February 2010 - Digital Group Meeting - Painter & ColorMunki

Meeting Notes March 2009 to 2018.
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February 2010 - Digital Group Meeting - Painter & ColorMunki

Post by spb » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:42 pm

37 attended this month - I think that's a new record and approaching the capacity of the room!

I have done my best to convince everyone to use Adjustment Layers for Levels, Hue & Saturation etc. The benefits of reversibility and control are clear and I can do no more!

Following the presentation and distribution of this free software in December, feedback has been mixed. Whilst a few members have used Artmaster successfully (most notably Richard Yerby), most have either not installed it yet or have encountered technical issues. The Buzz filter is much easier to use and I feel is more likely to find favour in the long term. See the addendum to the notes of the December meeting for an online source of this filter if you have not received one of the CDs in circulation.

This is the cut-down version of Corel Painter. A trial copy is available here and it can be purchased online for £39. For those of us without painting and drawing skills, the program also provides auto-painting from a photograph which is a powerful and impressive way to change an image into a remarkably convincing artwork. It should be noted that this program will be much less effective without a pressure sensitive graphics tablet such as those from Wacom. Painter Essentials is bundled with some Wacom tablets.

I have been experimenting with Painter Essentials for a couple of months. It's a steep learning curve but I have been impressed with it's capabilities. It can be helpful to reduce the image size to speed up the process, although this may result in larger brush stokes. Users may also find that a fully painted image may not be acceptable in a photographic competition. However it is certainly possible to mix painterly elements with photographic elements to achieve an interesting and acceptable blend.

The proceeds from the third lottery grant in 2008 were used to purchase our current projector and laptop. Less well known is the fact that we also purchased a ColorMunki colour calibration device with the intention of making it available to members. Unfortunately, early experience of it with displays and the projector were so disappointing that it was put aside to gather dust.

The good news is that the software for this device was completely re-written late last year and it now works! Essentially the device will produce colour profiles for displays, printers and projectors. Initial tests of the new software have been positive in all three areas and initial restrictive licensing conditions have also been relaxed, so it's time to make it available to APS members. Mike Hynes has bravely volunteered to hold this equipment and perhaps provide some help in it's use (once he's understood it himself!).

Peter Lovelock of Colour Confidence has been booked for the Digital Group of 6th May to give a talk on colour management and demonstrate the ColorMunki. He will also cover other digital imaging products and offer them for sale at preferential prices.

I suspect that kaleidoscopic patterns from photographs will be of limited interest to most members. In the unlikely event that anyone finds them as appealing as I do, I cannot recommend Kaleider too highly. Try it or buy it for $28 for which you get a million patterns from every image.

Peter Jones has volunteered to host the next meeting on March 4th and will demonstrate that his encyclopaedic knowledge of Photoshop CS3 doesn't always transfer to Elements 8.

Cheers, Steve Brabner

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Joined: Sun Apr 06, 2008 1:56 pm

Re: February 2010 - Digital Group Meeting - Painter & ColorMunki

Post by peterjones » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:08 pm

very amusing SB :-) but true! I am sure that the membership will be amused at my antics; we aim to please!

Don't forget to bring plenty of images to discuss/ analyse/ make suggestions etc.

Peter Jones

Chris Worthington

Re: February 2010 - Digital Group Meeting - Painter & ColorMunki

Post by Chris Worthington » Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:42 am

A question was raised about how to remove grain from scanned B&W images. Steve tried the 'remove noise' function in PSE which did not seem to work. I thought at the time what the reason was but wanted to double check at home before mentioning it. I think because the grain size is likely to be larger than a single pixel in size, the noise reduction algorithm is not effective because is assumes that the noise is at the pixel level. Hence very little effect will be noticed as indeed was demonstrated. A more effective filter is the surface blur filter in PS4, I don't know whether this exists in earlier versions of PS or in PSE, but it is very effective.

There may be a way of creating a surface blur filter by creating a mask using high pass filter and some further 'jiggery pokery'. If I make headway on this I will post this later.

Finally, I have a Epson perfection V700 Photo scanner which come with software that does a good job of smoothing out grain without losing too much detail. Coupled with digitial ICE technology it does a remarkable job of cleaning up old negatives.

regards Chris Worthington

Chris Worthington

Re: February 2010 - Digital Group Meeting - Painter & ColorMunki

Post by Chris Worthington » Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:10 pm

following on from previous posting a rough idea for noise reduction is as follows:

1. make a layer above the original and select high pass filter to pick out the detail
2. on the lower layer use blur to smooth out the noise
3. on the top layer adjust the transparancy to retain the edge detail.

Tweaking the pixel range of the blur and high pass filter can produce a reasonable result - at least on the example I tried. Not brilliant but might be enough to solve the problem. Might need to use the selection tool to limit this to problem areas.

Anyway this might prompt the odd genius to a better solution.

regards Chris Worthington

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