smart object

Turning a Photo into an Ink Drawing or a Pencil Sketch (in Photoshop)

In this article, we'll take a portrait photo and give it a hand-drawn touch by turning it into first an ink drawing (below left) and then a pencil sketch (right). As you can see, this guy is quite surprised at how well the technique works.

Creating an ink drawing or a pencil sketch in Photoshop

We'll start by making the ink effect using a Smart Object, Gaussian Blur, High Pass, the seldom-used Note Paper filter, another round of Gaussian Blur, a Levels adjustment layer, the Multiply blend mode, and a little bit of luminance blending. It's hardly a one-click solution, but the results are amazing. Plus, this flexible approach can produce several interesting alternative looks, including a credible pencil effect, also documented here.

Today's article is based on Deke's Techniques 026 and 027, presented by (The ink effect is also documented in video form on this site.) Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 045: Creating a Synthetic Rainbow

Deke's Techniques 045: Creating a Synthetic Rainbow

This week, I show you how to make a synthetic rainbow, one that actually looks like an actual one, in Photoshop. If I were a silly little girl, I might posit the rainbow in back of a magical prancing unicorn. But I'm a silly little boy, so I set it in back of a highly aggressive, man-eating shark.

"Pardon?" I here you say. "How do you put a rainbow in back of a shark??" Watch the video and find out.

In the meantime, here's the official description from Read more » 

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dekeSpeak April 19, 2011

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Nested Smart Objects Tutorial

I don't usually do wee-hours-of-Sunday-morning posts. But I happened upon a pingback message in my inbox. And besides, I was supposed to review some contracts tonight. (Ug, contracts.) So I felt compelled to blow off my real work and do this instead.

An article that I wrote for Layers magazine got picked up as part of a big Smashing magazine compilation of "50 Excellent Digital Photography Photoshop Tutorials." (Mine is the very last one. Many of the others are very good, so check it out.) It's all old news. Both the compilation and the article appeared in 2008. But I hadn't seen either before so I thought, what the hey, I'd pass 'em along.

The topic of the article (entitled "Nesting Smart Objects for Multimask Effects in Photoshop") is every bit as relevant now as it was last year. It explains how to take an image that requires some advanced applications of sharpening and smoothing, and achieve both using a combination of nested smart objects, which in turn permit you to apply independently masked smart filters.

Along the way I take this uninspiring bison photo (that I shot, mind you):

And turn it into the elegantly finessed one below. (Damn, you one fine, sesame-sprinkled bison, Bison.)

The one thing missing is the full-res sample file. The Layers post includes a downloadable "before" file, but it's been downsampled so you'll get different results. Which is why I'm including the full-res file here. Read more » 

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