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Photomanip DD Round Up for June 2018

Sat Jul 14, 2018, 3:49 AM
Halo by Ban27 PRIMORDIAL EARTH II by stardock
Halloween. Tales from the crypt by Vera-Orlova Sleeping Awake by bakashin
Magical Sky Touch by QAuZ Co-sheirm by Zephyrio
OF SPARROWS AND SORROWS by renevene Lift Off by xLocky
Snail steampunk by Avi-li Entomology - The dying light by JoeDiamondD
Thief of Pride by Secretadmires Dragonslayers by sekiq
commission: Perfect Storm by jasmine-autumn my imagination only by Lolita-Artz
Horror? by Poglazovs Infinite Spirit by Mish-A-Man
The Town by NM-art

July Challenge and June Winner

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 9:55 AM

July Challenge: Thieves and Robbers





Ready for a new challenge? We are!

This time, your theme is Thieves and Robbers, which means that every pickpocket, burglar, shoplifter, mugger and poacher counts. Do you like heist movies (have you seen June's Ocean's Eight?)? Have you ever read a story about some dashing rogue with daggers strapped to his back? This is your chance to visualise all those characters and win an awesome prize!
:pickpocket: 

Exclamation  Please state in the description clearly that your work is created for this challenge. Works without such disclaimer will be moved to the general June folder.

Besides that, all the standard rules apply:

Don't forget to credit all stock used and use only legitimate stock!

Only ONE entry per person per month. :) (Smile)

To enter, turn in your deviation to the "July 2018 Challenge" gallery folder (Don't get this confused with the folder for regular art submissions, or we'll move challenge folders to Favorites instead of Gallery.)

Your entry must be made and submitted no earlier than July 3rd, 2018 and no later than 11:59 PM PT on July 31st, 2018.

Don't forget that the prize is a 3-month Core membership (or 1200 points, your choice) from Community Relations!

June Winner


The winner of our June's Jurassic World challenge is Cold-Tommy-Gin with his work Hide And Seek! Congrats

Hide And Seek by Cold-Tommy-Gin

Get Inspired!


What`s Yours Is Mine by Nikulina-Helena
Ambuscade by MaliciaRoseNoireAssassin by annewipf
The Thief Mage by LuLebel
Thief of Pride by Secretadmires
Burke and Hare by ChrisRawlinsThe Master Thief (Commission) + Video by Nikulina-Helena


Blend it: Lighting for Beginners

Tue Jul 3, 2018, 8:00 AM by Gejda:icongejda:
:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Tutorial Tuesdays

Introduction


Hi there! In this tutorial, we're going to take a look at something we all struggle with - lighting. After reviewing the basics, we will analyse several common lighting situations and share some useful resources to help you with further learning.

This tutorial is a part of our new monthly series at CRPhotomanipulation - and we're looking forward to delivering some great content! Let's start!

The Basics


First things first - let's take a look at the anatomy of light and shadow. 

Ball by Gejda


On the image you can see above, there are several terms that you should remember - each of these elements is essential to creating realistic images. Firstly - the light here comes from our upper left side, hence why on the very top of the ball you can see a highlight (1). The transition from the part of the ball covered with light to the part covered with shadow starts at the terminator (2) (keep in mind that if we're talking about a soft, diffuse lighting, you're most likely not going to be able to distinguish as clear a line/border as you can do here). Below the ball you can see two types of shadows marked - an occlusion shadow (3) and a cast shadow (4). Another thing marked is reflected light (5)

Okay - let's talk a bit more about all those words. 

1) Highlight - is, as the name suggests, the brightest part of an illuminated object. It will be visible particularly on highly reflective surfaces (take a look at shiny metal, for example, or plastic, or glass) and forms on a direct line from the light source. 

2) The terminator - can be distinguished especially in direct lighting. It's basically a border between the illuminated part of an object and the one in shadow, and can actually be the darkest part on the object. Like said above, though, if the lighting is soft and diffused, you might not be able to see the terminator at all, since the transition from light to shadow will be very gradual. 

3) Occlusion shadow - remember this. If you're having problems with your objects looking like they're floating, check if you added an occlusion shadow - if not, there's the root of your problem. Basically, you can describe it as a small and very dark shadow right below the object. They form when two objects are close enough together to block out all the light. You can also see occlusion shadows forming where materials push together in folds or at points of contact with the ground, or at the inside corner of the room where two walls meet.

4) Cast shadow - this is the "basic" shadow - and it occurs whenever a form intercepts direct light. These can have a myriad of shapes and colours. For example, a soft light will cast a shadow with a blurry edge, while a hard light will cast a shadow with a sharp edge. On the image above there are two different light sources, which results in two cast shadows in two different directions. Remember! If you're working a portrait and add, for example, longer hair to your character, it will also need to cast a shadow!

5) Reflected light - each object that receives strong light becomes its own source of light. And colour and light go together. On the image above, the ball reflects a slight gray colour on the red floor, and red seeps into the shadow on the ball. In most natural environments, the colour of the shadow will be the sum of all sources of reflected illumination combined with the colour of the object. Still, a thing to remember - reflected light falls off quickly. This means it will disappear very fast the farther you get from the source, unless the source is very large.

Common lighting scenarios


1) Sunlight


Field-clouds-sky-earth-46160 by Gejda
Pexels-photo-1195975 by Gejda

In settings like the ones above, the light source is pretty easy to determine - duh, it's where the sun is, of course. Right? Sure. Though not really. 

On a clear, sunny day, you have three different light sources - the sun itself, the blue sky, and the reflected light from illuminated objects. The sun is the most important part, but not the only one, which is something you need to remember. Here's a great short tutorial on reflected skylight: Click! by toerning.

Sunlight is pretty direct - in contrast to that, skylight is soft, diffused, and basically directionless - meaning, it comes from all directions at once. The amount and colour of light will depend mostly on the cloud cover, season and time of the day.

Martin-jernberg-207530-unsplash by Gejda
Pexels-photo-414105 by Gejda

At midday,
the shadows will be sharpest and the light brightest. Strong light bleaches out colours, which will look less saturated than at other times during the day. The one thing that will benefit from this type of light is water, which means midday will be a good setting for all your tropical and nautical scenes. 

Pexels-photo-403570 by Gejda
Pexels-photo-551578 by Gejda

During the afternoon, light becomes progressively warmer as it goes down. Everything will take on a yellowish cast, and the sky will be a deeper, more saturated blue. As the day progresses and we near the evening, you'll encounter what the photographers call the golden hour, which occurs most often roughly an hour before sunset. The light then is considered particularly photogenic - the illuminated parts of your object will have a warm, orange/yellow cast to them, and the shadows will have a blue tint. All colours will appear highly saturated.

Pexels-photo-462023 by Gejda

At sunset, contrast will be low, and shadows will become darker and very long. With clear sky, they might take on a rich, blue cast. The clouds will be lit from below, which means you can create some dramatic scenes with lots of red, orange, pink and yellow. 

Pexels-photo-149246 by Gejda

Derek-story-307410-unsplash (1) by Gejda


At dusk, the sun is below the horizon, so the main light source will be the sky. This gives you the opportunity to create a scene with soft, delicate colours, subtle shadows and low contrast. On a clear day, you might notice a phenomenon called alpenglow, which is a distinct pink glow on the eastern sky. It will cast a noticeable pink light on reflective surfaces, but is too weak to affect darker ones, such as foliage. 


2) Overcast light


On cloudy days, sunlight will be diffused by the cloud layer, making it soft and eliminating contrasts between light and shadow. Colours might appear brighter and purer than they do in direct sunlight. The sky will seem light gray or white, and the lighting will allow you to evenly expose a bigger scene. The shadows will be soft and not very visible. 

Pexels-photo-395196 by Gejda



3) Fire/candlelight


Candlelight and fire light (including fireplaces, bonfires, lanterns etc.) are yellow-orange in colour and quite weak - which means that light will drop off rapidly as your object recedes from the flame. The source will be surrounded by a halo of warm, orange colour. Remember that light sources that require fire - candles, fireplaces - are often placed close to the ground or a low object such as a table, which means you need to account for the direction - the objects and characters around them will be lit mostly from below. 

Pexels-photo-256560 by Gejda

Pexels-photo-278600 by Gejda


4) Moonlight


The light of a full moon is roughly 450,000 times weaker than direct sunlight. Still, the sky still has some light in it, so it will always be lighter than the land. The colours will be very desaturated, and any natural light will be incredibly soft and diffused. If you're working with a scene set in our time, remember about light pollution - even quite far away from a big city you can still see a faint orange reflection on the night sky. 

Sky-clouds-moon-horizon by Gejda

Pexels-photo-178837 by Gejda


5) Indoor artificial lighting


Most sources of indoor light are soft and diffused (unless, of course, you have a bare lightbulb or a spotlight) - that's what we use lampshades for. A lot of indoor lighting until recently was based on tungsten lighting, but it is steadily being replaced by newer technologies. Tungsten lighting is warm and orangey in colour, but a lot of modern lights are white. 

The most important factor with indoor lighting is that you're likely to have multiple light sources, so you need think about how they interact with one another - your objects might have multiple shadows and highlights, for example. Bulbs are not the only objects emitting light, too - remember that computer screens, smartphones and a countless number of other modern devices also can be a part of your scene. 

If your scenario takes place in an office, stations and public buildings - basically anywhere where cost is more important than mood - you will probably see fluorescent lighting, which can be slightly greenish. 

Pexels-photo by Gejda
Pexels-photo-669996 by Gejda


Resources


From DeviantART:


Why shadows aren't gray by ArtByRianaBlue Reflected Light by toerningA Note on Light and Colour by toerningBasic Lighting Tutorial by Alenas


Books:


  • James Gurney, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter
  • Richard Yot, Light for Visual Artists
  • Scott Robertson, How to Render: The Fundamentals of Light, Shadow and Reflectivity
  • P. Jasmine Katatikarn, Michael Tanzillo, Lighting for Animation: the Art of Visual Storytelling
  • Jeremy Birn, Digital Lighting and Rendering 
... and what do YOU recommend?

Important: Don't look at the fact that some of these books aren't specifically about YOUR medium; you can get a lot out of a lighting book created for animators even if you aren't an animator yourself! 

Youtube






...among many others!

Courses


Schoolism:


Gnomon Workshop:


Look also at Skillshare, Udemy and Pluralsight. 

Almost The End


This article obviously doesn't exhaust the subject - there's a ton of more advanced or simply different things you still need to learn. Still, we hope it's a good start and that we managed to explain one or two things. 

That's it. Go create!


*All the photos used in this article are on CC0 license and come from either pexels.com or unsplash.com.


Underappreciated Art: A Feature

Thu Jun 21, 2018, 9:39 AM
There are many gorgeous works out there that could use a bit for recognition - for some unknown reason, they haven't yet reach a wider audience. We're here to remedy that - and recently, we created a poll where each of you could recommend several works that are not very well known, along with your own artworks that could use a bit of promoting. Here are the results!

:la: 

Spaceghraph by NaouriRedouane1998Accepdance by saftkeks13
Medusa by sgorbissaLex Divina - Divine Law by Kuldi
new Hope by FeriAnimations
Wasp by Vayne17As Long as I Have You by m-AliceM
Dandelion by Karissa-SaltonBone Daddy by thetriggeredhipster
Blood Ritual by Wyonet
Forest pearl by KsenyaAlis
We are all dreamers by ghostlyspirit
Belinda by Jeni-Sue
Recollect your Damaged Beautiful soul by ANWARIKA-GFX
Good news by KsenyaAlis
The House Is Forgotten by dinhxuantung
a little bit  of pain by NemondOViolators by vimark
Mother to Ash by AbaddonArtThe Dreamer by FrancescaPoliti
Sea Tea by vacuumslayerCrazy by Mish-A-Man
Nightmare by rainth34
DEEP by mimikascraftroomoblivion. by GinAngieLa
My dream. Waterlily at night. by NestraS
Strawberry devil by PoglazovsPoison. Colonists on Mars by Wagner
Dinner Time by FrancescaPoliti
Clear Skies Ahead by deathbycanon
reconstruction by igreeny
Yummilicious by JoeDiamondD
Sweet Land by annewipf
The Winter Melody. by mumu0909Plot Twist by theAllex
What's Left To Defend by theAllex
Love of Two Armies by theAllexMemories of a phantom by windkiss72
Jesus, Only Jesus by PrincessMagicalfeisty by Andaelentari
Mysterious key by S-LanaLast chance by aweldengricochet by yellowicous
open worlds by yellowicous
Bird... by mirandaartsDragonlady by eerilyfair
Little witch by AdriaticaCreation
White Horse by apanyadong
Forest Spirit by ThelemaDreamsArtDark butterfly by Lolita-Artz
anywhere you go by Lolita-Artzlost ghost by Lolita-ArtzIt's A Secret by Lolita-Artz
beautiful creature by Lolita-Artz

Thanks a lot to everyone who took part in the poll - you guys rock! 

yay 


Photomanip DD Round Up for May 2018

Mon Jun 11, 2018, 5:42 AM
The Little Mermaid by Kiorsa Take care of your Heart by PAtScHWOrK
City of Shadows by marcosnogueiracb In cage by AdriaticaCreation
The Witcher: Elder Blood by GabrielGajdos Abiz'kael by Mike-Uriel
My friend by Floating-Particle Welcome To my Jungle by lauraypablo
Wonderland: Down the hole, we go! (part 1) - WON! by SecretDarTiste Steampunk Island by CharllieeArts
Sounds Of Nature by Apachennov M-Y-S-T-E-R-Y by WhimsicalBlue
Behind of the Twilight Mountains by davidperesbr Les Colosses by pbxn109
Oceans Deep by eerilyfair The Medieval Town by SummerDreams-Art
Messenger by Softyrider62 Synchronicity by Kal369
Summer love by SoulcolorsArt hope changes everything by lovelyskylark
Plots and Plans by kimsol

June Challenge and May Winner

Sun Jun 3, 2018, 4:23 AM

June Challenge: Jurassic World


Everyone had a dinosaur phase in their childhood, right? :D  emote : Dino approves New Dino :dinosrawr:   

If you missed that vital step of nerdy development, here's your chance to make up for it - or if you didn't, to revisit your childhood fantasies! This month's theme is Jurassic World, which means everything with dinos is going to be perfect. Do you want to recreate a scene form the movies? Prove that the old trilogy is better than the one currently releasing its second movie? Or maybe... create your very own dinosaur? As always, it's up to you! 



Exclamation  Please state in the description clearly that your work is created for this challenge. Works without such disclaimer will be moved to the general June folder.

Besides that, all the standard rules apply:

Don't forget to credit all stock used and use only legitimate stock!

Only ONE entry per person per month. :) (Smile)

To enter, turn in your deviation to the "June 2018 Challenge" gallery folder (Don't get this confused with the folder for regular art submissions, or we'll move challenge folders to Favorites instead of Gallery.)

Your entry must be made and submitted no earlier than June 3rd, 2018 and no later than 11:59 PM PT on June 30st, 2018.

Don't forget that the prize is a 3-month Core membership (or 1200 points, your choice) from Community Relations!

May Winner


The May challenge winner is JoeDiamondD with his work Entomology! Congratulations!

Entomology - The dying light by JoeDiamondD

We'll be in touch shortly regarding your prize! 


Fly Like A Bird by no1intheworld Lepidopterophobia - 5th DAILY DEVIATION! by BrietOlga
The Cave by EstherPuche-Art The Wizard by Dani-Owergoor
Magellanic by zacky7avenged Whimsical moments of green... by StelfySkya
The Witch by neverdying Powdermage by Iardacil
RADIANCE by Nikkayla comm: the sanity seeps through the cracks by Amphispiza
Adaption RMR 6 - *Ob ich damals war* by kolorits lookout tower by beyzayildirim77
jack and the beanstalk by yellowicous The Feast by azimutth
TO CREATE NEW HOME II by SHUME-1 Stranger Things - The Road is Closed by adrianoampb
Anima by MateuszMajewski Inner Peace by BidoPortfolio
Agony of A loner by Ash-3xpired Rein Of The Warlock Queen by JayGraphixx
Labyrinth of Dreams by ChristabelleLAmort

April Winner and May Challenge

Thu May 3, 2018, 1:17 PM

May Challenge: Woodland Creatures





May's theme is a big and open one: Woodland Creatures. You might want to ask what do we mean by that, but, well... what do YOU want it do be? Do you want to create something with a singing Disney princess and a flock of birds and does around her? Or a landscape with running wolves? Or maybe a scene with some forest demons, sitting by a creek in the middle of the woods? 

It's all up to YOU, which means that anything that can be interpreted as a Woodland Creature works. As always, we can't wait to see what you come up with!

Exclamation  Please state in the description clearly that your work is created for this challenge. Works without such disclaimer will be moved to the general September folder.

Besides that, all the standard rules apply:

Don't forget to credit all stock used and use only legitimate stock!

Only ONE entry per person per month. :) (Smile)

To enter, turn in your deviation to the "May 2018 Challenge" gallery folder (Don't get this confused with the folder for regular art submissions, or we'll move challenge folders to Favorites instead of Gallery.)

Your entry must be made and submitted no earlier than May 3rd, 2018 and no later than 11:59 PM PT on May 31st, 2018.

Don't forget that the prize is a 3-month Core membership (or 1200 points, your choice) from Community Relations!

April Winner


Winner of the April Challenge, with Steampunk as a theme, is Aramisdream with her work The Collector. Congrats - we will contact you regarding your prize soon! 

The Collector by Aramisdream

Get inspired!


Lastly, a few awesome photomanips to get your creative juices flowing this month - enjoy!

Enchanted Forest by MelanienemoPapa Bois by Laura-Ferreira
Reliques by Flora-Silve
For You by Carlos-Quevedo
A Little Respite by FoxfiresSmoky Eyes. Avant le bal masque. by cornacchia-art
Enchanted Forest + Video by Nikulina-Helena
Forest Child by Esveeka


5 Lighting Tips for Beginners

Sat Apr 28, 2018, 9:00 AM by Gejda:icongejda:
:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Photomanipulation Weekend


1. Remember the occlusion shadow


Forgetting about the occlusion shadow is usually one of the most often made mistakes - that small area of very dark, very narrow shadow right below the object you're trying to place is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. Without it, your object is very likely to be seen as floating. Remember to pay attention to the light direction, too - the occlusion shadow should follow the same rules as the rest of the shaded area.

Occlusion by Gejda

2. Think of objects in 3D


Another common mistake is shading your object with one big brush, not recognizing any of the sides, planes and edges. Remember that every single thing is three-dimensional; your model is not a paper cut-out. If you're struggling with shading faces, Google "planes of the face" - it will help you understand where the are shadows most likely to fall. Whatever is the object that you're trying to light, try to simplify it into basic geometric shapes - cubes, cones and spheres. You can even place a layer over your object and try to draw them with a small brush in a contrasting, highly visible colour - for example a bright red - to help yourself with seeing what should be lighter and what should be darker.

Here's a cool video where you can see planes of the head!


3. Colour and light go together


Colour and light are tightly intertwined - the only time you can stop thinking about colour when you're dealing with lighting is a fully b&w palette. Whenever an object gets close to the ground, or another object, it begins to interact with it - shadows begin to "seep" into each other, and lighting takes on a different hue. This is why you should never try and shade things with just black or just white, and why using Dodge and Burn tools is a bad idea - this way, you will never get the full spectrum of the hues you'd get while painting in shadows and lights with colours.

Here's an example of colour interaction - this lipstick container has a pink hue on the edges because it's surrounded by pink background, and the coffee cup's shadows are tinted with brown because it's standing on a brown surface.

Pexels-photo-988863 by GejdaPexels-photo-1008239 by Gejda

4. Hard and soft


Many beginners often use only big, soft brushes to paint in shadows, which can also result in floating objects.  That's not to say that soft shadows don't exist in nature - sure they do! The trick is to know when to use which type. Soft shadows generally tend to come from larger light sources - for example, the sun (unless it's direct sunlight on a sunny day); natural lighting in general is more likely to give you softer edges.

Hard edges are more likely to appear when lighting comes from a small, concentrated light source, for example a light bulb, or a spotlight on a circus performer. Remember not to make the edges 100% sharp and crisp, though -  that's going too far into the opposite direction!

Another thing to remember is proximity - the farther the shadow is from the object casting it, the softer it will be (for example, a ball held a meter above the ground will cast a softer shadow than a ball laying on the ground). Basically,
things closer to the ground have sharper edged shadows. Here's a link to an article that explains it really well: Click here!.

Pexels-photo-327070 by Gejda

You can also use these rules a bit more consciously - hard-edged, stark shadows can help create an ominous, menacing atmosphere, while soft shadows will be more inviting.


5. Think about materials


An important, and a bit more advanced, thing when creating a realistic scene are the properties of materials you're using. Firstly, some objects reflect light, some refract it. Reflection is what happens when the light bounces back from the surface of the object in a symmetrical direction. Refraction occurs when light passes from one transparent material to another - for example, from air to water. When it happens, the light changes direction - which is why if you put a spoon into a glass of water, you will experience an optical illusion - the part of the spoon in the air won't seem to align with the part that's in the water.

Also consider whether things are transparent, translucent or opaque. When things are transparent (like clear glass) they let light all the way through. When they're translucent (like seawater, or dirty glass),  they allow light through only partially. When they're opaque (like wood, or cement) they don't allow like through at all.

Why am I talking about this? Because these are things that you should  take into account when you're thinking about lighting. For example, let's say you have a medieval helmet laying on a table in direct sunlight. If it's a brand-new helmet, it's likely to be polished metal, so it will reflect its surroundings to a high degree and have prominent highlights. If it's old and battered, the metal probably won't show any visible reflections, but since it's technically still a reflective surface, it's likely to visibly take on colours from the environment. It the table's placed in a home of a respected, affluent noble, it's probably going to be made of polished, lacquered wood, so it'll be highly reflective as well; if it's standing in a run-down tavern, it's probably going to be rough, coarse and not reflective at all.  

Another example - if you're shading a character, take a look at their clothes. Materials that bounce off light and are more likely to have visible highlights are for example leather, silk or satin, while on clothes made of cotton or linen there will be little to no visible highlights.

Pexels-photo-745761 by Gejda
Yarn doesn't reflect or let through light.

Mirroring-ball-reflection-mirror by Gejda
This polished metal ball reflects everything around it.

Pexels-photo-698874 by Gejda
This woman's smooth leather jacket has visible highlights.

That's all from me for now - I hope you enjoyed the article. Is there anything you'd like to ask? Anything you disagree with? Anything you'd like to see explained in more depth? Let us know in the comments below!

*All the photos in this article come from pexels.com.

April Challenge: Steampunk

Tue Apr 3, 2018, 10:42 AM

Time to let off some steam!


Guess what? The monthly challenges are baaaaack! :D 


This month, we have a really cool theme for you: steampunk! All of us know the charm of Victorian England and steam-powered machines mixed with rich ornamentation and sometimes, even a sprinkle of magic! Who or what will you portray? A dashing detective? A brilliant inventor? Brave and unconventional ladies? We're looking forward to see what you come up with!

Exclamation  Please state in the description clearly that your work is created for this challenge. Works without such disclaimer will be moved to the general September folder.

Besides that, all the standard rules apply:

Don't forget to credit all stock used and use only legitimate stock!

Only ONE entry per person per month. :) (Smile)

To enter, turn in your deviation to the "April 2018 Challenge" gallery folder (Don't get this confused with the folder for regular art submissions, or we'll move challenge folders to Favorites instead of Gallery.)

Your entry must be made and submitted no earlier than April 3rd, 2018 and no later than 11:59 PM PT on April 30th, 2018.

Don't forget that the prize is a 3-month Core membership (or 1200 points, your choice) from Community Relations!

Get inspired!


The Steampunk Workshop by FrozenStarRoSteamPunk by DesignbyKatt
Steampunk Journey by Lora-VysotskayaSteampunk Gorilla by Quest007
Steampunk Romance by Deltamike
Little watchmaker - Steampunk friend [contest] by msriotte
Steampunk Factory by charmedy
Troublemakers by LadyEvilArtsTraveller's Photo Album by kuschelirmelGears of Time by Majentta


:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Dear members,

projecteducate is hosting another Photomanipulation Weekend on April 28th - April 29th! We are seeking members like yourself to write/contribute articles to this week! Your article has to deal with something photomanip-related, but that's the only requirement there is. Wondering what type of articles we're looking for?

There are so many options and possibilities! Here is a list of ideas:

  • Tutorials
  • Art Features
  • Interviews
  • Other informative articles on photomanipulation
  • Workshops for Beginners - inc chats/live stream guides/video tutorials e.t.c
  • Constructive Critique Sessions
  • Photomanip-related debate topics

If you're interested in contributing to this weekend, please send a note to projecteducate to pitch an idea or multiple ideas to us, and we will get back to you as soon as possible! Please title your note "Photomanipulation Weekend Ideas" 

It would also help us out if you took a look at previous Community Week articles before sending your idea to make sure your idea hasn't been done recently or at all!

Throwback Thursday #14

Thu Mar 22, 2018, 11:38 AM

Hi everyone! 


Throwback Thursdays are a bi-weekly series of features over here at CRPhotomanipulation, organised by  Gejda and lauraypablo. We're going to show you four things - three Daily Deviations, which are at least a year old by now, but still beatuiful, three older tutorials, three random works from our gallery from last month, and three older stock photos. At the end of each journal, there's going to be a question and sometimes, a few words from us or other deviants from the community to start off a discussion. 

Also, we shamelessly stole the idea from CRLiterature. They were first. 

Let's start!

Awesome DDs


Queen Of Hearts by Lora-Vysotskaya
Secret area Princess Infanta by Arianna-Julia
The Call by EstherPuche-Art

Fascinating tutorials


Winter fairytale by IncantataMessy Hair Tutorial by ValyconColour and Contrast by uchuubranko

Beautiful images


Bathing by Twinkle-space
Sandstorm by Karissa-Salton
Tree of Light by MBHenriksen

Outstanding Stock Photos


Forest Fairy - Stock by Liancary-art
Skyward Dreams X by Aenea-Jones
Free Stock: Scared Cat in Tree by Onistocke

Throwback Question


What are your favourite lighting related resources and tutorials? 


THE MOMENT TO FIGHT by Rhiaan  THE ARSONIST by Lunarlueur
Theophany by Majentta  Dead End King by Neriak
Wytherlorn by wyldraven Entropic Garden by MarcelaBolivar
Two Worlds by Cadavroux Exit by Helga-Helleborus
Journey by Bunny7766  Evolution by Cestica
ghost marble by sparkbearer  Beautiful Dream II by Gwendolyn1
The Little Shepherd by IleenI  Despiadada by vampirekingdom
Coral by FrancescaPoliti  From the captivity of delusions by Bathoriya
Planet God by cheker123  The Final Blow by brlmk
End of the road by GraphPetr  The Lady of Shalott by AlexandraVBach
Guardian 2 by Antoshines  a land without jasmine by LONERRAMI
Together by littlewillow-art
The giant by FeriAnimations

:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Gallery Descriptions and Miscats month

:iconmrs-durden: Mrs-Durden


The definition of photomanipulations is as follows on DeviantArt: "Art created from the manipulation of two or more photographic images combined in whole or in part to create something new."

It is an important definition to go back to in my opinion, as far too often, people wrongfully presume that an extensively edited image is a "photomanipulation" when this is in fact not the case.

For something to be a photomanipulation it should at least have two photographic images combined together, and, in my opinion, the interpretation of "combined in whole or in part to create something new" is absolutely key to discerning the difference between a photomanipulation and just an edited photograph. For example, many photographers will take multiple shots and merge them together, but they are not creating something "new" in this process, they are merely combining what they caught of, for example, one single landscape, and merging multiple images together in order to create a finalised image that might be more impressive than it would be otherwise.

To me, this is different than if someone took a portrait of a girl and then combined it into a photograph of a street to create this entirely new image that really has nothing to do with what each individual photograph was about on their own to begin with.

This distinction is very important to me because if we simply said every image that involves at least 2 photos merged together, there would be inordinate amounts of photographs that we would be saying belong in the Digital Art > Photomanipulations gallery, when in all reality, they would not belong there, and they would stick out in a very obvious manner as people would easily wonder "why is that in this gallery?". Photomanipulations involve a level of artistry that is in many ways different to that of photography, even when photography involves long editing processes/steps. The idea is to take bits and pieces of other photographs and create this whole new image with its own story, its own concept, its own message. And it is true, that many times you will see a legitimate photomanipulation wrongfully submitted into a photography gallery, for sure. And it is also true that what I am saying is very debatable, and that many will disagree. However, what I'm getting at is that there's once again a lot that goes back to artistic intent when creating a piece.

Examples of multiple exposure blending, etc (non photomanip stuff but that still involves multiples images put together)

Milky Way over Seabrook Texas by foureyes Haustor by BorisMrdja Araucaria Vale by Miguel-Santos StarryNight by KirlianCamera

Things get trickier when similar types of processes are used but in order to "add" a significant number of elements to an image, for example, when merging together a series of shots for let's say a portrait, with each shot involving a different element, maybe one shot has milk being thrown, maybe another shot has colored paint being thrown, maybe another shot has the model's arms in a different pose, and another shot has the model's facial expression changed, and then every shot has different lighting, and they're all blended together and further edited. At that point, while it is still quite a grey area, it is more likely that that piece should be considered a photomanipulation. Going back to what I said before, you would be "creating something new".

Then we can look at smaller scale things, like adding a moon in the background, or adding bokeh, minor edits like that, in my opinion only warrant the status of photomanipulation if there are numerous ones of them in the final image (so you added a bunch of things) rather than you just adding one minor thing to add to your final image. Cosplay portraits, for example, often add some small special effects to add a wow factor to their image. What does cross the line though, would be swapping out the entire background of your shot, which many do, and incorrectly submit their images to the photography gallery whereas those images should be considered photomanipulations, as again, something "new" has been created, by adding an entirely different background to the image (ie a portrait of a girl in a meadow becomes a portrait of a girl in front of a castle).



:icongejda: Gejda 


Photography vs. photomanipulation has always been a rather difficult and controversial subject – like Mrs-Durden wrote, many photographers do use quite advanced editing techniques in their work, often making the end result look completely different than the original shot. The most important part of photomanipulation is that you're trying to tell a story, or simply create a magnificent landscape or a beautiful portrait out of several images that are not part of the same whole. For example: if you took a photo of a model in your living room, and took a photo by a mountain lake and pieced them together, the result will be a photomanipulation - not a photograph.

When you're creating a photomanipulation, your work will involve a much higher degree of, well, manipulation. Simply changing the colours, clearing up skin of a model or changing their body proportions does not make your work a manip - it makes your work an edited/retouched photograph.

The one exception/gray area that I think is also worth mentioning, besides the ones already mentioned above, is beauty/glamour retouch, which is very often submitted to Photomanipulations/People. It would probably fit better in a Photography/Retouch category if we had one - which is something that might be worth considering? It's often the case  that the original image was probably not shot by the retoucher, so it's easy to understand uncertainty regarding whether or not they should submit their works to Photography or (since there was so much editing involved) to Photomanipulation. Still, I definitely wouldn't classify this kind of work as a photomanip - you're not creating a new scene, a new portrait, you're not telling a new story. Advanced beauty/glamour retouching is extremely time-consuming and requires fantastic skill and eye for details, but it's something that simply has a different end goal than photomanipulations. 

Some examples of advanced retouching rollovers, with before/after image versions available after you hover the mouse over the image:

rollover retouch XXVII by stewinAndreas T retouch 3 rollover by hells-seductionBeauty Retouch Rollover 023 by Kristiana1990Retouch Rollover 8 by aberempel

I'll definitely agree with Mrs-Durden that if you're merging together a series of shots with each shot involving a different element - for example the quite well-known images created by throwing milk or paint or water, or any other liquid for that matter, then they would probably be more suited for the photomanipulation category than photography. Sure, you took all the shots, but the degree to which you manipulated the image is so significant that in my opinion it's no longer simply photography. It's the same case when you take many images of on person in different poses in the same setting and then piece them together. Still, it is a gray area, so each case will be very different - the boundary is sometimes pretty blurry.

Here's a good example of properly placed photomanipulations - all the photos involved were taken by one photographer (FlexDreams), and then merged into new scenes:

Cotton by FlexDreamsSisters Of The Moon by FlexDreamsHospital by FlexDreamsAlice Malice I by FlexDreams

Photomanipulations: Category Overview

Tue Feb 27, 2018, 4:00 PM by Gejda:icongejda:
:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Gallery Descriptions and Miscats month


What is a photomanipulation?


Cosmos: The Origin of the Universe by KokeNunezWorks

Photomanipulations are images that have been created digitally, composed of two or more photographic elements to create something new. 

What does it mean? It means that every work you submit to the photomanipulation category should have been created with the use of at least two photos. It also means that if you, for example, combined two 3D elements, two paintings or similar, your work is not a photomanip and should not be placed in this category.  

What about mixed-media?


If your work consists of many elements, and more than 50% of them are not photographs, consider submitting it to Digital Art/Mixed-Media. 


Category overview



1. Abstract


Photomanipulations focusing on the formal, non-representational aspect of imagery, emphasizing lines, colors, and generalized or geometric forms.

Baloon of Indifference by hakeryk2CARNAVAL by FreshIsraelMoon shield by CassiopeiaArt

Abstract art is art that " (...) does not attempt to represent an accurate depiction of a visual reality. The term can be applied to art that is based on an object, figure or landscape, where forms have been simplified or schematised. It is also applied to art that uses forms, such as geometric shapes or gestural marks, which have no source at all in an external visual reality." - Tate.org.uk

2.Animals & Plants


Photomanipulations featuring animal or plant life as the main focus.
 
Yes, Mom by ElenaDudinaThis monster by YewrezzEnaxn by Novawuff

This category is pretty self-explanatory - an animal or a plant has to be the main focus of your work.


3. Conceptual


Photomanipulations in which the idea or message, and not the execution, is the main focus.

25 Fingers by AlexandreGuilbeaultLife is heavy by talikfTruth by damnengine

If your main goal is to relay a message, a concept or an idea, then your work may belong to the conceptual art category. Conceptual works are often rather minimalist, focusing primarily on visualising the concept and reducing unnecessary distractions. 


4. Dark


Photomanipulations displaying a dark theme or mood; having a mystical, obscure, sombre, grim or sinister expression.

The Eye of the Storm by IardacilThe Dark Lord by Ahmed-R-ShalabyThe Screaming Sea by nina-Y

In dark works, mood is the most important thing - if your intention is to convey an atmosphere that is sinister and threatening, alarming or frightening, then this is the right category for your work. Common themes in dark artwork are wild and chaotic elements, desaturated and/or muddy colours, and scary creatures. 


5. Emotional


Photomanipulations intended to portray, evoke, or represent emotion.

sayeva by kubawojewodaALONE by BraqFirst dew by theflickerees

Your work isn't scary, but still focused on an emotion? Then this is the right category. If your main goal is to make the viewer feel one intense feeling (love, loneliness, joy etc.) while looking at your art, feel free to submit to Emotional.


6. Fantasy


Photomanipulations that depict supernatural or magical themes, often relating to legend, myth, and enchanted creatures.

Striders of Vvardenfell by ErikShoemakerInner Reflection by michellemoniqueSlavic mythology. Sirin by Vasylina

Fantasy is probably the most popular photomanipulation subcat. If your work has anything at all to do with magic, strange creatures or the supernatural in general, it will definitely be in good company among artworks like the ones above. 


7. Humorous


Photomanipulations intended to be satirical or amusing.

Playing With Monsters by maximegiraultLazy dog by alltelleringetAttacking above by AnnMei

If your intention is to make someone laugh, consider submitting your work to Humorous!


8. Macabre & Horror


Photomanipulations portray or evoke extreme fear, such as represented by blood and gore, or psychological terror.

Horror by Joe-RobertsEmbrace My Sorrow by DoctaBoRkZombie by belldandy105

If you've created something seriously dark or gory, take a look at Macabre & Horror. Is your work disturbing? Are you showing startling violence, creatures straight out of darkest nightmares, zombies with flesh peeling off? If your answer is yes, then your art will feel right at home. 


9. People


Photomanipulations with human characters, emotions, or actions as the main focus.

i miss you... by BaxiaArtTraces Of Deja Vu by 2MinoExtraction by Tri5tate

If your work has at least one human model, you're already on the right track if you want to submit it to the People category. Are you trying to tell somebody's story, but there's no supernatural elements? Did you create a portrait? Do you want to show a cunning thief, a witty businessman, a historical scene, a battle? Yes? Then you're in the right place!


10. Political


Photomanipulations representing current or historical events in the political arena or depicting political figures.

Comfortably Numb by Aegis-IllustrationMr. President by mashinaGAZA IS BURNING! by A7md3mad

Works in the Political category should comment on current or past events, political figures or ideas - a good example would be a critique of a government or a specific politician, trying to bring attention to an important cause or discussing actions of another public figure or organization.


11. Pop Art 


Photomanipulations displaying objects or scenes from everyday life that employ techniques of commercial art and popular illustration. 

Passion Lips by viridis-somniohappy flowers by tomatokissesMONA IN A SUN DRESS by alan1828

What do you think when you hear Pop Art? Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein? Good direction! Pop art deals with all things related to popular culture and imaginative interpretations of commercial products. 


12. Landscapes & Scenery


Photomanipulations of places and scenery, real or imaginary.
 
Fallen Beauty by everliteThe temple by ElenaDudinaMiracles by fanke

Works placed in Landscapes & Scenery should be focused on visualising places - natural or man-made. It doesn't mean that they can't include a human or non-human model, but it's the place - the scenery - that should be most important in your image.


13. Sci-fi


Science fiction photomanipulations depicting speculative scientific discoveries, space travel and scenes, and otherworld life forms.

Love is in the air by guckenScream by AlexanderCasteelsDiscovering by QAuZ

If your work belongs in the sci-fi, or science fiction, category, then it should have something to do with either outer space or the future. This means: the cosmos, planets, aliens, futuristic cities, robots, astronauts, mechs, and anything else that may not exist now, but will maybe appear in a few (or more) years. 


14. Surreal


Photomanipulations that defy the laws of logic and/or physics, creating often dreamlike scenery in which the impossible and implausible are depicted.

Epiphany by xetobyte60538 by kubickiThe Artist's Imagination by Cold-Tommy-Gin

Surrealism has to do with dreams, and with anything that is non-rational, strange and unreal. When to consider this category? When your work depicts things that could not take place in a real world, but aren't exactly magical or supernatural - when you are focusing on things that are odd; on illusions; on defying gravity and illustrating the creations of a dreaming mind.


15. Other


The Water Boy by phil2001The Book by UgurDoydukAutodrinker by inObrAS

Did you read through all the descriptions, but still can't find a place for your work? Fear not; that's what the Other category is for. Feel free to submit here if your work doesn't fit within any of the boxes above. 


That's it!


Aand we're done! Do you have any questions about photomanip categories? Any doubts that you'd like to have explained? Feel free to ask below! 


Hello there!


Tuesday Tips, Tricks and Tutorials is a new series of articles that will show up in the group on every last Tuesday of the month. Since a big part of learning how to create art is using knowledge freely shared by others, we decided to ask members of the DeviantART community to do exactly that - share. Every last Tuesday of the month, we're going to be posting an article created in collaboration with some awesome artists, asking them for advice for anyone struggling with the subject of the month, and about their own journey of self-improvement. 

Besides that, we'll be sharing our own additional tips, and gathering resources both from DA and outside of it, with the goal of creating a big knowledge base that could serve all members of the group.

Want to contribute to an article? Do you know any useful tutorials/websites/people who could share their knowledge? Let us know! We'll be posting a schedule for the coming months in the next few days!

Let's learn together!


We wrote to some fantastic folks who, a while back, decided to share their hair painting knowledge in the form of tutorials. We asked them all the same set of follow-up questions, curious about how did their knowledge and work evolve since then. Here they are - meet sara-hel and @MagicnaAnavi!

:iconsara-hel:   sara-hel 
Digital Artist from Lebanon who creates nostalgic images filled with emotion.

Sara's tutorial: Drawing hair with a tablet

Defense by sara-helYet Another Warrior by sara-helI've woken by sara-hel

1. What did you learn on the subject since you wrote the tutorial?

I learned to follow the same technique in all future photomanipulations.

2. What was the most difficult thing for you in learning how to paint hair?

It was so difficult trying to paint with a mouse before I got my graphics tablet.

3. What are the common beginner mistakes that you see? Did you make them too?
Not having a graphics tablet made me download hair brushes that are ready to just paste onto the model. The color looked so solid with no details or depth.

4. What method of learning proved most effective for you?
After getting my graphics tablet, I preferred following one same technique:

When extracting the model I don’t have to cut her hair perfectly, because I will go through some steps later on. I create a color palette of 4 to 5 colors, using the eyedropper and sampling colors from the hair of the model. Then I create a layer below her and call it “Hair base”. I paint with a large soft rounded brush for the general movement or shape of the hair, using the darkest color of the palette. I create another layer above the model and paint with very small brushes using the rest of the colors in the palette. At the end, I create a layer above all hair layers, set it to overlay or soft light and use a large soft round brush again and paint with black and white to define shadows and highlights.

5. Do you use any special brushes?
In addition to the round brush, I currently use the hair brush from DanLuVisiArt . Here’s the link to it: fav.me/d1ytm3r

6. Are there any other tutorials or resources that you'd like to recommend?
This one fav.me/d5d5usm . I also recommend viewing this one www.facebook.com/OmarRodriguez…. The technique is different from mine, but I really like it.

7. Do you have any additional tips or tricks that you'd like to share?

If someone is not very experienced with hair drawing, they can research images of models with blowing hair, for example, and try to imitate the movement.


:iconmagicnaanavi:   @MagicnaAnavi
A digital painter from Serbia who creates stunning female portraits.

Ivana's tutorial: Painting realistic hair tutorial

Sona (ft. Josapah Ray's song) by MagicnaAnaviXO by MagicnaAnaviKida by MagicnaAnavi

1. What did you learn on the subject since you wrote the tutorial?
Painting realistic hair is one of those things that will always be hard for me to do. I still struggle with it sometimes. I mostly still keep to the tutorial steps, with addition of repeating step 8 quite a bit more, and sometimes taking whole sections of background layer, placing it on top of the hair, with layer mode changed to low fill overlay.

2. What was the most difficult thing for you in learning how to paint hair?
The hardest thing was/is to find that balance, mostly not to over-do the details or make it look too flat.

3. What are the common beginner mistakes that you see? Did you make them too?
Using only few colors to paint the whole thing. Using soft brush for the most part, not taking care about lights and shadows. Yes, I definitely am guilty of all these too.

4. What method of learning proved most effective for you?
4. I tried quite a few ways of painting hair, I remember reading this tutorial in ImagineFX and after trying it out, I liked the result. So every time I would paint hair I adapted that method to match my art style, alongside all of the bits and pieces of various advises and tutorials found through DeviantArt. And it kinda evolved in what I have today. 

5. Do you use any special brushes?
(There's a download link for brushes in artist's comments below the tutorial)

6. Are there any other tutorials or resources that you'd like to recommend?
Yes, this tutorial:
Hair painting tutorial by Dianae

7. Do you have any additional tips or tricks that you'd like to share?
Practice, experiment and don't be afraid to use bold colors. Make sure to check your value (quick way to do so is to fill new layer with #000000 and change mode to color). 

Tips & Tricks from us:



Bullet; Pink  There's a skull under the hair - remember to keep the shape of the head while painting.

Bullet; Pink  If your character is moving, then the hair is likely to be pulled in the opposite direction.

Fae by Gejda

Stock above by the awesome faestock

Bullet; Pink  Hair isn't stiff - it's very flexible and light, so it flows, it curls, and is easily affected by wind, water, various obstacles and other parts of the environment. Remember to think in curves.

Bullet; Pink One of the common beginner mistakes is to paint hair either as a one big shape or overdo the details and draw each single hair separately. Don't do either of these - paint hair in locks or bigger strands.

Bullet; Pink The further your character is from the viewer, the less detail should be visible on their hair.

Bullet; Pink The longer the hair of your character is, the heavier it is, and therefore less responsive to movement, for example wind.

Bullet; Pink Remember your environment - where does your light come from? Is is strong? Is it weak? Is there more than one light source?
Colours interact with each other, so if your hair colour scheme isn't working, take a look at your character's surroundings - what sort of colours are dominant in the shadows, the highlights, the midtones? How contrasted are they? How saturated? Try colour picking with the Eyedropper Tool and creating a colour palette. If the hair colours differ too much, try modifying them to be a bit more similar to the environment.

Bullet; Pink Use references - if you're not sure how your character's hair should behave in the scene, try looking for reference photos to look at while painting. You can use DA, various other stock sites like Pexels, Unsplash, VisualHunt, or even Pinterest to find inspiration. Remember that references are not stock images, though, and should be used only as inspiration, and not directly as a part of your work.

Some references:

Refsheet by Gejda

Sources: pixabay.com, pexels.com, visualhunt.com

Bullet; Pink Try using Gradient Maps if you just want to change your character's hair colour - here's a tutorial on how to use them: gejda.deviantart.com/journal/G…

Bullet; Pink Take your time. Painting realistically is never quick and easy, and takes a lot of study and practice, so don't be discuraged if it takes you more time than you expected to achieve satisfying results. You have to learn how to walk before you can run - be patient. If you feel that something's still not right with what you painted, go back to the basics. Analyse the movement of the hair, find some references, check the colours and lighting. 

Additional Resources



From DeviantART: 


Hair tutorial by CindysArtBasic hair tutorial - hair styles by LeeMinKyoHair Tutorial by liigaTutorial - Manipulating hair by Muse-of-Stock

Yet another tutorial on how to color hair by RijioTips for drawing different hair and fur types by Deskleaves
Hair: What to Do vs. What NOT to Do by StarshipSorceress

Light and Dark: A Tutorial on Black and White Hair by StarshipSorceressHow to Paint Braids and Locs by MelodyNieves
Hair Tutorial lauraypablo by lauraypabloPainting Hair - Part 1: Intro by Sheridan-JPainting Facial Hair- Long by Sheridan-JHair Tutorial! by GUWEIZ
Painting realistic hair tutorial by MagicnaAnavi


... and more!

From outside of DeviantART:


Discuss!


Did you learn something new thanks to this article? Do you have any tips & tricks of your own that you'd like to add? Did you make, or are you still making any of the common beginner mistakes (if you are, don't worry - you're not alone!)? What's your best hair-painting example that you're really proud of? Feel free to share!

Or maybe is there anything you'd like us to focus on in the next articles of this series? Let us know in the comments!


Stock credits for the article:
Bullet; Pink faestock // Bullet; Pink pexels.com // Bullet; Pink unsplash.com // Bullet; Pink visualhunt.com: giulianoboiti / CC BY-NC-SA  // Bullet; Pink pixabay.com 


Photomanip DD Round Up - January 2018

Sat Feb 10, 2018, 1:00 AM
Storytime | Photoscene challenge (+video!) by just-caro  Warmed  ice-heart  (Daily Deviation) by AnnMLoveArt
Damned by Cakobelo  The Winter Ball Begins... by KiyaSama
(comm) not a care at all by wolf-alchemy 

Mature Content

Cherry Rose by SvetlanaKLimova

Angela by panjoool { COMM } salt and sand by Miss-Mazzira
Ride-With-Me by Mr-Xerty The Third WitchKing of Angmar Extended Version by  by DraakeT
GreenRayCity Impact by Ivo1978 Magnolia by InertiaRose
The Gods Beneath by Mihaela-V Tell me you love me by BeboDesign1
Portrait of a Curse by vincentjongman Twisted Fairytale Cinderella by LevanaTempest
Together we will go anywhere by ANWARIKA-GFX His Throne by Shirokibo
My Own Monster by kevron2001 ouija by SpookyPic
Elysium by Jovan-Porto Untitled by NemondO
Queen of Roses by ChristofCreations :bigthumb720218647:
Evolved by Ler-ac The Birth of Sin by delenzi

Throwback Thursday #13

Thu Feb 8, 2018, 10:19 AM

Hi everyone! 


Throwback Thursdays are a bi-weekly series of features over here at CRPhotomanipulation, organised by  Gejda and lauraypablo. We're going to show you four things - three Daily Deviations, which are at least a year old by now, but still beatuiful, three older tutorials, three random works from our gallery from last month, and three older stock photos. At the end of each journal, there's going to be a question and sometimes, a few words from us or other deviants from the community to start off a discussion. 

Also, we shamelessly stole the idea from CRLiterature. They were first. 

Let's start!

Awesome DDs


Little gardener by Irina-Ponochevnaya
...386... by MozolewskiMichal
Wizard's Tower by NM-art

Fascinating tutorials


Manip Tips + Tricks - Shadows by kuschelirmel-stockTree House tutorial by IncantataTutorial - Manipulating hair by Muse-of-Stock

Beautiful images


Her Prince by AusWolf666
Freyja by panjoool
Sangre Real by Aramisdream

Outstanding Stock Photos


Sky Stock 128 by Malleni-Stock
Stock: Tiger at Rest by Celem
Wastelander01 by DaeStock

See you in two weeks! ;) 


The results


The time has come - here are the results of our awesome contest! 

Giphy by Gejda

Thanks so much for participating - we received 34 (!) of fantastic entries. We're especially blown away by how many of you decided to create a photomanip despite it not being your primary medium - did you enjoy the experience? Are going to work on more photomanipulations? :D

To put more pressure on the theme of the contest, we decided to judge the entries in two categories:

  1. Going outside the comfort zone - is this piece different than other works in the artist's gallery? Did they try something new, something they didn't do before?
  2. Everything else - meaning technical skill, composition, concept and overall impact of the piece. 

The points from category 1. were counted as 100% of their value, and the points from category 2. as 80% of their value. 

Time for the winners!

The winners


1st place

panjoool with  The Eagle Archery!

The Eagle Archery by panjoool


2nd place

JayGraphixx
with A Mother's Treasure!

A Mother's Treasure by JayGraphixx


3rd place

cindywoo with Music Connection!

Music Connection by cindywoo

Congratulations to all the winners - we will get back to you regarding your prizes very soon!

Honourable Mentions


Since the competition was fierce til the very end, and a lot of the entries were literally a point shy of winning, we decided to assign 6 honourable mentions to these awesome artists:

Mandelblute, Wesley-Souza, Mylene-C, Nikkayla, @TifaxxLockhart, Rui-Abel 

Excavabot by MandelbluteNova Era I - Salvador by Wesley-SouzaOur Haven by Mylene-C
RADIANCE by NikkaylaGlows in the night [OutOfYourComfortZone] by TifaxxLockhartCivilization by Rui-Abel

They will all get a 100 points each. Congratulations! 

Thank you!


Thanks again for your participation - we'll let everyone get a month of a break in February and we'll be back with our Monthly Challenges in March - we're definitely looking forward to it! 

:la:


:iconprojecteducate:
:iconprojecteducate:


Tutorial Tuesday

Hi, folks! In this handy tutorial, we're going to be talking about gradient maps. What are they? How do they work? How can you use them in photomanipulations? See below!

What are gradient maps and how do they work?


A gradient map is a type of an adjustment layer in Photoshop, which (unlike a traditional gradient fill, which fills an area using a linear or radiant blend of colors) uses the lightness/darkness values in the image as a map for how the colours are applied. This means that you can manipulate each value separately, assigning a different colour to your midtones, shadows, highlights and everything in between. It allows you to change the colour of an object in a much more believable and realistic way than, for example, using the Colour or Hue blending modes. 


2018-01-18 17 40 46-2018-01-18 17 27 06-goldcol2.j by Gejda


To use a Gradient Map, you need to go into Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Gradient Map menu in Photoshop. Remember that if you want it to affect only a specific layer, you can always use it as a Clipping Mask by checking the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask box while creating the layer or right clicking your layer afterwards and choosing Create Clipping Mask. Read this: bit.ly/2Dv8v25 if you don't know how Clipping Masks work.


2018-01-18 17 27 06-goldcol2.jpg @ 100% (Gradient  by Gejda


1. Okay; after choosing the Gradient Map from the New Adjustment Layer menu and clicking OK, you can see the properties panel with a gradient and two check boxes - Dither and Reverse. Reverse is pretty self-explanatory - it reserves the gradient, and Dither is an option that lets Photoshop apply random noise to reduce the banding effect that sometimes happens with gradients.

Let's click on the gradient itself, which will take you to the Gradient Editor.

2. The first thing you'll seeare Presets, marked with a helpful number 2. These are the basic gradients Photoshop offers, but you can always create your own by clicking New if you want to save a gradient for later use.

3. Number three on the image is Gradient Type - here, you can choose from Solid or Noise - the second type is basically a set of randomly generated and distributed colours within a range you define.

4. Smoothness - controls how gradual transitions between colours are.

5. Opacity Stops - the sliders above control opacity. For example, if you want the darker colours in your gradient to be less visible on the image, you can decrease the value in one of the windows below.

6. Colour Stops - the most important part, here - colour stops. Here's where you actually create your gradient and manipulate the colours - to do that, double click on one of the stops. By clicking anywhere on the actual gradient, you will create another colour stop. You can also move the stops around to control the transitions.

How can you use this with photomanipulations?


Time for some practical applications of all that theory - I'll show you how to turn regular objects into gold and change your model's hair colour.

The more advanced aspect here is that to use gradient maps correctly and get really realistic results, you have to know a thing or two about colour theory. Remember that all objects are afftected by the environment in terms of light and colours, and vice versa, and study how do different objects look in different settings in real life. Also, don't be afraid of colour picking - it's fantastic if you're able to properly figure out the right colours yourself, but if you're having trouble, remember to use all the tools you have on hand.

Make it gold


Gold is a tricky material to get right. It's a metal, so it's reflective, and due to that, it easily catches light and colours from its surroundings. Thankfully, gradient maps are an awesome way of turning regular objects into any metal you want with a bit of creativity - be it gold, silver, bronze.


Regular Guy by Gejda


Here's a regular statue from pexels.com.

The first step is to separate it from the background, so here's a tip: best ways of cutting things out are the Pen Tool (P), Quick Selection Tool (W) in newer Photoshop versions, or Fluid Mask plugin if you have some extra cash laying around. Do yourself a favour and don't torture yourself with the Eraser tool, there's enough suffering in the world.

Also, remember that it's always best to use Layer Masks to edit things undestructively. Here's a simple tutorial by eclipsy on Layer Masks if you don't know how they work: bit.ly/2EVqhZ1.


2018-01-19 19 02 37-gold guy.jpg @ 100% (Gradient  by Gejda


And here's the statue changed to gold, with my gradient settings visible. I applied it to the statue by using a Clipping Mask. Feel free to colour pick from this screenshot if you want to achieve a similar effect, but what if you want to get gold with a slightly different colour scheme?

I'm afraid there's only one way of doing it - namely, study the material you want to mimic. Below, you can see two different photos of gold objects, with the main colours marked on the images. Pay attention to how each of these palettes differs slightly, and how incredibly highly saturated the colours of gold can be.


Goldcol1 by Gejda


Remember - to get a truly realistic effect, you have to not only know what sort of colours your material uses, but also how it interacts with its surroundings! The best way to do it is by experimenting - try playing with both hues, saturation and the number of colours you're using on the gradient to get the best results.

Change the hair colour


Girlor by Gejda


Let's say that this lovely lady in the photo, coming from pexels.com, has the perfect pose, face and clothes for your character, but the one you're trying to portray has a blonde hair. Since hair never uses just one colour, simply applying a darker tone using blending modes wouldn't work - here's where gradient maps come in.


Girlchanged by Gejda


Quick Tip: while changing the blending mode of just one colour wouldn't help, don't be afraid to play with blending modes and opacity of a gradient map.

I got this effect by using a Gradient Map set to the Linear Dodge (Add) blending mode on 50% Opacity.

Remember also to make the transitions soft - you can achieve that by using a soft brush on the edges of your layer mask. You can use this trick for manipulation every facet of your model's appearance, including skin tone, eye colour etc.

That's it!


Did you find this tutorial helpful? Are you going to try out layer masks in your own work? Discuss below!