I bought a Ferrari to go to the corner store! There's so much more in the app. than I knew, and I am feeling overwhelmed.

I'd like to make/convert/create a nice oil or watercolor 'painting' from some semi-casual headshots of a high school team, and I know I can't get through all the tutorials by tonight, nor do my own experiments lead me to believe I'll stumble on the right combo.

The originals are large hi-rez digital shots and I'd like to print at 5 x7 or 8 x10. If anyone could put down some simple clear steps, including what I should size the original (source) at and the canvas, I'd would be appreciative.

[I just got v 3.5 yesterday, a little tight for my tonight project]
I am attaching a 600 x900 of a sample kid.

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Since i have to run out the door in 10 minutes i'll point you at a studio artist blog entry that includes a set of PASeq presets designed for portraits. You can find the article and preset collection here. There are several other downloadable PASeq preset collections on this older studio artist blog as well.

Why not work with your 600x900 source images. Try some with 72dpi canvas and others with 150 dpi canvas since you are in a hurry.

You can always run the rerender canvas menu with the supersizer option to upsize your painted canvas to go to a higher res for your final output.
Ok, i did something quick and dirty for you. I've attached the paint action sequence below for you so you can see how i did it. I basically used one watery paint preset with a little bit of source cloning for the details in the face since i was working at low res. I just used your 600 x 900 source image and made the canvas the same size.

What i did was first set the canvas background to white. Then i action painted with the watery paint preset to rough in the canvas completely. I then wanted to do a second pass to add more detail. One approach would have been to have used the same preset with a smaller brush size and path length, and done several successive passes each time decreasing the brush size and the path length to render more spatial detail.

Since i was in a hurry i did a trick. I first erased the bezier path frame, then generated a set of bezier paths off of the source image edges, then i ran the path : paint paths : full layer command to paint in the source edges. I used an edited version of my watery preset to generate even more detail. I could have just used a smaller brush size, but i wanted even more edge detail.

So, before i ran the paint paths menu command i ran the edit : paint synthesizer : macro edit : turn automask pain nib on' macro edit menu. This turns on automasking for paint nibs which means that the actual nib of paint is automasked to insure you don't over paint edges.

I then used a soft clone brush to bring a little bit of the original source image back into the facial features. I probably overdid the source clone on the face since i was using the mouse as opposed to a pressure sensitive pen to control the blend. But i figured since you were doing paintings for some local sporting event you probably wanted the faces themselves to be very recognizable.

Quick painting done. Anyway, i'll try to do a post a few more simple examples for you and others.
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Ok, here's another example, perhaps a little more oil painterly. I used one oil paint preset and did multiple passes with progressively smaller brush size and path length. The color of this particular oil paint preset renders a little drab for my tastes, so i used the Colorize Image Operation to punch the color a little. I then used the Image Compressor Image Operation, which is a great way to punch up a painting or photo since it essentially auto dodges and burns, running different tone curves on different parts of the image to intelligently enhance the contrast without clipping. I then used a subtle application of the Smart Contrast IMage Operation to punch up the edges a little. The PASeq and example output is attached below.
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Mahalo, John, mahalo! I just got home from team final dinner of this great bunch of kids, and have some great stuff to go on. Thanks again!

cordially,

John McWilliams

637 Moraga Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611
510-654-5059
I also wanted to point out that the techniques used in the first 2 digital street artist projects on the video tutorial disc #1 work really well for most portrait style images. So if you want to do assisted drawing with a pen or mouse you could just follow those instructions to do stylized portraits.
Here's a simple image processing approach to creating a watercolor look.

I t uses the Color Simplify image operation to create a flat color region rendition with some transparency. Geodesic Warp is then used to melt the flat color regions. The Gradient image operation is contorted into generating a black edge insertion. This is then smoothed by the Smart Blur image operation.
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Here's another watercolor approach experiment. It uses the Paint Synthesizer with progressive applications of a watercolor preset (smaller brush size over time) and then a trick with the Smart Contrast and Image Compressor image operations to add some facial detail to the watercolor abstraction.
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Here's another watercolor experiment. I wanted a bw pencil sketch with some watercolor paint to bring in some color. I used a trick to build a bezier curve sketch, then repeat painted the bezier paths with a light pencil preset with some path randomization to give a rougher looser sketch. The trick to generate the bezier path sketch is to route the output of the Smart Contrast image operation to the current region selection (as opposed to onto the canvas), then i generated the paths from the region selection. I painted the watercolor after the sketch to help soften the sketch some more but you could paint that before. Scratching out the watercolor instead of sketching black would be another fun option. I used the Blur image operation with and Edge1 compositing option to generate a sharpening effect for the last step to give a little more focus to the final image.
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Several more Mahalos! Thanks so much, but I 've not had a chance to do justice with these tools, but I have tried each, and am learning more about the interface as I go.

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