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Digital Painting: Architecture
Illustration by John Hersey

Using the HDR Toning filter


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Digital Painting: Architecture

with John Derry

Video: Using the HDR Toning filter

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.
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  1. 26m 4s
    1. Introduction
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      32s
    3. Installing custom content
      2m 46s
    4. Setting up Wacom express keys
      13m 32s
    5. Setting Wacom touch ring preferences
      2m 14s
    6. Setting Wacom stylus preferences
      3m 24s
    7. Division of labor: Image prep and painting
      2m 33s
  2. 19m 9s
    1. Visual vocabularies
      3m 49s
    2. The vocabulary of photography
      7m 38s
    3. The vocabulary of painting
      4m 59s
    4. Looking at reality through a mental painting filter
      2m 43s
  3. 38m 57s
    1. Removing lens distortion with the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      6m 47s
    2. Removing distractions
      8m 7s
    3. Don't be a slave to the original photograph
      10m 51s
    4. Correcting image adjustments
      2m 58s
    5. Telling a story with added image elements
      10m 14s
  4. 25m 2s
    1. The eye has a better sensor than a camera
      3m 2s
    2. Adding natural shadows with Field Blur
      8m 47s
    3. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment filter
      7m 48s
    4. Using the HDR Toning filter
      5m 25s
  5. 39m 56s
    1. Resolution is in the brushstrokes
      3m 26s
    2. Using the Surface Blur filter
      6m 17s
    3. Using the Displacement filter to add imperfections
      6m 22s
    4. Using the Oil Paint filter
      11m 51s
    5. Making tonal and color corrections
      12m 0s
  6. 22m 40s
    1. Nondestructive layer painting (NDLP): Your creative safety net
      5m 54s
    2. Setting up the Mixer Brush cloning action
      7m 29s
    3. Using cloning layers
      2m 58s
    4. Working with adjustment layers
      6m 19s
  7. 20m 7s
    1. Using tool presets and not brushes
      3m 41s
    2. Categorizing and organizing brushes
      6m 14s
    3. Adding canvas texture
      4m 51s
    4. Using Sample All Layers
      5m 21s
  8. 14m 48s
    1. You must destroy detail
      2m 9s
    2. Establishing compositional structure
      3m 46s
    3. Determining a style and sticking to it
      7m 30s
    4. Painting in progress: Finishing the underpainting layer
      1m 23s
  9. 26m 40s
    1. Understanding simplified indication
      9m 9s
    2. Understanding color: Warm advances, cool retreats
      4m 9s
    3. Painting in progress: Introducing texture to the intermediate layer
      13m 22s
  10. 40m 19s
    1. The play's the thing
      5m 18s
    2. Focusing on the subject through detail
      4m 40s
    3. Using a traditional paint color swatch set
      4m 37s
    4. Painting in progress: Completing the detail layer
      16m 25s
    5. Adding surface texture effects
      9m 19s
  11. 12m 47s
    1. It pays to wait a day
      1m 55s
    2. Adjusting your importance hierarchy
      4m 49s
    3. You'll never paint the same thing twice
      2m 7s
    4. Helpful resources and inspiration
      3m 56s

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Digital Painting: Architecture
4h 46m Intermediate Jan 03, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a Wacom tablet
  • Removing lens distortions
  • Correcting distracting image elements
  • Making shadow and highlight adjustments
  • Simplifying details with filters and Smart Blur
  • Modifying color
  • Cloning layers
  • Using a traditional paint color swatch set
  • Using custom actions
  • Working with canvas texture
  • Creating physical surface texture effects
  • Painting with custom brushes
Subjects:
Design Design Techniques Digital Painting
Software:
Photoshop Wacom
Author:
John Derry

Using the HDR Toning filter

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Digital Painting: Architecture.


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Q: I'm unable to install the custom Wacom settings included with the exercise files. Any advice on how to load them?
A: After the course was recorded, we discovered that the Wacom preference files are not cross-platform and are specific to the machine that created them, which limits their use. However, in the exercise files you'll find a PDF labeled Intuos4 Mapping_PS_CS5.pdf; using this document, you can manually enter the settings in the Wacom control panel. Also, please note that the settings are not necessary to complete the course.
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