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Recently published articles by Dave G:
I did an extensive review of Photoshop CS6 and have explained the Adobe Creative Cloud licensing. Read on!
Great update from Adobe. Read the full review on Ars Technica.
Back from vacation. Had a great time in Berlin and Amsterdam (where this shot is from).
When you work on a magazine that does a lot of stories about real people – not celebs who have nice photos – you often have terrible photos that you are forced to deal with. The current magazine contract I’m on has one of these cases; there is a story about a man who ran a marathon to raise money for cancer research and all the photos are pretty rough looking and we can’t shoot him because he has unfortunately passed away. The best (meaning the least terrible) option was one shot that still had big problems: it was an over-compressed JPEG and it wasn’t clear who the subject was, since everything was in focus.
After jacking up the saturation to give the photo more life, the solution to the subject and quality problems was to hand-paint a Z-depth pass to simulate the depth add then apply a depth of field blur (I’m using the amazing Frischluft Lenscare). This served two purposes: you get to decide what the subject matter is by focusing on it and the high-quality bokeh blurring makes the photo sleeker and more film-like. Our terrible photo, while still no Cartier-Bresson, has graduated to publishable. The Z-pass:
The final comp:
Probably easier to see the focus if you look at it animated in Nuke:
If you look closely, you can see there are some edge halos that require touch-ups but that was pretty straightforward.
If you don’t have the money for Frischluft, Photoshop’s Lens blur has similar features. It’s not as nice as Frischluft and requires more touchups but the same technique can be used by pasting the Z-depth into an alpha channel and it will be picked automatically as the depth source when you open the plug-in:
Mexico Texture #2: Beautiful Aged Door
Photo of painted wood fence from Mexico trip. If you love textures and you’ve never been to Mexico, you’re missing out.
I was given this cover photo to use (clients often force you to deal with something you wouldn’t have done yourself) and found a good way to use V-Ray to play up the DoF from the background for effect elsewhere.
The only part that’s a photo is the bottom right panel and the cutout portion in the top left.
The only tricky part about this was the linear workflow and the background, which was sRGB. I used a gamma corrected V-Ray background override texture and then added a gamma correction to it so it rendered properly in linear space:
That is one of the things that isn’t automatically corrected when you use the Enable Linear Workflow setting. The top image and the viewport look at little different because there was some further colour correction that was done after in Photoshop.
I needed to do some lossless JPEG rotation today and discovered NConvert, which is amazingly fast. It’s so fast that I decided to make my Automator services threaded so that each image conversion is launched in its own thread. The shell script code from my Automator service/droplets:
while read LINE
/usr/local/bin/nconvert -jpegtrans rot180 -overwrite "$LINE" &
The & at the end of the line means “launch in the background,” so doing this for multiple selected images just happens all at once:
That & thread spawning will work for any command line app, so if you want to update my FBX Converter or other sips conversion services that use the same “while read/do” syntax, go nuts. Obviously, it’s probably a bad idea to do a few hundred of those at once but for small batches, where it’s around the number of cores in your machine, it’s fine.
Requires that you install the nconvert utility first: http://www.xnview.com/en/download_nc.html
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