Blending Modes [ part two ]
By Kitten

Hey everyone! Hopefully you’re staying cool and social distancing. Sorry not to have continued this last month, but as we all know, July wasn’t the best month, and I was pretty busy.

So last time we talked, I went over the Normal and Darken blending modes. Let’s get into everyone’s favorite… Lighten blending modes!

First things first, What is Lighten Blending? These modes will in a sense make colors brighter. Anything black that’s in the blend layer will become invisible whereas anything that is brighter than black is going to have some darkening effect on the pixels below it.

Let’s begin.

Lighten
This blending mode basically takes a look at the base color and blend color, and will keep whichever one of the two is the lightest. If the blend and base colors are the same.. then there won’t be any changes applied. Similar to Darken, this blending mode looks at the three RGB (Red, Green, Blue) channels separately when blending the pixels.
On the supplied images you’ll see that the blending layer (top) has more black in it, so once ‘Lighten’ is selected, as you see the black disappears.

Screen
This blending mode is one of the more popular in PS. You’re always going to have a brighter resulting color. Black will have no change, similar to Lighten, it will just disappear leaving the brighter pixels visible.
This blending mode has many different levels of brightening depending on the luminosity values of your blend layer. With this effect, it makes Screen a great blending mode for brightening images or creating highlights.

Color Dodge
With Color Dodge this blending mode blends differently when Fill is adjusted compared to when Opacity is adjusted


This gives you a brighter effect than Screen by decreasing the contrast between the base and blend colors. The effect results in saturated mid-tones and blown highlights. You get a similar effect when you use the Dodge Tool to bright up an image (I use the dodge tool to brighten the ‘whites’ of the eyes).

Linear Dodge (Add)
This blending mode produces similar, but stronger results than Screen or Color Dodge. It looks at the color information in each channel (RGB) and brightens the base color to reflect the blend color by increasing the brightness. Black will again have no effect and will disappear.
It will blend differently when Fill is adjusted, compared to when Opacity is adjusted.

this image shows the difference from the previous with the fill at 100% and now at 52%

Lighter Color
Similar to Lighten, this blending mode does not blend pixels. It only compares the base and blend colors, keeping the brightest of the two. The difference is that where Lighten looks at each RGB channel to come up with a final blend, Lighter Color looks at the composite of all the RGB channels.

So there you have it. The Lighten Blending Modes. Next time we’ll move into Contrast.

As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to hit me up. If there’s anything you’d like to see explained further in photoshop or tutorials let me know. Stay cool, mask up, stay healthy!

That’s Just British…
Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond
By Russ

So this week we have an idea from our very own Bloginista. Next out its British insults. But please don’t hesitate to drop me a message if you have anything else you’d like to read about, about the little island across the pond for most of you.

An idiom, firstly what is it. Well apparently it means:

a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g. over the moon, see the light ).

I’m someone who loves using metaphors, analogies and the like to express myself, usually as an insult or piss take, because well that’s me. Now I have no idea if some of these are British or more widely used, but I’ve curated these as best I can, because it was a fun topic and stood out when Rivers suggested it. I’ll post my favourites at the end, the ones I often use at work, for the sake of my sanity. So I’ve expanded this a little from just idioms to British slang etc

Ok so let’s start with a very British one:

A penny for your thoughts: Basically you are asking someone for their opinion. “I will give you a penny if you tell me your thoughts.” By the way a penny is the equivalent of a cent, so you are getting ripped off here!

Beat around the bush: This means your avoiding a subject, and not speaking about the issue. “stop beating round the bush Russ and tell us why a baked potato is called a jacket potato”

Look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves. Another classic idiom, my nan said this a lot. Basically looking after small amounts of money leads to have large sums of money.

A few sandwiches short of a picnic. Someone who lacks common sense. I mean who doesn’t take enough sarnies to a picnic.

Bagsy: Basically shotgun “bagsy not making tea tonight”

Blinder: To pull a blinder is to do something very skilful or difficult.

Bob’s your uncle or Fanny is your aunt: our way of saying hey presto.

Bonnet/Boot: Hood/trunk of a car

Brolly: An umbrella, you’ll need one in England

Chinwag: This is to gossip or catch up

Chuffed: I use this a lot. To be chuffed is to be full of pride. E.g. I was chuffed with that av I made.

Clanger: To pull a clanger, is to make a massive mistake. See also cock-up.

Codswallop: The greatest word ever. Basically this is to lie or make stuff up. “what a load of Codswallop”

Dog’s Dinner. A mess. “you made a right dog’s dinner of your report Russ”

Faff: “stop faffing” wasting time doing very little

Fit: describes someone physically attractive. E.g. Are bloginista is a fitty.

Flog: to sell

Gutted: To be devastated or upset. “I’m gutted we lost”

Hank Marvin: cockney rhyming slang for starving      

Innit: An abbreviation of isn’t it. “It’s a bit shit innit”

Leg it: to run away

Lurgy: to be ill or have a cold

Miffed: annoyed

Minging: Unpleasant or unattractive. E.g Russ you smell minging

On the pull: To go out looking to get lucky.

Pants: Rubbish

Pissed: To be drunk

Round: This means you are buying the drinks e.g. “Russ is getting the round in”

Sod’s law: Basically means if anything can go wrong it will go wrong.

Spend a penny: to pee

Take the biscuit: If someone has done something highly surprising or irritating.

Take the mickey: to take liberties at the expense of others

Everything is tickety-boo: It’s all fine

Waffle: I do this a lot! To go on or skirt around a subject.

Zonked: tired

Ok so my favourite Idioms:

Thicker than a submarine door

And

A camel is a horse created by a committee

As to what they mean? Well you tell me and I’ll chuck in a prize for the closest guesses.

So there is a few for you. Know anymore or heard any that you don’t know what it means? Get in touch and we’ll hit those up next time!

Hang Around: SoA
By Tatiana

This month my SOA interview is with Covet.  We talk about her characters, her rooms, and advice to new players.  Let’s do this!

1.) What year was it when you were introduced to SOA rp? Who introduced you and what room/site location was it at?
2015, randomly went into a room, Asphalt Dynasty, IC

2.) Who was your very first SOA character back then? Do you still rp him/her today?
Haley Jacobs. Her real name was Halcyon King but she was in hiding.


I do not really play her much anymore but I do still have her. The person who plays her husband is busy with RT.

3.) Did you ever watch the tv series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ before rping SOA? Who was your fave character if you did watch the series?
I’ve seen it a few times through.  I think my favorite character was Opie.

4.) You had several SOA rooms. Please give us a run down on each, the names of the rooms, where they were located, and what happened to them.
– SAMDEF: Defiance Point, Florida / OOC Drama
– SAMROA: Roanoke, Oregon / Still active
– Disciples of Diablo (Mayans) Had a Mexican and US city area / Never really picked up
– SAMOLY: Olympia, WA / Died out

5.) Now it is time to feature your character, Bennett. Tell us everything about him. How he manifested, history, his ranks, family, friends, and his club.

Wolf is the younger brother of SAMROA’s President. He is as loyal as they come with the club. He did previous serve in the military but was injured and had to get out. He joined the club after having been raised around it when he was younger.

6.) Okay now your fave rp moment as Bennett. A few sentences will do.
Honestly I haven’t even played him yet lol. He’s very sassy though and keeps his brother in line. At least in my head.

7.) Tell us about your other character Makayla.

Makayla had it rough. Her dad was in the club and her mom was never around. After her dad died she kind of drifted out on her own in her teens. It led to a lot of bad things. She ended up working on the streets and that’s how she ended up killing a john that was trying to kill her.

She met Aidan soon after that. He instantly wanted her but Makayla was convinced at first but they eventually started dating. They had since married and moved to SAMROA from southern California. They had one son and Makayla’s life is completely different.

8.) And Makayla’s favourite moment in the rp spotlight happened when…
There’s been quite a few. Reaper is my rp partner with Makayla and we have very compatible roleplay styles.
I guess meeting Aiden and pushing herself to trust someone after no one has really been there for her in years.

9.) If you could add any activity to the rally for everyone to participate in, something new, what would it be?
Oh man I don’t know. There’s a lot of good stuff there. Maybe more stuff for the women to participate in.

10.) Did you enjoy the rally? Obtain any high scores?
I actually wasn’t able to go this year. I just moved and started a new job and there’s never enough hours in the day. I’ve enjoyed it in years passed though.

11.) What advice would you give to someone who wants to try out SOA rp but is hesitating?
Just do it. There’s so much more to it than just the club.

12.) What tips would you give to someone who is thinking about becoming a SOA room leader?
lol Don’t. Just take an interest in a current room and I’m sure it would pick up.

13.) What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen in SOA rp?
I mean there’s some pretty strange stuff in the show. I’ve seen some interesting porn ventures in some rooms I guess.

14.) Discord channels in SOA rp, do you find them helpful?
Yes, it’s important to work together to keep ideas flowing.

15.) What is your opinion in cross rp between other SOA rp rooms at ReVo?
I enjoy it. Make it a SOA world and not just a SOA room. I always invite cross rp in my rooms.


Thanks for reading, enjoy your summer and see you next month!

That’s Just British…
Wit and Wisdom from Across the Pond….
By Russ

“Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors” – Alice Walker

2020 has been a shit show. We can all agree on that. It’s had its ups and downs…. Well ok mostly downs. But in England we deal with challenges like this in almost always the same way. Got to deal with a difficult situation. Get the kettle on. Got to send a difficult e-mail. Tea. Consul someone, get a brew. Brace yourself for a tough chat… kettle. Had a bit of bad news. Kettle. It’s the same thing. And you cradle it to you, like a loved one. It’s safe, comforting, reassuring. A ritual, A warming cup to sooth all the bleakness.

So when Prime Minister Boris announced Lockdown, the first go to… tea (beer is a close second later) So of course I was out of tea. This should have been a warning of what was to come.

Tea really is part of being English to me, its an ingrained part of our psyche, tea breaks at work, visiting family and friends, always within the first few minutes of meeting up, it’s a case of “I’ll put the kettle on” I’m a late convert to Coffee, and I do love it, but tea, tea is the favourite. I always start the day with a brew.

I can’t tell you who figure putting tea leaves into hot water and adding milk was a good idea. They were a genius though. Tea first arrived here in the 17th Century. And it’s become like crack to us ever since. We drink 60 billion cups of the stuff.

Tea is serious stuff here. It’s made in a very precise way. Ideally in a pot. With milk added first in this method. If you have to use a bag then milk comes after. Always boiled water in a kettle. Anyone who tells you otherwise, deserves to have been dusted by Thanos. And don’t get me started on Iced tea… just no. Unless you are in the Southern States of the US, where I can understand it’s as much engrained in your culture as black tea is here. If it doesn’t scold your mouth, it’s not British tea. Previously I had sugar in my tea, but cut that out, it masked the taste.

For those not bored here is a video explain the ways of tea making:

And Important is how much milk, tea usually looks like one of:

(Renegade is my go to)

Does all of this sound dull to you? I mean why get so worked up over tea Russ? Because it’s part of us. It’s not just drinking tea. If I’m honest it’s not really the most appealing idea of food is it. It’s pretty bland. But it’s more than that. Here it’s a displacement activity. We hide behind tea. “Oh shit Steve got sacked, he’s… he’s crying… well this is awkward and I need to be here for him… He needs comforting… a hug… fuck that… I don’t even hug my mum… unless it’s her birthday… to the Kettle!” When we feel awkward or uncomfortable in a social situation (so 99% of the time) we can hide behind a mug, giving someone a tea is like giving them part of your soul, you put time and effort into it, you want to hear the magical words “That’s a bloody good cuppa” that’s as close to “I love you for being here” that some of us are prepared to confide.

And it doesn’t end there, I have even touched on afternoon tea, scones (Jam first of cream first…) the best biscuits to dip into it (rich tea, digestive… hob nobs…) It goes on. Tea is a ritual here, It brings comfort, it brings us together and allows us to deal with difficult situations. And don’t tell me you don’t get it my America friends, you knew enough to know that to piss us off, you fuck with our tea. You dumped it into cold water. Cold! From there we got the American Revolution and well we know the rest.

In the current climate, tea drinking brings us comfort, and togetherness. The first thing I did when lockdown eased here was go and visit my mum. When we all stood around awkwardly after being pleased to see each other, knowing that one of us would put our foot in it and say we’d missed each other. Mum called on social convention “tea?” It saved us all from having to say what didn’t need to be said and allowed us to remain being emotionally closed off Brits. But we all know how much we mean to each other, mum went to the trouble of making a pot of tea and it might be the best cup I’ve ever had.

And yes I did bolt to the shop and ensure I had enough tea bags. But don’t worry no one panic brought tea. That’s just rude.

Boozy Travels with Rivers

Talk Dirty to Me…

If you asked anyone they’d likely tell you that my favorite drink is wine. They wouldn’t be wrong, I really love wine – but I love it at home. Its rare that I order wine when I go out. To me, wine goes with the couch, or a bubble bath. It goes with that first moment of silence after putting the little guy to bed. It sips perfectly by a Christmas tree or on the deck by the water.

When I go out? Its different. I generally have a favorite drink everywhere I go, kind of how I associate wine with my home I have a drink that I associate with my favorite places. At the Melting Pot I always order a Vapor. At Homecomin’ I always order a Bloody Mary. But just as I have drinks associated with places…I have drinks associated with occasions.

Every year, late summer or early fall I take a little trip by myself to my favorite resort in Orlando. I always get there hours before I can check in to the room because I like to spend the afternoon in the lobby by the fountain, watching people mill about, listening to the music and pretending I’m not glancing at the bar every 2-4 minutes waiting for it to open.

This is normally about where I sit and you can see Phins bar in the background…

I really love the fountain…

But this is about alcohol – and low key stalking the bar.

It opens later than literally any other bar in the resort, but its absolutely thrilling when they walk out and begin to set up. Soon thereafter the waitress will meander about those sitting around the lobby near the bar to take drink orders. Thats when I get to order the drink that kicks off one of my favorite times of the year.

“I’ll have a dirty-as-a-whore-on-the-corner martini, please.”

You heard what I said.

There’s always an awkward pause. A stifled laugh. Then the attempt to make the situation normal again, “would you like gin or vodka?”

But I have to take it back.

“Vodka. And don’t forget to tell them – dirty as a whore.”

Let’s be real for a minute, folks. If a dirty martini is not made with the proper level of dirty then you’re basically sipping a fancy glass of rubbing alcohol. You need that brine. It needs to be cloudy. You need to question if there’s anything but olive juice in that glass. You need to sip it and reminisce on the ocean.

Then you need to sip it again and lean back on the cushion by that fountain and exhale because…its finally vacation time.

There is nothing better than that first dirty martini in the early afternoon to kick off your vacation. To have nowhere to be. To have nothing to do but sip that cold, briny elixir and wait for your room key.

True bliss.

PS – this apocalyptic plague is gonna have to back the fuck down because I’m gonna be saltier than that martini if I don’t get to make my annual trip this year!

Now this isn’t something I generally make at home because it doesn’t give me the same feeling as the one pictured above.

But, given the apocalypse – I might have to settle this year. Luckily, its easy enough to recreate (sans the whole resort/vacation part)!

Dirty as a Whore on the Corner Martini

2.5 ounces vodka
1.5 ounces dry vermouth
0.5 ounces olive brine (that’s a lie. don’t measure – pour until its filthy)

Shake with ice, strain into a glass, garnish with olives.

Incase that dirty martini isn’t speaking to you…take a look (and probably a sip) of this one:

Cherry Vanilla Rum Float

2 vanilla bean pods
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 pound fresh or frozen pitted cherries
1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 scoops of vanilla ice cream
6 ounces Captain Morgan original spiced rum
cherry vanilla syrup
soda water
maraschino cherries for garnish

Preparation

1. Cherry Vanilla Syrup: Slice vanilla bean pods down the center and scrape out the black seeds. Add seeds and husks to a small saucepan. Add water, sugar, and cherries to the saucepan. Place pan on medium-low heat. Stir well to dissolve sugar and bring to a simmer.

2. Use a small potato masher or a fork to muddle the cherries while simmering. Let simmer for 7–8 minutes, until liquid reduces and becomes syrupy. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain syrup, pressing mixture through a sieve with a spatula to extract all the liquid.

3. Float: Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in each glass. Pour 11⁄2 ounces Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum into each, followed by 2 tablespoons of cherry vanilla syrup. Fill each glass up to the top with soda water. Garnish with maraschino cherries.

Hang Around: SOA

Interviews with Tatiana

This month I interview kitten.  Her characters and the upcoming rally, which happens really soon is featured.  Enjoy!

1.)  What year was it when you were introduced to SOA rp?  Who introduced you and what room/site location was it at?
2010 I had actually created a room on another site that had SOA storylines in it.

2.)  Who was your very first SOA character back then?  Do you still rp him/her today?
She was a pink haired stripper named Candi. No I don’t play her anymore

3.)  Did you watch the tv series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ before rping SOA?  What do you think of the series?
I had yes, and obviously I enjoyed it lol

4.)  Tell us about Belfast Anarchy.  When did you open it?  What sort of storylines are happening there currently?
I opened Belfast in 2016. Right now the current storylines are dealing with the Irish Kings being corrupt and a rival club that was thought to have been killed off re-emerging. We’ve had a few gun fights and busted up a sex slave operation.

5.)  Now it is time to feature your character, Aoife.  What’s their story?
Aoife is a civvy that works at the club owned store Ashby’s. She’s a med student.

6.)  Let’s talk about your character, Tank, he is a big guy.  Is he violent or aggressive in any way?  Do others who interact with him, fear him?
Tank is a complex character. He’s a mixture of guys I know rt in the military as well as in local MCs. He can be violent when needs be, but he tries to think before reacting. Due to his size and he’s a bit intimidating to those that don’t really know him, but his wife never has any fear of him, and his brothers have respect.

7.)  Okay now your fave rp moment from both characters.
I have too many really.. the one’s though that do stand out for me with Tank are when he was shooting the shit in the garage back in Vegas with his best friend Logan. They’d discuss random shit they’d heard in the news (chick that was found at the grocery store with a whole chicken and some oranges shoved up in a place you wouldn’t think..)

8.)  What rp do you wish you could go over and re-do as Tank or Aoife?  Maybe one you regret or made other players cringe?  How would you handle it differently?
There’s nothing I’d redo. All the roleplays I’ve done I’ve had fun and they’ve been used to further the character on in their development.

9.)  Let’s talk about the rally which takes place in July.  Will Tank and Aoife be attending?  What sort of activities would they be participating in?
Tank will be. Aoife no as she’s not a member or part of the club. Tank most likely will take part in just about every activity depending on what he’s feeling like.

10.)  What’s new at the rally this year?
Ah… that’s something I can’t say. That’s a surprise that’s being added. I will say that one event that’s been around since it started has been removed to be replaced by 2 new ones.

11.)  What tips would you give to someone who is attending the rally for the first time?
Make sure to read over the rules. If you have questions about the SOA genre and the rooms on ReVo ask. My team; Gabby, Kaliko, and Rutger are pretty awesome. Have fun basically.

12.)  Can people still donate to the event?  If so, how do they get in contact and what can they donate?
They can. There is a post on the ReVo boards in the Graphics subsection under General Requests. Or they can message me directly on the board. We accept anything from tokens for avs, DJ’s have offered dedicated spots on their shows for music of the winners choice, gift cards etc.

13.)  Besides role-playing, what else do you enjoy partaking in?
I am an avid reader. If I’m not online, I’m usually buried nose deep in a book.

See you at the rally!  August’s interview will be with Covet.  Have a great summer!   Tatiana xoxo

Let’s Get Cooking

Recipes from ReVo

We’ve got another delicious recipe in from Care. Legit. Comfort food at its finest. Potatoes, bacon and cheese? Yes please!

Twice Baked Potato Casserole with Bacon

Ingredients :
2 large baking potatoes
1/2 pound lean bacon
3/4 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 cup shredded mild Cheddar cheese

Directions :
1] Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease a 9×13-inch casserole dish.
2] Poke a few holes into each potato using a toothpick.
3] Bake potatoes in the preheated oven until fully cooked, about 1 hour. Cool for about 15 minutes.
4] Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels and crumble.
5] Cut a thin slice from one side of each potato; carefully scoop out the flesh and transfer to a bowl. Discard skins. Mix 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, chives, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder with potatoes. Spread potato mixture into the prepared casserole dish; top with 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon.
6] Bake in the preheated oven until just bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Categories: AFK

Blending Modes [ part one ]

Composed by Kitten

Happy June fellow designers!

It’s so exciting to see the amount of designers there are out there, be they just starting or have been at this game for a while. Watching the latest event on ReVo, Nailed It!, it was fun to see everyone’s different interpretation on one image… some of them being a little above and beyond (looking at you Rutger).


Something I’ve always believed in, is helping others learn and learning myself. I enjoy learning new skills or ways to work with images to create a specific look. Recently, I was talking to our bloginista, Rivers, about the whole growing as we go. One thing I always suggest for designers is to have an “inspiration” folder, something that you can save work you’ve seen, be it avatars, commercial work, graphics from deviant art or other design communities etc. It helps in pushing us to step out of our comfort zones sometimes and try something new.

Now enough with the rambling! Let’s talk some basics of photoshop. Blending modes!


One thing that I’ve seen over the years (and have been one of those that have done it) is that there are times when we don’t really understand what the blending options are and how they’re utilized. Instead, to achieve effects we’ll use the opacity slider which just lowers the transperancy of the layer.

With each blend mode, they have specific functions and uses. I’m going to be doing a series covering these different effects.

This first in the series is going to cover our Normal Blending Modes and Darken Blending Modes.

“Normal Blending Modes”

First we have NORMAL and DISSOLVE. As you know with NORMAL the image is as is, no changes. When you select DISSOLVE, at first it’s exactly like NORMAL, but play with the opacity slider, lowering it and you’ll see that this blend mode is slowing, in a word, dissolving. It’s a neat effect for when you want a “speckled” look. I’ve used it to “dirty” up avs.

“Darken Blending Modes”

Next group is the Darken Blending Modes. Basically what these blending options do to your image is make the colors darker; your white will become invisible and anything that is a darker color to white will have some darkening effect to the image below.

DARKEN – In a more wordy way of describing this mode, it looks at the luminance values for each of the RGB (red, green, blue) channels and it selects either the base color or blend color depending on which is darker. In layman’s terms, it’s basically going to keep the darkest of the 2. If the blend layer and the base layer color are the same there’s gonna be no change (red on red, blue on blue etc). In the example you’ll see that the pink and blue-ish of the layer are still more visible while the yellow strip fades and becomes more green. In this image the red in the pink and blue were the dominate of the RGB spectrum, while the yellow which has green in it was more closer to white.


MULTIPLY – This one if a fan favorite. It …multiplies! (see what I did there?) the luminosity of the base color by the blend color. This always has the effect of darkening the color. White doesn’t make any changes, and black will remain the same. This is actually a good blend mode for darkening an image or creating shadows.

COLOR BURN – So with this blend mode, it’s unique in that it reacts differently when you play around with the opacity slider. It’s going to give you a darker look then what MULTIPLY did by increasing the contrast between base and blend layers. This effect gives you a more saturated mid-tone and it reduces highlights. If you use your burn tool it’s the same effect.

LINEAR BURN – This blend option results in a darker look than what you would get with MULTIPLY, but it’s going to be less saturated than if you used COLOR BURN. It produces the most contrast in darker colors than any of the other blend modes that are in the darker group. This is also a blend mode that you will get different looks playing with your FILL slider as opposed to the OPACITY.

DARKER COLOR – This one is a lot like DARKEN. This one doesn’t blend your pixels as it’s only comparing the base and blend colors, keeping the darkest of the 2 (remember the RGB). As you can see in the example, the reds of the pink and blue are the more dominant while the yellow is less dominate over the pink of the base image. The way this is different than DARKEN is that where DARKEN looks at the RGB channel individually for the final blend, DARKER COLOR is looking at the composite of all the RGB channels.

Hopefully this gives you a little bit more insight regarding these blending modes. Stay tuned for our next in the series, Lighten Blending Modes.

As always, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

Lets Get Cooking

Recipes from ReVo

A new idea was sent in and I have to admit I absolutely LOVE this one! Care sent a recipe which I will be sharing below [that looks delish btw!] and in doing so has sparked an entirely new section for Evolution Theory!

Everyone has a favorite recipe [or ten] and this is the place to share them. From easy weeknight meals to complex weekend cooking – sweet to savory and baked to broiled! Save a friend from the weekly meal rut and send in what you’ve got cooking!

One Skillet Taco Beef Pasta [sent in by Care]

Ingredients
1 pound ground beef, lean is recommended.
1 pouch Taco Seasoning or 3 Tablespoons of Homemade Taco Seasoning.
4 cups water
3/4 cup salsa
8 oz Velveeta Cheese
3 1/2 cups Rotini or any other medium Pasta

Directions

  • Brown ground beef until no pink remains. Drain the fat.
  • Stir in taco seasoning.
  • Add water, salsa and pasta. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and cover.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender. Add more water if needed.
  • Once the pasta is cooked add cheese and stir until smooth and creamy.

Author’s Notes: 
If you don’t like Normal Pasta you can use Whole Wheat or something different. 
I used Whole Wheat and didn’t like the texture and flavor of the pasta.

if you need a recipe for the homemade Taco Seasoning:
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon Dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black pepper

mix all together and Store in an airtight container. makes the equivalent of one pouch.

Categories: AFK

Masking Tutorial 101:

Photoshop Basics: Masking (aka the holy grail)

Erasing in photoshop isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes you don’t always get the blend right, you don’t get those ‘whispy tendrils’ in hair, and it can lead to some frustrating times trying to ‘cut things out’. ‘Masking’ is a technique that has many uses, from changing colors, to erasing, to blending images beautifully, with the bonus of being able to undo whatever you happen to do, instantly, without messing up your image or having to go back and cut out or erase things all over again!

So lets get down to it!

Start with two images (can be any image, we’re going to try and put the ship in the background of ole Gannicus here).

First, you want to ensure you’re on the layer at the top that you want to ‘blend in’ and then click on the ‘add layer mask’ button as shown below.

Which adds a layer ‘mask’ to it (its a white box attached to it) like this.

When you have this layer and you click on it, your color palette for your brushes changes to black and white, as shown in the image. This is where the magic happens.

If it isn’t black and white, simply change them.

First thing to remember, is you want to ensure that you’re on that particular portion of the mask while you’re doing your painting (meaning you want to have the mask layer selected and not the actual picture). From there, what you do, is take the BLACK paintbrush, and begin painting over the portion of the image that you want to ‘erase’ bringing out the background (or bottom layer) as shown below. You can see this is in action on the right hand layer palette, as black begins to appear on the masking layer, and your image begins to ‘erase or fade’ into the background. This way, you’re not actually touching the underlying pictures AT ALL. They’re still there. If you happen to go to the layer pallete where you see your mask and RIGHT CLICK on the masking layer, and disable or delete it, your image is still there, completely in tact. You literally cannot mess up your original image, as long as you’re working on the masking layer. You can paint in/paint out as much as you want.

Below is an example of being on the masking layer, and painting over it with the black brush where you see the ship disappearing behind Gannicus.

The beauty of masking, is when you make a mistake, or want to fine tune something. Simply swap your color brushes from the black to white, and use the white to begin painting back over the portions of your image you want to ‘reappear’ as shown below. (Again, ensure you’re active layer is the actual ‘mask’ portion otherwise you’ll find yourself painting black or white on the actual image).

From there you can do this with as many images as you like, in any order that you like. You can overlay images one on top of the other before ever applying the ‘mask’ and you can do it to anything. Font. Styles. Colorings. Layer on top of Layer, Etc. You can change your brush sizes and blow up the images to get in there for fine details, or use a softer brush (protip: softer brushes overlay things nicely around hair and models).

There’s a myriad of things you can do, but once you do it once, on an image, and see it in action, then the rest will come naturally with something to experiment with. You might still want to ‘erase’ or ‘cut out’, and there ARE times that call for that, but hopefully this will bring about some new thoughts, tips and tricks, and make that blending easier!

Masking in Action:

Below is a video of a quick two minute tutorial on masking*, showing the color changing on a car. Some of the language He uses involves hot key commands and shows a couple of little pro-tips and tricks for cleaning up your mask, but its exactly the same concept.

*credit to @Tutvid on youtube for the Breakdown Video.