Post-Production Software – Part 4

MyPaint is a program designed for the creation of digital art or artistic expression on a digital image in .PNG; . JPEG or .ORA (Open Raster images). Do not worry if you do not understand the “Open Raster” terminology for a file format. This .ORA format will largely only be used by or applicable to professional artists.

For those that do use the Open Raster format, you will be interested to know that you can transfer .ORA images between GIMP and MyPaint.

MyPaint does not as much occur in the daily workflow of a photographer, unless there is a special ordered image to be styled or retouched as a painting.

Parents, this is a wonderful and inexpensive alternative to getting an artistic interpretation of your child’s professional portrait. Using one of your favorite photographs of you child, import the photo in .JPEG (.JPG is the same format) into MyPaint and use the different brushes for your desired effect.

Copyright of Foetoss Light 2012

I took a photo I had taken, imported it into MyPaint and used different brush style to compliment or fit the texture of the surface being altered. Now it has a feel or photograph and hand painting.

Artistically inclined users will find MyPaint intuitive. Be sure to look around the menus. There are many hot keys listed next to the operation in the menu. (The menus being “File”, “Edit” and so on.)

Capabilities: Layers, Brush Styles, Quick Tool Selection, Paper Texture, Single Key Hot-Keys and Quick Working Surface Positioning.

Strengths: The software is very attentive to each detail, including mouse cursor position, touch-pad scrolling and touch-pad selection. These three touch-pad specific things will affect your work by rotating your work surface, zoom in or out or move your work surface in the opposite direction of your mouse cursor’s position. Quite a surprise if you are not expecting the help.

MyPaint is a “light” program meaning that it is quick to respond and resourceful in its operations so as not to require large amounts of CPU time and Swap space. (Those are technical terms for “thinking power” = CPU time and “temporary memory” = Swap space.)

Weaknesses: While I have a hard time saying this, it is true. MyPaint devotes 75% of its power and ability to graphics pads like the Wacom tablets. It is still possible to use the program (MyPaint) without a graphics tablet, but it is not as fluid or convenient. This is not to make a case against the program. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to make a program as effective with both graphics tablet and touch-pad.

This is a strong program also young in the market as Darktable. MyPaint is currently on version 1.0. While I have not found bugs in MyPaint, I must confess I do not have the time or experience in the program that I would like.

Each program has its own capabilities, strengths and weaknesses just as we will choose them based on our use for the program’s applicable service.

Photographer’s block

You have heard of writers getting “Writer’s block”; well, have you ever experienced “Photographer’s block”? It is the most uninspiring feeling and demoralizing experience for a photographer to perceive no new ideas or creative takes on classic genius. Take heart! You are not that first to come to this dilemma, so there are people with experience to help you nor will you be the last to experience this seeming lull of creativity!

Photographing your children often prolongs the creativity because you are not required to supply all of the creativity, but simply play off of the child’s cute antics. Posed shots require more creativity in finding the right surroundings and the most flattering positions. There are times when you feel creativity waning that even pointing the camera in the right direction with the children in view and opening the shutter does not produce the desired end.

This is where I have a suggestion that has helped me through some awful “slumps”.

Take one item, an object, color, letter, number or brand and shoot it for a period of time. Choose something far from the style you have been shooting. I have found focusing on this new style for a period of time helps to rejuvenate my creativity.

It helps to think of creativity as a renewable substance. It is not completely used once you see nothing more, but simply a call for you to step away and begin to take awe in a new interest of creation.

This post is short and sweet, but I hope it provides you with some ways to renew your God-given creativity! Enjoy and God bless!