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Render Luminosity and India Ink

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  • Render Luminosity and India Ink

    Working on color and luminosity as distinct elements is not new to photo retouching. It is also the basis for some of the edge sketch techniques where a grayscale layer is run through filters and then blended back with the original color.

    Anyway, last night I tried out a filter called India Ink to see if it could be used as the first step for rendering the luminosity. Here are the basic steps I tried.

    1. Copy background to new layer
    2. India Ink set to Diffusion, making sure there are some areas that are all white. IOW, high contrast.
    3. Diffuse|Anisotropic
    4. Smart Blur
    5. Diffuse|Anisotropic (to soften some artifact from Smart Blur)
    6. Copy background again, place on top of stack, and reduce Luminosity. I used 61% in the example image.

    After step five it's up to you. You can play more with the black and white layer, or flatten and work on the combined image using things like Unsharp Mask, smudging techniques, color accents, whatever.

    (Since posting this method I found that setting the top layer to Color blending mode 100% opacity works better with some pictures).

    Attached is a jpeg that shows the original (borrowed from Danny), the India Ink effect, and the point after step five. This image is best viewed without zoom, otherwise the India Ink version will dither like crazy. I used Danny's picture because it is well-lighted, uncluttered, and had very distinct forms. IOW, your mileage will vary, depending on the picture you use.

    Oh, I almost forgot. Here is the link to India Ink. There is a demo version you can try. And here it the link to Danny's Image

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Andrew B.; 07-15-2003, 11:26 AM.

  • #2
    Great technique Andrew. The finished product looks much like a high end comic or like one of those political posters from World War II / the Chinese Revolution.

    I could really use this techique - alas I have no PS 7 - thus no anistrohic filter. I will fool around and see how far I can get without it. Super techique.


    • #3
      I just deleted my reply to Toad because I came up with a far superior way to replace Diffuse|Anisotropic.

      1. The India Ink is exactly as before

      2. Neat Image (I used the demo version). The goal is to take this up high enough to remove the dots, but no further. I was able to do this by taking a primary sample from her forehead, and a secondary sample from her cheek. Alternately, you can try adjusting by hand. The key is the "Y" slider.

      3. Smart Blur

      4. Unsharp Mask

      Attached is a picture that shows the first method and then the second method. And I much prefer the second method. It allows more flexibility because I don't have to set things to make sure I eliminate the squiggle artifacts from Diffuse|Anisotropic.
      Attached Files


      • #4

        The first image looks slightly more toon-shaded, but the second has nicer contrast. Good investigation, and well done.

        I'll be trying this out shortly. Do you use the India Ink filter quite a lot? I have no problem whatsoever with buying filters that I actually use - but am less excited about buying ones that I use on only one or two shots. What is your take? It looks fairly cool on the Flaming Pear site.

        Thanks again.



        • #5
          >The first image looks slightly more toon-shaded, but the second has nicer contrast.

          I tried to get it exactly like the first one, but could not. OTOH, I only tried for about 30 seconds, and maybe it is possible with a different starting point.

          >> but am less excited about buying ones that I use on only one or two shots

          I had two terrific results right off the bat, but this was followed by three flops. So I cannot say yet how often this works. But the link I provided is to the free demo version, which is a full working version that times out. So anyone is free to try this on their pictures and see if it works for them.