Monthly Archives: August 2008

.photoshop tutorial: quick edit: eliminating background

This is just a quick tutorial using shortcuts. I use this often since I have to edit products from ugly backgrounds and place them on clean colored backgrounds.

Before I start , whether you are editing images for Web or print always make sure your image is set under the following guidelines. Set your mode to RBG. If you will be using this image for print you can convert to CMYK when you are done. The reason for this is because you are editing on a screen that is RGB, your colors will be truer to what you are seeing on screen. Another helpful tip but not necessary, set your image to 300 dpi. If you are strictly editing for web, i suggest 150 at the least. You want a higher resolution so your image is bigger and easier to edit. one last thing, the layer that your image is on, double click the lock to unlock the layer. You need to do this so you can make edits.

** NOTE ** : this editing version is one that I am comfortable with since it’s quick and easy

Now that your image is set up properly

1) Use lasso tool to cut out selection. I suggest playing around with this tool if your not familiar with it. It’s much easier if you use a pen tool but using a mouse works just as fine. There are 3 types of lasso’s,  click the small triangle at the lower right corner of the lasso box. I use the Polygonal Lasso tool second choice. Try to cut out the image as close as possible to the edge. Once you connect your beginning and end line, your area will be in selection mode (they look like a line of ants dancing around your selection). do not click anything or else you will deselect what you have just done. If by accident you do, press CTRL Z to undo. Line of ants will return.

2) Now that the area you want to  is selected press CTRL J. This will jump your selection to a new layer avoiding any harm to original image. Hide your originally image and lock it so now edits are accidentally made to that layer.

3) If there are any areas that we accidentally included, press E for your eraser tool and quickly erase that area. Select the layer your edited out image is on.

4) Press CTRL M to get the marque tool and make a box around the image

5) Press V for the selector tool and then just move you mouse. This will select your image and the line of ants will go around your images edge instead of a box.

6) Prest CTRL ALT D, the feather window will pop up. Feathering will blur the image edges so the cut out doesn’t look so harsh. I usually set mine to 10.

7) Make a new layer and bring it below your cut out image layer.

8) Press B to select the paint bucket. make the background whatever color you want, or add a different image background.

9) Save you file as : name of file_original.psd under a  new folder called workable files or PSD files.

10) flatten your image and viola you are done. Save as (make sure you select save as) but this time name the file name of file_flatten.jpg .

If you are going to use this image for print, make sure to change the mode to CMYK.make sure to name your work correctly and have organized files. If you are doing work for print and web, name one file print and the other web.

Hope that helps anyone. it’s take me no time at all to edit images with this method. Shortcuts really help


.missing Franklin

I miss my friend Franklin from the Art Department in San Diego. He and I would spend many a nights on the weekend getting ready for shows. I love his bluntness and bitterness towards certain things and also loved his caring soul. I miss him dearly, he was like my therapist, older brother, protector, my Franklin. I think he is the only one I miss from SD really. Check out his work at

.dorking out on photoshop

It’s been awhile since I really played around with Photoshop and Illustrator as well. I miss my dork out sessions though. I find that having blogs helps. the past two nights I added simple borders to sewing images for my sewing blog Project Sew It “adventures of an aspiring seamstress”. I know kind of a lame name right? It’s so girly compared to this blog and my art site. WHAT is going on. haha. Anyway, just wanted to share my quick borders to my images. enjoy

.photoshop shortcuts

if your new or if you not so new to Photoshop, I am listing a few shortcuts that can save time while editing photos.

V – Pointer tool
M – Marquee
E – eraser
Z – zoom selector
Crtl W – Magic Wand
Crtl A – Select all
Crtl C – Copy
Crtl V – Paste
Crtl (+) or (-): zoom in or out
Crtl 0: Original view of image
Crtl-Alt-D: set feather

I am missing a lot but these are ones that I use all the time. Hope that is useful. Beats trying to look for the little icon on the tool bar. By the way I am a horrible teacher when it comes to showing anyone not familiar with Photoshop or any of the adobe software.

.cute postcard

Life is no picnic

This is a cute postcard that a friend gave to me. If I were a cartoon, this is what I would look like. Very much an Anna postcard. thought I would just post it. Thinking of starting some illustrations. This stems many ideas. maybe start off by creating one illustration a week.

.koi paintings

copyright anna becker

Back in 2006 I participated in a donation project for the Art department. Each member (16 in all) were given 10 x 10 canvases to paint whatever we wanted on them. when all were submitted they would be hung on a wall up for sale at 100 each. I was given 3 canvases just because I was very much the studio brat. being the youngest member there at the time, I pretty much got away with a lot of shit. Anyway, two of my painting sold. One being the start of a abstract collection called “golden lights – gems series”. The other being of Koi. I was given many compliments on this and wanted to start a small series of Koi paintings. Unfortunately other members and students also had the same idea. I was so annoyed that I stopped in my tracks and continued on with my abstract paintings. Now that I am away from that environment I can start up again.

.old studio: san diego

messy creative enviornment

messy creative environment

I miss my old studio. I would go to my studio after class for 2-3 hours and just be. It was my own little haven where I could have the run of the whole Art Department. No one would be there. Occasionally some other studio member would be working late but that was usually on the weekend. During the week, I could do anything I wanted. I felt safe and happy in my little 10 x 11 space and had everything that I needed there. I’d go grocery shopping during the weekend and leave food in the community fridge so i could make my dinner or bring dinner in. I had a small tv to watch/listen to or just listen to the radio or CD’s. The best part, I had all my art supplies right at my finger tips, not having to search for anything. There were no cats to worry about. I could make a mess or leave my work area as is so I could startup again the next day as I had a door to close so no one would see. Actually the picture above is not a real mess. I was the most organized studio member there so when it came time to for Ray @ Night Showing it took me about 20 minutes to clean. Putting up work and setting up my ceramics – now that is another story. It would take me a few hours (this included, mopping the floor and vaccuming the rug, wiping down the table and setting up other other areas). Below is a panoramic image of my studio ready for Ray @ Night.

Studio ready for Ray at night

Studio ready for Ray at night

I am happier to be back up in my home town of Los Angeles. I really didn’t like San Diego after awhile. The other member and other artist I knew changed and everything became about money so I was happy to leave. A part of me will always wish for my space again. The person who took over my studio fucked up the place by painting the walls weird fucking colors. So disappointing. But c’est la vie. it is what it is. I also miss my purple chair that was given to me. The lady who gave it to me took it back and asked Josie, ex Art deparmart coordinator, to open my studio and take it back. BITCH. She almost did that with the work bench she gave me. I was not about to give that up. I scheduled my whole move around this one table (pictured above in both images) and so happy that is fit into my apartment. It’s a great workspace and I would not have given it up for anything.

I would like to have another studio though. When I moved up here, I looked into possible spaces but most are downtown and over priced. My budget will not allow. My friend and I are currently looking to share (she’s one of my best and longest friends and sewing buddy) but not sure where to look. Any suggestions would help. If not, I want to buy a two story loft so I can have a living area and work area all in one without it being too crowded. I need a lot of space since I work in many mediums. But for now, I work with what I have and am grateful that I have as much space as I do have.

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