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Exploring a painted effect


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Photoshop Artist in Action: Tim Grey's Prayer Sticks

with Tim Grey

Video: Exploring a painted effect

As I continue to review my image, evaluating all of the various adjustments I've applied, it strikes me that the painting on the boards, of course, is painted. And that perhaps a painterly type of effect might be interesting. So I'm going to explore a painted version of this image, and I think specifically using the Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop. I'm going to start off by creating a duplicate layer. A layer that contains most, but not all of the adjustments that I've applied. I'm going to turn off the Ethereal Glow layer.
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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Artist in Action: Tim Grey's Prayer Sticks
1h 0m Intermediate Dec 26, 2012

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In this workshop Tim Grey looks back at one of his most treasured images and how it came to be, explaining the story behind this particular photograph, what his creative vision for it was, and how he achieved this vision. See how Tim applied adjustments like converting to black-and-white, adding a color tint, and enhancing contrast, and how he cleaned up the image to make it look the way he wanted it to. And more importantly, gain insights into the artistic decisions that were made at every step along the way.

Topics include:
  • The back story
  • RAW processing
  • Saving the initial image
  • Converting to black-and-white
  • Adding a color tint
  • Enhancing contrast with Curves
  • Cleaning up the image
  • Finishing the image
Subjects:
Design Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Exploring a painted effect

As I continue to review my image, evaluating all of the various adjustments I've applied, it strikes me that the painting on the boards, of course, is painted. And that perhaps a painterly type of effect might be interesting. So I'm going to explore a painted version of this image, and I think specifically using the Oil Paint Filter in Photoshop. I'm going to start off by creating a duplicate layer. A layer that contains most, but not all of the adjustments that I've applied. I'm going to turn off the Ethereal Glow layer.

So, I'll click the eye icon to the left of the thumbnail for that layer, as well as the vignette layer. Because I think for the painted version of the image, I don't want those darkened edges. I'll then click the Create New Layer button, the blank sheet of paper icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then I'll hold the Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys on Windows or the Cmd, Option and Shift keys on Macintosh, and press the letter E on the keyboard in order to create a stamp visible layer. That includes all of the visible layers down below. I'll go ahead and rename that Layer Painting because I'm going to create a painting effect on this layer and then I'll go the Filter menu and I'll choose Oil Paint from that menu and that will bring up the Oil Paint Dialogue.

Where we can adjust the various settings for this painterly effect. I'll start off with stylization over on the right side and you'll see that with a smaller value I can get a little bit more detail within the image. Less of that smearing type of effect in the painting, and with a higher value I get a little bit more of that smooth paint strokes type of effect in the image. In this case, I'll use a moderately high setting for stylization. We can then take a look at cleanliness. And this, once again, mostly relates to detail. So with a very low setting, you'll see that there is a bit more texture within the image. And with a high setting, we get a lot more smoothness within the photo. And so once again, I'll use a relatively high setting for cleanliness. And the scale setting, as the name suggests, alters the scale of the painted effect within the photo.

In most cases I'll use a relatively small value for scale. And in this case definitely a small value for scale, because that will help to ensure that I retain the general flow of the shapes within the image. And I'll zoom in a little bit so that we can get a closer look at the effect as we adjust the bristle detail slider. At a high value, you'll see that we have lots of texture within those brush strokes. And if I reduce the value, you'll see that those brush strokes seem to get a lot smoother. And I think for this photo, a relatively smooth effect is probably best. I think right about there seems to be working pretty well. I'll go ahead and zoom out a little bit more on the image. And then I'll increase the value for shine.

And this allows me to get that shiny effect. Effect that an oil painting would have and then I can adjust the angular direction to determine the angle of the light source. And you'll notice that as I adjust the direction that we get a very different effect throughout the photo. With some settings, we're getting very significant texture visible within the photo, and at other values we're seeing that that texture blends in a little bit better. And I definitely think it's better to have that texture blending in, and so I'll set an angle that achieves that, and then I'll reduce the value for shine.

I've really just increased it significantly so that I could better see the effect. I don't want too much of that shine effect in the photo, so I'll use a relatively low value there. And that's looking pretty interesting. I'll go ahead and click the OK button and we can evaluate the final result in the image. But I do think that this painterly sort of appearance suits the image. It really does seem to be working well with the photo, especially considering that the photo itself, the subject that was photographed, contains painted strokes.

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