The quick view Before & After of this image is here
This will be a more advanced demonstration using Photoshop CS5. I’m going to assume that you already know how to use layer masks, blend modes, adjustment layers and adjustment layers with clipping masks. If you don’t know those things, I’ll be covering them in upcoming tutorials. If you can’t wait to get started, go over to my other blog, Photo Artist Textures where you can find tutorials or just glance over this to keep in mind what’s possible.
The Original Image
This is my original photograph with minimal processing done in Lightroom.
Add a Texture
Image after texture added with basic processing. Texture is French Kiss, Flower Garden.
The Layer Panel
I have done some basic editing. Description from the bottom up.
- Original Image
- Levels adjustment: To brighten whites.
- Texture added: Multiply 100%. Layer mask to reveal the flower. (black reveals layer below)
- Adjustment layer with clipping mask: to darken the texture slightly. The clipping mask confines the adjustment to just the texture.
- Cloning layer: Spot healing and Rubber Stamp to clean up dust, etc.
- Merged Layer: I merged all the layers as I knew I was going to use filters. Notice I locked it. I knew I would try several filters and so I didn’t want to accidentally edit the original merged layer. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if I had, because I could make another, but it was more convenient.
Adding Filters To Unify The Image And Give A Painterly Effect
I rather liked this combination of texture and Camellia, but something was missing. It needed another step to unify the image. I decided to try both Topaz Labs Clean filter and the Pixel Bender Oil Paint filter. I’ll first show you the Final with the Layer Panel and then show you zoomed in versions as it’s hard to see the differences in a small web image.
The Final Image
This is the final file where I applied several versions and 3 filters.
The Final File Layer Panel
Remember that merged layer up above? Well, I duplicated that to a new document. I did this to apply the Pixel Bender Filter. Pixel Bender gets fussy with me when a file size is quite large, so I wanted to use a it with a single layer file. I could have brought this layer back into the original file, but I decided to do my final filter work in this new file.
I’ve named my files PreFinal and Final so later it’s clear to me which is the final. It’s also always a good idea to name your layers. It makes working easier and later when you look at your file, it’s clear what you’ve done. I also use the notes tool when I need more detailed descriptions.
OK, let’s break it down. Description from the bottom up. Note: New original merged layer refers to the merged layer from the first document, which I duplicated into this document.
- Pixel Bender Oil Paint Filter: I duplicated the merged layer from my first document with the basic editing and texture into this new document.
- Pixel Bender Oil Paint Filter 2nd version: I liked the flower, but I wanted the background less detailed. With a new original merged layer I used the Pixel Bender Oil Paint Filter again with more blurring. I then used a layer mask so that the more detailed flower from the layer below is revealed.
- Topaz Labs Detail Filter: From a little experience using the Pixel Bender Oil Paint Filter, I knew that I like increasing the detail and contrast with the Topaz Labs Detail Filter so with a new original merged layer I applied the Topaz Labs Detail Filter. I added a reverse layer mask so that this filter effect is only the revealed on the flower. I reduced the opacity of this layer to 77% to diminish the filter effect a little.
- Levels layers adjustment with a clipping mask: Brightens just the Topaz Labs Detail Filter layer.
- Topaz Labs Clean Filter: New original merged layer with Topaz Labs Clean Filter. I placed the opacity at 28% to change the Pixel Bender version just a bit. Notice that I had tried a layer mask and changed my mind so it is deactivated.
- Burn in Petal Edge definition: In the final version, I need a bit of edge definition between the outer flower petals and the background, so I touched them up with an overlay burn/dodge layer. (Layer in the overlay blend mode filled with 50% gray and brushed with white or black color.)
- Final Touch Ups: Finally, there were a couple of small areas where the filters produced an effect I didn’t like, so I cleaned them up with the spot healing brush.
- Photograph © Leslie Nicole
French Kiss Texture: Flower Garden
Topaz Labs Filters (I have the Photoshop Bundle.) Note: this is an affiliate link. I will get a commission from sales.
Pixel Bender Filter Free for Photoshop CS5 only
Adobe Photoshop CS5 (Amazon affiliate link)