Saturday, December 29, 2012

(image post) Playing with a picture (of a tree)

So it may have come to your attention that I have tendency to take pictures, and then play with them.  Sometimes I play with pictures that I didn't take, which can involve scaling in creative and hopefully semi-artistic ways.

And recently, while my camera was missing, I used the built in webcam to take a rather crappy picture of my tree.

Like this but bigger:
I do believe you can click on it to see it in full size.

But the point isn't the image, it's playing with the image.  Now I still haven't accomplished what I want to with it, probably in part because I'm not sure what I want to accomplish, but it apparently involves scaling it up eight times.

Which looks quite ugly if you don't play around with it somehow.  Don't believe me?  It looks like this (single section shown actual size) if one uses the simplest method of scaling:

And like this, if one uses cubic interpolation:

But I would rather have look something like this:

I say "something like" because I still don't feel like it's there yet, and, no, I don't have any idea where there is.  I do note that there's too much darkening at the center of lights and a loss of apparent color in them.

Anyway, along the way I've produced things such as this:

And this (click for full size, there's too much left to right variation to crop as much as the others):

For those who refuse to click, or in case something goes wrong, I give you Left:

And Right:

Also of note was this thing that doesn't really line up with the others:

And this one as well:

And, um, yeah.  Image post, so I don't have to write a lot.


  1. I'm getting a distinct "Starry Night" feel from tree-three.

    What's your software tool of choice? I ask because (a) the Gimp in recent versions has a Sinc (Lanczos3) mode which seems to me to give better results then cubic in some cases, and (b) I've had interesting results from feeding a bitmap into inkscape's autotrace and rendering it to vector (lots of options to tweak there).

    1. Generally I use Gimp, but when there's scaling involved I tend to vectorize via inkscape to get smooth scaling, if at a loss of exactness, and then play with the scaled image in Gimp, sometimes trying to combine the smoothly scaled inkscape results with Gimp's internal scaling methods to, at the very least, try to get some of the better parts of both.

      And I wish a "Starry Night" feel were both easier to get, and easier to get consistently across an image (for example it'll come out so that part of it gives that feel and another part just seems washed out, or maybe you can get the washed out part to feel right but the result is that the part that seemed right earlier is now a blurry mess.*)


      * This does at least imply that it should in theory be possible to get the entire image with the right feel even if only by tailoring multiple images to getting the right feel in various sections and then blending those sections together in a final image in a way that doesn't leave obvious seams.

      And honestly I don't even remember how I got tree three, I think I might have been playing around with blurring, excessive sharpening, and edge detection all at the same time.