I want to pat my own back here, the grunge video didn’t have a voice over just music, and the labels on the software were in German, which I don’t know, but I still managed to figure out what to do by pausing the video often and figuring out which tool/filter/adjustment was being used. Yay me! 😀
*** Note: Images are clickable to make them larger. ***
I sent the Bird Sculpture photos to Stacy for the AB Friday Forum…
and then continued to ‘perfect’ my idea on two other photos…
By the time I created this awesome eagle image it was after 10pm my time which is well after 1am for Stacy. I didn’t want to be *that* person who changed my mind after the deadline. So the tutorial will be what I did on the eagle, which is a cleaned up and perfected tampering that I did to all the photos.
Before anyone comments on the composition of the Bird Sculpture image, I am aware that there is a palm tree coming out of its head, which is unfortunate. Please remember that I just grabbed an image to play around with, one that needed work and in the process I came up with this sequence that led me to the really cool Eagle image. You have to start somewhere, right?
Kind thoughts and comments are welcome!
Go find out what everyone else did this week for AB Friday Forum here.
Every Friday Stacy showcases after/before photos we’ve submitted. Then, if we choose, we can tell how we did it on our own blogs.
This is going to be long and convoluted, I’m really not sure how I’m going to tackle this. I’m just going to jump in and hope you understand my ramblings.
I did things a bit differently than I normally do, this time I did a lot of ‘merge down’ which means that several things were done to the same layer. Rather than my normal flow of making lots of layers along the way so that I can redo a portion if I wanted to. In the future I’ll probably find a way to compress some of these steps, but currently it is pretty convoluted. This is not for the faint at heart. I’m sure that you can do this with presets in other programs, but I am a control freak, and I like knowing what is going on under the hood.
Ready? Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
- Create a grungy layer.
- Create a faux hdr layer.
- Stack these and tweak by changing their blend mode and opacity to get the look you want.
- Add a freaky-details layer, change opacity as needed.
- Add a high pass layer, change blend mode.
- Admire your work. 😀
Are you ready for some visual cues? Yeah, I thought you’d say that. 😀
Here are the three images with their layers (click to enlarge)…
(check out this video, it’s in German)
- Duplicate base layer [diagram 5]. *** At all times I kept at least one layer that was the base layer untouched. ***
- Create a new transparency layer [diagram 5] filled with 50% grey [Edit->Fill with FG Color] (for a refresher on setting the foreground to grey check out this tutorial). Blend mode set to Color [diagram 5].
- Merge down (grey layer and duplicated layer) [diagram 1]. Blend mode set to Multiply [diagram 5].
- Add a white mask [Layer->Mask->Add layer Mask], paint areas that you don’t want to be dark (like eyes) with black. This will vary from photo to photo… for the eagle I used the airbrush tool so that it wasn’t such a stark difference along the edges of the eyes. I skipped this step for the elephants. And I used the paint brush tool on the bird sculpture in the AB Friday photo [diagram 3].
- Duplicate base layer [diagram 5], then merge down the white mask layer and duplicated base layer [diagram 1].
- Duplicate merged layer [diagram 5], Gaussian Blur, set to 8.0 [diagram 4]. Add a white mask [Layer->Mask->Add layer Mask], fill it with 50% grey [Edit->Fill with FG Color], then paint black in the areas where you want to keep it sharp, like eyes. I skipped this step in the elephants photo. I painted the entire eagle (using the paint brush tool), but left the background blurry. And I painted the bird sculpture in the AB Friday image [diagram 3]. Merge down the blurred layer and the layer from step 5 [diagram 1].
- Levels, set mid to 0.65, and white to 224 [diagram 2].
- Unsharpen mask, set amount to 1.0 [diagram 4].
- Curves, adjust mid-area up and shadows down [diagram 2].
- Hue-Saturation, set saturation -40 [diagram 2].
*** You should now have a base layer, and a grungy layer. Turn off visibility to the grungy layer and continue to the Faux HDR section. ***
Images below are at 100% opacity…
Color Grading (only used on Bird Sculpture image)
I added a layer created by the G’MIC Filter called Color Grading [Filters->G’MIC->Colors->Color Grading] in between the Grungy and the HDR for the bird sculpture image because it was so dark to begin with. This filter has a lot of the same adjustments I’m used to from Camera Raw (shadows, highlights, blacks, brightness, contrast, clarity). As well as some other adjustments like changing the tone to cool/warm, saturation, tone map, and color grading (which has several controls). I just found this filter and have only used it on the bird sculpture image.
(check out this tutorial)
- Duplicate base layer [diagram 5]. ***At all times I kept at least one layer that was the base layer untouched.***
- Desaturate layer, using Average selection [diagram 2].
- Invert desaturated layer [diagram 2].
- Softglow [Filters->Artistic->Softglow] set Radius 10, Brightness 0.75, Sharpness 0.85 (defaults) [diagram 4]. Blend mode set to Soft Light, opacity set to 50% [diagram 5].
- Duplicate softglow layer, opacity set to 75% [diagram 5].
- Duplicate base layer, move to top of stack [diagram 5]. Levels, set black to 100 [diagram 2]. Blend mode set to Darken Only, opacity set to ~35% [diagram 5].
- Duplicate base layer. Then turn off visibility to base layer (and grungy layer) [diagram 5], then merge the 4 visible layers (duplicate base, 50% softglow, 75%softglow, and levels) [diagram 1].
- I did not get the dodge/burn script that is mentioned in the tutorial. So I skipped that step (my grungy layer was created to take the place of this step… we’ll get to that later).
- Hue-Saturation, set Master saturation to 50 [diagram 2].
- Levels, set black to 25 and white to 225 [diagram 2].
*** You should now have three layers; a base layer, a grungy layer, and a faux HDR layer. ***
Images below are at 100% opacity…
The three layers should be in this order:
- Faux HDR
- Set the Blend mode of the Grungy layer to Overlay [diagram 5].
- Adjust the opacity of the Grungy layer and the Faux HDR layer until you like it [diagram 5]. For the Eagle image I kept the grungy layer at 100%, and set the faux hdr ~75%. For the Elephants image I set the grungy layer ~25% and kept the faux hdr at 100%. For the Bird Sculpture image I set the grungy layer to ~55% and kept the faux hdr at 100%.
I have the G’MIC Plug-In for GIMP.
- Make a New Layer from Visible [Layer->New from Visible].
- G’MIC Filter Freaky Details [Filters->G’MIC->Details->Freaky Details] at the default values, input set to active layer (the New from Visible Layer), output set to new layer(s).
- Adjust the opacity until you like it [diagram 5]. For the Eagle image I set it to ~50%. For the Elephants image I set it to ~24%. I didn’t do this step for the Bird Sculpture image.
Images below are at 100% opacity…
High Pass Filter
Your layers should now look like this:
- Freaky Details
- Faux HDR
- With the Visible and the Freaky Details layers turned on [diagram 5] (the others can be on or off, they don’t matter since we have the Visible layer) create a New Layer from Visible [Layer->New from Visible].
- G’MIC Filter High Pass [Filters->G’MIC->Details->High Pass] at the default levels, input set to active layer (the New from Visible Layer), output set to new layer(s).
- You can delete the Visible layer you created in step 1 of this section. Set the blend mode of the High Pass layer to Overlay [diagram 5].
- With the Visible, Freaky Details, and High Pass Layers turned on [diagram 5], create a New Layer from Visible [Layer->New from Visible]. This is your final image.
This is so long already that I’m not really sure how much more to add before it gets ridiculous. If you’ve read one of my GIMP tutorials before, most of what is here is not new to you. Also the Grungy and Faux HDR sections have links to their original posts. I just combined them and altered the blend mode and opacity, then I added two G’MIC filters on top of that.
If you have any questions, or need something explained in more detail, feel free to ask me in the comments sections. I’d be happy to help. 😀
I told you it was convoluted, didn’t I? But it’s a pretty cool effect. At least I think so. What do you think?
Until next time…
* GIMP is Open Source software that is available for all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows), it is a photo editor that does many (if not all) of the things you can do in Photoshop. You can download it for free here. The GIMP online manual can be found here.
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