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Experiment: Photomanip techniques

04 Dec 2016 19:12 - 04 Dec 2016 19:14 #51537 by inactive
Experiment: Photomanip techniques was created by inactive
Caveat: I'm no JeffACH, but I like playing around with photo manips. I thought it might be interesting to go through a few basic techniques. I assume basic familiarity with GIMP or a similar tool (Layers, Layer Modes, Layer Masks, Selection Modes, Etc.) There are some good tutorials online. For books, I know Akkana Peck's "Beginning Gimp" is old, but good and Michael Hammel's "Artists Guide to Gimp" is a little newer and has some fun stuff in it.

Ask if there's anything that isn't clear.

I'll so a short series of posts building on the same base.

1) Color for costumes.

Base Image: From BlackMilkClothing . This is an easy base to work with. The power pose is straight on, the hair is behind the body, the swimsuit is a single color in the middle of the spectrum (not black or white).


Step One:
Create a selection to isolate the red swimsuit from the rest of the image. One of GIMP's most powerful tools is the "Quick Mask", which is a tiny red rectangle hidden in the bottom left of the image. Click this and it lets you "paint" a selection. By default, the selected area will be clear to show the image beneath, the unselected area will be semi-opaque red over the image beneath. In this example, I changed the unselected color to green, since the swimsuit was red. I usually start with a rough selection. Either use the free select tool to draw a selection around the area you want, or use the magic wand to select the color. I don't usually like the magic wand, but it worked okay in this case because the swimsuit color is so flat, Then toggle the quick mask to touch up the selection.


Here, I've zoomed in to edit the selection around her fingers. I use the free select tool to select areas and then fill with white (selected) or black (unselected). In the quick mask tool as set up here, the unselected area is green.


When you exit Quick Mask, it gives you a selection based on what you painted in the quick mask.


Always a good idea to save selections that took a while.

Step 2:
Color things blue.
Make a copy of the base layer and use the desaturate tool to turn it grayscale.


Create a flat blue layer on top of the grayscale layer and change the layer mode to "color".


Merge the blue "color" layer down onto the desaturated layer. Take the selection from step one and add a layer mask based on that selection. That will hide all but the selection covering the swimsuit.



You'll notice some red still showing around the edges. That means we need to go in and edit the layer mask so all the red is covered with blue. Make sure the layer mask is selected. Zoom in. Select a brush with soft edges. Painting white will remove a portion of the mask, painting black will add to the mask. Go around the edges and use the brush to touch up, adding or removing until the blue layer covers the red swimsuit and nothing else.








Blue:

- GeekSeven

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Last edit: 04 Dec 2016 19:14 by inactive.

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04 Dec 2016 19:35 #51538 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
Continuing from where we left off.

2) Texture for costumes.

Making the costume a little more interesting by adding some texture.

Step One: Leather

Using this leather texure from textures.com. Sign up for a free account and you can download 2 or 3 textures a day.

Add leather image as new layer above the new blue suit. Resize so it covers the suit.



Desaturate the leather layer.

Change the layer mode of the leather layer to grain merge or overlay.


Copy the layer mask from the blue swimsuit layer to the leather layer and play around with layer modes and opacity of the leather layer until it looks like you want.


I ended up using Grain Extract at 100% opacity.

Step 2: Fabric
Using this texture from textures.com

Do the same as in step one. Add fabric as layer, desaturate, change layer mode, apply layer mask, tweak mode and opacity.





Here I used Grain Extract at 60% opacity.

3) Layers on Layers

NOTE: For the previous steps, I like to take copies of the base blue layer and work with each texture in its own layer group. (Basically a folder to organize layers)





Here you can see I have groups for the fabric layer, the leather layer, and the blue layer on top of each other. If the top layer group were at 100% opacity, only that layer would show. By adjusting the opacity of the layer groups we can blend the fabric and leather together in different proportions.

Here we have the leather at about 90% opacity and the fabric at 55%.

Blue textured suit:

- GeekSeven

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04 Dec 2016 20:00 #51540 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
3) Make an 'S' Shield logo.

Using a template from here

Step One: Flat Colors

Using the template as a guide, make flat yellow and red layers. Make a separate layer for each color. Put the red above the yellow.





Step Two: Border and Base

Select the red using color select or layer/select alpha. Then use the border select tool to create a border line and fill with a darker color. Doesn't have to be pure black, can be a very dark red. Make this a separate layer on top of the red.




Using the visible yellow around the edges as a guide, make a base of the same color as the border as a new layer on the bottom.


Metal Textures
Using copper , metal , and more metal rom textures.com.


Add copper as a new layer above the yellow. Resize so it covers the yellow. Use the yellow to create a layer mask for the copper, so it only covers the yellow. Play around with layer modes and opacity until it looks right for you.





Here I'm using grain merge at 75% for a rich metallic yellow.

Do the same with a different metal texture and the red layer.





Here I used overlay mode at 80% opacity.

Do the same with a less glossy texture for the border and base.







Here I used Hard Light mode at 25% opacity for a relatively subtle effect.

Shield:

- GeekSeven

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04 Dec 2016 20:27 #51544 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
4) Adding shield to costume

Step One: Import and Reize

Open the shield as new layer (either save as a png to preserve transparency and open as layers, or copy visible from your shield project and paste as new layer)


Resize the shield so it fits onto her costume




Step Two: Integrate components.
At the moment the shield and the costume look separated, as if the shield is floating on top. We need to integrate them a little better.

Apply a dull/rough texture to the shield to make it less glossy. I used a concrete from textures.com

As before, add as a new layer. Resize. Apply a layer mask. Find a layer mode and opacity to get the effect you want. In this case, a roughing and dulling.





Here I used grain merge at 70 % opacity.

Apply a similar texture to the costume to increase the similarity of tone between the shield and costume.





Here I'm using Grain Extract at 75%

Step 3: Tweaks
We've messed with the swimsuit so much that some of the original definition of her body has been lost.

Make a couple of copies of the original base layer. Desaturate them and move them above the swimsuit, but below that final grunge layer we added. Set the layer modes to overlay for both. This should bring back some of the tone of the original suit.



Some lighting helps cover flaws in the manipulation. Here, I've used this free stock from pexels.com, but you can use any flare or lighting stock or effects you like.

Add the light image as a new layer at the very top. Resize and position as you want. Here I've rotated it so the bright light is in the top right corner.



Change the layer mode to overlay. You can also use screen mode and play with the opacity for a brighter, more washed out look.


I wanted more, so I duplicated the layer and flipped it to add another light from the top left.


Final. Not the greatest manip, but it's a start.



That's where I'll stop for now, but I hope to return.

- GeekSeven

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04 Dec 2016 22:29 #51546 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
Very nice tutorial G7. My only objuection is that the symblos still looks ... pasted on. The material effects help masking this, but I think it lacks a bit in terms of being part of the suit.
I'm trying to figure out if there's a tool in the GIMP box to help with that.

(formerly Anon, still Librarian)

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?" ("Gentleman" John Marcone)

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04 Dec 2016 23:06 - 04 Dec 2016 23:09 #51547 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
4) Isolating people from background

The original is on a dull concrete background, isolating the character would allow us to swap it out.

Step One: Make a selection.

Again, I use the Quick Mask. One of GIMP'S most useful tools, hidden in a tiny corner.


I went back to the base image for this step.

Since the suit is red, I right-clicked on the quick mask to make the mask green.





I like to start with a rough selection around the person. Here I started with the swimsuit selection from the other parts and added rough shapes around the rest of her body.



Press the quick mask button. What was selected is clear, what was not is green. While in quick mask mode, green represents things we don't want (the background).



Zoom. This is 400%, you may need more or less depending on image size. Select areas of the background with the free select tool and fill with black, which will show in the quick mask as green.


Bare legs and arms are easy to follow. Clothes less so. Hair is the worst. This model has straight, dark hair, which is the easiest to work with.


Even so, you'll have to make some judgement calls. Leave strands and loops of hair out if they are too fiddly.


Finished Quick Mask - background in green.


Toggle out of Quick Mask and it turns it into a selection!


Remember to save a copy of the selection to a channel.


Step 2: Make a layer mask

Now we can apply the selection as a layer mask to remove the background.




To see what it looks like, add a background layer behind that's either darker or lighter than the original. I'm using a space image from pexels.com here.



Looks a bit shitty around the edges.

What I like to do is take the original selection, shrink it by a small amount (1 pixel in this case, more for a larger image) and then feather it by a small amount.




Don't forget to save the adjusted selection separate from the original in case you want to go back.



Use this new selection to make a new layer mask for the woman layer.



Now the edges blend a little better.

Now we have a layer mask that can be applied to any layer in the project where the background is visible.



Step 3: Play around

Taking the superwoman to Paris .



Needs some work to blend.

Replace the light layers from the original with one above her.


Another light layer above the Eiffel Tower.


Add a light layer of grunge over everything. Put a [url= ]texture[/url] on top and resized/rotated to cover.


Turned the white in the grunge transparent.


Reduced the opacity to 15


Again, not perfect, but an example of the kind of thing that can be done.

- GeekSeven

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Last edit: 04 Dec 2016 23:09 by inactive.
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06 Dec 2016 03:59 #51574 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques

Woodclaw wrote: Very nice tutorial G7. My only objuection is that the symblos still looks ... pasted on. The material effects help masking this, but I think it lacks a bit in terms of being part of the suit.
I'm trying to figure out if there's a tool in the GIMP box to help with that.


Which brings us to Tutorial 5 - messing around with things until they look right.

I think I'm getting close with this one.




- GeekSeven

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07 Dec 2016 02:21 #51589 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
5a) Tweaking, Bump Maps, Bevels

Trying to make the shield seem less "pasted on". A bunch of trial and error, messing with things.

Step One: Give some depth to the shield

This is where we left off with the shield



Merge the texture layers down.



I don't like the base and border layers any more, so hide them. Just yellow and red



Start working on a copy of the whole shield. Select all, copy visible, paste as new image.



Also copy over the original black and white template as its own layer.


Blur the black and white template.



Apply the bump map filter the shield, using the blurred template, to add some depth.



Use the "Add Bevel" filter to add some edges to the shield.



Step Two: Apply to the superwoman

Copy visible from the shield and paste as new layer onto the superwoman project.


Resize. (I went a little smaller than last time.)



I made a couple of merged copies of just the blue swimsuit,


Added a bevel to the one under the shield


Moved the other blue swimsuit above the shield and shifted it up so it covers the shield. Then desaturated to make it gray.


Added a layer mask to limit the gray layer to cover the shield and the beveled blue suit. Changed layer mode to grain merge at 75%


Made a thin black border by selecting alpha on the shield, bordering by one and blurring a little. Put it above shield as overlay to darken the edges of the shield and bevel slightly.


Added layer masks to the shield and bevel. Shield by selected alpha, growing by a little, making a white layer mask and then blurring by 10 or so to soften the edges of the shield. Bevel a little smaller than the bevel, to reduce the strength of the bevel a little.


Final: Phew.

A little better than before. Gives you some idea of the tweaking and messing about you can do. Bump map and bevel are great tools for adding depth.

- GeekSeven

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10 Dec 2016 20:31 #51664 by Sarge395
Replied by Sarge395 on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
Very thorough. Thank you.

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29 Dec 2016 16:13 #51969 by lurtz0r
Replied by lurtz0r on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
Starting with this image of french actress Lea Seydoux i followed Geeksevens guide.


After some tinkering i got this. It's by no means flawless, but since it was my first time using masks and such in GIMP I went easy on the details. The cape and shield are transparents i found, aside from the cape shoulder attachments, where i made a new mask and used some red fabric texture.
I think it turned out alright and would love to see more guides like this!

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29 Dec 2016 18:20 #51975 by inactive
Replied by inactive on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
Looking good. A couple of things you might want to try are:

Playing with the color levels on the base of her tunic to get a little more contrast in colors. In this example I went a little too far and lost too much contrast.


Soften the edges on the cape and the model to blend her in a little more - shrink the layer mask by a pixel and feather or blur it. Sometimes this helps.


Add some light to the shield. If you do an layer above it and do a conical or spherical gradient, you can get some illusion of depth.


In general - work as large as you can. A lot of flaws are improved when you resize to a smaller image. Example below is zoomed in at 100% before and after resizing.

- GeekSeven

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30 Dec 2016 00:00 #51980 by lurtz0r
Replied by lurtz0r on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
New and vastly improved, thanks for the tips G7! You seriously rock dude :)

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25 Jan 2017 06:18 #52272 by Ravens_ghost
Replied by Ravens_ghost on topic Experiment: Photomanip techniques
Well I've taken geeksevens walkthrough and adjusted it for photoshop, this is a character for a possible RP/ Story Series I'm looking to write. Model is Lauren Drain character name is Junturna Baines.

Information equals Power

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