A way to achieve this simplified color palette?

I’ve become kind of obsessed with the look of this artist’s simplified color palette (example below), developed for woodblock prints. (I have tinkered with Image>Mode>Indexed) Does anyone have ideas how this might be simulated in GIMP?


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Colors > Posterize with a sufficiently high levels count (around 20…). But IMHO it is not only the palette, edges are inked, so give a try to Filters > Artistic > Cartoon

Here was my attempt with a simple landscape. First I posterized the image in GIMP and then I used the cartoon filter in GIMP.

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Oh, I did one of each separately; I didn’t think of both!

It would be interesting see a good shot from you using both. This was just a quick grab shot to see if the idea would work. A more complex image would probably look better than a few sheep standing around a paddock.

Here is one that had lots of gradients in the sky. In all my experiments, I have had to zero out the black in cartoon. I think I need to figure out which images are the best candidates.

Two copies, one posterized, one cartoonized, top one in Darken only
mode with reduced opacity.


These are tricky.

Of course image selection will play a crucial role here.

But the more difficult part will be to mix the reduced color palette with the subtle gradients inside some of the areas separated by the black ink outlines.

I would start with a hard black/white edge detection in a separate layer, remove the white, alias the black slightly then use those outlines to get selections. And then the fun part begins: pick either one color from an area for solid fill or two for a gradient.

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I’ve tinkered with Mode over the years, but still get surprised by some of the results. Other effects, like Unsharp Mask, I can predict the result.

Maybe something like this with G’mic (Uglify filter)?

Of course there is a lot of detail loss, so here’s a mix with @Ofnuts 's image :

Still can’t beat the japanese prints :slight_smile:

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Actually, that first one only has two problems.
1-Too dark. Images should have full range of luminance values (Ansel Adams philosophy).
2-Some continuous-tone areas look a bit blotchy. Is there actually a filter named Uglify?

I agree; the Japanese prints are mega cool.

1- Wel yes i didn’t really try to make it look good; it’s just a quick click n’ go. I’ll keep in mind the luminance philosophy.
2 - It was an attempt to mimic watercolor, so yes it’s a bit blotchy. It was also my 1st filter ever, so it’s really not perfect. Hence the name, uglify…

+1 :wink:

BTW, i wasn’t sure if you wanted to reproduce the style, or just the color palette.

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I tweaked a bit; mostly bilateral smoothing and smudge in the sky. It’s headed in an interesting direction.

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You are losing detail in the clouds department, and the cliffs on the left have almost vanished.
That’s why i mixed it with the original. Maybe you could mix only the sky and cliff ?
You’d need a huge picture to keep the details without mixing.
And it would depend on the type of pictures.
I know Uglify doesn’t like grass or very detailed images.

I think the abstraction - or loss of detail - is what gives the originals their charm.

In my opinion no need to preserve them.
Or replace them with fake brush strokes or structure of a canvas.

True. I went back to the original version and downloaded a copy, but it will take a while to upload my improved version. Working on tax papers.

I’m sort of on the side of both of you. When I look at the original, there are some details that can be “simplified” as were the lake and forest. I need a little time.

When you say “1st filter” do you mean you did some coding or scripting? Because that cross hatch has potential esp if it did not go lighter near the edges. I can’t give specific advice because I’ve never delved into the guts of GIMP fx.

But in the original, or in watercolor, it’s the paper that gives a textured look, or even the shape of things. Without it, it looks less interesting ( to me)

Yes, I wrote the filter with g’mic. It was my first.

The canvas has already a life of it’s own here : Testing > Prawnsushi. You can change the color too. I use it sometimes in my other scripts.

@okieman you could also give stylize a try:

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Well, then put in on paper, like the original. Printing is always good.