Favorite Photoshop Tool:
How did you get your PSC nickname?
It is actualy made of my initials (H)orvat (Al)eksandar. The number... umm, who knows, Hal was occupied.
What is your real name and age?
Where are you from and what do you like best about being there?
I'm from Croatia, I'm here for fun, and to learn from the best. PSC is kind of good inspiration. I like out-of-box thinking.
What do you do to keep the bills paid?
I own a design studio, building and programming web sites, animating and programming in flash, and all stuff that comes with this.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like photography, and lately PSC requires some hours too. Not much spare time here but I can take my time since I'm my own manager :)
How did you find PSC, and what do you like most about the site?
I found it... hmmm, I can't remember how, but i know it was back to 2005. After about 100 of entries my life changes slightly. I was present at some reunions in the meantime, and this year H2H invitation pulls me back here. I like the spirit of this community, you can make great friends. Also, professionaly I understand and respect the amount of time spend on the backend programming of PSC to run it smoothly.
If you could change one thing at PSC, what would it be and why?
At this point chat system is a bit clumsy, I would like to see more advanced and user friendly application.
Is there any other information about you would like to pass on?
Sorry for my english, it is not my natural language.
How many hours per week do you spend on PSC?
About hour or two per entry. I post every contest since i'm back.
What other sites, not Photoshop related, do you like to surf?
Nothing special, I like the information availability on internet, about everything.
What tools do you use to chop?
My old P4, 19" monitor, XP. Surprisingly I do my chops mostly in Fireworks, with a bit help from PS. I'm uset to Fireworks doing my regular job. My next goal is to upgrade to CS3 in the following months.
What gets your creative juices flowing, how do you create a masterpiece?
I don't create masterpieces as I'm not that fast and precise. Good idea is advantage but sometimes I can't get sources which i want.
What inspires you?
Simply, others work inspires me the most. Good to be in a machine and to be recognized as part of something. Not the best but just part of.
Do you have a system? Does a chop have to be done a certain way following steps or are you a messy chopper and just go with the flow?
Interesting question, never thought of that. My first step is trying to see something in the image. If it flashes right away that's ok. But not always. Then I rotate image in all directions trying to see something else in it. I dont start until I'm sure about the idea. Initial idea changes with time, caused by inadequate external or too much time required, and sometimes lack of skill.
What style of chop do you prefer to create?
Not sure about that, and this is why my stile is not recognizable at first look. All-source is sometimes too difficult, vector is nice but not enough realistic for my taste (and time I'm willing to spend on it). Funny, well, if i get the idea why not. I think I'm mostly try to use more photos to make image different, to make something new and different from the source, to change subject. I guess thats a wish, but not always succesful execution.
Filters, brushes and techniques: Which do you use, and not use, and why?
Well i think i spend most of the time cutting things out of image. I use brushes just for shadows and some effects that become suitable. I avoid filters if they are not necessary, but sometimes they are needed to create a special mood. It all depends on initial idea. Maybe I'm wrong but I'm still developing my skills.
When do you know that you have it just right, or is it constant changes up until, or after, you post?
Well, I dont know. There is a moment when I say that idea is done. Something i add some more details but rarely.
What is the limit to what you will chop?
I't should make some sense, but I guess I would not chop anything that could hurt someones feelings on any relation.
Are there any tips and/or tricks that you would like to pass along to less experienced choppers?
Heh, I'm not that good so that I could give any advice to chopers. Just keep that PS open and work, it is unbelievable how thing improves with time. Don't be dissapointed with low voting rate if you are beginner. Cooperate in chats, forum, don't hesitate to make some constructive comment, let the people know you. And be humble. There are always better chopper then you.
What is your favorite type of source image, and why?
I guess that it depends of my current mood. I found that Advantage pack gives me great oportunity to work on source which I like. I can hate source one day but next day it may be perfect for new idea. Seeing sources for a month in advance gives that oportunity.
There is often talk about how the source is used and to what extent it should be. What are your views on all sources, outside source use and animations?
My opinion is that every type of chop has its advantages and quality. All-source usualy express awesome skills and precision. I admire all-source works (with exception of caleidoscope-like mirroring, as it can be done in short time degrading the "all-source" heavyness. When I think of all-source i expect advanced source manipulation, deconstructing something to build a nother things from parts. Chops with externals are the most tricky to valuate. I have better feeling when source is foundation of the work or even its best and significant part. Some work I saw was "all-external". Animations may be good but sometimes i have feeling that it doesn't carry what it should. There is also file size limitation so only the idea clearly exists, but execution is merely clumsy.
What is your preferred resource for outside source images?
I mostly use Google, sometimes absolutvision.com, and from time to time msn.com (it gives a bit different result. And, sometimes i use (or take on purpose) my own photo.
In your opinion what makes a good chop?
Good chop has to be finished at first. If it reflects lack of time then it is bad however idea might be good. Creativity and skils makes the rest. I valuate time spent on something but it is merely measured on how much time I will need to make the same thing. So it is my own criteria.
Do you have a system to get things started?
System, no. I check all advanced sources look at them until i see something interesting. Well, sometimes the date of contest forces me to start.
Have you ever completed a chop and then decided not to enter it in the contest? If so, why?
Not yet. There was some of them which i dont like so i go for another idea.
After you finish your chop do you just post it or seek opinions of family and/or fellow choppers first?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It is all about fun and learning on the way.
If some one finds a fault in your work do you change it or stay with what you posted?
If it is a fult which I didn't see then maybe.
What qualities do you look for when deciding to vote on a chop?
idea, execution, precision and time spend on it, majority of source...
Some member prefer not to vote for filtered chops or animations. Is there any particular style/type of chop you won't vote for?
If I cant find a source I consider this as posting in wrong contest. Filers are ok but something else must be done. Just filtering original source doesn't impress me as everyone could do that if they have the same filter. Sometimes with smart multiple filtering it can even do the work, if you properly change the mood and sense of the source.
Time is always a factor, how much time do you spend on a chop and how much time is too much?
I spend about 2 hours. 3 or 4 is too much. This doesn't count searching for an external.
We all love to get votes. Now are you a constant vote checker or do you just let it go and check once a day? (be honest)
I usualy check how it starts after contest is open. Comparing total votes with my own usually get the right prediction., later i check it from time to time. To much checking turns me away from other things i need to do, because then i need to check the forum, and the chat etc. :)
What chop of yours did not do as well as you expected?
this one: http://photoshopcontest.com/view-entry/67089/display.html
I guess it was late entry.
What do you consider your best chop so far?
Well maybe the beast, i spend lots of time with a chain as i was having only small piece. http://photoshopcontest.com/view-entry/72722/display.html
What do you consider your worst chop so far?
Oh, there are many of them but if you insist, here is one: http://photoshopcontest.com/view-entry/70441/display.html
Who is your favorite chopper out there and why?
It is tricky to talk about favorites as I always miss someone. So far I like anfa's thinking, marcobalistic's executions, Micose's artistic skills. All respect to all others which can be seen when you click Stats and see the first table, month leaders.
What do you NOT like to see in a chop, and why not?
I dont like themes that may insult someone, and chops that are obviously done in a hurry, with mistakes, but posted from well known chopper. I think that insult someone's feelings is not fun at all and doesnt contribute to community as we are all different. Getting votes by the name is unfair to others. I don't have any particular person in mind, and I don't remember the exact case. So I will rephrase the question: What I WOULDN'T like to see in a chop?
What is the best chop of all time?
Huh, tough question. I guess I can edit this questionary later, can I?
Do you have any other PSC related comments to add?