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(Fark)   Discuss and share techniques for making better photoshop pictures   ( divider line
    More: Survey  
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1641 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2001 at 1:42 PM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

122 Comments     (+0 »)

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2001-11-24 05:33:19 PM  
B0rg9, lol @ "ball-gagged."
2001-11-24 05:37:38 PM  
Afree87 i do have access to ranma eps
2001-11-24 05:38:21 PM  
Here's my hint:Whatever the picture, slap Richard Simmon's head on it. Oh yeah, drink lots of tequila beforehand. And do a spliff.
2001-11-24 05:50:04 PM  
Tinrobot says, "Far and away, however, the biggest skill is IMAGINATION!"

That's definetely something to keep in mind. I've been out of the loop for awhile 'cause I've been pouring a ton of Pshop thought into layouts at work. By the time I look at a Fark Pshop, I'm usually toasted... no point in forcing some half arse idea... just a waste of eveyone's bandwidth.

The main point, I think, is to have fun and stretch the boundaries of your imagination. Aarkieboy and BigPeeler have had many long runs of consistantly posting pShops that rock simply because the concept and execution combine to create spontaneous laughter.

Spend some time combing image collections for far-out and unusual stuff to incorporate. Make fun of Hollywood, politics, musicians, L. Ron Hubbard and yourself. Make more joy!
2001-11-24 06:10:35 PM  
Tinrobot - And also useing the Aquabats monster in every photoshop is a good idea too..right?
2001-11-24 06:19:12 PM  
When working with an old picture, use the speckle effect after you're done to make your work look much less stand-out-ish.
2001-11-24 06:23:56 PM  
what're Ranma epps...?
2001-11-24 06:29:26 PM  
I wish we could get paid for this. Like each vote gets you 100 bucks. No, each vote is 1000 bucks.
2001-11-24 06:32:25 PM  
K Ranma is an anime series
the only anime thats better than it is Neon Genisis Evangelion
2001-11-24 06:34:06 PM  
Ok my question is of Bigpeeler. Dude, do you work at Corvis or something? Where do you get all the F'n background images?
2001-11-24 06:46:35 PM  
Since I own my business, I get to spend tons of time in front of my computer. I will seriously pour a shot of tequila, punch up Google Image Search and just type in random words. Nouns, verbs, whatever. You wouldn't believe the stuff that catches your eye.

I've got a file with over 3500 images. I try to categorize them but that's futile. Like FBSimon said, the key is to have fun and stretch the imagination.

Trying to be the first almost always guarantees an obvious and/or boring submission. Sit back, take a sip and let your mind tell you where to go. Be subtle. Some of the funniest submissions are the ones where you have to look at them for a bit. FB and Aarkieboy are geniuses at this. Watch their submissions.

Someone earlier mentioned color matching. That's another key. Nothing is more idiotic than seeing a cut & paste where the added item isn't even the same brightness or color. Get somewhat well-versed with PhotoShot or Jasc Paint Shop. I like Paint Shop since I'm not as proficient as some of these other guys.

Oh yeah, one more very important point, NO GAPING SPHINCTERS!!!
2001-11-24 07:02:37 PM  
Good points RWG. One other reason for preserving the image layers is that you'll be able to reuse some elements in subsequent Photoshops. No use letting all the work extracting something go to waste (but avoid the temptation to reuse the same stinkin' image in every single Photoshop you do. That's the mark of the unimaginative.)
2001-11-24 07:06:34 PM  
Excellent point Jjorsett about saving those image layers. They come in handy don't they?
2001-11-24 07:09:42 PM  
Ok, in praise of filters. What they are good for is this. You get some chickie off Yahoo messenger to send you her web cam pix. Then you do a dozen or so with various filters making her look like a 50's star, b&w, solarize etc.

If it works out for you, you get a dinner date like I did today.

2001-11-24 07:15:45 PM  

Evangelion is very good. However, Cowboy BeBop is fantastic.
2001-11-24 07:28:39 PM  
Someone posted this link a few weeks ago re: GIMP. "Grokking the GIMP" (downloadable, or view on web site) I use Photoshop 5 on my w2k machine, and gimp on my linux box :)

Points not mentioned yet:

1)web browsers don't show pics in a higher resolution than 72 ...uh... pixels/inch? (72 something, anyway). So for stuff you'll be posting on the web, don't bother with anything higher than that. It increases size dramatically.

2)keep the dimensions of the pic reasonable please. A very conservative expectation is that users keep their monitor's resolution at 800 wide by 600 tall. Look at fark's layout. You probably don't want either dimension to be over 400 pixels, any direction. It's a waste of file size and users' time.

3)When working on a picture, keep the original file qualities. When you're sure you're done editing, THEN you can save the file at a lower quality (if the pic is extrememly high quality). I usually save mine at low to mid quality (3 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 10). They still look good enough for Fark. If your pic has few unique colors, you can get away with saving at a lower quality. Pics with lots of colors will quickly look like crap if you try to wheeze them down to a 2 or 3 quality.

4)use .jpg for photos,
use .gif for pics with large patches with few colors,
and for FARK's sake, DON'T USE .BMP! (just don't!)
If you don't do this, the file sizes get large.
2001-11-24 07:29:44 PM  
Cobraboy01: ...using filters to get some...smoooth!

A filter that comes in handy when trying to match layers is the "Add noise" filters. This can add some subtle graininess to match the quality levels in the composite image. I have to work with some pretty lousy poloroids at work, so I've had a chance to play around with the stuff that helps disguise things.
2001-11-24 07:43:12 PM  
Peeler, thanks for the Google tip...

[image from too old to be available]

2001-11-24 08:00:30 PM  
Cobraboy, that's hilarious. It's also the first image in the whole thread, which is weird when you consider the topic is photoshop.
It's also nice to know that Aarkieboy has a keyboard. It seems he could get by just by click-and-dragging PS images, but he's kind enough to guide us along with his brilliance.

As for me, I can't PS.
2001-11-24 08:09:11 PM  
paint shop pro? what?
2001-11-24 08:11:26 PM  
I use PhotoExpress, and I do it whilst trepanning myself.
Driller Killer style
2001-11-24 08:13:43 PM  
ECPPunx - I generally try to avoid being cliche, but the Aquabats cyclops thing kind of just happened. I guess he's my one cliche. I tried to stop using him once, but he's too powerful. Must be cyclops mind control or something...

On the thread of PS tips :

I like Google image search most things, but for stock objects (like a toaster or something) Lycos multimedia search is awesome. All of the stock stuff is shot agaisnt white, which makes it easy to grab...

Sometimes, when the image is small, I double the image size when I work, then shrink it back down when I finish. Makes for better quality.
2001-11-24 08:16:06 PM  
you guys are a godsend, really! its always just been cut, paste, done with me. but ive never known how to make it look like the cut image is behind and object in the original image. maybe i make it harder than it really is.
2001-11-24 08:29:09 PM  
Question: Besides Google and Lycos, can anyone recommend any more good photo search engines?
2001-11-24 08:30:07 PM  
Dall_smick: To put an object "behind" something in the original, just cut out the object from the original that you are trying to move something behind, and make it its own layer, in front of everything else. Then you can adjust placement without worrying that you've erased too much or masked incorrectly.

Also, when you do this, you can add shadow features coming from the new foreground layer that can reinforce the effect of what you placed behind.
2001-11-24 09:08:17 PM  

Try for photo you a window with the image and the website it came from!
2001-11-24 09:09:23 PM  
BigPeeler - AltaVista has one which can distiguish between color and b/w. Not too bad.

Yahoo also has one. Lame.

Smithsonian's not bad for historical/scientific stuff. Images are pretty high quality.
2001-11-24 09:29:58 PM is a really good search engine, and they let you specify images as well. Plus, they aren't farking sell outs like altavista and company.
2001-11-24 09:38:40 PM  
Yes, Paint Shop Pro. You know, the software. Get it at Then get on Morpheus (or Kazaa if you're on of those unrefined heathens) and do a search for it... maybe you'll find something "useful". Then have fun. OR buy it, if you are that kinda guy (or gal!), because it costs a lot less than Adobe Photoshop and is every bit as useful.
2001-11-24 09:47:09 PM  
Thank you all.
2001-11-24 09:52:40 PM  
#1 - The great thing about really expensive graphics software is it allows you to do so much, you can literally create as if you're not doing it on a computer. My favorite medium is soft oil pastel, enjoy getting in there with my fingers, almost like 2D sculpting, and being able to end up with something that looks like a traditional oil painting. With soft oil pastel, you can brush over it if you want, use some foreign object on it, achieve whatever kind of look you want. It's also easier to incorporate things like blown up photocopies or newspaper clippings, because the pastels don't bleed like oil paints. With Photoshop, after getting used to the tools and experimenting, I just treat it like a canvas for pastels now.

So, tip number one: experiment with the tools for a while, then just use your software exactly the same way you would a physical medium.

#2 - Morph utilities are great. I don't mean Power Goo, but the kind where you select common points on two images and the program melds them.

If you're trying to put a friend's face on a porn star's body, for example, you might feminize it first by morphing 20% of a woman's face into his.

#3 - Relates to both 1&2. Read some tutorials on anime/comic book art in Photoshop. There's a style in anime especially, where they darken/brighten patches of color to create that 3D effect, or imply light sources. I still can't "draw" with a mouse, it doesn't feel natural, but just like when you're learning to draw as a kid it helps to study the basics, and now I can create anime-style art with my pastel technique (blur/smudge/push) and using a lasso selection to block out areas for detail work. It would still be hella cool to do straight comic book line art and ink it in solid colors, but I can't do it without scanning hand drawings.

Where this combines with #2: I get some great effects by morphing simple anime-style originals with a black and white photograph. The lines are so solid in a high contrast photo, especially after morphing. Have to be careful that this is only used as an effect, rather than a rip-off (though it's ideal for satire/caricature). It's also a legitimate question to ask, "At what point does source material become original work?" Artists, all the time, blow up, project, distort borrowed images, and it eventually becomes nothing more than a "very vaguely inspired by" footnote.

Relates to #1 as: You can create something from scratch and make it photo realistic with these tools. Of course, for Fark, you want to maintain a good resemblance to the original, but that doesn't mean you can't make someone's arm bend a completely different way, or if you want someone to be puking you don't have to find a picture of puke to paste in. By studying anime/comic book techniques (basic drawing technique, just the best example of it I've found online), and using the Photoshop tools as you would a real life medium, you free yourself up to do whatever you want.

When I first got online, I was using MS Paint to go bit-by-bit and digitally alter photographs, cut-and-paste jobs. Tedious shiat, but it did turn out pretty good. The beauty of the high-end tools is that you aren't limited to bit-by-bit work, so why go into it with that mentality?

P.S. I haven't slept in a long time, can't remember how many hours at this point, so I may have gone on too long, but I think/hope it makes sense.
2001-11-24 09:54:09 PM  
Ah, many thanks, B0rg9
2001-11-24 09:58:22 PM  
Something I haven't seen mentioned yet,
hosting your images,
a lot of people with just a plain old ISP, not AOL or MSN type of ISP, but the local mom and pop ISP usually give you anywhere from 10-50 megs of hosting for no extra cost. That is a good place to host an image.

It took me a long time to figure out how to make a layer off a jpeg or gif that I grabbed off the web. Literally months of frustration. Giving up and then trying again later. Then the stupid light finally went off in my head,

Open the image up in photoshop, and then save it as a photoshop file.
Close the jpeg image and then open up the image you just saved as a photoshop file.
Holey Mackeral!!!
It is now a layer!!!!
2001-11-24 09:58:36 PM  
smudge and blur tools are my friends
2001-11-24 10:12:02 PM  
It seems like a lot of people use blur and smudge tools. I think they tend to homogenize the pixels and muddy things up pretty quickly. I try to use clone first, because it retains the textural quality of the image. To each his own, I guess.

A 0.5 pixel gaussian blur is excellent for nuking jpeg compression artifacts, though...
2001-11-24 10:12:29 PM  
Photoshop for dummies
1. Open photoshop
2. edit image for 5 minutes
3. run to the store and buy more RAM
4. Install RAM and repeat steps 1-3
2001-11-24 10:13:52 PM  
Just found two interesting image search engines after doing a search for 'image search engine' on There are alot more, but mostly lame.
The two I liked so far are and
The siamguru is mostly not in English but it is very interesting.
2001-11-24 10:14:09 PM  
So, all this talk makes me want to photoshop something. I'm jonesing. Could somebody post an image? Please?
2001-11-24 10:23:52 PM  
Thanks again. I've going ape-dip here downloading images.

I concur. Let's get a P-Shop up here while our artistic juices are flowing.
2001-11-24 10:27:14 PM  
Tinrobot: Yes, 0.5 pixel gaussian blur can really help diminish jpeg artifacts. Sometimes at work, I must use 72dpi images in the print medium, which is 300dpi. This is very useful for making lo-res pics more printable.

Another filter that helps nuke jpeg artifacts is the "median" noise filter. It will blur low detail areas while maintaining detail in other areas, like facial features. I hear the latest photoshop (7?) has filters dedicated especially to jpeg artifact cleanup.
2001-11-24 10:29:32 PM  
here ya go Tinrobot, it was the first image i could find

[image from too old to be available]
2001-11-24 10:29:38 PM  
I found this on Pretty cool.

[image from too old to be available]
2001-11-24 10:33:04 PM  
A good thing for aspiring photoshoppers: Read the FarQ. I think the following should always be included in at the top of the page in a Photoshop forum (straight from the FarQ):

An image host
This may well be the most important decision of your life. Signing up with the wrong image provider can cause you headaches beyond your wildest dreams. Your brilliance will never be discovered and you will suffer unbearable embarrassment as you repeatedly post little red X's. This is your chance to get it right the first time and be a hero among heroes. Read carefully, grasshopper.

Acceptable hosts

PhotoIsland - use the "Link for Auction" button or it won't work. Trust us.

Quasi-acceptable hosts

Geocities - only works if you rename the image extension from .jpg to .txt . (use only as last resort!!!)

Unacceptable hosts

Most other free website services

NOTE: your image will be loaded thousands of times, so we don't recommend using your own server. Let one of the suckers that allow image linking take the hits for you.

This isn't a complete list of all the hosts, so use common sense and good judgement if you find a host that seems to work. Make sure you test the ability to link images BEFORE you try it on FARK.
2001-11-24 10:33:30 PM  
I dont know about you guys but I have supernatural skills. I just stare at the image till something happens. Why cant you all just do that, whats wrong with you people. I'm telling you if you concentrate really really hard and have patience.......just staring at an image will work. Trust me fellas it will work. In the unlikely case that does not work learn how to use the pen tool to trace around image elements and then copy them to a new layer. Learn layers very important stuff that. I could go on forever but I am just to lazy to have to play....and experiment and ask questions. Most of all be creative, think like an ameoba be flexible use free association or drugs or whatever works for you.
2001-11-24 10:33:30 PM  
I think that there should be some sort of database that farkers can upload already-cropped-files to. It's really annoying to have to go through and cut out perfectly every little thing you have to photoshop.
2001-11-24 10:37:59 PM  
that would ruin half the fun...and there is already enough reuse of images here anyway.
2001-11-24 10:39:28 PM  
I agree, already enough out there to use. Besides, who is crazy enough to host a database that large and still have enough bandwidth?
2001-11-24 10:44:32 PM  
How not to do a photoshop:
[image from too old to be available]
2001-11-24 10:50:34 PM  
and thus, B0rg9 has officially eliminated 1/4 of the entries for that photo.
2001-11-24 10:52:17 PM  
It would be nice if you guys could make your own image choice for at least one ps session per week.
That would give you a chance to really put some concentration and time into it.
The choice could be limited to, for example, to nasa photos or animal photos, etc.
Why dont some of you ask His Drewness, The King of Farkness,and all things Fair and Just if this could be worked out?
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