"If we teach today's students as we taught yesterday's, we rob them of tomorrow." --John Dewey

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Use SumoPaint for Picture Perfect Summer Fun

Okay, so maybe you're not able to travel this summer--not everybody can.  But, each of you can make it look like you've had wonderful adventures worthy of the envy of your friends and relatives through the magic of photo editing.

PhotoShop, of course, is a wonderful, well-known photo editing program, but for those of us who don't have access to the pricey program there is an economical alternative that can give equally remarkable results.  Create a free account at sumopaint.com, and you can begin creating superimposed photos that look amazingly realistic, and will help you create the illusion of world travels or epic adventures.

Once you click on the Start Drawing button you will be directed to your canvas and tool palette.  There's much to explore, with lots of drawing and shape tools with which you can easily create some amazing works of art.  Just as with Photo Shop, you can create your artwork in layers, and add effects using the Layer and Filters menus.

Under the File menu you'll find Import to Layer.  This command will allow you to import photos that you have saved to your computer, or from a web URL.  So, go ahead.  Import a photo of the Taj Mahal, for example, and then import a photo of yourself or your family into a new layer.  Now use the lasso tool to carefully trace around your outline, go to Select and choose Inverse.  Now use the Edit menu to Cut away anything that was in the picture with you, and suddenly you are in Agra!  Yes, using the lasso tool takes some practice, and a lot of patience, but I assure you the results you get are well worth the time and effort.  What's that you say?  The proportions aren't quite right?  Adjust your size using the Free Transform tool.

When you are finished working, you can use the Save button to store your work on the SumoPaint site, or go to File and Save to My Computer if you're using the site without having created an account (I usually have my students use this option).  If yours is a work still in progress, be sure to save your art as a .sumo file to maintain the layers you created.  Saving as a .jpg or .png file will merge the layers into a single picture file.  If you save to the Sumo Paint site, notice that one of your options is to Publish to Facebook.  Isn't that the perfect way to keep your friends up to date on your global getaways?!  Happy travels, everyone!

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