MORE PAINTING WITH TOPAZ IMPRESSION!
Since I am having a pretty busy month, thought I would just pop in with another short post on this interesting new plug-in – definitely a fun one to try out on different images. The above was the sign that greets you upon entering Epcot during their Food and Wine Festival at Disney World Orlando. It felt like it should have a more painterly look to it, so I pulled Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Impression out to try to get the effect. Since the image really did not really lend itself to something I wanted to paint, Impression just might give me the feel I wanted quickly.
This was a pretty simple workflow. In Lightroom Seim’s (see sidebar atmy Tidbits Blog for website link) Power Workflow 4 Super HDR and Tint Golden Sepia were used. In Photoshop the Shade Reduction filter was then applied. This image did not need to be so sharp (in which case I always use Topaz Detail 3) since the painted feel does not require it. Duplicated the layer (CTRL+J) and just selected the background from sign foreground and created a layer mask. Then duplicated this layer and inverted the layer mask be CTRL+I in it – now the foreground was selected. On the bottom masked layer, Topaz Impression was opened and the SJ Colored Pencil preset was selected (see preset settings in my New Impression of Octopus and Seahorse) – then changed the Red Hue to -0.54, Red Saturation 0.31, and Yellow Hue 0.13. Back in Photoshop the foreground layer was selected and taken into Impression – this time Chiaroscuro II preset was chosen but the Lighting Brightness, Contrast, and Vignette were all set to 0. Back in Photoshop again, the layer with the background showing was duplicated and placed on top so that a Gaussian Blur set to 6.1 could be applied to make the trees just slightly out-of-focus. On some New Layers clean up was done – mainly getting some color into Mickey’s face so he was the focal point and to smooth the paint where some splotchiness appeared from the Chiaroscuro preset. Mickey still did not stand out quite the way I wanted him to, so a Curves Adjustment Layer was added with no settings – just filled the mask black and changed the blend mode to Multiply. Then with a white brush set to 30% brush opacity, Mickey was painted back to make him stand out. I liked the way two different presets in Impressions produced this interesting result. And got to love Mickey!
This charcoal of a hotel on the beach in Ormond-By-the-Sea near Ormond Beach, Florida, was created using Topaz Impression’s Charcoal I preset – it is the first one that comes up in their Favorites preset grouping and it sort of just popped out at me. I would never have made it a charcoal if I had not seen it applied in the thumbnail. This is what I like about this plug-in – it gives you some new ideas on what can be done with your images. I did not make any changes to the preset. I did add a New Layer on top and with a brush created in Photoshop, some of the shadows were in the foreground beach area were emphasized. This brush was created from one of Melissa Gallo’s Pencil Sketch Brushes provided with her Painting in Photoshop Workshop – just did some tweaks and sampled some color in the image to add a pencil-stroke type feel. (This is a really good set of videos by Melissa.)
This windmill was painted using Topaz Impression and following a very short interesting You Tube video by Blake Rudis called Topaz Impression Mixed Media. I am not sure I like this particular combination of media on this image, but I wanted to try out his example. It is a similar workflow to the one in my first image, but Blake did a nice job of presenting his specific workflow. If you want specifics of what each slider does, Blake did an introductory video called Topaz Impression Review & Tutorial and I found it very helpful. Also Michael Hardisty did a really nice overview in his Topaz Impression – Release the Artist blog on the program and some different examples of other effects presets.
I really like the plug-in the more I am using it. As Blake says, it is different from the other programs out there. If you like the artistic feel, it is definitely worth a trial download. I think it does the nicest charcoal emulation that I have seen. Try downloading the trial and see what you think. Hope you have as much fun experimenting as I have been!…..Digital Lady Syd