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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I've saved the final version of my robot painting, which includes some shading down here in his body, as well some shading in his hands, as A Bunch more shading.psd. In this exercise we are going to kick it up a notch and begin work on transforming a photographic portrait into a photorealistic painting, and I'll the working inside of this image it's called Photo paint variations.psd. You can use this image if you want to or a totally different photograph. And you might even want to use a totally different photograph, because if you do use the same image you're going to get different results.
That' just the way this goes. This is an artistic endeavor so what you do now is going to different than what I do before you. In fact, every time I've done it I get different results. So, I've actually rendered this training before as part of my Photoshop CS Top 5 series, just a single video. The reason I am choosing this exact same image again is because it gives us a chance to explore the technique in more detail. It gives you a chance to sort of warm- up to either this image or another so you can figure things out. Also it demonstrates just how different all the effects are.
So, if you look over here in the Layers panel, you'll see that I have a few attempts at this photo saved in advance here. This first one called early attempt was a very early attempt, when I was just figuring out how the Mixer Brush works. And I was going for a kind of palette knife effect so that I had big, thick, gooey strokes. I think I achieved that but it also ends up making my friend Colleen, here, look like she was carved out of wood or like some member of a Totem Pole or something, not necessarily the most flattering effect in other words. So then I try tried a finer brush, and by the way I used the bristle brush for every single one of these paintings, and I came up with this effect here.
It's still quite textural; it has a lot of brush work going on. Speaking personally, it's probably the one that I find most satisfactory. Then at the very top here, the one that's called 2nd painting, this is a smoother version of the image as you can see and this is one that I actually rendered in my Top 5 video. Now, the reason I mention that is because what I am about to show you, I am going to just do before and we'll see what we come up with, but I assure you its going to be quite a bit different than this, and then once we get done rendering out the painting, then we will apply some texture.
Now if we were working inside a program like Corel Painter, which is basically a natural media simulator, you can not only render a photograph as a painting and smear the colors around essentially, but you can also imbue your brushstrokes with texture on the fly so that they appear to have depth associated with them. That's not something the Mixer Brush does, so we are going to have to add some texture and depth after the fact. So, a lot of stuff to look forward to. I am going to start things off inside of this flat JPEG image right here, it's called Colleen in Amsterdam.jpg, and the first thing that we want to do is create a new layer, because we don't want to paint directly inside the image.
There's too big a chance of messing it up. We did paint directly inside of the various robot elements but they started off his flat colors in the first place so there really wasn't anything to harm. Here there's a lot to lose, so we should protect ourselves by using an independent layer. So I'll press Ctrl+Shift+N, Cmd+ Shift+N on a Mac, and I'll go ahead and name this new layer painting and then I'll click OK, we don't have to do anything else. Next, I'll switch over to the Mixer Brush right here and I am going to turn on Sample All layers so that I can paint from the background layer onto the current layer.
I wish you could select exactly the layer that you want to sample from instead of sampling from everything but sample all layers is the nearest equivalent to that that we got. And then I am going to go ahead to maximize all these values, so we definitely want the canvas to be wet so we can smear the colors around. We might as well go ahead and maximize the Load value, although I am here to tell you that doesn't really make all that much difference what you do with Load. Mix, we definitely want to weight the Mix in favor of the colors inherent in the image. So I am going to take that value up to 100% as well.
Flow should be at 100% because we want opaque brushstrokes. We don't need the Airbrush function on, although you can experiment with that if you want to, and we'll be using a Bristle brush so there's no sense in doing anything with this Pressure Control. Finally I am going to move over to the icons. I want to clean the brush after every single brushstroke so that we're lifting a new color every time. However, I don't want to integrate any specific foreground color. Right now its black, I don't want to be painting black on to Colleen's skin, so I'm going to go ahead and turn off Load the Brush after each stroke, so that we're exclusively loading colors found inside the image.
And now, we're almost ready to go, just one other change, we need to select a brush. Now that's going to be up to you what brush you decide to use, but I'm here to tell you that my favorite where this particular image is concerned is go for your Round Blunt, which has been kind of a favorite of mine so far. It gives me a lot of control. Also we're going to be working with a very small brush so we need it to hold up pretty well, we need to be able paint some fine lines. We don't want something like a Fan Brush, for example. So I am going to select Round Blunt and I'm just going to go ahead and accept these default settings.
That is, the default settings that ship along with Photoshop, which are 16% for Bristles, 137 Length, 1% for thickness that helps, by the way. Stiffness of 56%, a little bend is nice for this, an angle of 0, don't care about that. Spacing 2%. The Size value, however, I am going to change, I am going to take that size value down for purposes of this painting, once again, to 3 pixels. So I am going to be using a very small brush stroke. Now if you're painting with a stylus, that's going to work pretty nicely for you.
If you're painting with a mouse you might want to think about raising that quite a bit, because you're not going to have any pressure control. I might take it up to about 8 pixels. But I am going to warn you if you're using a mouse this is a pretty hard thing to pull off because you're essentially going to be laying down hundreds, if not, thousands of brushstrokes. That's pretty easy to do, believe it or not, using a stylus because you're just sketching back and forth, you're just drawing tiny lines at the time. With a mouse, however, it can really start hurting your wrist. So that's just some thing to bear in mind. Anyway I am going to take that size value down to 3 as I said.
And I am now set to go. I'm going to leave the Bristle Brush Preview up onscreen, so that I can keep track of what I'm doing. And now that we've got everything set up and ready to go, I'll begin painting this photograph in the next exercise.
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