I got me a GPG (PGP?) key for my email. You can download the public key below. Read on for what a key is, how you can use it, and how you can get your own.
What is PGP? PGP is encryption for text. Its most common application is email. You can sign an email with your PGP key to prove its authenticity, as well as encrypt the contents. To decrypt a PGP message, you need the author's public key. To encrypt a message, you need to get a private key of your own and give other people your public key.
What do I do with this key? I followed the instructions on this site to get PGP set up on my computer. I have an app to handle my keys, a prefs pane to handle standard stuff, and a plugin for Mail.app.
If you've got a PGP key, feel free to post it here.
The ilovebees.com countdown is over as of 6:07 AM Pacific time this morning. The AI is now "Transmitting". It seems as if the server is having runtime errors.
Maybe the AI's transmission program is having problems? Intrusion by the Covenant AI?
The Switchboard has published my tutorial on doing photoshop spotlights. I also got it posted on MacBytes and got quite a bit of positive feedback on it. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed it!
I will be buying a certain Apple device in the next week or so. And I wanted to make a little graphic to symbolize that on here. So, I made it in a spotlight. And here I'm going to show just how I did it.
This tutorial assumes you have two things: Photoshop, and something you want spotlighted (spotlit?). When I tell you to apply X filter, and then give out a bunch of numbers, those are just the numbers I used. Feel free to change them in any way. It's your project, and there is more to art than a bunch of integers.
|1) Create a new image. We'll make ours at 512x512. You can make it whatever size you want, but for the sake of this article, that's what I'm going to use.|
|2) Fill the background with a dark color. Like, say, black. This isn't necessary in the final image if you're exporting with translucency, but it'll help us see our work.|
|3) Find a pattern you'd like to make as your floor. I used a wood floor, found here. Paste it in your image. Do any color correction you want (I'm using a hue/saturation layer adjustment with hue: -10, saturation +32, and brightness: 0).|
|4) Go to Edit>Transform>Perspective. Make it look like a trapezoid with a wide base, as seen to the right. It should not cover the entire image.|
|5) Create a new layer. Using an ellipse marquee tool, highlight a narrow oval of the floor you just transformed. Fill it with white, and deselect it. This will be the light on the floor. (don't worry, we'll make it look better in a second.|
|6) On the new layer, use a gaussian blur with a radius of 5 pixels. Set the layer's graphical mode to Overlay.|
|7) Highlight the entire image. With the mouse tool selected, nudge it a bit to select just the pixels that aren't transparent. Go to Select>Modify>Expand, and expand it by 10 pixels.|
|8) Select the floor layer. Go to Layer>Add Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.|
|9) Create a layer above all of the others. Highlight a box that goes from the top of the image to where the spotlight is.|
|10) A spotlight's beam has bright edges and a darker interior. What better way to do that than with a gradient? Create one with all white background, and at the ends, 70% opacity, with 30% opacity in the middle. Fill your box with that.|
|11) Go to Edit>Transform>Distort. Again, make another trapezoidal shape out of this. If you want the spotlight to shoot from an angle, you can do that too by changing the distortion.|
|12) Perform another gaussian blur on the beam, with the same radius.|
|13) Switch to the spotlight oval layer again, highlight all of the pixels like before (but don't expand this time), and switch back to the beam layer. Go to Layer>Add Layer Mask>Hide Selection.|
|14) And with that, the hard part's over. Now, paste in your object. I'll add in a little Aqua ball.|
|15) Go to Filter>Render>Lighting Effects. The numbers are really a matter of your object and how they'd refract the light, but you need only to make the light point from the top down.|
|16) Add your shadowing beneath it and you're done!|
And now, the final image:
Saw this excellent movie last night. Twas excellent. Highly reccomended. See below if you want to see who won.
Cool Flash game over here. Played it for a good hour. I still have no idea whats going on.
Back from Erie.
On Sunday, I went to Waldameer Amuement Park, located literally next door to where I was staying. Their premier attraction, the Steel Dragon, wasn't bad, but their best ride was the Bermuda Triangle, which was three water slides. They dropped you down about 40 or 50 feet. The perimeter slides were fun by themselves, but the center one was the best. You shot down an incline so fast that you almost have to push off of the top wall to prevent hitting it (and you're going down, so your hand extends horizontally). If you curl up into a cannonball correctly, you spit out of the tube something like 10 feet. It was awesome.
Yesterday, we were on the beach all day. Not much to mention, except we made our dog un-afraid of the water (Sunday he would scurry away from the water when a little baby wave threatened to touch his paws - now, he'll go swimming a little bit).