Thursday, February 21, 2008

Digital Post Processing: Kasumi Effect Chaos

I've been working on a few techniques that give photographs a watercolor style effect. I called it the Marina Effect because I used a photo of a model named Marina while I was developing it. I wanted to follow that effect up with a method for creating a comic book style drawing from a photograph.

I wanted the final effect to look more like a hand colored photograph than an actual comic book drawing. I decided to poke around on Google and see if someone else had developed a technique similar to the one I was planning.

I found a graphic artist, Melissa Clifton, that had developed a similar technique and documented it with a series of tutorials. She had written a tutorial on turning a photograph into a Roy Lichtenstein-style image. That's some nice work, but nowhere near what I wanted to accomplish.

At this point, I gave up on finding a similar technique. So, I started breaking down what I wanted the image to look like:

  • The image needs to have well defined edges, but retain a hand drawn feel. I've got several options for this, but I think the Find Edges filter will work the best.
  • I want the subject to really pop in the image. I'll need to separate the subject from the background on its own layer to accomplish this. I'll also need to desaturate that layer and then recolor the image by hand. Fill layers will be used for this task. I can use blending modes on the fill layers to let the subtleties to the image show through. I'll probably have to do some processing in the desaturated layer to get the right amount of detail.
  • To make the subject pop, the backgrounds and any foreground objects will have to be placed on separate layers above and below the subject. I'll also need to tone down the colors and will probably use the Marina Effect on those layers to really isolate the subject.
That's pretty much it. The process is going to be a little more labor intensive than I had hoped, because it's going to require a lot of hand coloring and masking. In my initial tests on this particular process, I used a desktop wallpaper of Kasumi from DOA Extreme.

The results can be seen below on links to my Flickr pages.

Close Up


Obviously, I've got some more work to do on the effect. I need to refine it a little better. So, I pulled off a shot of Kokoro from DOA Extreme in a black alligator skin bikini with a beach-side background to work on refining and correcting errors from the first attempt. I'll post up what I hope are the final results for this process.


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