Farewell To Summer
I spent two days and nights making this digital art piece, approximately 35 hours or more. It is the first one I’ve done on my new computer, with its 6 gigs of RAM and high octane processor. But I still ran into problems because in the Preferences for Photoshop, the maximum RAM that I’m able to allocate is 2 gigs. I did this but Photoshop was still running slow on this file, which at times ran upwards of 7 gigs!! (the image you see here is only 5% of the original size).
Late last night, after I had almost finished, the PSD file with all its layers had expanded to more than 5 gigs. I hadn’t yet merged layers in order to bring it down to 2 gigs (which is the maximum that can be saved in Photoshop’s PSD format). The unthinkable happened. It was a Catch 22. I couldn’t save because I wasn’t ready to merge layers, and I had worked since early morning. I’ve never known Photoshop to freeze, but it did, and shut down. My entire day’s work was lost.
The error was actually my own. The crash happened when I was dragging an image from another file into this file. I did it very quickly and I think I might have closed the source image file before the other file had fully received the image. I won’t make that mistake again. Then I got that pop up window saying that Photoshop has encountered an error and has to shut down (the message apologizes if any unsaved work has been lost) … I didn’t want to close that little pop up window because as long as it stayed open, the frozen image still remained. I sat in shock looking at the image for about 15 minutes, thinking what I could do to save it, before I finally had no choice but to close the pop up. Everything shut down.
This image’s original size is 8640 x 11520. I think this is the largest size I’ve ever worked with, however there were far fewer layers than in many other files I’ve worked with in the past.
I was impressed when I was able to use the Liquify Filter on an image this size. On my old computer, Photoshop would have told me I didn’t have enough RAM. Although it took more than 4 minutes for the Liquify window to open, and another 7 to save the changes, it was well worth it, because I used to have to slice copies of portions of my images & open them in another file in order to use the Liquify on such large images.
For about half an hour I was in shock and wondered if I should just forget the project. Then I decided to start all over again from scratch. The other version was completely different. Emina was in water and the background was completely different. Her dress was also entirely different. Although it was a horrible experience, it turned out to be interesting seeing how the piece morphed into something so different from the first version. I think I like this one better, but I also really liked the mood of the other.
It’s now back to school (I had a week off). I’ve finished Term 2 and am beginning Term 3, taking New Media and Web Development, which includes design, Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools, Adobe Illustrator, etc. It’s a great course but the course load is so heavy that I rarely have a moment to immerse myself in digital art.
I’ve used the face of the beautiful Emina, but the body is comprised of so many bits and pieces. I made the dress entirely in Photoshop.
Detailed View Book Page – Sprite Fairy
Term 2 at the college has just finished. I have a few days off before Term 3 begins. It’s such a relief to be half way through the year. The course load is unbelievably heavy. So many nights have been spent at my computer, working until 4 in the morning or longer. I’m somehow surviving on a regular diet of energy drinks. Redbull and Sobe have become daily staples and have pulled me through many exams on less than 3 hours of sleep.
Children’s Book Launched
Earlier this year, before school started, I was working on a series of digital illustrations for a children’s book that has just been launched by http://www.flattenme.com The website belongs to the company who commissioned me to do the images for one of the books in their series (The Tuesday Mushroom King). Other books in their collection were done by various artists.
Books are available in both girl and boy versions. Customers can upload an image of their own child’s face, which is then swapped for the book’s main character’s face. In addition, the customer’s child’s name is placed throughout the book and becomes the main character of the book. A personalized dedication of the customer’s choice is put into the front of the book for the child. The book becomes fully personalized for a child. This is a wonderful concept.
To make sure there’s no confusion, please note that the book belongs to the company who commissioned me to do the art for one of the books in their series. I am not part of the company selling the books. I do not receive any commission from sales of their books.
Here are some sample portions of images from the book:
Tuesday Mushroom King Cover (Girl Version)
Detailed View Book Page – Mouse