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Transform Pictures Into Illustrations

Have you ever thought of designing a wallpaper for your beloved pet? Or have you encountered a time where you wish to change a picture into illustration? That’s what we are going to show you in this tutorial.

Before & After:

Step 1

Dog Image ID: 774262 © Eric Isselée To begin with, open an image of your favourite animal or pet dog and move it to a 300 Resolution file size with Width 1680 pixels and Height 1050 pixels. Check your computer screen resolution to help you decide on the appropriate size. Setting the right image size at the beginning of this project is crucial as it could influence the whole image composition to change it in later stage. Set the Background Contents to Transparent if you want to be able to track the effects easily.

Step 2

Go to Channels Window > Blue Channel > duplicate Blue Channel. Go to Image > Adjustments > Curves or press Ctrl + M to turn the object black. Use the Brush Tool to cover up any grey areas/holes and make sure the dog is completely black before moving on to the next step.

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We’ll now move on to the background. Find a nice scenery picture and paste it to the bottom of the dog layer. Here, you can remove the transparent Layer 1 which we won’t be needing anymore.

Background Image ID: 3219389 © Ewan Chesser Step 13

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Step 15 For better results, I’ve also added some birds and dogs at the background. You may skip this if you think it is unnecessary for your artwork.


Birds Image ID: 3227420 © Anatoli Dubkov

Dogs Image ID: 2059777 © beardean

Next, flatten the background and dog layer in the Layers Window. Go to Filter > Artistic > Poster Edges and follow these settings – Edge Thickness: 6, Edge Intensity: 1, Posterization: 6.

Whenever I combine different objects together, I’ll usually flatten the layer first before moving on to the next set of filters or effects. By doing so, you’ll ensure that the image is similar and unified. This is an important aspect for any artwork because we should never let the viewer feel that there are two different objects joining together. Everything should be done as delicate as possible.

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Go back to Blue copy in the Channel Window and hold Ctrl + Click to make a selection for the background. Next, go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal Selection to apply the masking. When you are done, change this layer 1 opacity to 25%. This should help create a more subtle blur effect.

Step 20

Note from editor: Poster Edges, Cut Out and Paint Daubs are the main tools to use if one wish to create similar illustration effects. They can always be used on images that you wish to change from picture format to illustration. Experience a combination of these filters and be surprised by the final outcome.

If you liked our tutorial, feel free to share it with your friends or even bookmark it! Also, do check out our affordable credit prices to get images where you can create stunning works of art.

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