By jdars


What is this?

This is a blog I created as a gallery for my halo 3 screenshots, avatars, wallpapers, etc.

Could you explain in detail how you applied blurring to this to change the focal point?

That effect was achieved by placing each ODST render on different Layers (layered closest to furthest) and applying appropriate levels of Gaussian Blur. The ODST Captain was left unblurred to give the effect of a focal point.

How did you create the shards of glass in Battle of Onyx?

-Create a new layer.
-Select the Polygonal Lasso tool and trace the outline of a glass shard piece. I studied images of broken glass to ensure realism.
-Fill outline with any color.
-Repeat the above 3 steps until you’ve achieved the desired number of glass shards. My image featured 57 pieces.
-Move pieces around until they’re arranged as you’d like, then select all shard layers, right-click, and choose Merge Layers. You will now have a single layer with all your glass shards.
-Next, select the image that will be reflected in the glass. Copy it.
-Control-click on your glass shard layer’s thumbnail image. This will select only the shards in the layer.
-Go to Edit>Paste Into.
-Enlarge the image by using Edit>Transform>Scale. It only needs to be enlarged about 20%.
-Offset the image a bit.
-Next, double-click on your shard layer and check the Bevel And Emboss attribute. Here are the settings I used:
Style: Inner Bevel
Technique: Chisel Hard
Depth: 51%
Direction: Up
Size: 5px
Soften: 0px
Angle: 120 degrees (uncheck Use Global Light)
Altitude: 30 degrees
Gloss Contour: Ring (uncheck Anti-Alias)
Highlight Mode: Screen
Color: White
Opacity: 100%
Shadow Mode: Multiply
Color: Black
Opacity: 2%
-Set the glass shard layer opacity to about 75%.

Now, I went a step further and applied Radial Blur, as well as split the 57 pieces into 3 separate layers with various levels of focus. But you get the idea.

What is the best way to get rid of color spots? So far, I’ve just been copying and pasting the actually spot and changing hue, color balance, brightness, contrast, everything. But that takes a while, and my image is covered with them.



Those spots are referred to as “artifacts”, or more commonly known as “color noise”. They appear more in darker/low-light screenshots. The best way to get rid of them is to run a Reduce Noise filter. Just be aware that you will be sacrificing detail and a bit of color to remove the artifacts. Go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise. Mess around with the settings until you achieve the desired effect.

I messed around with the sample you sent me and, unfortunately, was unable to achieve satisfactory results using the Reduce Noise filter.

Another technique is one that you know well: pano-upscaling. This will reduce the amount of artifacts in the image once the screenshots are photostiched and scaled-down.

Otherwise, there really isn’t anything else you can do. You could blur the heck out of it to hide the spots, I suppose. But I’m assuming you need the background in-focus.

CAUS7IC, in your Natural Born Hero, can you explain in detail how you made the dirt on the baby? Thanks!

I used the Maple Leaf brush. 😄

Set the opacity to 100%, flow to about 6%, and use a brown color. Use a small-sized brush. Make sure you paint on a separate layer.

It looks just like mud!

How did you get the tan color on the EVA renders?

In a Custom Game, set the Force Color to Zombie. It will make your character “Spartan green”.

What is the best way to apply an overlay image texture to another image?

-Control-click on the render layer’s thumbnail image in the Layer menu. This will only select the outline of your render.
-Open the texture image (or whatever image you wish to overlay), select all, then copy.
-Go back to your render, and select Edit>Paste Into. You are now free to move the texture image around until you’ve found a good spot.
-Experiment with the texture layer’s settings. Try Overlay, Screen, and Soft Light. Those are typically the only 3 you’ll ever use. Mess with the texture layer’s Opacity, too.
-Break out the Eraser. Grab a medium-sized feathered brush, set the Opacity to 100%, set the Flow to around 20%.
-Selectively erase parts of the textured image in areas that you do not wish to have a texture. Try Dodging and Burning, too.

How do you make reflections in glasses and visors like this, this, and this?

-Copy the image you wish to have reflected.
-Select the outline of the visor with the Polygonal Lasso Tool.
-Go to Edit>Paste Into.
-Go to Edit>Transform>Warp. When warping the reflected image, keep in mind the shape of the visor and the way it bends. You will want to match the bends and bulges appropriately to achieve a realistic effect.
-Next, apply a slight Gaussian Blur. I’d recommend something in the 0.75-1.0 range.
-Color match the reflected object to the visor’s color using Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Check the little box that says Colorize, and move the sliders until you’ve come close to the correct color.
-Lower the Opacity of the reflected object’s layer. You will need to experiment.

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