Vector drawing from photo

In this tutorial, I will tell you how to make a black and white vector drawing out of a color photo without using the Pen tool.

Step 1. Open the photo in Photoshop.

I’ll make a reservation at once that photographs in which a person’s figure is on a white background are suitable for this lesson. If you do not have one, you must prepare the existing photo before proceeding with the lesson.

Use the selection tools to separate the shape from the background and copy the selection to a new layer. Rename this layer to “shape.” Create a new layer, fill it with white, rename it to “background”. Move this layer on the layers panel so that it is below the “shape” layer. Merge the “background” layer with the “figure” layer. Rename the resulting layer to “Foundation”.

Step 2. Next, we apply the “Isohelium” correction to the “Basis” layer to get a black and white silhouette. It is quite possible that from the first time you will not be able to ensure that all the necessary details are visible on the silhouette. Therefore, we will make several copies of the “Base” layer, so that on each, using different settings for “Isohelium”, we will get a silhouette with the necessary details.

After making two or three copies of the “Base” layer, turn off their visibility. Make sure that only the “Foundation” layer is active.

Step 3. Apply Image – Correction – Isohelium (Image – Adjustment – Threshold). I used the following settings to get the silhouette base:

Step 4. Now we’ll apply a Diffusion filter to the layer to smooth out jagged edges. Filter – Stylization – Diffusion (Filter – Stylize – Diffuse)

Now, to make the edges of the image clearer, let’s go Image – Correction – Levels (Image – Adjustment – Levels), move the right and left sliders closer to the center. To make it easier to control the result, increase the image scale to 300% before applying the adjustment.

Repeat again with the “Diffusion” filter and the “Levels” correction.

Step 5. Turn on visibility for the “Osnova_1” layer. Apply Image – Correction – Isohelium (Image – Adjustment – Threshold).

Step 6. Repeat for layer “Foundation _1” step 4.

Step 7. Create a new layer, fill it with black color, move it on the layers panel below the “Base” layer. Change the blending mode for the layer “Basis_1” to “Difference(Difference). That’s what happened at this stage.

Step 8. The girl turned out quite ugly, but it’s all fixable. Make the “Foundation” layer active, add layer mask. Using the eraser, we erase the “frightening” areas on the girl’s face.

Already much better. However, in my opinion, the left eye let us down a little.

Step 9. Turn on the visibility for the Osnova_2 layer, apply Isogelia in such a way that clear outlines of the eye appear. Repeat step 4. Using the “Lasso select the area with the eye and add a layer mask.

If you are satisfied with the result, then glue the layers together.

Step 10. Now we convert our drawing into vector. To do this, create an arbitrary shape from the resulting image.

Armed “Magic wand, select all the black areas in the image. Next, click on the PCM image and in the drop-down menu, select “Form a work path“.

And now Editing – Arbitrary shape (Edit – Define Custom Shape). We give the name for the figure “vector drawing”. Do not forget to save the shape with the pattern.

Now using the tool “Freeform” in black on a white background you can draw a vector pattern of any size, provided that you have the layer shape feature activated.

Author: Eugene Goncharova

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