Tutorial: Hot stylization for portraits

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photoken
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Tutorial: Hot stylization for portraits

Post by photoken » Thu 23 Jul 2015 07:19

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to create a hot-looking portrait style, going from this original:
Ann Margaret 011 b original.jpg
to this:
Ann Margaret 011 b final.png
We'll learn how to separate an image into three separate tonal layers -- shadows, midtones and highlights. We'll be incorporating most of the effects as adjustment layers, which will easily allow for the very necessary fine-tuning of the final result.

Preparing the original image
The first thing to do is to eliminate the background.
  1. Use the Automask tool to select all the background.
  2. Invert the mask.
  3. In the Layers panel, use the "Create Mask from Mask" icon to isolate the person.
Then, it's a good idea to increase the contrast of the image.
  1. Use Tool...Lasso...Redo Last Lasso to get the selection marquee back.
  2. Open a Curves adjutment layer as a child layer, and use a steep curve similar to this:
    Ann Margaret 011 b curves setting.png
    to get a high contrast effect. The Curves adjustment layer will automatically be masked to the lasso.
Continued in next message...
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Ken
Yes, I think it can be eeeeeasily done....
Just take everything out on Highway 61.

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photoken
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Re: Tutorial: Hot stylization for portraits

Post by photoken » Thu 23 Jul 2015 07:31

...continued from previous message.

Separating the image into Shadows, Midtones and Highlights

We want to end up with three layers containing black pixels on a transparent background, the black pixels corresponding to the tonal area. It's best to do the separations in this order: Shadows, then Midtones, and finally Highlights.
  1. With the modified original image as the active layer, recall the last lasso if it's not the current selection.
  2. Use Tool...Color...Select Color and choose Black as the colour, with an intensity setting of 50%.
  3. In the Select Color dialog, set the destination to "New Image", and click OK.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3, adding a middle Gray selection at about 30% and changing the previous Black selection to "minus".
  5. Repeat steps 1-3, adding a White selection, also at about 30%, and now changing the previous Gray selection to "minus".
By doing these steps in order for Shadows, then Midtones, then Highlights, the previous colour selections are retained; which makes things easier.
When you make the successive colour selections, it's important to keep the previous intensity settings as they were originally applied so that you reduce the empty gaps that can occur between these tonal ranges.
The Select Color settings for the Highlights look like this (which also shows the settings used for the other two tonal areas):
Ann Margaret 011 b select colors highlights.png
At this point, you'll have 3 separated image layers above the original image layer. Hide (or delete) that original image layer, and change the layer order (if necessary) so that the Shadows layer is on top, the Midtones layer is immediately below it, and the Highlights layer is at the bottom of the stack.

Preparing the tonal images
  1. Select the Shadows tonal image.
  2. Add a "Remove Dirt" adjustment layer as a child layer, with a size of about 4.
  3. Add a "Threshold" adjustment layer as a child layer of the image, with a setting of about 78%.
  4. Open the Layer panel for the image layer, and change its type to "RGB".
  5. Add a "Color to Transparency" adjustment layer as a child of the image layer, and select White as the colour. Now you will have black pixels on a transparent background.
  6. Add a "Replace Colors" adjustment layer as a child layer of the image layer, and select Black as the source colour and a colour of your choosing as the destination colour. Leave the "Tolerance" settings for both at 30%.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 for the other two tonal images, changing the size of the "Remove Dirt" setting and changing the "Threshold" setting as needed. Your layers should look like this:
    Ann Margaret 011 b layers.png
It's very important to perform those steps in that order so the child layers are in the order that's shown. This will make things much easier when it's time to do the fine-tuning adjustments.

Because there will probably be gaps between the tonal images, it's a good idea to add an image layer filled with White at the bottom of the stack. I used a transparent layer, recalled the last lasso and filled in the lasso area with white so that this white background is kept within the portrait area itself.

The Hot Effect
Add a "Soften" adjustment layer at the top of the stack (not as a child layer), and use some extreme settings. I used a size of "100" and an intensity of "-340".

Fine-Tuning
You'll probably wind up with a lot of empty gaps between the tonal areas. The easiest way to eliminate them is to adjust the settings of the "Threshold" adjustment layers. Depending on the intensity of the "Soften" settings, you'll probably also need to adjust the colours -- use the "Replace Colors" adjustment layer for that.

That's it! Good luck, and enjoy!

(Sorry that I couldn't attach the PLD file, but even without the original image layer it's size is waaaaay to large to be accepted by the forum's software.)
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Ken
Yes, I think it can be eeeeeasily done....
Just take everything out on Highway 61.