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Contests Retouching contests to challenge your skills and learn from others. Prizes for the winners!

May 06 Contest Discussion

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  #31  
Old 05-05-2006, 06:14 PM
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goose443 goose443 is offline
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Although I'm not going to post every step I went through (too complicated) I would be happy to share technique or answer questions if anyone is interested.
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  #32  
Old 05-05-2006, 06:53 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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i looked at Veryweird's how to in this thread and went, 'wait, she did exactly what i did... or i did exactly what she did'. basically, i took every filters, plugin, tool, etc, that i have and using the original each time, made a new layer of all these various edge/sketch type tools. thus, i used things like 'find all', 'trace contour', 'find horizontal', 'find vertical', etc, adding up to about 12 different types and thus 12 separate layers, each with a different base edge/sketch effect.

after that i lost all track of what i did. it was mostly working with combining all these different layers with various blend modes and sometimes completely new images based on combos of the original layers.

at various times i might also erase some part of one layer to get a certain look. and near the very end it was even more erasing to get rid of things i didnt like.

the final step was a dual framing. you might think there is only one frame in my rendition, but in fact there are two. the first was a soft vignette frame. that's the one that may not be that obvious. the second was actually a border and not a frame.

and as others have already pointed out, pencil sketches can have quite a range, from a minamalist one like mine, to a full featured portrait. one shld also remember that graphite can produce a rather wide range of shades and sharpness/blurriness depending on how you use it and the hardness or softness of the graphite. i've also seen 'wet' graphite effects which can go beyond the normal range of most pencils.

oh, and here's one small tip for others still working. graphite is basically the same substance as ... charcoal and almost all editors have some sort of charcoal type filter.

craig
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  #33  
Old 05-05-2006, 11:13 PM
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soleah soleah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraellin
....
oh, and here's one small tip for others still working. graphite is basically the same substance as ... charcoal and almost all editors have some sort of charcoal type filter.
Thanks. craig.

For a moment there, I got confused. I am familiar with the word "charcoal", but "graphite"???....(and here I already submitted my entry )

FYI for those not familiar with the term (like me) : A quick search on the net, I found out that graphite pencil is just your garden variety lead pencil. There is no lead in the pencil. It is actually graphite.


Here's generally what I did with my entry: (The detailed steps would take forever to write)
1. I created an outline image from the desaturated image
2. Mask the outline image and painted back the general shape of the head, hair, eyes, etc. with a coarse brush.
3. Made a copy of the desaturated image
4. Mask the copy and painted back the shades on the face and hair using a soft brush at varying opacity.

I am still using a mouse so the contouring and shading was bit tiring and frustrating...but I am quite happy with the results.

Whatever the outcome of the contest, this is one big "breakthrough" for me.
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  #34  
Old 05-06-2006, 01:18 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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may 6th and we're already up to 32 entries! i may have to withdraw just so i dont have to vote i find it fascinating going through the entries so far. so many differences and yet all seemingly falling within the criteria. 'pencil sketch' when you get right down to it, is a pretty broad parameter. i havent seen one yet that i could eliminate by saying, 'no, that's an oil or something else'. so, it's going to be an interesting voting i'm thinking.

anyone who's ever run their finger over a pencil mark knows how easily smudged the lines can get, while on the other hand a pencil with a really good point on it can make the most delicatly thin line you'd ever want. change the pressure it's applied with and that line can be dark or very light. so, basically, almost any desaturated image could fall within the parameters. and this is NOT a whine about the rules. i think the rules are fine. this is just an observation about the class of entries so far.

i also got this wild idea, that's probably a bad idea, but i'll toss it out there anyways. T has been notifying folks ahead of the voting stage if their rendition is likely to be disqualified for rules violations. and that's fine. but it got me thinking; what if the rest of us, contestants and not, started evaluating entries ahead of the vote...here in the discussion thread. we've more or less avoided this in the past, but wouldnt it be interesting to know what folks are thinking about your piece BEFORE the voting stage? the idea here being, not to cause a heated bickering or attempt to sway a good entry into changing theirs to a bad entry by essentially lieing about it, but rather to get a less favored entry to change to a something better. and since it is quite legal to change your entry before the deadline, why not?

now, i know there's a bad side to doing this. i know. but in past contests i've watched various folks post their piece and i KNOW as soon as it's posted that it doesnt have a chance. that's the type of entry i'm talking about. you see it and you just know it's not going to have any chance at all. so, why not tell the person and give them a shot at doing something better?

now, like i said, i know there's a downside to this. egos do take hold at times in contests and i also know that some folks dont really want to be told that their entry is 'no good and doesnt stand a chance in h*ll of making it.' no one really wants to hear that. i also know that a lot of these contests become subjective perception evaluations, but what i'm mostly talking about is that post that when you see it you just know that it's just technically not up to snuff. would anyone care to hear that before the deadline or not?

also, i shld add here, i've NOT seen any of those yet in this particular contest. so, stand easy all; i'm not talking about your entry in this contest

or maybe, the way to do it would be that the person when they posted could include something in their entry post that says 'please tell me if this doesnt stand a chance.' and in that wise folks could and would then say yes or no and why not, if that was the case.

anyways, it's just a thought

craig
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  #35  
Old 05-07-2006, 01:39 AM
Doug Colwell Doug Colwell is offline
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Started with a copy of the blue channel and used levels and masks to exagerate the contrast. Used colored pencil filter (picked this one because it had the word 'pencil' in it), lowered opacity, and merged down to my high contrast layer. The hair suffered from the filter's diagonal strokes so I copied a patch of hair from left side, and rotated it so I could get some natural looking strokes on the right side. Cloned the patch edges in and burned the hair along the cheek line. Recovered some of the original hair texture using levels and masks on a copy of my base blue channel layer.
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  #36  
Old 05-07-2006, 02:04 AM
Gigadals Gigadals is offline
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Craig,

'please tell me if my entry doesn't stand a chance.' i would love to hear what the wise folks could and would say.

Giga
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  #37  
Old 05-07-2006, 02:26 AM
Doug Colwell Doug Colwell is offline
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Craig, your idea would be a good one except that it targets 'bad work', so already people will be on the defensive, and maybe even reluctant to enter. While I think most people are just as inclined (probably more so) to try to fix 'good work' that they feel needs just a little something to make it 'great work', I don't know if the contest forum is the right place for unsolicited critiques - I suspect that many view the vote as criticism enough. If entrants ask for help or tips or critcism, then I don't see a problem.
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  #38  
Old 05-07-2006, 02:34 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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While all pencils are graphite and not lead, in artists terms, a graphite sketch often means drawn with a stick of graphite (http://www.lawrence.co.uk/shop/index...alog220_0.html) rather than a traditional pencil. They're very like charcoal in consistancy but they're not a dark, you dont get proper blacks with pencils, if you lay it on too heavy the best you will get is dark, shiny gray.
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  #39  
Old 05-07-2006, 02:39 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigadals
Craig,

'please tell me if my entry doesn't stand a chance.' i would love to hear what the wise folks could and would say.

Giga
Giga, yours defiantely falls well within the realm of pencil sketch. I'm not persoanlly a fan of such visible cross-hatching but thats a personal preference, not a critisicm.
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  #40  
Old 05-07-2006, 02:54 AM
Doug Colwell Doug Colwell is offline
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Nancy. I agree that true black isn't possible with graphite but it can show very dark if you control the lighting and reflections that make them shiny. Here's an un-tweaked scan of a graphite stick sketch I did years ago (from a Julia Margaret Cameron photo) that shows quite black in some areas.
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