November 18, 2007 / Photoshop/Illustrator / Winter 2007

How Did They Do That? Image to Illustration

Written by Marketing Staff


The staff at Dunwoody High School in Dunwoody, Ga., used several photo illustrations in their 2006 yearbook, as seen on page 19 in the Caught Our Eye feature. You can follow these steps to turn a photograph into an illustration:


01. Start with an image of a person or object. The image must be in the RGB color mode untill the effect is completed. Remember to change it to CMYK before placing it in your spread.

02.In the Layers palette, duplicate the background layer so that your original image can show through the ink effect after the technique is applied.

03.Select the new layer and choose Image > Adjustments > Invert from the menu reversing the colors.

04. Go to Filter > Brush Strokes and apply the Sumi-e filter. Use the control sliders to adjust the effect to your liking. When finished, click OK. At this point, your image should look like it has black smudgy paint tracing the contours of the subject.


05. Go to Select > Color Range. Use the Eyedropper to choose some black pixels. Click OK.

06. In the menu under Select, choose Inverse to change your selection to everything but the black pixels. This will allow you to delete all other colored pixels so that only the brush stroke effect obscures the original image.


07. To change the color of the brush strokes, (in our example we made them white) select Lock transparent pixels in the Layers palette. Next, select a color (other than black) from the Color palette. Use Option + Delete for Mac or Alt + Delete for Windows to change the pixels to that color.

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Marketing Staff

Marketing Staff reports are posts compiled by the Walsworth Yearbooks Marketing Department, covering a wide range of yearbook topics.