Tutorial - Beagle Smudge (Part I)

Started Feb 9, 2006 | Discussions
Scott Deardorff
Senior MemberPosts: 1,100
Like?
Tutorial - Beagle Smudge (Part I)
Feb 9, 2006

Thanks, everyone, for the feedback on this image. I really appreciate all your comments. My smudging technique is very much a work in progress, since I’m still pretty new at it. I’ll try to share with you whatever knowledge I’ve acquired through experimentation and the advice of others.

The best way to learn to smudge is to practice – to get used to how the brushes work at different sizes and strengths. The smudge tool is really an amazing tool. It can be used to blur, distort, erase, sharpen, paint, and add or subtract texture among other things. Try playing around with its different settings just to get a feel for it (use the original copy of this beagle, which is available for unrestricted use). Play with the different mode settings: normal, lighten and darken. Experiment with different brush sizes and strengths. For “Beagle” I used only one brush (the rough round bristle brush, which can be found in the “thick heavy brushes” in PS CS). But I used it at many different size and strength settings to achieve whatever result I was looking for. Also I used this brush about 95% in the normal mode setting (In this tutorial all modes are normal unless indicated otherwise).

Here’s the before and after of the image:

Click here if image doesn't appear:
http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873635/original

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll use a small portion of the original.

Here’s my description of how to go about the task of turning “Beagle” into a photorealistic smudge painting:

1. Start out by doing some basic image corrections: crop the image as desired, perform a curves adjustment to increase contrast and a saturation increase (hue/sat targeting red) to enhance the color. Your corrections should produce something similar to this:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873499/original

2. Upsize the image to approximately 16 x 22 at 72 ppi. This will give you enough size to work with.

3. Sharpen the image by whatever means you prefer. Sharpen substantially, so it looks over-sharpened. Your image should now look something like this:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873524/original

4. Now you can begin the task of smudging the image. View the image at 200% as you smudge, which will permit greater attention to detail. For all the fur areas use a 15 px. brush at a strength of 40%. IT WILL BE KEY TO MAKE YOUR SMUDGE STROKES FOLLOW THE DIRECTION OF THE FUR. Your fur texture won’t show much detail yet. A later step will help to bring out some definition. You will have to use a smaller brush (about 10 px.) still at a strength of 40% to smudge in tighter areas, like the mouth, nose and around the eyes. Remember to follow the natural lines of whatever it is you are smudging, as your strokes will become more apparent later. At the end of this step, your beagle should look like this:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873549/original

To be continued in Part II...

Scott Deardorff
Senior MemberPosts: 1,100
Like?
Tutorial - Beagle Smudge (Part II)
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006

5. In this step we’ll give him a little more life by enhancing his eyes nose and mouth. Use the same 10 px. brush at 40% to smudge the irises (the colored part of the eye) and any parts of the eyes that haven’t been smudged. Set the smudge tool to darken and use a 5px. brush at 100% to remove the existing catch-lights. Use the burn tool (about 5 px., exp. 6% - set to shadows) to burn in the pupils, the circumference of the irises and the outlines of the eyes. You may need to smooth these areas out a little with the smudge brush. Use the burn tool (about 15 px. 3% shadows) to darken the black areas of the nose and mouth. Use a 1 px. hard brush to paint white catch-lights into both eyes. Use the dodge tool at a low exposure to add a little extra light to the irises opposite the catch-lights. Also use the dodge tool to add highlights to the tongue and brighten the highlights of the nose. It looks like this now:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873552/original

6. Usually the background is done first in a smudge painting. For this tutorial, we’ll do it at this stage. First, erase the whiskers (they’ll be painted back in later) using your smudge brush (darken/10 px/100%). Take a snapshot and designate this as the history brush state. Now use the smudge tool (lighten/60 px. 60%) to smudge some brushstrokes into the background. Move the brush from the background, toward and overlapping the beagle. Once the background looks good you can use the history brush to go back over the subject removing the smudge strokes. You’ll need to clean up the edges with a smudge brush set at normal/10 px. 75%. Here’s what that looks like:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873553/original

7. This next step will enhance textures substantially. On a duplicate layer apply the paint daubs filter (brush size 1/sharpness 4). Use a layer mask to remove or lessen the sharpening in certain areas that appear over sharp. Flatten. This is how the image should look at this point:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873555

8. Now smudge in the whiskers (normal/3 px. 100%). For the long eyebrows take a color sample of a fur highlight area and check the finger painting box. It looks like this now:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873560/original

9. Remove the green color cast under his nose and jaw line by selecting and feathering that area then making a color-balance adjustment (add a little more red). Here’s that correction:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873562/original

10. For the grass (not shown in the detail) use a grass-blade-sized brush at about 85% to smudge the individual blades. Set the mode to darken for blades directly in front of white fur.

Here’s what your painting should look like when it’s done:

Click here if image doesn't appear:
http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873872/original

I hope this tutorial has been of some use to you. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Scott Deardorff

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Wilkev
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,711
Like?
Thanks Scott
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006

for the detailed workflow. The painting looks considerably sharper after the paint daubs step, which I never would have guessed you used. Can I assume the increased sharpness is from the paint daubs filter? Also, did you sharpen at the end of the retouch? You don't mention that and the final outcome just looks so nice and sharp compared to what you started with. Again, thanks for the tutorial...now I need to practice these myself; I do like the look of smudge paintings.
Regards,
Bill

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Simme
Forum MemberPosts: 52
Like?
Re: Tutorial - Beagle Smudge (Part II)
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006

Impressive work!

Thanks for taking the time to write up the steps!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
MGlennn
Senior MemberPosts: 1,578
Like?
super....thanks Scott (nt)
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006
-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Gale Bizet
Forum ProPosts: 15,255Gear list
Like?
Wow fantastic, thank you bunches NT
In reply to MGlennn, Feb 9, 2006
-- hide signature --
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Scott Deardorff
Senior MemberPosts: 1,100
Like?
Re: Thanks Scott
In reply to Wilkev, Feb 9, 2006

Wilkev wrote:

for the detailed workflow. The painting looks considerably sharper
after the paint daubs step, which I never would have guessed you
used. Can I assume the increased sharpness is from the paint daubs
filter?

Yes. The paint daubs step is really just a sharpening step. I just like the effect it creates and its ease of use. Also, I will sometimes increase the paint daubs brushsize for effect. You can create the same stroke texture effect with other sharpening methods, including USM. Just remember to mask out any unwanted over-sharpening.

Also, did you sharpen at the end of the retouch? You
don't mention that and the final outcome just looks so nice and
sharp compared to what you started with. Again, thanks for the
tutorial...now I need to practice these myself; I do like the look
of smudge paintings.

When I downsized the image from this: http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55833408/original
to: http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55833354/original

I sharpened as I always do when I downsize. I use nik Sharpener Pro. But any sharpening method should work well.

Thanks, Bill

Scott

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ingrid Suitor
Senior MemberPosts: 2,516
Like?
Thanks Scott, I want to learn too.....nt
In reply to Gale Bizet, Feb 9, 2006

Ingrid

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dallas_TX
Regular MemberPosts: 227
Like?
Thank you, thank you.
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006

just so cool. I'm going to learn to do this, thanks again, Scott.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
DianeR
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,293
Like?
Re: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
In reply to Dallas_TX, Feb 9, 2006

That paint dab filter is something I never would have thought to use. Thanks a million for taking the time to do this for us learners!
--
DianeR
FCAS Member
NAPP Member
http://www.pbase.com/ramseyd

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Bob Mc
Forum MemberPosts: 75
Like?
Amazing, Scott - Mant Thanks (nt)
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006

Truly impressive

Regards

Bob Mc

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
bonnieg
Regular MemberPosts: 322
Like?
Thank you very much!
In reply to Bob Mc, Feb 9, 2006

Scott, thank you so much for sharing & taking the time to prepare such a detailed tutorial. The image is beautiful.

Bonnie

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RayGuselli
Forum ProPosts: 13,169Gear list
Like?
Re: Thank you very much! - Yes me too Scott
In reply to bonnieg, Feb 9, 2006

Thanks Scott for the best tut on smudge yet!!!

I copied and saved your previous one of the huband and wife but this is so good.

Very grateful as I am sure so many are and hope to learn from it as I am sure we all will.

All the best

Ray

 RayGuselli's gear list:RayGuselli's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
carrie
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,741
Like?
Re: Tutorial - Beagle Smudge (Part II)
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006

Wonderful Scott!
Thank you.
--
carrie

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
JimG30303
Forum MemberPosts: 50
Like?
Your time and effort in posting this is ...
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 9, 2006

Very much appreciated!!! Thanks again - you are to be commended.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Snook
Senior MemberPosts: 2,941
Like?
Friggen Killer Scott. Thanks alot!!! (nt)
In reply to RayGuselli, Feb 9, 2006
-- hide signature --

1DsMII,PB17',G5 D2.0---> Shooting RAW (Ofcourse)
http://homepage.mac.com/ekphotography/2005/

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Scott Deardorff
Senior MemberPosts: 1,100
Like?
Re: Tutorial - Beagle Smudge
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 10, 2006

Thanks again for all your feedback. Hopefully you'll find it to be a somewhat useful tool.

Scott

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Serrator
Regular MemberPosts: 499
Like?
Re: Tutorial - Beagle Smudge
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 10, 2006

Thanks Scott for the excellent tutorial. I am gonna have to try this now and see if I can replicate this technique.
You are the smudge master!

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Timothy W.
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,306Gear list
Like?
A smudge question
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 11, 2006

I just love your work here, but I have one really dunb question.......What program are you doing this with?
Thanks....Timothy

Scott Deardorff wrote:

5. In this step we’ll give him a little more life by enhancing his
eyes nose and mouth. Use the same 10 px. brush at 40% to smudge
the irises (the colored part of the eye) and any parts of the eyes
that haven’t been smudged. Set the smudge tool to darken and use a
5px. brush at 100% to remove the existing catch-lights. Use the
burn tool (about 5 px., exp. 6% - set to shadows) to burn in the
pupils, the circumference of the irises and the outlines of the
eyes. You may need to smooth these areas out a little with the
smudge brush. Use the burn tool (about 15 px. 3% shadows) to
darken the black areas of the nose and mouth. Use a 1 px. hard
brush to paint white catch-lights into both eyes. Use the dodge
tool at a low exposure to add a little extra light to the irises
opposite the catch-lights. Also use the dodge tool to add
highlights to the tongue and brighten the highlights of the nose.
It looks like this now:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873552/original

6. Usually the background is done first in a smudge painting. For
this tutorial, we’ll do it at this stage. First, erase the
whiskers (they’ll be painted back in later) using your smudge brush
(darken/10 px/100%). Take a snapshot and designate this as the
history brush state. Now use the smudge tool (lighten/60 px. 60%)
to smudge some brushstrokes into the background. Move the brush
from the background, toward and overlapping the beagle. Once the
background looks good you can use the history brush to go back over
the subject removing the smudge strokes. You’ll need to clean up
the edges with a smudge brush set at normal/10 px.
75%. Here’s
what that looks like:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873553/original

7. This next step will enhance textures substantially. On a
duplicate layer apply the paint daubs filter (brush size
1/sharpness 4). Use a layer mask to remove or lessen the
sharpening in certain areas that appear over sharp. Flatten. This
is how the image should look at this point:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873555

8. Now smudge in the whiskers (normal/3 px. 100%). For the long
eyebrows take a color sample of a fur highlight area and check the
finger painting box. It looks like this now:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873560/original

9. Remove the green color cast under his nose and jaw line by
selecting and feathering that area then making a color-balance
adjustment (add a little more red). Here’s that correction:

http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873562/original

10. For the grass (not shown in the detail) use a
grass-blade-sized brush at about 85% to smudge the individual
blades. Set the mode to darken for blades directly in front of
white fur.

Here’s what your painting should look like when it’s done:

Click here if image doesn't appear:
http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/image/55873872/original

I hope this tutorial has been of some use to you. If you have any
questions please feel free to ask.

Scott Deardorff

-- hide signature --

Website: http://www.studio850.com/

Email: tim@studio850.com

Camera's owned:
Casio
Olympus 600L
Olympus 620L
Nikon 990
Sony DSC-F707
Sony DSC-F717
Sony DSC-F828
and now a 717 again!

 Timothy W.'s gear list:Timothy W.'s gear list
Canon EOS 600D
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
ckb
ckb
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,989
Like?
Re: Tutorial - Beagle Smudge (Part I)
In reply to Scott Deardorff, Feb 11, 2006

That is wonderful!
--
ckb

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads