Friday, 20 August 2010

Sweet Discovery!

In my previous post I mentioned that I really wanted to get Photoshop Elements because of the huge wealth of preset actions you can get on the web, which apply predefined edits to a shot to give it the look you want.

My main reason for wanting to get PSE was because the available scripts I had found for GIMP were limited and underwhelming. Well, I did a little creative Googling (and by "creative" I mean, I Googled "GIMP scripts" and looked further than the top couple of results) and came across tons of really amazing scripts, and curves presets. I've been happily playing with them a lot, although the results have been quite mixed purely because I only have a limited number of shots on my laptop. Still, I've found them really fun and cool.

The presets all behave differently depending on what shots you use them on. The only shots I have available to me right now are all nature-based with a lot of greens, so the results have been similar, but I think if I ran them over some more diverse pictures I would find the output quite different and cool.

So, some examples.

This is the original (with just some levels and sharpening applied):


Not bad; the composition, colour and bokeh are all fairly pleasing.

First I ran a "cold" curves preset. Curves presets are easy to create -- you just to the curves adjustments you want then you can export the settings into a file which is saved for later. You can see on this there's a more bluish tint to things:


This is a "warm" curves preset:


This curves preset is called "Forest" and is intended to bring out the greens. I think for this shot it's interesting but doesn't work perfectly; there is already a lot of green in the shot and this just pushes it a tad too far:


This curves preset is called "Purple Hue". Again doesn't work great on this particular shot but I think it could be really interesting on portraits or a more minimalist shot:


As well as curves presets there are also more complicated scripts you can get, which are more sophisticated edits. This one is called "Reminisce Warmth" which adds a quite contrasty vintage feel:


"Soft Muted" which desaturates, adds a gaussian blur layer look and again some more contrast:


And this is a "National Geographic" script, which is intended to give portrait shots a very high-contrast, slightly washed-out look; doesn't blow me away on this shot but I ran it over a portrait I had knocking around and it looked pretty good:


I've had a lot of fun looking through these and the many other presets I downloaded, and seeing how they work. I can't wait to try them on some more diverse work. If anyone is interested, all of these curves presets and scripts were picked up from deviantART.


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