Blended Duotone

This technique helps give added depth to scans. It's especially useful on bad scans. I used a picture of this unknown model as an example because the original scan is poor and the technique is often used in fashion and glamour pics.

(click on images to see full-sized)

1) First thing you should do is a levels correction on any scan if you know how. If not, there's plenty of sites on the net to learn how to do this. It's simple and makes a huge difference. (If you don't know how and want a quick fix just go to Image>Adjust>Levels and click Auto. This method won't work on the original sample of the model I sent Doug because the scan is very poor, but generally works ok on most scans.)

2) Next, duplicate the file (and flatten the duplicate if it's not already). Then convert the file to grayscale. The best way to do this is via the channel mixer, however if you don't know how to do it this way, just go to Image>Mode>Grayscale. (If you want to use the channel mixer method, which is superior, either go to Image>Adjust>Channel Mixer, or, use an adjustment layer with channel mixer. In the dialogue box for channel mixer click the monochrome radio button on the bottom and move the sliders around until you have a grayscale version that appeals to use. You then must still convert the file to grayscale before the next step.)

3) After the file has been converted to grayscale, you must then convert it to duotone. Image>Mode>Duotone.

4) In the dialogue box for duotone, choose a very dark brown (almost black) for ink1, and some other colour for ink2. You have to play around here cuz there's no easy rule on this second colour. I like to use another mid-dark brown. Click ok when done.

5) Cut or Copy/Paste this file back on top of the original. (You're done with the duotone so you can close it, you won't need it anymore.)

6) Now you should have two layers - a duotone layer on top of the original. What you need to do is blur the duotone slightly, by about 2-3 pixels or so.

7) Now change the blend mode of the duotone layer to overlay, soft light or hard light and reduce the opacity down to about 30-50% depending on what you've done so far. Whatever looks good. You really have to experiment.

8) It should look quite good at this point. If you like it, flatten it, and then you should do another levels correction, and maybe tweak the colour and sharpen if necessary.

credit: this technique is known as the Penthouse Filter, named by its originator, the late Phantasyman, a digital artist who worked for that adult magazine.

Tutorial Copyright © 2001 Mig, Used with permission of author


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