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Meta-images. Why and how.

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  • Meta-images. Why and how.

    This tutorial’s evil intent is to twist your mind into accepting the concept of meta-images. After the initial brainwash the really creative ones out there will definitely come up with some weird and ingenious uses of Blend modes Difference and Exclude and the Image>Calculations Add and Subtract options! :-)
    This is all written for PS 7 or any compatible version.

  • #2
    Sorry, no images yet

    Image upload doesn't work from Firefox either. I will have to upload from my PC. Just wait a little bit... (It's no fun without the images, really)


    • #3
      Sorry, I give up


      • #4
        I've sent you a PM about this - let's hope we can get it sorted out as I know you have a keen audience on the edge of their collective seats!


        • #5
          OK everyone - Vegard's images are now attached to the tutorial. I will admit that on first reading it makes my brain hurt but there's a lot of useful food for thought in there. It must have taken forever to put together!


          • #6
            Thank you Leah, that was incredibly helpful of you!

            And you are right, it took me ages to write and research. It feels great to have finished

            Now I am really really curious to see if any of this can be used for anything!


            • #7
              Hi Vegard,

    've really done your research homework... didn't you!!!!! Thank you very much for taking the trouble to write it all down ....

              You know I was one of the first in line "on the edge of my seat!" waiting for your Tutorial ....

              .... But the only action I could successfully reproduce was the discovery of a previously saved 'hidden writing' on the picture .....

              I must be really 'thick', but couldn't create an acceptable mask to use for a Noise reduction purpose (with or without the Calculations steps, which, I think, I followed religiously...)

              The Mask I got, beside the edges, contained and kept all the noise of the picture, so, when I applied it, parts of the picture were blurred, and this was fine, but whatever was selected by the mask (the noise particularly) was even more evident than before as the rest of the picture was smoother .... Was I supposed to 'refine' the mask somehow? What did I do wrong?

              I know you are going to hate me, but would it be possible to see a snapshot of the final mask you got and used?

              Thank you very much in advance!

              P.S. For my experiments I downloaded and used the same picture as you did......


              • #8
                My apologies, Flora!

                Oh no, Flora, I am so sorry!

                While writing the tutorial, one of the sentences that fell victim to the Delete key was "This tutorial will not teach you how to beat Neat Image"! Truly!

                When I finish my noise reduction action (remember it is 90% finished, and you know by now what that means...), I will write another tutorial on that, but that is far outside the scope of this one. It is really really difficult! I have written an action that performs beautifully on this test image, but doesn't work at all on another.

                The action I had in mind when mentioning it briefly in the tutorial, was just a general one that does the tedious and boring work of doing an R, G and B Subtract.

                You are right, if you create a mask from such a Subtract, you will also get all the noise unless you refine it. At the time being, I don't believe it is possible for anyone to do anything better than David Marsit's action, that I recommend in the tutorial. That would probably be a waste of time, which in my case is an "intended" waste of time I like learning.

                You *may* get your mask to work better if you don't accept the entire mask. You should allow for some (2-5) levels of slack. That is, everything that is equal or "almost equal" gets blurred. That translates to creating a mask "from the histogram" where you don't include the left 2-5 levels. You can do this with Levels and/or Blend-If. Many operations, and another good reason for either writing an action or staying away from it.

                So again, I am so sorry for misleading you. This tutorial is just trying to teach the basics. My noise reduction action is in fact not an action at all, but a JavaScript, and I still cannot compete with David Marsit's action. I produce a better sea than he does on this test image, but his sky is far superior to mine.

                My best suggestion now is, if you want to learn about noise reduction, download his action and study it. Try to understand what it does. I don't! He does some very clever things there. But my approach is completely different from his. He uses the first one I mention, Find Edges and proceed from there. I use the other one, the one that is in the tutorial.

                One important fact I have learnt about noise is that it doesn't look like I thought!

                Otherwise, I actually had YOU (among others) in mind with reference to the creative ones out there! Can you find anything else than noise reduction to use this tutorial for? Some wild things? I am an analyst, not an artist

                A PS on hidden text. The Conspiracy Theory gang believe al Quaida are sending secret messages hidden inside porn pictures. Some researchers said they had never found any. Hmmm...


                • #9
                  Hi Vegard,

                  I am thick! .... I took your tutorial to be 'an end in itself' instead of an open highway to other possibilities!!!!

                  Originally posted by Rexx
                  Can you find anything else than noise reduction to use this tutorial for? Some wild things?
                  I'll start experimenting with it .... mind you.... I'm still experimenting with Roger_ele's "Blend if" Tutorial which is also 'an open highway' .... but, up to now I've come up with nothing exciting!!!


                  • #10
                    Don't be silly! Of course you're not thick

                    Originally posted by Flora
                    I'll start experimenting with it .... mind you.... I'm still experimenting with Roger_ele's "Blend if" Tutorial which is also 'an open highway'
                    Now here is some fun over Easter...

                    If you take one of the "Raw masks" (potential mask material) that you have created with a meta-image technique and do a Blend-if on this mask with a black or white layer...

                    Blend-if is great fun!

                    Sigh, I wish I could come up with something useful like you do, instead of just fun and weird things to do with Photoshop


                    • #11
                      Hi Vegard,

                      Originally posted by Rexx
                      ....Now here is some fun over Easter...
                      .... and I'd always thought that 'Easter fun' was limited to looking for Easter eggs in the garden ......


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Flora
                        .... and I'd always thought that 'Easter fun' was limited to looking for Easter eggs in the garden ......
                        Nope, have to wait for the snow to melt first. Here is the view from my office window yesterday morning...
                        Attached Files


                        • #13
                          Hi Vegard,

                          Just got a moment to come visit - and voila! Great tutorial - a real eye opener to the potential thought process of;

                          -figure out what you want to do
                          -figure our what an image made from the image would look like to accomplish what you want to do
                          -figure out how to create that meta-image image

                          not that I can do any of the above - but having a path and goal is certainly a start!



                          • #14
                            Re: Meta-images. Why and how.

                            Dear Rexx,

                            An analyst you say? What you have composed is a work of art. It is digital craftsmanship, it

                            is mathematics, it takes us on a scientific journey and at the end of it, which is rather an
                            opening to a whole new beginning in approaching what the images we create are made up of, we will look at our files, our work, differently. Perhaps for a more specialised and tech savvy audience, but this is what art does for me. It offers a new perspective on the world.

                            You too are an artist, my friend, and I logged in here just to tell you that, for i have no need for imagery or discussion.

                            With Kind Regards,

                            Robert Julius


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