Nightmare of NES™ and Lego™ Past

Pencil Sketch Lego NES

I was super excited to build the new Lego™ kit that I received for my birthday – a model of the retro gaming console Nintendo Entertainment System™. I stayed up way too late to finish it in the wee hours of the morning. Proud of my accomplishment, I started to head to bed.

Exhausted but pleased, I quickly fell asleep. When I woke up, I could immediately tell that something was very wrong. My body did not move quite right – and my skin felt like plastic. My hands had changed to simple c-shaped cup holders. My room was gone, and in its place all I could see was grass and blue skies with puffy clouds. All plastic, yet also familiar somehow. I chose a direction and starting walking. Suddenly a brown mushroom-shaped creature rushed me, and I had to leap out of the way. When I jumped I bumped my head on something. It was a… big block floating in the air?

Goomba art

I tried to make sense of what I was seeing as I hurried forward, dodging the brown mushroom animals, avoiding mean turtles, and jumping over pits. There was this strange music playing in the background. Panicked, I leapt upon what looked like a flagpole (what was it doing here?), slid down, and before me was a castle. As I entered the castle the world starting breaking apart, brick by brick. My body too fell apart – hands first, then I broke in two. Another sound blared, and I woke up in my room, heart racing!

So, the image from the top that I used is a photo turned into a sketch of one of my LEGO sets that I received and built. LEGO has always been an important part of my life as much as video games are, so seeing the two be combined into one was special to me. The LEGO set has both a retro television and a retro game console that are components make up the full set. I figured that I would try to recreate that essence of retro gaming with a story that shares my deep affection for video gaming as a whole, but also of one of the game series that is important to me even today. I used Photoshop to make the the photo look like a drawing. I looked up a tutorial to figure out how to make that happen since I wanted to see how it would turn out. I figured this sketch style made it look more ominous than the original photograph, so I wanted to showcase how weird and surreal it felt to me.

How to create your own draw-it photo material in Photoshop:

Step 1: Open a photo up in Photoshop
Step 2: Open the Layers panel and click on the background layer and make a copy of that layer
Step 3: Remove the color from the Background photo by going to the “Image” menu on the top left, choose “Adjustments” then “Desaturate.” This turns the photo into black and white.
Step 4: Make a copy of the desaturated layer.
Step 5: Invert the color by going to “Image,” then “Adjustments,” then “Invert.”
Step 6: Change the blend mode to Color Dodge from the menu above the layers tab. This turns the photo all white, if not with some black marks depending on the photo.
Step 7: Turn the current layer into a smart object. Important for the next step.
Step 8: Use the Gaussian Smart Filter by going to the “Filter” menu on the top left, then “Blur” then select “Gaussian Blur.” One can adjust the value of the blur so that it looks more like a sketch or more photorealistic depending on what you want. Plus, since the blur filter was put on a smart object, it automatically makes it a smart filter attached to the layer so that you can edit it as you please.

And that’s the gist of that. I have to give credit to this page for the tutorial on how to make this work. Hope you enjoyed this.

Link to assignment this was based on: Draw It. (2 stars)

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