July 2010 Archives

A convenient tie-down

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You know it's such a pain to have to tie off your kayak or canoe under your bumper. What cars need is a more convenient tie-off point.

Then again, maybe not.


I do this infrequently enough that I forget exactly how to do it almost every time. Then I have to look up a half dozen Photoshop masking tutorials to find the step that I'm forgetting. So here it is, once and for all:

There are a number of shortcuts ways to obscure things, not the least of which is painting a solid color rectangle over the spot and the totally ghetto "ms paint spray can technique" but I like the final result when done with a bit more finesse:

complete.jpgI obscured the phone number in this picture, which, as it turns out, was leaning downhill a bit. So I couldn't just paint a rectangle over it, either.

Open the original picture in Photoshop.

If the picture is in the background layer, select the background, then the menu item "Layer - New - Layer from Background..." Set the name of the layer to "image" and accept the remaining defaults.

In the Layers palette, select the new layer ("image") and then the menu item "Layer - Duplicate Layer." Set the name of the layer to "blurred." It obviously is not yet blurred, but it will be later on.
Set the paint color to white and using your tool of choice, paint white over the part you want to obscure. I usually use the pen tool which is good for rectangular items that are tilted/rotated.
2whitemask.jpgIn the Layers palette, drag the layers so the order is "blurred" then "Shape 1" then "image." If you have multiple things to blur, create shapes for each of the items then merge the layers into a single mask layer between "blurred" and "image."
Make sure "blurred" is selected in the Layers palette. Select the menu item "Filter - Pixellate - Mosaic..." and choose a pixel size that will obscure what you want to sufficiently. This will obscure the entire image but we'll fix that next.

In the Layers palette, select "blurred" then the menu item "Layer - Create Clipping Mask."
4withmask.jpg That's it!

A good, more in-depth, masking tutorial can be found here.

Volvo fuel filler door

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I know Volvos are known for having flimsy fuel filler doors, but this is ridiculous!


Rialto Bridge

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The Times Argus reports that the Rialto Bridge, where State Street crosses the North Branch of the Winooski river is in need of emergency repairs. Apparently a bridge abutment has failed.

In September 2009 I took a bunch of pictures along the North Branch including several under the bridge, and I'm not sure what most recently has failed, but certainly the bridge needs some TLC!

The most badly deteriorated part of the structure in the last picture is underneath the sidewalk, not under the roadway or building, which I'd guess is why that's not a more urgent problem.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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