How can I convert a photo to outlines for a painting?

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As a photographer who also likes painting I like to take photos and use them as the basis for a painting you can get projectors that allow you to trace the photo on to your paper but why go to all that hassle if it were posible to add a feature that enabled you to take the basic outlines of the photograph and print them in a light grey directly onto the paper this would make life so much easier for artists also if it could transfer the picture into a mirror immage then it could also be used to transfer the picture to boards and canvases by tracing over the outline with a soft lead pencil and using the rubdown method to transfer it
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Steve Rider

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Posted 6 years ago

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Pattie F., Official Rep

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If you use Photosohop, this works really well to make line drawings to trace or even coloring pages for kids (I've made my share)....This is not one click, but if it works for you, you could create an action to make it easier.

(this came from an older issue of photoshop user magazine -2007)

-open a photo and make two duplcate copies of the background so that you have 3 layers.

-change the top layer's blend mode to COLOR BURN and rename the layer "effect layer"

-create a hue/saturation layer above it and set the saturation to -100. click ok

-make the effect layer active again and choose image>adjustment>Invert and set the blend mode to COLOR DODGE (the image will look nearly white now)

-Chose filter>blur>gaussian blur. drag the slider until you like the effect you get and can see basically a line drawing of the photo.

-IF desired, you can then turn off the top layer by clicking on the eye icon by the layer.

-Sometimes I flatten this and then invert it

I hope that helps.

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Thomas Van Winkle

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Wow, way to much work, other program have a single click operation that outlines for ground from back ground
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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You can create a PS Action using the steps Pattie F. provided, or simply download one from the Web and install it. Either way it becomes a one-step operation. Here's an Action that has four different modes within the single action. Make sure to select Image> Mode> 8bits before running the action. Sharpie is probably the closest effect to what you want.