Awards & Engraving

April '20

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A&E APRIL 2020 • 35 THE CUSTOM VIGNETTE Yes, there is a vignette effect in PHOTO-PAINT. It is located under Effects>Creative>Vignette. But like many of the one-button effects found under this menu, they can appear simplistic and a bit gimmicky. These effects in PHOTO-PAINT are often short on options and controls as com- pared to these effects in its sophisticated cousin, Photoshop, but that's okay. Using a couple of techniques with Object layers and Merge modes, you, too, can produce enhancements that appear more natural. A vignette is a technique that has been around for decades and has the effect of moving the focus to the center subject. Figure A is the original image, and Figure B repre- sents the result after using a custom vignette. To achieve a more natural-looking vignette, open an image in PHOTO-PAINT and open the Object Manager by going to Window>Dockers>Object Manager or use the shortcut key, Ctrl+F7 (Figure C). Make a duplicate of the image. In the Object Manager, right-click the Background layer and select Duplicate, or use the shortcut key, Ctrl+D. By default, both the Background layer and the duplicate are in Normal mode. Change the duplicate layer's mode to Multiply (Figure D). This mode has a darkening effect. Now use the Ellipse Mask located in the tool bar on the left side of the workspace to make an oval selection in the image. With the Ellipse Mask tool selected, first change the Feathered edge in the Property bar to 100% (Figure E). Now, left click in the upper left corner of the image and drag down to the opposite corner (Figure F). Hit the delete key on the keyboard. You should now see the original (lighter) image through a soft-edged mask. To make this effect appear even more natural and subtle, blur the duplicate layer. Go to Effects>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Move the slider somewhere between 20 and 60 pixels. Keep the vignette subtle. The whole point of the vignette is to focus the attention to the center subjects, not the vignette itself. By using the Opacity slider (Figure G), you can control the vignette's influence on the image. Once you are satisfied, the vignette is com- plete. Now save as a PNG file to compress these two layers into new file. You can also save this file as a CPT (PHOTO-PAINT) file to preserve the layers for future tinkering. ADDING FLARE I love working with great photos because it's more fun to enhance a good photo than fix a bad one. Figure H is a photo of my daughter taken by a profes- sional photographer. Although this is a great photo, the overall cool tone of the image and partial overcast does not match the joy being expressed by the dancer in the foreground. This is the type of photo that begs for some added flare, literally. A simple gra- dient and some Merge mode layers create a natural warm tone and places an amazingly real sunshine right where it is needed. Fig C Fig F Fig D Fig G Fig E

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