Anything Photoshop or Photography

Posts tagged “Oil Paint Filter

JUST A LITTLE CARTOON

Cartoon or Comic Image of a Sleeping Lion at the Jacksonville Zoo
It took some time to pull this little blog together. Sometimes it just takes time working with an image to get the effect wanted. I had found several videos on how to create a comic or cartoon effect over the past few years so I though I would share them. I am not sure I would like the effect on all my images, but they are fun to create. And you can tell there are many different types of cartoon effects that can be achieved. The image above is one I just did with mainly painting. The same basic image was used and up to a point for all four images. The one above used Kyle’s Spatter Blot Tilt brush (in regular PS specialty default brush) with Color Dynamics turned on to get the different colors on the bark of the tree and the ground around the lion. (Used orange and tan as the colors, created a separate layer, painted in the dots, and set the layer to Hard Light at 73% opacity. This brush is really fun to use!) A Scatter brush on the lion fur and Kyle’s Inkbox Classic Cartoonist brush (also in the default wet media brushes from PS) for the black outline was used. Obviously lots of touch up to get the effect, but overall it was a lot of fun to do.

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Image of a sleeping lion from the Jacksonville Zoo

Another iteration of the same lion, this time using a technique by Jesus Rodriguez. He recently created a video which basically creates a Smart Object of a duplicate layer of the image. Then the Filter Gallery -> Artistic -> Poster Edges, Threshold, and Oil Paint (you can see this in the image as a typical look for this filter) adjustments were added. Each adjustment can be changed. Then on a duplicate of the image he applies the Poster Edges and Oil Paint filters again. The video is called Smart Way to Quickly Make Comic Book Drawings from your Photos. It created a really nice image. I could have used a mixer on a New Layer set to a lower opacity to get a smoother coat and face, but the pattern looked rather nice on the overall lion. If you have a person’s face, this could be easily smoothed out using several different methods.

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Image of a sleeping lion at the Jacksonville Zoo

Yep, here he is again – still sound asleep. A lot of you may remember Topaz Simplify (which is still part of Topaz Studio 2 (for website info, check out my Tidbits Blog sidebar) but does not appear in quite the same format). I used the older version and added some Simplify and Adjust slider changes, but the big result is from the Edges (which Topaz Studio 2 has) set to a strong Edge Strength of 3.63 using a Normal Color Line and a fatten Edge of 2.57. Created the wonderful lines which I believe only Topaz Simplify can do. I think it creates a rather unique cartoon effect and the colors look great without having to manipulate them much back in PS.

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Image of a sleeping lion at the Jacksonville Zoo

This image looks very similar to the second image by Jesus Ramirez above – that is because they use some of the same filters but with different settings. This technique was by Chris Spooner and he shows you how to do it in his video called How to Create an Illustrated Cartoon Effect from a Photo in Adobe Photoshop. Chris uses the same technique of creating a duplicate layer smart object and then added these filters: Shadows/Highlights, Oil Paint, Poster Edges, Reduce Noise, Unsharp Mask, Smart Blur, and Cutout. It has a bit more of a drawing effect to it.

If you like this kind of look, these are just a few of the techniques that can be used to get that cartoon or comic effect. Many others incorporate a half-tone look in them and many paint parts out to make the image less detailed. Lots of creativity here and these few techniques were all pretty easy to try out. Have some fun and see what results you can get. Have a great New Year week!…..Digital Lady Syd


HOW TO GET THE OIL PAINT FILTER EFFECT BACK? CAN IT BE DONE?

Image of the Alcazar Cafe using GREYCstoration on itThis week I decided to try to find a replacement for the Oil Paint Filter effect that Photoshop CS6 and CC used and everyone liked so much. It was removed from Photoshop CC2014 and CC2015. I did not use it that much, but sometimes it was nice to use. I ran across a little free plug-in that gives a similar result as the Oil Painter filter and many people seem to be liking it. Also I created a Topaz (see sidebar at my Tidbits Blog for website link) Impression preset that also gives a similar effect.

GREYCstoration

The image above shows the results of using the plug-in called GREYCstoration that is a free download for WINDOWS users and Photoshop CC2014/2015 only (I downloaded by clicking on this link and scrolling down to Petopeto 2nd entry from almost two years ago-use the top link in entry). Copy the Greyc-helper.bin and Greyc-x64.8bf into the c:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 or 2014\Plug-ins\ folder. I did not put any of the other files in the downloaded folder, just those two. Now here is the kicker – to find the plug-in, you must look under Filter -> Noise -> GREYCstoration. (Note: sometimes I get an error so just say try again and it usually comes up anyway.) The effect does not appear to be as strong as the Oil Painter Filter, so I found that by applying it several times, the result was better. If you go to the link above you will find the default settings for this filter and a blogger’s settings that he likes. I used some even stronger settings to get the effect on the photos above and below. (Strength 999, Contour 0.0, Anisotropy 1, Noise Scale 0.1, Geometry Regularity 2, Initial gaussian blur o, Iterations 1, Gfact 1, Spatial step 0.8, Angular step 30, Gauss precision 2, Interpolation nearest, Stage display Normal, Threads Auto, and checked all three – Fast approximation, Alt amplitude, and GPU). The interface is not that great, but you can still see the results when trying different settings, but some of the settings do not appear to work. Also varying the Geometry Regularity gives some very different results. The other value I changed around some was the Contour setting. Below is a Cattle Egret using the same filter twice and settings as above, once on the original image layer and once after my Corel Painter texture was applied.
Image of a Cattle Egret using GREYCstoration plug-in

Topaz Impression Using My SJ Oil Paint Preset

Image of the Alcazar Cafe using Topaz ImpressionThe image above is an example of using a Liquid Lines preset in Topaz Impression to get a similar effect. This used the Liquid Lines III preset with these changes – Paint Opacity +0.35 (lets you see strokes better), Paint Volume +0.35, Stroke Width -0.93 and Stroke Length -0.93; and then the Overall Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders were set to 0 and the Brightness, Contrast and Vignette were all set to 0. This layer was set to 78% as I felt the effect was way too strong. Many of the presets in the Modern category of Impression give some very similar effects.

Image of a Cattle Egret using Topaz ImpressionThis image used the same preset settings and was applied to the original image layer before adding the texture layer. Therefore only the bird shows the Impression preset effect.

Photoshop Oil Paint Filter

Here are the images with Photoshop’s Oil Paint Filter applied.
Image of the Alcazar Cafe using Photoshop's Oil Paint FilterThe settings for the PS Oil Paint Filter above are Stylization 7.97, Cleanliness 4.8, Scale 0.84, Bristle Detail 6.9, Angular Direction 180, and Shine 1.5.

Image of Cattle Egret using Photoshop's Oil Paint FilterThe egret settings are set to Stylization 10, Cleanliness 10, Scale 1.19, Bristle Detail 3.25, Angular Direction 244.8, and Shine 0.45. Just the egret layer received the filter, not the texture.

Several other plug-ins were used to try and get similar results. Topaz Glow can be adjusted to get some of the Oil Paint effect, but it really does not do as well as Impression. Several other major plug-ins were tried, but as yet, I could not get as good a result as the above two. I will let everyone know if anything better comes up. I do believe that the GREYCstoration is not a bad alternative to the original PS Oil Paint Filter, but it is limited to Windows. Topaz Impression makes a valiant effort and with some further tweaking, an even better preset can probably be produced. Bottom line is that if you have Photoshop CS6 or CC, keep it around if you really want this effect. That is what I am doing. Hope you found this helpful. Have a nice week!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Photoshop’s CS6 (and Pixel Bender’s) Oil Paint Filter
Digital Lady Syd Speaks Out on Topaz Impression


Painting Effects – Which Ones to Use?

This week I decided to do the same image using different painting effects to see which ones I like the best. Since I was surprised by how nice Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 plug-in performed in last week’s blog, I thought I would compare it to other programs and see if it was really that good. I wanted to keep to an Oil Paint look, but not all the software supports this. I must admit this is not a very scientific comparison since I used different steps for the different results each software presented – but it still gave me a feel for what painterly looks can be achieved with a little manipulation. This picture was taken along the International Coastal Waterway in Ormond Beach on a very windy day – the clouds were building. It is probably not the best image but I thought it made a good test choice since it had lots of foreground details and color, and a beautiful landscape cloud expanse in the background, All the examples started with the same basic brightening done in Lightroom and then applying Nik’s fabulous Viveza plug-in in Photoshop. (See my Nik’s Viveza 2 Plug-In – A Hidden Gem! blog.)

Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3

I really like the very final look Snap Art gave this image above. The Oil Paint (dry brush) was used as the basis for this image with several slider changes made to get the final look. For more info on the post-processing settings, see Image 1 at end of blog. This plug-in is definitely a good choice if you want this type of look. (See my blog Digital Lady Syd Reviews Alien Skin Snap Art 3 for other examples of what this plug-in will do.)

Photoshop’s Oil Paint Filter

This image is one I created in Photoshop CC using the Oil Paint Filter, which was added in Photoshop CS6 (although it is available for CS4 and CS5 users by using the Pixel Bender Panel). I did a rather popular blog a while back that gives definitions of what each slider does and what effect is creates for both versions – see my Photoshop’s CS6 (and Pixel Bender’s) Oil Paint Filter blog. In fact I used it to help me create this image along with a recent short tutorial by Mark S. Johnson on Planet Photoshop called Luminous Painting Effect Using Oil Paint Filter. As I said in my previous blog, it is not a look I would use a lot since it definitely has a Photoshop look to it, but it gives a pretty rendition of this image. Apparently it is very popular effect since it is used in most recent tutorials for creating the oil painting look in Photoshop. The Jack Davis Action image below also uses this effect but a little differently. For information on the settings used here, see Image 2 info located at the bottom of the blog.

Topaz Filters

This image took a lot longer than I thought it would. Since Topaz (for website link see sidebar in my Tidbits Blog) Simplify 4 is such a terrific plug-in for us creative types, I though it would whiz through this comparison. Instead I had a hard time getting a good oil painting look and never did get what I wanted without cheating a little. So above is what I came up with by applying Topaz Clarity, Adjust, and a new one coming out next week (I will add that info in once released but I needed the plug-in to get the effect I wanted) and never did use Simplify! The trick was to add a texture afterwards in Photoshop set to Hard Light at 34% opacity and desaturate it so it looks like an oil painting.  Now that does not mean that I don’t like Simplify’s oil paint look, it just means it did not work on this image. (Check out my Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs listed below for some that really worked.) One of the issues in Simplify was a little webbing in the foreground grass which can be an issue for this plug-in on some images. For the actual settings and texture info, check out Image 3 below.

Jack Davis Wow Smart Object Painting 1 Action

Thought I would show you what Jack Davis’ action does for this photo since he does add several filters together in this action to get this result. It still uses the Oil Paint filter in Photoshop, like image 2 above, but it does look different when added in a group with the other filters. I also ran it twice on the image like I suggested in my Can You Get a Painting Look With a Photoshop Action? Jack Davis Can! blog. Check out this link for download information for this free action and the blog tells you most of the specifics to get this effect. Also see Image 4 for a little more info. I really like the result as I did the results from my previous blog.

Dynamic Auto-Painter

This image uses Media Chance’s stand-alone Dynamic Auto-Painter that paints images in all sorts of styles and there are effects that can be downloaded to add to their presets. I have not used this program in a while and am not real proficient with it, but it gives some really interesting results and I felt it was worth a mention. The files must in 8-bit mode in JPG format. Other than that, it appears it has lots of options including masks that can be saved as PSD files. This image used Whistlers Rainbow for painting and I let it run for 14023 iterations. By placing the brush over areas you want emphasized, you can direct where more detail is applied. This is a really cool program and you should check it out if you want to try something different. I personally felt this look was pretty good. For a few more details, check out Image 5 below.

Auto-Painting with Corel Painter II

I wanted you to see what a nice result you can get with the incomparable Corel Painter – this took just a few minutes. I am not that proficient with this program, but the Auto-Painting technique is quite nice. Unfortunately I could not find an Oil Paint brush in my version to use when auto-painting, so the Acrylics Captured Bristle Brush was used. If I understand correctly, many people using Painter use the auto-painting function for underpainting an image and then paint on top the details. This image would look great if I knew how to use the actual brushes effectively in Painter. It does look quite a bit like the Snap Art plug-in, which is to Snap Art’s credit since it is quite a bit less expensive. For info on how this image was processed, check out Image 6 below.

There are a couple other ways to get a really nice painterly effect. The brilliant Russell Brown has developed two scripts panels to use  inside Photoshop that guides you along as you paint. The oldest is called the Adobe Painting Assistant which has different download links for CS6 and CS5 versions – just keep scrolling. The newest panel is the Adobe Watercolor Assistant Panel that can only be used with CS6 and on.  These are all free downloads at this link. The Watercolor Painting Assistant takes some practice to get a really nice result, but it will give a beautiful result. See my blog Dr. Brown’s Painting Assistant Panel for CS6 and CS5! and Think Pink! Rally for the Cure Pink Rose for more information on the older and more user-friendly Painting Assistant Panel. I will also mention another Digital Painting program called PostworkShop 3 which has received some excellent reviews for its beautiful results. Their website has some excellent resources for using the program. I have not had time to try it, but I hope to in the near future. There are some older Photoshop plug-ins that I remember from days past like Virtual Painter and Twisted Pixels, but I do not remember if they were that good. And I even tried out my old PhotoArtMaster Gold stand alone that was given away in a magazine by the now defunct fo2pix.com. (Lots of webbing occurred using this program.) It was a lot of fun just to try them out. I hope we have advanced our painterly form a little from those times.

Well, I hope you got to see what a variety of plug-ins and programs are out there to use for painting. At this point, I am not sure which one I would go with – it totally depends on the image. In this case I still like Alien Skin’s Snap Art 3 rendition the best although also liked the soft effect with Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter image. It was fun to take just one image and try different styles just to get a feel for the differences. If you have a chance you should try this out. And you can always learn to paint with the Mixer and Bristle Brushes in Photoshop and probably get even better results!…..Digital Lady Syd

Digital Lady Syd Related Blogs:
Painterly Effect using Topaz Detail and Simplify
Getting a Nice Painterly Landscape Effect with Topaz Simplify and Texture
Corel Painter and Photoshop Together to Create a Pastel Painting
Topaz Adjust Using Painting Venice Preset – Beautiful Effect!
Topaz Simplify Artistic Workflow
How to Get That Creative Painterly Look
Adobe Photoshop CS5′s Mixer Brushes

IMAGE INFORMATION

For All Examples: In Lightroom the Lens Profile was added and Remove Chromatic Aberration was checked. Auto Tone was applied and Clarity (+67), Shadows (+73), Highlights (-92), and Vibrance (+47) were then adjusted before going into Photoshop. The Background layer was duplicated and by right clicking on the layer and selecting Converted To Smart Object. Nik’s Viveza plug-in was opened and no control points were used, which is unusual for me. Instead Brightness was set to -30%, Saturation 26%, Structure 28%, Shadow Adjustment -67%, Warmth 12%, and all other sliders set to 0%.

Image 1: A composite (stamped) layer was created by pressing CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E and it was converted into a Smart Object. The Snap Art plug-in was opened and these settings were applied. The Oil Paint (dry brush) preset was selected leaving the default settings in place for the Background tab. In the Color tab these settings were applied: Brightness 11, Contrast -40, Saturation 42, and Temperature -18. No changes were made in the Canvas tab. In the Layers tab, three layers were created and used the same Mask Tool setting of Feather 50 and Amount 53. Layer 1 had only the pink flowers selected and these were the settings: Effect Detail, Brush Size -54, Photorealism 61, Paint Thickness -28, Paint Stroke Length -34, Stroke Color Variation -54, and Brush Style Default Brush. Layer 2 selected the stems to the flowers and these were the settings: Effect Detail, Brush Size -15, Photorealism 0, Paint Thickness 48, Paint Stroke Length -34, Stroke Color Variation 40, and Brush Style Bristle Brush. Layer 3 selected parts of the clouds that needed more attention. These were the settings: Effect Detail, Brush Size 100, Photorealism -100, Paint Thickness -76, Paint Stroke Length 100, Stroke Color Variation 9, and Brush Style Soft Brush. Basically these settings were chosen by just experimenting and seeing what looked good in the image. A New Layer back in Photoshop was created and the Spot Healing Brush tool was used on a couple places in the image to remove distractions. That is all that was done to this image.

Image 2: Following Mark’s video, a Levels Adjustment Layer was added on top of the Viveza filter layer and set to Screen blend mode. A composite (stamped) layer was created by pressing CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E and it was converted into a Smart Object. By going to Filter -> Blur -> Gaussian Blur with a radius of 34.6, a nice soft glow appearance was created. The layer blend mode was set to Multiply. Another composite layer was created and also turned into a Smart Object. This time Filter -> Oil Paint was added and the following settings were applied: Stylization 3.57, Cleanliness 10, Scale 0.55, Bristle Detail 8.1, Angular Direction  264.6, and Shine 1.2. A layer mask was applied and using a 30% opacity brush, the flowers were lightly painted back just give a little more detail in the image along with the shoreline in the background. A Curves Adjustment layer was added on the very top and using the little hand, the curve was dragged up a little. It ended up that my left edge point was moved to Input 0/Output 23 and that was it.

Image 3: This time a Composite layer was created and Topaz Clarity was applied – I love this plug-in, maybe as much as Detail! First started with a Reset and here were the settings: Dynamics:  Micro Contrast 0.30, Low Contrast -0.19, Medium Contrast 0.91, and High Contrat -0.11; Tone Level: Black Level 0, Midtones  0.27, and White Level  0.42; and HSL: Sat: Red -1.00, Orange -1.00, and Magenta 0.14; and Lum: Red 0.30, Yellow 0.52, Green -0.55. The Opacity for the whole section was set to 62% and the foreground rock was selected in the Mask so the HSL settings only applied to that area. Once out of the plug-in, a black layer mask was added and just the rock and cloud areas were painted back. Next another composite layer was created and Topaz Adjust was opened up. Started with Stylized Collection – Painting-Venice preset (one of my favorites). Then added Diffusion settings: Softness 0.29, Diffusion 0.93, and Diffusion Transition 0.50. In the Local Adjustments section, the Brush Out brush was set to Opacity .50 and the leaves to the flowers were painted back, then set to 1.00 and the flowers were painted back in the mask. The Sky was painted back using a brush set to .20 and the blue area was painted over in one long sweep. A last new filter was applied that basically just correct some color issues here. Back in Photoshop the last step involved add one of Melissa Gallo’s textures from Painted Textures called Snowy Sky set to Hard Light at 34% – A Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer was clipped to it (ALT+Click between the layers to clip) and the Saturation was set to -100. This way only the textured brush strokes show up but no color. (See my Tidbits Blog Getting a Nice Painterly Landscape Effect with Topaz Simplify and Texture.)

Image 4: This imaged used the default settings for the filters except for the Oil Paint filter where the same settings as for Image 2 were used. The layer was set to 72% opacity. Then a Composite was made on top and turned into a Smart Object. The action was run again. This time these settings were changed: Oil Paint filter – Stylization +10, Cleanliness 0, Scale 223, Bristle Detail 2, Angular Direction 264.6, and Shine .15; and Rough Pastels filter was set to Stroke Length 7, Stroke Detail 20, Scaling 67, Relief 4 and Top Right. This layer was set to Overlay blend mode and 68% layer opacity. A black layer mask was added and the sky was painted back.

Image 5: This image started as the same places as the others – just converted it to an 8-bit mode jpg to work on it in Dynamic Auto-Painter. By clicking the brush on the flowers while the program was running, I was able to get a little more emphasis on this area. The image was brought back into Photoshop for some clean up. A Color Balance Adjustment Layer was used to add more yellow into the image – in Midtones Yellow was set to -31. In the Curves Adjustment Layer, all the individual channels were adjusted to get the correct balance of colors. A composite layer was created and then a Gaussian Blur filter was applied with the radius set to 2.3, just enough to blend some of the painting lines on the rock. Then the flowers and shoreline were painted back slightly in a layer mask.

Image 6: The image was taken into Painter II with the Lightroom and Viveza changes. I changed the Underpainting settings that were set to Classical Color Scheme to Brightness +27%, Contrast -55%, Hue +2%, Saturation -8%, Value -17%, and Smart Blur 0%. The Acrylics Captured Bristle Brush from the Smart Stroke Brushes category was selected and Scribble Large was used in the Stroke Box. Very basic stuff here. Hopefully I will learn how to use this program better. Once the painting was finished, it was brought back into Photoshop where a clean up layer was created. A Curves Adjustment Layer, Color Balance Adjustment Layer and Selective Color Adjustment Layer were added to get the contrast and color correct.


Photoshop’s CS6 (and Pixel Bender’s) Oil Paint Filter

Decided to have some fun this week. I really did not think I would ever write a long blog about using this filter since I have used a very similar version with Photoshop CS5 for several years using the Adobe Pixel Bender interface.Pixel Bender includes Oil Paint as one of their filter choices (along with the cool Droste Effect – see my blog Pixel Bender Droste Effect). Oil Paint has always been a lot of fun but you can definitely tell you are using it. Photoshop CS6 has included it in their new version so I decided to give it another whirl since a lot of people seem to be really psyched by it. The image above is of the Cafe Alcazar, a restaurant that is located in the old swimming pool area of the Hotel Alcazar before it became City Hall and the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida. I might add it is one of the best places to get a great lunch, which is all they serve and at a reasonable price!

While doing a CS6 tutorial, I was reminded that Oil Paint does a great job on detailed and HDR images – so this is what you are seeing. (Click on image to see more detail.) This was a bracketed three image hand-held shot that was first brought into Photoshop’s Merge to HDR using RC Concepcion’s El Capitan preset from his book The HDR Book, but any settings that work for your image are fine. After processing in HDR, the updated Lens Correction Filter was used to straighten the columns that were slightly bending in, and the image was straightened and cropped. A duplicate layer was created and converted to a Smart Object before applying the Oil Paint Filter so you can go back in and adjust your settings if you don’t like the results. The settings used were: Stylization 7.97, Cleanliness 4.8, Scale 0.84, Bristle Detail 6.9, Angular Direction 180, and Shine 1.5.

What the sliders do:

Stylization : the bumpy texture slider – low value gives stucco effect (more realistic) and high value gives large brush stroke effect (default  4 with a range of .1 to 10).

Cleanliness: sharpens the brush strokes – low value gives a gritty effect and high value gives super smooth effect (default 2.3 with a range of  0 to 10).

Scale: fine lines spread out as you make it larger and comes from upper left corner of image – how large do you want the effect to appear within the image? (default 0.8 with a range of .1 to 10)

Bristle Detail: depth of the brush strokes – low value creates smooth transitions and high value increases contrast (default 10 with a range of 0 to 10).

Angular Direction: affects angle of the brush strokes and light hitting brushstrokes (default 300 with a range of 0 to 360).

Shine: creates embossed look and keeps the curly strokes from being pushed up against the edge by creating lines around edges (major difference between this filter and one in Pixel Bender which cannot do this) – low value gives painterly look and gives similar look as Pixel Bender filter (default of 1.3 with a range of  0 to 10).

For Pixel Bender users, Colorization: creates contrast and is different for each image (default of 1.18 and a range of 0 to 2) and Brush Contrast: set to 0 creates little contrast (default 1 with a range of 0 to 1). The Pixel Bender filter also has sliders for Stylization (default of 2.893 with a range of .1 to 10), Cleanliness (default 6.32 with a range of 2 to 15) and Brush Scale (default 2 with a range of .1 to 10) like the CS6 version.

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This bird is an African Crowned Crane that lives with two others at the Hilton Waikoloa Village Ocean Tower area. Since this filter is supposed to look good on pets and animals, I thought this image had the look for it. (The settings used were Stylization 2.08, Cleanliness 10, Scale 5.89, Bristle Detail 10, Angular Direction 302.4, and Shine 0.95.) It is taking a little time to learn what settings I like.  It seems you have to watch the Shine slider or you get a way overdone look – but don’t completely eliminate it or you loose all the really cool texture as shown on the walls in the background and body of the bird. The filter effect seemed a little overdone in some areas (like the eyes, head feathers, beak area, and edges of the palms) so a layer mask was added. Using a low opacity brush, parts of the effect were brushed away. The image was finished up by adding a Curves Adjustment Layer to warm up the colors a little and add some contrast, and Nik Viveza 2 to add a little more detail and color to the eye, beak and head feathers. Overall I believe it turned out rather nice and it does add some artistic quality that the original image was lacking.
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To be honest, I do not see a lot of difference between the filters as created in Pixel Bender for CS4 and CS5 and for CS6, even though the sliders are somewhat different. Below is an example of an image of the Ka’anapali Beach Club in Maui, Hawaii using the Oil Paint Filter in CS6. Then click on this image and you will see the original image as created in Pixel Bender CS5.


These are the settings I used for the CS6 image above (Stylization 5.25, Cleanliness 10, Scale 1.29, Bristle Detail 1.85, Angular Direction 300.6, and Shine 0).  These are the settings I used for the Pixel Bender image (Stylization 10, Cleanliness 15, Coloration 1.1, Brush Scale 3.07, and Brush Contrast 0.42). Both filters used a 69% opacity for the Oil Paint Filter layer and a layer mask was used to remove the effect from certain parts of the image. Also a Nik Color Efex Pro Brilliance and Warmth filter was applied to both images as a last step.

The reason I listed all this information is that I think it is interesting to see how the two slider amounts compare. I found there were two significant differences: the use of the Colorization slider which has a big impact on how the color looks in the Pixel Bender image but is missing in the CS6 update and I think really adds to the image, and the Shine slider in CS6 which controls a lot of the crazy textures you get in the image – if you use too much, it gets really weird and some people don’t use this slider at all. By comparing the defaults of each filter, the CS6 settings seem to have been adjusted to fit what looks good on most images, or fine-tuned a little.

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The above are small purple flowers in my front yard that I just had to try this filter on – I am surprised how nice it turned out. The settings for this image are as follows:  Stylization 7.87, Cleanliness 7.5, Scale 0.6, Bristle Detail 10, Angular Direction 0, and Shine 3.3. The last step was to add a Curves Adjustment Layer to add some contrast and bring out a little bit of color in the flowers.

I am surprised the same sliders were not included in the update in CS6. Still not sure if I like it as well as the Pixel Bender version. Again, it is a filter effect that I am not inclined to use a lot but is fun to play with. Someone had suggested that just the texture effect might look good as a background for some images. Overall I think that with the right image, it can create a very nice look, although it definitely is marked as a Photoshop filter effect. Give it a try using either version – Adobe Pixel Bender’s or CS6’s – and add that fun artistic look to your images…..Digital Lady Syd