Gimp Script Showcase: 300 Movie

April 7, 2010

First off, I just wanted to mention that my Weekend Links post was not posted because Easter just kinda threw everything off. Expect lots’o'links this upcoming weekend.

Second, I’m going to go through the March Mono photos in the Monthly Themes group on flickr sometime this week, so if you haven’t yet uploaded all your black & white photos from March yet, do it now! As a reminder, April’s theme is People.

Ok, now for the real purpose of this entry. I found a script recently for Gimp that sounded (and looked) pretty interesting called the Movie 300 script – intending to make your photos have the same tones of the movie “300″. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie, and I honestly don’t remember it having any sort of specific color quality, but the example photo looked neat, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Here’s my example photo un-edited. The man who randomly makes soft pretzels from scratch and bakes me cookies when I mow the grass:

f/1.8; 1/40s; 50mm; ISO 800

f/1.8; 1/40s; 50mm; ISO 800

First of all, if you don’t remember how to install Scripts for gimp, check out this entry.

Running the Script

Once you have the script installed, you’ll find it under Filters –> Artistic –> Movie 300. Here are the default settings:

Default options

Note: this script does a LOT behind the scenes, so depending on the size of your image, it may take a long time to run.

Here’s what my photo looks like with the default settings:

With all the default settings

With all the default settings

And here’s all the layers it creates:

Layers

Now, here’s what all the settings are for the script do:

  • Grain Merge: The color of the Sepia layer. No need to mess with this in the dialog box, as you can easily change this after the fact.
  • Multiply: The color of the Yellow Multiply layer. No need to mess with this in the dialog box, as you can easily change this after the fact.
  • Desaturation: Bad label, in my opinion. This is how saturated your base layer will be (the one labeled “Desturated”. If you pick a negative number (which is the default) it will be desaturated to some degree (selecting -100 will be completely desaturated). A positive number will be more saturated than your original photo. I tried this at -100 (completely desaturated), and it made the photo look more sepia than by using the default settings. You can change this after the fact by using the Hue/Saturation sliders, but if you have an idea of what you want, it’s probably best to adjust this in the dialog box.
  • Overlay Opacity: – The Opacity of Overlay 1 and Overlay 2 layers (btw, these are identical layers). No need to mess with this in the dialog box, as you can easily change this after the fact.
  • Overlay Gamma: – See how those overlay layers are black and white? The higher the gamma value, the brighter (or whiter) those layers are. The difference is pretty subtle on the final image – making it slightly brighter with a higher value. You can probably achieve the same effect using levels or curves on those Overlay levels. That, combined with the fact that it’s only a subtle difference makes me say that you don’t need to mess with this in the dialog box.
  • Multiply Opacity: See the layer called Multiply? This controls its opacity. No need to mess with this in the dialog box, as you can easily change this after the fact.
  • Red Tint Opacity: See the layer called Red? This controls its opacity. No need to mess with this in the dialog box, as you can easily change this layer after the fact.
  • Grain Strength: See how grainy my photo is? If I wanted it less grainy I would use a lower number. You can also change the opacity of the grain layer after the fact, but I think it looks better if you do adjust this value in the dialog box itself.
  • Edge Amplification: Creates the Edge Amp layer that you see, which just makes any edges in the photo more pronounced. For instance, can you see the darker area around the outside and neckline of John’s shirt? Without the Edge Amp layer, those aren’t there. Might as well leave it checked because you can always make that layer invisible if you don’t like it.
  • Extra Darkening: This adds a second Multiply layer (with a layer mask on it) that makes the photo extra dark. Might as well leave it checked because you can always make that layer invisible if you don’t like it.

Tweaking things

Because I can never leave well enough alone, I messed around with this filter until I got a photo I really liked out of it. Here’s my final photo:

Just a couple tweaks

Just a couple tweaks

And here’s what I did:

  • Used the default settings, except lowering the amount of grain.
  • Got rid of the Edge Amp layer
  • Decreased the opacity of the Red layer (to 60)
  • Decreased the opacity of the Sepia layer (to 17)
  • Decreased the opacity of both Overlay layers (to 38)

Other Examples

For some reason, this script just screams “portrait” to me, but for fun, I tried it on some other photos too:

On the right is the script run with less grain, no edge amp, and with the extra darkening

On the right (and for some reason a small strip on the left) is the script run with less grain, no edge amp, and with the extra darkening

On the top you can see the effect with all the default settings but less grain and with the extra darkening

On the top you can see the effect with all the default settings but less grain and with the extra darkening

Overall Opinion

It’s something different and fun, but I’m not sure I’ll use this one very often. What do you think?

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Filed under: Gimp Script Showcase
  • No offense to your sweetie, but I think the cat looks more ready to defend against an army of thousands. If (s)he wants.

  • Thanks for this, I will give this a shot too. I second the Nat Geo. Someone I know on flickr turned me on to it and it is wonderful.

  • misskeito

    I love your plug-in reviews :)
    Lately I found one I think it can be useful. It's called National Geographic:
    http://registry.gimp.org/no...

    Cheers!

  • Oh cool, that one was already next on the list! So it's good to know you and DM|ZE both like it. Hopefully that means other people will, too.

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