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Understanding that resolution is in the brush strokes

From: Digital Painting: Street Scene

Video: Understanding that resolution is in the brush strokes

If you've ever reproduced a photograph with an inkjet printer, you have most likely learned the lesson that as output size increases greater image resolution is required. Most of us learned this lesson by printing the low-resolution image at a large size. The result is a blurry rendition of the image that looked sharp and crisp on screen. The prevailing rule of thumb is that a photograph destined for printing must contain sufficient resolution for output at a specific size. These are wise words when printing a photograph, but you'll be surprised to learn that you can cheat this supposed commandment when interpreting a photo into a painting.

Understanding that resolution is in the brush strokes

If you've ever reproduced a photograph with an inkjet printer, you have most likely learned the lesson that as output size increases greater image resolution is required. Most of us learned this lesson by printing the low-resolution image at a large size. The result is a blurry rendition of the image that looked sharp and crisp on screen. The prevailing rule of thumb is that a photograph destined for printing must contain sufficient resolution for output at a specific size. These are wise words when printing a photograph, but you'll be surprised to learn that you can cheat this supposed commandment when interpreting a photo into a painting.

Now I have got an image on screen that if this were going to be a photograph that was going to be printed, it's lacking in resolution, and I will show you what I mean. Let's go up close here. And you can see this is soft and blurry, and it just lacks quality. In fact, this was shot with an iPhone camera, so it's not a super high-resolution image. And you would think, well how can I use this image in order to print out a nice resulting image? Here is the crux of the matter.

A digital photograph is composed of pixels; however, when you are doing a digital painting, it is composed of brushstrokes. So the high resolution that's required for print is not the same as the resolution that is going to be required out of that image when it's interpreted. And I will show you what I mean. Let's zoom up here, and of course this image is lacking, but you've got to remember, in the way we are going to be working, this is only a reference. We are going to be using the underlying image, in this case this image of fruit in a bowl, as a reference, so that the brush will pick up the colors, but the resolution is going to be determined by the actual painted strokes.

So even though this image looks soft and blurry, if we switch now to the painted version of it, this is the same image, the same resolution, and if I go up and look close at this, now you'll see that there's plenty of resolution in this image, because we've exchanged those individual pixels that were making up the photographic rendition of this image, into brushstrokes, that do have crisp sharp edges at this resolution. So, we've really violated, in a way, this supposed rule of, you have to have a certain amount of resolution in order for a photograph to print.

But we are not printing a photograph; we are printing an interpretation of a photograph. And as a result, these brushstrokes, as I kind of move around and show it to you, you can see there's plenty of fine detail and resolution found in this image. So the conclusion to this really is that it's entirely possible to use a less-than-high-resolution photograph as a source image for interpretation into a painting. The usual rules for printing a photograph at high resolution go out of the window because when you're painting, the brushstrokes are what define the resolution.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Digital Painting: Street Scene
Digital Painting: Street Scene

45 video lessons · 14953 viewers

John Derry
Author

 
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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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