Tag Archives: featured

Brand New Layout

Hi everyone. Not sure if anyone still visits Lucid Fanart but I’ve been working on a new layout for a while I’ve got the design down and I’ve started coding it (twice) but if you’ve been hanging around Lucid Fanart you may have noticed the layout change to a default layout.

I’m having a little bit of an issue with some plugins so I’ve simply turned them off for now but this means that the old layout wont work and there isn’t any real reason for me to fix it since I’ve started a new layout which I want to get round to finishing some point this year lol.

I’ve done a few new pieces of art work which you can see below and there is also a sneaky peak at the new layout.


The Clearfix

You may be wondering what the hell a clearfix is? Well quite simply its a better way of doing clear:both. Its fool proof and works in all browsers, and if you’re not sure what clear:both does, it basically puts a full stop after any floating div.

I see it a lot of the times on forums where people are having problems with their layouts or with the new staff at my work its generally the first thing we have to teach them, there are many problems that can occur when you apply floating div’s but 9 times out of 10 the clearfix will fix it! That’s how fool proof it is. If you can remember to use this you will find that coding sites will be much easier.  Below is an example of the most basic error so you can see what I mean.

Clearfix Eample

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So you must be thinking if this clearfix fixes so many problems it must be a pretty hefty piece of code, well no its really simple actually:

.clearfix:after { content:'.'; display:block; height:0; clear:both; visibility:hidden }
.clearfix { display:inline-block }
* html .clearfix { height:1% }
.clearfix { display:block }

That is all it is! Its CSS so its cross browser compatible, which if you’re in the web design industry you will find everything needs to be these days as you can see there are several different rules, these are as the first one .clearfix:after won’t be accepted by all browsers so there are separate rules that if all else fails the other rules will work.

There is even a shorter version but this hasn’t been tested on ie6 but it works all the way down to ie7 so if you’re like me and don’t really care about the people using ie6 as if they can’t update their browser they shouldn’t be on the internet (either because they are at work or they obviously don’t care about the quality of the websites they visit) you can use the code below.

.clearfix:before, .clearfix:after { content: ""; display: table; }
.clearfix:after { clear: both; }
.clearfix { zoom: 1; }

Ok so we know what we need to put into the style sheet but if you don’t put it in your markup correctly it’s just not going to work, so to make sure we know how to put it into the markup we need to understand what it does.

Like I said above what you are basically doing is putting a full stop after all the floating div’s that are causing you problems, to illustrate this I’ve mocked up a problem I’ve seen in the past and generally the most common problem.  Where you can see the wrapper div doesn’t fully extend the two floating div’s. You may think it’s not a problem now, but if you wanted to add a footer or add a background to the wrapper div you’re going to have a problem.

By simply adding the class of clearfix to the surrounding div you can see that the div now extends around the entire layout which is great if you want to create sections to sites you can clearly define the area while not being limited to what you can do within the area.

I have created a wireframe of the homepage of Lucid Fanart to show you how it would look without the clearfix and the simple css has saved me a lot of time, and a lot of screwy hacks trying to make everything fit into the space perfectly. As you can see from the example the dark black lines are the areas where I’ve put the clearfix and you can see a difference in the way everything lines up I haven’t even set positions on things I’ve simply written out the markup and done a few lines of CSS and it simply falls in to place.

Clearfix Lucid Fanart Example

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I hope you found this tutorial useful and that you are able to use the clearfix, if you need any help please post below and I’ll talk you through it, if you have an example please add it in and I’ll try and help specifically to your design.

Ajustment Layers: Levels

I wanted to do a tutorial on colour correction but when I started this I realised there are so many ways you can do colour correction that I might as well work though some of the adjustment layers and allow you to apply them to your work and combine them so this is the first of a set of tutorials devoted the Adjustment Layers.

How to find the Adjustment Layers

Adjustment Layers

There are several ways you can access the adjustment layers and depending on which version of photoshop you use it will differ and the panels will differ slightly I’m using photoshop cs5

First way you can access adjustment layers is by going to the menu bar at the top of your window and clicking on Image > Adjustments

The next way to access it is at the bottom of your layers palette, the icon of a circle cut into two and coloured black and white is the logo for adjustment layers.

The third way is for the CS4 and CS5 users and only if you have set up your workspace this way you can create quick links and put them anywhere I’ve stuck mine next to my layers palette so its easy access.

Now we know where they are lets start using them.

Ajustment Layers: Levels Palette

For this tutorial a pretty simple one, the Levels palette, with Levels you can modify the highlights, shadows, midtones and you can also target your basic RGB and improve your primary colours within your images. First get your photo, I like to always work with large images simply becuase its easier to reduce images to the size you want than increase them, so you will need to find a great gallery with lots of high quality images such as one of my all time favourite galleries Pretty as a Picture run by Dana of Chosen Art. I’ve chosen an old Buffy season one photo as a lot of the old Buffy images are quite dark and have a lot of mood lighting already applied to it, and with this tutorial I’ll try and show you how to create your own mood lighting.

Adjustment Layers Levels

Okay so first things first lets see what the Levels palette actually looks like and what’s on it.

Adjustment Layers Levels Layout

Preset Levels: these are defaults set by Adobe for easy and quick modifications generally these are very slight changes like brining out the highlights or darkening the shadows.

Colour Targeting: this dropdown allows you to target RGB which for the newbies means Red, Green and Blue those are your basic primary colours when it comes to digital images, and before anyone says primary colours are Red, Yellow and Blue, that is for things like paint and colours, RGB primary colours are for anything to do with light and everything digital are displayed on monitors or projects which use light rather than actual colours. To modify all the colours without actually giving priority to a single colour use the RGB option.

Image Level Chart: this is a histogram of the exposure levels on your image on your left side you have the shadows and on the right you have the highlights as you can see the image I chose is quite dark so it has more  pixel density on the left hand side telling us that it is a dark image, and if the image was over exposed there would be more on the right hand side.

Under the chart you have your points which are adjustable and moving them along the histogram to increase or reduce the depth of the selected point.

Shadow/Brightness: I don’t generally use this tool as it simply adjusts the amount of darkness and brightness in the image I much prefer to target specific areas… therefore I don’t know much about this tool so I’m not going to go into it in this tutorial.

Lets begin the tutorial by modifying a colour within the image. There are two main colours in this image, Blue, and Yellow so lets play on those colours and try and give this a eerie blue mood.

View Original / Blue Adjustment Levels

First select the colour targeting dropdown and select blue this give you a new histogram which represents the amount of blue in your image if we move the highlights and the midtones up the scale a bit we can change the turquoise blue to a much deeper blue and you can also see that her dress has turned a bit more blue even though there wasn’t much blue in there anyway this is becuase we are changing the highlights and there will have been a small bit of blue tone within the yellow.  [click the image to see a full size colour comparison between the original and our amendments.]

Now we have a blue image, we can also use this method to remove the blue from the image.

View Blue/Green Adjustment Levels

By moving all the points towards the other end of the scale we can almost completely remove any of the blue within the image this is a great way of quickly adjusting an odd unwanted colour in a picture.

With the levels palette you can combine the different colour targets together to create a new tone to the image. If you now use the colour target dropdown and select Red we can add some red to the image, there wasn’t much red in the image to begin with so this will be a good example of how levels creates colour from the colour that is already present in the image. If you repeat the same sort of action we did to bring out the blue in the image we can convert some of the yellow/green images to an orangey feel [click image below for a full preview of green to orange photo]

View Green/Red Adjustment Levels

However personally I prefer to use the levels tool to keep most of the colours as they are but bring out their natural colours to make things stand out more such as the brightness of the image, the easiest thing to use it the RGB setting as this will not modify the colours already set in the photo.  So let’s delete that adjustment layer and start afresh. (a good note about adjustment layers are the fact they are independent from the actual photo which means you can adjust the image with out actually affecting the image so if you decided you don’t like something you don’t have to start again this helps when you start using more than one adjustment layer.)

View original/lighting Adjustment Levels

Okay so I’ve lightened the image a bit reducing the amount of shadows by moving the highlights points up the scale and I’ve also soften the shadow, in the general colours by moving the midtones point up the scale. I wanted to keep my shadows black however so I’ve moved the shadow point down the scale a bit

And there we go, your basic adjustment layers palette. View the final outcome of the tutorial or click on the image in this post to view a larger version of the comparisons