Since the holidays are coming quickly, I decided to show you a little more about these plug-ins and program and how they all all work together – maybe it will help you decide if you want to purchase them. There are a lot of plug-ins I could have used, but these are the ones I have recently been using the most. I will add that Alien Skin just came out with Snap Art 4 – have not totally explored it but it is definitely as good as Snap Art 3 that I loved it! This week I am just going to show what a little Topaz (for website link see my Tidbits Blog sidebar) ReStyle and Corel Painter and/or Nik Analog Efex Pro can do to an image. All these images used Photoshop to apply the plug-ins, but you can actually apply both the Topaz filters and Nik Collection from Painter. (To do this, find the Topaz or Nik folders on your hard drive and copy the whole folder over to the Corel Painter -> Support Files -> Plugins folder. They appear in the Effects menu item.)
Corel Painter and Topaz ReStyle
I am really enjoying Painter, but it does have some quirks and a huge learning curve that you need to know to be really good at using it. I am still diving into that. I thought I was finished with the image above when I took my final Painter image back into Photoshop for the last steps. That is when I did something I do a lot with my images – take the it into ReStyle for a last look – just in case somethings really strikes me. It is easy to try different color presets to make the image look totally different. ReStyle also has a couple of very useful sliders in its interface that can really make or break the whole effect. By using the Texture slider in the ReStyle section and the Detail Structure and Sharpness sliders, some really interesting results can be obtained. Sometimes I put the Structure slider down and the Sharpness up or vice versa. And then the Texture slider can also have a big effect, although sometimes I do not see any. You have to be careful to not “overcook” the look (especially the Lum sliders seem to do this a lot), but it is worth experimenting with these sliders just to see if you can improve the appearance to the image.
*****I was so excited to find my first Bird of Paradise bloom – it was hiding under my huge Elephant Plant leaves – guess it likes the protection since I have not had good luck getting the plants to bloom. I actually did not know that they came in white flowers! The image was first processed in Lightroom with just the Basic tab sliders and cropped slightly. In Photoshop OnOne’s (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) new Perfect Effects 8 was opened and the Dynamic Contrast Natural preset and the Sharpening Amazing Detail Finder preset were used – love how these two filters work together on an image. Another reason I like this image is that I created the background texture in Corel Painter X3 using a series of my favorite brushes. This texture layer was set to Pin Light blend mode and a layer mask was added so the plant could be painted back into the image. The original texture color was a light turquoise, but I ran the image through Topaz ReStyle and realized I liked more of the grayish tones for this image (the settings: Selected Dusty Desert preset as a starting point. Set Texture Strength to 0.86; Basic tab set Saturation to 0.53; Tone Black Level 0.34 and Midtones 0.05; and Detail Structure 0.19 and Sharpness 0.83). Just a little clean up and contrast was added. Note the Texture and Sharpness sliders are set high and the Structure slider not so much.
Nik Analog Efex Pro and Topaz ReStyle
This photo is one I took a while back in London during the first Scott Kelby Photowalk. The original image is rather industrial look – it was first just cleaned up with the Basic sliders in Lightroom and added Dave Delnea’s Backlight Vertical Left preset to lighten up that corner a little. In Photoshop it was first treated with Topaz ReStyle starting with the Firebrick Red preset to bring out some bright orange tones, then Texture was set to 0.61, Detail Structure 0.52 and Sharpness -0.20. The image looked very sharp and detailed at this point. Next Nik’s Analog Efex Pro plug-in was added – both were smart filters connected to the same layer. I really liked the way the tower on the left was slightly blurred and bowed by setting the Lens Distortion tab Pincushion Barrel slider towards the Barrel end. This image actually used all the plug-in tabs but the Zoom & Rotate Blur and Dirt & Scratches to get this really cool vintage effect. Back in Photoshop a Curves Adjustment Layer was added and the layer mask filled with black – then painted in white to lighten parts of the sky just slightly, and a Levels Adjustment Layer was added to add just a little overall tonal contrast. I really like the rather surreal vintage feel to the image. By combining these two plug-ins, you can get really interesting results – this is one of my favorite pastimes in Photoshop is to try different combinations.
Corel Painter, Topaz Restyle and Nik Analog Efex Pro
This image of some Christmas collectibles at Michaels Art & Craft Store uses a similar process as above – the same texture from the Bird of Paradise image, but this time Topaz ReStyle changed the color palette so you would never guess the original texture and image colors (started with Cream and Plum preset. Texture Strength .88, Color Style Lum Fifth 0.38, Sat Secondary 0.64, Fourth 0.34, and Fifth -0.20; Color Tint -0.42 – no Structure or Sharpness). This image used Nik’s Analog Efex Pro and a preset I call SJ Blurred Good preset (settings used include Basic Adjustments, Bokeh at Blur Strength 9%, Light Leaks 2 over 3 down at 25%, Dirt & Scratches Organic 3 over 2 down at 74%, Frames Lightbox 3 over, and Levels & Curves adjusting the Luminosity (slight upward curve) and RGB (slight S curve) channels). To get really nice results in Analog Efex Pro, I am finding the Levels & Curves tab makes all the difference – especially Luminosity curve. To use the same curve in Photoshop, you must go into LAB mode. The snow is my SJ Snow1 Overlay (a free download in my set of SJ Holiday Overlays) with a 33% layer opacity. The text is from Obsidian Dawn’s Christmas Vectors.
Here is another example of an using all three programs. In this case, the original image of a bench in a park in Edinburgh, Scotland had the Nik Analog Efex Pro applied to it using basically the same preset as in the Christmas image. This photo was then taken into Corel Painter where Auto-painting was done using the Sponge brushes – the Dense Sponge brush at 30 px, 15 px and 9 px on three different layers. (See a really good book by Martin Addison called Corel Painter 11 for Photographers – pg. 118 or video included on book CD for info on this technique.) The photo was saved as a PSD file in Corel and brought into Photoshop where the spot healing brush was used on a separate layer to clean up rough edges. Topaz ReStyle was then applied to get a little look from the really bright green in the image. (Settings were: Started with White Fields preset. ReStyle Opacity 65%; Color Style Hue Third 0.45; Sat Primary -0.05, Secondary 0.02, Third -0.86, and Fifth 0.23; Texture Strength 0.77; Basic Opacity 62%: Color Temperature 0.16 and Tint -0.17; Tone Black Level -0.17, Midtones 0.19, and White Level -0.06; and Details Structure 0.11 and Sharpness 0.13.) I was not really familiar with the Auto-painting function in Painter, but it does seem to do a nice job.
Really liked this one.
All of these programs have trial and it would be worth your time to check them out. What I like about Corel Painted is that you can still get some nice results without knowing everything about the program. The two plug-ins have very short learning curves and both give really great results. Anyway, hope this gave you a chance to see some more of the results you can get. Have fun checking them out!….Digital Lady Syd
Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Topaz ReStyle
Photoshop with Corel Painter for Texture
Digital Lady Syd Reviews Nik Analog Efex Pro
A Day in the Sun!
Let’s Hear It for the Graphophone
Digital Lady Syd’s Rule No. 6: Try Something New!
Corel Painter and Photoshop Together to Create a Pastel Painting
Surprising Results with Nik Analog Efex Pro
Rural Church in Belarus