Anything Photoshop or Photography

How to Get a Little Symmetry – Easily!

Monarch Butterflies using Symmetry PSD fileThis week I am just going to show just a short little trick. Alex DuKal did a post called Real Time Symmetry in Photoshop CS6 and John Nack picked it up on his Adobe blog (see Symmetrical drawing in Photoshop). Alex uses Smart Objects to create layer symmetry in Photoshop. There are roughly 11 steps to creating the above effect, but John Nack on his blog link above has created a free Photoshop PSD file to use so you do not have to go through all the steps in the video. Basically just open up the top Smart Object and add your image or texture, then CTRL+S to save the update and you get a perfect mirror of your image. The pix above used two different Monarch butterfly images recently shot. The sideways butterfly was brought into the top Smart Object file that once updated, created the mirror image. For more post-processing info, check out Image 1 at end of blog. I add this info so that you can find resources if you like some of the effects – you don’t have to follow along on all the details.
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Image created using brushes and Symmetry fileThis basic image was created for a my Create a Winter Scene with Photoshop Brushes and Textures blog – check it out for the details on brushes used. The two deer are from Shadowhouse Creations Rural Objects Brush Set. Same process as above to get the mirror effect.
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Image of painted fish using Symmetry fileOK – this was one I was totally just playing around and having some fun doing – I jokingly say this is my Bunny Rabbit from the Hat – he is looking down on the fish with two of the fish hatching out of the bowl! The Symmetry really brought out an interesting story! For info on how this image was created, see Image 3 below.

This is really a fun application to try. It takes a minute to see what type of image would look good mirrored, but if you don’t like it, just don’t used the PSD file. I did a blog called Instant Mirror and Quick Mirror for Photoshop a while back that gives some different symmetry effects. If you want to try something a little different, download Alex’s file and give it a try. It can actually give some different results that you just might like!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Take the Time to Experiment!
Digital Lady Syd’s Rule No. 1: Take the Time to Experiment!
A Little Kaleidoscope Fun!

IMAGE INFORMATION

Image 1: Just the basic sliders were used in Lightroom along with the Adjustment Brush to sharpen and add clarity to the butterfly. Once in Photoshop, the image was taken into the PSD file. This image was opened up in the Smart Object and some clean up was done on the image. Also 2 Lil’ Owls Studio The Artisan Collection Big Set 2-Texture 2 (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) was added twice as an overlay texture that I created (see my  blog). The Smart Object was saved and back in the main file, a stamped layer was created on top (CTLR+ALT+SHIFT+E). Next another butterfly image was opened in Lightroom, settings from original image copies, and opened in Photoshop. The butterfly was selected from the image and brought in as a layer to the symmetry layer. It was turned into a Smart Object and the Camera Raw filter was opened to make this butterfly really look the same as the other one. Another stamped layer and another Smart Object was applied. This time Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 was opened and the Favorites Pencil Sketch preset was selected with no changes. This layer was set to 81% opacity. Next French Kiss Studio 3 White Wash texture (my very favorite texture) was added and set to Linear Burn blend mode. In the Layer Style the This Layer black tab was set to 223 and the Advanced Blending Fill Opacity was set to 68%. A Curves Adjustment Layer was added to adjust contrast. Another stamped layer was created and then Topaz Black & White Effects 2 (see website link in sidebar of my Tidbits Blog). A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was added to adjust the color saturation.

Image 3: This is one of the strangest progression of an image I have ever done! It actually started out with Painted Textures Spring Sky that I turned into a black and white texture in Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. Then I stacked Painted Textures Summer Balloons texture and the white color was removed using an action called Mikes3D Kill White so the black level showed through in the white areas (note: to use this filter the best way, you must use Pixel Bender in CS5 – it is still the best for removing all the white and worth the time to do this). A Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top to add a little contrast. After that various layers were added using regular brushes like Nagel Series 41 Charcoal brushes. Nik Color Efex Pro 4 was used to change the image to blue and purple colors. These filters were stacked: Detail Extractor set to 71% and Large Effect Radius; and Infrared Film set to Method 3. Next the image was duplicated and taken into Nik HDR Pro 2 using a preset I had created earlier and brought out more of the dark tones in the texture. The wonderful Fay Sirkis o3 Palette Knife Blender Brush was used to just start mixing on the texture and creating these funny little creatures. (This is one of the great brushes that can be downloaded for use with her Four Seasons painting online training classes on NAPP – she teaches you how to use this brush in her great Four Seasons painting series Fall training class on NAPP.) Several layers were created with more colors and blending until I got this childlike painting. Water Bubbles by millertimesu Brush 3 was used to created the bubbles on a separate layer. A composite was created on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and this layer was taken into Topaz Simplify using the Color Sketch II preset. It was filled with black and the just the objects were painted back to get some lines in the underwater creatures. The last step involved add 2 Lil’ Owls (see my Tidbits Blog sidebar for website link) Color Bokeh Grunge Set retro cool overlay set to 27% layer opacity. This is the end of the basic image. Once this image was put into the Symmetry file, French Kiss Artiste Autumn Fauve was added on top and set to Saturation blend mode at 83% layer opacity to brighten up the whole image. This whole image was created from a couple textures and was major fun to do!

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