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I actually made up this solarization effect, but it's based off a simple algorithm I hadn't seen before. The answer below explains how to get it:

enter image description here

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Hi there and welcome to GD - I agree, this is pretty cool! But what you should do is remove the answer from your question, post it as an answer below, and then accept it as an answer. In this way, others will know there is an accepted answer for the question in your heading. We are very happy to have people answer their own questions, and it is much better to have a registered "official" answer. – Benteh May 30 '14 at 9:22
You're getting close votes because you don't have enough in the question now. Try to edit the question almost like a scientific question, "How is solarization achieved?" Or whatever you asked yourself to come to the below conclusion. Right now though there's no question being asked. Interesting answer though. – Ryan Jun 10 '14 at 13:49
up vote 2 down vote accepted

EDIT: Apparently this is called Solarization

So, I'm more a programmer than artist, but this is a cool (.. I like it) formula I developed for changing the value range of an image. The basic idea is you set a reflection point for min or max white light, lets say 127 min. All white light values greater (values where the min of R G and B is 127) go unaffected. All white light values less than this, have their value reflected (i.e. 120 is 7 below the line, so it's changed to be 7 above, or value = max(value, 127 + (127 - value)) .. sorry for the code stuff)

Anyways, it looks like thisvalue wrapping for max and min 127

notice how grey (127 value) is the max brightness in image 2, and the min brightness in image 3... this is different then level modding, as level modding would result in image 3 have an overly white suit. Unfortunately, max style inverts shading, which comes off a bit strange.

So, how to achieve it? Pretty simple, actually.

  1. There are two layers to this. Create the two layers with layer "@vr" (value reflection) on top.

  2. Invert the color of "@vr" and then create an alpha layer mask.

  3. Paste a copy of the image in this layer mask.

  4. Desaturated (black and white) the mask (assuming white is full opacity)

  5. At this point you should have the min effect. If you want the max effect, invert the darkness of the mask. If you want to change the reflection point, change the brightness of the mask. Also try messing with the contrast.

P.S. this is my first post, so please be nice

P.P.S. This is only linear value reflection, and it leads to the common grey area (say.. ~100 to ~160) being doubled in color presence (into 127 to ~160). If you used rounded reflection (imagine the difference between a triangle and a dome), it would get even more grey heavy, but if you use inverse rounding (kind of a sombrero/pin tipped water drop shape), it would make it dart in and out of the gray range. To achieve this would require a special tool but you can get a sort of similar effect by adding contrast to everything.

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