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Digital Painting: Street Scene
Illustration by John Hersey

Understanding how RAW files provide malleability


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Digital Painting: Street Scene

with John Derry

Video: Understanding how RAW files provide malleability

Raw camera files are the equivalent of digital negatives. A raw file represents the unmodified data captured by a camera's sensor. In contrast, a JPEG or TIFF file downloaded from a digital camera has already been processed. This limits the degree of latitude you have making further adjustments to the file. Not all cameras offer the option of raw file output, but if your camera does, then you can take significant advantage of this digital negative. In this video, we'll take a look at Adobe Camera Raw, also known as ACR.
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  1. 8m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
    3. Installing custom brushes
      7m 0s
  2. 22m 3s
    1. Understanding the visual vocabulary
      4m 46s
    2. Using the vocabulary of photography
      6m 41s
    3. Using the vocabulary of painting
      7m 1s
    4. Looking at reality through a mental painting filter
      3m 35s
  3. 10m 22s
    1. Understanding that resolution is in the brush strokes
      3m 6s
    2. Understanding the subject
      7m 16s
  4. 16m 1s
    1. Removing lens distortions
      2m 33s
    2. Using the Free Transform tool
      4m 42s
    3. Using the Lens Correction filter
      4m 36s
    4. Understanding the ACR lens correction profiles
      4m 10s
  5. 12m 23s
    1. Working with Vibrance
      3m 14s
    2. Using the Match Color command
      2m 59s
    3. Understanding the traditional paint color swatch set
      6m 10s
  6. 16m 6s
    1. The eye has a bettor sensor than a camera
      3m 16s
    2. Using the Shadow/Highlight filter
      3m 17s
    3. Using the HDR Toning filter
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding how RAW files provide malleability
      4m 10s
  7. 14m 42s
    1. Working with the Reduce Noise filter
      2m 50s
    2. Working with the Surface Blur filter
      3m 6s
    3. Using Smart Blur for simplification
      2m 51s
    4. Working with the Topaz Simplify plug-in
      5m 55s
  8. 31m 10s
    1. NDLP: A creative safety net
      5m 1s
    2. Using custom actions
      9m 41s
    3. Using the reference layer
      5m 29s
    4. Cloning layers
      6m 5s
    5. Working with the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      4m 54s
  9. 17m 28s
    1. Brush categorization
      10m 1s
    2. Working with canvas texture
      3m 41s
    3. Using Sample All Layers
      3m 46s
  10. 12m 48s
    1. Being willing to destroy detail
      7m 21s
    2. Establishing the painting style
      5m 27s
  11. 25m 1s
    1. Simplified indication
      9m 3s
    2. Understanding color
      4m 10s
    3. Introducing texture
      11m 48s
  12. 17m 36s
    1. Providing rest areas for the eye
      6m 55s
    2. Focusing on the subject through detail
      10m 41s
  13. 24m 20s
    1. Being willing to depart from the original
      6m 48s
    2. Creating detail to enhance the artwork
      8m 36s
    3. Creating physical surface texture effects
      8m 56s
  14. 10m 33s
    1. Waiting a day
      4m 14s
    2. Examining your importance hierarchy
      6m 19s
  15. 57s
    1. Goodbye
      57s

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Digital Painting: Street Scene
4h 0m Intermediate Aug 12, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn to think like a painter and render images from photographs that look like they were created with oils or acrylics, using the latest digital artist's tools. Author and artist John Derry introduces the process of interpreting a photograph into a painted work of art. He begins by explaining his system of visual vocabularies, which describe how to replace the elements of an image with expressive painterly qualities, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.

Topics include:
  • Understanding that resolution is in the brush strokes
  • Understanding the subject
  • Removing lens distortions
  • Using the traditional paint color swatch set
  • Making shadow and highlight adjustments
  • Simplifying details with filters and Smart Blur
  • Cloning layers
  • Using custom actions
  • Working with canvas texture
  • Creating physical surface texture effects
Subjects:
Design Digital Painting
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
John Derry

Understanding how RAW files provide malleability

Raw camera files are the equivalent of digital negatives. A raw file represents the unmodified data captured by a camera's sensor. In contrast, a JPEG or TIFF file downloaded from a digital camera has already been processed. This limits the degree of latitude you have making further adjustments to the file. Not all cameras offer the option of raw file output, but if your camera does, then you can take significant advantage of this digital negative. In this video, we'll take a look at Adobe Camera Raw, also known as ACR.

This is the raw processing module that comes with Photoshop. So let's go to our exercise files, and let's go to chapter5, and you'll find in here the mansion.CR2. CR2 just happens to be the extension for Canon raw files. Depending on the model, your camera you may have a different extension. But it's just a way of identifying raw files. So let's double-click on this. This takes us into Adobe Camera Raw, or ACR, and basically it gives us a set of controls that we can adjust this image.

Now the difference between this and what happens when you would already have this file just in Photoshop itself is that a file you're going to work on in Photoshop is generally a 24-bit file. That's 8-bits of color per channel. When you're working with a raw file, you're working with unmodified data from the camera, and it has much more headroom in it. Generally, there's about 12 bits of information in it. So it's got a lot more headroom in it to make adjustments without causing visual artifacts to occur within the image, and that's one of the primary benefits of working with this unmodified data.

Now before we go actually into modifying the data, I want to point this out that another key part of what you can benefit from Adobe Camera Raw is right here, and this is the Lens Correction filter. We talked about this in another movie, but I just want to bring up it again. If at all possible, have this enabled, because you can see here, if I turn the preview on and off now, that it's made a nice adjustment for the optics of the particular lens I was using. So this is another benefit of Camera Raw, and I just want to point out so you can see how wide ranging this module alone can be to working with a raw file versus a processed file.

Now let's go back to the first tab, which is the basic tab, and I generally work more or less from top to bottom the way these are organized, and right now I'm not going to touch Exposure yet, although it may go back to it. Recovery and Fill Light are generally the two sliders I like to initially work with. The Recovery slider recovers highlights, so it's going to start to tone down your image a little bit. The Fill Light, on the other hand, starts to open up your shadows. And as I've been saying, there's really no correct setting for this.

Once I start playing with these, however, I may see, okay, the Exposure slider may help out a little here. So I'm going to turn this down, and you want a constantly kind of check your previewing. Now one little shortcut you can use is rather than going up here and clicking on this, if you just press the P key, it's a nice way to toggle between preview and non-preview. So it lets me make adjustments and quickly get a preview of what those adjustments are doing.

You can see how that's starting to look much more, as we've been talking about, I'm getting rid of that wide dynamic range where only certain parts of the image are properly exposed. Now the overall image is starting to be properly exposed. So you can go on and get into a lot of other controls here, but I find for the most part, just the top three, Exposure, Recovery, and Fill Light, do the job for me, and this is where you really going to get that change from the language of photography into the language of painting.

So ACR in conjunction with raw files offers the greatest tonal adjustment latitude and the highest quality results. If you have the capability and are willing to shoot in raw format, you owe it to yourself to master this powerful tool.

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