Make a sketch effect with the Gaussian Blur filter

    Make a sketch effect with the Gaussian Blur filter

    Photoshop Filters: how to use Gaussian Blur to create a sketch effect

    It’s easy to turn any photo into a sketch in Photoshop, and you don’t have to be an artist for the results to look great. In this project, you’ll learn how to use the Gaussian Blur filter to isolate and enhance the edges in your photo.

    These edges around the objects in your image then become the lines in your sketch. You’ll then convert the colours to black and white so that the resulting image looks as if it were drawn with a pencil.

    As you work on this project you’ll see how converting the image to a Smart Object before applying the Gaussian Blur filter lets you go back later to adjust the blur to get the best looking hand-sketched result.

    How to use Gaussian Blur to create a sketch effect

    01 Make a Smart Object
    Open your original image, right-click the Background Layer and choose Duplicate Layer.

    How to use Gaussian Blur to create a sketch effect: step 1

    Name it ‘Blur’ and click OK. Right-click this ‘Blur’ layer and choose Convert to Smart Object. Converting it to a Smart Object lets us add an editable filter to the layer.

    How to use Gaussian Blur to create a sketch effect: step 2

    02 Add Gaussian Blur
    Set the ‘Blur’ layer’s Blend Mode to Divide. The image should disappear at this point. With the ‘Blur’ layer still targeted, choose Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. As you adjust the Radius, the edges in the image begin to reappear. Adjust the Radius so that you can see the lines – set it to 10 pixels and click OK.

    How to use Gaussian Blur to create a sketch effect: step 3

    03 Add Adjustment Layers
    Choose Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Black & White and adjust the sliders to get a black and white image. We set Yellows to -100, Cyans to 200, Blues to -50 and left the other settings untouched. Choose Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels and adjust the sliders to add contrast. Set the Black slider to 50 and the Midtone slider to 0.40.

    How to use Gaussian Blur to create a sketch effect: step 4

    04 Fine-tune the effect
    The lines are controlled by the Gaussian Blur filter, so double-click the filter in the Layers Panel to open the Filter settings. Adjust the image by adjusting the radius of the blur. Increasing the Radius increases detail in the image; decreasing it removes detail.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at 2:24 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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    | Tutorials | 12/06/2012 14:24pm
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