Get Great Results with Alien Skin Snap Art 3 and Topaz ReStyle Together!!
I did recent posts on my Fun Photoshop Blog called Digital Lady Syd Reviews Snap Art 3 and Digital Syd Reviews Topaz ReStyle. Both of these plug-ins have captured my “inner creative me” so it seemed logical to try to combine them and see what happens. I think they are a perfect match – both have creative aspects but emphasize different elements. For the above Topaz (see my Tidbits Blog for website link in sidebar) ReStyle was added first to get a gorgeous fall color palette that gives this image a totally awesome feel. (The preset used was Leaking Red on Blue.) What I like about Snap Art is that it lets me try different mediums of art – I have never tried a colored pencil image, but I loved how the treatment worked with this image. (The preset in Snap Art was Colored Pencil Landscape-More Coverage.) I also have to admit that the wonderful Topaz Clarity was added first to give me sharp edges for the pencil look. Not much to it but really great results. This photo was from the countryside outside Minsk in Belarus – it was such an interesting and beautiful area to photograph.
…..Above is a beautiful purple mum from a dacha in Belarus. In Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 the Favorite section’s Oil Paint (thick brush) preset was applied followed by Topaz ReStyle’s Cream and Plum preset was selected. (See settings under Image 2 for more details.)
Same image as the first one, but this time the original RAW file was converted to a black and white on a Virtual Copy in Lightroom using the Lightroom B&W GA Infrared 01 preset that turned this image into a fabulous looking shot to begin with! (Once again, just goes to show what a good image to start with can do.) I wanted to see what Snap Art’s Charcoal effect would look like since the Colored Pencil effect looked so nice. The Landscape Charcoal preset was selected. Three Layer Masks were created in the plug-in to direct the tone and focus throughout the image. I really liked the result – beautiful sketch – but it just did not have any real pizzazz! That’s when the image was opened in Topaz ReStyle. Not all the presets looked great, but the Teal Frost looked beautiful – no changes! It now has a beautiful winter feel – Amazing! The last step involved adding a New Layer and painting a frame around the image. (See settings info under Image 3.)
Just another example of how plain white flowers can be changed into a beautiful color palette and turned into a lovely oil effect.
The Baby Blue and Pink preset was used in ReStyle. This image looks very soft since the Detail Structure slider was moved left. The flower centers were kept sharp by masking out the effect using the Basic section Mask. In Snap Art an Oil Paint (dry brush) saturated preset was applied. The flower centers were once again made more sharp than the rest of the image by adding more Photorealism and small Brush Size to a Mask on the flowers.
I used this image previously in my Snap Art Review without the new Topaz ReStyle plug-in applied to it. I really love how the two plug-ins together created this very painterly and sculpted look – it really makes me want to sit on the bench and enjoy the surroundings. The Snap Art plug-in used the Impasto Landscape (Small Brush) preset. (See Digital Lady Syd Reviews Alien Skin Snap Art 3 blog for more on image settings.) I had created a preset that used the Raw Sienna Haze preset with several of the sliders adjusted to get this pleasant result (all the settings were lost). A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT_SHIFT+E) was created on top and this was what made the image really work – the Blend If sliders in the Layer Style. The This Layer black tab slider was split (ALT+click on tab) and set to 69/143. (See my How to Use Those Handy Blend-If Sliders! blog.) A Layer Mask was added and areas that did not look like it fit in were painted out with a soft black brush. That was it and you get this nice fairytale look!
As you can see, there is definitely a very complimentary nature between these plug-ins, even though they are made by two totally different companies that use totally different methods to create the effects. I am constantly amazed at how far plug-ins have come in the past several years. A while back it cost almost as much as Photoshop itself to get them, and now there are so many reasonable choices and so many incredible effects. The technology has come a long way, but you have to thank Adobe and Photoshop for giving us the capability to have all this fun! So kudos to Adobe (in spite of all this Cloud mess) and kudos to all the plug-in companies that are now producing reasonably priced, inventive plug-ins for us Photoshop “nuts!”…..Digital Lady Syd
Image 2: Sean McCormick’s LR5 Essential Development Preset Toolbox was used to apply his LR TB63 Tone Curve preset to the image in Lightroom. I hope to review this down the road as the PDF looks very interesting along with his preset concepts. In Photoshop the Shake Reduction filter was applied as a Smart Object and then Snap Art was applied to the same layer. The Favorites category Oil Paint (thick brush) was used as a starting point and then the Background Tab slider Photorealism was changed to 22. In the Color Tab the Brightness slider was set to -19. In the Layers Tab, two different layers were created – one for the center of the flower and one for the long lines of the petals. The Mask Tool was set to Feather 50 and Amount 30. The center of the flower Effects were set with Detail, Brush Size -41, Photorealism 85, Paint Thickness -50, Paint Stroke Length 0, Stroke Color Variation 57, and Bristle Brush Style. For the long petals these settings were used: Detail, Brush Size 57, Photorealism -44, Paint Thickness -50, Paint Stroke Length 100, Stroke Color Variation 55, and Bristle Brush Style. The Canvas Tab used the default settings except for the Lighting which was set to the Diffuse setting. A stamped layer (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) was added on top and the Topaz ReStyle plug-in was opened. Cream and Plum preset was used as a starting point. Then in ReStyle Tab changed Texture Strength to 0.39. Painted in the Mask back some of the interesting color effects from the original image – brush was set to Strength 0.23, Brush Size 0.25 and Hardness 0.30 using Edge Aware and building up the effect the way I liked. Went to Basic Tab and set Detail Structure to 0.61 and Sharpness 0.11 to bring out the painterly texture more from Snap Art. In Mask painted out the flower to keep it from being affected as much using a brush Strength of 0.74. Back in Photoshop the layer opacity was set to 48%. Isabelle Lafrance Daiphanous Overlay Cobwebby was added on top and set to Linear Burn blend mode at 100% opacity. The last step added a Curves Adjustment Layer to enhance the contrast just a little.
Image 3: Once Lightroom Develop sliders and Photoshop CC’s Shake Reduction filter were applied, the Snap Art plug-in was opened. F5 was pressed to reset the plug-in and in the Pencil Sketch section, the Landscape Charcoal was applied. Pencil Width slider was then changed to 35 and Photorealism to 89. In Tone tab the Brightness was changed to 44, Contrast 10, and Red Channel Strength 42%, Green Channel Strength 72%, and Blue Channel Strength 41%. Canvas tab was set to Paper, Cold press, and Lighting was set to Diffuse (warmer). Layers tab was set to three different layers, the first was placed on the center tree to sharpen it a little (by increasing the Pencil Width and Photorealism Amount), the second on the front plant to tone it down some (by reducing the same sliders the other way), and the third on the structures to slightly enhance the details on them (sliders set in between the other two layer amounts). This is where the real strength of this plug-in lies – this enabled me to direct the focus through the image. Back in Photoshop a Darken and a Lighten layer were created to dodge and burn a few areas in the image (see my Fun Photoshop The Best Dodging and Burning Technique! blog). A Levels Adjustment layer was added to get the final correct tone to the image. Then Topaz ReStyle’s Tiara Frost preset was applied. The last step added the frame on a New Layer using Photoshop’s Natural Brush Spray at 41 pixels using a color sampled from the image.