Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Random Jumble

So this is once again mainly an excuse to post another pic I threw together of Smeaton overseeing the construction of a sub he designed, but there's a lot of other stuff to mention as well. For instance, one show that I'm really loving right now is Archer, an animated spy comedy on FX.

But here's the thing: I don't usually like this kind of show. I'm not into really crude sexual humor, or cursing for its own sake. Homo jokes don't automatically make me giggle. I can't stand any of Seth Mcfarlane's shows, I'm not a big fan of Venture Brothers or Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and it took me forever to appreciate the subtleties of South Park.

But Archer has pieces of all those shows. It's probably closest to Venture Brothers in spirit, but Venture Brothers just made me uncomfortable, while Archer makes me laugh out loud. I don't understand why, but I still love the show. I'd post the link to Hulu, but because it's a mature show, you'd have to sign in anyway, so I'll just say, if you have a Hulu account or are up to starting one, you'll be able to find Archer pretty easily.

Second, I'm changing schedules at work again, so I have no idea whether I'll be at Conestoga or not. And I'm discreetly keeping my ears open for another job, which is soon, I know, but I'm not cut out for phone work for the long haul.

Third... I'm actually not ready to talk about Third yet. Maybe soon.

So here's the Smeaton pic.

Dougal Smeaton is the big fella directing the Atlantean worker while a woman watches from the background. Is she the bloodthirsty Victoria Sterling-Drake perhaps, or could she be the mysterious sorceress whom Dougal was associated with, the infamous Amyce Belden? Behind the woman, you can see the half-finished submersible craft Mr. Smeaton designed.

So if anyone's interested in crunchy details about the making of, the pic is pieced together from several pieces. The background was a color photo of a train factory from the 40's, found on this Library of Congress Flickr page. The sub in the background came from this collection of submarine photographs (it's the Grampus, BTW). The woman in the background came from this collection of Victorian era cartes de visite. Smeaton is taken from two other cards in the same collection: his head from one, and his body from another. I had to cut out the arm, reposition it and clone-paint the hand from resting on a table to pointing a finger. The Atlantean is a screen capture of a Babylonian extra from D.W. Griffith's silent epic "Intolerance."

So I pasted everything together, the color background and the sepia-toned Victorian photos and the black-and-white photos of hte sub and the Atlantean. Tweaked the brightness and contrast and got everything sepia-toned and matching pretty well. Spent more time putting in grungy elements to simulate the damage you'd see in an old photo like that and not being very satisfied with the results. And finally, as I'm looking through tutorials to try to find the missing element, I see a reference to a Photoshop filter that will do much of that for me.

So I check GIMP and sure enough, there's a script-fu that will age and damage a photo, make it sepia toned with a ragged, faded border. So I run that, and it's the final element I needed to tie everything together. I think this one turned out much better than my last one.

See you tomorrow for Big Game Wednesday.

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