Originally Posted by jch71566
I first made selections for the curved pole and the circular sign. Next, I ran Amphisoft's free Simplifier on the background. Next, I ran edges->erode on the background. buZZ, and finally, Amphisoft convolution shaman (sharpen edges, screen mode). Finally, reduced image size to get <100kB
Getting rid of a lot of the detail/noise between the tree branches brought out the sign as well as the tree branches. Wish I would have thought of that. Well done, Jeff.
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About a year ago I picked up a book called Adobe Photoshop 7 One-Click Wow,
by Jack Davis and Linnea Dayton. Fiddled with it back then, but at that point PS7 was new to me and not having had PS6 I "didn't get" Layer Styles yet.
Started flipping through this book again last night and am having a blast. It comes with a bazillion (okay, over 800) layer styles, textures, custom brushes, other tool presets, gradients and actions to play with.
This was done with one of the Wow actions and three layer styles (texture, edge and frame).
If Layer Styles are new to you, this book is a decent way to get started. Since PS CS has been announced, I'll bet you could pick it up for a lot less than the original price at www.half.com
or discouted at Amazon.