Photoshop Tutorial: Speech Bubbles

Image © Richard D. LeCour

It’s about time I did another Photoshop tutorial. This time, I’ve jotted down instructions on how to create speech bubbles for comics.

  1. Set foreground color to black.
  2. With the text tool, type some text that you’d like to display in a bubble.
  3. Use the elliptical marquee tool to create a bubble around the text.
  4. While holding down the SHIFT key, create a second, overlapping bubble — optional.
  5. Select the polygonal lasso tool.
  6. Hold down the SHIFT key again.
  7. Starting inside the existing bubble, use the lasso tool and click three points to make a downward-pointing triangle. The second point should be below the bubble. The third point is back up inside the bubble.
  8. Click the first lasso point again to close the lasso. You should now have a selected marquee in the shape of a speech bubble. Oh, yeah, you can let go of the SHIFT key now.
  9. Create a new blank layer.
  10. If it’s not already there, move the blank layer below the text layer.
  11. Select the blank layer.
  12. Select the paint bucket tool.
  13. Fill in the bubble. Yes, it looks completely black!
  14. Go to Select > Modify > Contract and contract the selection by 2 pixels.
  15. Set foreground color to white.
  16. Fill in the bubble again. Voila!

Steven Wright is All Atwitter

Happened to stumble upon Twitter. Not yet sure what it is other than another social networking website people can go to just blab about whatever they feel like at that moment — sort of like talking out loud in a room you think is probably empty, but may suddenly have a hundred people listening and responding.

Anyway, found some of comedian Steven Wright’s twitterings, and he has some great one-liners:

  • I’m addicted to placebos. I could quit but it wouldn’t matter.
  • My girlfriend got poison ivy on the brain. When it itched, the only way she could scratch it was to think about sandpaper.
  • I have an existential map. It has “You are here” written all over it.
  • It doesn’t matter what temperature the room is — it’s always room temperature.
  • I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
  • I lost a button hole today.
  • If you were going to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?
  • If God dropped acid, would he see people?
  • Right now I’m having amnesia and deja vu at the same time. I think I’ve forgotten this before.
  • I spilled Spot Remover on my dog. Now he’s gone.
  • I was once arrested for resisting arrest.
  • Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?
  • I bought some dehydrated water, but I don’t know what to add to it.
  • For my birthday I got a humidifier and a dehumidifier. I put them in the same room and let them fight it out.
  • I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.
  • What’s another word for Thesaurus?

Author’s Note: This brief entry survived the purging of my Ramblings for a few reasons —

  1. Steven Wright writes some dåmn funny stuff — still funny after five years;
  2. Of interest probably only to me, when I first discovered Twitter in June ’07, they were getting about 20,000 tweets per day. That was two months before the first Twitter hashtag was used; I didn’t actually send my first tweet until February 2009 which was about Twitter’s 1.2 billionth sent over almost three years. Now, they get 1.2 billion tweets every 3½ days.
  3. I naively called tweets “twitterings”, which I find somewhat amusing.

Child Porn Sparks Indictment

According to the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, local resident Michael Palmer was indicted for possession of child pornography, primarily depicting young boys.

Images were discovered by private citizens in August 2005 when they stumbled upon a hole in the mountains covered with plywood and vegetation that contained several ammunition canisters containing child pornography. When the FBI exercised a search warrant on Palmer’s property based on documentation found within containers in the woods, they found additional holes containing 15 more ammunition boxes, totaling more than 3/4 million images of child pornography — the largest such seizure known to local law enforcement.

FBI agents assisted in processing the evidence and utilized resources through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to confirm a sample of the pornographic images depicted children who have been identified. Upon reviewing the evidence, Sheriff’s detectives found literature indicating Palmer was a member of the North American Man Boy Love Association, and of several nudist groups in the Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County areas.

He was released on $50,000 bond, pending his next Federal court date on April 16.

As far as I’m concerned, he should burn at the stake. Make it slow and painful, maybe with handheld Zippo or car cigarette lighters. None of those fast-burning pyres.

However, it is not the crime of this sicko that sparked this blog entry. Nor was it the thought that went through my head that his photo looked like one you might expect to see plastered on a wall of a post office.

No, it was the instant message that I received from my best friend that read, “The sparks coming out of the top of his head should have been a giveaway that something was different about him.”

I was in complete, uncontrollable hysterics for about 15 minutes.

Update: I found one unconfirmed online mention that Michael Palmer had pled guilty and had been sentenced to five years behind bars, reduced from ten years, due to be released sometime in 2012.

The sparks still slay me.