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Old 08-02-2000, 11:58 AM   #1
Em
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Arrow '02 dock photo reborn via Photoshop....

(I know many people are tired of discussing the new look, but there are lots of topics that even fewer people are interested in, so--for those that are still interested....)

The dock photos (not fakes, for many reasons) are just plain bad pictures. So I decided to take the worst '02 shot ever--the front end on the dock--and see what it would have looked like with better photogrpahy. Before and after versions are below.

All I did was enhance the overall quality--lighting, reflections, color--I did nothing to alter the shape or details in any way. But by revealing the front intakes and the "dip" around the scoop better, I think this looks much nicer (and less like other cars on the road). I missed that hood dip entirely the first time I saw the pic--but check the red top view ( new-impreza.com/images/top.jpg ) for comfirmation that it is really there. Other photos show it faintly too.

Looks good to me....






[This message has been edited by Em (edited August 02, 2000).]
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Old 08-02-2000, 12:06 PM   #2
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Thats a really awesome job. I still like the way it looks. It looks even better with the job you did, very nice. I still love the new design
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Old 08-02-2000, 12:06 PM   #3
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I missed the hood detail the first time as well.
I need to get Photoshop. How much does it run anybody?

Rick
http://roads.to/ricksrides
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Old 08-02-2000, 12:13 PM   #4
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I think brucelee was trying to sell a copy of 5.5 for $350 (normally $600-700) in the classifieds last week.
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Old 08-02-2000, 12:23 PM   #5
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That hood dip... i missed it too. Not bad...not bad.
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Old 08-02-2000, 12:29 PM   #6
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The hood dip reminds me a bit of some Legacys.

I got Pshop bundled with a $300 scanner... unfortunately that deal is long gone. A great program though--a million tools and never crashes. You'll need lots of RAM and HD space to make best use of it. Well worth the full price.

I know you are all dying to see the '02 in black:



Now just give it to me with 5 doors.

And to make this thread load even faster, try red:



I did a silver too, but it needs a lot of work to hide the JPEG garbage it revealed. (By the way, these images are only hosted temporarily, so feel free to grab them.)
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Old 08-02-2000, 12:38 PM   #7
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is there a shot of the wing?
 
Old 08-02-2000, 12:43 PM   #8
Em
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I haven't done anything with a wing myself (being a wagon fan), but anybody is welcome to edit these further.

Here's silver--a little rough, literally:



OK I'll stop now.

Edit: no I won't, you only live once. Here's white. I cleaned up the silver above a little better too. (Now I'll play with 2-tone like the OB Sport. With the bumper plastic coming up as high as it does between the lights, that could look pretty weird.)



[This message has been edited by Em (edited August 02, 2000).]
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Old 08-02-2000, 12:51 PM   #9
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It looks much better with these photos. I also think it looks pretty good in the action photo I've seen of the car in another thread. The "untouched" doc photos show the car from poor angles, but these are much better.
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Old 08-02-2000, 02:45 PM   #10
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Cool

Ya know, when i first saw the '02, i almost threw up. looked like a hyndai. but with em's nice detail work, i think im getting used to it, if not liking it. weird!
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Old 08-02-2000, 03:05 PM   #11
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C'mon Photoshop users...get creative! How about Chrome...or Camo...or on fire?

D. Neil Crawford
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Old 08-02-2000, 03:45 PM   #12
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How about a WRC paint scheme with full rally decals? We'll see if Burns will be stylin' in this thing...
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Old 08-02-2000, 05:33 PM   #13
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What's really weird, when I run a flat level saturation filter on pics to find fakes, this shows telltale sign of end user smoothing and cut and pastes, but I really don't think its a fake. Look at the blotches around the hoodscoop, usually big blotches like that only happen when someone has cut and pasted, cloned and smoothed. Hmm...



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Old 08-02-2000, 05:35 PM   #14
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When I first saw the original dock pics I thought I could probably learn to like the new design. Now that I've seen these enhanced pics I'm sure of it. Hell, in person it might even look badass!
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Old 08-02-2000, 06:26 PM   #15
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Dada--are you referring to the squarish patches? Those are the result of JPEG compression, and will happen in any image--more so if heavier compression is used. When I processed the colored images above, it brought out a lot of the same thing you have noted--I fixed some of the more obvious JPEG blocks, but only a very large/high-quality JPEG will be free of them.

I have done photo retouching for years, and with the possible exception of the rear badging, the dock photos are the real thing. Which is good, because I like the new design better and better myself.

I tried the two-tone color scheme--now that looks odd (with the lower color going up to the seam beside the lights, anyway). Hopefully there will be an RS wagon, and then I won't be shopping for an OB Sport.
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Old 08-02-2000, 11:44 PM   #16
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Em: Actually, I'm pretty familiar with JPEG compression [a company I was a partner in actually wrote their own "faster" jpeg compressor years ago] and the signs above are actually not just part of the JPEG compression. The alteration routine I used above actually is a saturation filter which does some peaking and filtering on a different color channels schema. it helps bring out areas of similiarity that are usually not visible in the picture. when you get that kind of blocking effect, which is very similiar to the 2x2 or 4x4 pattern you get with jpeg, its usually a sign of something someone has cloned and smoothed, although not always. i have taken a whole bunch of photoshop's photos and ran my saturation filter on them and instantly spotted the false parts of the images based on those blocks as well as other things i look for.

i actually have used that filter twice for clients in ways that scared them -- one time i used it [at 50 times the level i used on that pic] to actually bring out a reflection that was hidden in a surface to show someone behind the camera that took a pic [it scared me too], and another time i used it to show that an image was doctored in a very minimal way.
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Old 08-02-2000, 11:51 PM   #17
Overtime
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For the 2nd time...

That pic WAS doctored. I don't care who says "No way, I'm a photoshop pro, I know all about this stuff." It doesn't matter. That pic was doctored.

Bad photography is one thing. Excellent photoshop work is another. DOCTORED.

The swiss pics seem to be fine. The wheels are the same size at least.

Aren't the red pics the same as the Swiss pics in terms of wheel design?
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Old 08-03-2000, 09:53 AM   #18
Em
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Lightbulb

That's interesting dada--I can see what you mean about cloning/retouching making those kinds of boxes happen. I never thought about that before. But I'm convinced the hood isn't retouched. Here is what is happening I believe--I did an experiment:

[begin technical rambling]

I filled a screen with low-contrast noise, did a bunch of cloning in a circular area, and saved as a low-quality JPEG. Playing with the color channels revealed the JPEG blocks to be especially prominent in the retouched area (but of course no blocks appeared in the non-JPEG-compressed original).

The reason, however, is simply that JPEGs get blockier where there is less detail--why waste data on finer blocks of color when there is no detail to show? Cloning typically reduces pixel-level detail, and so blocks can appear when the JPEG is processed--just as you have noticed.

BUT there are many other reasons why an area will have low detail--and therefore will show the same blocks. The area could simply be smooth in the image--like the hood of the car. So those blocks don't indicate retouching, they simply indicate a lack of fine detail in that region.

Here is why retouching with the clone tool reduces fine detail and has a softening effect. (You could clearly see this softening in the noisy screen I cloned in my experiment.) The clone tool, used with a soft brush, copies data at 100% in the center, fading towards 0% at the edge. Along the edge of the clone stroke you get a mix of the old and new data. Mixing two sets of image data like this will tend to average them over multiple strokes--not unlike applying a blur. Similarly, if you mix ten screens of noise (in other words, sharp fine detail) together equally, they will tend to average out to a very soft neutral grey. That's why you have to be careful when using a soft-edged clone in a detailed area. It will reduce detail--and if the eye can't see it, processing the image as you have done will show it--IF the image has been JPEGed to introduce blocking. I have noticed this blurring before, and taken steps to counteract it in some of my retouching (using a tiny bit of Add Noise), but I never thought about it in terms of heavy JPEG compression.

A similar effect happens with just airbrushing or painting on changes rather then cloning: the retouch can be very smooth, lacking the graininess of the original photo, and thus has less detail data for the JPEG compressor to deal with.

Here are my test images--you can see how cloning has softened the detail in the original one, and then that becomes blocky when JPEGed and processed (probably not the same way you processed yours, but the effect can be seen). The third image is a simple gradient--perfectly smooth with no manipulation--that also shows JPEG blocking, because it never had detail to begin with. (The blocking is more prefect than in a real photo, because the gradient itself is perfect.)





[end technical rambling]

So in conclusion--and back to Subaru... I have no opinion on the wheels in the dock photos--those are easy to manipulate--and the rear badging is highly suspect--but the body and front end are original as photographed. The blocky signs you see on the hood are simply a combination of a low detail area of the photo with heavy JPEG compression. Similar blocks occur in other flat, low-detail areas, like the headrest seen through windshield, and the shadows on the ground (which nobody would need to retouch anyway). (But if you see those kinds of blocks making the shapes of brush-strokes, like they did in my test, then you have caught some retouching.) The scoop itself does not show so much blocking, because it has edges and detail.

If someone was going to make a fake photo that is a perfect rendition of the real new Impreze seen elsewhere, it would take tremendous effort, and you'd expect they'd choose a better shot of a car then something sitting on a Chinese dock, and would have the eye to take a better photo. And if they had a photo of the real thing anyway (otherwise why the perfect match--can't be from memory), why not just steal that image, or move that car into a new background? Much easier. And I can't believe they would put the hood dip in, but almost invisible like it is: just a hint of shading on the right, and some distortion of the reflection on the left. If they retouched the hood, then why did they show this detail with such accuracy and yet make it almost impossible to see unless you know it is there? They'd have to have predicted that people would later see the real thing, go back and look for that hood dip, note that it is subtle, and be further convinced--long after their first viewing of the photo--that it is real. I don't think that kind of head-game would be worth anybody's time. They'd either make the dip clearly visible or else omit it. Likewise if that much effort when into the retouch, then they must have intentionally taken a poorly lit/exposed/framed photo to make pro-quality work look like amateur photography. I can't imagine the motivation for that.

I can see people would want to think that front end was a fake when they were first surprised by a look they didn't like--myself included. But so many photos have come out showing exactly the same body/nose shape, that continuing to look for some of them to be fake in very subtle ways doesn't make sense. Some things may have been changed (wheels perhaps), but to fake the entire body shape so well is hard to believe. Why bother to fake it if it is the truth? Is faking impossible? No. But there is a much simpler explanation--somebody photographed these on a dock.

But I can see that you are right that retouching can sometimes be related to JPEG blocking, and it is fun to experiment with. Did you apply curves to the brightness channel after using the RGB->HSB/HSV filter? That's a cool filter (I like blurring the H channel, and it's a great way to make some tricky masks) and I can't remember where I got it from.

[This message has been edited by Em (edited August 03, 2000).]
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Old 08-03-2000, 10:32 AM   #19
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Now THAT is how you bury a hatchet. Stick a fork in the MY02, it's done.
 
Old 08-03-2000, 11:38 AM   #20
Mel 22B
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Dude, not even close.

Thanks for the silver. Looks nice. I still can't decide b/n blue, black or silver. my current ride is black and the scratches and upkeep are drivin me nuts.

-Mel
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Old 08-03-2000, 11:43 AM   #21
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It really looks a lot better, thanks. I
like the silver. I might be crazy, but
wasn't there pics of a new one with turned
up headlights almost like the 00 Legacy?
Mara
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Old 08-03-2000, 12:16 PM   #22
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Um, dada, what I think you turned up in that image is the colour banding that was caused when the image was initially compressed. Since JPEG is lossy, when the saturation of an area is so high that it no longer contains fine detail, or the colour gradient is very fine (such as the hood of the car, where the reflection of the sun has blown some of the colours off the scale, and created a large gradient), what you will get in the end is severe blocking of the area. You know how JPEG works, evidently, so obviously when it starts compressing x by x squares of pixels, it will generate large blocks since the data from the original image is simply too linear for it to interpolate anything but a flat block.

To anyone who "brightens" an image with lots of "black areas" to find detail, usually all you'll turn up is ghosting that is created by poor compression from transfer of the image to a lossy 72dpi format. It's interpolating image data from nothing, so generally even if you "see" something, it's just noise. When data doesn't exist in an image any longer (ie 0,0,0 or 255,255,255 (or close to those numbers) RGB data) there is no way to re-create it.

Greg.

[edit] This is similar to what Em said, although he didn't take into consideration the colour gradient and banding that already existed within the area.

[This message has been edited by Greg I (edited August 03, 2000).]
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Old 08-03-2000, 12:36 PM   #23
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the front end looks like a RAV-4 to me, UGLY!
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Old 08-03-2000, 02:10 PM   #24
8Complex

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The block in the window -

If you were to Photoshop a picture to perfection, would you want people analyzing the fine details of the car, or would you want htem to go "oh look, that is where they did it"? To make one thing obvious, makes another hidden.

Bet you didn't notice the big black spot in front of the rear wheel on the ground in the side dock shot, either.
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Old 08-03-2000, 02:19 PM   #25
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8Complex: Bet you didn't notice the big black spot in front of the rear wheel on the ground in the side dock shot, either.

I repeat:

To anyone who "brightens" an image with lots of "black areas" to find detail, usually all you'll turn up is ghosting that is created by poor compression from transfer of the image to a lossy 72dpi format. It's interpolating image data from nothing, so generally even if you "see" something, it's just noise. When data doesn't exist in an image any longer (ie 0,0,0 or 255,255,255 (or close to those numbers) RGB data) there is no way to re-create it.

Greg.
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