All about dinosaurs, fossils and prehistoric animals by Everything Dinosaur team members.
/Adobe CS5

Everything Dinosaur’s work with photoshop and other platforms.

18 06, 2011

Getting to Grips with Adobe Creative Suite 5

By | June 18th, 2011|Adobe CS5, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Main Page|0 Comments

Up, Up and Away with Some New Banners

Oh, the joys of Adobe Creative Suite 5, it certainly is a powerful piece of software, one that can be quite baffling, especially for us dinosaurs.  However, we are persevering and slowly but surely becoming a little more confident about using it.

Being able to open and browse in the “bridge” function has been a revelation.  We have so many pictures and other images that this facility makes finding exactly what we want extremely easy.  No more exasperating searches before we can start work on a project.  The split screen/multi image screen view is also helpful, making it easy to toggle from one image to another.  Simply being able to save our work “specifically for the web or other devices” is also very handy, this will help with the Everything Dinosaur blog a great deal.

One of our Newly Created Banners

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

We would not regard ourselves as competent, not by any means, but with a little effort we are beginning to make progress.  We have created a number of small banners and uploaded them to the main Everything Dinosaur website, our next project will be to try a new large banner for the site.  The banners need to be a specific size and we have had fun learning how to cut out shapes (especially the curves) but we are slowly and surely getting there.

24 05, 2011

The Trilobite Hunt – Deep into Wales

By | May 24th, 2011|Adobe CS5, Educational Activities, Everything Dinosaur News and Updates, Geology, Main Page|3 Comments

The Everything Dinosaur Trilobite Excursion

Finally, the day arrived when we could set off to Wales in order to explore a quarry which was rich in Trilobite fossils.  This was the first time that we had visited this location and we were not to be disappointed.  The location in Powys, is actually a private quarry and permission must be granted by the owner before we could visit.  After booking into a delightful local Bed and Breakfast establishment that evening, we awoke refreshed and ready to go on our long awaited Trilobite hunt.

Fortified by an English (should that be Welsh) cooked breakfast, we set off to drive the short distance to the quarry.  Having found our way to the site and parked the van, our first challenge was to negotiate the curious sheep that quickly gathered to investigate us.

Curious Welsh Sheep Come to Say Hello

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Unfortunately, we discovered that the large plastic bucket that we use to carry our tools in – geological hammer, chisels, a plastic sheet for sitting on etc. must have been the same size and shape as the bucket that the sheep get fed out of.  They thought the Everything Dinosaur team members were about to provide them with lunch.

Once over the gate and passed the by now very disappointed sheep, we made our way to the actual fossil site.  We had been advised that Trilobite remains, particularly Ogyginus genera were superabundant and soon we all had found various specimens.  Fossils of cast pygidium were particularly common. There was no need to split many of the rocks, although splitting those amongst the scree slope proved relatively easy – just a case of striking the rock with the head end of our geological hammer at the right angle.  We even found one or two examples of Trinucleid Trilobites, easily distinguished by their over-sized cephalons.  The shales had layers of ash that were prominent in some places of the quarry, betraying this marine environment’s volcanic history – things have changed a lot since the Ordovician.

The Trilobite Site (Tile Quarry)

Searching for Trilobites in Wales

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Gloves proved very handy (no pun intended), the rocks have sharp edges and the wearing of gloves avoids cut fingers and scratches.  After a couple of hours of searching we settled down to our picnic lunch, admiring the wonderful views of the Welsh countryside as we did so.  There were no Red Kites to be seen (we had been told to look out for them), but the boggy ground seemed to be home to a number of newts that we were careful leave in peace.

A Selection of our Trilobite Finds

A selection of our Trilobite Fossils

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows some of our finds, the ruler and twenty-pence piece provide scale.

After a bit more searching and one or two rain showers, we decided to call it a day, we had a review of our finds on site took some more photographs and then packed up, making sure that we left no litter.  A most enjoyable day, rounded off by a visit to a superb Thai restaurant and then a bit of bat watching as we wandered back to the B and B.

Our thanks to Pete Lawrence for the pointers,  over the next few days we will sort through the fossils that we brought back and put some on display in our warehouse display cases.

We had been lucky with the weather, although we had dressed as if we were going up the north face of the Eiger (be prepared is our motto, as there is no shelter in the quarry), we only had one or two light showers to contend with.  On the way back we stopped to take a picture of the beautiful bluebells growing in profusion further down the hill.

The Wonderful Welsh Scenery

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows the very pretty bluebells that were in full flower, lower down the slopes.  This picture enabled us to use some of our newly learnt skills as we experiment with CS5 Photoshop.  There was an ugly telegraph pole in this photograph and we at first struggled to remove it from our picture, however this is how we resolved that particular problem.

1).  Changed status of background layer (layer_1) so that we could manipulate image

2).  Roughly highlighted offending pole using the pen tool (any selection tool would have done).

3).  When selection selected, right click – fill – then in the drop down box click on content aware, press return and hey presto the object disappears and the background is cleverly filled in around the object.

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

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