View Full Version : old painting "crackling" effect -- help needed
09-18-2006, 06:03 PM
Just did a book cover w/ an old world subject matter. DreamSuite crackling effect, best I could find, despite messing w/ all the varied controls, I could not get something satisfactory. It looked too "hacked" on the final.
Though by some's definitions I'm sure, it "works", but not for my eye. The filter effect of the crackle was too raggedy and semi pixely despite the 300 dpi rez. Looked fine & nice when small in DS but when opened up in Painter IX or Photoshop CS2 in post, is just didn't "sell" -- again it looked too slapped on (the cool gray <pure gray> crack lines on white didn't hep either --in a real old painting those cracks would be a warmer tone - brownish vs. this pure gray). The cracks on old paintings are actually smooth, often random small curves that intersect (almost like stained glass, if you will). Despite messing w/ all the controls, I could never eliminate that cracked cement look (read more raggedy cracks) in DS. This look does not "sell" actual oil painting cracks. The ones included in PSCS2 are abhorred for painting cracks (they're pavement cracks!)
I have searched and searched the net but have come up w/ little. Again the best I found was DreamSuite, but it's just not cutting for me. The art director loves the painting as is w/o the cracks, but agrees it would be a nice touch, but has taken me at my word when I said the filter was not working out as hoped.
Advice on where to go from here is appreciated. Thanks!
T i m
09-20-2006, 03:40 PM
can you post an image or two so we can get a better idea of where you've left it, and where you'd like to move towards for the effect?
09-20-2006, 04:30 PM
I can't put my finger on an example of fine cracks in old oil paintings at the moment, but I would guess you know what I'm talking about. Modern traditional (real media) illustrators use it all the time on their paintings to "sell" old worldness. Coating their paintings, sticking them in the oven etc. to acheive the effect.
Here's a very small version of the illustration. Not sure how this will help as the image could really be anything, the quailty "cracked" filter over it, that I'm looking for. But if it will help me find a solution, I'm happy to do it.
09-20-2006, 04:41 PM
I have never needed the crackle effect, so im not sure how to achieve it in Painter IX, but my wife use it at home on some cabinets, lol. Behr paint has some images that may relate to the effect your looking for.
Is this somewhat the effect you want?
09-20-2006, 05:17 PM
to do it traditionally (I've done it with acrylic trying to mimic oil), you'd prime with a dark color, then when you finish you're painting the 'crackle' varnish pulls at the paint creating fissures. Digitally, you can fake the fissures, but simulating the resulting compression between these fissues will be tricky...after doing it traditionally, the biggest consistency was the randomness. Once you thought you have it figured out, it will surprise you.
Here's a start, using some brushes I had from the 'net and a custom dodge/burn brush.
Is this where you're headed?
09-20-2006, 09:13 PM
I'm a great admirer of your work.
This is really quick and dirty and needs refinement, but may give you a direction to go in.
1. I made a 512x512 canvas, chose a 2B pencil set to soft cover, low opacity.
2. In Patterns, drop down arrow menu> define pattern.
3. I proceeded to lightly draw lines vertically and horizontally. Letting the strokes go past the paper edge since define pattern creates wrapping. I picked up the lines that appeared in the wrap around and continued and connected them. I did this till I had covered the canvas with lines.
4. Apply surface texture....played with amount, dropped the shine, played with light direction till I had a bit of embossing.
5. Selected all and under the Paper drop down menu, captured paper.
6. I took your image in Photoshop and sized it to 3000 with Genuine Fractals. Saved as TIFF.
7. Opened in Painter, applied surface texture with the new paper. Played with settings again. Applied.
As you can see, it isn't perfect...the varnish crackle (it's normally that cracking) can look like leather. You could try taking leather and do a high pass on it...bringing it down to a high contrast black/white. You only want the lines to be apparent, leaving the other areas close to, if not, white, so that it doesn't affect the painting.
This is a zip of your painting at 3000 plus the image I used for the paper. With some attention to detail and using "define pattern", I think you could create a convincing crackle. I have some ideas how to apply these effects where you can make it look more realistic. Email me, if you wish.
Hope it helps,
Some further suggestions for you:
One way of creating a paint crack pattern would be to start with a blank document in Photoshop and apply the Stained Glass filter to it to create the initial shapes, then use the Liquify filter to distort the straight lines out and make it look like paint cracks - the more time you can spend here the better the results, and the bigger the initial file the better the pattern will be.
You can then turn this pattern into a paper in Painter and apply it as a surface texture (just as Cris suggests).
Here's a quick and rough illustration of this technique:
One way of making the cracks more convincing would be to apply then more than once, varying the paper scale. Also apply different scales to different layers and paint some masks to blend between them, and use different layers for different intensities for the dark and light parts of the image. This variation in scale and lightness adds some randomness to help make it more convincing.
With a bit of time I'm sure you can make a much better job than my quick effort. Some experimentation is also needed in the Apply Texture filter to get the best results.
09-21-2006, 01:52 PM
wow, Cris. That version you did really has the feeling of a Northern Renaissance oil painting weathered by time...excellent approach.
09-21-2006, 02:42 PM
On Mayang's Free Textures site there are some great cracked paint textures (photos of real cracked paint):
Architectureal Paint Effects (http://www.mayang.com/textures/Architectural/html/Paint%20Effects/index.html)
For more control when adding the cracks to your art, John Derry's tutorial, Adding Non-Destructive Surface Texture in Corel Painter (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=280945), might be helpful, too.
Tim, hope you don't mind my messing with your excellent image. Is something like this is what you're lookng for. I used a photo from Imageafter.com and cloned it to clean it up. I created a paper texture and added grain using the Photo>Add Grain variant which worked for small areas. I settled on a texture layer instead, set it to Gel Composite mode and adjusted the opacity. That works pretty good for the creating effect.
For some reason I couldn't add the attachement.
09-21-2006, 08:16 PM
Richard, that looks really great...that was the next thing I wanted to try...you beat me to it ;)....really nice effect there. Do you recall which image you used?
Cris, everything on the site is free for personal and commercial use. I did a search for cracked painted walls and this was the one I chose. It required cloning out the junk.
09-21-2006, 09:38 PM
That's a perfect photo for this effect.
I played with this a bit and came up with this Paper based on Jin's link. I took a section of one of the cracked paint photos and played with it in Painter. The problem I was finding is to make the chips small enough. Originally, I planned to take Tim's image and the make the cracked paint image the clone source. Apply surface texture>Original luminescence. Too easy of course, the chips were way too large for the image.
So I next tried something different, I selected the cracks in the cracked paint using Select>Color select and adjusted the sliders to get pretty much just the cracks. I hit the selection with the Layer adjuster tool and made a layer with it, the ctrl>C to copy then paste into a new image. I pasted again, and rotated this 180. Then dropped. Cracks half size. I then inverted the colors, Effects>Tonal Control>Negative. Saved this image, and made this the clone source. Tried apply surface texture again, and still a bit too powerful, but a lot better. After apply surface texture, I applied Effects>Surface control>Color overlay using a dark brown color. This worked but was still too much. Sheesh, now I went back to the paper idea.
First thing I resized the Cracked paint image after being treated with the above process, to about half it's original size, Used the rectangular selection too, forced to square with shift key, and used the Paper palette>Capture Paper. Named it Cracked Paint and applied surface texture using the Paper to Tim's image. Went one step further, and did the color overlay thing using Paper. The result is what I have here. It could be better, if it was done in a higher resolution but you get the idea.
I'm posting three images with this, the original cropped Cracked paint photo, My treatment of it, And Tim's treated image. It was an education for me doing this. Hope it helps you
I'm having difficulty uploading larger file sizes so here's a detail of Tim's image.
09-22-2006, 07:59 AM
I didn't mention this earlier because I thought Tim probbly wanted something that looks more like actual cracked paint, but....
On the Painter IX CD (and earlier version CD's probably), in the Extras > Paper Textures folder, there's a Paper library named...
You might find that one of those Papers is acceptable, maybe with the use of Layer Masks to break the lines up and take away that too-uniform look.
Also, wouldn't it be best to avoid applying the texture across the whole painting, or even across a whole area? It can tend to make the area look stamped into the Canvas unless the texture is suggested here and there where light hits it, etc.
The fabric folds, for instance, stop undulating when the texture is applied over the entire area, especially when the texture has a horizontal pattern and the folds are falling downward.
OK... I'll be quiet now. ;)
09-22-2006, 08:05 AM
I agree...mine was quick and dirty and not the way I would do it for a final piece. There have been some great ideas so far, though.
09-22-2006, 08:13 AM
Yes, Cris, some good ideas.
It's fun to see people brainstorming together like this.
Tim will have more ideas than he bargained for by the time we're all finished. ;)
09-22-2006, 08:13 AM
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