Reducing the number of colors

mercphotomercphoto Bill JuraszPosts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
edited August 25, 2016 in Finishing School
This could easily fall into the realm of turning a photo into an illustration, but I'm wondering exactly how to go about this. I've had some luck with Topaz Simplify in doing stuff like this but wondering about other ways. See attached photo. At sometimes I'd even like to have even less color gradation that what that attachment shows.

I've tried polarizing filters before but often not pleased with the resulting color choices the algorithms pick.
Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
A former sports shooter
Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Comments

  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainPosts: 18,660Administrators, Vanilla Admin moderator
    edited May 19, 2016
    Have you tried saving it as a GIF? If you have Photoshop, look under the Save For Web file menu option. You can select anywhere between 2 and 256 colors (in steps of powers of 2). I've never needed to this myself, but you can also customize the color palette to taste if you don't like the algorithm's choices. You can always convert it back to JPG if you need to.

    Another quick PS method is using a posterize adjustment layer and playing with the number of levels. It tends to make images look like comic books IMO, which may or may not suit your purposes, dunno.
  • arodneyarodney Major grins Posts: 2,005Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 19, 2016
    Photoshop>Image>Posterize enter lower values.
    Andrew Rodney
    Author "Color Management for Photographers"
    http://www.digitaldog.net/
  • PeanoPeano Major grins Posts: 268Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 23, 2016
    The example you attached shows more than just reduced colors; it also has a sketch/painted effect. You might try FotoSketcher. It's free. (Taking a second look at your example image, it might just be posterized in Photoshop. Pretty small image, so it's hard to judge.)
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,252Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 23, 2016
    Apparently, an artist named "Ricardo" does some of the Racer covers. While they may be inspired by photographs, I doubt that they use much computer automation for the final rendering.

    http://www.ricardo-car-artwork.com/work/

    Perhaps a vector based software might be used, superimposed upon a photographic image for the purpose of subject shape. (CorelDraw used to have that capability; don't know if it still does.)
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Posts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 23, 2016
    Thanks everyone. Nice find Ziggy! And I think you're right, he isn't using photographs for his starting points and probably why I'm having a hard time getting results like that from my photographs. For now think I'll just keep using Topaz Simplify.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Posts: 20,252Super Moderators moderator
    edited May 23, 2016
    Thinking further outside the box, possibly use RawTherapee and Contrast by Detail Levels wavelets at 5 levels to help reduce detail at higher frequencies (where the fine details exist) leaving the coarse details including basic shapes. The Median Filter can be employed to further reduce fine detail and smooth color transitions, making it easier for posterization algorithms (in other software).

    GIMP and (optional/additional) Wavelet Decompose (WD) offers somewhat different processes and results. Patrick David has a great mini-tutorial of the GIMP-WD methodology and some results. http://blog.patdavid.net/2014/07/wavelet-decompose-again.html

    Some time back we had a user ask about reducing facial blemishes without losing too much detail. I worked up a treatment but we had other good responses so I didn't answer in that thread, but here you can see the type of control it gives. (RawTherapee and Wavelets) (Not my image. Will remove at original user request.)

    Original image:
    i-Gfrgv8n.jpg
    i-DBSgNcN.jpg
    i-sbpKfw3.jpg

    None of the above are finals, just treatments.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Posts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited May 23, 2016
    Thanks again. And just found some info on a forum about how to do frequency separation in Affinity Photo, my current favorite Photoshop replacement. I agree that it could help the posterization algorithms if the color gradients could be smoothed out before hand. I think that is a big part of the thing I don't like about previous attempts at posterization I've had.
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
  • bhambham Major grins Posts: 1,294Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 24, 2016
    mercphoto wrote: »
    Thanks again. And just found some info on a forum about how to do frequency separation in Affinity Photo, my current favorite Photoshop replacement. I agree that it could help the posterization algorithms if the color gradients could be smoothed out before hand. I think that is a big part of the thing I don't like about previous attempts at posterization I've had.

    I also found to get better results from topaz simplify it to reduce the pixel size of the image first, then filter, then if needed upsize again. Get better effects with less pixels in simplify for the effects I believe you are looking for.
    "A photo is like a hamburger. You can get one from McDonalds for $1, one from Chili's for $5, or one from Ruth's Chris for $15. You usually get what you pay for, but don't expect a Ruth's Chris burger at a McDonalds price, if you want that, go cook it yourself." - me
  • mercphotomercphoto Bill Jurasz Posts: 4,550Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 25, 2016
    Thanks, bham. I went through some of my previous Simplify attempts, and I think now I like them better than I did at first. :)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/albums/72157650376627900
    Bill Jurasz - Mercury Photography - Cedar Park, TX
    A former sports shooter
    Follow me at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/
    My Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mercphoto?ref=hdr_shop_menu
  • bhambham Major grins Posts: 1,294Registered Users Major grins
    edited August 25, 2016
    mercphoto wrote: »
    Thanks, bham. I went through some of my previous Simplify attempts, and I think now I like them better than I did at first. :)

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjurasz/albums/72157650376627900

    Yeah it took me playing with it for a while to figure that out, but IMHO lower res lets the filter work better and makes it more distinct.

    Glad I could help.
    "A photo is like a hamburger. You can get one from McDonalds for $1, one from Chili's for $5, or one from Ruth's Chris for $15. You usually get what you pay for, but don't expect a Ruth's Chris burger at a McDonalds price, if you want that, go cook it yourself." - me
  • SprostyPhotoSprostyPhoto Beginner grinner Albuquerque, NMPosts: 1Registered Users Beginner grinner
    > @Peano said:
    > The example you attached shows more than just reduced colors; it also has a sketch/painted effect. You might try Fotosketcher

    Thanks for the tip on FotoSketcher, Peano! Been playing around with it lately.
Sign In or Register to comment.