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Friday, May 26, 2006

Wings of Fire

The Russian-make Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jet aircraft is the latest acquisition of the Indian airforce. The Lohegaon AirForce Station at Pune, 8 miles from home, is the base for the Sukhoi squadron of fighter planes.

Last evening I was watching the manoeuvres of pilots from Lohegaon Airbase practicing sorties in Sukhois ahead of the 50th anniversary celebration of their AirForce Base on the eighth of next month, when President Dr. Abdul Kalam would be flying in a Su-30MKI combat jet.

The fighter planes looked so sleek, smooth, powerful, and graceful in air. The noise with the adrenaline rush when they fly low-altitude, and then take a graceful curve that steadily rises high, with a straight 90 degree cut that cleaves through the clouds, up and above the plane goes only to be back with a roaring noise after a few minutes.

Maan, what does it mean to be a fighter pilot—free like the wind, cleaving through clouds faster than the eye can see, rushing across the sky—with no one to stop. Reaching for heavens on wings of fire with the earth as its playground.

An inspiring quote from 'Wings of Fire' the autobiography of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, President of India.

We are all born with a divine fire in us. Our efforts should be to give wings to this fire and fill the world with the glow of its goodness.

I googled for images of Sukhoi Su-30MKI and learnt some Photoshop. Sitting in front of the computer, watching life go by... and the fighter planes vroom in the sky.

Image Editing: Give a Night Vision look to images.

Give a night vision (greenish-grey, blackish, and grainy look) effect to images with Photoshop.

This is a Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jet aircraft.

Wings of Fire - Sukhoi Su-30MKI combat jet aircraft

Let's see how it would look when viewed with a night vision device.

1. Open the image in Adobe Photoshop.

2. Convert to Grayscale.
Image -> Mode -> Grayscale

3. Choose Image -> Mode -> Duotone

- In the Duotone Options window, select Type as Duotone
- Choose a green colour as Ink1 - Example: #00ff33
- Choose a lighter shade of green as Ink2 - Example: #66cc99
- Click OK

4. Convert the image to RGB Color
Image -> Mode -> RGB Color

5. Add a Duplicate Layer from Layer -> Duplicate Layer -> OK

6. Select the Duplicate Layer

7. Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
- Set Duotone Input Levels as 75, 1.00, and 240.
- Click OK

8. Add Noise filter.
- Filter -> Noise -> Add Noise
- Amount 2.5%
- Distribution: Uniform
- Check Monochromatic checkbox
- Check the Preview checkbox to preview your image
- Click OK

8a. You may add Blur and Burn to blur and blacken the image.

- Filter -> Blur -> Blur -> Strength 20% to blur the image
- Burn tool -> Range Midtones, Exposure 50%, Brush 13px to 19px

9. Image -> Adjustments -> Levels
- Move the Input Level Slider from the left to the right
- Keep the Input Level in the first box between 60 to 75

Night vision look to Sukhoi Su-30MKI

10. Image -> Apply Image -> Blending -> Normal -> OK

11. Save the image.

- File -> Save As... .jpeg with quality as 4 for a small file size, 7 for a medium file size, or 12 for a large file size.
- File -> Save for Web... with quality 100 for a better quality image with a large file size; or quality as 75, 80 for a medium quality image; or quality as 60, 50, or less for a small file size.

Take a look at the original and night vision images of Sukhoi SU-30MKI.

Original and night vision images

Related Photoshop posts on this blog:

- Convert an image to Sepia colour
- Give an image a faded and weathered look
- Convert a photo to a pencil sketch

Read more Photoshop tips and tricks from Jennifer Apple's PhotoshopSupport.com.

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