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The Essence of

Image Manipulations


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Image Manipulations or "Tweaks" -

There are perhaps almost an infinite selection of manipulation tools and result permutations. Some of these may be achieved by use of "plug-ins" - small software "add-ons" that your image software can access and use, to extend the versatility of your efforts.

I am showing a few examples, almost at random, as there are so many choices. Some are in fact methods that may be regarded as "gimmicky" but this is all a matter of choice, taste and requirement.

Possibly the most important in this category is the masking tool and the ability with that to "pluck" elements of the image and place them elsewhere, on the same, or another image. This links in with the concept of "layers" whereby you may place more than one image element within the same image frame, and treat each as a separate entity - moving and adjusting, until you are ready to accept a satisfactory combination, and then save to the format of your choice.

Starting image
Once more - I am showing at the top here, our main basic image, with which most of the examples that follow will work.

We will either modify this directly or take a part of it and place that onto another image. By having this present, you may come back for a look and compare results with this original as a reference.

The first stage in making some changes, is to produce a mask over part of the original image. In this case I have used a mask "painting" tool, such that all the pixels in the area of the figure and dress etc have been "painted over" with a mask brush.

The area of inclusion shows up as a dotted line, and this can now be copied to the clipboard for pasting into the same, or another image.

Masking the outline of the figure

The previous masked area is now an added object
The copied element from the picture above has now been pasted into the original ... with reduced opacity / transparency. There is a transparency setting of 50% and we can partly "see through" this pasted portion.

Also, the mask on the image above, has a degree of feathering - so as to soften the edges and make its later use as an added item less obvious.

I have now taken a simple sunset picture, and placed a pasted image "lifted" from the masked original.

It employs 50% transparency to give some "see through" effect and has had a hand "grafted" on by a copy & paste proceedure, and flip, followed by cloning to better match tones. Just a quick illustration to show a point.

The object from masking placed over another image

Plane images inserted into a scene
while I have the sea sunset in use - let me show another example of layering and image additions and placement.

From a shot of a model P51 Mustang, we have taken a mask copy and "dropped" it into the sunset, with further copies and size reductions...."faking" the appearance of planes flying over the sea. Just a further quick demo.

Now I am moving on to what may be regarded much more as the "gimmick" end of manipulative options.

I have applied a simple "noise" filter to the original - to produce an effect perhaps fairly close to the artist Pissaro's "pointalism" style of painting. Frequency is 63% and intensity +15% brighter.

Noise filter

Prism effect
Here - we have an even more "gimmicky" manipulation. This time exploiting a filter that produces a "prism" effect.

It can be varied in many ways but in this instance, red, green and blue value offsets have been applied, so as to produce a fringing "prism" effect. Hardly my favorite! But it does show another option out of the many available.

Using one of the many "plug-in" options available, I have chosen here to use a technique which simulates looking at the original image through hammered glass.

Both the frequency and size of distortion element may be chosen, as can aspects of highlight and shadow. There can be many variations possible on this theme.

Hammered Glass

Water drops
This is a"water drop" effect - another device from a plug-in and perhaps easily over used - it does have it's place however, particularly when applied to text, when it can add a useful amount of highlighting effect.

Size of drop, frequency of drop and various degrees of highlight and shadow intensity, mean permutations are near infinite.

This is the application of an ''impressionist'' artistic filter. Yet again more of a gimmick for the most part.

Probably this image content is far from suitable for the treatment, but again, we are purely showing the effect as an example to illustrate the option. Certain image categories can lend themselves to this quite well - particularly landscapes.

Impressionist filter

Corner bubbles
Now it is probably fair to say that this is indeed a truly "gimmicky" manipulation. Using a plug-in, this is a filter effect to produce corner "bubbles".

It can usefully "frame" an image central area but is probably only applicable to a very small number of image categories. It does show you what happens though! Another to use very sparingly!

And finally! - the last manipulation I am showing is a filter that produces the impression of a tile mosaic.

Once more, hardly the ideal method to apply to our famous original image! The frequency and size of mosaic components is variable and so various versions may be achieved.

Mosaic effect

Well - plenty of different "tweaks" here, though still barely scratching the surface with regard to the total number of effects possible - and perhaps some you may well consider useless and irrelevant. The only purpose of showing them though is just to demonstrate what is possible, whether suitable or not!

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