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Pencil Sketch Technique to Lighten Up Photos
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Pencil-Sketch Technique to Lighten Up Photos
Created by:Joyce Turner

In this tutorial we will use various techniques to lighten and enhance the background of photographs.

Download the attachments for this tutorial Download File

For this tutorial you should download the file on the left which contains the photo with several selection files. The three ".sel" files should be placed in your "Selections" folder in the PSP program folder.

When working with your own photos later on, you'll have to make selections that correspond with your pictures. Here's how this can be done with the Freehand (Lasso) Tool:
Using the Lasso Tool.





Standard Toolbar - New (image) button

Basics

Opening the Layer Palette:

  • Method #1: Click on the "Layer Palette" button
  • Method #2: Right-click in an empty space on the Toolbar and choose "Layer Palette" from the popup menu.
Layer Palette - Modes

Using the Layer Palette:

  • To set the Blend Modes, click on the layer and then into the second section to the right of the layer name.
  • To adjust Opacity, slide the slider in the field between the layer name and the blend mode field.
  • Using Adjustment Layers: Right-click on the layer name, select "New Adjustment Layer" in the popup menu and then select the particular Adjustment Layer wanted in the submenu. Initially, options are set at this point.
  • Adjusting an Adjustment Layer: Double-click on the layer and reset the option values accordingly.
Standard Toolbar - Open (image) button

Original Photograph

Enhancing the Photograph

Open the photograph (sketchmanseated.jpg) in PSP.

Duplicate it to save the original: Go to Window || Duplicate or press Shift+D.

Duplicate the layer: right-click on the "Background" layer and select "Duplicate" from the popup menu.

Negative Image Create a negative image: Go to Colors || Negative Image.
Grey Scale

Make it a greyscale image: Go to Colors || Greyscale.

Then increase the color depth again: Go to Colors || Increase Color Depth || 16 M Colors.

Blend Mode = Dodge

Lighten the image: Set the Blend Mode to "Dodge".

The picture should now be very white.

Right-click on this layer in the Layer palette and rename it to "Blur".

Gaussian Blur

Go to Effects || Blur || Gaussian Blur and use a value between 2 and 4 (I used a value of 2).

Your picture should now resemble a "Pencil Effect".

Edge Enhanced

Select the bottom layer in the Layer palette and duplicate it: right-click on the layer in the Layer palette and choose "Duplicate" from the popup menu.

Right-click on the duplicated layer and rename it to "Darken Bkgd".

With this layer active, go to Effects || Edge || Enhance.

Now set the Blend Mode to "Darken" and adjust the Opacity to look good (I used a value of 30).

Burn Mode

The background in the original picture is very dark. The following will help create a darker background:

Duplicate the bottom layer, name the new layer "Burn Bkgd".

Set the Blend Mode to "Burn" and adjust the Opacity to 3.

New Colored Photo

To return the picture to a color photo do the following:

Highlight the top layer in the Layer palette, then activate the original picture. Drag the "Background" layer of the original photo from the Layer palette with your mouse onto the new picture you are creating.

Name the new top layer "Orig Pic".

Set the Blend Mode to "Multiply" and adjust the Opacity to about 58.

Finishing the Picture

The following shows four methods of finishing the picture using various Adjustment layers as well as Blend-Mode and Opacity settings, each method with a slightly different result. Try them out and see what you like best for your photos!

Adjustment Layer Reset and Show Buttons

Face Selection, inverted

Method 1

  • Highlight the "Orig Pic" layer in your Layer palette.
  • Right-click and select "New Adjustment Layer || Hue/Saturation/Lightness" from the popup menu.
  • Click on the Reset button (see screenshot on the left).
  • Make sure the "Eye" and "Down Arrow" buttons are pressed (again, see screenshot on the left).
  • Set the Saturation slider to about 20 so that the face color is good.
  • Click on OK.
  • Then, load the "facesketch.sel" selection: Go to Selections || Load from Disk, browse to your selections folder and open the "facesketch.sel" file.
  • Now, invert the selection: Go to Selections || Invert.
Background Deleted
  • Hit the Delete key and deselect (Ctrl+D or Selections || Select None).
  • Set the Opacity to about 35 or a value that looks good.
  • Adjust any of the sliders a little to refine the appearance of the picture.
Method 1
  • Highlight the "Orig Pic" layer in your Layer palette.
  • Load the Jacket Selection: Go to Selections || Load From Disk, and in your selections folder select the "jacket.sel" file.
  • With the "Orig Pic" layer still highlighted in your Layer palette, go to Selections || Promote to Layer.
  • Rename the new layer to "Jacket".
  • Set the Opacity to about 74.
  • Right-click on that layer and select "New Adjustment Layer || Brightness/Contrast from the popup menu. Click on OK.
  • Make sure that your new Adjustment layer is highlighted in the Layer palette and go to Selections || Invert.
  • Hit the Delete key and deselect (Ctrl+D).
  • Set the Blend Mode to "Burn" and the Opacity to about 21.
  • Highlight the Hue/Saturation/Lightness layer and set the Opacity to about 30.
  • Save this image as "Method1.psp".
Method 2

Method 2

  • Duplicate the picture you just made (Shift+D or Window || Duplicate) and delete the two Adjustment layers.
  • Highlight the "Orig Pic" layer in your Layer palette.
  • Load the Head selection: go to Selections || Load from Disk and open the "head.sel" file.
  • Go to Selections || Promote to Layer and rename the new layer to "Head".
  • Set the Blend Mode to "Normal" and the Opacity to 60.
  • Go to Effects || Sharpen || Sharpen.
  • Deselect (Ctrl+D or Selections || Select None).
  • For the "Jacket" layer, set the Opacity to 98.
  • Highlight the "Orig Pic" layer in your Layer palette, right-click and choose "New Adjustment Layer || Hue/Saturation/Lightness from the popup menu.
  • Set the Lightness to 26 and click on OK.
  • Set the Opacity of that layer to 53.

The outcome will be an effect more like a picture but you will be able to see the background. Save this image as "Method2.psp".

Method 3

Method 3

  • Duplicate the first picture you made (Shift+D or Window || Duplicate) and delete the two Adjustment layers.
  • Highlight the "Orig Pic" layer in your Layer palette.
  • Load the Head selection: go to Selections || Load from Disk and open the "head.sel" file.
  • Go to Selections || Promote to Layer and rename the new layer to "Head".
  • Set the Blend Mode to "Multiply" and the Opacity to 51.
  • Deselect with Ctrl+D or Selections || Select None.
  • Duplicate the "Orig Pic" layer: Right-click on the layer in your Layer palette and choose "Duplicate" from the popup menu. It will be called "Copy of Orig Pic". Move it below the "Orig Pic" layer in the Layer palette.
  • For the "Copy of Orig Pic" layer, set the Blend Mode to "Color" and the Opacity to 98.
  • For the "Orig Pic" layer, set the Blend Mode to "Multiply" and the Opacity to 48.
  • Adjust the layer settings to:
    • "Jacket" layer: Multiply, Opacity = 73.
    • "Head" layer: Multiply, Opacity = 49.
    • "Orig Pic" layer: Multiply, Opacity = 48.
    • "Copy of Orig Pic" layer: Color, Opacity = 98.
    • "Blur" layer: Dodge, Opacity = 100.
    • "Darken Bkgd" layer: Darken, Opacity = 44.
    • "Burn Bkgd" layer: Burn, Opacity = 3.
    • "Background" layer: Normal, Opacity = 100.

The colors on the man should be pretty normal and the background is visible.

Method 4

Method 4

To create a look more like a sketch, use these values for the Opacity:

  • Jacket = 51
  • Head = 50
  • Orig Pic = 28
  • Copy of Orig Pic = 24
  • Blur = 100
  • Darken Bkgd = 43
  • Burn Bkgd = 2

To finish the pictures, right-click on a layer and choose Merge || Merge all (Flatten) from the popup menu. Then:

  • You can save your image in the "psp" format or, if you are going to use it on the web, in the "jpg" format.
  • If you wish to print the image, you need to increase the "dpi":
    • Go to Image || Resize.
    • Go to the bottom part of the dialogue window, "Actual Print Size". Look at the width: It is 5 inches (if it is not set to inches, choose inches from the drop down box on the right).
    • Change the dpi setting to 300, then go back and change the width to 5 if you wish to keep the image at its current size.
    • Click on OK.

    The image will be much larger on your screen if you zoom to 1:1 but it will print out to the 5 inches width.

Have fun creating sketch pictures from photographs.
Joyce