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Tutorial: Oil painting, Mark SWEngineer

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Old 12-11-2004, 12:49 AM
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Tutorial: Oil painting, Mark SWEngineer

My oil mimic technique (using Elements 2 w/ HPT):

B: Copy BG, GBlur ( ~ 7), Sponge (5,0,11), Spatter (15,3) - use more or less spatter (1st parameter) depending on image resolution.
C: copy B, Fresco (5,5,2), reduce opacity to ~ 15%
D: merge visible (B&C), paint daubs (2,4,simple)
E: copy D. RoughPastels(0,1,Canvas,100,35,top). Rotate image 30deg R. Repeat RoughPastels. Rotate image 30deg L. Crop the added (empty) canvas from the rotations.
F: copy BG. HighPass (~4). GBlur(~2). [You will need to adj. these settings to get good results.] LinearLight mode. 20% to 100% opacity. (30% in myexample)
G: copy BG. HighPass (~2), GBlur(~.8) [You may need to adj. these to get good results.] LinearLight mode. 5% to 25% opacity (11% in my example)
H: Merge visible(E,F,G). Unsharpmask (~ 50, 0.8, 0)
J: Curves, Levels, Hue/Sat or whatever as needed to get the final image tone & color you want. In the example image I posted (one of my vacation pictures), I added a texturized yellowish layer -- Vivid light mode, 12% opacity -- trying to get a crackled varnish look. It didn't work, but I liked how it toned down the water & emphasized the foliage. This really helps visually pull you over the fall and down the stream in my opinion. So, I kept it.

This tut from byRo served as my inspiration. Basically, I do all the "art" effects on the low frequency (long range order) component of the image. Layers G & H add back the "details". H adds back a band of medium-high frequency (lowish range order). It's import to find the right frequency band to restore base detail without sacrificing the "art" look. G adds back the higher frequency components. Some images may not need this. Others need it very much. Catch-lights in the eyes in a portrait image would be an example where the image would suffer without the fine detail layer G provides.

If I can figure out how to augment this with brush strokes &/or a "thick gobs of oil" effect (without having to paint - I'm part of the no talent club) I'll update this tutorial. If someone else figures out a way to do this please add it to this thread.

Here are some refinements I used on the portrait in the Creative Interpretations - James Bond thread to tighten up the fuzzy edges the basic technique produces:
1) I cut way down on spatter in layer B, using settings of (3, 4)
2) As a last step in layer D, I added a Palette Knife (13, 3, 5) filter to eliminate the fuzzyness at the edges where dark met light). The 1st parameter (Stroke Size) seems like the critical one.
3) After creating layer D... Make a new (empty) layer above D, (name it MASK) and paint a 4 pixel wide line in a high contrast color - I used bright green - with a hard round brush along the interface where dark (on the left) meets light (on the right). That's where most of the fuzz seems to appear. (You don't have to be too accurate making this line, I don't think.) Use the magic wand tool w/ tolerance at zero to select all of the green line (on transparent background). Expand the selection 1 pixel & feather by 2. Invert this selection and save it (I named it EDGE). Deselect. Turn off the visibility of the MASK layer or delete it. It no longer has a purpose.
4) After copying layer D to create layer E, load the EDGE selection, then run the Rough Pastel filters. You have to reload the selection after rotating the image in between the two passes of Rough Pastel filtering (Thankfully, the saved selection rotates along with the document).
5) Load the EDGE selection and invert it. Make sure layer E is active. Choose Layer--> New --> Layer via Copy from the menu. Set this layer to Overlay mode, & maybe reduce opacity a bit. Rough Pastels seems to generate a strong overlay effect internally so the masked areas end up weak and washed out compared to the unmasked part of the image. Merge this new layer down into layer E.

Also, James Bond only has one Bandpass layer: (Highpass 3, GBlur 1 - LinearLight, 15%) and I forgot to do the Unsharp mask trick.

Sure hope someone finds this useful. Please post any successes you may have if you try it.

Attachments: Original photo, PhotoArt, & Art detail (to show off the nice textures this method produced on the full size original image)

Attached Images
File Type: jpg falls_orig.jpg (80.8 KB, 77 views)
File Type: jpg falls_oily.jpg (83.3 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg falls_detail.jpg (97.2 KB, 111 views)

Last edited by SWEngineer; 12-12-2004 at 06:41 AM. Reason: clarify palette knife
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Old 12-11-2004, 10:58 PM
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hi..looks real interesting.. thanks for sharing
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