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GRAPHIC DESIGN

Creating Artistic Photographs


This chapter covers how to age a photo, change color to black and white, make a photo look like an oil painting or a watercolor, and more tips. (From the book, Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893.)

Author Info:
By: Sams Publishing
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 17
September 21, 2004
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Creating Artistic Photographs
  2. · Change a Color Photograph to Black and White
  3. · Colorize a Photograph
  4. · Make a Photograph Look Like an Oil Painting
  5. · Turn a Photograph into a Watercolor
  6. · Make a Photograph Look Like It Was Drawn
  7. · Make a Photograph Look Like Ansel Adams Shot It

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Creating Artistic Photographs - Make a Photograph Look Like It Was Drawn
(Page 6 of 7 )

Before You Begin

  • Select a Portion of an Image with Channels
  • Improve a Dull, Flat Photo
  • Adjust Hue, Saturation, and Lightness Manually
  • Smooth an Edge Without Losing Crisp Edges or Texture

PSP has a few different pencil stroke filters, the most common being Pencil. But left to its own devices, this filter is applicable only to images in which you want to emphasize every detail, because its job is to isolate relatively solid areas of color and draw outlines around them. Faces, with their large patches of color, often end up looking like a slice of onion. The Colored Pencil filter is no better. The solution I've discovered to creating a drawn effect from a photograph involves first lightening the image to achieve a pastel look, while saturating the colors so that they are not lost. Next you create a smoothed gray layer that retains the edges while softening the colors. You then create an edge layer, to enhance the edges a bit more. Finally, you apply the Pencil filter to this smoothed, lightened, edgy image, where it more accurately simulates a hand-drawn look.

  1. Oversaturate and Lighten the Image

    Select Adjust, Hue and Saturation, Hue/Saturation/Lightness. Set the Saturation slider to a value between 35 and 50. Generally, you'll also have to set the Lightness slider to a high value (between 25 and 50). Click OK.


    Tip - To make an image look like it was drawn by a drawing program such as CorelDRAW, apply the Effects, Artistic Effects, Posterize filter with a value set to between 7 and 10. Apply Adjust, Add/Remove Noise, Edge Preserving Smooth set at 30. Then sharpen the image and adjust its contrast as needed.


  2. Create a Smoothed, Grayscale Layer

    Select Image, Split Channel, Split to HSL. Close the windows for the Hue and Saturation channels; you won't need them. Activate the window for the Lightness channel, and from the menu bar, select Edit, Copy. Then activate the original image window and select Edit, Paste, Paste as New Layer. Close the Lightness window because you won't need it anymore.

    With the new, gray layer chosen, select Adjust, Add/Remove Noise, Edge Preserving Smooth. Adjust the Amount of smoothing value to achieve the level of detail you want to retain (a value between 10 and 20). Click OK.

    Next, select Effects, Edge Effects, Enhance More. This command makes the smoothed edges crisper.

    The darkest shade on the gray layer should be no darker than a line you can draw with a #2 pencil. To make this change to the image, select Adjust, Brightness and Contrast, Levels. Under Output levels, raise the minimum level (the black pointer) to 64. Under Input levels, drop the maximum level (the white pointer) down to a value between 180 and 200. Then slide the gray pointer to the left to increase the gamma from 1.20 to 1.40. Your eyes will tell you what settings convey a sense of graphite. Click OK.


    Tip - If the image has a low level of detail, consider overdoing this effect by selecting the Enhance More command again. This reduces the sense of photorealism in favor of impressionism.


  3. Blend the Gray Duplicate with the Original

    On the Layer palette, change the Blend Mode for the gray layer to Luminance. Color is supplied by the oversaturated layer below the gray layer. To add a bit more color from that lower layer, set the Opacity of the gray layer to between 70 and 80. Finally, select Layers, Merge, Merge All (Flatten).


    Note - If you were to just apply Edge Preserving Smooth to the oversaturated layer, you'd create generalized color regions, but you'd also dislocate some of that color, especially along the edges. As a result, you could lose the content of important features such as faces. By using a separate layer and blending the two, none of that content is lost.


  4. Create an Edge Layer

    The next step is to overemphasize the edges. Select Layers, Duplicate or click the Duplicate Layer button on the Layer palette. Change to the duplicate layer (probably called Copy of Background) and select Effects, Edge Effects, Find All. The image briefly appears reversed, like a negative spray-painted on black velvet.

    On the Layer palette, change the Blend Mode for this velvet layer to Dodge. The colors from the layer beneath it return, with the overemphasized borders surrounding them. You might have to reduce the Opacity of the new border layer to as low as 75 so that the emphasis on borders doesn't appear too pronounced. Then select Layers, Merge, Merge All (Flatten).


    Tip - If you want the image to be a bit darker and bolder, you can accomplish this with gamma correction. Select Adjust, Brightness and Contrast, Gamma Correction. In the dialog box, with the Link option enabled, slide the gamma down to about 0.8 and click OK.


  5. Create a Pencil Filter Layer

    Select Layers, Duplicate. With the duplicate (Copy of Background) layer chosen, select Effects, Art Media Effects, Pencil. The Luminance value determines the level of contrast needed to identify an edge. Set Luminance to 128. Set Blur to 5 to simulate a pencil width; a higher value creates a large brush stroke effect. Set Intensity to 70—this is the most realistic setting I've found for a pencil stroke that's not too gentle, not too bold.

    Finally, click the Color sample and select the color of the "paper" background—typically, you'll use white {RGB: 255, 255, 255}. Click OK. The result creates the sketchy appearance you need to simulate a pencil drawing, although it doesn't have the bold edges. Recall, though, that you already created those earlier, so all you need to do now is blend the two.


    Tip - For a bolder look, set Blur to 5 and Color to white. Then set Luminance to between –150 and –245.


  6. Blend the Pencil Layer with the Edged Layer

    With the new sketchy layer chosen, set the Blend Mode for that layer to Darken, then reduce Opacity to a value between 66 and 80 (depending on the impact of the sketchiness on the results). To embolden the impact even further, set Blend Mode to Multiply; you might have to reduce Opacity even further, to a value between 40 and 50.

    Finally, select Layers, Merge, Merge All (Flatten) to reveal the final product.

  7. View the Result

    Without using a spot tool such as PSP's own Paint Brush, it's difficult, if not impossible, to replicate the appearance of a real drawing from a photograph alone. For instance, when you compare the example created in PSP to my husband's drawing based on the same photo, you notice that none of the playfulness and exaggerated contrasts of the sailor suit in the real drawing can be re-created in the simulated one. Also missing are the pencil strokes moving in various directions, as they would when drawn by a human hand, although the Pencil filter does a fair job of simulating the graininess you would see when applying color with the edge of a pencil. Look for this image in the Color Gallery in this book.

Fulton

Figure 16.6

This chapter is from Paint Shop Pro 8, by Jennifer Fulton, (Sams, 2004, ISBN: 0672323893). Check it out at your favorite bookstore today.

Buy this book now.


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