Monday, June 12, 2006

Tiger The Tabby Cat

Last week I finalized and shipped a painterly Birthday portrait for Tiger's human. The only photograph that the person giving this custom surprise gift was able to sneak around and capture was from a camera phone. The original photograph was a tad low in resolution ( ok ... it was tiny) so I had my work cut out for me. Many digital artists are pretty strict about the types of files they are willing to work with. I learned a long time ago that part of good customer service is going the extra mile and doing my very best to work with any file sent to me. I found that this photographic image had a lot going for it once I got passed the small size. I feel that over the years I have become pretty good at quickly zeroing in on a pet's best feature and in this case it was of course Tiger's intense green eyes.
My approach to smoothing out the horrible jagged pixelation that occurs when enlarging a tiny low res. image is to apply a blur filter to the entire image. I then go in and burn in extra definition and contrast that was lost in the blurring process. Then when I have recreated some deep blacks and strong contrast I start painting in even more detail and color. My current painterly style of working actually came about from having to smudge, blur and paint in order to enhance low resolution digital images. There are other methods and techniques for dealing with what is called interpolation and I will discuss this more later this week.

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