Secrets of Digital Photography

New iNovaFX  iLiner / iRustica



The Melbourne Effects

"Hayes Island" is the name of an artistic effect going around these days. Nice. It turns your photo into an art piece.

But with all the enthusiasm, one might think that the Hayes Island Effect is an end-all. Not hardly.

A new series of iNovaFX --those Photoshop Action Filter Effects that are included with the Nikon and Sony eBooks-- is here.

They're called the iLiner Series because they draw lines and complete images in graphic ways. Just not Hayes ways.

At right, iLiner4A variation
cropped from full size Original.

iLiners are directly below. Click here for the iRusticas.

These now appear only in the upgrade versions of the eBooks. Nikon V.6.0 and Sony V.2.0.

Here are a few sample images showing several of the variations in the set.

 Here is the TestTram Original image as seen in the Nikon and Sony eBooks in the chapter on Special Effects:

It's a crop from a horizontal image of one of Melbourne's city street cars that make zipping around Melbourne, Australia, so easy for locals and visitors alike.

The original image shows good shadow detail, highlight detail and color.

The reason the image is used here is the same as the reason it is used in the eBooks--it's pretty normal.

The slice seen here is straight and has no effect applied.

That's about to change...


Now we apply iNovaFX "iLiner1" to the image and stand back.

In just a few seconds, the photo has become a piece of artwork. Rather like a line drawing with wet watercolor technique.

Melbourne effect #1, you might say? I like to call it iLiner effect #1 because of the pun in the name.

Like all of the iLiner effects, a snapshot is made that KEEPS the layers that make up the effect. Now pound on them with Photoshop. You'll likely get an effect that is totally customized to your image.

If you wish, you can save the image as a PS file, keeping the layers for later, or simply Flatten the image and save that.


From the same original image, iLiner2 is applied for a more "gesture rich" art effect.

In a few more seconds, the image appears.

Again its layers are intact and a very different artistic interpretation is seen.

This time, the underlying texture of the art paper --or is it canvas?-- shows up.

"Hey, this artist is okay, look at all the detail, and yet it is boldly outlined in ink."

If one wanted to embolden the color, no problem. Find the color layer and punch it up with Photoshop's Hue and Saturation control.

This effect works with an amazing range of images and is a major illustration tool.


Once again, the original is selected and iLiner3 A is applied.

This time there is a huge qualitative difference. People are unlikely to assume it was a photo to begin with.

The image is far more graphic and bold than in the prior examples.

All layers that form this effect are accessible and changeable on demand.

One could spend a lot of time further refining or adjusting layers for new variations of this idea.

What happens if just the dark lines become texturized?



If it can make this simple shot of a street car look interesting, just think what it could do with that shot of Uncle Ned!


iLiner5 produces this variation from its stack of layers.

It's photographic and graphic at the same time.

One of the layers is switched off, here.

When it is switched back on, delineation of details becomes bolder, but for this image, it looks a bit better without that outline layer.

Of course your images will vary.

You can fade back layers with lines, colorize them for a color ink effect or change them to exotic blending modes.

The permutations are endless.

iLiner 5 here has a distinct texture and looks great at full poster size.



The iNovaFX "Carnet" technique is available in this series, too. It's a single press Action that runs ALL of the eight iLiner effects, leaving a string of snapshots in the History Palette.

And each snapshot contains all the layers for further adjustment.

In less than one minute you will be able to generate a huge range of easily manipulated artwork styles. There goes the afternoon...



Photography has forever embraced the treated print. When black and white was all there was, sepia, cold-toning, warm toning and hand coloring were popular.

Today, the art of enhancing a monochromatic image, to communicate more than simple monochrome, is an art.

Photographers have found ways of matching tonal effects to subject matter in order to emotionally communicate more by introducing subtle color in selected tonalities of the print, while controlling contrast and tonal range for visual impact.

Duotones and tri-tone prints for fine art images may be created digitally. The iRustica iNovaFX series of Photoshop Actions (PSAs) target antiquity. In the above example, iRustica1 has been applied to the color image without any preparation of the original. Manipulation of the original will cause the iRustica effects to change.

Note that the contrast of the image is increased and that in mid-dark tones an ocher tint "ages" the look of the image without being a blatant sepia effect. The increased contrast avoids blowing out the highlights and completely blocking up the shadow detail while giving a feeling of increased sharpness overall.

These iNovaFX Photoshop Actions are inspired by Linda Butler's outstanding book of photography, ITALY In the Shadow of Time, which celebrates her truly timeless compositions through unique warm-toned treatments of her rich monochrome images.

iRustica 1, 2 and 3 bring a digital echo of this technique. It will be up to you to bring the image, composition and tonalities that complete the picture.

The Actions assume that you will start with a color image, although they work well with original monochromatic images.

The three variations place a warm color into different areas of the tonal scale. Experimentation and experience will guide you.

A special variation called the "iRustica Carnet" allows you to quickly generate and review an image with all three variations. Call it an "experience accelerator."

In the Photoshop History Palette, three labeled variations will be generated in quick execution. You can stack them, combine them in various ways and achieve numerous interesting results.

What happens, for instance, when you change the final hue by +/-55 degrees? I've tried it. You'll like it!

Operational Note: If you have any difficulty with an iNovaFX Action or Carnet, you may need to do some of this first:

1. Make sure the image is in RGB format, not Grayscale.

2. Purge the History Palette so the only thing there is the original image you wish to work on. Make sure the starting image is selected --highlighted-- in the History Palette.

3. Flatten the image so the Action begins with just a single layer to work with.

iRustica and iLiners are no longer available over the Web. For their most recent updates you'll just have to buy the eBook. Version 6.0 Nikon eBook and the coming Version 2.0 Sony eBook has them all.

Thanks for all valid owners who downloaded them during the promotion. Your feedback was valuable.

Get the eBook(s). Nikon and Sony versions available now. We have a secure order page that will allow previous Nikon eBook owners to upgrade for low cost, too.
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