Friday, May 23, 2014

"Official" Barefoot family photo: Before and after

One great thing about continuing to work in Adobe Photoshop is that I can always find a way to improve my work.

When I created close-up pictures of "the 13" not too long ago - as the first page of their respective sections in my upcoming photo book - I realized that I could use the same "pictures" I made in replacing the originals in the montage I originally created in 2012.  At that point, I had just returned to ABC Adult School and I had yet to learn many of the tips and tricks to make great Photoshop work.  I had barely even heard of the magic wand tool, adjustment layers, and cloning, all of which have served me well in projects since.  In addition, some of my characters had yet to be fully developed, which meant the clothes they wore - and even their body types - did not match up to what they would truly be like.

Anyway, I decided to transfer the porch photos to the original family photo panorama.  One of the first things I noticed was that all the graphics and pictures I used at first were in a layer called "picture," since it was reproduced from a JPEG copy.  (The original was wiped out by the ABC Career Technical Center, at my request, early in 2013.)  The copy was low-quality and blurry when zoomed in.  Eliminate that layer and the country home backdrop stayed intact.  (Funny, that's like the neutron bomb concept.)  Then I dropped in smaller versions of the porch photos.  I'll show you both, then explain further changes I made:



Now for the other significant differences:
  • The top text is moved to the left and closer to the center of the picture.
  • Harvey, the best athlete in the family, now wears the replica football jersey, while Ralph - whose various roles include hunter, fisherman, and preacher, now has a dark green T-shirt with a drawing of a buck (adult male deer) and the words "BOW TO THE BOW" above it, as I mentioned last week.
  • Ralph and Jennifer now have, respectively, a cap and sun bonnet hat.
  • Popeye's cap now has the corporate logo of Bass Pro Shops instead of the simple "Popeye" script.
  • Also as I mentioned before, the footprint on the logo of some of the clothes now points left to right instead of right to left and represents the family farm instead of just the clan in general.
  • The Barefoot house sign has smaller lettering and footprints on either side going opposite ways.  (Those footprints are courtesy of chiropractor Billie Barefoot's office in suburban Phoenix.)
  • Bryson no longer has skin coming out of one side of his body, making for a "healthier" look.  He also moves closer in to his mother and brothers, the result of the staircase leading to the home being narrowed.
  • Hambone now has a pink tank top with the farm logo, rather than a gray shirt with a mythical radio station's.  She and Bobby Ray also don't look as thin as before.
I hope these are the last changes I'll ever have to make, and that the new version - which will be on my book's cover - will serve as the appearances of record for my 13 "family members."

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