How far do we let photoshopping go?
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Thread: How far do we let photoshopping go?

  1. #1

    Default How far do we let photoshopping go?

    So, im not calling anyone out here but.....
    I was looking through the top 50 artists for some TMM examples, and because i was looking very closely I noticed a small Photoshop artifact that showed the area had been brushed in photoshopped (not just re-balanced or outlined for clipping). This got me wondering just how much are we rating painting and Photoshop abilities. I personally think that color re-balancing so they match the real life colors is as far as photoshop should go, what do you think?

  2. #2


    I'd say that colour balance and cropping are fine. Removal of artifacts from the digital camera is also ok, although it be preferable to just shoot at a lower ISO and avoid the issue in the first place. But re-touching the paint job? No-no to that.
    "Facts are the impregnable bulwark that stands between us and the insidious evil of bullsh*t." - Pikey, over on Nagoyahammer

  3. #3


    I manipulate color and brightness to get the pic to look like real life. However, I try my damnedest to make sure the picture is as close as possible when taken first. The only other thing I use is the touch up tool from removing unnoticed dust from my backgrounds or the odd stray cat hair from the mini. That cat hair is frankly starting to piss me off since my cat died way back in June and the basement flooded in July (Thank God he didn't live to see his inner sanctum destroyed) and was renovated by September so there shouldn't be any F***ING cat hairs left!!!!!!! I'm okay. Breathing, in and out. In and out...
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

    Instagram: almost_zab
    DeviantArt Handle: AlmostZab
    Art Amino Handle: Almost Perftec Painting
    P&P: Neil Szabo

  4. #4
    Superfreak!!! Dragonsreach's Avatar
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    Regretfully I am aware that at least one person has manipulated his pictures to enhance his paintwork as I one had, briefly one of his painted figures to look after. Placed next to the monitor and compared the difference was marked and blatant.

    It always disapoints me that people do this, while the removal of dust bunnies, colour levels etc I do, seeing or finding one you think is a masterpiece is just software manipulation is so sad.

    Still people will do it and it gives them pleasure, but as long as they do it in private, keep a tissue handy and wash their hands afterwards its only themselves they are really cheating.

    ZAB; we lost our little friend Chukki in October '08. I'm still finding her hairs occasionally and recently a whisker. I miss my pup, she was my erstwhile painting companion never moving even when covered in 'Tentacle Pink' by accident.
    Last edited by Dragonsreach; 12-12-2013 at 12:52 AM.
    I believe in Karma, what you give, is what you get returned. Affirmation; Savage Garden
    Oh look my IQ results came in:-
    , and proud of it.

  5. #5


    Pretty much any use of the brush feature on a mini's photo is verbooten in my book. I'm with everyone on the color balance/ contrast/ speck removal things. If anyone can show me a perfectly sized, colored, and bright photo with absolutely nothing needed in Photoshop- that person deserves a medal.

    Now, as for digitally painting minis in Photoshop FOR YOUR OWN USE in color compositions and such, I don't have a problem. But whenever you try to do stuff that's not on the mini- that is pretty much a big ethic violation. People who want to paint using pixels can go get Zbrush and do it there.. then don't post on CMON. Post in digital art forums.

  6. #6


    I do dust and scratch removal, and my best to tweak the color balance curves to get it to look like it does IRL (especially on the rims of my black-painted bases, which seem to attract white stuff like a magnet). I think anything else and you get into the area of fraud...

  7. #7


    I agree with the general consensus here. Any use of photoshop to improve the painting beyond what you see in real life is too far. I use photoshop only to resize and crop my images. I don't even mess with color/brightness corrections (though I don't see anything wrong with that). Instead I use daylight bulbs to help capture the true colors and autobracketing on the camera to help with the exposure. Of course having a DSLR allows me to do more with the camera so I don't have to fix color and exposure stuff with photoshop.

    Even if you showed me the photo you were talking about I'm not sure I'd be able to tell it was photoshopped. I'm a bit of an optimist so I'll just have to keep assuming that 99% of the posts here are not photoshopped. The amazing work posted here that I've been lucky enough to see in person at shows has been just as impressive in person if not more.

  8. #8


    Changing the paintjob or miniature itself isn't really on - you're only cheating yourself. Personally I'm not a massive fan of cut-outs either, unless they're done properly (e.g. taking on a plain background). I do find tweaking the colour is also quite subjective as you can really only tweak it to your particular screen which is likely different to other peoples.

    One technique I do like (and it's more artistic than useful) is how Forgeworld do the scenes such as in the Horus Heresy books - basically a load of marines posed together. Generally the bases have been blended in with the terrain so it doesn't look like they're miniatures and sky/weapon effects added. Like I say though, it's not really to show off the paint job

  9. #9


    what is photoshop?=)

  10. #10


    It's what those of us who aren't witches or robots use to correct our mortal mistakes. Oh right, you probably don't know what mistakes are... hmm, how do I explain those?
    "Remember, you can't spell paint without a little pain."

    Instagram: almost_zab
    DeviantArt Handle: AlmostZab
    Art Amino Handle: Almost Perftec Painting
    P&P: Neil Szabo

  11. #11


    If lighting fails - yes
    add in a new background -yes.
    add in a logo - yes
    create collages of pictures yes.

    And a YOUTUBE channel
    Instagram and FaceBook too

  12. #12


    I find lighting to be much a larger culprit than PS when it comes to minis being improved in pictures. Some light overhead lighting as your only light source and most problems will be hidden and the miniature will look dramatic.

    And having a large collection of miniatures from some of the best artists out there I do know how much lighting impacts the paintjob even in the normal case. More so on some painters work then others depending on technique and style. Some of the PS accusations I have seen come from that. Some more subtle works don't fare well under the GD lights.

    But similarly to Mike I have one example of a person that I think might have used PS creatively from seeing his work IRL. Wonder if it's the same person.

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