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Photo-Based Art Emulating natural-media painting techniques

Modular Photo-Art 02: Improving Results of Artistic Effect Filters

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Old 06-17-2003, 01:42 AM
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Modular Photo-Art 02: Improving Results of Artistic Effect Filters

Modular Photo-Art 02: Improving Results of Artistic Effect Filters

What is Modular Photo-Art?
Modular Photo-Art is an attempt to create a series of threads to provide building blocks and modifications that can lead to the creation of photo-art. These are not comprehensive tutorials that lead to a specific result; they are methods and techniques that can be used along the way to alter the path of a picture or solve problems.

To find out more and/or discuss Modular Photo-Art, check out the introductory thread here.

What is Improving Results of Artistic Effect Filters?
There are many artistic effect filters that apply brush strokes, color variations, or other effects to emulate natural media. But because they apply effects without the kind of judgements a human artist would make, many people find them wanting. Still, many of us like to use them, and we are constantly looking for ways to get them to work better.

The purpose of this thread is for people to post tips and tricks to improve the results from artistic filters. This can be a single step that you often use with one filter, or it can be a multistep process. And remember, these are not complete tutorials, just things people can try that help improve the results from artistic filters.

Last edited by Andrew B.; 06-17-2003 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:47 AM
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Two Common Problems
Two filter problems I often run into are: a) I run a filter and get a decent art effect but the filter creates bad colors in the process and/or b) I get a nice color effect but there is a noise or texture problem. What follows is an example of what I'm talking about.

Starting picture

After experimenting with this photo for a while I decided to change the clouds, darken the picture to make it night time, and add some lightning to the sky. I sort of liked the result but it seemed to need more. I decided to try a filter called Virtual Painter Color Pencil, because I knew it would add some diagonal strokes that might also look like rain. So I did this, but it also gave me an intense green sky and too much noise.

Attached image shows before and after Color Pencil filter
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File Type: jpg before_and_after_filter.jpg (99.0 KB, 67 views)
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:52 AM
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Correcting the Color
What usually works is I place a copy of the prefiltered image on a layer above the filtered layer, set its blending mode to Color, and reduce the opacity. But it didn't look right this time. So I tried the Hue blending mode instead. This got the lower sky to an olive green that gave some nice tension to the sky, but the upper sky was still too much intense green. So I added a hue/saturation adjustment layer with a gradient layer mask so only the top of the sky would be adjusted by it, and then I reduced Saturation to -25.

Attached image shows the two steps of the color adjustment.
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File Type: jpg two_step_color_adjustment.jpg (98.1 KB, 46 views)
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:55 AM
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Correcting the noise
Median set to 2. That was easy. And this is not the only picture where I?ve seen Median have a good result. It is also good for taming the effect of other brush stroke filters that sometimes take things too far. So you might want to try it after Paint Engine or any other stroking filter to see what it can do.

By the way, Median was not the final step for this picture. I made a few more adjustments after that. What I showed here are only the steps to remove problems from the filter.

Attached is before and after running Median.
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File Type: jpg noise-reduction.jpg (98.1 KB, 42 views)
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:57 AM
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So what?
As you might have noticed, nothing I did was earthshaking. And that's the point. There are many simple steps people can take to adjust the results of a filter, rather than get frustrated and discard the results. And the plan is (or rather the hope is) that people will add tips and tricks to this thread that they have learned along the way, and that this will help others improve the results of their filtering efforts. So don't feel that it has to be a complex adjustment. It can also be something very simple.
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