Saturday, November 9, 2019

Word of the day - wildlife

Word of the day - wildlife

This is a pademelon.  This one was found at Romaine reserve near Burnie in Tasmania.  We also saw a wild platypus on this trip...  It was wild

How did I do that?

How did I do that?

The painted tree

The aim of this tutorial is to lead you step by step through the process of creating an artistic image of an autumn tree.  You could use this technique with other objects.  Perhaps a vase full of flowers or something similar.  Find something with colour that stands out from the background.  

To complete this task I am using Photoshop CC 2019 but the methods should translate easily to other software.  You can find the raw files I used here
Download them to an easily accessible location on your computer

Here is what you are aiming for. It doesn't need to be exact, as a matter of fact be creative and come up with your own take on the theme.

To begin

Base image

We will need to remove the following items from the base image (above) to give you a clean base to work with.
  • Power pole
  • Power lines
  • Fire hydrant
  • Lock
  • Trailer
  1. Load the image Tree_01.NEF into photoshop
  2. Type "j" on the keyboard to select the "Spot healing brush tool". Make sure it is set to content aware.
    Spot healing brush tool

  3. Set the tool width to 300 or bigger than the width of the power pole use '[' and ']' to go smaller and larger
  4. Click once on the base of the power pole
  5. Hold the shift key down and click again at the top of the power pole.  It will now disappear.
  6. Continue removing the other objects.  
With some items, you can simply draw over them with the "Spot healing brush tool" to remove.  The shift process works best with straight lines.  Also make the brush size match the object size to minimise changes to the base image.

Clean base image

Your image should look similar to this. If you have trouble getting to here I have uploaded a clean base image to the Google photos link (above) as Tree_01.tif.  Please try to get this section right before using my base image.

Put it all together

Now that we have all the graphic objects that we need it is a simple matter of putting the image together.  All we need from the additional images are the leaves and it is a simple process to select only these.  A small amount of clean up may be required.

  1. Open Photoshop (if it isn't already open)
  2. From the menu select "File/Scripts/Load files into stack"
  3. Click "Browse" on the "Load Layers" window.
  4. Select "Tree_01.tif" along with "Tree_02.NEF" to "Tree_13.NEF" ( Should be thirteen files in total) and click "Open".
  5. Click "OK".  The files will now load into a new document.  Note: You do not need to align the source images.
  6. Next reverse the order of the layers.  
    1. In the Layers panel, select "Tree_01.tif" 
    2. Hold the shift key and select "Tree_13.NEF"
    3. Select "Layer/Arrange/Reverse" from the menu
"Tree_01.tif" (the clean base image) should now be on the bottom of the layers list.

Merging the images

The goal here will be to only retain the colours of autumn leaves.
  1. Start by deselecting the eye icon (beside the layer icon in the layers panel) for all layers except for the bottom two.
  2. In the "Layers" panel select Tree_02.NEF"
  3. From the menu "Select/Color Range"
  4. Set it to the following settings
    Color range window
  5. Use the eyedropper tool to select leaves until the selection mask looks like the tree canopy (similar to what you see above). 
  6. Click on "OK"
  7. Click on the "mask" icon (rectangle with a circle in the middle).  You will find it at the bottom of the "Layers" panel.
  8. Right click on the mask and select "Apply layer mask" from the menu.
  9. Using the "Eraser tool" ("e" on the keyboard), remove any stray objects that you do not think add to the image.
  10. Select the eye icon for "Tree_03.NEF" and select this layer.
  11. Repeat from item 3 to item 10 for all remaining layers
You should now have an image similar to the first image in this tutorial.  Additional things that you can do is to change the colours of the leaves or use less layers to get a sparser feel.  It is up to you have fun and be creative.  

Feel free to share a link to any image you create with this process


Painted tree

Painted tree

In April 2017 autumn was in full swing here in Melbourne and I had been wanting to make an image of a tree where I combined a large number of images to make something that was not quite a tree.  What I ended up with was the image that you see below.  I called it the "Painted tree".  This image was created from a total of 13 pictures of the same tree.  How did I achieve this result you may ask?  The answer is surprisingly easy and later today I will post detailed instructions, so that you can have a go at it yourself.

Raw photos can be found here.  Feel free to download them and have a play to see what you can come up with

I will use tree_01.NEF as the base for my image and will need to remove the power pole, power lines, fire hydrant, lock and vehicle trailer from this image before proceeding.  Have fun

On this day - 9th of November

9th of November

On this day in 2016, Penny had some tulips that were begging to be photographed.