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Working with Vibrance

From: Digital Painting: Street Scene

Video: Working with Vibrance

The color ranges of photographs and paintings are very different. The signature look of a digital color photo is due to factors like the light gathering censor, the common color relationships found in the world, the limitations of RGB-based color mixtures, and more. Pigment-based paint is not constrained by these limitations. Consequently, we have very different perceptions when viewing each of these mediums. The Vibrance filter is a great tool for juicing up color photography, to move it more towards pigment color prior to painting. Let's take a look.

Working with Vibrance

The color ranges of photographs and paintings are very different. The signature look of a digital color photo is due to factors like the light gathering censor, the common color relationships found in the world, the limitations of RGB-based color mixtures, and more. Pigment-based paint is not constrained by these limitations. Consequently, we have very different perceptions when viewing each of these mediums. The Vibrance filter is a great tool for juicing up color photography, to move it more towards pigment color prior to painting. Let's take a look.

So here's our scene that we're going to be working with throughout the title here. We're going to go to the Image menu and go to Adjustments, and right here is the Vibrance filter. So let's open this up. And just as a way of showing you what Vibrance does, I'm first going to turn up saturation. Now this isn't a very highly saturated, and so it's just not necessarily going to blow it out into psychedelic colors, but you can see what's happening here is all the colors across the board everywhere are being equally jacked up in their saturation.

Now let's go to the Vibrance filter and I'll crank it all the way up, and you'll see something different is happening here. One of the things that it does is it increases less saturated colors of an image while preventing over saturation. So it's intelligently applying saturation to prevent situations where too much saturation is going to occur. The other thing that's very important, and it isn't very important in this scene, but it can be in portraiture, is that skin tones are protected to avoid clipping.

So basically, colors in the red area of the color space tend to be handled a little differently, and that way it avoids skin tones getting all blown out into the very bright red colors. Now the thing about this is this is a very subjective adjustment, just like a lot of other things we're looking at here. So I can't tell you you should turn this up to 34. There is no right number. It's precisely based on what you think looks right. You're going to hear me say this over and over throughout the title, and that's why this is artistic decisions.

These aren't darkroom decisions where you're trying to do the exact same set of movements in a formulaic-like way. Each one of these is very much based on your subjective feel about the image. So some people may want an image that looks very overly saturated, and that's their prerogative, and there's nothing wrong with it. So you may end up wanting to use Vibrance, and there is nothing with at least seeing what a little more saturation does, but the basic idea behind this--if we turn Preview off--is you want to get away from the standard colors that you find in a digital image and move them more towards the kinds of colors that you're going to find in a painting. Because pigment paint is not constrained like photographic colors are, you're going to get a much broader and wider array of bright color within it.

So if you can pre-color an image with things like Vibrance to add a little bit of oomph to the image and do what I called juice it up, you're moving it away, again, from the language of photography into the language of painting.

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This video is part of

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

45 video lessons · 15061 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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