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Create A Day

One creative project every day for a year

Archive for March, 2011


Day 58: Photoshop Fun!

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

For today’s project I wanted to do something fun that I didn’t take too seriously. I realized that I’ve been stressing somewhat about this 365 project and I need to unwind a bit. So, this photoshopped image is definitely not my best ‘shopping skills, but I wasn’t too worried about that!

I decided that I wanted to take a beautiful landscape image and add funny characters too it. :D Here’s the image I started with.

Although I’m ended up completely botching this picture with me copy and paste, I actually really love it! I think it’s beautiful and will probably become my desktop pattern for awhile… Anyways! I was looking through google images after searching “high fashion model” because I originally had this idea to put some models in ridiculous outfits and poses into this hay field. This picture came up (which was from America’s Next Top Model Season 11)

Again, I actually love this photo, and ANTM is definitely my guilty pleasure (marathons on Bravo? YES.), but I got the idea of mashing up a bunch of pictures of models jumping out of the hay! I also wanted some red elements, so I gave one of the models a red umbrella, added a bunch of red balloons, and even gave Superman a cameo! :) Here’s all the photos I used (click thumbnails to see full size)

And this is what I ultimately came up with.

It’s pretty much just utterly ridiculous, but I still love it! :D hahaha

Perhaps a more serious not tomorrow? I hope not!

Anna Grace

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Day 57: Rendered Room after Photoshop Editing

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

Today I took the rendered image of the bar from yesterday and edited it in photoshop. Here’s a look at the original image as a reminder.

When I took it into photoshop I mainly fixed the issues with the original rendering. First, two of the lights above the bar didn’t turn on, so i adjusted the pool of light on the ceiling. All the pendant lights were supposed to be purple, but the bright lights washed it out, so I added a purple to the shades. Also, the majority of the chords didn’t show up, so I lightened them. Next, there was a random line on the right wall, so I just smoothed it out with the smudge tool and paintbrush. The final issue was with the bottles on the shelves. I was able to just slightly erase and fill in the color with some of them, but others were a bit harder, so I erased them completely and put in an image of wine bottles instead. After fixing those issues, I added in some black and white architectural photographs on the wall (I used the transform->distort tool the added the beveled effect and drop shadow). I also wanted some figures to give a better idea of scale and to make it look more alive, so I found some images of a bartender, waiter, and 2 people sitting on stools and added them in (I also gave the two customers some cocktails :D ). At first I just left them semi-transparent, but it looked too busy, so I picked a bright, contrasting overall color instead, which is what I’ve done on past projects for school.

click for full size

I’m really happy with how this turned out! Just realized that I forgot to add baseboards and crown molding… oh well! I think that even though I didn’t spend quite as long on this as I would one for a school project, it is still definitely worthy of going in my portfolio! Anything to make my portfolio look better and highlight my skills is definitely a plus!

Is it weird that I miss studio even though it caused me many, many, many sleepless nights (not to mention unspeakable stress and health problems!)?? I miss design in my life I think, and I would be really happy to do renderings like this all day every day!

Anna Grace


Day 56: Rendered Room

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

Yep. That says Rendered Room, not the usual Quick Rendered Room. That’s because there was nothing quick about this project. Instead of doing a quick room in SketchUp and Photoshopping over it, I did everything in SketchUp (including all of the furniture/casework, paint colors, materials, and lighting) and rendered it with the plugin IDX. This is how I did the majority of computer renderings in my Interior Design studios.

So… I started like always building a basic room. I decided I wanted to do a bar… not sure why, it just came to me! I found most of the furniture elements in the 3D Warehouse, but I tweaked all of them a lot. The back cabinets I changed by expanding them to fill my space (the original was much shorter height wise and not as long) and taking out the back of the upper cabinets and making the wall behind it a window. I liked the idea of light shining through the bottles on the shelves and imagine at night it would have some kind of colored light :) . The bar itself originally had these upholstered rectangles that were a like a red snakeskin pattern. I liked the pattern, but wanted something brighter, so I used an image of a neon green faux snakeskin. The table and chairs I just changed the seat colors from black to green and the pendant lights over the bar and the middle table I made the glass shades purple instead of yellow. The only thing I did to the wall sconces was make them a little taller. I then just added a image of concrete for the floor, ceiling tile image for the ceiling, and the wall color, which happens to be Benjamin Moore’s Aplomb or AF-625. I did all of this on the Mac side of my computer (which runs a lot better and faster) and then had to switch to the Windows side to do the IDX rendering because that’s where my certified copy of it is. (I use Boot Camp BTW because when I started the ID program they didn’t have AutoCad for Mac.) Here it is before rendering.

Once on the Windows side, I added all the lighting and textural characteristics necessary to make everything render the way I wanted to. It took a few quick trial renderings to get it where I was okay with it and finally started the final, better quality rendering…. which took 4 hours!!!! (Which actually is a relatively fast rendering time compared to some of the intensely complex renderings I’ve done that took days!!) Here it is! (Scaled down a lot because the original tiff file was too big to upload!)

So there’s a few problems with this which might turn this into a 2 day project. For some reason, the two pendant lights on the far right didn’t turn on!! I was well into hour 2 of rendering when I noticed this, so I was not about to start rendering again! Also, all the pendant lights were supposed to be purple, but I guess the brightness of them canceled it out. The bottles in the window were already in the 3D object I found, so I didn’t realize until after I rendered this that they were not 3D bottles… just a single transparent face with a 2d image superimposed. With the lighting ¬†and everything they kind of turned out funny. :neutral: I think with all of those things wrong and a couple other little things, I will probably do some hard core photoshopping tomorrow to get this perfect and make it look more alive!

All the little problems aside, I really like this. Doing projects like this make me remember why I love design so much and it confirms to me that I am in the right field. I think that computer rendering is definitely my forte, so I hope this skill will help land me a job at a firm somewhere in the future!

Tomorrow, a print worthy edition of this rendering!

Anna Grace


Day 55 (1 day late): Skull Quilt Project Square 3

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

Feeling much, much better today. I called in sick to work because I still felt bad this morning, but it seems the few extra hours of rest were all I needed! I hope to be back to my normal self by tomorrow.

For yesterday’s project, I made another Skull Quilt Square for Skull-A-Day’s quilts to be auctioned off for Becky’s Fund. For this third skull, I used the same orange t-shirt fabric as I did in the second square. I meant to take pictures as I went, but I got so caught up in making it that I forgot… oops! So I’ll just describe my process.

I started by making a 12×12″ square out of the t-shirt. I also had a tank top from Victoria’s Secret that was a giveaway to promote the 2010 fashion show. It didn’t fit me at all, so I cut out the words “fashion” and “show” and stuck them on with liquid stitch. I then played around with some beads I had to try and form the shape of a skull. I ended up using blue circle beads mixed with black and white striped beads to form the main shape, an orange bead for the nose hole and a donut bead broken in half to form the jaw. It turned out sort of abstracted, but I like it! It’s a haute couture skull! :) After gluing those down, I formed a purse of of some black and white beads, and the strap for it out of some more donut shaped beads broken in half. I think they look like links in a chain, which is pretty cool! A green bead served as the “clasp” for the purse. I finished off the square with some layered pink and blue beads in the O’s of the words to spice it up a little. :D

Okay so make that very abstracted skull. I still like it a lot though! I hope to make at least one more of these before mailing them out!

Working on the post for today right now… look for that later tonight!

Anna Grace


Day 54(1 day late): Digital Self Portrait

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

Feeling much, much better today, although still taking it easy. I probably won’t get to today’s post, but such is life. For yesterday’s project, I decided to try another portrait using photoshop like I did the Elizabeth Taylor one. Apparently I’m on a portrait kick… sorry!

This week at my college is TAAST, or The Annual All-College Spring Thing! It’s a fun filled week that gets kicked off (literally… had to do it!) by kickball the first saturday and ends the next saturday with a massive Beaux Arts Ball! The week in between includes a ton of activities sponsored by the various organizations (Date Auction, Thumbtack Throwing Contest, Lego Building Contest, Installation Charrette etc.) as well as lectures and interview days where firms from all over come and interview students! As you can imagine, the interview days are pretty dang stressful, so the Beaux Arts Ball is always such a fun way to unwind. And I tell you what, us Architecture and Design kids know how to PARTY!! When we have time that is…

Every year there’s a different theme to the ball, which this year is “Inner Animal.” I’m not entirely sure what my inner animal is yet, but i’ll probably get “creative” and post the costume making process Friday! Anyways, my Freshman year the theme was “Red Carpet” and took place on the Tennessee Riverboat (that first link is me and me “dates” resting during the long walk to the boat). Sophomore year it was “Rave” (me and my raver buddies resting after intense techno dancing :D ) and took place at the Valarium. Junior year was “Prohibition” (aka flappers!!) at the Cider House which was added onto the Valrium. And last year was the “Monster” or “Avant Garde” Ball (basically Gaga style EVERYWHERE!!) at Sassy Ann’s! I do believe that this last one was the most epic! Here’s just a few pics…

From top left: Lauren as the White Queen, Alyssa with extra long hair, Lauren B avant garde devil :) , Brian and Whitney, looking down at the monsters, Monster King, Perrin as Queen of Hearts (who was crowned Monster Queen!), and Me as a Gaga poof monster!!

Well that was a really long explanation for ¬†today’s project, but at any rate I’ve got the Beaux Arts Ball on my brain! In honor of that, I decided to do a portrait of this picture that I happened to drunkenly/fantastically take at last year’s ball.

I love this picture! I thought it would be perfect for using the same technique as day 53 since it’s already so blurry and fuzzy. Here’s what I came up with.


Side by side for comparison

Okay, I have to admit that I was really struggling with the poofy parts of my outfit and the poof in my hair, so I just cut those out of the original image and added filters to them rather than actually drawing them with the paint brush tool. I didn’t feel like spending that much time on them… I think I like the way the Elizabeth Taylor portrait turned out better than this one, but I spent a lot less time on this. Overall, I think it’s not bad! I’m pretty certain it’s going to become my facebook profile picture ASAP!

I’ll try and get to today’s project actually on today, but no guarantees!

Anna Grace


Day 54 postponed due to illness

Posted by annagrace under Uncategorized

Stomach viruses suck…


Day 53: Elizabeth Taylor Portrait 2 ways

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

For today’s project I wanted to pay homage to Elizabeth Taylor who, incase you’ve been living under a rock the past week or so, passed away on Wednesday, March 23. (That youtube link is a tribute from a few years ago, but I think who better than Paul Newman to talk about her!).

I started with this photograph, which I absolutely love!

She was so dang classy and beautiful! Anyways, I started at first doing a portrait with colored pencil. I realized very quickly that I absolutely fail at drawing hands! So I just quickly drew her face, but I wanted to show you what I did in very a short time period.

I clearly had some issues with this… eyes going the wrong direction, mouth too pursed… she looks more pissed than sultry haha!! So I decided to do another iteration of it. For this one, I wanted to do it digitally in photoshop. I had seen this done before in another 365 project that I can’t for the life of me remember the name of, where the guy would use photoshop and other software to create portraits every day. He usually, if I remember correctly, started off with an image and her would trace it in photoshop or whatever so he could get everything right. I did the same, working in layers with the opacity turned way down, and I also used the color picker to make sure the shades were right. All the drawing was done with different sizes in the paintbrush tool. Here’s the final result.


Here’s a side by side so you can see the difference.

I still had a lot of issues with the hand, but I think it turned out okay. I ended up leaving out the thumb because it was causing me a lot of trouble, but I think it’s fine without it!

You would think that this wouldn’t take very long since I was essentially just tracing the image, but it was a lot harder than I thought! Controlling the motion of the strokes is super difficult (wish my usb mouse wasn’t broken…) on a track pad, not to mention getting the shades just right, even with the color picker! It ended up taking me about 3.5 hours to finish after experimenting with it some last night!! I am very very happy with how it turned out, though! I think that I will probably try this method of portraiture again!

Rest in peace, Liz! You will be missed!

Anna Grace


Day 52: Photoshop Self-Portrait

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

Today’s project isn’t a super exciting one… just some fun with photoshop! I took one of my favorite pictures of myself with red hair and decided to single out some of the colors in certain parts. Here’s what I started with:

You probably recognize this as the picture in my about me section! So I just made one copy of this black and white and left one copy in color for me to play with. With the color copy, using the magnetic lasso tool and/or the magic wand tool, I selected my hair, glasses, irises (can’t really see them, but they’re blue!), lips, and the frame of my bed that I had spray painted purple! I then just copied and pasted them all into the black and white copy after I converted it back to RGB mode.

Isn’t it crazy how bright my lips and hair look in the black and white one? It’s funny how a colors surrounding colors can change how it looks…

I’ve done this quite a bit with photos, turning my hair green and what not, and I think it’s a quick way to make a boring picture fun! I’m hoping to do something a little more exciting for tomorrow’s project, so be on the look out!

Anna Grace


Day 51(1 day late): Silhouette Portraits

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

Yesterday’s post was taking a long time to dry, so I didn’t finish it until today. At work, there’s a giant set of shelves that seem to be the catch all for anything we don’t know where else to put! The other day my coworker decided that we needed to tackle it and organize it. While we were doing that, we came across about half a dozen canvases of various sizes that had been painted with some popular (at the time) Benjamin Moore colors. Many of them also had some examples of different glazes. My boss was going to throw them away, so I quickly rescued them! For today’s project I used two of the pre-painted canvases that didn’t have any other faux finish or glaze. The first canvas was a brown color (Af-165 Kona) and the second was a red (1323 Currant Red). I got a picture of the brown, but forgot to snap one of the red… oops.

I couldn’t use a flash because my phone was about to die… sorry! I got the idea for this project from a print I bought for my step-mom from the UTK Prints and Pottery sale last November, but instead of using ink, I used paint! Anyways, next I used the miss-tinted paint from Day 10 and diluted it with water to make a makeshift glaze (By the way, I would never recommend doing this for a glaze on your walls… it would never last! That’s why they make glaze bases!). I washed this mixture on the canvases (one at a time) with a t-shirt. I then used a ZAR Graining Tool, which is supposed to be used with stains, but I wanted to see how it would do with this, and slowly removed some of the wash by pulling it down the canvas, rocking back and forth to add “knots.” I think they turned out pretty cool!

Close up to see grain

It obviously doesn’t look like real woodgrain, but that was sort of the point, in my opinion. Next (today), I found some profile silhouettes, like they used a lot in cameos, traced them and cut them out with an x-acto knife. I centered them on the canvases and stuck them down with double sided tape. I used these stencils with some of the leftover miss-tinted sample jars from the mosaic painting project and painted the silhouettes on the canvases, red for the man on the brown canvas, blue for the woman on the red canvas! I was very careful to make my strokes from the paper into the hole of the stencil so I wouldn’t accidentally smush some of the paint under the paper. After letting them dry for awhile, I was done!

Man (It’s hard to tell because of the glare, but he had a a fancy collar :) )



I realized as I was taking these pictures that somehow one of my hairs ended up in the painting… oops! Can you see it?

It adds character :neutral: … I think that I will probably end up hanging these over my tv, possibly with the mosaic painting in between? Modern meets traditional? I’ll post pictures if I do!

Today’s post coming later tonight!

Anna Grace


Day 50(1 day late): As Long As You Love Me

Posted by annagrace under Days 1-100

I have internet again!!!!! :mrgreen: Yay!! So, for yesterday’s post I pulled out the old 1998-1999 Smash Pop Hits book again and decided to do As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys!! I wasn’t really into this boy band as much as some girls my age since I knew that it was set in stone that I would marry Taylor Hanson (That’s him with his wife and four kids!!!), but I did definitely have a thing for Brian Littrell (Seriously. How cute is he?!). :D I remember watching this video and thinking it was sooooo awesome! Now I watch it and I laugh at how utterly 90′s it is! Nick definitely knew how to rock the bleach blonde center part haha!

Anyways, I decided to explore my droid market and see if there were any musical instrument apps, and came across Solo Lite, which basically pre-loads guitar chords and you can strum along! So I decided to attempt using this app while recording the song… so some parts are very off, but c’est la vie! I then wrote out the melody, recorded the main voice part and added drums effects and what-not.

As Long As You Love Me

I screwed up the end pretty royally, but I was totally over recording it again (it’s a little low for me so I was losing my voice!), so I just left it as is!

By the way, can you believe we’re 50 days in??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!! INSANITY! When we hit the 2 month mark, I’ll be doing another recap like I did at the month mark, so stayed tuned for that!

Also, my project for today is taking a lot longer than planned (waiting on stuff to dry!), so I will probably be doing two posts tomorrow to catch up!

Anna Grace