This is just intended to be a brief introduction to Camera RAW for those who might be new to digital photography, even if your not I can recommend some of the links and tutorial videos which I’ve included here I still find them useful to review from time to time, I always find something I’ve forgotten.
Camera RAW, what exactly is it?
Well first of all unlike other file formats such as JPG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) or TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) RAW isn’t in fact an acronym what it does stand for is raw as in unprocessed data and it is the data that is captured from the cameras sensor the actual file extension that your RAW file will have will vary depending on the manufacturer of your camera, Canon use the CRW file extension while Nikon use the NEF file extension, the reason for this is that each manufacturer like to specify settings which show the images shot with their camera in the best light. Here are the most common manufacturer RAW formats. (more…)
It is great to stumble upon an article which you really find both easy to read and informative enough that you keep returning for more ideas. Thomas Parpoulas has written such an article which really does exactly what it says on the tin ‘Amazing Landscapes using Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop’.
Thomas takes you through the initial selection of a photograph deciding upon your goals, what you want your end result to look like and then a comprehensive step by step tutorial on achieving this. Whether you’re a beginner or someone with more experience I’m sure that you will all find something in this article which you will find useful in developing your own landscape Photoshop skills.
I will certainly be looking out for any other articles and tutorials written by Thomas.
Another handy resources I’ve come across, 10 Ravens a site that provides a variety of products such as textures, 3D models and stock imagery they have a large number of free and royalty free images. At some point I intend to collate all the resources that I have together to make it easier for everyone. Link – http://www.10ravens.com/
For those of us who can’t afford all the gadgets, bells and whistles this is a nice little article with an accompanying video (8:22) which covers some cheaper alternatives to the more expensive kit out there. Article can be found here: Taking a Look Inside a Poor Man’s Camera Bag.
Lighting your 3D scenes can be a bit of a black art well here is a short article giving a few tips which you might find useful.
For those of you who would like to find out more about the art of lighting objects and scenes in 3D environment then here are a few books that I can recommend.
Digital Lighting and Rendering by Jeremy Birn (A lot of none platform specific information in this one).
Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering by A Powell.
Essential CG Lighting Techniques with 3DS Max by Darren Brooker (though the implementation is in 3DS Max the principles are the same across all platforms).
I’ve always been a fan of comic art ant the quality of fair on offer these day is better than ever and whether it’s for inspiration or just the enjoyment of looking at the artwork there’s no shortage. Just the other day through one of the many twitter feeds I follow came the link to this page which has a fine selection of comic artwork from both Marvel and DC comics there is plenty here to keep you going. The article is on tfbox which has a wide range of other resources for tip, tutorials and inspiration. Link to Page: Exceptional Comic Book Art Work For Your Inspiration
Something which is always a chore is finding the right image for your project especially in education where there often isn’t the money to pay for images or the time to get the person with the purse strings to pay for a stock image.
Stock.xchng is a nice online stock photography site which I came across the other day which has a large amount of free (both cost and royalty wise), I’ve certainly found myself using it for a number of projects which required a quick turnaround.
Stock.xchng can be found at http://www.sxc.hu/
The latest version of Blender 3D the open source 3D animation and modelling application and is ready to download from blender.org.
For anyone interested into 3D and animation or for indie/small studios Blender is a ideal alternative to the overpriced and quite often over-bloated commercial applications available on the market and being open source it is everyone’s favourite price 😉
Blender also has a built in games engine and node base compositor making it a very powerful application with superb community support and online training/tutorials.
This version is called a “Beta” because it’s now for the most part feature complete. The Python API has had some extensive changes, most notably in naming conventions and in creation and access of properties.
Since Blender 2.55 beta over 440 bugs were fixed!
IMPORTANT: Between 2.53 and 2.56 an extensive renaming operation has changed the scripting API a lot, with repercussions also for loading 2.53 .blends with animation into 2.56. Make sure you try the FCurve/Driver 2.54 fix entry from the Help menu.