Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sucked Down The Rabbit Hole

Last year I chose pink geraniums for my splash of color on the back deck. This year, I've gone for what I think of as the more traditional red plus a pale peachy version. Remembering the interesting designs those pink ones generated with the effects filter of my Corel Paint Shop Pro software (one of which went into Reverberations), I naturally wondered what I could come up with by using this picture with more colors to work with. I now have 50 kaleidoscope variations and 21 other types of photo manipulations off this one photo, as always finding it hard not to try just one more.

One thing I've noticed in the past with the kaleidoscope, something which became a bit of a frustration with the one used in Reverberations, is that what should be a round design ends up with top and bottom spokes cropped. I thought this might be due to starting with a rectangular image, so was careful to crop my photo into a perfect square. This is the first manipulation that flashed on the screen which made me think my theory was correct.

I usually use the "roll the dice" feature which simply means each time I click on it, the software randomly changes the settings. When the next random image popped up, I was back to the cropped spokes. I decided it was time to start playing with those settings myself, see how they could change the image. I soon discovered one of them worked like a zoom control - I could move in closer or pull out, reinstating a full circle in the design. I could have pulled out even further on this one, increasing the number of rings.

Often the random settings have an odd number of spokes giving an off-kilter feeling and making it impossible to match at the corners should one want to line up multiples for an overall pattern as in patchwork blocks. So I played with changing those to even numbers, watching how the rest of the design altered as I went up or down with the numbers. You know how I like symmetry.

These four were generated by merely changing the number of orbits, I think. I should have taken notes. I also played with something called radial suction but I don't think these were the result of that.

Sometimes the random setting would generate something off kilter even with an even number of spokes, like this one. I never did figure out what to change to bring things back to center. I do admit that it brings a dynamism to something that otherwise might feel a bit stagnant for all its punch.

After saving a manipulation, I undo it in the edit function before going back into the effects menu for another variation. I'd noted that the edit menu included the option to repeat the kaleidoscope as well as undo it. This is what I got when I did that to the previous version. I didn't expect so many of these to have such a Christmas feel to them.

I think these two were also the result of repeating...or maybe that radial suction thing.

I started getting some richer toned ones more star-like than circular. This one even has highlights that make it glow.

Then we went totally green with a patchwork star. By using that scale factor setting that let me zoom out, I got a version that started to feel like a dahlia quilt pattern.

And when I repeated the kaleidoscope on the original zoomed in version, I got this slightly more refined star.

Then there was a big surprise when this essentially black and white and coral art deco-ish one popped out.

I guess you can see why it's so hard to stop - you just never know what great variation the roll of the dice will come up with next. But I have a couple of other favorite filters like wave. I fooled a bit with some of the settings, but overall ended up taking what I got with little tweaking on my part. So I will just let you enjoy more of the results without commentary.



Living to work - working to live said...

Gracious - these are rather stunning. They would make amazing repeat patterns and possibly a lovely basis for a print block. This is not a programme I have, unfortunately.

The Inside Stori said...

WOW......there sure should be some great quilts coming out of these designs!!! Now...get to work...grinning...

Lucia Sasaki said...

Several versions of only one picture?
Thanks for sharing them with us, Sheila!
I hope you can choose one soon, so we are going to see another beautiful piece of art.
I wondered how you would translate into textil art some of these pictures.
So wait and see.
Thanks again!!

Christine Staver said...

Boy you did get sucked down the rabbit hole, Alice! These are amazing and make wonderful art quilts. Not sure which one I would choose.

bj parady said...

Have you tried playing with them on spoonflower.com? They have some cool tiling options that open up possibilities.

The Idaho Beauty said...

Yes, Lucia - a single picture produced all these...and more! I too wonder how I will use any of these - they are so inspiring but sometimes difficult to figure out how to use effectively.

Hilary - Paint Shop Pro is very similar to Photoshop which is what most people have. If you have Photoshop, then you should be able to do manipulations like this.

BJ - Thanks for reminding me about Spoonflower. I've never tried it but I sure like the results you are getting with your work. I definitely wanted to try tiling some of these.

Michele Matucheski said...

What fun! I was thinking the other day that I would ask for a kaliedescope for my birthday--and here you were making digital kaliedescopes! Still on the same wavelength, I'd say. It's amazing the sheer variety you can get with a kaliedescope. At present, I only have 1 tool that can easily do Kaliedescopes--and that's on the iPad, but it doesn't offer the many options your does. It's too laborious in PSE--I've been looking for an action that would simplify it, but to no avail. Even in quilting, the 4-patch posey/kaleidescope quilts are fun. I would stay up late working on them, just to see what I would get. Enjoy your weekend, Sheila! I just might play with kaliedescopes too!