This is a Twisted Brush file so you will need a copy of Twisted Brush Release17.17 or 16.24. This can be downloaded from the Pixarra website. You can use either the pay-for version (well worth the money) or the freeware version.
Creating the Porcelain effect. This is just one way to create a porcelain effect and follows what is probably the most common method.
The classic porcelain effect is achieved by combining the unaltered image with a slightly blurred copy. The idea is to get a balance between the blurred and clear images such that, you get the blur but with the detail still showing through. To see what I mean by this, down load the example file and open it in Twisted Brush, then, turn off all layers except layer1 and 3.
Taking this Idea one step further you can mix in a slightly sharpened copy of the original. I fine the best way to do this is to go to Filters>Sharpen > Sharpen More, and play around with the controls until I get an image that is so sharp it is just staring to look jagged and alittle rough around the edges, then go to Filters> Blur >Anti Alias, again play around with the controls until those rough edges have been smoothed out. A good starting point for the Anti Alias is to set all controls to 50% and experimant from there. This can now be blended into our image to regain alittle of the lost detail.
For the blur layer, I found that Gaussian is normally the best option (Filters>Blur> Gaussian Blur) but if you have downloaded my Straight Edged Blur Filter that is another useful option if you want a heavy blur. You do not need to use just one blur layer, try two or even three blur layers all with varying amount of blur from 2% up to 20%.
By keeping our blurred and sharpened effects on different layers means we can blend them into each other, as a result we have alot more flexibility which inturn increases our chances of achieving a good result.
Side Notes and Comments:
It is not possible for me to tell you what values you should set for the blur or sharpen filters, this will depend not only on the effect you want to achieve but also on the size of you image. As a rule of thumb: The larger the image the higher you will need to set the slider values.
If you have a large image that you want to process, it might be worth making a half size copy of it first and play around with that. Once you have archived the desired effect go back to your full size image and try to recreate it. The reason for this is that the larger the image the longer each filter will take to work its magic. This is because the larger the image the more number-crunching your computer has to do. So, by experimenting with a small image you will speed up your work-flow, bear in mind that when you reduce the image size by 50% you actually reduce the file size by 75%!! Explanation.