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First attempt with Impressionist
What do you think?
Last edited by Steve1053; 02-23-2005 at 12:53 AM.
What do I think? Result is what I think.
I have just read the tutorial. Much respect for working through it.
I have downloaded the tutorial and associated stuff. Will try it out in the next couple of weeks and see if I can get a result. Doesn't he make it look easy?!
Keep going Steve. You have done the hard bit. Any idea how many people visit this site and never, ever post anything?
I wish I'd done 1/2-this good on my first try with Impressionist, Steve. A great first time at bat.
Since you posted your pic in the Critique forum I'll take this opportunity to comment more than I normally would to not only (hopefully) benefit you, but others following in your footsteps. I realize you were using Stephen's technique, but to illustrate my points I'm going to vary from it in the steps that follow.
Note: To be sure there's no misunderstanding, I am in no way, shape or form trashing your effort. The intent is to share a few things I've discovered to hopefully shorten learning curves.
* First I enlarged the image to 6" x 9" at 85 ppi for more to work with.
* Filters and plugins in general (not just Impressionist) usually don't do well with areas of an image that are black or nearly black (highly shadowed) or areas of white (highlights). As such before applying any filters or plugins it's usually a good idea to replace blacks and whites with other colors.
* Notice in the original the shadowed portion of the wall (on the right) and his coat are very dark, therefore Impressionist wasn't able to do much with those areas.
* There are a couple ways to overcome this... In the example attached I used the Polygon Selection tool to roughly select the wall on the right. (Note: For most digital imaging tasks selections need to be very precise. The good news: You can get away with less than perfect selections when it comes to this style of manipulation.)
* With the selection active I added a Levels adjustment layer and fiddled with the controls to lighten up the corner. It's a judgment call on what looks right.
* Now the coat: Magic Wand tool, Tolerance=10 or so, x-Contiguous x-Use all layers. While holding down the Shift key, I clicked in areas within the coat until it the coat was totally selected. This was an easy selection due to the coat's nearly uniform color and contrat against the background, vest and shirt.
* With the selection active a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer was added. With option Colorize selected, I fiddled with the controls until I got a pleasant blue for the coat. Nothing scientific here, either. Stop when you get something you like. Error on the side of lighter than darker.
* Created a new layer (above Levels and Hue/Sat). While holding down Alt, Layer > Merge visible to merge the layers into the new one without collapsing them. Now we've got a base layer without large areas of black or heavily shadowed areas. (Layer C)
* When it comes to distinguishing paintings from photos, in focus and properly exposed photos capture a lot of detail and (assuming color) actual colors in the scene. Generally speaking paintings are less detailed (and in some cases much less detailed) than photos. Color "faithfulness" or variance in a painting is up to the artist. In many cases "a little off" can add interest. More on colors in a minute.
* (Layer D) Duplicated the base layer. Applied Artistic > Dry brush a couple times. You want to arty up the layer without losing too much ear / mouth / eyes detail.
* Duplicated the base layer again. Choose Impressionist > Chalk > Chunky Strokes, but it could have any of a number of other styles. Before applying the effect I clicked the More Controls button and from the dropdown menu choose Colors.
* Clicked the Preview button to see the default result. Then in the Colors dialog, clicked the Jitter - H (Hue) control's up-arrow a couple times, bumping it up from 0 to 10. Clicked Preview again to see how Impressionist has varied (jittered) the stroke colors.
* Clicked Apply. When Impressionist finished I liked the color variance, especially in the newly colored coat. (Layer E)
The rest was an exercise in adding Layer Masks to the layers and blending them amongst each other.
In summary by doing a little work in advance to neutralize shadow or highlight areas and getting a little funky with Impressionist color settings, the result can look more painted.
I hope some of this is helpful.
First attempt with Impressionist
Thank you for your kind words of support to everyone who has commented so far.
Reading Danny's comments which are constructive and apprieciated. I did notice that 'whites & blacks' don't do to well with impressionist. All down to to preparing the image in Photoshop prior to working on it with impressionist as suggested.
I was trying to retain the black jacket and produce a near as true life as possible, but as you suggest 'artistic licence' may change the original.
My other critics (wife & daughter) commented on my effort lost detail in the face, in particular the boy's right eye looks different from the left. Next time I'll attend to that!
I'm smitten with this whole aspect of art even though the only art I've produced in the past is painting the bedroom wall - a solid colour!
I've obtained a trial version of Painter 9 which to be honest appears quite difficult - I'm waiting for a book to arrive to get my head around it.
Thanks again for the support, it has helped me tremendously.
I'll be back with another 'critique'.
See you soon.
That can be a challenge. Too much detail and it looks out of place with the rest of the image. Too little detail can render subjects that are too abstract. It's a balancing act -- something skilled traditional artists do well.
re: Painting the bedroom with solid colors
Well, we all start at the same place... the beginning.
re: Painter IX
Painter is about as intuitive as Photoshop. A book I highly recommend is Jeremy Sutton's "Painter Creativity." It's quite good and includes a lot of useful coverage on Painter basics (great for rookies) in addition to numerous tutorials that help one get familiar with many of Painter's features. Among the tutorials are methods for doing photo transformations.
His DVD set, albeit not inexpensive, is exceptionally well done, too. For someone like you who is trying to expand your wedding product offerings, you might find it just what you need to get moving quickly.
Another very good Painter learning resource content-wise which is very reasonably priced are the Painter course offerings at www.EclecticAcademy.com.
An alternative to Painter IX, which I'm sure you noticed is very spendy, is Painter 8, which has a high degree of functionality and costs a whole lot less.
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