Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Changing Opacity and Merging Images to give the Illusion of Movement

After this images was published I had a few people ask me how I had created the image. It's simply a merged image but the trick is to change the opacity of some of the images and then colour them with a decreasing hints of colour. I use a free downloadable progarm called paint.NET.

Note - you can use a similar process to create your own watermarks for your projects - just type in the text and reduce the opacity.

I am a visual learner so have done step by step screen shots of the process so it's picture heavy. For my coloured image I worked on each character separately and then merged the 2 clusters - there are 2 layers for Teddy Bea and 3 for Molly.

So grab a coffee or your poison of choice and I'll show you how it's done.....

First of all import your image from the file. This time I'll do 3 layers of Teddy Bea. 

Then select "Layers" and  choose "Layer Properties" from the drop down menu.

Where you see "Opacity" change it to 100. My medium image was set to 100 and my lighter one was set to 75.

You'll see your image has lightened - make sure you save it under a different name from the original - I just add 100 or 75 to the end of it's name. Repeat to get your lightest image starting with the original.

When you merge you start with the one that will be furthest in the background and layer up. This means you start with your 75 opacity image. Once you have it uploaded you need to create more space to add your other images to. Select "Canvas Size" from the drop down menu under "Image".

Work out what the best position is for your the current image in relation to those you'll be adding and use the boxes to position it. Since we're adding images at the same height and to the left of the image I placed it in the lower right corner. I then changed to canvas width to accommodate the new layers we'll be adding. I always add more than I need because you can crop back at the end.

The white space on the left is your new canvas.

You can use the magic tool to create a clear background if you wish. Just select the tool and click on the white area which turns blue. Then simply hit the delete button.

To add a new image select "Import from File" from the drop down menu under layers and select the next image. 

I kept working on my image in it's original png format with the clear background - but for this tutorial I changed it to a jpeg which gave it a white background and makes it easier to see. Simply select "save as" jpeg under the save as menu if you wish to do this yourself. 

Note - it's easy to change any digital stamps from jpeg to png and vice versa using this method. 

So here we have our jpeg image with out 100 opacity image imported and postioned over the top. This is the only tricky part of the process! Because the images are opaque the layer below can be seen through it. It'takes a few minutes to fix this up but it's worth the trouble in the long run.

Unfortunately in paint.NET you can only work on the upper most layer so you need to use the back arrow and remove the 100 opacity image and revert the screen to the single layer. 

Select the eraser tool and change the brush width if needed so the eraser is larger. 

Erase the areas that are covered by the next layer but show through. You also erase the background which is why you the check shows up. Fill this in using the paint bucket tool in white.

Layer in your next image to check your progress and remove again if you still need to erase more. If you've erased too much keep pressing the back arrow when you get back to the image you are working on and it will replace what you deleted. Mine still needs more erased under where the top image's skirt sits

OK I'm happy with this - it's not perfect but the minor imperfections will become part of the whole "blur" of movement once the colour is added in.

Luckily the original image is strong enough to cover anything below it so layering this one on is simply a matter of importing it and moving it into place.

Time to crop it and save it. You will be asked to flatten it - this just means it glues the layers together to make one image. I usually save as either a jpeg or a png. 

I hope this makes sense to you. it always makes sense to you when you KNOW what you're doing...hopefully I have passed on enough information for you to know too, but I am happy to answer any questions if needed.

Happy merging...

1 comment:

Julie P said...

Thanks for sharing Debbie, this looks awesome :) Julie P