Pre-Press Tricks: Ghosting Back an Image

Most people think ghosting back an image is pretty simple; hit the transperancy and let it go, but you can get better results with just a few little tweeks.

These are Photoshop based instructions but they work most anywhere.

First, you’ll want to over sharpen the image using Unsharp Mask. I usually us a setting of 300/.5/0 to get it crisp. Then create a new layer on top of your original and fill with white. Adjust the transparency of the white layer to ghost back your image. So if you want it 10% of the original image set the white layer transparency to 90%.

Then create an adjustment layer on top of that with Hue/Saturation. Bump the Saturation up between +20 & +30. This help brings some of the color back into the ghosted image by reducing contaminating colors.

And that’s it. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks!

to Mr. David Baldacci

I understand the want to add drama and tension to a story but adding absolutely wrong details just drives me nuts.

Physics doesn’t allow for a projectile to gain energy the farther it goes. It looses energy, both in velocity and in spin. Now some fun things do happen with bullets when they leave the barrel and some of it is counter intuitive. When a heavy projectile leaves the barrel @ some 2500fps it’s got some 2000 foot pounds of energy. That’s a ton of force or quite literally enough energy potentially to move a ton 1 foot. You’ll notice I say potentially as transferring that energy to the target is tricky business. At muzzle velocity a bullet is more likely to punch a clean hole through a target than do much damage. Even with the shock wave moving through a body it does little damage. Even a 5.56mm will punch a hole without transferring much of it’s energy to the target which is why they developed such projectiles as hollow points and wadcutters. Anyways, what makes this happen is the spin of the bullet and it’s cross sectional density/hardness. The spin imparts a longitudinal stability making it easier for the bullet to travel long distances accurately but conversely also makes it easier to punch through objects. Faster the spin, the less energy gets transferred to the target.

Still with me?

So with the spin helping keep the projectile ballistically stable it will also do it’s best to keep the projectile stable when passing through a target, hence less energy transfer.

Which is what it all really comes down to, energy transfer. Yes, once again, guns don’t kill people, physics does.

The Show Must Go On

Really? It does? Why?

While this isn’t much of a show along with the new computer I’m also happy to say I know own a Wacom tablet. Still playing with it, don’t expect any masterpieces anytime soon.

I’m also tickled that CValley has finally released FILTERiT 4.5 for Illustrator CS6! YAY! This is one of the handiest filters for Illustrator and should be owned by EVERYBODY. Get it here

And, for Steve, I’m digging through my backlog of 3D modeling. Going to see if I can’t set up some batch renders so I can get some up on the site. Keep your ears peeled, I’ll try to get them up soon.


I’m angry. Not just mildly annoyed angry but near seeing red kind of angry. I feel like I’m constantly holding myself back from violently attacking something (or worse, someone). The stress of not doing so is making me exhausted, depressed and withdrawn.

Why am I angry?


And cancer treatment side effects.

Both of which I can do nothing to help with. I want to be doing something to help but all I can do is hold her hand and remind her to take her meds. I can’t think her way out of this, I can’t zap the side-effects away, I can’t even help stop the pain. I want to simultaneously scream, cry, and rage.

I’m also scared I’m not strong enough for this. That I’m going to crack. That I’m not going to be here for her.

I just don’t know what to do.

The Replacements Are In

Finally was able to replace my long dead G5 with a brand new 27″ iMac.

With advances in processors & ram I no longer need the brute size of a G5. This one is faster than anything I’ve had previously and has more RAM. Stunning to think about.

Next up is a large Wacom tablet so I can paint & re-touch on the computer much easier. Heck, with this size of screen I bet I could even run Painter with all the windows open and still have room to work in.

The Art Whirled

Honestly, I don’t care much for the art establishment as it is. Their focus is wrong, their attitude poor and their reason for existence weak.

Quantity over quality, schlock or taste. I just see so often that galleries go for something they can easily quantify rather than delve into the subject and figure it out. Why spend hours pouring over slides when you can just pick up some “outsider artist” and say they’re the next great thing. It’s easy.

And art shouldn’t be.

I know artists that pour every iota of their being into their work. Struggle and dwell over tiny things, things the average joe will never see but that doesn’t matter, because in the end it’s just what matters to the artist.

But do they get gallery time? Do collectors and curators search them out to tell them how their piece moved them? No, they don’t. Instead some jackass who farted on a piece of paper gets the publicity.

And yet still they struggle, why? Because they are artists and success is not necessarily their goal.

You may be a graphic artist if you’ve ever pulled out a Pantone book when talking to your stylist about hair color

I was getting my hair cut the other day and was thinking about getting a stripe of pink put in. Not that I’m into pink but with the breast cancer bit I was looking for ways to show my support other than walking around with a blank stare.

The problem I realized is that I couldn’t just get it dyed pink. I’d want it dyed Breast Cancer pink, one of the 2 shades they use. Which is where the Pantone book came in.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for my hair, I had neither a Pantone book on me nor the print specs for the BCA logo so my hair remains a brown with ever increasing levels of white.


What gets me is that for me, this whole cancer thing is “OHMYFUCKINGGOD IT’S CANCER” and everything should be a massive rush to take out what’s needed and zap the rest.

But it’s not that kind of emergency.

It’s a thinking emergency. Scan twice cut once. Double check. Triple check. Test, test, test.

Then do something.


Then check again.

I have to keep reminding myself that there is time, this isn’t trying to stave off an infectious disease, it’s just cancer.

But it doesn’t help. In my head I’m still going “OHMYFUCKINGGOD IT’S CANCER GET IT OUT GET IT OUT”.

Maybe I should drink more.