The main topic was meant to be how to change a photo to a line sketch. Turns out that this will only take 30 minutes to explain. The remaining time will be used for questions and answers and discussion of solutions to individual problems.
Topic 1 – Changing an image to a line sketch suitable for framing
Many people have a problem similar to mine – I cannot draw very well. In fact, I draw really badly.
Photoshop has come to the rescue for people like me. It is possible to use PS/PE to convert a photo to a line sketch.
If you Google “Photoshop CS6 photo to sketch”, you get a massive 690,000 hits. Here are some YouTube videos that I found of interest while preparing these notes:
But I still prefer something that I can read at my own pace or even more radical – print it and hold it in my hands and turn the pages. How good is that! And how old does that make me? Here is the website that I felt most comfortable with: http://www.graphic-design.com/Photoshop/pencil_sketch/.
To quote from the website:
Tim Shelbourne writes…
Ask any artist and they’ll tell you that all the tubes of paint in the world cannot replace the simple pencil when it comes to artistic potential. Through the centuries, the litmus test of an artist’s ability was demonstrated best through the medium of drawing. In days of yore, student painters spent years drawing with graphite to hone their skills.
The so-called “Sketch Filters” in Photoshop consistently yield very disappointing results; re-creating the quintessential sketch demands a little more inventiveness and an approach that mimics traditional techniques. Pencil sketches work especially well when very soft leaded pencils are used on a tinted paper, with a few touches of white chalk here and there to heighten the tones. This is what we’ll produce here, digitally.
Don’t worry if your drawing abilities aren’t up to snuff, all that’s required here is the ability to scribble!
So let’s get started.
(1) Open up one of your photos.
I am using a picture of the family cat. This month his nickname is Garfie Barfie since I seem to have been overfeeding him. He has worked out that all that he needs to do is to keep yowling and sit next to his food bowl and that I will top it up just to get him to be quiet. Here he is.
(2) Now give the file another name and save it as a .psd some place that you can find it easily. Mine is named Garfie Barfie on July 1, 2016 and saved to July SIG Notes/Images.
(3) Duplicate the layer by clicking on Layer/Duplicate Layer.
(4) Click OK when the dialogue box comes up. It looks like this:
Or you can use the keyboard shortcut of Control + J to do the same thing.
(5) Desaturate the duplicate layer (remove any colours other than black, white and shades of grey) the layer by clicking on Image/Adjustments/Desaturate.
Or you could use the keyboard shortcut of Control + Shift+ U.
(6) Double click on the duplicate layer and rename it as Desaturated Barfie. Now it looks like this:
(7) Duplicate the Desaturated Barfie layer by pressing Control +J.
(8) Change the Blend mode to Colour Dodge. Here is what we have now:
(9) Invert the layer by clicking on Image/Adjustments/Invert. The image will disappear.Do not pull out your hair. It is meant to look like that.
(10) The next step might need a few tries. So let’s change the layer to a Smart Object. Right click on the top layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. This will let us come back and make any changes to the filter we are about to add. Looks like this:
(11) We want to apply a Gaussian blur next. Click on Filter/Blur/Gaussian Blur. Make sure the Preview box is ticked.
(12) Move the slider back and forth until you reach the result that you want. The effect that you want is that of a pencil sketch rather than a photograph.
(13) To make the lines darker and thicker, add a levels adjustment layer by clicking on the icon in the blue square shown below.
(14) Move the slider shown in the red rectangle over to the right to increase the density of the sketch lines.
That pretty well completes the photo to sketch that we set out to try.
If we want to add a bit of colour to it, this is easily done.
(15) Click on the original background later that you started with to make it active.
(16) Duplicate the layer by pressing Control + J.
(17) Now drag the Background Copy up to the top of the layers.
(18) Change the opacity to get a mix of colour and the sketch effect.
(19) Finally, cycle through your blend modes until you find one that you like. Here is what I finished up with:
First, I would pick an image of something other than a white furry cat. There is just not enough contrast to in the image that I chose to get a good sketch effect.
Second, it was both frustrating and helpful to find there are so many different ways of getting this effect. The smart filter meant that I could go back and make adjustments to the Blur filter without losing the rest of the effect.
Third, I hope that you will have a chance to give this a go. I have learned heaps trying as well as horrifying friends that let me take their portrait and wind up looking like the Serial Killer/Music Star segments shown in the Spicks and Specks music quiz show on the ABC.
I realise now that it will take a lot more effort and time to produce a better effect that will be more flattering than my present attempts.
But as the stock car race driver said after spinning out his car and rolling it several times, “Wow! What a ride.”