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Tuesday, 08 September 2009 21:39

Photograph: Neveria Alicia 1253 by Daniel J BeauvaisHere's a fun way to create a tasteful interpretation of a photograph, requiring some moderate Photoshop skills.

This photograph of an ice cream parlor on Isla Mujeres, off the shore of Cancun, uses a combination of two effects to achieve the final image.  Here's the basics of how I did it.

Layers used to make Neveria Alicia photographIn Photoshop, I copied the original background photo onto two additional layers, and labeled them "Watercolor look" and "Line drawing."  (See the Photoshop screenshots)

I selected the "Watercolor look" layer, and temporarily turned off the visibility of the other two layers.  I applied Topaz Adjust plug in filter, tweaking the controls until I found a pleasing smooth painterly effect  You may find that some of the standard Photoshop filters may give you another pleasant effect.

I then selected the "Line drawing" layer, and temporarily turned off the visibility of the other two layers.  At this point, it looked like the original photo.  I applied the "Find Edges" filter (Filter > Stylize > Find Edges), getting a colorful line drawing.  To turn the line drawing to black, I used Image > Adjustments > Black & White.

To put it all together, I restored the visibility of the "Watercolor look" layer, then changed the blending mode of the "Line drawing" layer to "Darken."  In this way, the "Watercolor look" layer showed thru except where the "Line drawing" layer had dark lines.  I saved the result.

Hint:  If you try this technique, and you may find that the line drawing is not bold enough.  If so, select the "Line drawing" layer, apply some Gaussian Blur to it (Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur) to fatten-up the lines.  Use Levels (PC: Ctrl-L, Mac: Command-L) to keep just the darkest parts of the fat lines.

I used Photoshop CS4 and Topaz Adjust 3, however, any recent version of these programs will suffice.

Give this idea a try with some of your own photos, and have fun!

Prints and gifts containing this image are available in my gallery.


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 November 2010 16:44
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