Today’s post is all about trying something a bit different. This Fauve technique I found in a magazine a few years ago is quite cool and can add impact to an image that might not be quite up to par. I’m fairly sure this technique will work on all versions of Photoshop from CS3 up to CS5. I’m not sure about Elements but as it requires Layers, I suspect that it’s Photoshop. Lastly, if you’re just interested in what to click and aren’t interested in the commentary, you can just skip to the list at the end.
So this is what it looks like before and after. It’s not the best image I could find to work with, and if you’re planning on doing this, try it with an image that’s got some big colours, and lots of things going on. The blurring of the technique means that if you have a plain expansive landscape, this won’t add anything. Find an image that has lots of things going on, and also has lots of nice bright colours. If necessary, take the image into Photoshop/LR beforehand and really saturate things similar to what I’ve done with my “before” image above.
Step 1: Find Edges
Begin the process by duplicating your base image (CTRL+J). Click on Filter>Stylize>Find Edges. This should give you a detailed map of all the lines and edges in your shot.
Step 2: Threshold
Add a new Threshold layer to the image. Play the slider back and forth so that you have a reasonable amount of detail in your image. If you find that there’s either too much or too little, you may need to tweak your edge layer. To do this, go back to your “Find Edges” layer (Layer 1 if you haven’t changed anything) and apply an extremely small (1-5px) Gaussian Blur to the layer.
Step 3: The Fauve Bit
You have to do several things here.
1. Highlight your background layer and duplicate it (CTRL+J)
2. Drag it to the top of the layer stack.
3. Change the Blending Mode to “Multiply”
4. Reduce the Opacity to whatever feels right for you. It will depend on the image.
5. Add a Filter>Noise>Median to this multiplied layer. Your aim here is to remove any distinctiveness/definition from the objects within the lines. Your “Edges” layer has provided the definition, the blur here is just putting colour and shape within those lines. The amount of noise you add here is up to you and will depend not only on your preferences but on the px size of the image.
6. (Optional) Use the move tool to shift the colour layer a few pixels up and right (or down & left, or any combination thereof!!)
And that’s about it! Simple!
To recap (and for the tl;dr people!)
– Duplicate your image
– Filter>Stylize>Find Edges
– New Threshold Layer. Adjust to taste. Add blur to Edges layer above if necessary.
– Duplicate Background image again. Move to top of layer stack. Blend mode to Multiply, Opacity reduced to taste (start around 65%)
– Filter>Noise>Median to Multiplied layer. Adjust to taste.
– Move tool to shift the multiplied layer off-centre (start at 3px vert & horizontal)
Playing around with the various sliders is obviously going to garner different results. Here are some I did earlier, and thanks for reading!