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Re: [OM] [OT] Topaz Studio 2 artistic explorations

Subject: Re: [OM] [OT] Topaz Studio 2 artistic explorations
From: Bill Pearce <billpearce@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2019 12:56:39 -0400 (EDT)
NO!!! I can't accept this. The use of the word artistic with automated 
processes flies in the face of all that is artistic. Would you buy a painting 
done by a robot? That's Thomas Kinkaide. Anything with the term artistic in it 
is something done by an ARTIST. And an artist does things him or herself. If 
you wish to use automated things and call them artistic, learn to make you own 
photoshop actions and use them. Don't buy them from somebody else. 


In no way does anything artistic come from a machine. 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Wayne Shumaker" <om3ti@xxxxxxxx> 
To: "Olympus Camera Discussion" <olympus@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Thursday, October 3, 2019 9:21:25 AM 
Subject: Re: [OM] [OT] Topaz Studio 2 artistic explorations 

At 10/2/2019 10:25 AM, Bill wrote: 
>I have a problem with the use of the words artistic expression with purchased 
>plug-ins. 

Change the wording to "artistic style" instead of "artistic expression." 

One point I was *implying* is that the use of AI, in particular TensorFlow 
machine learning, is at the basis of much of the tools coming from TopazLabs. 
And IMO is a significant new approach to the processing of images. The artistic 
styles behind AI ReMix capability is just one of many things in TopazLab tools. 
Consider using the technology behind Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, ... - there is a 
whole world of possibilities. I applaud TopazLabs for seeing its potential and 
providing it. What I discussed is only two things in the Studio 2. 

> There may be some artistic expression involved, but it's someone else's 
> artistic expression, not yours. I knew a guy who graduated from a super big 
> deal photo school in California who when he went digital, got a "magic" 
> filter. It cost hundreds of dollars, and was only available as a dongle. He 
> applied it ti EVERY image he shot. Some were OK, ubt others looked more than 
> a little overcooked. Everything had a distinctive look, appropriate to the 
> image or not. 

>As far as I know, the Topaz filters are still just photoshop actions.you can 
>come up with your own. 

So you have an opinion based on history. But what Studio 2 is providing is a 
very flexible framework with a lot of tuning that does require the operator to 
apply some "artistic" judgement. I agree with CTein's latest comments in his 
newsletter: 

"I am quite happy to do things the "lazier" way if it gets me the results I 
want. In fact, I seek out those lazy ways. I can accomplish more and have more 
fun doing it. So far as I'm concerned, those are moral virtues. Not hitting 
myself over the head with a brick because it will "build character" or 
whatever, that's a good thing." 

I don't think you understand how the AI is working. It is highly unlikely that 
the image processing involved with TensorFlow learning could be easily 
translated into photoshop actions. One may come up with a way, in photoshop, to 
recreate the effect on a particular photo, but would be hard to generalize. 

For example. Suppose there is a lens that gives really great bokeh, but is 
otherwise a bit soft. And another lens that is sharp but the bokeh creates 
sharp outlines and other bad bokeh artifacts. Feed this information into 
TensorFlow machine learning and create a new AI bokeh filter. 

Bokeh AI - (Only $49.99) which is different from using photoshop to blur the 
background. One could, with photoshop, create selections of all the sharp areas 
and subtly blur background areas of that tact sharp image with crappy 
background bokeh. But one is going to need to apply "intelligence" to 
distinguish what is sharp image and what is sharp bokeh edges. Not something 
that can be generalize into a PS action. 

Bokeh AI can learn about bokeh and potentially do all that work for you. 

Next up you have that great silver nosed lens that creates a certain "look". 
Lets feed that into TensorFlow and come up with... 

Ag Schnozz AI - which can be used to apply that special silver nose look to 
your images. (We'll discount this to only $29.99). 

We can go further and create other interesting things. Rather than figuring out 
the deconvolution of a lens's characteristics, use the technology of machine 
learning to correct for a lens. ... 

Lens AI 

New styles: Up and coming we have... 

Moose AI 
Jim Nichols AI 
... 

Maybe we can immortialize our style of photography in some way? Afterall, some 
of us are getting long in the tooth. Moose AI, however, requires a lot more 
adjustment sliders than most. 

I'm having *fun* with the tools and my photo "seeing" has been affected by 
knowing what is possible. 

Artificailly Intelligent - WayneS 


>----- Original Message ----- 
> 
>From: "Wayne Shumaker" <om3ti@xxxxxxxx> 
>To: olympus@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
>Sent: Wednesday, October 2, 2019 12:00:16 PM 
>Subject: [OM] [OT] Topaz Studio 2 artistic explorations 
> 
>I have been having fun and exploring Topaz Studio 2 ability to stylize images 
>into artistic expressions. There are a lot of controls to twiddle to create 
>interesting effects. The ability to layer effects further increases the range 
>of possibilities. Here is an example: 
> 
>https://photos.app.goo.gl/UoKTZWifQtd4E3FE7 
> 
>I took the picture of a cactus flower - original - and first created an 
>Impression filter. I then layered two different AI Remix on top of that. 
> 
>The Impression filter has a number of slider options and a brush stroke 
>option. I was curious if one can import a brush stroke and explored how TS2 
>works. The Impression filter you select a brush. You can vary the brush 
>characteristics. To start exploring there is a slider called "painting 
>progress." If you dial that down to 0.01 and slowly increment, you can see the 
>progression of strokes added. If you are curious I recommend looking at the 
>first few strokes, varying the other slider to see the effect of the brush at 
>a low level. The brushes are PNG files that have transparency regions. They 
>are in the Local AppData with ....Normal.png in the name. 
> 
>I next applied two different AI Remix filters on top of the impression filter. 
>With the AI remix filter, you select a thumbnail of an image and it will apply 
>an AI Remix using that image as a style. Exploring all the JSON files in 
>C:\Users\you\AppData\Local\Topaz Labs\Topaz Studio 2 sub directories you can 
>trace the association to the style - JSON files. (or you can save your Look 
>and then look at the JSON file that created to see all the settings). 
> 
>This AI remix exploring lead to associations with *.pb files. These are 
>TensorFlow model files. Further exploring TensorFlow.org there is a project 
>called "magenta". 
> 
>https://github.com/tensorflow/magenta/tree/master/magenta/models/arbitrary_image_stylization
> 
> 
>and an in depth article here: https://arxiv.org/abs/1705.06830 with link to 
>pdf called: 
>"Exploring the structure of a real-time, arbitrary neural artistic stylization 
>network" 
> 
>TensorFlow seems to be at the basis of most of the TopazLabs AI tools. 
> 
>TopazLabs has a new way to create artistic effects using TensorFlow. I imagine 
>in the future they will continue to add to the AI library. What would be 
>really cool is to add the ability to create one's own TensforFlow objects. 
> 
>Not pure photography, but a lot of fun. I find knowing what can be done with 
>such tools has changed how I see with my camera. There are many other effects 
>still to explore. 
> 
>Geek On - WayneS 
> 
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