Sisters of the Southern Sky

by Scott ChitwoodTuesday November 30th, 2010
Posted in Desktop Gallery, Fractal Flames

A pair of desktops for your consideration.  Rendered in Oxidizer alpha with the addition of some minor tweaks in Photoshop for the initial composition, then tossed into PostworkShop 1.1 for some exploratory texturization and splotchurizing to produce the alternate version.

sisters of the southern sky by Scott Chitwood

Widescreen ( 16:10 )  :  1440×900  :  1680×1050  :  1920×1200  :  2560×1600
Widescreen ( 16:9 )  :  1920×1080  :  2560×1440
Fullscreen ( 4:3 )  :  1024×768  :  1600×1200
Tall Screen  :  1280×1024
Mobile  :  iPhone  :  iPhone Retina Display  :  iPad  :  Netbook

sisters of the southern sky (alternate) by Scott Chitwood

Widescreen ( 16:10 )  :  1440×900  :  1680×1050  :  1920×1200  :  2560×1600
Widescreen ( 16:9 )  :  1920×1080  :  2560×1440
Fullscreen ( 4:3 )  :  1024×768  :  1600×1200
Tall Screen  :  1280×1024
Mobile  :  iPhone  :  iPhone Retina Display  :  iPad  :  Netbook

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Spherical Psychosis

by Scott ChitwoodWednesday November 17th, 2010
Posted in Desktop Gallery, Fractal Flames

Dude, don’t go all mental on me, I’m trying to make pancakes here!

spherical-psychosis by Scott Chitwood

Widescreen ( 16:10 )  :  1440×900  :  1680×1050  :  1920×1200  :  2560×1600
Widescreen ( 16:9 )  :  1920×1080  :  2560×1440
Fullscreen ( 4:3 )  :  1024×768  :  1600×1200
Tall Screen  :  1280×1024
Mobile  :  iPhone  :  iPhone iOS4  :  iPad  :  Netbook

Rendered in Oxidizer alpha.  Post processed in Photoshop for color intensity, color values, and blurred edges.

Long Crested Eagle no.3

by Scott ChitwoodTuesday November 9th, 2010
Posted in Desktop Gallery, Photography

Another shot of the coolest raptor at the World Bird Sanctuary, an African Long Crested Eagle named Chrys.  Wanting to take a different approach with this image I fired up PostworkShop 1.1 with a half-formed idea to find a texture and brush style to complement Chrys’ feathered crest and was happily surprised with quick results.  The effected image was then additionally post processed in Photoshop to tweak the color to a nice warm brown.

Long Crested Eagle no.3 by Scott Chitwood

Widescreen ( 16:10 )  :  1440×900  :  1680×1050  :  1920×1200  :  2560×1600
Widescreen ( 16:9 )  :  1920×1080  :  2560×1440
Fullscreen ( 4:3 )  :  1024×768  :  1600×1200
Tall Screen  :  1280×1024
Mobile  :  iPhone  :  iPhone iOS4  :  iPad  :  Netbook

  • Model = Nikon D40
  • Exposure Time = 1/200 sec
  • F-Stop = f/5.3
  • Exposure Program = Aperture priority
  • ISO Speed Ratings = 200
  • Focal Length = 160.0 mm
  • Date/Time = March 27th, 2009 10:27 a.m.
  • Location = World Bird Sanctuary
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Review: PostworkShop 1.1

by Scott ChitwoodSaturday October 23rd, 2010
Posted in More Than Words

Artistic Effects for your Images; Transform Pictures Into Works of Art

Chances are we’ve all seen these two expressions applied in some similar form to more image editing apps we can/care to remember.  Yet the true measure of this, or any other product, is whether or not those promises are delivered.

PostworkShop meets and exceeds those promises in a big way; effects are artistic, transformations run the gamut from subtle to spectacular.  Add a couple of other strengths to that list…

  • Easy to use and fun to play with.
  • Powerful and accessible features the average consumer can quickly understand and make use of.

These strengths are all due the backbone of Styles that PostworkShop uses to transform your images.  Comparably we might think of these as Effects/Filters built into other image editors (Photoshop, etc.) and we would even find that many Styles perform the same/closely similar functions to what the big kid down the block uses.  Things diverge a bit from there.

Organized within major categories and related sub-categories are 350 Styles: User, Building Blocks, Drawing, Painting, Graphic Arts, and Photo are all on the top tier.  Drill down through each of the sub-categories and you’ll find a wealth of artistic avenues to explore.

PostworkShop Styles Tab

Adding a Style to your composition is an easy drag and drop into the Style Layers menu.  And this is where things start to get interesting, adjustments to opacity and layer blending options are highly recommended for fine-tuning the default Style.

PostworkShop Properties + Preview tab

In addition to that, most Styles can be further tweaked from the Properties + Preview tab.  The Browse button within this particular dialog gives the user an opportunity to switch out the brush tip and paint media.

PostworkShop Style Drag & Drop

Though I’m not sure if this is the correct terminology, Style Stacks open the door to a nearly endless array of artistic possibilities.  Drop three or more Styles over one another, apply blending and opacity settings, you’re the Picasso of 2010 kids!

A combination of Brightness Contrast, Dreamworld, and Expression 1 Styles were applied to the image below, then I used the ‘Save Current Style’ command to combine the three settings as a new Style in my User/My Styles folder — neat feature!

PostworkShop Randy

A two-part system is used to save your work in PostworkShop…

  1. As Projects that are stored within the program itself, available at the touch of a button.  This method is non-destructive, your original image remains intact and the Styles within your composition are preserved.
  2. As an exported image with a nice selection of formats to choose from, including a Photoshop option that preserves the Style Stacks by converting them to layers.

Two additional powerful features are also built into PostworkShop; a node-based Style editor, and Batch Processing.  The application is a cross-platform product for Mac OS X and Windows.  More information, tutorials, and a users forum can be found at the PostworkShop website.

As a digital artist I’m very pleased with the results I’ve seen in my explorations of PostworkShop, it certainly makes the grade as a primary tool for pushing my photography and other digital compositions into new and exciting directions.  Three thumbs up!  I’m feeling inspired :^)

Splintered Shards

by Scott ChitwoodWednesday October 6th, 2010
Posted in Desktop Gallery, Fractal Flames

Whatever it is that I’m throwing at the canvas one question that always has to be answered is how far can/should I push the work beyond it’s point of origin.  The answer to that question runs the gamut between “little to none” and “let’s get crazy with it”.  But first things first — the questions of base elements, cropping, and rotation have to be dealt with.  If any of those aren’t quite right the canvas just can’t come to life Dr. Frankenstein.

splintered shards by Scott Chitwood

Widescreen ( 16:10 )  :  1440×900  :  1680×1050  :  1920×1200  :  2560×1600
Widescreen ( 16:9 )  :  1920×1080  :  2560×1440
Fullscreen ( 4:3 )  :  1024×768  :  1600×1200
Tall Screen  :  1280×1024
Mobile  :  iPhone  :  iPhone iOS4  :  iPad  :  Netbook

Rendered in Oxidizer 0.7.5 alpha.  Heavily post processed in Photoshop.

Mod Your Dock Skin & Icons

by Scott ChitwoodMonday October 4th, 2010
Posted in Dock Skins & Mods, Snow Leopard UI Mods

Here’s another installment in our little series that explores the idea of modding our Mac OS X UI in small steps; replacing the Dock skin and default icons.

Mod Your Dock Skin & Icons

All of our target images are located within the Dock resources…


Images specific to the Dock skin are listed below.  Replacing all of the images is not required.

  • frontline.png
  • indicator_large.png
  • indicator_medium_simple.png
  • indicator_medium.png
  • indicator_small_simple.png
  • indicator_small.png
  • scurve-l.png
  • scurve-m.png
  • scurve-sm.png
  • scurve-xl.png
  • separator.png
  • separatorstraight-horizontal.png
  • separatorstraight.png
  • shadow.png

Icon images are…

  • dashboard.png
  • finder.png
  • trashempty.png
  • trashfull.png

Replacing the Dock skin images is as easy as drag and drop to overwrite the existing files — don’t forget to back up those up before you dig in.  Icon images are another method…

  • Icon images should be opened in an image editor.
  • Select All, then Clear/Delete the original image.
  • Copy and Paste a new image into the existing document.
  • Close/Save.

Easy cake my happy little UI Chefs!  One final step, launch the Terminal and use the ‘killall -KILL Dock’ command to restart the Dock to see your nifty mod work.

At the present, there happens to be a great selection of Dock skins available for download at deviantART.  LeopardDocks also has nice gallery but, as of this article date, the domain and contents are for sale so it may not be around much longer.

My screenshot features LedMetal by elpinchoDesigns.  As a personal mod I desaturated the indicators in Photoshop to change them from blue to grey.

Disclaimer: Apply this UI mod at your own risk, Rampant Mac not responsible for damage/loss.

64 Bit Redux

by David BurnettSunday September 26th, 2010
Posted in Developer's Corner, Oxidizer Blog, Oxidizer Community

So, anyone want to try a proper full 64 bit version of Oxidizer ?

Well if you do today is your lucky day, well maybe.
I’ve just uploaded Oxidizer 0.7.5 alpha (bit of a mouthful) and it should be fully 64 bit for those lucky Snow Leopard Users with 64 bit capable Macs.
Of course as always I haven’t got a 64 bit Mac so it might not work at all for all I know. It’s a universal app so we 32 bit users can join in the fun
too as there’s a fair chance that I’ve broken something for us too somewhere. All this is a subtle hint that you should not use this for anything you
do not want to lose.

There are one or two changes you should know about. This will turn into a rant BTW so take a deep breath before continuing. The short version, assuming Oxidizer starts up at all on anyone else’s Mac, is that the things that I may have broken are Saving Movies, Saving Images and Lua scripting.

In order to code a 64 bit version I’ve basically had to strip out all the old quicktime code and replace it with newer more up to date API’s. Now this is one of the major reasons its took so long so bring a new version out, the other being that rewriting working code is really not very inspiring especially when you are doing it to support a platform you can’t actually test against. Apple depreciated huge hunks Quicktime in Leopard and actually removed them for Snow Leopard. The trouble is they didn’t fully replace all those removed bits in the new API’s. One big thing that Apple broke was required for displaying the Quicktime setting dialogs before creating a movie. Apple’s official work around – use a 32 bit background process to display the dialog and pass the settings back. Absolute rubbish. Of course you either do that or write your own settings dialogs for very codec or show your dialog at the end of the render, so Oxidizer now launches a 32 bit background process just to show a dialog.

The next thing have Apple obsoleted was using Quicktime for saving images. That I was mostly happy about as the Quicktime API for images was really rubbish, way to low level and frankly a pain in the neck. The new API is vastly better, but the settings you guys get to set in the settings dialogs are vastly dumbed down and I’m sure some of you won’t like it. The good news is that the new API has some really fun features that I can use in later versions, when I officially depreciate Tiger (where as now I just try not to break it).

Finally, I’ve had to hack the Lua bridge to create a mix of the Apple version and the GNU-step version to support compilation against Snow Leopards libraries, again due to Apple obsoleting stuff. Luckily it was stuff that the GNU-step project didn’t have so the code was mostly there to deal with the missing functions all I had to do was enable the GNU code while keeping the Cocoa version limitations.


aequinoctium autumnalis

by Scott ChitwoodWednesday September 22nd, 2010
Posted in Desktop Gallery, Photography

Hey it’s Autumnal Equinox 2010™.  w00t, w00t!  You can play along at home as the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are of equal length for just a short while — party on and be excellent to each other my temporal little friends.

aequinoctium autumnalis by Scott Chitwood

Widescreen ( 16:10 )  :  1440×900  :  1680×1050  :  1920×1200  :  2560×1600
Widescreen ( 16:9 )  :  1920×1080  :  2560×1440
Fullscreen ( 4:3 )  :  1024×768  :  1600×1200
Tall Screen  :  1280×1024
Mobile  :  iPhone  :  iPhone iOS4  :  iPad  :  Netbook