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Sketching and Photoshop Elements

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#1 stevecoe

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 04:33 AM

Howdy all;

I bought Photoshop Elements 11 about two weeks ago and have been going through a book on how to use it. The ability to control virtually every pixel is amazing. I have been able to try it out on a couple of sketches and the erase function really allows me to get rid of spurious marks and other problems.

My real question is: has someone discovered a way to make round stars out of irregular ones? I will attach a drawing at the end of this to show you what I mean. I have been using a fine tip pen to make stars and they look fine on the original drawing, but once I scan them in I would like to round them out. I have hundreds of drawings and would like to know a more "automated" way to do this.

Thanks for any help;
Steve Coe

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#2 Asbytec

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 07:02 AM

Steve, if your talking about rendering a pencil sketch, maybe you're onto something. I do my sketches with a PC program directly and get round stars as well as softer affects that way. Let us know if the instructions include a method for doing so. If you could render every pixel, it should be possible. Time consuming, maybe.

#3 azure1961p

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 10:49 AM

Hi Steve,

What you are looking for is a de-blurring tool . Points or details that have trailed a bit due to motion, etc. this would form the irregular point into a singular. Here though - I'm thinking even that isn't possibly the best choice and simple masking off of the stars irregular edges is the way to go. You put a small round template over the star in question just big enough to slice of the irregularities and click away.

Your stars all seem to run the same way so the de-blurring tool plug-in if its available yet from Adobe might work. Apparently its a very very complex undertaking that's gone into overtime so much so it didn't make CS6. The plug in may be available. If so Im betting its pricey due to the heavy R&D involved.

Pete

#4 Jeremy Perez

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:52 PM

Hi Steve! Congratulations on the immersion into Photoshop.

There are a lot of ways you could tackle the star roundness topic. Re-creating the stars digitally like Norme described, and I'd never thought about the de-blurring method Pete described—that sounds really interesting.

Personally, I prefer just a balance between rough stars and perfect stars in my sketches. Sometimes if the stars get too perfect, the drawing seems to go a bit flat for some reason.

Here's a possibility to try:

Make a duplicate layer of your sketch (so you have 2 of the exact same drawing on 2 layers)

On the top layer, run the Dust & Scratches filter and adjust the Radius and Threshold to get some decent results on the smaller stars
- Radius will increase the effect of taking rough edges off the stars--but don't go too far or it starts to erase the smaller stars.
- Threshold sets a limit to what is considered a defect and as you raise it higher, it maintains more and more of the paper texture.
I tried Radius = 2 and Threshold = 8 on your drawing and that seemed like a good starting point.

If the Dust & Scratches filter smooths out your nebulosity too much, you can bring it back by adding a layer mask to your top layer and hiding the top layer around the nebulosity so the unfiltered, bottom layer shows through. (if you're not ready to jump into layer masks yet, you can also just use the eraser tool on your top layer to allow the bottom layer to show through)

The only thing left is dealing with the larger stars. You can use the clone tool (set to be a slightly soft brush) to paint paper around the elongated edges and manually round them out a bit. Or you could totally clone the big stars out and replot them entirely from scratch. (Only the two brightest stars in your drawing needed that extra bit of touch-up.)

I hope it's ok, I've attached a version of your sketch with those steps applied to it. It may not get the stars as round as you'd like, but it's something you can adjust to taste.

I've got as a to-do, that I would like to make a video of that process in action...hopefully I can work that up before too long.

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#5 stevecoe

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 06:16 PM

Jeremy;

That is exactly what I was hoping to do. I think Elements 11 has all those tools, I will check it out. I have no doubt that some of my sketches will need more work, but I like the results.

Thanks;
Steve Coe

#6 PeterDob

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:05 AM

Well, Steve, the solution I use is very simple. I create a second layer and re-draw the stars on that with a round brush and hardness "0". Then I erase the original stars from the background and voilà. :D

Peter

#7 stevecoe

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 02:18 AM

Peter;

I promise I am trying to be a wise guy...I am just ignorant. Why would you create a second layer? Why not just draw the stars with the round brush in the same location as the drawing you made under the stars?

Clear skies;
Steve Coe

#8 PeterDob

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 03:19 AM

Because otherwise you'd have a hard time erasing the original stars. When you paint new stars on the same layer as the originals, they're "glued together" as it were and if you use your eraser you'll erase both. Therefore it's very useful to make separate layers for every different item you draw (stars, nebula, colours of stars and nebula, halos, spikes,...). Then you can work on each of them separately without affecting the rest.

BTW, I'm now offering on-line astro-drawing classes through Skype, so if you're interested, let me know...

Cheers,

Peter






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