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

Subject: Re: [OM] [OT] Topaz Studio 2 artistic explorations
From: Wayne Shumaker <om3ti@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 03 Oct 2019 13:10:49 -0700
At 10/3/2019 09:56 AM, Bill Pearce wrote:
>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. 

I think you are not understanding the "AI" aspect of using the tool. A robot is 
not making the picture. You seem to be stuck on that point, or the point that 
someone else did some work to create it. I highly recommend reading CTein's 
latest newsletter, although I cannot find it online, just email. Just because 
someone uses PS actions versus a TensorFlow optimized filter, one is no more 
art than the other. Just different ways of working with the tools. One could 
argue that a photograph is not "art" because it was not create with a brush and 
paint. And that may be true by someone's particular Art religion.

The AI machine is a tool for an photographer's vision. How the machine learning 
happens is in the hands of an individual by what they optimize for and IMO it 
is a tool that can be used for artistic endeavors. They call it artificial 
*intelligence*, but really it is just a fancy neural net filter with thousands 
of optimized coefficients. It is a fancy tool that has human input to create 
and use. There are an infinite number of possible ways to create an AI filter, 
all determined by what you (or someone else) decide to optimize for.

Just because someone else did the work to create the AI filter versus me 
struggling with PS actions in my mind has no relevance on the value of the 

The digital camera today is already doing a lot of processing for you. But the 
camera did not decide what to see. My choice to take what I see and manipulate 
it is me using my, so called, "artistic" vision. If I like the result, it 
doesn't matter whether I used a camera or a paint brush.

Here is something related by CTein - per AI and Sharpen AI filter:


I won't convince you from you viewpoint, just that it is not mine. Neither 
views will change what new image processing tools others ae going to create 
with TensofFlow technology. I like the results and I'm having fun. That's all I 
care about. I'm not an art collector either. So I'm probably not a good judge 
of what is so called 'art' or 'artistic'. I applaud all those on this list who 
share their 'artistic' work. It is very inspirational. Each one has a 
particular style of vision.

The past couple of days I have been making my own bone stimulator. You can see 
the details here:


I had surgery on my right ankle and later messed it up, as you can see. Thought 
I was going to have to have 2nd surgery, but fortunately it may heal on its 
own. This prompted me to design and create a bone stimulator. I use LTSpice and 
my knowledge to design the circuits and simulate it. I used IAR workbench to 
write code and program an MSP430 dev board to control the timing. I ordered 
parts and drew a form of layout with pencil and paper. With a microscope and 
exacto knife I created the circuit board. I used microscope, tweezers, wire 
stippers, and soldering iron to add parts to the board. I made a jig and drill 
to wind a 4 inch coil of 100 turns for about 1400uH, according to online 
inductance calculator tool. It may seem a lot of work, but for me it was the 
fastest way to get what I wanted.

Just because I used a lot of tools, worked by hand, and used my own knowledge 
to create a PEMF bone stimulator --- I don't call this Art. Even though it was 
a highly creative endeavor on my part. Who says art has to be a creative 
endeavor rather than just having fun?


>----- 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 
>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 
>"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: 
>>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 
>>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". 
>>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 
>>Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus 
>>Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/ 
>>Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/ 
>>Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus 
>>Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/ 
>>Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/ 
>Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus 
>Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/ 
>Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/ 
>Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
>Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/
>Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/
Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/

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