. Don’t forget shadows. You can select and paste them from other pictures, even if the ground doesn’t match. Then use them to create selections you can use to darken the ground in your new background.

with shadow added

5. Play with the hue, saturation, lightness and darkness of your two images to get a match.

elephant darkened to match background

6. By adjusting the hue or saturation of both images, you can create the illusion that they were both shot in the same conditions.

Blurred, with hue adjustment for both images

7. Be creative about your imagined photo opportunity. For some scenarios, you can actually make the image look more convincing by decreasing the image quality.

"accidental" image