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Tutorial: Creating an interesting cloud-filled sky.

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Tutorial: Creating an interesting cloud-filled sky.

Postby photodrawken » Sat Sep 07, 2013 10:42 am

A recent question here got me thinking about creating a cloudy sky as a replacement sky to add some interest to an image.

The tutorials out on the Web are for Photoshop, and since PSP does not have a "Clouds" or "Difference Clouds" renderer, we need to use the KPT Noize plugin.

Here's the original image:
Image
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1. Promote the background layer to a normal layer.
2. Select the sky.
3. Delete the sky.
4. Create a new raster layer.
5. Move that new raster layer below the image layer.
6. Set the foreground material to "Gradient".
7. Create a new gradient, naming it "Blue Sky", with one end colour a turquoise (I used RGB: 62, 195, 230) and the other end colour a medium blue (such as RGB: 23, 124, 191).
8. Fill the empty new raster layer with a linear gradient using the "Blue Sky" gradient so that the lighter colour is at the bottom.
9. Hide the image layer so you can see what's happening as you create your clouds.
10. Duplicate the blue sky layer.
11. Apply a KPT Noize effect to that duplicated layer. You'll want to slightly increase the frequency to get features that are somewhat small:
Image
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to get this result:
Image
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12. Duplicate the KPT Noize layer.
13. Use Image...Negative Image to get a negative image of that duplicated KPT layer, and change its blending mode to "Difference".
14. Merge those two KPT Noize layers.
15. Set the blend mode of the merged layer to "Screen". You'll see this:
Image
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16. Apply an Unsharp Mask to the merged KPT layer, using some fairly high settings:
Image
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18. Merge the KPT layer with the Blue Sky layer.
19. Show the original image layer.
20. Now it's time to apply some perspective to the clouds. Zoom out a couple of times on the image to give yourself space to work.
21. Use the Pick Tool set to "Perspective" to pull in the bottom corners of the clouds layer:
Image
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22. Set the Pick Tool to "Scale", and stretch and pull the clouds layer to just fit behind the sky area of your image:
Image
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That's it! You're home free.

I added a Hue/Saturation/Lightness adjustment layer to the sky with these settings:
Image
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to tone down the blue.

I painted with the Lightness/Darkness brush to get rid of the overly bright areas in a couple of the clouds and to lighten some of the blue sky. I also used the Soften brush on some of the edges where the blue sky had a hard edge against the clouds. Then I finished with a High Pass Sharpen adjustment to give a little more definition to the clouds.

The final result:
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Enjoy!
Ken
Yes, I think it can be eeeeeasily done...
Just take everything out on Highway 61.
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Re: Tutorial: Creating an interesting cloud-filled sky.

Postby photodrawken » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:13 am

The great thing about having the KPT Collection is that KPT Noize gives you a lot of options for experimenting. For example, depending on the size of your original image, using "Hard Clouds" might give a better result.

The original image:
Image
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The final result:
Image
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When you consider that the KPT Gradient Lab also has a whole slew of options that can be applied to the clouds, the sky's the limit.... :wink:
Ken
Yes, I think it can be eeeeeasily done...
Just take everything out on Highway 61.
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Re: Tutorial: Creating an interesting cloud-filled sky.

Postby Joelle » Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:15 am

I select the sky, promote it to new layer and either fill it with a sky from my Sky folder (I photograph a lot of skies).
Or use Murameister>Cloud.

:-)
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Re: Tutorial: Creating an interesting cloud-filled sky.

Postby Ken Berry » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:24 pm

Thanks for the useful and informative tutorial, Ken. I hope you don't mind, but since it is important that such tutorials do not sink down in the general PSP forum, I am moving this to our Tutorials section for digital imaging products.
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Re: Tutorial: Creating an interesting cloud-filled sky.

Postby photodrawken » Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:49 pm

Sure, Ken. I'll abide by the discussion organization. You might want to also move my two other tutorials:

viewtopic.php?f=56&t=48789&p=261454&hilit=Tutorial%3A#p261454

viewtopic.php?f=56&t=48518&p=259782&hilit=Tutorial%3A#p259782
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Re: Tutorial: Creating an interesting cloud-filled sky.

Postby Ken Berry » Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:27 pm

Done! :lol:
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