Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Review of Topaz Labs Plug ins

I was in the Halloween mood and I had a shot of the neighbor's cat I'd taken while doing a 'shoot' with the neighbor's children.
So here is the starting photograph.

Next I put it in Photoshop 7.0, yes, I have an ancient version, but it still works wonderfully!

I use my preset in Adjust that I call Spooky Adjust.
Next I duplicate the layer and rename it Simplify and it looks like this:
I still want to do something with the fur to make it a bit more abstract looking so I use Clean, again one of my own presets that I've come up while doing animals.  The difference is not much to most people, but to me, it gives a slightly more pleasing effect.
I duplicate this layer and use ReMask to pull just the head of the cat out.
This layer's opacity was reduced because I added Layer 3 with pumkins and Dry Times by Smoko Stock from DeviantArt for texture, along with Layer 4 which are Grunge Frame Brushes from Shadowhouse Creations and then blended it together.

It took quite a bit of experimentation.  At one point I realized that I really wanted the eyes to stand out more and not be covered by the texture or the pumpkins.  So I used the lasso tool to select the eyes from Layer 1, brightened them, and added them back into my 'clean my preset' layer.
 This looked pretty cool and I was very tempted to just stop here.  But I brought back in the other layers.
Here is what all the layers looked like before the finish.

I added some cracks with Obsidian Dawn Brushes [free!] for a bit more texture.  I erased out the Dry Times Texture in spots with a irregular brush with rough edges at about 35%.


And the before and after !


  1. ossickwow! this is a great tutorial!
    gives you a lot of ideas. love it!

  2. sorry for the comment. i just meant wow, nothing else.
    the bloody captchas drive me mad yesterday and wouldn't allow me to comment properly. have a nice day :)