Friday, May 25, 2012

Pixlr.com Puts Photoshop Online

Believe it or not, a free alternative to Photoshop has existed online for nearly 3 years.  3 years!  The site is called pixlr.com, and what they have put together is quite remarkable.

As you can see from this screen capture, you have all the familiar tools from Photoshop, including burning, smudging, paint bucket, gradient, eye dropper, etc.  You also have layers.  Layers!


Additionally, Pixlr has done something very cool with their pencil tool.  Unlike the simple block in Photoshop (which, as they point out in their blog, is little more than an blocky paintbrush tool).  The Pixlr pencil can be set to plain, sketchy, trail, shaded, sticky, or ink. Right clicking the mouse allows you to quickly and easily shift between harder and softer brushes, as well as larger of smaller brushes.  The sketch below was done in about two minutes using this tool:


In addition to having the ability to read Photoshop PSD files, Pixlr also lets you save work online (or downlading it) in a PXD format - essentially Pixlr's answer to a PSD file.

Even for those who have Photoshop, Pixlr provides an excellent resource when you're away from your home computer.  And even when you are at home, those running slower machines will find that for many jobs, the speed of Pixlr (which loads almost instantaneously) will be preferable to the long-loading Photoshop.


Still not convinced?  Head on over to pixlr.com to check it out.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Wolverine's Murasama Blade

Fans of Wolverine comic books know that he has, from time to time, wielded a Murasama blade, forged with a part of his own soul, blah blah etcetera.  Basically, it's called upon from time to time to do those pesky jobs six indestructible claws cannot.  Like this:

Sabretooth learns the hard way that discretion is the better part of valor.
Imagine my delight, then, while reading Ben Thompson's relentlessly excellent Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live that Murasama blades have a historical pedigree:

"One of Japan's greatest and most brilliant armorers, the mentally unstable Sengo Muramasa, produced powerful swords that could cut through even the thickest iron and steel with ease but were considered unlucky, violent, and incredibly bloodthirsty. These cursed blades hungered for death - if the weapon's owner failed to draw the blood of his enemies in a timely manner, the sword allegedly would drive him completely kill-crazy, forcing him to commut murder or suicide to appease the demonic spirits that haunted the weapon."

Unfortunately, whether or not an actual Murasama blade could in reality kill a self regenerating mutant remains (for the moment) untested.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Kenobi Dead, Vader Says

Lord Vader announces the killing of Obi-Wan Kenobi
"CORUSCANT — Obi-Wan Kenobi, the mastermind of some of the most devastating attacks on the Galactic Empire and the most hunted man in the galaxy, was killed in a firefight with Imperial forces near Alderaan, Darth Vader announced on Sunday.

"In a late-night appearance in the East Room of the Imperial Palace, Lord Vader declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that agents of the Imperial Army and stormtroopers of the 501st Legion had finally cornered Kenobi, one of the leaders of the Jedi rebellion, who had eluded the Empire for nearly two decades. Imperial officials said Kenobi resisted and was cut down by Lord Vader's own lightsaber. He was later dumped out of an airlock."

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Assassination of Yogi Bear

 

While I never saw the new Yogi Bear movie, The Assassination of Jesse James was a masterpiece of subtlety, showcasing two superb character studies by Casey Affleck and Sam Rockwell as the Ford Brothers.

For those who saw either film, this parody is sure to delight.