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MJW last won the day on August 7

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About MJW

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    2017 Radiance Award Winner

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  1. @windydick I suggest you just bite the bullet and install a plugin. It's not that hard to do, and once you have the plugin, eliminating the white background will be easier, and much better, than using the Magic Wand. You can install BoltBait's plugin pack, which includes Switch Gray to Alpha, among many other useful plugins. The plugin pack has an installer, which will do most of the work for you. Installing the plugins should be as easy as, or easier than, installing Paint.NET. Running the plugin is as easy as running a built-in effect. You won't even know the difference.
  2. MJW

    "Swoop" under text?

    Another method, which I tried, and found works really well for this case, is to use pyrochild's Grid Warp. Set the number of horizontal grids to 1, and the number of vertical to grids to something that fits the height of the text, while leaving it in a singe grid cell. Then just move the left and right nodes around. You could try using more horizontal grids to give more control, though it also make it a little harder to keep the text spacing and orientation correct.
  3. MJW

    "Swoop" under text?

    You could try Paste Warp+. For this case, you'd want to set the Horizontal Distortion to 0.0. Type the text with the Text tool. Best to type the text on a transparent background. In another layer, create the region you want to make the text follow. I suggest using the Line/Curve tool to draw the outside outline. Make sure it's a closed curve -- no breaks. Use a Rectangle Select to select the text (or perhaps, select the text background with the Magic Wand at a very low tolerance, then invert the selection). Select the interior of the "swoop" region with the Magic Wand. (Probably in a new layer) Run Paste Warp+. As mentioned, set the Horizontal Distortion to 0. It helps to work at a fairly large scale, so that the results are smoother. Using Antiaiiasing in Paste Warp+ may also help, though part of the problem is that Macic Wand selections aren't antialiased.
  4. The Magic Wand approach is a bad way to make the background transparent for a black-on-white image like the snail drawing. Do as @Joshua Lamusga suggests: use a plugin that converts white to transparent, such as Switch Gray to Alpha or Color Clearer. There are a number of others that will also work, such as the Grim Color Reaper. The problem with using the Magic Wand is that most black-on-white images contain gray pixels on the edges of the black areas, to make the edges look smooth, not jagged. If the tolerance of the Magic Wand is set high when selecting the background, so that all non-black pixels are selected, these pixels will be deleted, distorting the image and leaving a jaggy edge. If the tolerance is set low, so that only the truly white pixels are selected, the gray pixels will remain, and if the edited image is placed over a colored background, will be clearly visible as a jagged gray halo. Using one of the white-to-transparent plugins will convert the gray pixels to partially-transparent black pixels.
  5. MJW

    Feature requests

    Assuming I understand correctly what you mean, there's already a shortcut to do that, and it's the one you suggest: Ctrl+Shift+C. If you press Ctrl+Shift+C, the currently visible (flattened) image is copied to the clipboard. If there's an active selection, the flattened selection is copied to the clipboard, surrounded by a transparent rectangle the size of the bounding-rectangle for the selection.
  6. MJW

    OOTF#26 - WINNERS - Hourglass.

    Thank you very much for your kind praise, @welshblue! Also, thanks for lobbying for the Galleria selection. Appreciation of my entry from someone as talented as you means a lot.
  7. MJW

    OOTF#26 - WINNERS - Hourglass.

    Yes. I think it might have been quicker to build an actual hourglass, including blowing the glass.
  8. MJW

    OOTF#26 - WINNERS - Hourglass.

    Congratulations to @Pixey and @welshblue, and thanks to all who entered what I think was a very difficult (much more so than I intended) theme. In her PM, Pixey asked whether I used Shape3D or the texture plugins, so I thought I'd provide a brief explanation of what I did, since some of the techniques might be useful. First I created a "model" of the hourglass with Shape3D, as a guide. For the top and base: For the top and base horizontal surfaces (I'll describe the bottom surface; the top is the same.): I used the Shape tool to draw a filled ellipse, based on the Shape3D model. In another layer, I used Layer>Rotate/Zoom to tilt a wood texture backwards an appropriate amount. I then used BoltBait's Paste Alpha to copy the alpha of the ellipse into a layer containing the wood texture. For the top and base sides: I made a side-view profile of a leg using the Line/Cure too, then filled it with the Paint Bucket. I applied the Texture Rounder, along with the Texture Smoother, to make a rounded version. I produced a shaded version (but kept the height map for the next step -- not that I wouldn't keep it anyway). Now the trick: I used the (beta-released) Texture View Skewer to change the viewpoints (once for the top, and once for the bottom), using the horizontal-surface ellipses to determine the amount of skew. (It was something of a trial and error process.). Because of some weirdness in the Texture View Skewer, I needed to adjust the transparency of the skewed views. I used Red ochres' AlphaThreshold. The edges of the skewed versions were uneven, because the skewed versions only represent the front halves of cylindrical objects. I touched them up by sampling the edge colors with the Color Picker, then drawing in the missing parts of the edges with the Line/Curve tool. For the legs: I made a side-view profile, then applied the Texture Object Rounder and Texture Smoother. I then shaded them. Now the trick: I selected the shaded leg and copied it to the clipboard. I then selected the (cylindrical) legs from the Shape3D model and used Paste Warp+ to paste the shaded legs into the selection. That's how I got the rounded perspecive-ish shape at the top and bottom of the leg. It also appropriately scales the size. (The selection of both the shaded leg and the Shape3D leg were accomplished by selecting the outside region, then inverting the selection.) I didn't bother shading three separate legs. I used the same one for each, but then adjusted the Brightness/Contrast and Hue/Saturation of each leg. (I also liberally applied AA's assistant to make the profiles smooth.) The hourglass glass: The outside glass was first drawn with the Line/Curve tool, then filled with the Paint Bucket to produce an object. The symmetry came for using various horizontal and vertical flips. The object was then rounded using the Texture Object Rounder and the Texture Smoother. I used various methods (I tried a lot of ideas) to produce the shape of the inner region, which is basically a slightly shrunk-down version of the outer shape. In the end I think it was mostly a combination of BoltBait's Bevel Object, and Line/Curve. For the inner glass, I once again produced a rounded height map from the shape using the Texture Object Rounder and Texture Smoother. The glass shading combined Texture Shader lighting and equirectangular shading with ad-hoc tricks, mostly using BoltBaits's Bevel Object and perhaps Inner Shadow (there was a lot of experimentation). I combined shaded versions of both the inner and outer glass. The sand The sand height maps were produced by combining "sand-shaped" height maps with the inner-glass height maps using the Texture Merger's Minimum Height Merge Method. For example, I combined a slightly distorted cone HM with the bottom inner glass HM to make the lower pile of sand. Disclaimer: This is a somewhat simplified explanation. I actually originally had the legs in a different orientation, and moved them using Paste From Clipboard. To get the proper locations, I used ochre's Gears plugin to make a three-pointed shape, which I tilted with Rotate/Zoom to fit the bottom horizontal surface. That worked really well. Much better than my original approach of just eyeing it. Also, the top and base were originally only one layer thick (two ridges, with the curved indentation in between), instead of two. They looked too thin and insubstantial, so I copied them to a lower layer then moved them up and down. Voila! twice as thick. It also had the major advantage of having three ridges, which carried on the theme of three ridges in the middle of the legs. One more thing: I would very much like to release a more functional version of the Texture Skewer, but I can't figure out how to improve the functionality to the point I want it to be while still supporting antialiasing.
  9. If I could upvote Rick' Brewsters' previous post a dozen times, I would!
  10. MJW

    Help With this 3d Text

    Paste Warp+ may be useful for modifying the overall shape of each word, as demonstrated in a previous thread. There's currently no plugin that will produce a sharp-cornered outline. The best method I can think of is to produce a rounded outline, then square up the corners by using the Line/Curve tool, followed by the Paint Bucket.
  11. Something that could be useful for cartooning is Ego Eram Reputo's StickMan plugin. You can make your own figures, then move them around to provide the "skeletons" to help position your figures.
  12. There's no way to view other layers, but there is a feature in Liquify which helps quite a lot. If you run Liquify, then right click while over Liquify's canvas, it gives you a list of choices for the background. One of the choices is Clipboard. Before running Liquify, you can make selected PDN layers visible, then use Copy Merged (Ctrl+Shift+C) to copy them to the clipboard. You can then run Liquify and use the copied layers as the background.
  13. MJW

    lynxster creations - **NEW 8/4 - Froggie**

    Very impressive!
  14. This is getting silly, but you should notice that I italicized "almost." The purpose of italics is to draw attention to the particular word. I was emphasizing that the rule applied to most, not all, tutorials. Reply if you want, I'll have no more to say. I was on your side in my original comment, but I'm beginning to regret it. EDIT: I think you may have misinterpreted my intention when I said: " I hope you figured out that I meant to say 'not absolutely required.'" I wasn't trying to say you should have known; I just meant that I hope you didn't add the screenshots on my account, because I meant to say just the opposite.
  15. Not my mind, but the following sentence where I said: Also, the idea that this is a rare exception that absolutely requires screenshots is a bit illogical.