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Chrome Buddha

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Tim Glaim
Chrome Buddha
on Sep 2, 2016 at 4:46:16 am

Hi, everyone!

So, I've got this statue of Buddha and I'm trying to give it a chrome silver look, but the recommended method of using the Plastic Wrap filter doesn't seem to be working out very well. He looks all lumpy and weird.

Here's the original image:


Here's what it looks like with the Plastic Wrap filter on it:


I can turn down the Smoothness on it, but then it doesn't look as shiny as I need it to be. I want him shiny, but not too shiny, y'know? Any advice on how to achieve the look I'm going for, here?

Thanks, guys. Have a great weekend.


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Chrome Buddha
on Sep 2, 2016 at 6:54:30 pm
Last Edited By Kalle Kannisto on Sep 2, 2016 at 7:00:11 pm

Solarization is another option for metal look. It can be achieved by using a curves adjustment that goes up and down. I used an "M" -shaped curve here after a slight blur, then composited the original at 50% normal blending and 50% overlay blending on top of that and finally gave it a slightly bluish tint (more green in the highlights, more red in the shadows) with another curves adjustment layer for that chrome/silver feel.



Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Tim Glaim
Re: Chrome Buddha
on Sep 3, 2016 at 6:13:53 am

Solarization, eh? I'd read somewhere that you could achieve an effect like that by fiddling around with the Curves adjustor, but I never heard that term for it before. Perhaps now that I know the right word, I can learn more about it. The look you achieved looks very nice; if a wee bit shinier than I'd like, but I'm sure I can tweak it to my liking.

Let me make sure I understand something, here. What do you mean by "50% normal blending and 50% overlay blending"? Do you mean you had one layer with a normal blend mode set to 50% opacity and another layer with an overlay blend mode, also set to 50% opacity?

I'll give it a try. Thank you very much for your help. ^_^


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Chrome Buddha
on Sep 4, 2016 at 6:16:34 am
Last Edited By Kalle Kannisto on Sep 4, 2016 at 6:23:19 am

[Tim Glaim] "Do you mean you had one layer with a normal blend mode set to 50% opacity and another layer with an overlay blend mode, also set to 50% opacity?"

Yes, exactly. Those layers are there to bring back in the original shapes so it doesn't look too weird. You can adjust the amounts to taste. Overlay layer gives it more contrast at the same time, so it is a balancing act.

Solarization: The photoshop method doesn't have much to do with the original method, but the results look similar. Note that Photoshop actually has a filter called "solarize" but I don't use it, it looks terrible. Curves work much better. I used a soft "m" shape with round corners, not with sharp angles.

It is probably of note that I chose a curve that gave the appearance that the statue is reflecting a ground and sky and also tinted the results to suggest that.

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Tim Glaim
Re: Chrome Buddha
on Sep 5, 2016 at 7:09:11 am

Okay, I've got a fairly good look going, now, but I need further clarification. Was it the statue layers that were at 50% opacity or the curve layers? I'm not entirely clear on the order of operations, here? Did you copy your statue and curve layers and then composited one statue layer and one curve layer and together and then the other statue layer and the other curve layer together and then set the opacity of the first composite to 50% and change the blend mode of the other composite to Overlay and set the opacity to 50%?

I'm trying every combination I can think of. Again, it already looks pretty good; just not as good as what you did. Thank you for all your help.


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Kalle Kannisto
Re: Chrome Buddha
on Sep 5, 2016 at 7:50:42 am

Hi Tim, here's a small version of the layered file where you can see the layers and effects. The only thing you don't see is that I've applied a slight blur to the bottom layer. You can resize this and replace the image layers with the hires original. Or use the curves layers from this file in your comp.

10503_cyberbuddhasolarizedsmall.psd.zip

Kalleheikki Kannisto
Senior Graphic Designer


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Tim Glaim
Re: Chrome Buddha
on Oct 1, 2016 at 10:33:22 am

Sorry to reply so late, Mr. Kannisto. I've got a lot of things things on my plate.

You said earlier that you used an M shape in the curves layer. That's not what I'm seeing in the file you posted. Each line in the curve seems to have relatively minor adjustments to it. I understand the rest of what you said - now that I have the file you used - but I don't understand how you got that look with only minor adjustments to the curves.


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