Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making a pencil rendition of a photo

Here's a sketch of my dad and my son based on a photo I took. Yes, it's a computer redition. But there was alot more work than just hitting a few buttons.

First, let me give credit where credit is due. I followed the instructions of a tutorial I found here.

However, there is one thing I need to emphasize. At the end of following the steps, the picture just looked like blank white. You need to duplicate the layer and set it to "multiply" and duplicate that multiply layer several times before the lines are visible. I believe I duplicated it about five times initially.

The duplication of the layers started to create noise (too many black dots). I flattened the image, took a fuzzy eraser, set the opacity to around 50%, and gently erased between the lines. I also made the black lines clearer by using the pencil tool to redraw the major lines. I flattened it again and made a few more multiply layers to darken the image.

I tried to make one of my mom and my daughter, but every attempt created a very unflattering image of my mother. You see, a pencil sketch emphasizes lines, which is not friendly to any age-conscious person over 20. It seriously made my mom look like a wrinkly old woman! I didn't dare try to make one of myself. Lesson learned -- stick to children and people who don't mind the lines on their faces!

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