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How to make "cloud art"

I'm going to explain how to make an image like the one shown below:

I found this technique by mainly by experimentation. I needed an image for the cover of my new book "Behind The Statue" and decided to use Repligator and a normal paint program.

The book is set in the Himalayas of 2500 years ago, at the time of the establishment of buddhism. So a good starting point for the image would be a picture from Katmandu, in Nepal:

I took one half of the statues face and pasted it as a new image (it was tiny, only 64 pixels wide by 196 pixels high). Then I cleaned up the background, and, since I wanted a thinnish final face, I stretched it upwards. These steps are illustrated below:

Now, with that last image, I resized it to be about 1000 pixels high. It looked pretty grim at that stage, huge pixels and very little detail. But I knew that Repligator's Clouds Filter would take care of both of those problems.

I pasted the big 1000 pixels high image into Repligator and selected the Clouds Filter:

...then clicked on Apply Filter.

Unfortunately this filter is very difficult to control. One thing you must do though is to set mixing to none, which you can do by double clicking on the transformed image an choosing "Off (no mix)" in the mixing combo at bottom right of the Cloud Settings:

.

Now your best bet is to use the tickle icon till you find an image you like. The tickle icon is in the toolbar at the top of the main window of Repligator:

If you find something which looks promising then double click on the image to get the effect settings dialog, and experiment with changing them. Here are some examples (using a slightly different original image):

If you have the PRO version of Repligator you may also want to experiment with the Advanced Selection (S on the keyboard) settings to smooth out or enhance edges in the original image.

One you have an image you like you can then bring create the full mirrored version as shown below:

 

Guess what? I have lost the preset settings for the cover you see at the top of this page, which explains why the image above is not the same. That'll teach me!

By the way you can use the same filter to make "Sky Writing".

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