Quick Curves: Candied Apples

Jacob Rus's new curve-based technique, with examples
ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Mon Sep 08, 2008 6:18 pm

Not to worry...hopefully we'll get you "the rest" 
Welcome to the class and thanks for posting your version of the image.

Greg

derekfountain
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Postby derekfountain » Mon Sep 08, 2008 7:39 pm


You are welcome to sit back and see what others do, or try your hand at fixing this image, with curvemeister or any other tools you prefer.


First pass over the file was for highlight, shadow and neutral. Shadow went in the darkest area, highlight in the icing (do Amercians call it "frosting"?) on one of the cakes in the lower left. Neutral was a tricky one - there's all sorts of colours in this image, many of which shouldn't be there! Neutrals in the more obvious white areas pulled the curves all over, so I ended up with a single neutral on one of the paper wrappers on the top shelf.

Second pass was for contrast. The image is taken through a window at a slight angle, so there's more contrast in the left side than in the right. So I created a horizontal gradient mask and pulled a S in the L channel. This increases contrast on the right side without overdoing it on the left.

Third pass was to open the darkest shadows. As much as I like CM, I've found the best way of doing this is to run CS2's highlight/shadow filter in Lab mode. This brings out detail in the very bottom shelf.

Fourth pass was for saturation. After a gentle general tweak upwards, the only bit that really needed a significant boost was the M'n'Ms in the lower right. I used an isolated bump in the S curve - anything else made the wooden window frame look distractingly yellow.

Finally I sharpened the L channel.

There's still more that could be done with it. It's still lighter on the right than on the left. The icing in the top right is slightly magenta; most of the rest is slightly blue. I guess that's from assorted reflections and mixed lighting. Given that it's only those very bright areas that show it, I'd probably be tempted to just desaturate the extreme highlights of the image. But I've spent enough time on it already!

mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:05 pm

I agree - jacobolus' versio is very rich and warm, in keeping with the subject. I want to learn how to do THAT!!  :)

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Tue Sep 09, 2008 9:36 pm

I think we all would...lol.  ;D
He is using a newer technique that he has developed, and continues to explore,to enhance the image even beyond what we are going to do in CM Class. 

Don't worry too much that you are not going to be able to do that...you will get there...

Greg

mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:53 pm

I did that image like I normally do when dealing with strong color cast:
1. Auto Levels
2. Use paper as Gray point
3. Use top of the cake as White point
5. A bit of saturation boost
6. A little curveing to allocate more contrast to the cakes with chocolate on top
7. And finally, a bit of HIRALOAM sharpening. I can't predict yet if HIRALOAM sharpening is going to work for particular image or not, so I usually just try it and see if I like the results. In this case, I did.


mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:16 pm

And here is a second version I made after comparing my first version with images posted by others. I used "Color Balance" to remove some of the yellow cast (I'm sure there are better ways to do it, like going to LAB may be, but I'm not comfortable with them yet). I also added a bit of conventional sharpening.



mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:52 pm

I tried 2 different ways. Everyones looks so much better... Still learning.

mikemeister_admin
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Postby mikemeister_admin » Sat Sep 13, 2008 12:11 am

The M and M's in your RGB image seem perfectly edible.I think you moved the saturation slider to the left in the Lab version.GregM

ggroess
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Postby ggroess » Sat Sep 13, 2008 2:09 am

grab that saturation slider in lab and give it a slide...the m's will love you for it...

Greg


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