Imaging TIPS 
from DJSquireDesigns.com (and Diane At Depiction)
Imaging TIPS Issue #2 - Object Libraries - Thursday, October 27th, 2011
Imaging TIPs
This Week's TIPS:   "Searching" For New Objects, Defining Them (To Cut And Paste Into Images), Saving new Objects, Creating New Object Libraries, & Adding Objects To Your Customized Database Collections
Imaging TIPS Header - Natural Stone Steps
Greetings!

One way to customize your Imaging software is to find photos of database items you can use (somewhere), define them, turn them into an "Object" (or Objects), cut and paste them into a target "After" Image, save them, create a new "Object Library," and actually add your new object(s) to your own customized Object Libraries.

 

(Whew.  Quite a mouthful, eh?)

 

Once you get the hang of this, you'll be saving "objects" such as - steps, gazebos, retaining walls, outdoor BBQs, patios furniture, the family dog, planters, doors, fountains, pools, ronds, rocks, and so much more -- all items you can reuse, image after image.

 

A Contractor's Case In Point...

 

As a teaser, there is a successful New Jersey contractor, Jim Woetzel, who shows off lots of Before and After computer images on his own website.

 

One thing Jim does is take pictures of various projects -- from all angles -- of his actual installed jobs.  He often stops, while driving down the street, to take a shot when he sees something that intrigues him.  That way, when he needs to show a particular style of retaining wall, or steps, or other "Object" that compliments his design style, he just "lifts" a copy off the photo and puts it right in to the new image he is working on for a potential new customer.  He also then saves that copy to his personal Object Library so he can reuse it in other images later on.

 

Is that pretty clear as to "why" customizing your Object Libraries is real handy for contractors?

 

To Appreciate The Customization Level Of Jim's Before and After Pics...

Check Out His Site...

 

Jardin Passion: www.jardinpassion.com

 

NOTE - Viewing Directions:  Mouse over the "Photo Galley" category and then select the "Computer Imaging" tab.  Click on any of the thumbnail images and a larger image window will popup.  Give it a couple seconds and it will "slideshow" between Jim's Before and After pictures.  You can click on "Next" in the upper right-hand area of the larger window to advance to the next set of pictures. 

 

 Enjoy his website and the TIPs that follow! 

 

~ Diane

Diane J Squire
DJSquire Designs
805-640-5575
and still diane@depictionsoftware.com 
Please "Like" our Facebook Page: 

DJSD Logo Small 

SEARCHING FOR... NATURAL STONE STEPS... FOR USE IN AN "AFTER" IMAGE...

IMAGING CHALLENGE... 

 
Potential customer wants natural stone steps and you don't have a photo of what you think they want.  
  
What do you do? 
 
Find it... out on the Internet.

Before Photo - Natural Stone Steps 

 

BEFORE PHOTO / Actually... The local park  ;-D

IMAGING SOLUTIONS... 

 

GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH... THE "GO TO" LIFESAVER...

Ideally, you already have digital photos of installed natural stone steps that you can "lift" off the steps (i.e. define the steps area and turn it into an object), or, in a pinch you can search your local manufacturer websites for good photos (might get lucky), or my favorite.... use Google Image Search.

  

Click to Search on Google Image Search:

http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tab=wi

 

And type in the key words "Natural Stone Steps" and look at your choices.

 

Or... CLICK THIS LINK

 

Always look for something that will fit the "Before" picture you have and want to "image" the object into... and... look for a photo that is reasonably high resolution. 

 

Something at least over 200KB... or more... is better.

 

(If something seems too tiny try clicking the "Large" setting on the left-hand Google Image Search sidebar under "Any size" and look for images that might work there.)

 

In this case, the image picked is a usable size...

 

Actual Photo - Natural Stone Steps

  

ACTUAL "GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH" PHOTO OF NATURAL STONE STEPS

SOURCE PHOTO:

 

Size:

800  600

Type:

274KB JPG

 

http://www.autumnridgestone.com/images/IMG_3703_800_bd.jpg

 

SHOWING... "FOUND" NATURAL STONE STEPS... AND SO MUCH MORE...

After Image - Natural Stone Steps

  

AFTER IMAGE / with "edited," cut and pasted, Natural Stone Steps

 Get the idea?

 

To proceed...

Deco-Con Imaging Software Menu Bar

 

TIP: The Area Tool is the one you will use the most... either to define and area to change into an "object"... or to define a "surface" and add either pavers or decorative concrete to it.

 

It's always a good idea to watch a short refresher Training Movie for the AREA TOOL... 

 Area Tool

AREA Tool 

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE "AREA" TOOL...

   

CLICK HERE... TO WATCH A TRAINING MOVIE   

 

(Or watch it from within your Hardscape or Deco-Con Imaging software located under 

Training --> All Movies --> Look under the "Area" Section and click on "Define an Area")

 

PATH:  Training --> All Movies --> Area --> Define an Area

 

 

 

 

 

Deco-Con Imaging Software Menu Bar  

 

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO CREATE AN OBJECT (After You've Defined An Area)... 

 

CLICK HERE... TO WATCH A TRAINING MOVIE 

 

(Or watch it from within your Hardscape or Deco-Con Imaging software located under 

 

Training --> All Movies --> Look under the "Area" Section and click on "Convert to Object") 

WHAT WE ARE LEARNING TO DO... IS... 

 

Basically, with the Natural Stone Steps -- or any object your are saving -- you are using the Area Tool to "define" them, then turn them into an Object to both copy and paste into a new target image... AND/OR... add to your customized Object Library.  

 

Ok?  

 

Moving on...

 

 

 

 

 Defining Steps

GOOGLE SEARCHED IMAGE / Defined Steps and Turned Into Object

INSTRUCTIONS ON SAVING AN "OBJECT" FILE...

WRITTEN TRAINING MOVIE RECAP...

 

Once you have defined the Area (of the steps or anything else of something you would like to save as a reusable object), and once the defined object area is greyed out (after closing the polygon), from the Area tool, instead of clicking on the Hardscape (or Pattern) Library, you will click "Ok" to exit the Area Tool.

 

Your defined object/area will still appear greyed. Simply move your mouse cursor over the greyed area (sometimes while clicking down on it) and a window will pop up asking you "Do you want to convert this area into an object?" Click "Yes" and your defined area will now become a moveable object WITH A BOUNDING BOX AROUND IT (see picture above). 

 

(Remember: Watch the Training Movie listed up above if this is confusing.)

 

You can then copy and paste it into a completely different background image... or... save it as an object file.

 

NOW...

 

SAVING A DEFINED OBJECT (As a .lob file)

 

With your defined object active (meaning you've clicked on it and you can see a border around it with little sizing squares)...

 

Select...

File --> Export Object

 

And give your object a name and be sure the file "Save as type" option specifies "Land Object LOB .lob" and then save the object to a folder that makes sense to you. (You may need to navigate to one and create a folder.

 

Personally, I create a folder under the Decolibrary in the Deco-Con Imaging software or the "Objects" file in the Hardscape Imaging software. I then save all my created objects in a file I've named "New Objects" so I can find them again and easily back them up.)

 

TIP: All "Objects" used in the Imaging software are saved a ".lob" files.  Just the way it is.

 

Okay, that is phase one.  (Saving the Object as a file in a place you will remember it.)

 

NEXT...

INSTRUCTIONS ON CREATING AN "OBJECT LIBRARY"... TO PUT YOUR SAVED OBJECT INTO... SO YOU CAN FIND AND REUSE IT AGAIN... AND AGAIN...

HOW TO MAKE NEW OBJECT LIBRARIES...

 

First of all, there is a starter training movie that shows some things about Object Libraries called "The Library" movie. (Good for a refresher.) You can access it from within both the HIS and Deco-Con software.

 

CLICK HERE... TO WATCH A TRAINING MOVIE (Deco-Con Online Version)

 

(Or watch it from within your Hardscape or Deco-Con Imaging software located under 

Training --> All Movies --> Look under the "The Library" Section)

 

TIP:  Another thing you can do, while in the software, is "Click" the HELP icons and while the "?" is the cursor Click on "New Library" from the main menu.

  

So... Getting On With It... 

 

TO CREATE A NEW OBJECT LIBRARY...

 

 

1) From the main menu: Select "Library" then "New Library"

 

Object Library 3

 

2) Click on the "Object Library" radio button (or it might be the default)

 

Object Library 4

 

Then give the Library a name (name = the name of the product or manufacturer - something that will help you find it) then a period to call out the pattern of the product. 

  

Examples:

Vista.Lighting Fixtures

Asphalt.basketweave

Steps.NaturalStone

 

See that "period" or dot that is what tells the "Vista" library to create a sublibrary named "Lighting Fixtures"... that "." is important.

  

Then Click OK, and Click OK one more time again.

  

3) Now open the new Object Library you just made and follow the name path you gave it to open the blank library.

 

Object Library 5 

 

You will see a message "This combination is not available" and that is the indicator that you have not yet added items to the library.

  

4) Click on "Items" then "Add Items."

  

Object Library 6 

 

Now navigate to the folder where you saved the new .lob file to.

 

5) When you locate the folder where the file or files are stored -- and if you don't see them -- it would be because the "File Type" is set to the wrong format for viewing. Most of the files are .JPG so change the "Files of type" to .JPG or they could be .BMP or .TGA or .GIF, etc.

 

Object Library 7

 

6) Select the file in that folder (or the ones you want to add into the library) and Click on the "OPEN" command button. And then the library will build itself.

 

Object Library 8

 

7) While the library is still open, Save the library: "Click Library" then "Save Library." (In this above example it is Vista / Lighting Fixtures)

  

BIG REMINDER TIP: Whenever you make changes to any library - by adding items, or deleting them, etc. - you will need to click "Save Library" in order to save your changes!!

 

To see the Library you have just made, Select Library, then find your name for the specific Library. 

 

Object Library 3

 

Your newly defined object will now appear in that library and be usable in any image you are working on.

 

Capiche?

GOT QUESTIONS?...
CONFUSED? ...

 

To Let Me Know: Click Here And Send Me A Note! 

 

Or... You can always give me a call and I can coach you through this process... 

 

~ Diane

(in California) at 1-805-640-5575

 

"Typical" Hours Available:

9AM to 4PM - California Time

Monday - Friday

Skype: djs818 (Pre-arrange by email to connect first)

 

Compare Time Zones: Pacific/Los Angeles to Yours:

www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html

 

Check Country Calling Codes:

www.countrycallingcodes.com

~ INSPIRATION ~

 

"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astonish ourselves."
-- Thomas Edison, Inventor

  

 

DJ Squire Designs

Join Our Mailing List

Imaging TIPS ARCHIVES...

As we slowly build the weekly Imaging TIPS collection, you can always see past Issues listed here (towards the bottom of the web page): 

 

djsquiredesigns.com/imagingtips

 

 

NEED  

HELP?

Check Out our digital renderings, computer imaging, and design ideas (and prices) for those times when extra time is elusive, the project is too complex, or you're flat out of ideas on what to do.  ;-D
 
For... DJSquireDesigns.com Photo Galleries: Click Here
Or... To look at the Facebook Page Albums for facebook.com/DJSquireDesigns: Click Here

Questions?  Call... Diane at 805-640-5575
Emails...  diane@djsquiredesigns.com or diane@depictionsoftware.com

 

PRICING   djsquiredesigns.com/pricing