A well-known method of ‘photoshop’ is to use the “facet” effect in order to manipulate the shape of image. In this method, a “facet” is a set of black and white pixel values that is used to create an image from an image that has been processed using either Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, or Illustrator. In Lightroom/Photoshop the “facet” is a set of black squares, where as in Adobe Photoshop it is a set of black squares containing a mask.
This set of black squares are then combined in a mathematical formula, and this allows you to modify the colour and shape of an image in a relatively simple manner. Using the “facet” effect, a simple way to create a shape like the one below would be to ‘convert’ the image in Photoshop to a “facet” using the command: ‘convert to black’.
As is well known, the main problem with using the “facet” method when editing images is that every pixel is an individual colour and cannot be modified by the image. This has very significant effect on colours and overall accuracy when editing an image.
Another problem in creating the moulds and shapes in the photograph above is that the ‘moulds’ themselves should have been processed in a correct way in order to produce those shapes. In doing so, the photograph actually looks more like a drawing or painting – something that has never really been possible before with Photoshop tools. There is no way of determining the exact technique that would have been used in editing the photograph, and these things are never exactly specified in Adobe Illustrator.
It should be noted that with the “facet” tools, it is possible to make a large range of shapes with similar pixel values. In some cases, using the “moulds” method may actually help to make the image look more realistic. However, the only time that it has been proven necessary in terms of “photoshop-ing” is when modifying a photograph in a computer-generated way (when a shape is made) as opposed to in-world.
While the technique is very powerful in terms of manipulation of an image, there are always some limitations to these methods that can be circumvented with careful attention to detail.
Some examples of such manipulations as can be seen below:
This image was altered with the “convert to black” command:
This cropped version was manipulated using the “convert
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