One Four Challenge – November Week 2…

Greetings everyone, and welcome to the second week of the November One Four Challenge!

As many of you who have been participating in the One Four Challenge know, Robyn, our illustrious host, is needing to take a break from hosting to take some down time for herself.  She has asked me to host the One Four Challenge for the month of November, and I happily accepted! 😀

Everything will stay the same, except instead of linking to her post you will link to mine for the month of November.  I will publish my weekly post at her usual time (6:30 am Aussie time on Mondays [UTC+11 AEDT]), so that everyone can start linking as usual.  Then throughout the week I will visit everyone’s posts and leave a comment (like Robyn does now).  It will be fun and a bit challenging, but I’m totally up for it.

I’m honored to be able to substitute-host the One Four Challenge for November while Robyn takes a break.  I will schedule posts for the first Mondays in November.  November has 5 Mondays, but we’ll play for 4 and they will be the 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd.

After that come December, we’ll be back on Robyn’s site with the review month for December…and it will begin on the 7th December.  Robyn plans to use December to wrap up our challenge for now.  We’ll return at a later date with the challenge [ if there is interest ].

A reminder from Robyn:

As the One Four Challenge will be taking a break, I’d like to give you some options for a couple of other fun editing challenges.. and I know you’ll be welcome to join in.

  1. After Before Friday is a weekly editing challenge hosted by Ben – you can read more here and..
  2. One Photo Focus is a monthly editing challenge hosted by Stacy – you can read more here.

If you’d like to keep being challenged, I hope you’ll give one or both of these a go – they are fun and hosted by some very nice and talented people 😀

My image:


Kind thoughts and comments are welcome and appreciated!


Last week I mentioned that I had learned about Luminosity Masks from a Pat David tutorial.  Then I decided I would use Luminosity Masks throughout the challenge with different filters.  While thinking about what I would do this week I had an idea that worked out in the end but the process to get there didn’t happen like I thought it would. My idea was to use Luminosity Masks on the G’MIC3 Engrave Filter where I would use the D Mask to have black line drawing marks, and the L Mask to have white line drawing marks.  It didn’t quite work out like that… but I did get it to work with a different method and I’ll show you that here.  Also I did use the Luminosity Mask after all so I accomplished my goal of using the mask as well as getting the image like I had envisioned. Yea! 😀

You will notice that this image wasn’t accomplished with a mouse or a trackball, or my fingerpad for that matter — I recently upgraded my wacom tablet to a wacom monitor and boy is it nice!  The wacom tablet is really cool, but there was always a disconnect between what my hand was doing and where my eyes were looking, with the wacom monitor it is more like drawing on paper because my eyes can see exactly where my ‘pen’ is marking.  This project allowed me to play and draw like I’ve been wanting to do for some time.  So I may have spent (*ahem* two days) a bit more time on this image than a ‘normal’ person would on a photo edit.  That said, you can still do a lot of what I’ll cover in the tutorial without having to spend a ton of time ‘cleaning up’ the markings on the image.slideshow

Ok let’s look at my layers, it looks kinda crazy, I know, but some layers are ‘snapshots’ so that if I didn’t like something I didn’t have to redo it from scratch.layers-wk2

  1. First, I brought up my last week’s image in GIMP1.
  2. I ran the G’MIC3 Engrave Filter [Filters->G’MIC->Black & White->Engrave], made sure my input/output settings looked like this:gmic-input_output  then played around with the filter settings until I liked it.  Which gave me this: Engrave-results
  3. My idea to use Luminosity Masks to get the black lines and white lines didn’t really work, so instead I used the Select-by-Color tool select-by-color-tool.  I clicked on a black spot on the hummingbird, then I created a transparent layer [new-layer] (and then clicked on it to make it the active layer), with the marching-ants still on, I went to Edit->Fill with FG Color (which was already set to black).  Then removed the marching-ants Shift+Ctrl+A.  I then repeated with white… clicked on a white spot with the Select-by-Color tool, created a new transparent layer, filled marching-ant area with white, removed marching-ants.

    Then I duplicated duplicate-layerboth the black lines and the white lines layers.  I used the eraser tool and erased the areas I didn’t want on both layers.  Giving me this (*note: the checkerboard areas are the transparent areas): select-by-color

  4. It occurred to me that I would need to pick a background color that would show both the black and the white markings, as a place-marker I chose 50% grey.  I created a transparent layer, filled it with 50% grey and moved that layer to the bottom of the stack.  With the 50% grey layer, the black lines cleaned up layer, and the white lines cleaned up layer activated it looked like this: adding-grey-bkgd
  5. I wanted more white to be visible, so I decided to try the Luminosity Masks.  After trying the mask like I’ve been doing for the last few weeks, and not really getting what I wanted.  I decided to try something slightly different.  I made a duplicate of the base layer, desaturated it [Colors->Desaturate; selecting Luminosity] and then pushed the threshold levels [Colors->Threshold] creating this:desatThen, I ran the Luminosity Mask script [Filters->Generic->Luminosity Masks(saulgoode)] on the threshold layer.  **It didn’t occur to me until writing this that I did not, in fact, use the Luminosity Masks as intended.  Once I created the threshold layer, I created a black and white image, so the mid-tones are nonexistent.  Ugh.  Oh well, at least this way you don’t have to play with copy and pasting the masks…**  Next, I created a duplicate of the black lines cleaned up layer and then added a Luminosity Mask [Layer->Mask->Add Layer Mask; selecting Channel D].  Which changed the image to this:Lum-Mask-D
  6. Now what?  Hmm… the bird is just floating there.  How about some kind of interesting background?  I made a bookmark of Free Stock Textures after it was mentioned in one of the other One-Four participant’s posts (Storyteller’s Abode).  I ended up liking this texture because I could picture the bird perching on the branch.  After opening the image as a layer [File->Open As Layers], I basically repeated steps 2-4, although I chose different settings for the Engrave Filter.leaves-final
  7. Ok now the beak of the hummingbird isn’t long enough, because in the original photo the beak is inside of the feeder. So I found another photo from that photoshoot of the hummingbird’s beak NOT in the feeder and then using the paint brush tool, the cloning tool, and the eraser tool, I created a longer beak on both the black lines and the white lines layer (duplicate copies of those layers, of course)… longer-beak
  8. Now my image looked like this:  I felt that there was a bit of a disconnect between the leaves and the bird. step8I really liked the solid white parts in the leaves area, so I made a duplicate of my white lines layer, and then painted white in the areas that seemed to be in need of more tweaking…130623_NAT_020--gimp2-before-texture-wm_LR2000Then I created a new from visible [Layer->New from Visible] (all the layers I have marked with a chain-link).
  9. Lastly, I decided that it needed a bit of texture to bring it all together.  So I ran G’MIC Canvas Texture [Filters->G’MIC->Patterns->Canvas Texture], and that’s my final image. (* I also added my watermark to the leaf to make it more like a drawing).  Click to enlarge…130623_NAT_020--gimp2-wm_LR2000

While creating this tutorial and various .gif images, I created this still, I don’t know why but I really like it… 😛


Your Image:

It’s over to you again and to your image 😀

About the challenge and how it works:

  • This challenge is about processing 1 image in 4 different ways over 4 weeks.
  • We will all  process / post edit (our own chosen image) and share a different version each week. Process it however you like… and tell us a bit about it. You don’t have to show the original image unless you’d like to.  (I’m going to show mine in week 4 along with the 4 variations from the month). Others show theirs from the start. The choice is yours.
  • Try new things, experiment.  Be as creative or subtle as you wish to be. All skill levels are welcome.

Please Tag and Link up – this makes our challenge work.

  • For WordPress blogs – Tag all of your One Four posts with One Four Challenge, so we can view your posts in the WordPress Reader. See this tutorial on how this works.
  • For Blogger and other platforms – If you are on another blogging platform, please leave a link in a comment on this post, so we can find you!
  • For everyone joining inplease leave a link to your post, under my corresponding blog post for the week.

Until next time…

wilber1 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.

Like Wilber? You can get him here.


2 DarkTable is Open Source software that is available for Linux and Mac, it is a photo editor that does many of the things you can do in Lightroom, like process RAW files.  You can download it here.  The DarkTable online manual can be found here.

3 G’MIC Plug-in for GIMP is a plug-in that has a ton of filters, you can download it here.

38 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – November Week 2…

      • I am not a real technical person, so I generally have to read details like that a few times. However, learning these little details is one of the reasons that I started photo blogging in the first place.

        • I’m pretty technical and very visual, so I add a lot of screen shots and diagrams, because that is how I learn. I hope that my tutorials will help others figure out the cool things I’ve found and will enjoy them as much as I do. 😀

  1. (Trying to paste just the link; we’ll see whether that works)
    Week 2, and this time I’m going to town a bit on filters. And then I saw yours and feel I didn’t do much at all.

    I love your edit – and thanks for the step-by-step explanation; I will read these when I have a little more time and brain.

    • Thanks so much, Marsha! 🙂 Don’t feel guilty, I needed some tune-out, zone-in time and this project was exactly what I needed. Other weeks I have no time at all, so it all works out in the end. 😛 I’ll check out your edit soon. 😀

  2. Wow thats really cool – I love the engraved effect – the video of how you get there is nifty too. I just got myself an Intuos Pro 5 medium sized tablet and Im slowly coming to terms with it. More complicated to setup how I need it to be and I need to use it a bit to figure that out.

    I managed to get an image and a post done on time today!

    • Yeah, my tablet is an Intuos 5 also. I used it with all the bells and whistles (the control buttons, and the pen button) in PS on Windows. Once I went back to Linux, I mostly just used my keyboard and the pen like a drawing device. Now that I’ve upgraded to the monitor, I still just use the pen and the keyboard, it works for me and is closer to how I work when I only have my laptop. I think you will find that the wacom will really help you improve on your masking abilities to get into the nooks and cranny’s of some of your more difficult images. It’s a great tool. 😀

      • Yes I borrowed a bamboo to try out the concept first – I have damaged the tendons in my wrist a few years ago, and long periods of intense mouse work (like masking and extractions) have been painful. Plus other things. I have looked other ergo mice but nothing really worked so I decided to consider the tablet – it had the added benefits of more accuracy and usefulness within PS as well.

        Im working on getting the express keyes setup how i need, and I love the touch capability, mostly I just use it as a giant mousepad and scroll wheel which for my non PS use is mostly what I need.

        I would love a Cintiq but can neither afford or justify it, but I hope you enjoy yours, they look amazing!

        • The cintiq is pricey and I’m still trying to justify it, heh. My husband encouraged me to get it if it would be a tool I would use and would help me improve. He is my biggest backer and fan. 😀 This week’s edit I got to really “use” the cintiq as more than a big monitor that I occasionally drew on (the red handwritten parts of my tutorials). The oooos and ahhhs I got from my husband when he saw this week’s edit was awesome and encouraging. 😀

          I used to do data entry and have sore and weak wrists… my laptop has a little touch pad that I’ve been using for things like the finger paint image I created back in January ( So using the Intuos as a big touch pad will probably really help you out. 😀

Kind thoughts and comments are always welcome...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.