|Software Photoshop, Lightroom, Paintshop Pro, Painter, etc., and all their various plugins. Of course, you can also discuss all other programs, as well.|
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What kinda software to use?
Would appreciate some advice what software to use. Key factors for me are:
- short learning curve
- easy to replicate (by me)
- not easy to duplicate (by the competition)
- consistent results
I have Photoshop CS BTW.
Thanks for your time.
If you find any in this forum, you can use these:
How would you rate your traditional artistic skills as far as drawing/painting/sketching?
Thanks Danny. Basically I want to make watercolors of my pictures. Read some stuff on this forum and got Impressionist from the Frontpage CD to play with for starters.
Can you point me in the right direction for the installation? I tried to copy to various folders, but no luck. Is it still compatible with Photoshop CS?
OK, got it working. This might be usefull for others. Install Impressionist with all options, copy the content of the folder with sub-folders to your plug-in folder in PS; works!
Excellent - glad you got over the Impressionist hump. From what version of Front Page did you copy the files?
On to watercolors...
To achieve a realistic (as in traditional) watercolor look, with "wet on wet" or "wet on dry"-type strokes, along with some "runniness," there is no subsitute for Corel Painter.
Another plus for Painter is the ability to define not only the characteristics of the (digital) paper, but how the "paint" interacts with it.
There's no plugin I've used or heard of, not even Impressionist, that even comes close to Painter when it comes to rendering a watercolor look.
- short learning curve: Depends on your existing background and skills. It's an exceptionally feature rich program. If you're fairly comfortable with Photoshop, learning to use Painter is much less difficult than getting into it without any previous experience.
- easy to replicate (by you): I would think that once you got in the grove, it would be easy (for you) to duplicate your own style.
- not easy to duplicate (by the competition): Hard to say... It would depend on your personal style.
- consistent results: I would say it should be
With the right image to start with, I've seen some Photoshop actions that render results that are "in the direction of" watercolor, but this would be subject to interpretation. The best one I've ever seen was written by Mike Finn: See http://homepages.slingshot.co.nz/~mikefinn/action.html
- short learning curve: Yes
- easy to replicate (by you): Yes
- not easy to duplicate (by the competition): No. The nature of actions is their consistency, regardless of who uses them.
- consistent results: Yes
If you're into action writing yourself, you might be able to craft one (or more) that yields sufficiently distinct results that would be difficult for others to replicate.
Buzz plugin (www.Fot2pix.com)
I've seen some pretty good watercolor-like results rendered by this filter, but to date haven't had much success with it myself in that regard. It's about as expensive as Painter, but it generates some very unique results. By itself, Buzz renders some fairly distinctive results = it should be used in conjunction with other effects to disguise the source.
The best of all worlds?
The fact is some people can't tell a watercolor from an oil painting. If they see art (regardless of what style it is or isn't) and they like it, they'll buy it -- assuming the price is right. In this case another approach might be to experiment with various "looks" that can be achieved through a combination of actions, Photoshop, Impressionist and/or Buzz. There are countless ways to combines the results of these tools. With them you certainly have the potential of coming up with various styles that can be reproduced by you and would be nearly impossible for others to duplicate -- as long as you keep the recipes to yourself.
Although I moderate the photo-art forum, I AM NOT an expert in this subject. These are jusy my opinions. I hope they are useful to you in deciding how to proceed.
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