By Phil Hecken
If you’ll notice that splash photo, you may say, “that looks familiar.” It should, since it was included in Paul’s always amazing College Football Preview that appeared on ESPN last month. If you scroll down to the “Big East,” under USF, you’ll note this short blurb:
• USF‘s white helmet, which in the past has been used as an occasional alternate look, will get more playing time this season. The gold helmet will still be used, but its logo will change from black to green — a major upgrade.
A minor bit in a major article, and probably one no one paid any mind to. But I was pretty proud, since I ‘created’ the new helmet with a colorization technique I’ve learned. Now, I’m far from an expert in the wonderful technique of colorization, but if you have a lot of patience and a few hours to kill, I thought I might take some time today to teach you a few techniques I’ve learned.
Since there are many levels to colorization, both literally and figuratively, I wanted to teach you my technique for doing something simple, like changing a black helmet logo to a green one (as above), to some rudimentary colorization, such as putting Otto Graham in beautiful orange and brown, to more complex black and white photographs.
Others of you are far better at colorizing than I, but I thought I’d pass along the technique I have learned so that you can try your hand at it. All it takes is patience. Lots and lots of patience.
We’ll start with a very simple colorizing for today, and as time permits, I’ll move on to the more complex ones. As I said, the one techinque I will teach you today will work for ALL of the examples above. Learn the basics, and then you can apply them as you set out on your own.
The first thing you need to do is to acquire a program that will let you colorize photos and pictures. Every single one above was done with a FREE program called “GIMP” which is an acronym for “GNU Image Manipulation Program,” which is actually quite similar to Photoshop. You can download it here. Simply figure out which of the downloads is appropriate for your computer. Once you have it installed, we’ll begin.
Before we begin, you’ll need to have your source image. For this example, I’ll use that same USF helmet you saw colorized in the splash photo. Click on this link and save this picture to your hard drive. Name it “USF helmet” if you’d like, and remember where you saved it. (For those who’ve never downloaded a picture before, and use a windows-based operating system, right click on the photo, select “save picture as” and then save it.) When we open up GIMP, you’ll need to retrieve the picture.
Once you have the picture saved, we’re ready to open GIMP and begin.
What I have done is to prepare a “full tutorial” via a flickr image set. Rather than doing the step-by-step instructions in this main article, it is probably easier (and much easier on those readers who could care less) to just link to those now.
The first link goes to the thumbnail instructions and the second link goes to the individual frame detail. If you click on each image in sequential order, you will receive a step-by-step guide to changing an image.
For this tutorial, we’re going to change the black USF logo to green. I selected this because it only involves changing one color to another — but the techniques described therein will work for colorizing black and white photographs as well as changing one color (or several) to another.
If you are interested in practicing this, just download GIMP, follow the tutorial instructions, and practice, practice, practice. It gets much easier over time.
If you guys liked this, I’ll be happy to move on to colorizing black and white photographs in the next tutorial. But learning the basics as described here will greatly help as you progress.
Hope you enjoyed this, and you’re now well on your way to being able to manipulate (or change) anything, from sports logos, to black and white photographs.
Please post any questions in the comments below. I will actually be away from the computer for a good part of the day (I have to work in the early morning, and most of the afternoon and evening will be spent at the Uni Watch gathering at Sheep Station — more on that below). But I will attempt to answer any questions you have as time permits today, and certainly tomorrow. As always, if you have any questions you do not wish to post in the comments, shoot me an email.
For those of you who wish to “take the plunge,” please post your creations below. Don’t be embarassed if it doesn’t “look right.” This has taken me months of practice and I’m still not very good at it.
Major League Softball Playoffs
While I was preparing the colorization tutorial last evening, I was expecting to see Game 2 of the National League Divisional Series playoff game between the Giants and the Braves. However, my cable provider inadvertently showed me two teams dressed in softball attire.
All kidding aside, of course, both teams wore their alternate jerseys last evening. For the Giants, this was not unexpected in the least, as they have been wearing their orange alternates every Friday home game all season long. And although the introduction of the orange top is new this year, they do have a history of orange tops in their past. Even though this is the playoffs, and I am firmly opposed to alternates being worn in the post season, I was neither surprised nor shocked to see them in the orange tops. You’d think the bright “traffic cone” look would keep them from running into each other however.
As stated, the Giants have worn the orange tops every Friday all season long. And when they play Sunday in Atlanta, they’ll break out the caps with orange bills, as they have every Sunday. I would expect the Braves will break out their own “Sunday Red” tops down there. When a team is known to have a specific day for wearing it’s alternate at home, you’d think the opposition would know this too. True, they may not read Uni Watch, but surely they are aware. So it strikes me as particularly disingenuous that the Braves would wear dark blue. Even though I can’t stand alts, one team wearing them is tolerable. BOTH teams really makes a mockery of the solemnity of the playoffs. This isn’t bumble bee Pirates in the 1979 World Series. That was the style then. This is just ridiculous. Lack of stirrups, pajama bottoms and look at me players nowadays are bad enough. Throw in softball tops and games of this importance become almost unwatchable.
I know it will never happen, but there should really be a rule: ONLY ONE TEAM can wear an alternate in any game in the post season. No exceptions. If, as is the case with both teams here, one team has a particular top the have worn on a specific day (Braves wear Sunday red and the Giants wear Friday orange) all season long, it is incumbent upon the road team to wear their gray. Period. Both teams in alts looks bush.
When they play Sunday, you can expect the Braves in red, but fortunately, the Giants do not have a road alt. That won’t look great, but it will look better than what we saw last night.
We know the Yankees will be in pinstripes today, so if the Twins want to wear their navy tops, let them. As far as the Texas Texases, they have two different home alts at their disposal, and the Rays have shown they will wear the Blue alts in the playoffs. Let’s hope we don’t get a red versus blue game there. When the Phillies travel to Cincy, if it’s a day game, the Reds will probably sport their red top (which I happen to like) but the Phillies will be in gray roadies, guaranteed. Again, not an awful matchup.
But for the love of the game, can we please hope that the “alts vs. alts” is a one-and-done?
Slowly making it thought the tweak backlog, but keep them coming. If you have a tweak, change or concept for any sport, send them my way. OK? OK! Here’s what’s on tap for today.
Those who’ve already sent in tweaks, they’re fine the way they are, but in the future, because many of you seem to enjoy elaborate write ups, can you possibly try to keep them to 50 words tops per team? (Every one I’ve received since I asked for the ~50 limit has complied so far!) Thanks!
Starting off the show is Eric Davis, who also led off last Saturday, with some Astrolove:
Great job keeping up with the various (you probably get a lot) uni tweaks. I recently sent you a set of 3. I’m adding my Houston Astros variation. More of a total redesign, than a tweak. I’ll be sending more.
Longtime Uni Watch Fan.
The design was inspired by the attached photo.
Next up is Brian Shane with a simple, beautiful Nats tweak:
Would it be so bad if this were the Nationals home uniform?
In a helmet tweak that will no doubt make THE Jeff a happy guy, Jordan Bruner has two concepts for the Arizona Cardinals:
The current Arizona Cardinals helmet has a gray facemask. This is not unusual by itself, but it’s odd considering it is the only gray in their entire color scheme. I have a few proposed changes:
Here is a pretty basic change. I switched the gray to cardinal red to produce a more consistent (and better) look.
I also made a BFBS helmet that allows a little more yellow to be used. I’m not sure if I’d actually want to see them wear it, but it was an interesting idea.
Our last tweak today is actually not from our submitter, Tony Meyer, but it’s pretty interesting nonetheless. Here’s Tony to explain:
I didn’t make this, but the person who did posted it up at the Music City Miracles blog… We Titans fans have already been discussing it for a little while, but I thought it might strikes some interest for UniWatch readers too.
Good stuff today. Keep the tweaks coming (and thanks for keeping the descriptions to about 50 words per uni). Back with more next time.
Back at the beginning of the 2010 season, I announced the 2010 Uni Tracking that a number of us do.
The 2010 Season has concluded now. I actually kept track of the Mets again this year, though, sadly, I haven’t completed my season in review. However, those of you who have should begin sending them in to me. When I have a few spare hours, I plan on compiling them and adding them to the Uni Watch Archives, to be a part of the permanent record.
So, if you’ve been doing your due diligence with your team, send me your end-of-season tracking reports, and I’ll post them as a “sub article” on the weekends. OK? OK! And I promise they’ll make it into the UW archives before the year is out. Please feel free to accompany your tracking with a write up, especially if your team had any interesting trends or patterns. Obviously, the uniforms worn don’t have a direct correlation to a winning record, but as we saw earlier this week, the Mets Police have their own uniform tracker(s) (which looks surprisingly similar to the 2009 tracking I did), the Mets had a better record wearing blue accoutrements and caps, and played their best ball when wearing pinstripes. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not.
Today, we have our first full season 2010 tracker to check in. Sean Reed is a Texas Rangers tracker. The Rangers made the playoffs this year for the first time in forever, and stand poised and ready to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays, with a likely date against the Bronx Bombers later this week. They’re also one of those teams with not one, but two, alternates, so they have quite the interesting tracking history. Let’s take a look at Sean’s tracking and the stats:
I enjoy your blog and ESPN stuff. I’ve kept track of the Rangers uniform combos all season in an Excel spreadsheet which I’ve attached. Games in black are wins and red are losses.
Anyone else who has completed their 2010 tracking, please send me your stats and a writeup. I’ll post them on the weekends, and (eventually) they’ll all become a part of the UW archives, since they’re now a part of the historical record.
Uni Watch Gathering…TODAY
Attention all New York City-area readers. If you’re not already aware, it’s the annual Brooklyn gathering of the UW faithful this afternoon. If you’ve joined us before, you know the scoop. If you haven’t, come on down to the Sheep Station in beautiful Park Slope.
Scotty Turner will be in town (he just flew in from the rainy west coast, and boy are his arms tired, dontcha know), Paul, of course, will be there, and we’re still hoping Wayne Hagin will be joining us. Good food (Aussie fare), stout brewskies and a whole crew of those who obsess over uniforms in one spot. If that’s not an inducement, I’m not sure what is. No, really. It’s a great time.
So come on down. We get under way around three o’clock till whenever. Hope to see many of you there.
OK everyone, that’s it for today. Hopefully you guys will try your hand at colorization. But if not, I certainly understand. It’s not difficult, but it does require patience.
Good college football, two ALDS clinchers today, and of course, the UW gathering in Brooklyn. It’s gonna be a great day. See you all tomorrow, if I don’t see you this afternoon. Cheers!
Is my cat an athlete? It can run pretty fast. If I put it on a track with 5 other cats, throw a catnip mouse and declare the first cat to get to the mouse to be the “winner”, is that a sport? — THE Jeff.