Plug-ins--do they make it "too easy?"

Comments and discussions about 8bf plugins which can be use in various applications like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro or Photo-Paint
ArendsArt
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Plug-ins--do they make it "too easy?"

Postby ArendsArt » Fri Jul 26, 2002 4:55 am

Does Graphic software in general and plug-ins specifically make creating artwork too easy?

I showed some of my digital "paintings" to a group of people and one of the guys said, "Oh yes, Photoshop has some good filters in it too." The implication seemed to be that "anybody can do stuff like this nowadays." So my question is, are people really impressed by artistically enhanced photographs or output from Auto-painting programs like Studio Artist?

It's true that, even if the computer does much of the work, it still takes an artist's eye to know what is a good piece and what isn't. But I wonder if most laymen think this way. My mother doesn't consider my using filters or running a program like Studio Artist to be creating artwork at all, even if I took the original source photo myself, much less if I didn't.

Of course, it takes a good deal of study and technical proficiency to master most graphics programs, even Auto-painting programs. However, most laymen see this as mere technical proficiency, not being a true artist. What do you think? I ask this not merely as a philosophical question, but because if we want to become professional artists, we don't want people to think that what we do is so easy that "anybody could do it."

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Postby HaraldHeim » Fri Jul 26, 2002 3:36 pm

This is really a good question.

I think that you can nevertheless impress people with images created with Photoshop or filter plugins. But only if you used these digital tools skillfully and creatively on the image.

The highest skill in my opinion is to use the effects in a way that they aren't recognized as digital effect at all. So that people admire the image without even thinking that it was manipulated digitally.

Of course there always guys who can only feel good by making jokes or bad comments about other people's work.

I'm not familiar with auto-painting tools. If they don't let you at least influence a few things, I wouldn't call their output art. If they let you influence the paint process creatively, they surely can be used to create work of art.

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Re: "Too easy?"

Postby ArendsArt » Sun Jul 28, 2002 2:30 am

Harald Heim wrote:

> The highest skill in my opinion is to use the
> effects in a way that they aren't recognized as
> digital effect at all. So that people admire the
> image without even thinking that it was manipulated
> digitally.

Thanks for your reply. Maybe if I included prints of work I had done with traditional media, and showed that first, this would send a message that I am not totally dependent on the computer to create artwork, and that I am able to create artwork by hand. If they looked at those pieces closely and said "Where are the brush strokes?" I would point out that these were PRINTS of my original paintings done with watercolor or whatever. Then the fact that you cannot see actual paint on the computer-generated pieces would be unremarkable.

> Of course there always guys who can only feel good
> by making jokes or bad comments about other people's
> work.

True. Wish I were better at handling these types!

> I'm not familiar with auto-painting tools. If they
> don't let you at least influence a few things, I
> wouldn't call their output art. If they let you
> influence the paint process creatively, they surely
> can be used to create work of art.

Well, in the case of Studio Artist, you have an amazing amount of control--more than with most plugins. In fact, you can even paint interactively with the mouse or a drawing tablet, and the program's "Smart Assistant" technology will apply the brush effects based on where you stroke and with how much pressure.

pinkmoby

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Postby pinkmoby » Wed Jul 31, 2002 4:59 pm

Blue Paint is available to everyone, but what is done with that paint makes the artist who they are. Never be discouraged and always stay true to your "creative" Mojo.. :-)
Besides, its not for "them" that you do it...its an expression and all you can do is the best you can. If you make money along the way then that is cool too.

Jay

Too Easy?

Postby Jay » Wed Jul 31, 2002 6:40 pm

I've asked myself this same question a lot. I guess I need reassurance that what I'm doing is more than just digital paint-by-numbers. I wonder what Michaelangelo would have done with Photoshop. Would he have just dismissed it as being too ameturish? I think he would have dived right in. Did you know that Vermeer (and no doubt many other lesser artists) used a camera obscura to project an actual scene onto a canvas and then trace it rather than draw it free hand? Every medium and every generation have their short cuts and tricks. The people who can go beyond the tricks are the ones who make "art".

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Art

Postby Sugarz » Thu Aug 01, 2002 7:39 pm

I have no doubt whatsoever that what I do is art. I took a photo of a cloud formation, used the center of it because it was thru the clouds to the blue and painted nearly all of the exterior using PSP. Can I prove it ? Not by eye, no, but if someone knows what they're doing, they can look and tell. I liked it so well, I used it for my sites' splash page.
Site!
Sugarz :wink:
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ArendsArt
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Postby ArendsArt » Fri Aug 02, 2002 5:49 am

Deke McClelland, author of the Photoshop Bible, wrote that:

"Destructive filters produce effects so dramatic that they can, if used improperly, completely overwhelm your art work, making the filter more important than the image itself.

"Destructive filters produce way cool effects, and many people gravitate toward them when first experimenting with Photoshop. But the filters invariably destroyed the original clarity and composition of the image. Yes, every Photoshop function is destructive to a certain extent, but destructive filters change your image so extensively that you can't easily disguise the changes later by applying other filters or editing techniques.

"...At this point, a little bell should be ringing in your head, telling you to beware of standardized special effects. Why? Because everyone has access to the same filters you do. If you rely on filters to edit your images for you, the audience will quickly recognize your work as poor or at least on remarkable art. "

I raise these questions not to be a troublemaker, but because these are important issues, which force us to think about our artwork more carefully. Also it's handy to formulate a response to people who will claim that what we, as digital artists do, is not "true art." We need to have a response if only to reassure ourselves in our own minds of what we are doing.

Great factoid about Vermeer, by the way.

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Postby HaraldHeim » Fri Aug 02, 2002 1:03 pm

ArendsArt wrote:Deke McClelland, author of the Photoshop Bible, wrote that:

"Destructive filters produce effects so dramatic that they can, if used improperly, completely overwhelm your art work, making the filter more important than the image itself.

"Destructive filters produce way cool effects, and many people gravitate toward them when first experimenting with Photoshop. But the filters invariably destroyed the original clarity and composition of the image. Yes, every Photoshop function is destructive to a certain extent, but destructive filters change your image so extensively that you can't easily disguise the changes later by applying other filters or editing techniques.


I only partly agree with Deke. Of course beginners tend to over do their images with filter effects which are easily recognizable. Professional artists usually know how to use these filters in unconventinal and unobtrusive ways, so that it isn't clear on the first look that an effect comes e.g. from EyeCandy. The filter effects should harmonize with the image rather than dominate it. Besides it is recommended to heavily use blending options with filter effects to soften their "destructivity".

Plugins and Filter effects are just tools like a painter's brush. What you do or not do with them matters. You can produce art as well as kitsch with filters. It all depends on the artist's skill.

Guest

Re: Plug-ins--do they make it "too easy?"

Postby Guest » Fri Aug 02, 2002 6:24 pm

You know, I think anyone can do anything. Does this take away from what anyone has done. In a way, if we are purists, we tend to believe that anything that aids the human hand becomes artificial and therefore "not pure" and therefore diminishes the output as a piece of art. Since art is subjective, we could see some of Picasso's last work as childish and inmature. Instead we think it's great. What is your motivation for wanting to be recognized as an artist? What do you care what anyone else thinks? Before photography was accepted as an art it was simply a craft. So, now it's a branch of art, so what?

Artist can be some of the most elitist groups… Snobs. Forget it. Isn't it enough to enjoy what you are doing? Why worry whether you are accepted or not? (actually, I think I know why, but if we get past it, there is a place for us out there)


chill.

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Re: Plug-ins--do they make it "too easy?"

Postby ArendsArt » Sun Aug 04, 2002 1:48 am

Guest wrote:

"Isn't it enough to enjoy what you are doing?
Why worry whether you are accepted or not?"

True, if you are doing it as an amateur. But if you want to become a pro, you need to think about the relevance and marketability of what you are doing.

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Postby Roo » Mon Aug 05, 2002 3:39 am

To me it doesn't really matter *how* you get there, it matters that you get there.

I normally work on an image 12-15 hours...some takes weeks, some take month to get 'just right'.

I think it's important that you have a plan....that you 'see' what you will create in your mind before you do anything.

I will normally shoot a series of photos for the sake of creatiing a composition. Yes I use plugins for my digital art gallery, and for my Illustrations gallery, for my creative photography gallery and highlkey photography I don't.

I could achive most of the same results using Photoshop's own tools. But I can save a lot of time and effort by using certain plugins.

Talent is a must - planning an image is important - Just throwing a few filters together doesn't cut it IMO.

Overuse of plugins makes me crazy. If I see one more of those PSP7 images that use that sooooooooooo overused lightray effect, I think I'll scream.

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Postby PIRCbabe » Tue Oct 01, 2002 4:39 am

All I can say is if it worked for Piccaso then why knock me for doing it. Not everyone alive is into "bowls of fruit" and "sitting kitties", ya know?

Art is not supposed to cater to others needs, it's supposed to speak a message without shame. If my message is "oh look I am good at using a filter" then that's how I chose to portray that piece of ART.

Let's not forget about Mattise and his use of color enhancements. Looking at an enhancement is sometimes what gets the point across when just "bowls of fruit" don't cut it.

Either way works.

It's easy to spell most english words, but being able to spell them doesn't make me a moron.

:P

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Postby Prophet » Wed Mar 19, 2003 10:37 pm

I couldn't live without the phug-ins.
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hey any sexy guys in here?

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Digital enhancements art??????

Postby jollyr@bellsouth.net » Sat Oct 23, 2004 4:16 pm

As a proficient user of Paint Shop Pro, I can say without question that the application of filters, and modification of existing images take no less talent than creating art directly from the camera, or on the canvass with brushes, pens, charcoal, etc.

To prove this point, you only have to look at MY digital images. They prove beyond a shadow of a doubt, that proficiency in technical application is insufficient to create art.

From classical artist to magazine cartoonist, there is a communication that impacts the viewer on a level somewhere between apathy and inspiring awe. You are an artist in the creation of such communication regardless of the media you choose.

No amount of filters, memory, graphics programs & the skills to use them can turn my efforts into art. So from icons to walllpapers to commercial images and fine art, the output from an artist remains art. The output from a technically proficient dude like me certainly is not art.

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you make a great point

Postby Lightkeeper » Sat Oct 23, 2004 5:02 pm

You make a great case from the negative that art can be created by virtually any imaging tools. At the same time, I agree that not everything that is created is art - at least not good art.

I had this discussion a couple of days ago with a camera club Yoda about macro photography. Most people who use a macro lens, or macro setting on their camera are just so fascinated by the power of close focus, that they simply use it as a magnifying glass, and fail to consider the visual aesthetic when creating an image. the result is a collection of close views of pretty or interesting subjects with no creative input from the mind of the artist.

In order for something to be art, the artist must contribute. Bad use of tools is akin to bad use of special effects at the movies... it makes it showy, but lacks content.

David <><


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