Truly the best part of working at Digital Anarchy is you, our customer. While doing technical support can sometimes be difficult, it is incredibly rewarding to work through an issue and get praise from the person we have helped. It’s even better when that praise is sprinkled with funny accolades, like this recent email from Jeff Dean (condensed to show the good stuff).
Beauty Box Photo has been out for only a few weeks now but we’re really excited by the response from people and the press about it. Angie Taylor gave a great review on her blog, Creative Pro Therapy, as well as Diane Berkenfeld on her blog, Picture-Soup.com.
The example above shows one before/after image with only a little skin correction needed. The example below shows a more extreme example of skin smoothing. The plugin is great for both kinds of situations because it always gives a natural look. Continue reading Beauty Box Photo is a Smash!
We are so happy and excited to announce the releasing of Toonit! Photo 2.6 which is compatible with 64bit and CS5! The best part about it; it’s FREE if you already own the product. Go to this Update Page to get the instructions on how to do a fresh install. If you haven’t purchased Toonit! you can now get it for $89 until July 18!
(After Toonit! Photo has been applied)
(Original image before Toonit! Photo has been applied)
This is just the first in many more 64bit and CS5 updates to come. Here’s are run down of when you can expect these updates for our other products:
I came across this great photo series on Flickr, entitled Pencil vs Camera by artist Ben Heine. It is always interesting to see how different mediums can be combined, especially when it comes from reality (photos) and imagination (drawings). Ben used a traditional method to do his sketches. All the graphic elements shown come from his own stock/production. He drew the sketches, took the photos, and edited them.
Here at Digital Anarchy we have always been a big supporter of how illustrations can play a role within photography. Our plugin ToonIt! Photo lets you create cartoon effects, like shading and lines, from your own photographic images. Learn more about ToonIt! Photo here.
I had a few extra moments to play with the Pencil vs Camera concept using my own images and ToonIt! Photo. I shot these photos in Santa Cruz, CA on a very overcast day about two years ago. I would have liked to have a more pleasing sky but you can’t always get what you want, right? Here are the results:
Ever since they started shooting motion pictures one of the biggest questions have been… How do you keep the damn camera steady? And what do you do about it if it’s not? If you’re a photographer just getting into shooting video with your DSLR, you’re likely to have the same questions. I’ll give you some answers to the first question and a few tips on dealing with the second.
While a shaky camera can be used, on rare occasion, to good effect… it’s usually something to be avoided. More often than not, it just means your watching a B horror flick and the owner of said shaky camera is about to be bitten in half. Hopefully we can get you shooting stable video so as to insure you are not similarly attacked by creatures that are aggravated by shaky video.
So… how do you avoid such a fate?
Nice mention of two Digital Anarchy plugins in the Flashcriminals roundup of ‘super charged’ Photoshop plugin. This list summarizes “30 Plugins to Supercharge Photoshop” and says, “I have compiled a list of free and commercial plug-ins to supercharge Photoshop. Each of these will speed up your work, reduce the number of steps needed and help you create amazing effects. Some of them will help you even develop effects otherwise not possible in Photoshop.”
The blog roundup lists 3D Invigorator, our 3D logo creator for Photoshop.This plugin gives instant 3D gratification by turning text and shapes and even Illustrator imports into extruded 3D graphics. Try out the demo here.
The list also includes Backdrop Designer (a personal favorite of mine) which digitally simulates muslin material backgrounds. It’s especially fun to use if you are posing a pretty girl in front of the digital drapery. Try out the demo here.
Working for a software company can be very fun, especially when I am able to use the software for good (aka personal) purposes. In this case, I saw a friend post a photo of herself and her boyfriend in her Facebook profile. She titled it ‘Pamela & Graah as a cartoon’ and I thought, “harumph”.
Not by ToonIt!:
The image shown above was converted to a crappy cartoon by the Photo DJ function in my friend’s camera. It’s just a glorified postorization. I immediately IM’ed my friend and asked her to email me the original photo. She did. I ran the photo through ToonIt’s default settings and 35 seconds later, Pamela and Graah were properly tooned.
Cartooned by ToonIt:
Digital Anarchy recently added a great photographer to our Primatte Chromakey gallery. His name is Shawn Wright and he runs Wright Studios out of Indiana, USA with his wife Betsy.
Shawn is a photographer of all talents and trades. Not only does he specialize in many subjects — high school seniors, industrial product shots and sports teams, to name a few — but he also runs photography seminars. More info on his company site, www.wrightstudio.us.
LENNON the Photographer has given us terrific celebrity images that he creates, in part, with our Adobe Photoshop greenscreen plugin, Primatte Chromakey. A year after we first talked to LENNON about his work, he contacted us with more high-profile photography. There is a **gorgeous** shot of Gilles Marini from Dancing with the Stars, as shown below.
Something that I really enjoy about LENNON is that his personality seems as colorful as the celebrities that he photographs. That’s why his first name is always written in CAPS; very Hollywood, yes?
Last week, we received an order for our Backdrop Designer plugin. On that same day, we received a request to resend a previous purchase of the Backdrop Designer plugin. Since I am Digital Anarchy’s customer service person and our order fulfillment department — as well as blogger extraordinaire — I recognized the name in both emails. The customer already owned Backdrop Designer but was purchasing it again.
This is one of the reasons we hand fill orders. It’s not uncommon for someone to forget he already owns a product. It’s also not uncommon for someone to think she bought the product when really she only downloaded the demo. This was the basis of two different support calls last week.
(By the way, I feel this theory should extend to cheesecake. I should be able taste its sweetness just thinking about eating cake, and therefore save myself the calories.)
Royalty-free cheesecake served up from www.freefoto.com. Cool stuff on that site.
Digital Anarchy recently added an interesting artist to our ToonIt! Photo gallery. Her name is Chrissie Campbell and she is truly a woman of many mediums and skills. I love the main image on her website’s About page. It seems to pull in all of her talents: painting, photography and digital manipulation. Very contemporary and strong but with a delicate stylization.
It’s fun becoming friendly with someone online, then discovering details like where she lives. Chrissie’s business name is ‘Kakadu Design’ and it didn’t occur to me what that indicated until I visited her website and looked at the promo images. Kakadu National Park is located in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Continue reading Outback art with Chrissie Campbell.
A few days ago, I received a great email from a new customer named Mark Edwards. He wrote us a nice note about his purchase of ToonIt! Photo, which is our Adobe Photoshop cartooning plugin, and attached some images to his email.
Mark said, “Thanks for the cool tool. After only a few minutes of playing around with it, I decided to buy it (original and toonit versions of one picture attached). Love it!”
Mark’s ToonIt image:
Digital Anarchy recently posted a spankin’ brand new online ToonIt! Gallery. This web page is a great way to see what folks are doing with our Adobe Photoshop cartooning software.
ToonIt! is fun and easy to use and gives you amazing results when transmogrifying your photographs into cartoons. (Technical term per Calvin and Hobbs, a favorite real cartoon.) This is especially true when ‘tooning’ the human face and form, which most cartoon tools fail at. Ours doesn’t.
Most people send us exactly that, children and women turned into cartoons. A refreshing change comes from Stanton Perry of Rendertek.com. When I first saw Stanton’s work, which are all gorgeous panoramas and thus the nickname in this entry’s title, I was blown away by how well ToonIt! works with architectural and landscape settings.
Panorama #1, traditional toon.
The 3D Invigorator is our newest Adobe Photoshop plugin for creating 3D logos and other fun 3D graphics. We’ve recently posted some great video tutorials that explain this powerful plugin. Watch new movies that explain the Material Editor, your one-stop shop for prettying up that 3D model, and its interesting texturing options for Textures and Bump Maps.
We have also added a movie that talks between working in 3D Invigorator’s environment vs. making use of Photoshop’s new 3D capabilities? The difference is pretty vast and we explain it all in this video tutorial.
I always enjoy reading a breakdown of how the design process happens or where inspiration comes from. Some interesting sources are the Creative section of Communication Arts’ website; the Creativity blog on How magazine’s website; ideas from Moo.com‘s business card customers; and the illustration blogsite Drawn.ca.
Recently I designed a logo for our new CarToonIt! Bundle, which gives a discount on the purchase of ToonIt! Photo. This product bundle is our Adobe Photoshop cartooning software that now also works in Apple’s Aperture.
The CarToonIt! logo was pretty easy to make because I based it off our existing ToonIt! logo. But that short design process made me think about my design revisions for the ToonIt! logo, which happened over a few weeks’ time, and I thought it would be fun to post some of the iterations here. Enjoy!
My original concept sketch:
Our company, Digital Anarchy, creates a terrific ‘toon’ product called Toonit! Photo. This Adobe Photoshop cartooning plugin lets you turn photographs into a cartoon look very easily and quickly, and generally without changing the default settings.
But suppose you want to make a cartoon the old fashioned way? By hand! Or rather, by hand in the computer. Well, there are a few websites that I’ve been hanging around for inspiration. They are Drawn!, Deviant Art and MyToons. Continue reading Cartoons! But not ours.
As a developer for Photoshop (and now Aperture) I rarely spend time in other host graphics apps. There are other purchasable ones, like the Corel Painter Suite, but they generally don’t publish a good API that plugin developers like Digital Anarchy (that’s us) can hook into.
There are also a bunch of free image editing apps. For our customer model, they simply fall short of what Photoshop can do and none are widespread enough for us to support. Which makes sense since these free apps are not trying to be Photoshop, just act as an alternative for folks who aren’t doing graphics for a living and don’t want to invest money into graphic manipulation.
Having said that, I occasionally run into a summary list of free Photoshop alternatives. Thought it would be interesting to post a list that I found on Downloadsquad.com through a friend’s blog, pirandello.wordpress.com. Continue reading Photoshop free alternatives
Digital Anarchy launched our newest product, ToonIt! Photo, just before Christmas. It’s a fun new Adobe Photoshop plugin that’s cartooning software for photos and other graphics.
Unfortunately, the ToonIt! manual took a week longer than the product release. It’s always the little stuff, like forgetting to plug in in the toaster, that trips me up. You can get the ToonIt! Photo manual from here. I apologize for the wait. Writing manuals is _almost_ as difficult as reading them.
The cartoon results for Molotov Cupcake.
Last month, Digital Anarchy had some difficulty with our server, store and site… shudder… and had to change vendors unexpectedly. I’ve been combing through our media ever since, trying to find content that didn’t properly survive the transition.
Which caused me to stumble upon one of my favorite artists in our Primatte Chromakey gallery. John Riley, Ph.D., is a physicist and associate professor who initially contacted Digital Anarchy about some graphics work for which he was using Primatte, an Adobe Photoshop plugin for blue/greenscreen masking.
I was clicking around online yesterday, procrastin…er, doing some market research, when I came upon this interesting website, forensicphotoshop.blogspot.com.
I’ve read frequently on Adobe’s website that the medical slash science industry is a huge demographic of their Photoshop and Acrobat sales. (From the Adobe site, here’s an interesting white paper on the subject of Adobe and Foresnics.) At trade shows and socially, I have run into people who use Photoshop for cool stuff like the Genome project. But I’d never noticed a website devoted to a segment of the graphics industry that isn’t considered a creative market.
Until now. The author, Jim Hoerricks, rounds up a lot of Photoshop topics that are interesting in their own right, and moreso because they are referencing, to me, an emerging boutique part of the industry.
Yesterday we released our first new product in awhile. It’s an Adobe Photoshop plugin called ToonIt! Photo and the software creates absolutely gorgeous cartoons from photographs and other still images.
As I was working on the material for our launch, to keep myself amused late into the night, friends emailed me close-up photos of themselves. I would run a quick toon on the photo and sent the new image back. That was fun to do and a new word was born: ‘cartoodling’. It’s when you (ok, me) play around with a cartoon filter and just whittle and doodle the time away…
Below, my two late night helpers.
And remote support ;)
I noticed last week that most of the images from the Life magazine library are searchable through Google Image Search. Pretty cool sifting through so many iconic images.
We’re all pretty excited around here at Digital Anarchy about our upcoming product release. Usually we don’t talk about products until they are released, but we pre-announced this product earlier in the year — err, a few times earlier in the year — and it’s finally hitting the market this week.
The product is ToonIt! Photo and you can see images, well, right here. You can also check out footage showing off last year’s release of ToonIt for video apps. The medium is different but the underlying software is the same.
Even though I am working through the weekend, I’m having a blast writing our manual and web pages and tutorial scripts. After all, how can it NOT be fun to turn yourself (and mom) into a cartoon?