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Fantastical skies

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  #1  
Old 07-16-2011, 01:23 PM
_ck _ck is offline
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Fantastical skies

I've been trying to emulate these really striking skies achieved by an artist on Flickr. Not all of his images "work" with this treatment, but some really do. He includes an outline of the processes involved in the image description, which roughly includes:

1 File Raw
Photomatix Pro 4.02
Photoshop CS 5:
Color Adjustments on LAB Color Mode
Nik Color Efex
Noiseware
Luminosity mask
Smart Glow
RGB Sharpen

However, without a workflow, I'm not sure how it's done. I've tried myself to no avail and I've contacted the artist who said that he didn't know how to describe his workflow.

Does anyone have any ideas ?

Here's a specific image:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5335953...n/photostream/

Here's the photostream:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/5335953...th/5835518471/
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:33 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Fantastical skies

I didn't see the show but it looks like it might be up your alley. Perhaps check out the rebroadcast or rental:

http://www.retouchpro.com/index.php?page=alvanas

I really don't explore that look myself, but I'm sure you'd do well googling "faux HDR", and looking into Photomatix and Topaz Adjust.

Hopefully others with more direct experience will also chime in.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:39 PM
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skydog skydog is offline
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Re: Fantastical skies

what is smart glow? the action?
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:59 PM
_ck _ck is offline
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Re: Fantastical skies

Yes, I think it's an Action. I don't think it does a huge amount, so I don't think it's the key process from that list in creating the effect. My money is on the Color Adjustments and Nik Color Efex.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:01 PM
_ck _ck is offline
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Re: Fantastical skies

Thanks for the tip Flashtones, but it's not the HDR quality I'm after. I do quite a lot of HDR myself already. I think running the RAW file through Photomatix will help but, again, probably isn't the key step.
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:51 PM
Flashtones Flashtones is offline
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Re: Fantastical skies

ck, again, it's not my thing, so it's unlikely I can be of much help, regardless.

If I were doing that work I'd probably start with making separate rendering/exports of the sky and the foreground then masking/blending them together. Plus doing a lot of faux HDR, multi radius sharpening, light carving and saturation enhancements.

Nik and Topaz can do a lot of that color and detail work. Have you messed with Tonal Contrast inside of Nik to get your heightened detail?

Here's a guy who uses Photomatix and Topaz:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPk1dR9ri-4

He doesn't seem to do quite as much low-radius sharpening as your guy - or that might be a function of the video compression.The big halos come from Photomatix, Nik and Topaz. The higher-frequency/low-radius sharpening is probably what he's referring to as RGB Sharpening (Photoshop: USM/SmartSharpen/etc)

Post up a before/after of something you're working on and I'm sure you'll get some more pointed tips.
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