Thursday, January 16, 2014


Photoshop Tennis is a time-honored tradition among digital artists.  If there were ever a sport that deserved recognition and inclusion in the Olympics (winter AND summer), it is this one.  "No room," you say.  Well, get rid of Rhythmic Gymnastics and Curling-- problem solved!  I mean, seriously -- Curling?!

Anyway, this is how to play:

  1. There's a starting image.
  2. Someone does something to that image in Photoshop.
  3. That someone now posts the resulting image back up in the play area.
  4. Now, another person edits the new image and posts the result.
  5. Repeat.
I had the opportunity to play this game with other teachers in an Adobe Generation Professional class-- and much fun was had by all.  It was especially interesting and surprising to see how people decided to edit the image-- never what I expected.  So I decided to have my first-year students give it a try.  Here were the ground rules:
  • Keep it clean, seriously.
  • All the changes must still be visible in the new image (you can't get rid of an edit as part of your turn).
  • You can use images you find on the Internet, but they must not be copyright protected (use the Advanced Search options in Google).
  • When you post your image, save it this way: File--> Save for Web & Devices --> JPEG.  Make sure you explain what you did when you repost the image.
  • The final image resolution should be 1024x768.
  • You can jump in multiple times.

And here's what's been happening in this first round:

Some reflections on this activity:

  • Students LOVED doing it-- everyone would check each class to see if any edits had been made.  Students were engaged in the process and genuinely interested in the outcome.  Plus, I found that students were taking this home with them - thinking of new things to try for subsequent images.
  • Things entered the world of memes VERY quickly, which meant edits were often tied directly to cultural references that everyone understood (or at least could find out quickly).
  • I will definitely do this again...but I might change the requirements a little.  While I specified that students shouldn't spend a lot of time on their edits, they tended to avoid some of the more subtle changes (like playing with blending modes) and instead went for quick selections and placements.  In future rounds, I may require more thought go into how their edits mesh with the overall design.

No comments:

Post a Comment