Thursday, February 12, 2009

Painting Your Cat In Photoshop


There's a nice little gimmick you can try with Photoshop to colour your photos using the palettes of famous paintings. It's a simple three step process:

  1. Open both your photo and a picture of the painting you wish to use. Make sure focus is on your target photo.

  2. Go to Image->Adjustments->Match colour and select the painting in the "Source" pull-down menu near the bottom.

  3. Fiddle with the sliders (luminance and colour intenisity) until you get the effect you want, and then hit OK.

I used the photo of Schröder above to try it out.

This picture uses the palette of René Magritte's The Treachery of Images. I was tempted to add a caption to it that says "Ceci n'est pas un chat".

This one uses J.M.W. Turner's The Fighting Temeraire. It brings out the colours of the flowers decorating the couch cushion covers, although Schröder looks like he's been sprinkled with mustard powder.

Andrew Wyeth's Winter 1946 provided the palette for this picture. Andrew Wyeth passed away recently. He was a popular realist painter who loved to paint pictures of the countryside.

One caveat to this is that you can't really get a good colour match if you don't have a good scan of the paintings you want to use as your palette source. Since I got all of my source images off the internet, I don't really know if I got the images right in terms of colour. Regardless, it's still a fun thing to try if you have a copy of Photoshop CS (or better), or other software which has similar functionality.

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