Week 3 Photoshop and Response to McCloud (Leon and Nimrah) – Jo

Process of my Photoshop image.

This was my very first photoshop experience and I have to say that it really was not nearly as bad as I expected. I have been avoiding photoshop basically my entire life and I finally faced my fear. However, I got the feeling that I kind of guessed my way through all these different editing tools and somehow made it work.

The first step was to first open my background image of a small area in Xintiandi. I specifically chose this location for my frequent trips to Xintiandi and it also being my favorite place to go here in Shanghai for when I am home sick. I noticed that the area is always pretty quiet and quite vacant which is quite nice but I wondered how much more alive and exciting the place would be with maybe a street vendor and entertainer scattered throughout the area. So, I decided to add a female fire performer and a street food vendor to liven up the area. I believe I made a new layer and opened the performer image. I used the magnetic lasso tool to cut out the performer without the background but then I ran into a problem. I was to somehow make this cut-out image appear on the background image but how was I supposed to do that when it was on different browsers. In all honesty, it took me about 10 minutes to figure this out and I ended up just searching up a video on how to do so. After a long 10 minutes of trial and errors, I dragged the performer image browser into the main background browser with the move tool until the two browsers were adjacent and I dragged the cropped part of the performer image onto the background image. I then adjusted the size of the performer image to best fit the background image with the size adjustment on the right side of the application. After, I proceeded to erase the rest of the remaining background portion left on the cropped performer using the background eraser tool. As soon as I was done, I repeated the same process with the street vendor image and I finally used the blur and smudge tool to blur/smudge the harsh lines of the street performer as well as the fire to help blend it into the background. Below are the three images used to create my final photoshopped photo as well as the final result.

Response to “Understanding Comics” Ch 1-4

Unfortunately, I fall under the category of the majority of people stereotyping comics as childish cartoons read solely for the purpose of wasting time. I had no intentions of ever reading a comic book before but I am relieved that this course has yet again helped me to open up to another new subject following Photoshop and coding. Overall, I genuinely really enjoyed this book so far as it was exceptionally fun and engaging and McCloud did an outstanding job of grabbing my attention as well as explaining all of these new, different complex ideas I have never heard of through his humor and eye-catching, clever illustrations. It honestly felt as if I were following the character throughout a movie.  The idea that really struck me the most was this concept of closure which I have not once ever even considered thinking about. Even with all these advanced technologies, we really do not have any guarantee that anything exists outside of what our five senses tell us. Not a single person on this planet has gone to every single place in this world and yet we still knows certain places exist through faith. The Moroccan example he used is similar to how before I decided to come to Shanghai, I have never been here before but I took it on “faith” as mentioned in the book that there really is a Shanghai. Now that I come to think of it, I had an idea of what this city might be like through the dependence of this “closure” and it is quite insane if you really think about it. Just like that, it is quite fascinating how through our active imagination, we are capable of consciously filling in the gaps between the panels to create our own interpreted, complete story. Although there is a blank gap in between these panels, we as readers assume that something has happened in between and we continue to create something and it’s incredible. 

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