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Abusing Dents (also Crystallization)


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I use dents a loooot in my older pieces and occasionally in my newer ones. In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to abuse the dents feature to get wispy clouds, interesting shapes, and more.

Hidden Content: Wispy Clouds

1. Render clouds. Keep all the settings the same, but make sure the colors contrast good. I'm using black and a light cyan here.


2. Crystallize. This will form the basis of the cloud banks. I'm using a larger cell size here (37) to make the cloud banks larger.


3. Use dents to get a good design. Use higher refraction with higher refraction in #2, and lower with lower. Keep the scale about even with the cell size of the crystals. I'm using the settings of 49 for scale and 61 for refraction here.


4. Dent again at lower scales and lower refraction rates to add detail to the clouds. I'm using 15 for scale and 26 for refraction.


5. And again, with even lower scale and refraction to add polish. I'm using 9 for scale and 13 for refraction.


Of course you can vary the settings how you like. Add crystallizations of similar scale right before dents to make clouds smoother, or use less crystallization steps to make clouds more chaotic. The basic technique is using dents of varying sizes to make a more detailed set of dents.

A couple of places I've used this (besides virtually everything before generation 8):



I chose these because they show what kind of detailed shape you can achieve by using two simple in-built effects over and over.

Hidden Content: Wavy Dents

In this technique, I'll show you how to use dents to make wavy abstract shapes.

1. Starting again with the clouds of the previous technique:


2. Crystallize. The cell size should be about a quarter the size you want your wave-shapes. I'm using cell size of 15 here.


3. Use dents. Make the scale greater than the crystals so they dent together, and the refraction enough to make them interesting-shaped without making whorls everywhere. In my case I'm using scale of 123 and refraction of 25.


4. You can of course use the above technique to get better-looking wispy clouds.


5. A couple places I've used this technique (with the rose, I simply turned one part red and cut out anything non-rose-y)



Hidden Content: Using dents with the 'abusing noise' tutorial

This technique shows you how to abuse dents after abusing noise, in my other tutorial. It was requested :P

1. Starting with the dented noisescape from the 'abuse noise' tutorial:


2. I've dented it a couple of times to get a smoother look:


3a. Keeping the same refraction level (20) and adjusting the scale creates different cool-looking abstract images (scale is the number after the S):


4. Of course you can use the above two techniques to add even more character to whatever shapes you come up with.


A couple drawings where I use this (repost from the abusing noise tutorial):






Hidden Content: Making awesome multicolored twists

Here's the technique I use for making a lot of the twists in my multicolored pieces.

1. Starting with the dented noisescape again:


2. Duplicate the layer, and crystallize a part of it (I'm using cell size of 11). PDN dents selections differently than the entire image for some reason, so make sure the crystals are small enough. Also go ahead and get rid of the rest of the layer.


3. Use the "wavy dents" technique to turn the crystals into wavy dents. For an added kick, use a transparent circle gradient and a relief of the layer to make the dents more 3-d (this isn't in the preview image because it's too hard to go back and try to recreate layers)


4. Go ahead and change the hue/saturation/etc so you can actually see what you're doing (or be smarter than me and do the steps on a background that's a black-and-white gradient :P)


5. Use a bulge distortion in the middle, with a negative setting. I'm using -138.


6. Twist. Make sure the size encompasses the entire area without going overboard, and the amount keeps some of the original dent shapes visible.



* Using a relief on ANY technique above helps make whatever you have more 3-dimensional. I use this a lot on my later pieces where I have dents or twists. The exceptions are twists that have too high of an amount or dents that have too high a refraction.

* If you're messing around with noisescapes (especially with some dented shapes gradiented in), you literally can't go wrong with polar inversions (with an edge behavior of reflect that is), unlike when using other bases for them. I used inversions so much on my piece Mayan that it looks almost the same if you try to invert it again.


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