After working with so many photo effects and image manipulations using Filter Forge
I have decided to post some of these results and filters here. First up is a filter to create
a Holographic Scanline which is seen in the image below. At the end of
this post you will find a link to this filter and text. You can see more of my
filter designs by finding me under the name CFandM at the Filter Forge site…….
To begin the process start by finding the image that you want to apply the effect to. I wanted an image of a screaming man and so I chose this image since it fit the bill. Also the background or lack thereof makes it an easy candidate for masking the head. Here is the original image and what that looked like before masking and applying the effect. You can also find the original image here……
Once you have your image ready to go its time to mask the parts of the image
that you do not want. This is where photoshop or another graphics application comes in
handy. There are many tutorials on how to mask (cut out) backgrounds in photoshop.
I do have a couple of videos showing how to use the lasso and pen tool in Photoshop.
I also have links to these videos in some of the other posts that I made.
Lasso Tool Masking Pen Tool Masking
When you are finished with the masking in your graphics application of choice you
want to save that as a png with a transparent background. The filter that we are using
has been created to use and work best with images that have a transparent background. So
after the image is saved this is now what the image should look like, just a head.
If you do not have Filter Forge installed you might want to do that before proceeding with this next part. These filters are made with Filter Forge and only work in conjunction with that. Now download the zip file containing the text for our image along with the
“Holographic Scanlines” filter. Once you have unzipped this just double-click on the filter inside that unzipped folder. Filter Forge should open and you can now use the filter.
In Filter Forge the filter will be under “My Filters”…..If it gives you an error about an image
do not fear. This was a preset for the above image that pointed to a directory on my
computer. This will be different on your computer thus the error. Simply go to the settings
tab and load a different image into the “Image” setting.
I have set this filter up with only one preset and that is to match the image above. You can stay with this preset or mess about with the settings to see what everything does. First you load the image that you want to apply the effect to through the “Image” setting. Now go to the menu at the top left and choose “File” and “New Image” to re-size the canvas to a different size. This does not affect the actual image just the canvas that the image is on. For the image I chose 2000×1000 pixels.
Some of the controls are straight-forward such as the Image Scale and Offsets. These
scale the image and moves the image across the canvas in any direction.
The “Pixel Amount and Strength” determines how much of the image is showing.
The “Offset Left and Right” offsets copies of the image either to the left, right or in both
directions. Once you choose the look and size you want you can use the “Save Image As”
and save it where you want and what type of image you want.
For the text I used the text image in the zip folder and ran that through this filter before
blending the final images with the effect applied.
That is it for this one and you can download the files from mediafire found here……
Filter and Text Zip
You can also download Filter Forge from here…
This last part is where we now can save our leaf as a Photoshop eps with the vector mask. Although this is not a true vector image it is still a bitmap but with a vector mask. However if you have a hi-res image to begin with then once you open it in illustrator you will have a decent image to work with.
First choose the menus File-Save As. Once that save window pops up go to the drop-down list and choose Photoshop Eps as pictured in the image below. You can choose whatever file name that you wish just remember the location where you saved it to open later.
When you click the Save button you will be greeted with a dialog where you can choose the option for the EPS. Notice that I have the “Include Vector Data” check-box ticked. This will only be selectable if you have a vector mask or a vector layer of some type in your file that you are saving. So if you save and this is not an option to check then go back and see if you created the vector mask correctly. You can play with the other options as well but these settings as is seem to work well for the EPS.
A word of caution is that the file size of the EPS will be larger the higher the resolution of the image. So once you are finished saving then open that EPS in illustrator and re-save it as an illustrator file. The image below shows the difference in file size. The larger number is the EPS (Leaf PS) from photoshop and the lower number is after saving the EPS (Leaf Ill) in Illustrator….
Here is the EPS after opening it in illustrator with the vector mask still in tact. That brings us to the end of this project of taken a real life object, taken a photo of that object to bring it into the digital realm, then turning it into a very useful object that can be used over and over again……..
For this last part we will be taken the cartoon leaf and editing out the background. I am using Photoshop CS5 for this….Once we edit out the background we will create a vector mask and save the leaf as a Photoshop eps. This is not a true vector but only a vector mask around the graphic so that we can use it in illustrator or another vector application.
First you want to open that leaf image in photoshop and turn the background into a workable layer. So go to the layers and double-click on the background and the New Layer box pops up. You can rename the layer if you wish but for this tutorial I just clicked the OK button.
Next we will take the magic wand tool and click on the background of the leaf. Click on anything other then the leaf. Make sure that you get all of the background and take a look at all the nooks and crannies there are usually little bits here and there that need to be selected as well. Hold down the left shift key when you are clicking with the mouse, this will add to the selection that area that you click.
When you are finished with the selection process its always a good ideal to save that selection. In the case of turning that selection into a vector mask you don’t have to go through the process of selecting again just load the selection. So to save that selection just go to the menu Select and then Save Selection. Name it something like leaf background or something that you will recognize when its time to load that selection for later.
With that background still selected we are now going to create a layer mask and mask out the background. So at this point go to the menu Layer-Layer Mask-Hide Selection. The will create the layer mask and hide the background.
Now your layer should look something below where you have the main image and the layer mask next to it in the layer. We now need to apply this mask to the image so you can simple right-click on the mask thumbnail and bring up the menu. Choose to Apply Layer Mask and now you have a leaf with a transparent background.
Now comes the part where saving the selection from earlier comes in handy. Make sure that you still have the Magic Wand tool selected from the toolbox. Go to the menu and choose Selection-Load Selection. Then choose the selection that you saved from earlier. You can also choose re-select and this will load the last selection that you made. Once the selection is made we need to reverse the selection so that only the leaf is selected. So right-click on the marching ants (actual selection) to bring up the sub-menu and first choose Select Inverse. This will invert the selection to only select the leaf. Now right-click again for the sub-menu and this time choose Make Work Path. This will turn the selection into a vector path. Now on to the next part of turning this into the vector mask…..
Before turning that working path into a vector mask we need to switch tools. Go to the toolbox and select the Direct Selection Tool. In CS5 its under the Text Tool.
After selecting this tool Left-Click the working path that was created around the image. You should now have the points showing as in the picture below. This is how you know that the working path was selected. Now Right-Click to bring up the Sub-Menu and choose Create Vector Mask. This is the last step before saving the image so that I will show in the next installment of this post…..
Now that I am satisfied with the way the leaf came out using the…ahhh.. “light-table” I moved on to adding the cartoon effect to the leaf. At this point you could use Photoshop or your favorite graphics editing application to edit out the background if its not a clean background. You could also wait and see what the image looks like after the effect. You may end up with nothing to edit or very little to edit out.
I do have a couple of videos that I made in Adobe Photoshop cs5 of masking out backgrounds. In one of the videos I am using the Lasso selection tool. Then the other video I am using the pen tool which that is my favorite tool to use for masking. It gives one a much cleaner edge on the subject being masked.
Lasso Tool Masking Pen Tool Masking
For this cartoon effect I used an application called Filter Forge. If you do not know what this is or have not used Filter Forge it is an application where you can make your own filters that do various things such as image effects, patterns, textures, etc….But its much more then just that so if you want to give it a go and you will need it for this cartoon effect just click the image under “Explore Filter Forge” on the side panel of this blog. You can even click the link below to download the trial and the other link is to the cartoon effect filter……
Filter Forge Comic Book
Once you have installed Filter Forge run it as a stand-alone application rather than the plug-in. Myself I run it as the stand-alone since it seems to run smoother in some instances. Anyway, find the menu at the top left and select File—Open Image and find your image to open then click to open. Now follow the image below to find where that “Comic Book” filter is inside Filter Forge. Settings for the filter are in this image as well. These will vary on what your image looks like and what you want the effect to look like so playing with these settings will vary the results.
Since I wanted to use this leaf as a vector image I wanted the output of Filter Forge to render a high-resolution result. So its always best to start big and you can size it down later without losing quality. So to output in a higher quality I cranked up the Anti-Aliasing as seen in the image below. This takes a bit longer to render but its worth the final result…….
In the next post I will show you how to turn the results of filter into a vector file….Stay Tuned………
Now that I have the leaves in hand I wanted to take some pictures of those. I could have easily scanned them but I did not have the scanner set up. Besides I needed a reason to use the light-box. Well, its not really a light-box but more of a light-table. Well, not really a light-table but more of a broken led tv on top of a table. So its a tv-table. If I were to put some graphics on plexiglass and install that in the tv then it would be a lighted sign.
I did not have this ideal for creating this tv-table but was inspired to create one with a broken laptop screen at first. This one with the laptop screen was good for tracing drawings and some photos but it was not really bright enough to light up objects as I wanted. How I acquired this tv was while fixing a computer one day the person that I was fixing the computer for asked if I fixed tvs or knew of anyone. I asked him what kind and what was wrong with it. Finding out that this tv had a broken screen made it a perfect candidate for experimenting. Here is the tv in its broken state and the model number…
What made this particular model even a better candidate then others is it was a very light tv. That also meant that I could carry it around without a problem even thou it was a 39-inch model. I won’t go into the details of what I had to do to get this one to work but once you take it apart down to the screen just slice the screen away from the lcd driver board and this model will stay lit. Here are some of the places that I had seen to try this myself.
Building a Lightbox from an old monitor
You can also go the non-tech way and build a simple box and stick some of the stick-on lights inside of the box. Make sure that you don’t attach the top so you can lift off the top and turn on the lights….I don’t endorse any of these lights this is just a random google search…
Under the cabinet Lights
Here is the tv-table with one of the leaves on top……..
Here are the results of the photos taken with a Fujifilm S2940 camera. Having the background free from other objects and distractions makes the editing smoother of a process. There is nothing to cut-out such as other parts of a flower or vines. This process will be in the next post…
While there are many options to be found on the net for clip-art and photos, sometimes you just have to use your own. If you have the time and are under no pressure to finish up that presentation or slam out that poster for the client who really needs it yesterday then by all means, go for it…Now you will have a truly unique graphic that you can call your own and not have to worry about copyrights and where did that graphic really come from.
Once I thought about what type of graphic I wanted to create I began the search. The graphic that I wanted was a leaf. Lucky for me it was Fall and there were plenty of leaves around outside the house. Ok, I was not that lucky since most of those were not what I wanted. I was looking for a leaf of a plant or flower. Nothing in particular just something that looked kinda neat. It did not take long before I came across the leaf that I wanted. Found another interesting leaf as well so I grabbed that for good measure.
Here are the leaves after the effects have been applied. I will continue this in the next post and show you how I created the effect…..