Posts Tagged ‘photoshop’

How to Photoshop a ‘Pencil Sketch’ – Fast

Last week’s Photoshop class assignment was so simple in concept that I was amazed it counted for a full grade. Our assignment: Create a pencil sketch using a technique our teacher showed us in lecture (which I’ll share with you in a moment). To get the base, black-and-white sketch, or the funky colored-pencil looking sketch takes about a minute or two.

Here’s what I did:

Pittsburgh Photo Original (Click for a Bigger View)

Pittsburgh Photo Original (Click for a Bigger View)

Pittsburgh Photo Pencil Sketch (Click for a Bigger View)

Pittsburgh Photo Pencil Sketch (Click for a Bigger View)

I used a photo I took in Pittsburgh, from the top of the Duquesne Incline. I added a small amount of complexity to the piece I turned in by adding a layer mask to color in only the incline car and some color adjustments to warm up the rest of the picture, but other than my indecisiveness and wanting to make it look perfect, as well as playing around with other images, this process is fast.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open the image file you want to use and Duplicate the Background layer
  2. Convert the Background Copy layer to a grayscale image with the Desaturate adjustment (IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>DESATURATE)
  3. Duplicate the Background Copy layer (the grayscale image) and invert it to a negative image (IMAGE>ADJUSTMENTS>INVERT)
  4. Change the Blending Mode of this negative image Layer from Normal to Color Dodge either directly in the Layers Palette or in the Layer Style menu — this step is sort of weird because it’ll look like your image disappeared
  5. Go to the Filter>Other menu and apply a 2 to 5 pixel Minimum Filter to the Inverted/Color Dodge layer (FILTER>OTHER>MINIMUM) — the bigger the number you choose, the thicker the lines will be

Note: to get the colored-in look, use a full-color Background Copy as the layer beneath the Inverted/Color Dodge layer.

One more example I created, this time a photo I took at the Getty that’s fully “colored in”:

Getty Photo Original (Click for a larger view)

Getty Photo Original (Click for a larger view)

Getty Photo Colored Pencil Sketch (Click for a larger view)

Getty Photo Colored Pencil Sketch (Click for a larger view)

Photoshop Class: Creating a Magazine Cover

Magazine cover mockup - Click for a larger view

Magazine cover mockup - Click for a larger view

For this Photoshop class assignment, we had to create a magazine cover layout, trace the magazine’s title, include at least 4 images, a number of blending modes and text effects, and of course the regular color and levels corrections.

I originally wanted to use one of our travel photos for the magazine cover, but I just wasn’t happy with how any of them really fit in the vertical magazine layout, so I went to Flickr and searched for some photos of Japan. I found this very pretty one that I felt would work perfectly with the layout I was thinking of, and I really started trying to figure out what I wanted on there.

I had hesitations about making the cover too crowded, but I wanted to make sure I had all the elements in place, and I wanted to try out some different ways to highlight information, and play with the blending and text styles. I also decided to go even further on the image adjustments, really pushing the color levels and oversaturating the image. I also used a separate filter for the sky area to make it more vibrant and colorful — it actually has a gradient overlaid on it to add the pinks. I also spent a lot of time trying to figure out what colors to use for all the text, especially the title. And I found that coming up with the text was harder than I thought it would be.

Main cover photo courtesy of Chi King’s Flickr Stream

Photoshop Class: The Paris Postcard

postcard paris

Last week’s assignment for my Photoshop class was creating a postcard using at least 5 of 7 pictures of Paris, and multiple creative layer and text styles. I wouldn’t have normally chosen to give the sky a watercolor effect, but I needed to figure out something to do and I didn’t want to obscure the actual Paris sights. It’s tough for me to try to think about the necessary number of effects and transformations for the project while also trying to focus on the design. Ultimately, I liked how this one turned out, though, and I liked the idea of using the text to frame the images.

Our next assignment is a magazine cover… I think mine will be travel themed again.

Learning Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for Real

I use Photoshop just about daily, and have for quite a few years now. I’m familiar with many of the tools, and know how to get a lot of different results, but I’ve always felt like I’m not quite doing everything right — and that if I knew the program better it would help the work I do, so I signed up for a UCLA Extension Photoshop class, and decided to sign up for an Illustrator one, as well.

I’m taking these classes online, which has been an interesting experience — I do miss the camaraderie of the classroom and the real interaction with the teacher, and taking an online class requires a bit more self motivation than just showing up to class once a week since we’re supposed to be checking our class message boards frequently, participating and sharing our work in progress. So far, though, it’s going well, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot.

In the photoshop class, we’ve talked a lot about retouching and correcting photos, which I haven’t done much of before. Now I want to go back to my travel photos from last year and make them even better. We’re also working on creating layer masks, working in nondestructive ways, and creating interesting effects when compositing images.

One project we did was on photo retouching:

Before Retouching

Before Retouching

After retouching

After retouching

For another project, we had to bring together images, as well as use a gradient and creative text styles to create a brochure. I did it for a tour of Oxford, from photos I took there last year.

brochure_oxford

In my Illustrator class, we have been learning to use the shape and pen tools, and about combining shapes and paths. Our first project was creating a chess board and chess pieces — I decided to make mine little penguins.

Penguin Chess Set

Penguin Chess Set

Our next assignment was to trace logos with the pen tool and then distort the logos with the various transform tools. Here are some I did for the World Wildlife Federation logo.

WWF-LogoTracesSo far, the classes have been going well and I’ve been learning a lot with each assignment and through the great Adobe Classroom in a Book textbooks. I’ll post more of my projects as I complete my assignments.