Real or fake?

Artistically speaking , we can achieve some impressive images by photoshopping other images. There has been much discussion, though, about photoshopped fashion images or celebrity images and rightly so. Airbrushing reality has tended to skew perception of what reality actually is. This little video gives you a test and then the answers with information as you go along. Well worth keeping your eagle eye well trained. Spotting fake images has become a 21st century skill.

So how good are you with Adobe Photoshop?

Erik Johansson is incredibly talented in visual art. His videos and web page show how a real master blends real life and virtual reality. Watching his creative process you understand that nothing is too much or too difficult to achieve his artistic ends. You also realise he is prepared to put 123 layers into his Adobe Photoshop creations to achieve what he wants. The blending of real and imagined is seamless. The detail is infinitesimal and he is incredibly painstaking in the way he goes about creating his images. Technology can shift the boundaries and imagination can reach out and use its limitlessness to show itself. What can be imagined now was restricted before but that same imagination has to be very disciplined and precise in its thinking to achieve its goals with technology. Near enough is not good enough and precision is everything.

Glam graphics

art deco text I’m in an art deco/ art nouveau kind of mood. While I was looking for desktop wallpapers to glam up my Linux Mint desktop I happened on this tutorial for creating art deco text and it looks so cool. Enough of ordinary. Let’s have a bit of splendour and fine living on our computers. The thing about this at Graphix 1 is there are actually people who can create images like this on a computer. To me, this kind of digital art is just magic and magical. There are so many unsung digital artists . The Adobe shop tutorial is set out really well so that if you do have an aptitude for this kind of artistic endeavour then you ought to be able to follow the steps easily. Graphix1 also has some really nice wallpapers for your computer to suit a variety of tastes. glam desktop I downloaded my wallpaper from divhouse and then the icon set from awOken. The Terminal instructions need to be loaded one line at a time, press enter and then add the next line. The icon set loads easily. I really like them. I then customised the colours for the windows and links. More than happy with my effort.

Kinetic Typography

Kinetic Typography is moving text. It has some real implications for visual literacy and would be a great way to get students who are reluctant writers into writing, art and graphics all at once. You need After Effects for Adobe Photoshop but I confess this looks a bit daunting to me but I’d love to be able to do it. There is a simple tutorial here which you need to play in full screen so you can see what is going on. Some will pick this up very quickly and if YouTube is anything to go by , then Kinetic Typography is a powerful and popular way of communicating. Some more complex kinetic typography films are here on Box of Crayons and YouTube has more tutorials and good examples if you wish to pursue this.

Graphic Organisers

picture of concept chart No big assignment should be embarked upon with a computer unless there is a core organising management system in place. It is too easy for students to get lost in their computers, the web and then a lot of woolly ideas which are terribly fascinating, but do not enable them to complete the task at hand. In my ideal world we’d be able to go off along these paths which come up spontaneously and negotiate as we went along what we could do with all the things we were discovering and learning. Last year I taught students how to use the smart art in Word so they could create their own ideas mapping tool. Sometimes, though, I need a specific sort of ideas generator so having ready made ones I can show on my white board has become essential. One place to get good graphic organisers for class is on the Real Classroom Ideas site. Tomorrow I shall show one of my classes the Concept Web under writing/pre-writing because it is just the very thing we need to organise their ideas now they have done some research and have an idea of what they want to focus on. They can then use the lesson to build their own concept web and I think they will feel happier about the research topic now.

22/3/2011 As promised, I gave the Concept Web to my students today for their research project in French. I had shown it to them on the whiteboard and then shown them how they could build one of their own using smart art in Word. I uploaded the Concept Web onto the LMS and the students downloaded onto their laptops. They opened it in PREVIEW mode and started filling it in.Some dragged it into Adobe Photoshop and filled it in that way. Some built their own concept tool in word. They were all happy and productive and within half an hour they had most of it filled in in French using what we had done last week. They had a sense of progress and satisfaction that a tough job was being managed by some helpful technology tools. It made me realise they had done a lot of research and it also made me realise again this is the best way to organise complicated writing/multimedia tasks on a computer.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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