Sunday, March 23, 2014

Changes To A Sherlock Holmes Design In A Photo Editor Program

I hope you like the BBC television Sherlock Holmes series.  No? Somewhat tepid on the subject?  You may find the editing of a Sherlock Holmes design in a Photoshop layers editor type of program more to your liking.

This is not a "how to" instruction on the layers program, there are lots of step by step instructions on and the internet, it will though give an idea of the flexibility of the layers program should you want to try it and some thoughts on this particular design.

Here is the original design of one of my Sherlock Holmes images:

Technical stuff:

One can choose from different script in the editor program and the lettering type and size can be changed as the overall design develops.  Additional script can be loaded into a Photoshop type of editor.  As long as the layers of the design are saved (it is a separate file like any other image or photo with it's own extension) the design can always be changed using the file.  The Union Jack flag, umbrella, violin, script and textures (the shading and texture) are all separate objects with each on it's own layer.

Design stuff:

I really like the graphic bold lines and color of the British flag.  It is a fairly simple design with no curving lines, the red and white stripes repeating throughout.  I can understand why it is seen everywhere and on everything British or not, it looks good.

My only regret is the British flag should not be on chair seats or used in any way that treats it as a common object.  Most would agree Sherlock Holmes works for the good of British citizens and others, I believe in Sherlock Homes!  This image will most likely hang on a wall or set on a table or desk.

As I finished this design I thought I could add more detail which in this case may make it more interesting especially if it is something of a personal nature.   By adding a violin bow, I thought it wouldn't be overly hard to find an image and execute.  As mentioned in an earlier post I found one and contacted the company for permission to use it since it was not a public domain image.  Here is the image with the added violin bow which is on it's own layer so it can be moved anywhere, angled to any degree, duplicated as many times as desired even a mirror image can be made with all of the aforementioned:

I feel this is a nice image and would like to keep it, then I got another idea and thought it would be nice to have Sherlock's overcoat in the image too.  The idea for the coat was for it to be on a hanger or hung on a wall peg looking as though he had just left the room and would be coming back later.

I have tried to stay away from using any identifying images or drawings of celebrity faces because if used for commercial purposes it is against the law unless there is a signed release, it doesn't matter if you took the picture yourself or someone else did unless it is for editorial use only, it is not lawful.  To avoid this potentially messy problem one has to be creative.  The coat was a little more difficult to find since it couldn't be on a body and not Benedict Cumberbatch's!

I found a coat and here is the image:

What do you think?  I wanted it to look like Sherlock had just whipped into the room, like he does, hot on a case spouting out nonsensical words, seemingly on the surface, but in reality clues to the case!  On closer examination one can tell it is not a wood trench coat and more like a jacket.  It's poetic license, I'll explain that later.  My sister thought the coat looked like a shroud!  In order for it not too look like this is about an undertaker, should I slim it down slightly so there is less black?  I don't want it to be too narrow, lose it's shape and folds so it is hard to tell what it is or be too small and compromise the look of the design.  The rule of thumb is to have varied sizes and mass of objects for interest.

Although he usually doesn't take his violin with him I used poetic license.  This is what I told my sister when I made Cumberbatche's overcoat a dark tweed in one of my images amidst her cries that I couldn't do it since Cumberbatch's coat is a solid dark fabric.  Does Cumberbatch now rule out all other Sherlocks?!! "Pleeeze" I told her, "I need some T E X T U R E!"  It was a compromise.  Earlier movie images show Sherlock in country tweeds. Let's never forget history, that's what makes us who we are today!