The Daily Textures for 08/05/2015 & 08/06/2015
Summer Blast 1 & Summer Blast 2
For both of the sample images below, I used the texture as a base layer under the photo and masked away the background from the photo, as well as masked away some of the subject, bringing the texture right into the subject. After denoising the photo layer, I gave it a boost in detail and saturation to really bring out the colors. And this was looking really good, however...when I use a texture as bold and painterly as this, to pair it with a super sharp photograph made things appear off. I can get away with using a sharp photo with the softer, subtle textures, but with these, it was as if the photo and texture were competing with each other rather than complimenting each other. So I decided to take some additional steps with these.
I duplicated the photo layer, and using my Topaz Simplify software module, I chose to run the pastel filter on the duplicate layer. I reduced the simplify size down from the standard .40 it opens with to about .15. This brought some of the detail back that is lost by the filter, but, it still looks softer than the original photo...it looks more painterly, and that's what I was after here. I then masked some of the eyes and nose away from that pastel layer, to bring back the photo detail from beneath in those areas where detail is important.
After getting my big cats looking like I wanted, I then duplicated the texture layer, placed it on top, and set it to Color Dodge layer mode at about 20% to brighten things up a bit. Then I merged the layers, and brought my image back into Paint Shop Pro. Once back in PSP, I boosted the saturation about 35% to really pump up the colors. I've included the large example photos here so you can really see how these look after using these two new textures.