Welcome to this Tutorial page of
Your Creative Source
If you're an illustrator, or anyone doing artwork for that matter,
you'll often find that you need to convert photographic reference
into line art so that you can manipulate shapes and composition.
There is software out there made specifically for this purpose
(Adobe's Streamline perhaps the most known), but you
already have Photoshop - can you achieve conversions
without buying more software? The answer is a qualified
yes... qualified because although you can do
a conversion, it doesn't work well with every image and it
usually doesn't give you a really tight result. The good
news is that it will provide a quite usable result in
many circumstances. Good enough so that you may only need to touch
up your "drawing" to get exactly what you need. For this example, we
chose a photo that is a better than average candidate for
conversion. It has good contrast, few dark areas that
can "plug up," and some interesting variety.
Here is what we'll work with:
Once we are looking at the image, it's a basic process to convert it:
In your pull-down menu go to Filter > Blur > Smart Blur.
A dialog window will open. First, set Quality to High
and Mode to Edge Only. As a starting point, set Radius
to under 10, and Threshold to a midpoint. Tinker with the settings
while watching the preview window and when you get something
you like, click "OK."
As you've certainly noticed, the preview and resulting image are
black with white lines. To get the image to black lines on a white background
choose Image > Adjust > Invert in your pull-down menu.
It may not be a perfect line drawing; in fact it will almost
certainly not be. The effect can, however, be a powerful aid to the
creative process. Quick roughs can be generated with the
simple application of two menu items - you can't ask for
much more than that, and it's already built in!
To download this tutorial (93k), Click here.
You will receive the tutorial text.
Click here for a printer friendly version.
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