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New Artistic Imposter Design Newsletter

Almost a decade ago, I wrote a series of monthly newsletters for Artistic Imposter Design, but I gave up on them after about six months. Well, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve restarted my monthly newsletters, and the first one was emailed out this morning. If you missed it, here is the link to the online version: https://mailchi.mp/d18fbd19d766/artistic-imposter-design-november-2019-newsletter.

Subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss another one!

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Nova Regula On Sale Now!

Last year, I wrote about a new game I was working on, Nova Regula. After several rounds of playtesting, a couple of modifications to the original rules, and way too much time sitting on the back burner, I have finally listed the game for sale at The Game Crafter. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Nova Regula Expansion Set, also available now!

Nova Regula

Nova Regula is a classic card game with one twist – the rules are always changing. Players take turns playing cards into the pot. If you can’t play a regular card, play an event card instead. Some event cards change the rules, but beware – the change may not be in your favor!

Includes a custom deck of 54 classic playing cards, 20 Event cards, and 30 Rules cards.

Available Now at The Game Crafter!



Spectacular Scenery 2018 Calendar Available for Purchase!

Still looking for that perfect wall calendar for next year? Look no further! My new Spectacular Scenery 2018 Calendar, featuring twelve of my best landscape photography prints, is available now for purchase from DeviantArt.

Each photograph in this calendar is also available as an individual print in various sizes. Photographs included in this calendar are:
Shelter Cove (2015)
View South from Mt. Konocti (2015)
Sunset at Highland Glen (2017)
Cottonwood Creek (2006)
Down By the Creek (2016)
Bonneville Salt Flats (2015)
Nebo Loop in July (2016)
Cabin in the Tetons (2006)
Field of Hay Bales (2016)
View From Scotts Bluff (2016)
Distant Mountains (2016)
Cleveland Reservoir Panorama (2015)

Visit DeviantArt now to get your copy!

Spectacular Scenery Calendar


New Game in the Works

Nova Regula

Over the last couple of weeks, I have dedicated some of my free time to working on a new card game, Nova Regula. Based on several classic card games, Nova Regula is designed to be easy to learn for even the most casual gamer.

Nova Regula utilizes a custom deck of 54 playing cards, 20 Event cards, and 30 Rules cards. Nova Regula follows the usual method of playing cards to the middle of the table, with one twist – the rules are always changing.

I have completed the game prototype and expect to begin playtesting soon. I plan to put the game up for sale in the next month or so, but in the meantime you can check out the product page at The Game Crafter.


Creating a Stereographic Projection in Photoshop

Several years ago, I came across a way to create cool and unique pieces of art from a photograph in Photoshop. This type of photograph is known as a stereographic projection or “little planet” and, while you don’t see too many people doing it anymore, it seems like it was kind of popular a few years ago. I made a few of these back then, and since I’ve always liked them I’ve recently started making them again.

To make this kind of art is actually pretty simple and requires only a couple of things: a great photograph and a copy of Adobe Photoshop or a similar image-editing program. The best stereographic projections use a type of picture called a 360-degree panorama. This means that the edge of one side of the panorama could be placed next to the opposite edge of the panorama and the two sides would form a continuous scene. These types of pictures are often created by standing in one place and taking continuous photographs while panning the camera in a 360-degree circle, then stitching the photos together in Photoshop or a similar program. Many smartphone cameras now have a panorama feature that makes this easier.

So what do you do if you can’t get a 360-degree panoramic photograph? There are two options: either fake it by editing the image you have, or mirror the image. I have done both, and both options can provide great results.

Faking It

First, I want to show you how to fake it. I’ll use a copy of my photograph, Hovenweep, taken at Hovenweep National Monument.
Hovenweep by K. Bradley Washburn

Photoshop Offset Dialog Box

After opening the photograph in Photoshop, I will go to the “Filter” menu, scroll down to “Other,” and choose “Offset…” from the pop-out menu. In the “Horizontal” text field in the dialog box that pops up, I will type “1000” and click the “OK” button. My image will now look like this:

Hovenweep Offset

I can now use the Clone Stamp tool to replace areas of the image along the seam so that the offset sides flow into each other without a noticeable difference. Since we are creating a stereographic projection the seam doesn’t have to be perfect, but I will still make it look really good. Once I am finished with that, my image will look like this:

Hovenweep Clone Stamped

You can still see a couple of places where I could have tried to make it look better, but it will be fine in the final result. Now that I have erased the seam, I will go to the “Image” menu, scroll down to “Image Rotation,” and choose “180°.” Back in the “Filter” menu, I will scroll down to “Distort,” and choose “Polar Coordinates…” In the dialog box, make sure the “Rectangluar to Polar” radio button in selected and click “OK.” My image will now look like this:

Hovenweep Polar Coordinates

The last step is to resize the image so that is a square. Some people do this step right after using the Clone Stamp tool, but I prefer to do it last. When I do it earlier in the process, I occasionally get weird artifacts in my final image. To complete this step, I will go to the “Image” menu again and choose “Image Size.” In the dialog box, I will make sure the “Resample” check box is selected and the link icon between Width and Height is not selected. I will choose “Pixels” from the drop down menu next to Width. Then I will change the value in the text box next to Width to match the value in the text box next to Height, and click “OK.”

Image Size Dialog Box

My final image looks like this:

Hovenweep Stereographic Projection Tutorial Final

Although not perfect, my seam is now not even visible. It’s a little different from my first version because the Offset value in my first version was different, but that’s how it’s done!

Mirroring

For this example, I will use a different image. I’ll open up a copy of my photograph Cottonwood Creek in Photoshop. The first thing I will do is go to the Layers panel, click the lock icon on the Background layer, right-click on the layer, and choose “Duplicate Layer.” I now have two layers, each with the Cottonwood Creek image.

From the “Image” menu, I will now choose “Canvas Size.” In the dropdown box next to Width, I will choose “Percent.” Then in the text field next to Width, I will change “100” to “200” and click “OK.” This will double the width of the canvas while keeping the height the same.

Cottonwood Creek Canvas Resized

Using the Selection Tool, I will drag one layer clear to the right of the canvas and drag the other layer clear to the left of the canvas. Then, with just one layer selected, I will go the “Edit” menu, scroll down to “Transform,” and choose “Flip Horizontal.” This creates a mirrored landscape and my image now looks like this:

Cottonwood Creek mirrored

With the top layer selected, I will now press “CMD+E” (Mac) or “CTRL+E” (Windows) to merge the two layers, and follow the steps I took above to rotate the image, map to polar coordinates, and resize to a square. My final image will look like this:

Cottonwood Creek Mirrored Stereographic Projection

That’s all there is to it! With a nice photograph and a decent image-editing program anyone can create a stereographic projection.