We’ve Changed Themes!

Hi!

You may have noticed that the website looks a bit different. Here at Handz Studioz we found an awesome theme called Piano Black. We switched from Trvl to Piano Black.

If you’re wondering why, it’s because all of the menus on the Trvl theme are at the bottom (i.e. they are footer menus) of the page. Now you can find menus, recent posts, recent comments, a search box, and more, now conveniently located at the right hand side and top of the page.

Thanks for visiting the site, and feel free to comment and tell us what you think of the new look!

Follow to be notified of future posts!

-The Editor

Hacked Nook Color runs Android 4.2

The other day I grabbed my Barnes & Noble Nook Color and thought, “This is pathetic.” But that has changed…

Picture of Nook Color running Android 4.2

I’d tried to do this mod before, by installing Android onto a microSD card and then powering the Nook off the SD card. The main problem with that was, that although Android actually ran, it was SLOW as *BEEP*!

So yesterday I decided to try it again, but do it differently. The main advantage to doing the root from an SD card is that it’s all on the SD card, so if you remove the SD card, “Voilah!” you have a Nook Color again. The main disadvantage is speed. As you know, microSD cards are storage only, which means that they have no RAM. Although the RAM on the Nook Color helped some, it was still, as I said before, very slow and laggy.

This time, I installed a ROM image onto my SD card, then put in, still as zip files CyanogenMod 10.1.3, a zip to repartition data, and a zip to reformat data, as well as the matching version of Google Apps. That way, instead of installing the files to the SD card, I installed them onto the Nook, which actually replaced the Nook Color operating system with the Android OS. Why do that? Improved performance, as well as being able to run Android without the SD card in the Nook, meaning that I can take the installation files off of the card, then put it back into the Nook as extra storage. That means it truly is now a tablet equivalent to the Samsung Galaxy Tab.

The only difference? The Nook only has 256 MB of RAM (memory), which is about as much as the Droid X and other early smartphones. That said, the only game that I haven’t been able to play very well (and so I deleted it) because of that is Deer Hunter 2014, which has incredible graphics, and lots of movement.

I’m pretty sure there is a way to turn it back into a Nook Color, but at the moment, I haven’t done much research on it and I don’t really want it to be a Nook anyway. Why would I do that when I now have an awesome Android tablet for a quarter of the price? I can always download the Nook app!

Want to know how to do this? Leave a comment and let me know!

-The Editor.

Tutorial: Make your camera infrared sensitive.

OK,
I haven’t been very active so far this year, but I found something last week that was really interesting.  I found out that you can modify your camera so that it picks up infrared light. (NOTE: this will not work on film cameras. A similar modification can be made, but you need to use IR sensitive film for it to work.)

DISCLAIMER: this tutorial was designed for a point-and-shoot camera. If you have a DSLR that you wish to do this on, look in the external links section at the end. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE if you destroy your camera because you don’t know how things work and break something. ALWAYS remove the battery and SD card. The only way to make your camera normal again is to put the IR filter back into the camera. If you lose the filter, this modification is irrevocable. Even as is, it is extremely difficult to reinstall the filter so if you don’t want to take the chance of permanently modifying your camera, you can buy an IR lens filter.

You probably know that humans can only see light waves between roughly 350nm and 720nm. That means we can’t see ultraviolet (UV) light, or infrared (IR) light. Cameras can see both of those, plus our visual range. On a camera, as you probably know, there is a lens, and then behind the lens there is an image sensor, either of CMOS type or CCD. What you probably don’t know, is that over the image sensor (which looks similar to a mirror) there is a red tinted piece of plastic or glass that filters infrared light so that the images look like what we see with our eyes. Let’s look at an illustration so this makes more sense:
camera internals

Now, looking at that, in order to make your camera see IR, do this!

I recommend using a magnetic tipped screwdriver because the screws are really tiny.

Remove the back of your camera. Then you should see the LCD display sitting in some sort of tray. Lift the screen out of the tray. Undo the screws that hold the tray. Now you should see a little metal plate with a couple of screws holding down down a gold colored (most likely) piece of foil material. That is the connector which transfers the image information to the display and SD card. After undoing the screws, carefully lift up one side of the connector. In the middle you should see something that looks like a small mirror with a piece of red polarized glass over it. Remove the red glass, and be sure to get all of the rubber seals that hold it on (on most cameras there are one or two). SAVE THE GLASS because if you ever want to make it normal again you have to have that. Put your camera back together, and you should have IR or near IR photography.

IR photos require a longer exposure, so if your camera normally takes a 1/60 second exposure, it will probably do about 1/20. In good lighting there will not be a noticeable difference, however.

In order to use it as night vision, you will need an IR flashlight or other IR emitter. You will not be able to see the light, but the camera can. DO NOT look into the light for more than a second or two. While you cannot see it, it is still very bright and can damage your eyes just like a bright LED flashlight can.

Thanks for visiting my site and be sure to follow! Look for infrared photographs coming later today or tomorrow!

-The Editor.

External Links:
Original instructions I found online:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5569758_build-own-night-vision-camera.html

DSLR version:
http://www.ehow.com/how_7645833_remove-ir-filter-camera.html

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 DSLR Camera

All over the internet right now, there are ads upon ads for Canon’s new camera: the Rebel EOS SL1 DSLR. According to Canon’s research as of March 2013 (Their info is still valid, I checked) the SL1 is the “World’s Lightest and Most Compact Fully Functional DSLR.”

Picture of Canon Rebel SL1

The question is, is it really as good as a normal sized DSLR, like the 5D MKIII, T3i, or 7D? Is it really fully functional? Maybe some Pros, Cons, and Specs can help answer these questions.

Pros:

  • 18.0 Megapixel image sensor (CMOS APS-C) offers up to 5184 x 3456 pixel images
  • Touch screen 3″ TFT-LCD display (1,040,000 dots [avg. on most point and shoot cameras 700,000-920,000])
  • LCD screen viewable from almost any angle
  • 1 year warranty on parts and labor
  • Optical image stablization (reduces camera shake in camcorder mode)
  • Face detection
  • Burst Mode (very helpful if you are taking action shots!)
  • Shutter speeds vary from 30 secs to 1/4000 secs
  • Good aperture range (f/3.5-5.6 with included lens)
  • Large amount of WB options (Auto, preset (daylight, shade, cloudy, tungsten light, white fluorescent light, flash), custom white balance correction, white balance bracketing
  • External flash mount (hot shoe)
  • Focal length from 9.8′ to Infinity
  • Expandable ISO up to 25600!
  • Video formats: PAL, NTSC, mini HDMI
  • Audio level adjustment in Video Mode
  • Auto and manual exposure (Manual: ±5 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments; AEB: ±2 stops in 1/3- or 1/2-stop increments)

Cons:

  • No Panorama Mode
  • No manual self timer (available times 2 secs or 10 secs)

With that many Pros and So few cons, this camera looks pretty good. What about the specs?

  • Under a pound at 13.1 oz (371.4g [body only])
  • 3.6″ high
  • 4.6″ wide
  • 2.7 inches deep

Looking at the Pros, Cons, and Specs, I’d say this is the world’s smallest fully functional DSLR. Thinking about getting one? You can get one from Best Buy (see external links section below) or from Canon (body only [or you can get a lens with it]).

Make sure to follow!
-The Editor
External Links:
Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR Camera Specs

GIMP For iOS? Follow up

Just a quick follow up to our latest post, about the possibility of GIMP for iOS. Since I obviously can’t use GIMP on my iOS devices, I’m going to tell you what I use instead of GIMP.

I use a free app available on the AppStore called Pixlr Photo Express+ for most of my editing. For the few things I don’t use Pixlr for, I use an app called Aviary. In general I would say that Pixlr is much better. The only thing I don’t like about Pixlr is that there is no free select tool like there is in GIMP.

There is An app called Adobe Photoshop Touch (I don’t have it, maybe I will get it soon), but it is pricey at $9.99, but it does have a free select tool. (It has pretty much all the features of Photoshop.)

Photogene is similar but only $2.99, but it does not support layers. It does, however, have FTP export, something that Photoshop touch does not have. Overall, I would say that Photoshop touch is better, judging from it’s specs.

-The Editor
Don’t forget to follow!

Tutorial: Deadliest Soccer Ball

OK,
I’ve gotten several positive answers to my question as to whether I should make a tutorial about how I made my, “Deadliest Soccer Ball,” and so I decided to make one. I got one comment saying, “YES!YES!YES!” So, here we go:

The soccer picture that I used can be downloaded for free at http://screenok.com/wallpaper/Soccer-Ball-Fifa/

For the mouth, I just went to Google Images and searched for “lion roaring” to get my picture. However, if you want the exact picture that I used, click here. Just right-click the picture and click “Save Image” or “Save Image As” to save it to your computer. (If you’re wondering why I used a different link for this image, just look at the URL after you click the link. It is HUGE.)

Before we start on the actual picture, let’s get a few things straight. First of all, I create the “Deadliest Soccer Ball” picture using GIMP. (It can be downloaded for free at http://getgimp.com/) However, GIMP is very similar to Adobe Photoshop, so if you have Photoshop, don’t worry, this tutorial should work just fine for you. Second, I don’t have the video add-on for my blog, so that is why this is a picture tutorial instead of a video. Third, if you feel like you missed something, check the text in the tutorial. I am not putting a picture for every little step, so some things will be in the text. I have, however, put pictures for all of the more complicated steps. I am assuming in this tutorial that you have a basic understanding of how GIMP works. Without further ado, let’s start editing!

First, open your soccer picture in GIMP (or Photoshop). Then go to your file menu and go to “Open as Layers” and open your lion picture.
img1

Make sure your lion is facing the right way. If not, use your flip tool and click the lion picture to turn it the right way. Next, use your free select tool and carefully click all around the mouth and select it. Then in your Layer dialogue right click on the lion layer and click “Add Layer Mask”
img2

The following menu should open:
img3
The settings are good as long as “White (full opacity)” is selected.  Make sure that’s the case, then click “Add.”

Then right-click on the lion layer again and click “Apply Layer Mask.”
img4

Next, go to your Select menu at the top of the window and click “Invert.” Next, on your keyboard press the x key while holding down ctrl. (I don’t know what the Photoshop keyboard shortcut for this command is…) now you should just have the mouth. Make sure that no other part of the lion picture still exists. Go into the Select menu again, and click “None.” Now use your move tool to move the lion picture around to check if any parts of it besides the mouth  are still around. If there are, get your rectangle select tool and roughly select the area. Then press x while holding down ctrl to remove the selected area (if it deletes part of the soccer picture too, look in your layers dialogue and make sure that you are applying the delete to the lion layer).

Now use your move, rotate, and scale tools to position the mouth on the soccer ball. This is what it should look like now:
img5

Now, this part is more detailed, so make sure to pay close attention. Go into your layers dialogue and select the soccer ball layer. Your layers dialogue should look like this:
img6

Now get your clone stamp tool and ctrl click anywhere on the grass. Start painting over the soccer ball. Try to clone from similar areas, i.e. if you are cloning the grass to the area of the ball where the blurred grass is, clone blurred grass. Try cloning from different parts of the grass until you get it looking the way you want. I recommend using a fuzzy brush for this.
img7
OK, this looks pretty good. If you want, you can also clone the silver parts of the ball to cover up the logos, like this:
img8

So, that’s it! Thanks for visiting my blog and make sure to come back! Click that Subscribe button to be notified about future posts!

Feel free to comment, tell me how it went…

Until next time,
The Editor.