Christmas Card 2015

I realize that I will have this post on the same front page as the 2014 one, it shows how my relationship with my blog has deteriorated in 2014! I’ve enjoyed the simple formatting language of Markdown using Reddit and to me it has made normal formatting feel archaic. Instead of clicking buttons I could just type my formatting directly. I know Google Hangouts used to work like this but they’ve moved to using selections and keyboard commands to apply formatting now.

Another major factor has been the embedding of images. On this site I’ve tried to write things so they match up with included images, making paragraphs that makes the flow look nice. On Reddit I just embed images as links, and if people use RES they will be buttons that can expand the image if the user is interested, same with videos. Though, perhaps that is mostly useful for forum style discussions, and not article style posts on a website. It’s just so very convenient.

But! I will try my best to get back to posting random things on here, if nothing else this is a place of my own and I should be able to post whatever I want, as long as it’s legal I guess. I’ll try to not worry so much about the formatting and just pour my thoughts onto the page. In any case, end of random blabbing!

As has been the trend the last few years my Christmas card was less than well planned and done in a hurry, I still ended up with something I think looks pretty nice though, I’ll describe how I made it.

Julkort2015_large

I usually have a theme of some sort, this year there was one movie that was quite heavily marketed and as such was on my mind. Star Wars. Funny enough I haven’t actually seen it myself, not even now, but many others have already so it should be recognizable.

After googling images from the movie I found one I liked from the trailer, to make sure to get a good frame I downloaded the trailer itself from YouTube, then I stepped through that specific scene and saved a few frames with VLC.

Looking at the frame I had picked I tried to imitate the lighting situation. The picture was taken with a timer bouncing a flash in the ceiling while in my mother’s living room. Behind me people were trying to watch TV, luckily my project are often appreciated so nobody kicked me out. Then rush to Photoshop to put things together, instead of spamming images I’ve done a quick animation of the steps I did.

Julkort2015_anim

  1. Inserted photo and aligned it to the scene by scaling and rotating.
  2. Masked out the parts of my face that should be visible in the helm.
  3. Copied the visor and made it transparent where my own eyes were.
  4. Added various shadows and colored light from the visor.
  5. Adjusted color balance, brightness/contrast and levels to match the original.
  6. Adjusted the brightness/contrast of the entire image.
  7. Added text.

From my early years of custom Christmas cards I’ve gone from mailing out physical prints to emailing to just posting on Facebook. It’s a sad state of affairs, but the holiday has become stressful enough so to survive I took the easy way out. Maybe someday the process will go in reverse, we’ll see :)

About Andreas Aronsson

Professional app- & web-developer. Spare time multimedia experimenter, VR-enthusiast, motorcyclist. In Sweden.
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