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Simulate old bw photo printing system


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Hi everybody,

I'm trying to achieve this old printer effect described here for photoshop with paint.net as I do not own ps and just cannot realize it:

 

https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/84987/how-to-do-line-optical-illusion-art-effects

 

Can anybody translate this for paint.net - or is paint.net lacking some required features to achieve this? Is it feasable after all?

All I get is my grayscaled picture (background) with overlaying parralel horizontal b/w-lines (layer 1). Like a zebra over a photo. But I cannot realize this certain effect that the lines get thinner or thicker as the gray gets less or more intense and that the two layers seem to blend.

Does anybody have an idea on this?

Thanks very much for your time and effort and sorry for my utter noobiness.

Cheers,

Carla

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Hi Carla,

That is a cool effect. I think I managed to achieve something that looks like the art effect you need but the thing is that I do not remember how I did it ( I am getting old and my short memory is not good anymore).

hiddenche-579b78b.png

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Hello @Carla and welcome to the forum :)

 

I tried this too and this is how I went about it.

 

1.  Copy the image from the source you provided of the lines.  Then go to  https://www.remove.bg/ and remove the background. 

 

2.  Import the lines with no background.  I changed the mode of this to 'Glow'.

 

3.  Import your B & White image and align them to your liking.

 

4.  On the B & W layer I used the Gradient Tool on Transparency.  With right click on your mouse, at the bottom of the photo, click to anchor it and then switch to left click and drag the nub upwards and this will make it transparent on the bottom.

 

pattern.png

 

 

 

 

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30b8T8B.gif

How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

 
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sdkHh48.png

 

Start with an object on its own layer (a graphic on a transparent background).

On a new layer, create your black grid/lines/rays on a transparent background (clarification: this needs to be black lines on transparency). Use, for example, Light Rays (clarification: in which case the secondary colour alpha should be set to 0). 

Spoiler

GYw97hN.png

On a copy of your grid/lines/rays layer, run Switch Alpha to Gray to create an alpha mask. Copy the mask layer to the clipboard. Delete (or hide) the mask layer.

Spoiler

GKSzuHt.png

Use Alpha Mask on the object layer or Paste Alpha.

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MAOalqS.png

Use Outline Object on the object layer. Depending on your image and preference, some alternatives are Drop Shadow, Edge Expander, 1px Expansion.

Spoiler

SUsTIG0.png

Optional: Merge grid/lines/rays layer with the outlined object layer and run the Rubber Stamp plugin.

Spoiler

NTtn7Kg.png

 

 

 

EDIT: Edited the link to @Illnab1024's the Alpha Mask plugin (there is a warning on the plugin topic that it may not work with newer versions pf PDN but it works fine on my v4.2.13).  Added link to @BoltBait's Paste Alpha.

Clarified the that the grid should be black lines on transparency.

Edited by Djisves
Alpla Mask links & clarification
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Thanks everybody for your contributions.

The solutions/examples from Eli and Djisves seem to fit best according to their appearance. Pity that Eli forgot his approach.

Djisves, I must admit that I don't quite succeed in taking your steps.

I'm lost with this step onward:

"On a copy of your grid/lines/rays layer, run Switch Alpha to Gray to create an alpha mask. Copy the mask layer to the clipboard. Delete (or hide) the mask layer."

I installed the plugin for switch alpha. When I run it, it does not seem to do anything. The plugin for alpha mask seems to be outdated for paint 4.x onward (I use 4.2.13). Is the Switch Alpha to Gray-porcedure also required for your alternatives? I still don't get the lines to blend with the picture and change their thickness. Outline object just makes every line thicker.

Thanks for a hint!

Cheers,

Carla

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Hi @Carla I think @Djisves means to use the other one called Switch Gray to Alpha  instead of Switch Alpha to Grey :)

 

Switch-alpha.png

 

@Djisves Forgive me if I'm wrong here.  I've been trying to follow your steps and have a problem using Switch Alpha to Gray, which turns the layer black.

 

Also, since an MS update, and a recent update of PDN I am experiencing a lot of trouble with Paint.net.  It's lagging and freezing, so I've not been able to try you tutorial again.  Of course, it may be my computer too.  Nice tutorial though :)

 

30b8T8B.gif

How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

 
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Hi Pixey,

thanks for your support.

Problem is that I'm lost when it comes to this alpha-mask-step. I can run Bolt's plugin Alpha to Gray or Gray to Alpha, but I cannot make an alpha-mask. I think it's because my paint-version is too new.  My alpha-mask-settings under "objects" also lack the option "paste from clipboard". It's simply not there.

Maybe "Paste Alpha" (also Bolt's plugin" is an option? Can someone check this? I don't get it, I'm afraid.

Or is there any alternative without this alpha-mask procedure?

Thanks,

Carla

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Hi @Carla It's okay - alpha-masks do my head in too 😁 They work by remembering what you copied to clipboard, so that you can overlay what's on the clipboard over another existing layer.

 

I think we need to ask @Djisves whether, in the first steps - creating the Rays - whether we have to have the 2nd color white, turned down to transparent, so that we only make black rays.  I think that's what he means.  This would make a big difference.

 

I'll keep trying - unless he gets back first - but my computer is playing up and I can't figure out what's going on.  Hang in there :)

30b8T8B.gif

How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

 
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Yes, Carla, you can use Boltbait's Paste Alpha plugin to do the same thing as Alpha Mask. If you have Alpha to Gray, you probably also have Paste Alpha,  since they're both part of BoltBait's plugin pack.

 

Plus, if you use Paste Alpha you don't need to use Switch Alpha to Gray, because Paste Alpha lets you choose the clipboard's alpha channel as the source for alpha.

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Cheers Pixey and MJW for your quick help. I really appreciate this.

MJW, do you have recommendations for the settings for Paste Alpha so that it has the same effects as Alpha Mask? It seems to work fine, but has several options I don't quite grasp. If not, I will check them through.

Thanks very much again!

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If you want to follow the instructions, and use Switch Alpha to Gray, the Paste Alpha settings should be:

First control: "Minimum of current alpha &" (not sure what the ampersand is for)

Second control:  "Shades of gray  on clipboard"

Invert calculation: Checked.

 

The other controls should be at their default values.
 

 

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Can I suggest this technique be written up as a tutorial? Perhaps the people posting replies here could collaborate to find the best result?

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A simple method that works surprisingly well is:

 

- Put a black-and-white ray image in the lower layer.

- Put a high-contrast black-and-white picture in the top layer (perhaps strictly black and white, though it doesn't have to be).

- Set the top layer's Blending Mode to Overlay.

- Apply a Gaussian blur to the lower layer. For a 800x600 image, I used a blur radius of 2.

- After the layers are merged, the contrast and brightness can be tweaked, if desired. Photo>Sharpen may also be useful.

Voila!

ray-halftone-effect-using-overlay-mode.p

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7 hours ago, MJW said:

A simple method that works surprisingly well is:

 

Yes! This is a much easier method. Mine involved several layers using Paste Alpha, Gaussian Blur, Color inversions, Changing layers modes to Reflect, Overlay, Level adjustments... It was a trial and error method, that is why I got lost.

 

 

lined-art-angelina-579c30b.png

 

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I turns out I gave a link to the wrong version of Alpha Mask plugin. On the topic for v2, it says that it may not work anymore on newer versions of PDN, but it does work for me on v4.2.13, so I corrected the link in my post above to direct to v2 of the plugin. However, I know people may be put off by the moderator's warning, so I intended to link to Paste Alpha, as alternative. In my original post (which I have now edited), I even wrote "alternative..." but then forgot to type it in before I posted my reply.

(I know it's better to use @BoltBait's plugin (if only for the reason that it's being actively supported) but I fell in love with @Illnab1024's plugin the first time I used it and I refuse to give it up. I'll stick with it for as long as it works for me).

 

19 hours ago, Pixey said:

we have to have the 2nd color [...] turned down to transparent

@Pixey, exactly! That's what I meant when I wrote "create your black grid/lines/rays on a transparent background". I should have explained it better. I have now edited my original post and added clarifications. It should now be easy to create the mask using the Switch Alpha to Gray plugin. I'm sorry for the confusion I've caused.

 

@Carla, is everything clear now? Have you managed to create the image you wanted? Perhaps @MJW's simpler method with fewer steps is all you need.

 

@MJW, impressive result with minimal fuss! I wish I was proficient enough on PDN to have come up with it myself, but I'm not.

 

17 hours ago, Ego Eram Reputo said:

Can I suggest this technique be written up as a tutorial?

@Ego Eram Reputo, if it's OK with you, I think this can be the very first tutorial I publish. Credit to @Pixey and @MJW of course, for identifying the steps that need extra attention. 

 

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Hi everybody,

thanks very much again for all your effort. This is really helpful!

I managed to apply the steps described by MJW. This really is a surprisingly fast approach (although I must admit that I don't really understand WHY it works - ) it works! Magic!😄

It's really impressive what you do here. Thanks a lot!

Best wishes,

Carla

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5 hours ago, Djisves said:

... On the topic for [Alpha Mask] v2, it says that it may not work anymore on newer versions of PDN, but it does work for me on v4.2.13 ...

 

Here are the specific details about the compatibility issue with Alpha Mask.

https://forums.getpaint.net/topic/1854-alpha-mask-import-plugin-20/?do=findComment&comment=561750

 

So, depending on your workflow, you may not encounter this issue.

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A little trick I just discovered for the Overlay-mode method, to make the line-contrast sharper, is to duplicate the picture layer (keeping the Overlay blend mode), then adjust the Opacity of the top layer for the best compromise between crispness and smoothness (absence of of jaggies).

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13 hours ago, Djisves said:

@Ego Eram Reputo, if it's OK with you, I think this can be the very first tutorial I publish.

 

Go for it!

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