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RE: Photoshop help.....Not the normal kind! (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: canobeans on 12.27.2006 at 03:52 pm in Home Decorating Forum

Wow, you're doing great!

There are many ways to paint walls -- here's my method. I like to get a pretty realistic finish and I like to be able to try different colors easily. If you want quick and dirty, using the paintbruch with the opacity turned down a bit (so you are painting a see-through-ish coat of paint on the walls, keep the wall detail) works too.

First, I select the walls to be painted. This takes a little while, but once done, you can paint and repaint to your heart's content with just a couple of clicks.

My approach to selecting depends a little on what's in the room. Walls that have very few accessories up against them are easiest, because it's mostly straight lines. Your pic above only has wall space above the cabs, and no plants or anything to work around, so I'd use the polygonal lasso tool. You can get as detailed as you want -- how smooth it will look depends a little on how high the picture's resolution is to begin with.

For areas with lots of little curvy or fine detail, like getting around plants, candlesticks, light fixtures, etc. I use a combination of the magic wand and the polygonal lasso tool. The magic wand only works really well if there's a good bit of contrast between the object and the wall. You can increase and decrease the sensitivity of the tool by setting the tolerance (low selects a narrower range, high (up to 255) selects a wider range). When you do have good contrast, it can save you a lot of time. Otherwise, you're back to the polygonal lasso. (The magnetic lasso can be helpful too where there is high contrast.) You probably already know how you can add and subtract from your selection area until you have it just right...just use the lasso and magic wand until you have the walls selected.

Once you get the walls selected, save your selection outline by going to Selection>Save Selection. Just call it "walls." By doing this, you can always go back and reselect your walls later without doing all that work over again by using "Load Selection"!

Next, if the walls are a strong color already or very dark, you might want to desaturate the wall area and/or lighten it so it doesn't interfere with your final color. Use the Image>Adjust>Desaturate and Image>Adjust>Levels commands.

Now, create a new layer. Then use the paint bucket to fill the selected wall areas. The paint bucket will fill with whatever color is the foreground color -- the square that's on top in your color selector on the toolbox palette. Click on the square to pick new colors. You can see that each color ranges from pure white to pure black, with the whole range of saturation and value for the color. In general, choose a color that is darker and more saturated than how you want it to appear on the walls. Then adjust the opacity of the layer to bring some of the detail of the walls (shadows, texture, etc.) back. You'll have to play around with both the opacity and the color selector to get a feel for how to get the color you want.

It is kind of hard to get dark or vibrant colors with this method. A true bright red is particularly hard. And of course, it's only a general idea of how a color will look...in the real room, the light and other surfaces affect how the final color looks.

Hope that helps and wasn't too confusing. As for the other question, about why your furniture is misbehaving, I'll come back later to try to answer if no one else does in the meantime!

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clipped on: 12.31.2006 at 07:56 pm    last updated on: 12.31.2006 at 07:56 pm

RE: Photoshop help.....Not the normal kind! (Follow-Up #1)

posted by: canobeans on 12.26.2006 at 11:58 am in Home Decorating Forum

Get familiar with the toolbox. Learn what each tool does -- just play around with them at first. You won't need the slice tool, don't bother with that.

Learn how to use the selection tools. There are many different ways to select parts of your image, and each has its uses. So learn the marquee, lasso (I never use the freeform lasso, too messy), magic wand (not as magic as you'll wish it was, but useful sometimes), and Quick Mask methods first, they are the easiest to understand. Learn how to deselect, reselect, and invert your selections.

Learn a bit about changing the "levels" of your photo (contrast, brightness), the color balance, and the saturation. If you want to paint walls, learn how to use the paint bucket and color selection tools, and how to change a layer's opacity (see-through-ness) in the "Layers" palette.

Layers are easier than they seem, especially for what you're talking about doing. Imagine you are sitting at your desk with your actual photo. You cut a pic of a sofa out of a magazine and put it on top of the photo. Voil, you have created a layer. It's not part of the background; you can move it around, until you decide to glue it down. Next you cut out a rug...when you put it down, it forms another layer, and unfortunately, it's on top of the sofa! So you change the order of your layers to move the sofa on top of the rug.

Now, in PS, each layer is not JUST the image itself...it's as if, say, the sofa image is printed on a transparecy film. You can see through the area around your sofa to the background behind the transparency. When you put that rug on, it too is printed on transparency. So now you have a stack of your background image, plus two transparencies (levels) on top. You have to switch the order of the transparencies (levels) to put the sofa on the rug. At any time you can glue (merge) individual levels together, or glue it all down to the background.

To "cut out" that sofa in PS and transfer it to your room: open both your room photo and the photo with the sofa in it. Use the selection tool(s) of your choice to select the sofa, then grab it with the arrow tool and drag it to your room photo. It will create a new level (look over in your Levels palette and you'll see it there) by itself.

Whoops! It's way to big for your room! Use Edit>Transform>Scale to resize the sofa; just be sure to hold down your shift key as you pull on a CORNER of the sofa image to keep it proportional. Get it the size you want. Then use that arrow tool again to move the sofa where you want it in the room. Ta-da! :)

Learn to use the History palette so you can undo or redo several actions at once, or even revert to your original image. Don't worry about most of the commands in the Layer menu; have fun with the filters menu, but you won't need those.

I'm sure you'll get some other great tips. I have the PhotoShop Bible, but it's waaaay more info that you need. Maybe PS for Dummies? Good luck!

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clipped on: 12.31.2006 at 07:55 pm    last updated on: 12.31.2006 at 07:56 pm

RE: Everyone's pics in this one thread (Follow-Up #73)

posted by: jmsosa on 10.23.2006 at 07:09 pm in Pools & Spas Forum

I wish I had found this forum earlier in the process - I didn't find it until we were almost done.

Here's my pool which we just finished a couple of weeks ago in Northern Ca. (Gilroy). It has been in the 80s this past week so we still have some time to use the pool.

18x34
100' perimeter, raised 6" wall around 1/2 of pool
Coping is cut Arizona Flagstone (buckskin color)
Patio is Arizona Flagstone too - most of the patio was already there and we matched existing patio around the pool
Sedona Red Pebble Tec pool finish
Rock Waterfall w/ separate pump
40,000 BTU heater
4 kids, 1 wife, & 2 dogs who like to swim, unfortunately for my filter)
Still left to do - landscaping, built in BBQ, and finish coping around the waterfall (PB took too long to put in waterfall and my coping guy was gone by then, but he will be back).

My only regret at this point is that we didn't use all black fixtures in the pool. The drain covers are black, but the stuff our PB put in (as opposed to plaster guys) is white because that is what we specified before we switched from 3M colored plaster to PEbble Tec.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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clipped on: 12.22.2006 at 10:04 pm    last updated on: 12.22.2006 at 10:04 pm

RE: Choosing paint colors for an open floor plan? (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: funcolors on 12.02.2006 at 01:18 am in Paint Forum

Ivette outlined one way to go about it.

With open floor plans, depending on whose house it is, I tend to go a little bold. Not necessarily with vibrant color, but rather I steer clear of monotonous use of any one color, value, intensity, etc. I think of it as putting color to work defining different zones and accentuating architectural details.

Keeping color values and intensities within a tight range, and sticking to one side of the color wheel (temperature) is efficient and easier to pull off. However, employing color contrasts to sculpt certain areas can help visually organize and bring more interest to an open floor plan.

I have a couple areas I like to highlight in some way with contrast. One is the ceiling. I seek out soffits/bulkheads, insets, tray, etc.and see how I can apply color to highlight that third dimension and to help define a zone. Walls and doors add to the overall spatial experience of a home. Open floor plans dont have many walls and doors. So, if possible, I like to emphasize the character of the ceiling giving some zones more importance and making others subordinate and also create transition on the ceiling with color where doors and walls might in a more traditional lay out.

I also look to corners. I like it when two contrasting colors meet at a corner. The contrast at corners is great for eyeballs and is one strategy I like to use in offices because it causes muscles in the eye to work and focus people get up and stretch their legs for breaks, corner contrasts give the eye a similar change of pace.

Using contrasts in wall color (meaning contrasts in value, temperature, complementary, intensity or any combo thereof) is a great way to emphasize whatever architecture exists in an open floor plan. Contrast can lend a sculptural aspect to precious few architectural features that risk blending in together if all painted in the same value, intensity or color temperature. Well chosen, thoughtfully placed architectural features are what make an open floor plan easy to navigate, comfortable to live in and feel open but not empty. My philosophy is to make the most of them with color and I like to do that by putting color contrasts to work.

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clipped on: 12.12.2006 at 10:36 pm    last updated on: 12.12.2006 at 10:36 pm