Who is Beeple?
Mike Winkelmann, best known as “Beeple“, is perhaps one of the greatest digital artists of our time. Famous for his “Everydays” project of making one piece of art a day, which began more than 15 years ago. Here I will not talk about how he sold his first 5,000 pieces in a single collage for about $69 million, but rather to a particular feature of his work in recent years. A feature that makes his controversial and critical of today’s world art even more impactful, the painting effect. He works in 3D using a software called Cinema 4D, in which he works purely on composition; putting together various assets purchased mainly on Turbosquid. After making the composition, at the post-production stage, he applies an effect that makes his works look almost like paintings. Achieving an impactful and timeless result. In this little guide I will explain the software used and how to use it so you can apply Beeple’s painting effect to your own work as well.
The software that we will use and that Beeple probably also uses is called Topaz Studio 2. A visual editing program that uses artificial intelligence to manipulate images in detail. This software allows us to apply various effects to our renders, including this painting effect. Follow these simple steps to give your work that extra touch, but don’t abuse it.
How to make the Beeple’s painting effect.
First get Topaz Studio 2 and open the program, I will assume that you already have your render ready to be post-produced. Once open, as indicated in Topaz Studio, import your rendering and let’s get started. Once you’ve imported the render you want to work on, look in the upper right corner and you’ll see that you can now click on “Add Look.” Click on it.
It will open up a list of effects for you to choose from, but as we said we need the painting effect that we can see in Beeple’s artwork. So based on various tests I’ve done, the best effect in my opinion is the one called “Simple Sketch“; look for it by selecting the “Artistic” category and scrolling down. But it’s really just a preset that we’re going to work on next. Take it as just a base to work from.
Once applied, the image will be very contrasty with gamma alterations. Don’t worry, just delete the Basic Adjustment layer. The effects in Topaz Studio 2 are combinations of various settings and adjustments to the image. In fact, on this software you can even create your own presets to reuse later. It might be useful if you want to build your own painting effect and use it frequently.
The layer we’re interested in is called “Impression“, and that’s where we’re going to set the behavior of the “brush strokes”. We will be able to adjust the brush type, size, stroke length and more. Now all you have to do is experiment with the various settings, trying to find the right combination that works with your image.
Keep in mind a very important factor though, Beeple doesn’t just apply the filter, and then it’s done, this is just one step in the workflow. After this painting effect, you can switch to another software such as Photoshop to also manually apply brush strokes, do color correction and the final post-production touches. This effect is just to give a base texture to work on. Beeple himself also puts his brush strokes on it by painting them with hand. As I said before this effect is just a step in the workflow, so use it without abusing it and without distorting too much the 3D aesthetic of your render.