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― Artistic Expression ShowcaseSoft Pencil Sketch action on a portrait

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Duck
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Re: Soft Pencil Sketch action on a portrait

Post by Duck » Thu May 03, 2018 1:45 am

Thanks Piet.

This past weekend I also attended a networking party held in the building my studio is located at. there was a guy who makes costumes who brought this really cool steampunk pumpkin headed scarecrow creature. I thought I'd see what I could do with it.

Unitas_Photography-Scarecrow.jpg
Unitas_Photography-Scarecrow x.jpg
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Post by PietFrancke » Thu May 03, 2018 2:00 am

Holy Moly, that belongs in a very special comic book. (perhaps the one that the guards in the sanitarium read). The action is OK, but the color work is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Did the action do that for you? Or did you further develop it? You need to print this one and give it to your friend.

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Post by Duck » Thu May 03, 2018 2:24 am

PietFrancke wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 2:00 am
Holy Moly, that belongs in a very special comic book. (perhaps the one that the guards in the sanitarium read). The action is OK, but the color work is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Did the action do that for you? Or did you further develop it?
Thanks for the exuberant kudos, Piet.
The more I delve into this action the more nuggets I find. Yes, I played with the coloring, enhancing the colors that were already there and using them to accent the piece. I also did a major rework to remove the girl and fix the missing arm as a result of the repair. I also expanded the canvas above the creature's head.
PietFrancke wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 2:00 am
You need to print this one and give it to your friend.
I need to print these, period! I think I found a new product to promote in my business.

In this next image I wanted to see how the action would handle a low key image. Below I played with a photo taken of my friend, Letif (a budding photographer) when he came to use my studio. He asked me to grab a couple shots of himself he could use on facebook. This was the first shot, just testing to check my lighting. Believe it or not I actually missed focus and the image this sketch was based on was blurry. I cranked up Clarity in Lightroom prior to exporting to Photoshop. The action also further adds a High Pass sharpening as well. I thin it came out rather well. All that sharpening gives it a hard, grunge feel.

Unitas_Photography-Letif.jpg
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Post by PietFrancke » Thu May 03, 2018 2:48 am

Duck wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 2:24 am
PietFrancke wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 2:00 am
Holy Moly, that belongs in a very special comic book. (perhaps the one that the guards in the sanitarium read). The action is OK, but the color work is OUT OF THIS WORLD. Did the action do that for you? Or did you further develop it?
Thanks for the exuberant kudos, Piet.
The more I delve into this action the more nuggets I find. Yes, I played with the coloring, enhancing the colors that were already there and using them to accent the piece. I also did a major rework to remove the girl and fix the missing arm as a result of the repair. I also expanded the canvas above the creature's head.
PietFrancke wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 2:00 am
You need to print this one and give it to your friend.
I need to print these, period! I think I found a new product to promote in my business.

In this next image I wanted to see how the action would handle a low key image. Below I played with a photo taken of my friend, Letif (a budding photographer) when he came to use my studio. He asked me to grab a couple shots of himself he could use on facebook. This was the first shot, just testing to check my lighting. Believe it or not I actually missed focus and the image this sketch was based on was blurry. I cranked up Clarity in Lightroom prior to exporting to Photoshop. The action also further adds a High Pass sharpening as well. I thin it came out rather well. All that sharpening gives it a hard, grunge feel.


Unitas_Photography-Letif.jpg
it was easy to get excited - the colors were awesome.

that high pass sharpening seems like a tricky situation, you might not want an overly sharp image going in, since he needs to sharpen the art work, but you have to be careful to NOT over sharpen the areas that the action didn't overdraw.. Well maybe he took that into consideration with his obj stuff...

2nd Edit - cleaned up for showcase..

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Post by Duck » Fri May 11, 2018 11:25 pm

I went and had all seven images printed as 8x10 prints and bought some frames and hung them up in my studio. Here are four of them around a TV screen I use for teaching.
20180510_123355.jpg
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Post by Psjunkie » Sat May 12, 2018 1:06 am

Nice..

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Post by PietFrancke » Fri May 18, 2018 9:57 pm

Duck wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 2:24 am
...
Yes, I played with the coloring, enhancing the colors that were already there and using them to accent the piece. ...I also expanded the canvas above the creature's head.
...
Unitas_Photography-Letif.jpg
I keep coming back to pumpkin man and keep looking at it - it speaks to me I think. I am convinviced it is my favorite image of the moment since I look at it so much. I have an image of a hornet climbing a vine that I intend to run through the color pencil routine and I think it will lend itself nicely to the effort. But I wish to learn to be more comfortable with illustration type coloring (trying to put language to what you did). I assume part of the secret is to make a selection and then work the selection and rinse and repeat, but regardless... Please share about enhancing the colors. I think you also introduced new colors where you wanted them (like to top background). That was not "just" enhancing" a given color.

How do you play with color?

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Post by Duck » Sat May 19, 2018 4:36 am

PietFrancke wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:57 pm
I keep coming back to pumpkin man and keep looking at it - it speaks to me I think. I am convinviced it is my favorite image of the moment since I look at it so much. I have an image of a hornet climbing a vine that I intend to run through the color pencil routine and I think it will lend itself nicely to the effort. But I wish to learn to be more comfortable with illustration type coloring (trying to put language to what you did). I assume part of the secret is to make a selection and then work the selection and rinse and repeat, but regardless... Please share about enhancing the colors. I think you also introduced new colors where you wanted them (like to top background). That was not "just" enhancing" a given color.

How do you play with color?
Really great questions, Piet.

To start, you are correct about the wash, rinse, repeat. That is one of the downfalls of n automated action like this; you are locked into a routine that can't be customized as it evolves. You have to wait until the entire process is done and then modify those layers that allow modification. However, after a while (and some serious dissection) you get to learn what the layers do and how to modify them as needed. For example, the small random lines used to create the pencil effect... there are ways of enhancing or modifying those layers with opacity, dodging and burning, etc. Some actions also have color layers built in that you can manipulate.

In regards to colors, I get my cues from the subjects themselves. I'll use complementary or analogous colors depending on the mood I want to imbue the image with. I'll also introduce texture layers to give the images either a paper or canvas effect, etc. Other tricks I use include removing distracting details and (on occasion) using Smart Blur to remove the smallest of details. Remember, in hand work that detail is often passed over for the broader strokes. And lastly, when brushing on the selection layer if a soft brush doesn't give me the results I want I'll switch to a harder edged brush or I'll hard edge along one side of a subject and soft edge on the opposite side. Sometimes I'll follow the subject's outline in important areas (a face for example) and use a soft brush in non critical areas. I find that after running an action one or two times I get enough information from the results to lead me on the next iteration.

With the Soft Pencil action it creates an inner frame with some random pencil texture. I like adding a bevel to that inner frame by adding in my own layer on top. So you see, you're not limited to only what the action does. You do, however, need to learn how the image is built in order to know where you can insert layers.

Hope these tips help.
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Post by PietFrancke » Sat May 19, 2018 11:23 am

Duck wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 4:36 am
PietFrancke wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 9:57 pm
I keep coming back to pumpkin man and keep looking at it - it speaks to me I think. I am convinviced it is my favorite image of the moment since I look at it so much. I have an image of a hornet climbing a vine that I intend to run through the color pencil routine and I think it will lend itself nicely to the effort. But I wish to learn to be more comfortable with illustration type coloring (trying to put language to what you did). I assume part of the secret is to make a selection and then work the selection and rinse and repeat, but regardless... Please share about enhancing the colors. I think you also introduced new colors where you wanted them (like to top background). That was not "just" enhancing" a given color.

How do you play with color?
Really great questions, Piet.

To start, you are correct about the wash, rinse, repeat. That is one of the downfalls of n automated action like this; you are locked into a routine that can't be customized as it evolves. You have to wait until the entire process is done and then modify those layers that allow modification. However, after a while (and some serious dissection) you get to learn what the layers do and how to modify them as needed. For example, the small random lines used to create the pencil effect... there are ways of enhancing or modifying those layers with opacity, dodging and burning, etc. Some actions also have color layers built in that you can manipulate.

In regards to colors, I get my cues from the subjects themselves. I'll use complementary or analogous colors depending on the mood I want to imbue the image with. I'll also introduce texture layers to give the images either a paper or canvas effect, etc. Other tricks I use include removing distracting details and (on occasion) using Smart Blur to remove the smallest of details. Remember, in hand work that detail is often passed over for the broader strokes. And lastly, when brushing on the selection layer if a soft brush doesn't give me the results I want I'll switch to a harder edged brush or I'll hard edge along one side of a subject and soft edge on the opposite side. Sometimes I'll follow the subject's outline in important areas (a face for example) and use a soft brush in non critical areas. I find that after running an action one or two times I get enough information from the results to lead me on the next iteration.

With the Soft Pencil action it creates an inner frame with some random pencil texture. I like adding a bevel to that inner frame by adding in my own layer on top. So you see, you're not limited to only what the action does. You do, however, need to learn how the image is built in order to know where you can insert layers.

Hope these tips help.
yes - they help a lot, though I feel more akin to a monkey on an automatic piano than a man with a guitar. I appreciate the words about integrating into the action too and that a knowledge of color theory might be helpful. Removing the smallest of details will be a next thing I bring in.

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Post by Duck » Sun May 20, 2018 2:11 am

I posted a quick tutorial on how I approach these types of actions in the tutorial section. Check it out at Artistic Photoshop Action Tips. Feel free to add your thoughts there.
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