All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
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Everything Dinosaur’s work with photoshop and other platforms.

14 05, 2011

Fun with Photoshop CS5

By | May 14th, 2011|Adobe CS5, Main Page|0 Comments

Applying Photoshop to Pterosaurs

They say that practice makes perfect when it comes to using Photoshop CS5, well if that is the case, team members at Everything Dinosaur are going to need a lot of practice before they become anything like proficient.  However, through a combination of trial and error they are getting a little more used to some of the tools in this powerful software programme.

For example, regular practice with the pen tool (short cut control P or an PC) is helping the team to gain confidence and although you wouldn’t call the latest attempts brilliant there are signs of improvement.  Today’s work involved cutting out various images of Pterosaurs (flying reptiles) and creating layers and then trying to put them onto a single picture.  The background image was that of a rocky seashore on the northern cost of Anglesey, visited recently by Everything Dinosaur team members on a fossil hunt.

Various models were cut out and a vector mask was applied to one layer (layer three showing the Brazilian Pterosaur Anhanguera), this allowed the gap between the Pterosaur’s foot and its wing to be filled with an image of the background image, so this “huge whole” in our artwork would not show to much.  How we created the vector mask, and painted it is a bit of a mystery – but we got there, that’s the main thing.  We do seem to be heading in the right direction – although very slowly.

Everything Dinosaur’s Pterosaur Cliffs Picture

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We do have a long way to go, but a journey of a thousand miles…

12 05, 2011

Blinking Into the Light that is CS Photoshop 5

By | May 12th, 2011|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Our First Attempts at Using the Pen Tool (Everything Dinosaur)

With the introduction of the new Adobe Creative Suite 5 software at Everything Dinosaur, it is time to go back to school.  This new photo and image manipulation software looks a little daunting but we have signed up for a evening class to help us gain confidence and develop our skills.  What a fascinating area of technology the creating and editing of images is – but it is very complicated for us novices more at home with a geology hammer than a mouse.

First steps on the road to creating new and exciting images were taken last night on session one of our evening course.  Like virtually all subjects, even palaeontology, practice and revision makes you better and our first mission is to gain better control of the pen tool.

We have used the pen tool before, we even know the keyboard short cut (press P), but we are far from expert.  Normally, we use the lasso tool in its various guises to cut out shapes, for example the magnetic lasso tool.  From this we have upgraded to using the pen tool to create and select a path.  This is where the fun starts.  We can zoom in using the navigator viewing screen and cut out pictures quite accurately using the pen tool using the straight line format.  After all, this is nothing more than sophisticated join-the-dots.  We can then make our path selection and there you have it the cut out image ready to manipulate.

But what about objects with curves?  Not wishing to make our website or indeed our cyberspace world look like a backdrop for the Disney movie Tron we are having a go at using the “alt” key to manage and manipulate curves – tricky.

Below is our first attempt, not including our attempt at creating a selection path round an apple at last nights tutorial.

Pen Tool Used to Cut Round “Clever Catch” Beach Ball

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We accept it might not be perfect and cutting out a round shape is very easy, although you do need to work out with care when to start and stop the curves (position of the anchor points).  We will continue to practice and with the addition of a vector mask or two we hope to produce some interesting effects over the next few weeks.

We cut round a shape (made a selection path) then duplicated the layer and then manipulated one against the other.  Using a vector mask we were able to make bits of the image at the back appear to be seen through the background image making our “Clever Catch” dinosaur beach ball look an odd shape.  We then added text to see if we could – just for a dare.

From little acorns…

13 01, 2011

Schleich Saurus Model Poster

By | January 13th, 2011|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Schleich Dinosaur Model Frieze

Those clever people at Schleich, the German based model and figure manufacturer have produced another illustration showing their beautiful scale model dinosaurs.  The range, marketed as the “Saurus” range consists of twelve, hand-painted prehistoric animal models including Allosaurus, Giganotosaurus and of course, T. rex representing the carnivores plus herbivores such as Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Parasaurolophus and the armoured dinosaur Saichania.

The Schleich Saurus Dinosaur Frieze

Picture Credit: Schleich

The illustration shows herbivores from the range with the Pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus flying overhead.  Of course, such a scene could never have happened, not only did the animals depicted in the picture live millions of years apart, but many of them also lived in very different parts of the world.  For example, the Stegosaurus in the image lived in what was the western United States, whilst Saichania was native to Asia.

To view the Schleich Saurus models: Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls and Dinosaur Models

Still, all credit to the Schleich staff and their photo shop skills.

4 01, 2011

Cutting out the Microraptors

By | January 4th, 2011|Adobe CS5, Main Page|0 Comments

Fiddly Feathered Dinosaurs – Microraptor

With the new year well under way, time to change one of the banners on the Everything Dinosaur website.  Not the easiest of tasks as none of us at the company would describe ourselves as particularly gifted when it comes to photoshop skills.  However, we are determined to have a go and after the first few days of January, the “Happy New Year” banner had to go.

The subject for our next banner was to be a forest scene, depicting a feathered dinosaur.  We tried to imagine what it would have been like to visit the Liaoning Province of what was to become northern China during the early Cretaceous.

It took a bit of effort but we were able to secure the image of some forest undergrowth, to this we added the images of two feathered dinosaurs – Microraptor (Microraptor gui).  We have tried to depict these two small, bird-like dinosaurs as if they were displaying to each other.

Microraptors Displaying in the Early Cretaceous Forest

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows a Microraptor dinosaur model, specifically the Carnegie Collection Microraptor dinosaur, an excellent example of a feathered dinosaur model.

This feathered dinosaur was at least in part arboreal (living in the trees).  It was capable of gliding according to some interpretations of the fossil evidence.  Microraptor had long feathers on its arms and legs.  When spread apart, these would have provided an effective gliding surface, perhaps permitting this little crow-sized animal to glide from tree to tree.  The tail was also feathered and it had a plume, presumably to help this little dinosaur steer whilst in flight.

In the dark understorey of the Cretaceous forests, it is possible that many dinosaurs were brightly coloured to help them display to each other.  Although very little is known about dinosaur colouration, certainly any fossil material associated with the Microraptor genus does not reveal information about possible colour, Microraptors are generally depicted as colourful creatures and we think they stand out quite well against the dark vegetation.

The model chosen for this scene was the Microraptor replica from the Safari collection, to view the range of models made by this company:

Carnegie models and dinosaur toys: Dinosaur Toys for Boys and Girls – Model Dinosaurs

1 01, 2011

Happy New Year from Everything Dinosaur

By | January 1st, 2011|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Happy New Year to all our Readers

January 1st and just time to write to thank all our readers for staying with us over the last twelve months or so and to wish them all a peaceful and prosperous new year.  We put up a new banner on the front page of the Everything Dinosaur website Everything Dinosaur last night marking the start of 2011.

Happy New Year from Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Not to sure why we put a Quetzalcoatlus on the banner, Pterosaurs are not traditionally associated with new year (not so far as we know), but I suspect this flying reptile was quite quick to photoshop which is why it was chosen.

Perhaps as it is soon to be the Chinese new year and it is going to be the year of the rabbit we subconsciously posted up a picture of an animal that if it were around today, may well feed on rabbits, hares and all things Lagomorpha.  Personally, I think the former is more likely to be the case.

Happy New Year!

10 11, 2010

Everything Dinosaur Website Permits a Little Bit of Creativity

By | November 10th, 2010|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Christmas Greetings!

The newly upgraded and improved Everything Dinosaur website permits the team members to express a little bit of creativity as they have the opportunity to put up their own visuals and images of dinosaurs.

The home page of the website contains a number of special slots or “skins” which permit the addition of new visuals, which Everything Dinosaur team members can develop and add.  For the dinosaur experts and teachers in the company this has meant that they have had to learn some new skills, but they have the chance to customise images and pictures and post up their own original content.

The company invests in a lot of photography, and Everything Dinosaur has built up an extensive library of images, pictures, artwork and drawings related to dinosaurs and dinosaur toys and models, so it is time for team members to indulge in a little creativity.

Christmas Greetings – An Image Produced by Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows a couple of the Ice Age soft toys from Everything Dinosaur, displayed against a seasonal background, one of a number of new images the company has planned for their home page.

A spokesperson for Everything Dinosaur stated:

“We are giving everybody in the company the opportunity to take part, lots of ideas and designs have been suggested, the trick is that whoever thinks of an idea has to work out how to create the image and then get it posted up online”.

More used to using a brush to dust away sand grains from an outcropping fossil, no doubt the staff will soon get used to the new paint shop skills and brush strokes required to customise their own artwork related to dinosaur models and images.

Visit Everything Dinosaur: Everything Dinosaur Website

3 09, 2008

Schleich Dinosaur Models (Dinosaurs)

By | September 3rd, 2008|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Schleich Dinosaur Models

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have created an image which shows three Schleich dinosaur models, namely Brachiosaurus, the sail-backed Spinosaurus and Allosaurus.

A Trio of Schleich Dinosaurs

Schleich dinosaurs are available from Everything Dinosaur.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The German model manufacturer Schleich has built up a solid reputation for making dinosaur toys and prehistoric animal models. These replicas are great for imaginative, creative play.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s current range of Schleich dinosaur toys: Schleich Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

29 03, 2008

Demonstrating Dinosaurs Growing up Using Dinosaur Models

By | March 29th, 2008|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans|0 Comments

Juvenile Dracorex Dinosaurs

One of the rewarding things that team members at Everything Dinosaur can do is to use dinosaur models to show young dinosaur fans what we think juvenile dinosaurs looked like.  As dinosaurs grew so they changed, developing characteristics such as horns and crests that are associated with mature adult animals.  To illustrate this point, we choose to use our photoshop skills to modify an image of the Wild Safari Dinos Dracorex dinosaur model.  In this way, we could demonstrate ontogeny in prehistoric animals.

Dracorex – A Mature Individual with a Juvenile

Dinosaur models show

Dinosaur models show different growth stages (Wild Safari Dinosaurs)

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The adult in the foreground is larger, the scutes more pronounced and prominent.  The cheek colours are much brighter along with the yellow throat pouch, these are signs that this is mature adult ready to breed.  The much smaller juvenile lacks these features, the ornamentation on the head is very underdeveloped in comparison with the adult.  In this way, Dracorex dinosaur models can be used to illustrate aspects of the ontogeny of the Dinosauria.

To view Everything Dinosaur’s range of dinosaur models: Dinosaur and Prehistoric Animal Models

27 03, 2008

Sabre-Tooth Cat Up Close

By | March 27th, 2008|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur Products|0 Comments

Capturing the Essence of a Sabre-Toothed Cat

Team members at Everything Dinosaur have tried to capture the essence of the Smilodon genus in a single picture.  It was obviously really, we had to focus on these huge upper canines that give these cats their name.  Remember these animals were not closely related to extant tigers.

A Close up of a Model of the Head of a Sabre-Toothed Cat

A Picture of a Sabre-Toothed Cat

Can't call it a Sabre-Toothed Tiger

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Slowly but surely Everything Dinosaur team members are getting more confident when it comes to using Photoshop CS5 and other tools.  It really was an excellent Smilodon model to practice our skills on.

25 07, 2007

How to make Pteranodon Fly

By | July 25th, 2007|Adobe CS5, Dinosaur Fans, Main Page|0 Comments

How to make Pteranodon Fly (requires a bit of magic from Photoshop)

Pteranodon is one of the most well known of all the Pterosaurs (flying reptiles).  It was discovered in the 1870s and Pteranodon remains have been found in North America, Europe and Japan.  It was one of the last of the flying reptiles to evolve and with some species such as Pteranodon longiceps having wingspans in excess of 9 metres it is one of the largest Pterosaurs known.  Until the likes of Quetzalcoatlus came along in the 1970s, Pteranodon was thought to be the largest flying reptile of all.

As a result of Pteranodon’s popularity it tends to be well represented in the series of prehistoric animal models that are available.  At Everything Dinosaur we have worked on a number of projects to do with Pterosaurs, including Pteranodon and when it came to advising on the new Dinosaur Collection series which was launched this year, not surprisingly the manufacturers wanted to include a Pteranodon in the first batch of models produced.

No problem, there are plenty of designers and artists who can produce prototypes of this animal.  There are enough fossils for us to have a good idea of their anatomy.  Most of the models of this animal are of P. longiceps (the one with the backward pointing crest).

The Dinosaur Collections Pteranodon can be seen here: Everything Dinosaur

It is all very well adding a Pterosaur to a model series, but this does pose a problem when it comes to photography.  When placed next to the other models on the table, Pterosaurs just don’t look very good.  It must be rather upsetting for a Pteranodon to have to be balanced on one side next to the land dwelling models in the collection, so for our recent photography work we decided to make our Pteranodon model fly.

You can see the results in the picture : “The Dinosaur Collection Set”.  To achieve the effect of the Pteranodon soaring majestically over the other models, we first tried holding the model by the finger tips in the shot.  The photographer took some shots and then we used “Photoshop” to remove the hand so that the animal looked like it was flying.  All in a days work when it comes to models of Pteranodon.

Giving Pteranodon a “hand” to fly

Picture courtesy of Everything Dinosaur

This did not give us the effect that we really wanted so we resorted to using a piece of thin cotton to suspend the Pteranodon in mid air above the rest of the dinosaur collection model series.

A Suspended Pteranodon

Pteranodon takes to the air

Picture Courtesy of Everything Dinosaur

It took a steady hand and a bit of patience but we were able to get the shot we wanted, but it was a great way to display this set of prehistoric animal models.

Many teams of scientists have spent huge sums of money making scale models of Pterosaurs in a bid to understand how they flew.  Aerodynamics, bone structure, the effect of the crests on stability – all these factors have been studied by some of the keenest minds in science.  The girls were able to achieve their very own flying Pteranodon using a bit of feminine ingenuity and some cotton.  All in the aim of displaying Everything Dinosaur’s dinosaur and Pterosaur models.

To view the Dinosaur Collection model series: Dinosaur Toys for Boys – Dinosaur Models

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