Aby-a-Day – 4 July: Wordless Wednesday (Nom, nom, NOM)

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Aby-a-Day – March 31: Three April Fool’s Moon (Cartoon Tuesday)

This is not actually based on the (in)famous Three Wolf Moon T-shirt. It’s actually based on the even more awesome Three Grumpy Cat Moon T-shirt and the equally hilarious (if slightly illegal) Three Keyboard Cat Moon T-shirt.

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It had to be done. And I am going to try to get a shirt made, too. I’m holding my breath to see if Zazzle will let me make this – if they do, I’ll try to make a version for sale:

The moon background is actually two different moon photos by Moon-WillowStock on DeviantArt.

(Click cartoon to embiggen, or you can view all cartoons in Slideshow mode on Flickr.)

Aby-a-Day – March 6: On the wings of a woodpecker (Photoshop Friday)

So, I’m sure you’ve all seen the incredible and internet-infamous photo of a weasel riding a flying woodpecker by now.

If not, you probably saw my Wordless Wednesday post this week.

However, after I posted this on Wednesday, I got to thinking that…while it was good, it could be better. So, last night I went back and fixed it. And while I was doing that, I thought people might be interested in what I’d done to make Jacoby ride the woodpecker.

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For the quick original version, I went through all my photos of Jake looking for one of him in a pose similar to that of the weasel’s on the bird’s back. I finally decided on this one of Jake playing with the kittens in the Kitten Bowl.

Then, I found the biggest, highest-res image of the #WeaselPecker on the internet that I could, and I erased the weasel, leaving only the bird.

Then I scaled Jake down, put him on the bird’s back, and filled in the “holes” with colours taken from the bird and painted on underneath Jake using a feather brush. I also refined Jake’s edges using the “Refine Edge” tools under the “Select” menu. Then I toned Jake down to match the lighting on the bird a little better and put a slight motion blur (1 pixel) on him using the Motion Blur filter.

And it was good…but I knew I could do better. Jake’s front arm didn’t look right to me, his shoulder looked Photoshopped – even though it really wasn’t! – and I didn’t like the way his tail looked. So I went through the photos again, looking for arms and tails that would look better on my flying Jake.

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I found this photo of Jake hooking a toy with his paw, so I selected just his arm and shoulder, copied it onto a new layer over the current Jake and sized it down.

Then I erased the original arm, and blended the new arm in. Using the “Warp” function under the Transform menu, I tweaked the arm a little bit to make it look like Jake was holding onto the woodpecker’s neck (despite what National Geographic might think, it’s not that hard to make a mammal virtually hug a woodpecker).

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I also wasn’t happy with Jake’s tail. Even though that’s how it really looked in the original photo, on the back of the woodpecker it looked odd. So, I took Jake’s tail from this photo of him and Angel.

Just as I’d done with the arm, I selected the tail and part of Jake’s rump, pasted it onto a new layer, and blended in to the rest of Jake.

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I still wasn’t happy with Jake’s neck and shoulders in the original version. Even though they weren’t Photoshopped at all, they looked like they were – it looked like I’d attached Jake’s head and shoulders to a different body, even though I hadn’t. So I took a nice shot of Jake’s body that I had considered as a possible arm donor…

This time, I didn’t need to flip it. I sized the body piece down, placed it over the rest of the body, and blended it in using the eraser in brush mode, with one of my fur brushes.

I did one more tiny tweak to Jake’s tag, bending it back with the “Warp” tool to make it look like it was being blown back by the wind. Then, when I had all the body pieces blended together the way I wanted them, I merged the layers to create a consolidated Jake.

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I turned the woodpecker layer back on, placed Jake on the bird’s back, and touched up the empty spaces underneath Jake with the rubber stamp tool. Then I added a slight motion blur to Jake as well as a slight drop shadow. And there you go: Jake riding a woodpecker!

Aby-a-Day – March 4: Wordless Wednesday (Because how could I not?)

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Aby-a-Day – February 17: Snow Delay Special: Cartoon Tuesday will be delayed…

…Because I had cartoonist’s block and couldn’t come up with an idea until this morning. And I don’t have time to finish it properly, and a good cartoon that’s late is better than a half-assed cartoon that’s on time.

So, I apologise, and I’ll blame it on the snow. Everything is delayed in Boston these days…

In the meantime, I present a special LOLcat starring Jacoby.

This was made by Abyfriend Max Boutelle. You may recall Max from the story about her 18 year old cancer survivor, Moose E. Puss. I don’t know where she found this, but she added Jake to it and it made my day. Since her Moose was the star of a Cartoon Tuesday, it seems fitting that her little LOLcat be a place-saver for this week’s cartoon.

She also made this one.

I feel really bad about not meeting this deadline – in 162 cartoons, this hasn’t ever happened. I just hit a sort of wall, where I have lots of half-ideas, but no solid jokes. I finally managed to sketch up something, but I haven’t got time to colour it in tonight. However, I promise it’ll be posted later this week, and then I’ll have something for next week, too.

Right now, though, I need to feed the kitties, and then I’ve got some serious scanning and Photoshopping to do!

Strollercat comments on the recent MBTA problems…

Because it needed to happen:

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