Little mirrors

20100116 Little mirrors

My brain is like a juicer mixer mixing many things; similarly it’s like a bottle, having endless party inside. A short-circuit may cause lightnings frequently. Little candles of water flames spraying bubbles that clash each other will become droplets to cool my brain.

In the beginning of yesterdays class I designed the above picture which reflected the fantasy brain. The kids were more zealous yesterday. This class I want to teach them something new. So I taught them Clip masking in Photoshop.

Clipping masks allow you to define a mask in one or more layers with the shape of another layer. You can create clipping masks to shape an image to text or to mask multiple layers with the same shape. I started with a simple example and ended with a complex one (as shown in above picture). Now the kids were given chances to apply masking, Manoth selected the outer area of the paper glass and using clipping mask send a balloon image to that area and also clipped inside the inner visible area of the paper cup with a flower picture.

Jothiraj selected an area over a dove picture and send inside that area a painting which was created by him in last class. Prem kumar thoughts reflected in the document. He selected the petals of rose flower and clipped inside that area with his last class’s painting and to the masked layer he changed the blending mode to overlay. In another design he send bunch of flowers to the rectangular stripes of mask layer.

Yesoda and Bhavani created two mirrored images of roses. Deboki who understood the clipping mask thoroughly created Polaroid photos. She desaturated the picture in the background layer and masked another copy of the same picture with its original color to a framed mask area.

Delicious Colors

20100110 Delicious colors

Eyes can feel and taste colors, nice color combination are feast to eyes. Colors will stimulate the feelings. Designing is like preparing meal; here in design colors are ingredients which give taste. So choosing the color and combining it is important like selecting ingredient to make delicious dainties.

Colors of love are the taste of life. To add colors to these kids, yesterday’s class I taught them about colors; both theory and practical.

When pure white light is passed through a prism, it separates into all of the visible colors. Light could be combined to form other colors. For example, red light mixed with light of yellow color creates an orange color. Some colors, such as yellow and purple, cancel each other out when mixed and result in a light of white color.

Our perception of color in the world can influence our mood. Red color will increase the appetite. Blue is pleasant and also, the color of sky and the ocean, blue is supposed as a constant in our lives. Green is growth and abundance like yielding plants. White is purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace and humility. Black is void of light, a drop of light in it will give hope. Black is also authoritative and powerful. Like the yellow traffic light, yellow signals caution.

Photoshop uses several systems of color representation. These systems — Bitmap, Grayscale, Duotone, Indexed Color, RGB Color, CMYK Color, Lab Color and Spot Color. I explained about this to the kids.

I made some brushes for the kids and I installed that brushes in their computer. I gave them two examples of using that brushes. I asked them to paint as free as like their mind goes and choose colors as their mind likes. The kids made some nice and colorful designs.

More time I spend today on lecture. Only some kids get sufficient time for their practice in my presence. Prem Kumar did an artwork; he used the water color brush- used colors of orange, green and yellow and also he cut-out the face from his photo, applied brush stroke filter and made the artwork, which is his freedom of expression.

Manoth did a design with some paintings using green, yellow and other colors he like. He also gave plastic wrap filter with his cut-out photo, which is merged with that painting.
Yesoda painted ‘Girl of colors’, depicting her expression of joy within barriers. I was wondering their minds flow in the brush stroke and selection of colors. Deboki’s red color painting is nice which expressed open hands, open mind and open happiness.

Something they learned from me today and many things I learned from them. The kids made the Sunday with delicious colors like Sun which gives color when it touches the land with light.

Light rings and sparkles

20091212 Light rings and sparkles
For yesterday’s class I took lot of flower pictures with me. The little girls, when they look at that lifted their eyebrows. I asked them to choose one picture. I opened that picture as a Photoshop document and from that only a rose was cutout and placed in a new document where I created a gradient background. I filled a layer below the rose flower and above the background layer with clouds filter, reduced the opacity to 50% and using skew, transformed it like a cone shape – duplicated a copy and kept each one on both sides to give a falling light effect.

In a separate document I taught them ‘how to use Photoshop brushes?’ also I explained how to create custom brushes and setting the properties of it like scatter, roundness & fade. Student’s eyes are fixed on the screen while I create some magic sparks and stars around the rose using brush tool. I also created some light rings circling the flower. An aura of white and bright light orbited around the rose. As yesterday’s lesson involves many steps I taught this lesson again one time and again one more time.

Now they want to do that designs by their own, using the picture they like and with their own imagination. I succeeded by creating an interest in them to do that things with their ideas. I sat relaxed and my directions were instant whenever they needed. The experience I got till this age is one thing that makes them learn easily and happily, other things are the support & encouragements I get.

The first student who made a tryout in this design was Yesodha. She created her own brush and gave it her name. She Sprinkled light sparkles over a bunch of roses in walls with the brush created by her. And she also did one more design.

Bhavani selected a butterfly brush and scattered it over the flowers in her first design and then started the other one. She selected a photo work done in one of the previous class in which she looks in black & white and with green eyes. She placed three light rings around her and sprinkled some stars around her photo.

In a black document Deboki kept a pair of flowers. She gave to those flowers an aura of green rings. I remember what I studied about human aura in books. An aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation supposedly surrounding a person or object. And in short a green aura denotes that person has love of nature, out of door life, travel in the country, sympathy and charity. Deboki also scattered some maple leaves using brush. And she tried with different kind of brushes in the document. At the end she wrote her name over it and set that picture as desktop wall paper.

Dream and Design

When you let your mind free it extends like an ocean, its depths and heights are unknown and mind turn out to be big like expanding universe. Things that you can see only in dreams, and when you try to make those things for others, creativity begins. The outcome of imagination could be an idea, a collection of words, digital vision, a product, music that touches your heart or a change in your attitude. Creativity is selfless and it is dreaming for others – to give more than they like and undiscovered happiness. Creativity is also making things that are not seen or felt before. Speculations in dreams bring innovative ideas to create things that are not seen or felt before – to make one feel like they never felt before.

Imagination has no limit and that was yesterday’s class. Issac done a fabulous design, he transformed the grassland to water; the solitary tree in water that was focused might have some hidden meaning. Design is an expression and can talk; it could even touch one’s heart.
The football player Ganesh wants to stand inside a stream flowing through woods, it is his dream. He asked me to take a full-size photo of him. He imagined how he would be standing in the water and he posed like that. He was moved to the computer, when the lasso tool selected him, with the help of move tool he jumped from his photo to the document carrying the picture of stream flowing through woods. His little wish was fulfilled within minutes.

Quick-witted Prem Kumar’s dream is to stand before a big bungalow to pomp himself as rich. His image was recorded electronically – transferred – processed and he was standing before his dream bungalow.

Jothiraj took out a boat from an image using lasso tool. He placed that boat in another photograph of sea. He started dreaming how it would be if that boat sails in water. I was able to read his thoughts because his expressions are similar to that of mine while I dream. I opened the animations panel from the menu in Photoshop. And duplicated the boat 10 times, in each layer I kept the boat moved little forward, also in animation panel I made 10 frames, by hiding and making visible the layers according to the frames I did the animation for him. When I pressed the play icon the boat started to sail like a speed lounge.

I told them after finish learning Photoshop they can draw what they dreamed using Corel draw & illustrator and after that they can animate dreams using Flash. And finally they can become dream designers. What they have to do is to dream, dream and dream; all other things we will take care for them.

Mixing Scenery photos

20091128 Mixing snapshots of God’s designs
Also posted @

Smile lightnings, faces around me appeared bright and radiant smile flicker when I saw their faces. Happily anticipated push home kids seated before the computer. Sisters in home standing watched with eager what the kids will be learning today.

Nature is God’s design; nothing here is aligned, but everything looks beautiful, it’s made generous and given freely. The sense we have to feel that mixed beauty of nature, to love the scattered irregular beauties of scenery is wonderful. Graphic design is strict, have rules and order. Playing with the photos of nature I don’t put any rules for kids. The kids mixed photos of nature and made God’s designs graphically.

Yesterday I took with me some photos of beautiful scenery’s. The class is about creating new scenery’s. The kids took mountain from a photo, lake from another, a garden from some other photo to create new beautiful scenery’s.

I let them to play ‘City surfer’ game for one batch students as they were asking me often. They enjoyed playing that game – to twist their brain, to think, to take decision, I think that game will really shape their brain with brilliance. Students who learned mixing scenery’s in this class will play that computer game in next class and those who played computer game will do photo mixing on next class.

In happy mood one can learn fast. My ways of teaching includes concentrating on every small things and also creating a feel that they are their boss. No commands, no request; just by helping them to get things done.

Sunday’s Artwork

20091122 Sunday’s Artwork
Orginal Posted by Alwin @

Last week Saturday’s class I took on Sunday, as Saturday I had some work which took the whole day. At midnight my mind prepared the lessons which I ought to take for this week. When I woke up Sunday is too young & my dreamy mind is in rest. I went to push home keeping a sphere cage in my mind. I taught them to define custom pattern — To fill two layers of circle with that pattern — to spherize the circles with the filter: spherize. It looks like 3d sphere cage. Children kept extracted image of dog & cat which looks like they were caged in.

Women from the home sometimes are watching the computer classes and some women with their baby’s in hand. In PUSH( People United to Serve Hunger – Trust) there is a deprived deaf & dump woman who has a very cute baby. She was wondering to saw the kids enhancing her cute baby’s photo. She is also a good cook and helping there making foods for all the kids.

I’m teaching in the same standards and same syllabus which I used to taught to masses of students when I was a Lecturer in Cyryx Computer Training Institute. The experiences I got from there gave me 100% confident to take these classes. And I strongly believe that these kids can really become great designers. I hope these kids will get sponsors for their higher studies or jobs in Graphic Designing through this blog. What I knew about Graphic Designing is very little as I’m self taught and that little things will be surely passed to the kids.

Digital Makeup for photos

20091114 Digital Makeup for photos
Also posted @

So far the kids learned using the move, marquee and lasso tools. Yesterday’s class they made more using these tools with their photos. I taught them to apply feather to a selected area. They also learned to extract a selected area from an image. They worked with their own photos. They changed their eye color to green and their hair color to pink; darkened their eye brows and colored their lips. They adjusted the colors of the selected area by using the sliders in the hue saturation panel. They also merged different photos.

Yesterday they also had a competition. The team of youngsters visiting them every Saturday who will also take tuition to them arranged some games and they gave prizes to the kids. They were from an IT company based in Chennai and they will come most of the weekends to cheer the kids. They were also helping the pastor who is taking care of the home to get treatment and dialysis.

Yesterday one of the kids named Bhavani looked sad in the class with her eyes filled with tears. She was speechless when I asked why she so sad. But her face became bright at the end of class.