I thought I’d copy over from the Consider page my ‘Featured’ slide show demonstrating the use of the extrude tool in Photoshop since my work using that tool has received so much attention in the last week.
‘Courier’, my work that recently received a First Place ribbon at Capital Art’s Eye of the Beholder exhibit, and ‘The Lovers’, my new work published here on Valentine’s Day, both use that tool in different ways.
The extrude tool breaks an image into square or triangular blocks, then pulls each block forward at random distances and tilts them in increasing degrees moving away from a center point. The size of each block, the height to which it is extruded, and whether square or triangular (intended as pyramids) can be adjusted by the artist. The effect has often been described as looking down on a city from a great height, with the blocks appearing as buildings. I’d ask for an update enabling the artist to also adjust the center point and the severity of the tilt away from that point, if I could wish for more. (Are you following me, #Adobe?)
Thing is, it’s not a tool that I’d want to use very often. It’s a form of pixelating an image that only fits in certain conditions. Used too often, it would also make everything look alike. Of course, like all tools, its esthetic is also derived from the other effects used with it. This is how photo art becomes ‘art’ – one cannot simply apply a watercolor filter and cry “done!”
Only six works are included here – that’s actually all I’ve completed using extrude over the past couple years, which illustrates how rarely I apply it. In addition to the two I’ve already mentioned (‘Courier’, I’m pretty sure, was the very first time I used it in anything more than play), I’ve always liked the long (1x3 scale) blue work I call ‘Planetfall’ – it actually started as a photographic capture of a leafy plant growing up against a stone foundation, so clearly I took that work a long, long ways. All three of those use extrude fairly late in the process, so the effect is quite profound. In the others, extrude came earlier, and was softened by other effects used over the top of it, all the way up to the mushrooms (the title of which escapes me) in which extrude is so transparent it’s effect is very subtile.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.