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Learn to think like a painter and render images 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 visual characteristics of a photograph with that of expressive painting, and also shares the custom brush sets and actions he uses to achieve these results in Adobe Photoshop. The course also covers working with filters, layers, effects, and more to add further detail and texture.
While the Shadow and Highlight adjustment filter does a good job at reigning in a photo's tonal range, the HDR toning filter does this, plus sharpens detail at the same time. We'll eventually remove much of the fine detail in the next chapter, but I am a big proponent of initially getting as much out of an image as possible. The higher the starting quality, the better the result. Let's take a look at the HDR toning filter. Now, the first thing I'll tell you is that the HDR toning filter requires that it be flattened. So, I'm going to go ahead and flatten my image, and we can do that by going up to Layer, and just jump down to the bottom here to Flatten Image.
So now we've got a flat image that it can work with. Next we'll go to the HDR toning filter itself, which is right here under Shadows/Highlights. And it's going to put some sort of mumbo jumbo on it to begin with, which isn't what I want, so I'm going to need to start kind of playing around with this. One of the things that it does for me that I don't want, is it's just way too bright, so I'm going to initially just play with the exposure here and just start to turn it down. I want this to be a little darker of an image. And we can also play with Gamma here, a little bit, just to see if that pushes a little more range out of it.
Okay, and I'm always going to be checking this with the preview on and off, to kinda see where I'm going with this. I'm going to turn Detail up way too high for a second, because I want to show you something. This is the kind of cliched HDR look you see on the web all the time. Some people may want to work with it, but you see it overused like this all the time, and for my liking, I don't want it to be this over the top. However, this is a season to taste operation, and depending on where you are going with painting, you may want to do this.
I don't want to, but I just wanted to show it to you, so that you'll know you can go to an extreme like this if you want to. Remember that all along the way, everything we're doing here, the idea is to take this image and drain it of its photographic qualities. So, you could say, well, this certainly is starting to get away from looking like a normal photograph, but what it happens to be getting into, in this case, is, it is getting into that cliched world of overdone HDR. So, for me, I don't want it to be that extreme, but again, this is a highly subjective filter, and everybody's going to have a different opinion or sense of how they want their image to look.
So while I'm telling you I don't want you to do this, if you feel like you want to, that's up to you. But I'm going to just kind of turn this down a ways. I don't quite want it that extreme. And again, I always keep checking, this way with the filter on and off just to see where its at. I may play with highlights here a little bit. And again, I sometimes don't even know, you know, which way is going to work better, so I'll just try turning it up, turning it down, see if, you know, if there is one of those, I definitely don't like that.
That's just kind of neutralizing things. So, I'm going to bring it back, and that looks good. OK, so I'd say that's a pretty good result. Sometimes saturation can be a bit much, but the other thing about these images is, I don't want these to be in a color space that is associated with what you see on photographs, because sensors in a camera tend to have a certain look to them, just like a traditional film used to have. And so the idea here, once again, in moving this away from it's photographic origins is to perhaps, and I'll try it out here a little bit, just crank up the saturation a little bit.
That's a bit much, but again, what I want to do is kind of get it into a -- the feeling that I want for this scene, and I'm liking what I see here now. So you can see it, it does change the quality a bit, but not necessarily taking it into that world of extreme HDR. So I'm going to go with that. And now we finally are at the point where we've got this image adjusted in such a way that it's ready to be the basis for painting. So, everything we've done up until now is really all about adjusting and controlling this image to be the basis for our vision of how we want this to look when it's painted.
And I can tell you in advance, that you'll see as we start painting, when you start mushing different colors around, they're going to tend to dull down a bit. So, if this looks a little bit over-attenuated in terms of some of the qualities of it, you'll be surprised how much of that is actually going to get removed as we paint. So sometimes going maybe a little bit overboard, while I just on the one side of my mouth I just told you, you know, don't do that, on the other side of my mouth I'm going to tell you that through experience you'll learn, sometimes if you overcompensate a bit at the beginning of the painting process, you'll find that as you paint and these colors start to dull down a bit, some of the gaudiness, maybe is the right word here, will tend to diminish a bit. And you always have the option throughout your process, especially at the end, to do some final tonal adjustments.
And we'll be talking about that later on in the title, so that you can compensate for things that may have happened along the way of painting this to get to your final image.
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