Skin Retouching with Wavelets on PIXLS.US

Anyone who has been reading here for a little bit knows that I tend to spend most of my skin retouching time with wavelet scales. I've written about it originally here, then revisited it as part of an Open Source Portrait tutorial, and even touched upon the theme one more time (sorry about that - I couldn't resist the “touching” pun).

Because I haven’t possibly beat this horse dead enough yet, I have now also compiled all of those thoughts into a new post over on PIXLS.US that is now pretty much done:

PIXLS.US: Skin Retouching with Wavelet Decompose

Of course, we get another view of the always lovely Mairi before & after (from an older tutorial that some may recognize):


As well as the lovely Nikki before & after:


Even if you've read the other material before this might be worth re-visiting.

Don't forget, Ian Hex has an awesome tutorial on using luminosity masks in darktable, as well as the port of my old digital B&W article! These can all be found at the moment on the Articles page of the site.

The Other Blog

Don't forget that I also have a blog I'm starting up over on PIXLS.US that documents what I'm up to as I build the site and news about new articles and posts as they get published! You can follow the blog on the site here:


There's also an RSS feed there if you use a feed reader (RSS).

Write For PIXLS

I am also entertaining ideas from folks who might like to publish a tutorial or article for the site. If you might be interested feel free to contact me with your idea! Spread the love! :)

Film Emulation in RawTherapee

This is old news but I just realized that I hadn't really addressed it before.

The previous work I had done on Film Emulation with G'MIC in GIMP (here and here) are also now available in RawTherapee directly! You'll want to visit this page on the RawTherapee wiki to see how it works, and to download the film emulation collection to use.


This is handy for those that may work purely in RawTherapee or that don't want to jump into GIMP just to do some color toning. It's a pretty big collection of emulations, so hopefully you'll be able to find something that you like. Here's the list of what I think is in the package (there may be more there now):

  • Fuji 160C, 400H, 800Z
  • Fuji Ilford HP5
  • Kodak Portra 160, 400, 800
  • Kodak TMAX 3200
  • Kodak Tri-X 400

  • Fuji Neopan 1600
  • Fuji Superia 100, 400, 800, 1600
  • Fuji Ilford Delta 3200
  • Kodak Portra 160 NC, 160 VC, 400 NC, 400 UC, 400 VC

  • Polaroid PX-70
  • Polaroid PX100UV
  • Polaroid PX-680
  • Polaroid Time Zero (Expired)

  • Fuji FP-100c
  • Fuji FP-3000b
  • Polaroid 665
  • Polaroid 669
  • Polaroid 690

  • Fuji Neopan 1600
  • Fuji Superia 100/400/800/1600
  • Ilford Delta 3200
  • Kodak Portra 160 NC/VC
  • Kodak Portra 400 NC/UC/VC

  • Fuji 160C
  • Fuji 400H
  • Fuji 800Z
  • Ilford HP5
  • Kodak Portra 160/400/800
  • Kodak TMax 3200
  • Kodak Tri-X 400

  • Polaroid PX-70
  • Polaroid PX100UV
  • Polaroid PX-680
  • Polaroid Time Zero (Expired)

  • Fuji FP-100c
  • Fuji FP-3000b
  • Polaroid 665
  • Polaroid 669
  • Polaroid 690

  • Agfa Precisa 100
  • Fuji Astia 100F
  • Fuji FP 100C
  • Fuji Provia 100F
  • Fuji Provia 400F
  • Fuji Provia 400X
  • Fuji Sensia 100
  • Fuji Superia 200 XPRO
  • Fuji Velvia 50
  • Generic Fuji Astia 100
  • Generic Fuji Provia 100
  • Generic Fuji Velvia 100
  • Generic Kodachrome 64
  • Generic Kodak Ektachrome 100 VS
  • Kodak E-100 GX Ektachrome 100
  • Kodak Ektachrome 100 VS
  • Kodak Elite Chrome 200
  • Kodak Elite Chrome 400
  • Kodak Elite ExtraColor 100
  • Kodak Kodachrome 200
  • Kodak Kodachrome 25
  • Kodak Kodachrome 64
  • Lomography X-Pro Slide 200
  • Polaroid 669
  • Polaroid 690
  • Polaroid Polachrome

  • Agfa Ultra Color 100
  • Agfa Vista 200
  • Fuji Superia 200
  • Fuji Superia HG 1600
  • Fuji Superia Reala 100
  • Fuji Superia X-Tra 800
  • Kodak Elite 100 XPRO
  • Kodak Elite Color 200
  • Kodak Elite Color 400
  • Kodak Portra 160 NC
  • Kodak Portra 160 VC
  • Lomography Redscale 100

  • Agfa APX 100
  • Agfa APX 25
  • Fuji Neopan 1600
  • Fuji Neopan Acros 100
  • Ilford Delta 100
  • Ilford Delta 3200
  • Ilford Delta 400
  • Ilford FP4 Plus 125
  • Ilford HP5 Plus 400
  • Ilford HPS 800
  • Ilford Pan F Plus 50
  • Ilford XP2
  • Kodak BW 400 CN
  • Kodak HIE (HS Infra)
  • Kodak T-Max 100
  • Kodak T-Max 3200
  • Kodak T-Max 400
  • Kodak Tri-X 400
  • Polaroid 664
  • Polaroid 667
  • Polaroid 672
  • Rollei IR 400
  • Rollei Ortho 25
  • Rollei Retro 100 Tonal
  • Rollei Retro 80s

Have fun with these, and don't forget to show off your results if you get a chance! It's always neat to see what folks do with these! :)

Help support the site! Or don’t!
I’m not supporting my (growing) family or anything from this website.
There is only one reason I am writing these tutorials and posts:
I love doing it.
Technically there is a second reason: to give back to the community. Others before me were instrumental in helping me learn things when I first got started, and I’m hoping to pay it forward here.

If you want to visit an ad, or make a donation, or even link/share my content, I would be absolutely grateful (and tickled pink). If you don’t it’s not going to affect me writing and posting here one bit.

I’ll keep writing, and I’ll keep it free.
If you get any use out of this site, I only ask that you do one thing:
pay it forward.

Luminosity Masking in darktable (Ian Hex)

Photographer Ian Hex was kind enough to be a guest writer over on PIXLS.US with a fantastic tutorial on creating and using Luminosity Masks in the raw processing software darktable.


You can find the new tutorial over on PIXLS.US:


Mairi Trois


Readers who've been here for a little while might recognize my friend Mairi, who has modeled for me before. This time I had a brief opportunity for her to sit for me again for a few shots before she jet-setted her way over to Italy for a while.

I was specifically looking to produce the lede image you see above, Mairi Troisième. In particular, I was chasing some chiaroscuro portrait lighting that I had in mind for a while and I was quite happy with the final result!

Of course, I also had a large new light modifier, so bigger shots were fun to play with as well:


Mairi Color (in Black)
ƒ/6.3 1/200s ISO200


Mairi B&W
ƒ/8.0 1/200s ISO200

Those two shots were done using a big Photek Softlighter II [amazon] that I treated myself to late last year. (I believe the speedlight was firing @3/4 power for these shots).

It wasn't all serious, there were some funny moments as well...


My Eyes Are Up Here
ƒ/7.1 1/200s ISO200

Of course, I like to work up close to a subject personally. I think it gives a nicer sense of intimacy to an image.


More Mairi Experiments
ƒ/11.0 1/200s ISO200


Mairi Trois
ƒ/8.0 1/200s ISO200

Culminating at one of my favorites from the shoot, this nice chiaroscuro image up close:


Mairi (Closer)
ƒ/10.0 1/200s ISO200

It's always a pleasure to get a chance to shoot with Mairi. She's a natural in front of the camera, and has these huge expressive eyes that are always a draw.

Later this week, an update on PIXLS.US!

Wikipedia #Edit2014 Video

About a two months ago I was approached by Victor Grigas, a video producer for the Wikimedia Foundation (the non-profit that supports Wikipedia), about using some of the techniques I had previously discussed to create 2.5D parallax video images from single photographs. The intention was to use these 2.5D videos as part of their first ever "Year in Review" video:



For reference, this was my previous result using F/OSS to create the 2.5D parallax effect with still images:



For the Wikipedia video, Victor asked if I could use some images from Wiki Loves Monuments (apparently the worlds largest photo competition according to the Guiness World Records). How could I say no? (Disclaimer: I donate every year during their funding drives).

So I agreed, and after a short wait for the finalists from the competition to be chosen, was sent these two awesome images to turn into 2.5D parallax videos:



After a bit of slicing and dicing, I ended up with these short segments that ended up in the final video. As before, I did the main plane separations in GIMP manually. I divided the planes to best accommodate the anticipated camera movement through the scene (simple dolly pans). Once I had the planes separated, it was a simple process to bring them into Blender and offset the planes as the camera tracked across the scene:





This was a fun project to work on, and I want to thank the Wikimedia Foundation for giving me a chance to play with some gorgeous images and hopefully to help out in my own small way with the final outcome!

Also, Victor does a nice interview with the Wikimedia blog about producing the overall video. Great work everyone!

David Tschumperlé and OpenSource.graphics

Some of you may be familiar with G'MIC, the rather extensive image processing language created by David Tschumperlé that has a very popular plug-in for GIMP.

If you're a fan, here's a nice little treat for you. David has started a blog about image processing with open source software:

http://opensource.graphics




If you'd like a front seat to some of the more technically interesting things going on behind the scenes at G'MIC, this would be a good blog to follow I think. He's already come out of the gate with a neat 3D colorcube investigation of some images (seen above, Mairi).

The 2015 Libre Calendar

So Jehan Pages contacted me a little while ago about participating in a project to produce a “Libre Calendar”. Once he described the idea, it was an easy choice to join up and help out!


Through his non-profit LILA in France, he has assembled 6 artists to produce works specifically for this calendar (Disclaimer: I'm one of the artists):


Aryeom Han


Henri Hebeisen


Gustavo Deveze


Brian Beck



The proceeds from the calendar will be split evenly between the artists, the LILA non-profit, and various F/OSS projects that the artists used (GIMP, Blender, Inkscape, etc...). The full list is on the site. (Second disclaimer: I'm deferring any of my proceeds to the projects).

This is a really nice way to donate a bit to the various projects and get a neat gift for it.

Head over to the site to see some sample images from the artists, and consider buying a calendar! Jehan is looking to meet a minimum order before moving forward (around 100 I believe).