This image based on a press photo from Earache Record's Media Centre. The original image suffered from low contrast and lacked sharpness so I began to retouch it and correct the tones. This retouching soon got "a little out of control" until I ended up with the version shown here, of which there is nothing left of the original image. Created in Photoshop, using a Wacom tablet and mainly paint and smudge tools with sharpen and blur filters to some areas.
Aug 11, 2008 11:29:31 amby mickusher Homepage »
I had been thinking the whole exercise was a bit pointless, it's so close to the original image that the hours spent on it seem pretty excessive in hindsight...but it was quite therapeutic in a weird kind of way. Actually, it kinda reminds me of when I used to copy Iron Maiden covers when I was at school, I learnt a lot of technique, (even though it was Derek Riggs' technique), from making those Eddie copies. Likewise with this image, I really started to get a feel for the brush tools, especially with the leather effects, hopefully I can put that to use on future 3D work. Something quite satisfying working with a pen, (even a digital one), as opposed to plotting vectors and typing in xyz co-ordinates.
btw Tim, it's about time you posted something new...slacker! haha =D
Aug 11, 2008 7:50:06 pmby tizjezzme Homepage »
I shake my head and study this work of art in total awe .. I absolutely love this. You have inspired me to do the same with a photo here. I use corel painter on many of my painted images, and often times will use smudge in photoshop as well as the other tools there. What do you use for the leather effects? I totally relate to the therapy I get out of postworking my stuff. I can spend hours brush stroking my photos and often times end up chucking it (i'm my worst critic!) .. but now this comment is getting long, when all along i could have just said yeah, I love this.. and yes,, it is very theraputic 'putzing' on photo's like this. I adore what you did to this .. so much.
Aug 11, 2008 8:53:24 pmby mickusher Homepage »
Not sure how the brushes work in painter, I'll explain what I did in Photoshop and hope that helps!
Firstly, if you click on the image it'll bring it up at the size I worked on it.
Working at this scale I used the default set of "basic brushes" Photoshop works with, I guess I could have worked with more brushes but the basic set gave me the effects I needed. I'll run through the leather example, (I'd list all the styles, but there were quite a few!)...
There were two styles applied on this:
Brush strength, (pressure), was set between 40% and 60% and brush diameter between 4px and 8px, this was repeatedly smudged back and forth, on thinner, edged areas I often added white highlight strokes with the paintbrush tool (100% pressure at 1px - 4px diameter brush) and smudged these in for extra contrast, in parts I also added black and white blobs with the paintbrush, smudging these in also, (like in particularly noticable stitching areas) generally I brushed darker tones in first, building up to whites.
Wider smooth areas I cross hatched repeatedly to get smoother tones, brush strength was generally decreased in those areas to gives, shorter tighter lines, when repeatedly cross hatched the lines fade into smoother blends.
Brush settings pretty much the same, though some increased pressure to cause longer lines, the intended effect here was to have a more textured surface so I didn't rework an area. Hatching generally abandoned in favour of a frenetic random scrubbing/scribble, though keeping the scribble fairly tight and generally avoiding smudging in long lines. Again, added extra black and white tones, still smudging them in a bit, but less than on the smooth tones.
Both styles were very similar methods to those I used to use with acrylics actually...hadn't considered that before.
Quick notes on some other areas...
Denim-similar to smooth leather, but accentuated hatching so it was visible and generally followed creases, (helped give it a slight woven/cordy feel), accentuated a the folds and creases with areas of increased contrast of shadow/highlight.
Hair-pretty much all smudge tool apart from the bears which had 1px wide paintbrush lines with slight smudging, eybrows generally a blend of the two styles.
Zips- loads of sharpen filter and then tidying anomalies with 1px brush using white and black, (apart from far right pocket zip which I did pixel by pixel- totally verical and geometric (...dunno why I did that!)
There were a lot of areas I simply filled in black. A) to cut the painting time down, B) to accentuate the detail in the remaining areas. I've often heard people saying "it's not what you put in the picture, it's what you leave out" and in this case I think that worked.
...I think I'll stop there - "typer cramp" is setting in...haha :-P
Oh, one last thing, I did have a couple of layers on the original artwork, just to keep some elements a bit "crisper" and allow tighter editing/manipulating (beard hair, bits of the eyes, pinpoint highlights etc.)