I have been corrected by Wensleydale for saying that there was no electric light at the Watts Chapel. While I was attempting to photograph the wall paintings, he was inspecting the infrastructure and spotted some lights and some switches - but the switches were not accessible by members of the public. So if you decide to visit the chapel, pick a bright day, unless you have better eyes and a better camera than I have.
Onto another program – the delightfully named ‘Sumopaint’. Like Pixlr it offers both painting and photo manipulation – indeed, the two look quite similar and seem to have many similar tools, although Sumopaint has a useful ‘Undo’ arrow at the bottom left.
Sumo has over 20 filters, and almost all of them allow tuning – in some cases there are lots of sliders and tick boxes to play with. And some of the filters are quite unusual – you can spend hours playing with these, believe me.
This is the ‘Camouflage’ filter – you can increase the size of the blobs, which gives quite as abstract effect.
This is the ‘Perlin Noise’ filter – move the ‘Pattern Alpha’ slider to the left to combine the original image and the lovely coloured swirls.
This is ‘Ripple’ – again you can adjust the size …
as you can on ‘Waves’ – which allows you to change a lot of other things as well, which I don’t pretend to understand, but I love the results.
The same is true of ‘Wave Lab’ – there are 13 different things you can adjust. I knew what sines and cosines etc. were once, honest, but I never associated them with lovely patterns.
This is Wavelab Complex.
Wavelab can give an effect similar to that which other programs call ‘Kaleidoscope’, but Sumo’s Kaleidoscope gives you something a bit more traditional. [It’s the dahlia, that’s why it’s gone red.]
Move the ‘Transparency’ slider and magic happens.
I think this would make a wonderful patchwork Christmas tree skirt – especially for hand dyers who can dye gradations. [You know who you are!]
This is another one for quilters - ‘Triangle Pattern’, also with the ‘Transparency’ slider moved about half way across.
Another quilt? The thing i like best about Sumopaint is that the ‘ordinary’ filters which most programs have [this is ‘Pixelate’] become extraordinary when you play around with all the sliders and tick boxes. Most programmes allow you to change the size of the pixels – Sumo lets you do that, and choose circles or squares,
which can be ovals or rectangles. Sixties curtain material, anyone?
This looks a bit ‘blah’ doesn’t it?
Change one or more of 11 different characteristics, and interesting things begin to happen – another patchwork pattern?
Or blackwork? To be honest, you will only get ideas for shading as the individual units are restricted in pattern – but still worth a play.
There are a few little niggles. Occasionally the image disappeared or the program froze. The ‘Help’ section is not particularly helpful if you are a novice. And most frustrating of all, although I asked Sumo to save the images to my computer as JPEGs, on several occasions it saved them as BMPs – which you can't open in Picasa. I was able to open them with Windows Picture and Fax viewer, and save them from that as JPEGs, but it caused a few minutes of panic while I tried to work out what to do. [Don’t be fooled by this paragraph into thinking I know what I’m doing – I don’t – it was inspired guesswork!]
And after all that, I nearly forgot the good [albeit scary] news. I mentioned before that there is something I really want to do but I daren’t say too much about in in case I jinx it.
Well – I've got an interview for it on Monday. [No, not a job, I've finished with all that, thank you very much.] And I’ve got to take portfolio. Guess what I’ll be doing this weekend?