5 EASY Steps to Create a REALISTIC Line Drawing From a Photo In Photoshop


In this video, I’m going to show you how to
create a line drawing from a photo in Photoshop. Welcome back to the Photoshop Training Channel. I’m Jesus Ramirez. In this video, I’m going to show you how to turn a photo
into a line drawing in five easy steps. This tutorial is going to teach you a lot
about filters, smart objects, and blending modes, and even if you never need to create
this effect with your photos, you will learn a lot by following along. So, let’s get started. We’re going to work with this image. To get better results with this effect, you
want to isolate your model from the background, so we’re going to use a layer mask to extract
her from the background. So one of the easiest ways of doing that is
by selecting the Quick Selection tool and clicking and dragging over your subject
until it’s selected. Now, if you’re in Photoshop CC, you can click
on the select subject button, and you can let Photoshop’s artificial intelligence select
the main subject. It won’t be a perfect selection, but you can
fine tune it from there. I’m holding Alt , which is Option on the Mac,
and click and drag on these areas to deselect them. You don’t have to be very precise since we
are going to create a line drawing effect, so being messy is actually a good thing. With your subject selected, you can click
on the layer mask icon to remove the background. Then, in the properties panel, you can click
on select and mask. In Photoshop CS6,
it’s known as refine mask, or refine edge. It looks a little different, but the controls
that I’m going to use in this tutorial work the same in older versions. Then, you can fine tune the sliders to refine
the mask. In this tutorial, I’m not going to spend too
much time refining the selection and I’m not going to spend too much time explaining how
each specific slider works. If you don’t know how they work, I have a
tutorial just on this tool where I cover every single slider, so check it out. I’ll place a link right below in the description. But, in this tutorial, all I’m really going
to do is smooth the edges a little bit, and so that things are easier to see, I will change my overlay to black
and you can see the edges of the mask. Then, you can add contrast to the edge. Also, you can shift the edge inward and select
the refine edge tool and you can paint over her hair to extract it from the background. And, again, the video that I linked to down
below explains how all these tools work. Then, I’ll press OK. And I do want to mention that, if you’re working
with an image and you do want to keep the background, then still separate the subject
from the background and then apply the effect that you’re about to learn on both layers. That way, you have more control over them,
but in this tutorial, we’re just going to work with an image without a background. So that was the first step, extracting the
foreground from the background. Step two is to make this layer into a smart
object and you can do so by right clicking on the layer and selecting convert to smart
object. And, by the way, if you’re working on Photoshop
CS6 or older, do not convert it into a smart object. I don’t recall if all the filters that I’m
using in this tutorial work with smart objects in older versions, but they do work on regular
pixel layers, so follow along with a regular pixel layer. A smart object is simply a
shell that protects the layer and you can apply transformations, adjustments, and filters, non-destructively,
and you can delete them later
if you want to or edit them. It just allows you more flexibility, and also, I’m going to show you a really cool trick with smart objects at the end of the tutorial. Now that I have the smart object, we’re going
to move on to step number three, which is create the main drawing effect and we’re going
to need several layers for that. So, I’ll start by duplicating the smart object,
I’ll press Ctrl J, Command J on the Mac. I’ll call the original layer, original, and
the duplicate, I’ll call it, base. And it’s a good idea to name your layers so
that you know what’s going on in the layers panel. So, with the base layer selected, I’m going
to start creating the main drawing effect. I’m going to start by pressing Ctrl J, Command J on the Mac, one more time, and calling this layer, “inversion.” And I’m going to invert the colors in that
layer by going into image, adjustment, invert, and it inverts the colors, so black become white,
oranges become blue. You’re flipping the colors, you’re inverting
them. Then, I’m going to change the blending mode
to color dodge, which will make the image disappear. Then, I’m going to go into filter, Blur, Gaussian
Blur, and you can blur the layer and, as you blur, you can see that this is already creating
the drawing effect. See that? So this is basically a color pencil drawing
effect and you can just fine tune it accordingly. Remember, we are working non-destructively,
so no matter what setting I use, I can come back and edit it. Also, the settings that I use for all the
filters in this tutorial are relevant to this image. So obviously, when you’re working on your
projects, you’re working with a different image, and you may require different settings. So use the settings that I use as a starting
point, but then, with your image, fine tune it accordingly. So, in this case, I’m going to use a high
setting. I want a lot of detail, so I’ll use 31.8 and
press OK. So I don’t necessarily want the color pencil
effect, so I’m going to have to turn the image black and white and you can do that, non-destructively,
by creating a black and white adjustment layer, and this adjustment layer turns everything
below it black and white. By the way, if you want to edit any of the
smart filters, you can just double click on the label. So I can double click on Gaussian blur and
adjust it as you need. I’m going to cancel this, but anyway, I’m
going to collapse the filters by clicking on this icon. That was step number three. And now we’re going to move on to step number
four, which is applying a shading effect. To do so, I’m going to duplicate the original
layer, so I’ll press Ctrl J, Command J on the Mac. Then, I’ll drag that duplicate layer to the
top of the layer stack and I’m going to use that layer to create a shading effect and
I’m going to use more filters for that. The filter that I’m going to use is found
in the filter gallery and that filter is under the sketch section, and notice that the sketch
section has all these different filters that make your images look like different kinds
of sketches. The one that I want, the charcoal. By the way, something very important, I’m
going to press cancel. Notice that my foreground color is black and
that my background color is white. So, if I had different colors selected, like,
maybe red and green, if I went into filter, filter gallery, watch what happens with that
charcoal effect. So if you don’t get black and white, that’s
the reason. Check your foreground and background color. So, I’m going to press the D key on the keyboard
for my default colors, which is black and white, or you can click on this little icon
here, which does the same thing, and actually, I don’t necessarily want black. I’m going to double click on the foreground
color and I’m just going to select the dark gray because I want to replicate the pencil
effect. So I’ll select the dark gray, then go into
filter, filter gallery, sketch, charcoal, and notice how, now, this looks a lot like
a pencil sketch and you can adjust the sliders accordingly. In this case, I’ll leave the charcoal thickness
at 1, the detail at 5 will work great, and the light and dark balance at 50, and press
okay. Now, what we want to do is keep the black
and remove the white to merge the images, or to blend the images, rather. We’re going to use blending modes. And there’s one blending mode that hides white
pixels and keeps the dark pixels and that’s the multiply blending mode. So, with that layer selected, I’m going to
select the multiply blending mode, and notice how that blends the charcoal filter with the
rest of the design, and I’m going to rename this layer and call it, shading, because it’s
shading the hair and other parts, but not as much. And you can think about this as filter stacking. We’re really stacking filters on top of one
another. Also, even though I’m not going to do it in
this tutorial, I do want to show you that, if you go into filter, filter gallery, you
can actually stack filters from here. So, notice how we created a charcoal effect,
if I click on this icon, I can create a second charcoal effect or use a different filter,
click on this new filter icon, and stack a different one. So I can stack filters through the filter
panel, but I’m not going to do that in this tutorial. I just want to show you that quick tip. So I’m going to press cancel on this and we’re
going to continue working with this design. So that was step number four, shading. We’re going to move on to step number five,
which is making the actual lines of the drawing. So, I’m going to duplicate the original layer,
once again, by pressing Ctrl J, Command J on the Mac, and dragging it way on top of
the layer stack and I’ll call it, lines. And what I’m going to do is go into image,
adjustments, black and white, which is basically the same thing as the black and white adjustment
layer we created earlier. It turns everything black and white, but in
this case, it did it within the smart object. So I just wanted a black and white version
of that image and, now, we’re going to find the edges to create the outlines of the drawing. To do so, I’m going to go into filter, filter
gallery, and under stylize, we have this filter called glowing edges, and what you kind of
have to do when working with this filter for this purpose is imagine the image inverted. So anything that is white will become black,
anything that is black, will become white. So just imagine that these are the outlines
of a drawing, so anything that is white will become the outline of the drawing and you
can adjust the width of the lines and how bright the lines are and how smooth they are. In this case, I want them very smooth and
maybe not as bright, but of course, in your image, you’re going to have to fine tune them
accordingly, and press OK. So, what we want to do now is do that inversion
once again. This time, I’m going to use a keyboard shortcut,
Ctrl I, Command I on the Mac, to invert, which is the same thing as going into image, adjustment,
Invert. And we’re going to use the same blending mode
we used earlier, which is the multiply blending mode, which removes the bright pixels and
keeps the dark ones. So this before and after. One additional thing that I’ll do to this
layer is go into image, adjustment, levels, and with levels, I’m going to control how
dark the darkest pixel in that layer is. Remember, I said that I didn’t necessarily
want the pure black. I wanted a dark gray to mimic the pencil effect. That’s what I’m doing with this layer and
this adjustment. So, with the black point, I’m going to drag
it to the right and I’m just telling Photoshop that the darkest pixel on this layer will
be that shade of gray. Then, you can adjust the other points to adjust
the contrast and the level of detail in the line drawing, and then press OK. Now, one issue with this layer is that I got
much more detail than I wanted. So, I’m going to press the Z key and zoom
in so that you can see. You see how I got way more detail there than
I wanted? You can see it here, more specifically, in
her face. So, what I’m going to do is double click to
the side of the layer to bring up the layer style window. Under Blend If, I’m going to use the, this,
layer controls, to hide some of those pixels. See that? So I can click and drag this to the left,
so I can hide the brighter pixels, but I don’t want a sharp transition so I’m going to hold
Alt , option on the Mac, click. I split those in half and separate them to
create a smoother transition. See that? So, that’s before, and after, and I can press
okay. If you want to learn more about Blend If,
then check out my free crash course here on YouTube. I cover everything that you want to know about
Blend If. I’ll place a link right below in the description. I’m going to right click and select fit to
screen to see the entire image. So this is what this layer did. So I’m going to select the lines layers by
clicking on it. Then, I’m going to hold shift and click on
the base layer and press control G, Command G on the Mac, to put that into a group and
I’ll call this group, drawing effect. Then, I’ll create a solid color fill, make it white, and
drag it to the bottom of the layer stack. Now, that was the fifth step, but it’s not
the final one. I’m going to show you
how to make this even better. So this is sort of like a bonus step. What I’m going to do is just look at some
of the problems that arose by stacking layers on top of each other. See that? So, I can zoom in and you can see that the
eyes look great in some of these other layers, but not so good in the lines layer or shading
layer. So, what you could do is create a layer mask
and then paint with black, using the brush tool, to hide pixels in that area. So, I can select a soft brush. Let me just find one here, like maybe this
brush here, and reduce the size of the brush by using the left bracket key on the keyboard
and I’m painting with black. See that? See how when I paint with black, I hide some
of those pixels and it brings back the pixels below and then I can bring some of that detail. So you kind of have to go around the image
and select which pixels to bring back. I’ll do the same in the mouth. I like mouth from the underlying layers better
and I can disable this layer and see what changes and I can do the same thing. I can create a layer mask and maybe bring
in more detail into her eyes. I’ll double click on a hand tool, just so
that you can see what we’ve done, and I think that the eyebrows may need a little bit of
work as well. So in your project, look through your layers
and see which will work best. Now, the next thing that I’m going to do is
really going to make it look like a drawing effect. I just want to point out that I am using a
Wacom tablet. If you don’t have one, that’s okay. You can do it with a mouse, but things will
be easier with a Wacom and they’ll probably look a little bit better. So, what I’m going to do is select the brush
tool, and then select the dry media brushes and select tile ultimate pencil. Then, I’m going to create a new layer and
I’ll call it, handmade details. And in this layer, I’m just going to paint
in some details. Now, I should mention that the brush that
I selected is for Photoshop CC, so if you’re in Photoshop CS6 or older, let me show you
what to do. If you’re in Photoshop CS 6 or older, you
will not have these new brushes. Instead, you have, what is known as, the legacy
brushes now and you can’t actually see them by default in Photoshop CC, but if you click
on the gear icon, you can select legacy brushes. So, if you are in Photoshop CC, this is what
you need to do to bring back the old brushes and, obviously, if you’re in an older versions,
then you’re not going to see the new ones. You’re going to see the old ones which are
these and under default brushes, which are the default brushes in the old version of
Photoshop, you will find a pencil brush. Scroll down and it is right here, pencil. So, if you’re in Photoshop CS 6, that’s what
you can select. In newer versions, you have the option of
selecting a new brush or the old one. So, I’m going to stick with the new brush
and what I’m going do is, that in that empty layer, I’m simply going to paint and I’m going
to make my brush really small and I’m going to do some test brush strokes. So, there it is. That’s what I want. And what I’m looking at is, I’m trying to
see how big my brush needs to be so that it matches the detail of the drawing. So, in my case, about a size of 7 should work,
so I’ll undo those changes, and what I’m going to do is, I’m going to zoom in and just fine
tune the detail. So, just make it look more like a hand drawing,
so I’m just going to come in here and just like that. Just make it more like a drawing. I’m just enhancing the detail. Now, here’s a trick for you. If you press the R key on the keyboard, you
can click and drag to rotate the view. You’re not actually rotating the image, just
the view. Then, you can press the B key for the brush
tool and trace around the outlines of the image. Just keep painting these sketchy lines so
that it looks more realistic and it feels more natural, more organic, and I’m not being
very precise because I want it to look more like a actually sketch, not necessarily a
refined drawing. And to go back into the original view, press
R once again, and click on reset view and it straightens the image. Now, I’m not going to spend too much time
fine tuning these details on video. What I’ll do is I’ll pause and I’ll come back
and show you the results. Okay, I paused the video for about two minutes
and now I’m back. So this is my result. This is before, and this is after. Obviously, in your projects, you can spend
a lot more time fine tuning those details and make it more realistic. What I’m going to do now is show you that
smart object trick that I was talking about. So, we’ve been working, non-destructively,
with smart objects and that allows us to change the contents and what I mean by that is, if
you come to any of the smart objects and just double click on any one of them, they’re all
the same, they’re all linked, it will open up a new tab with the layer that we started
with and we can replace that layer with something else. So, I’m just going to go and find an image
in my library’s panel. It could be any image. It doesn’t have to be from the library’s panel. And I’m just going to drag this image in here
and scale it appropriately and I’m just going to press Ctrl S, Command S on the Mac, to
save, and go back into my working document and you can see how we applied the sketch
effect to that image. Obviously, we need to repaint the handmade
details, but the overall effect is there. All you will need to do now is come into the
different smart filters and edit them. For example, on the inversion layer, you can
double click on Gaussian blur, and change the radius and that way you can change the
detail to make it work for the new image. I’m going to press cancel, go back into the
smart object, and I’ll just delete this layer and press Ctrl S, Command S on the Mac, to
save, and go back into the document that we were working with and enable the handmade
details. And actually, I just thought about one thing
that I wasn’t planning on showing you, but I’ll show you know because it just came to
mind. If you wanted to create line paper, it’s really
easy to do. All you need to do is click on the new adjustment
layer icon and select pattern. Then, click on this dropdown and click on
the gear icon and select color paper. Press OK and scroll down to this pattern
here, which is line paper. Then, you can change the scale to 200 and
press OK. And then you can change the blending mode
to multiply and that applies a line paper effect to your design. By the way, if you’re following along and
you create something using these techniques, share it on Instagram with the #PTCVIDS. I would love to see what you come up with. Also, if you found this tutorial useful, then
hit that like button, subscribe and click on the notification button to get notified
the next time I put up new tutorial. I hope that you liked this photo to line drawing
Photoshop tutorial. Thank you so much for watching. I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

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