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Thread: Challenge 81: Technical - Pen tool

  1. #41
    Slayer TriBel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Priceless View Post
    I tried the second tutorial and I think I must have done it totally wrong because what I produced looked like the work of a baby chimp

    But I was actually quite happy I managed to download the brushes, so swings and roundabouts
    Out of interest, is the chimp on the swing or the roundabout?

    Just to clarify, I haven't done any. I'm waiting for the optimum time - ie. a) not working and b) Amazon to stop messing about with the price of their tablets. Till then, I'll just admire everyone else's efforts.
    Last edited by TriBel; 22-06-19 at 12:14 PM.

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  3. #42
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    Baby chimp was on the roundabout . . . that's the only way i can explain the dizziness

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  5. #43
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    Another banner this time with OZ being the focal point.

    Last edited by buffylover; 29-06-19 at 02:50 PM.

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  7. #44
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    OMG - Buffylover! I the Oz banner!
    Last edited by TriBel; 29-06-19 at 07:44 PM.

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  9. #45
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    Just a quick note to say I haven't forgotten about this and have been trying to grab more time over the last handful of days to look at it. I'm not sure if I'll manage to hit the 11th for the final piece, but have nearly finished looking at the varying cut options for the hair. I am intending to try to look over the following tutorial tomorrow specific to hair selection - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLF7A8WCnrU. It looks very technical and is probably beyond me but it may give another alternative method to dealing with that pesky question of the hair beyond a straight pen cut. So far I've cut with the pen tool, and also cutting a halo effect around the hair when doing the main pen cut out that I have then layer masked out parts after (what I've always done so far) and one where I tried the colour selection option. Once I've tried this other tutorial I will share the comparisons. I think a great deal will depend of course on what background you are looking to drop on to as to which looks the best, but we'll see. Of course my examples are all hampered by me, others could well get better results with any/all of them. So hopefully more tomorrow.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Frustratingly I haven't been able to get time for this today and most likely won't in the next two days either. Things are just really manic right now and finding blocks of time over odd 15mins here and there is really difficult. I am going to carry on with this because I have started the process and put quite a bit of time into it all together so far, so I want to end up with a piece at the end. But I'm facing now that that won't be done before the deadline. Does anyone mind if I change the deadline to next Friday? The AtS 20th anniversary challenge is running too at the moment so there is something active and open for others to do whilst I drag my feet in the background.

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  11. #46
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    Okay. I've chucked together a cropped head pic of the different cut options I've tried for the hair (spoilered for space below). I've had varying success, as you'd probably expect, but a lot of the difficulties have resided in my original picture choice. The one I'm looking to use has a very dark background around half of the head that makes it very difficult to do a great cut on that side and all methods save for the hard pen tool cut struggled with that specifically.

    All options would probably take some adjustments/tweaking depending on how they looked against whatever background was going to be used in the end and I'm not convinced that I really 'get' the hard cut of the pen tool itself (the random hair spike I've created on the left looks daft I'm aware and should probably be 'curved' away too). There is a lot of background that is peaking through on the original pic because of Cordelia's curls and so this possibly makes the pen cut less ideal on this occasion as so much has to be removed to lose the worst of the background appearing through.

    The hair selection tutorial that I ended up using struggled greatly with the dark patch in the background of the original pic too as it works by using channels to create a more stark contrast between the hair and the background which you then CMD+click to generate a more nuanced selection to layer mask with. Tweaks are then made in the layer mask as usual to brush back in any parts that it 'erased' that you didn't want taking out. The tutorial taught me a great trick of clicking on the layer mask icon holding 'alt' to view the layer mask itself which definitely helps to identify stray areas that have been included. I did a little of the tutorial to show it at work and have included it, but 'fixing' it on this occasion would just take a heck of a lot more work to get something usable because of the issues with the dark area in that original pic and I've spent hours on these tutorials already this morning and have run out of free time for today.

    The tutorial I originally linked above was waaaaay too hard because the guy doesn't explain the keyboard shortcuts he is using. So after much head banging trying to figure that one out I abandoned it and found this tutorial, which I personally found really good to follow. If my pic selection had suited this tutorial method better I think it could come up with some really great results and be quite time saving compared to some of the other methods too. I am definitely going to use this again in the future and might even play a little more to see if I can do anything better with that awkward dark area with this.

    If I was going to choose one method my leaning is probably still towards doing the cut by hand by first creating a halo around the hair when cutting the rest of the figure out with the pen tool and then using a layer mask to remove the unwanted background out of the halo. But this is probably in great part because it is the way I've always done it and so what I'm comfortable with. I think good results can be achieved this way but also with the colour selection option too, which really was pretty similar (and if you are more adept at using the colour selection, I'd expect is far quicker). So even though I still lean to layer masking I wouldn't rule out using colour selection or the hair selection tutorial I found. I think I'd only do the harder pen tool cut if the stray wisps looked wrong/odd on the chosen background.

    But basically my method experimentation is finally complete so I thought I'd share what I found trying different tactics. If I do stick with this awkward promo pic, which I am still intending to do at the moment, I may actually use chunks of the different methods layered together. I'm not sure.

    Sorry I'm taking so long getting a piece together, but I've spent quite a lot of hours (mostly because of my inexperience I'm sure) trying these out and just hope it will be of interest to others too. I'm still hoping to have a finished piece done by the end of the week, but things are still crazy at the moment.

    Spoiler:


    (you can click to view a larger version if you'd like)

    credit: original promo pic from daydreaming
    Last edited by Stoney; 15-07-19 at 02:08 PM.

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