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TRY-IT: Colored Lines via Smart Blur Find Edges

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  • TRY-IT: Colored Lines via Smart Blur Find Edges

    A common technique to generate a line drawing is:

    1. Duplicate Background

    2. Blur > Smart Blur > Edges Only (renders white lines on black background)

    3. Image > Adjustments > Invert (CTRL + I)

    Photoshop 7 users can take it a step further by...

    4. Applying the Stylize > Diffuse filter and specify the Anisotropic option.

    5. Optional: Apply Unsharp Mask to give the lines a little more body.

    But what if you want COLORED lines?

    No problem. It's just a slight variation from the above.

    - - - - - - - -

    1. Duplicate Background

    2. Blur > Smart Blur > Edges Only (renders white lines on black background)

    Photoshop 7 users can do the next two steps.

    3. Applying the Stylize > Diffuse filter and specify the Anisotropic option.

    4. Apply Unsharp Mask to give the lines a little more body.

    Back to everyone...

    5. If the Channels Palette is not visible, Window > Channels.

    6. While holding down CTRL (Mac: Cmd), click any of the channels. It makes no difference which one. This will "load the selection" created by the white on black lines ("Marching ants" appear on the screen.)

    7. Click the Layers tab to return to the Layers Palette.

    8. Click on the Background.

    9. Layers > New Layer > By Copy (or CTRL [Mac: Cmd] + J). This will create a new layer based on the selection.

    10. Optional: Duplicate the layer just created and set the layer blend mode to Multiply. This will give the lines a little more character if desired. Layers > Merge Down will combine these two layers if desired.

    This "colored lines" layer is now ready to be used as desired in your photo-art creation.

    You will probably have to "clean up" some of the extraneous lines either by erasing them or hiding them via layer mask when the layer is used in conjunction with other layers.

    * This post: The original image
    * Next post: The after image
    * 3rd post: PS6 and PS7 actions to achieve the results described above.

    Now it's your turn to "try it."

    Attached Files

  • #2
    The "after"...
    Attached Files


    • #3
      The actions...
      Attached Files


      • #4
        With colored lines isolated on a layer, the background was desaturated, blurred, and Crystallize filter applied and blurred again before applying a texture via Texturizer.

        A layer mask was added to the lines layer so the "junk (noise)" could be suppressed.

        The lines layer was duplicated 2 times and blend mode set to screen.

        Then I experimented for a while with different blend modes and the application of a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (on the colored lines).

        Hope this gives you some food for thought...
        Attached Files


        • #5

          TRY-It, I did...... like the effect very much, thanks.

          Added other options with the "stroke" feature , under "edit.". Neat tip about control-click on any channel layer.

          With those ants running, try changing colors or size of line, adding different color backgrounds. Using the "inside" or "outside" or "middle," one has many options.

          Example shows changed red to yellow lines, using "Strokes."
          Attached Files


          • #6
            Here's another take on this method.

            As noted previously Smart Blur (Edges Only) renders some pretty edgy lines.

            The character of lines Layers C, D and E (based on layer B in this set if attachments) was altered by applying different filters. See the Layers Palette snapshot for filter settings.

            The point of all this: You don't have to settle for what Smart Blur (Edges Only) gives you! You can take the results even further.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Another way is if you have Irfran/Iview {free}

              Image > Negative
              Image > effects > Edge detection

              Now you have colored lines
              For a nice sketch .. Image > negative or convert to grayscale ... Sharpen
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Having tried the methods described I still prefer Xero Line Art - you can even select which colour you want as the background by setting your background colour first.

                Attached Files


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