Friday, May 16, 2008

Learning to Layer

Friday May 16, 2008

Hola! It's Friday once again and I'm back with more stuff and fun to share. The topic for tonight is graphics and the focus will be on layers. Layers in computer graphics and animation are a part of most 2D applications whether commercial or free/open-source. You can think of a layer as a drawing on a transparent sheet. When you stack a number of layers, those closest will appear to be in the foreground. You can superimpose one image over another, or build a scene comprised entirely of overlapping images. In the case of animation you can create the illusion of motion by moving an upper layer around a background. This technique was the cornerstone of traditional animation in the days before computer graphics. Each frame of every scene was assembled from transparent cels over painted backgrounds. Thousands of cels would need to be meticulously hand-painted to create the finished animated film. Layers in 2D graphics are important enough to have inspired at least one book on the topic of using layers in Adobe Photoshop. Layers are also a key feature of Anime Studio 5 and Corel Draw. If you're using a 2D graphics editing program, check the documentation and help files for layers. You might have a wealth of untapped graphics power at your fingertips. Check it out!

The picture of the week was created using Project Dogwaffle.
Click on the image for a full-sized view

The loops of the week are some funky drums.

The PC game of the week is still Travian.

The book of the week is still The Poetry of Robert Frost

Send your comments and feedback and I’ll read it all and respond to some of it.

Bye for now!