Photo To Sketch With More Detail In Photoshop Elements
Learn Photoshop Elements withTutorials at Photoshop Essentials.com
Written By Steve Patterson
In a previous Photoshop Elements tutorial, we learned how to convert a photo into a sketch using a technique that works great with portraits, since it tends to leave out small, unwanted details like wrinkles and other skin blemishes while focusing more on the general features we want to see in the sketch, like a person's eyes, nose and lips. Sometimes though, when working with other types of images like landscape or nature photos, buildings and architecture, still lifes, or really any image that doesn't focus on people, you'll want the sketch to include those tiny details the previous technique would ignore. In this tutorial, we'll learn a slightly different way to convert a photo to a sketch that's usually better suited for these other types of images since it often does an amazing job of bringing out fine details.
If you've already read through the previous Portrait To Sketch tutorial, you'll find that most of the steps here are the same. It's really just one change in one of the steps that makes all the difference. So as an added bonus for those already familiar with the previous tutorial, at the end of this one, we'll learn how to create the entire sketch effect from beginning to end in 60 seconds or less! As before, I'll be using Photoshop Elements 8 throughout this tutorial but it's also fully compatible with Elements 9.
Here's the photo I'll be starting with, which comes to us from the Fotolia image library:
Here's how it will look after being converted to a color sketch:
Not what you're looking for? Check out our other Photoshop Effects tutorials!
Let's get started!
Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer
Let's begin as we usually do with photo effects by making a copy of our original image. This way, all of the changes we make will be made to the copy, leaving the original photo unharmed. If we look in the Layers panel, we see our image sitting all by itself on the Background layer, which is currently the only layer in the document:
Go up to the Layer menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen, choose New, then choose Layer via Copy. Or, for a faster way to run the same command, press Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac) on your keyboard:
Either way makes a copy of the layer. Photoshop Elements automatically names the copy "Layer 1" and places is above the Background layer in the Layers panel:
Step 2: Desaturate The Layer
Go up to the Enhance menu at the top of the screen, choose Adjust Color, then choose Remove Color:
The Remove Color command quickly removes all color from the image, leaving it in black and white:
Step 3: Duplicate The Layer
Just as we did in Step 1, make a copy of the layer by going up to the Layer menu, choosing New, then choosing Layer via Copy, or by pressing Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac) on your keyboard. A copy of Layer 1 appears above the original in the Layers panel:
Step 4: Invert The Image
Go up to the Filter menu, choose Adjustments, then choose Invert:
This will invert the brightness values in our black and white image, making light areas dark and dark areas light:
Step 5: Change The Layer Blend Mode To Color Dodge
Change the blend mode of the inverted layer from Normal (the default setting) to Color Dodge. You'll find the blend mode option in the top left of the Layers panel:
This will temporarily turn the document white:
Step 6: Apply The Minimum Filter
Up to this point, the steps have been the same as in the previous tutorial where we turned a portrait into a sketch. In that tutorial, we used the Gaussian Blur filter to create the sketch effect by blurring the layer. This time, we want more detail in the sketch than what the Gaussian Blur filter would give us, so we'll use a different filter. Go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Other, then choose Minimum:
This opens the Minimum filter dialog box. Leave the Radius value at the bottom of the dialog box set to 1 pixel, then click OK to close out of it:
The photo is instantly converted into a sketch with lots of fine detail, much more than what we could have achieved with the Gaussian Blur filter:
Next, we'll darken the sketch lines, colorize it, and learn how to complete the entire effect in 60 seconds or less!
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