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Help with vectorizing a specific way? Or reducing number of colors?


kuroshida

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I am trying to take some anime/video game images and turn them into a minimalistic style for papercrafting. Essentially, I want to take all of the colors in a pic and boil them down to about max 10 colors.
I want to make some papercraft shadow boxes and plan on sending each color layer to my cutter.
I've tried looking up tutorials around vectorizing/poster edges/posterize/selective color range, but none of them seem to give me the results I'm looking for.

For reference, the photos are what I'm starting with and what I'm trying to achieve.

Can anyone please help me figure out how to do this or point me in the direction of a tutorial/video?
Thank you!

991aa333237fc7b0cb83b33cc8fe9bf3.jpg

ff90b1dbb219df1774d7139772c1b5ec.jpg
 

IamSam

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Hello and welcome.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you just need to learn how to create art with the Pen Tool (sometimes called vector art). This VIDEO is not great but it will show one of the best ways to create the effect you are looking for.

Use the Pen Tool set to path to make your selection.........in this case the hair.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 6.24.42 PM.png

Once the selection path is closed, right click and choose "make selection"
Add the selection to the Color fill adjustment layers-layer mask.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 6.25.58 PM.png

The color fill adjustment layers color can quickly and easily be changed by double clicking the layer icon.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 6.26.20 PM.png

Each selection layer can be sent to your cutter as individual templates.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 6.31.22 PM.png
 

kuroshida

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Hello and welcome.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you just need to learn how to create art with the Pen Tool (sometimes called vector art). This VIDEO is not great but it will show one of the best ways to create the effect you are looking for.

Use the Pen Tool set to path to make your selection.........in this case the hair.
View attachment 105807

Once the selection path is closed, right click and choose "make selection"
Add the selection to the Color fill adjustment layers-layer mask.
View attachment 105808

The color fill adjustment layers color can quickly and easily be changed by double clicking the layer icon.
View attachment 105809

Each selection layer can be sent to your cutter as individual templates.
View attachment 105810
I understand how to do this with the pen tool, I guess I'm more looking for how to decrease the number of colors? I know there aren't very many shades in this photo, but for example, some images I want to do have about 5-7 different shades of blue in the character's shirt alone. Is there a way to basically take all those different shades and turn them into maybe 1-3 shades? So the 3 dark blue shades become 1 color and the 3 light blue shades become 1 color? Hope this makes sense.
 

IamSam

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Is there a way to basically take all those different shades and turn them into maybe 1-3 shades?
I apologize, this is a really confusing question that I feel is obvious. In your second sample image for example, the girls dress has been reduced down to one color from two in the original. So to answer your question, when you are creating the art, just use the color(s) you desire.

So the 3 dark blue shades become 1 color and the 3 light blue shades become 1 color?
Yes. Just make them any color you wish.

Hope this makes sense.
In honesty...............not really. This seems fairly straight forward to me unless I'm not understanding you. Maybe you can post a sample of EXACTLY the image your referring to?
 

IamSam

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Also, only make a selection of the outer edge of a shirt for instance. You don't need to select the areas that contain different colors or shades.
 

kuroshida

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I apologize, this is a really confusing question that I feel is obvious. In your second sample image for example, the girls dress has been reduced down to one color from two in the original. So to answer your question, when you are creating the art, just use the color(s) you desire.


Yes. Just make them any color you wish.


In honesty...............not really. This seems fairly straight forward to me unless I'm not understanding you. Maybe you can post a sample of EXACTLY the image your referring to?
I don't think I worded it quite right, as you're not quite understanding what I'm saying. I'm not referring to these photos with these questions. Let me link an actual image to clarify.
desktop-1-e1488555587432.jpg

In this photo, the sky has a ton of different shades of orange/yellow. What I want to do is boil all those colors down to about 3 colors. Is there a way to do that? I would then use my pen tool to trace around all the shades of each of those colors.
It's kinda like perler beads I guess? There's sites where you can upload an image and it'll boil down the colors to a few shades. I just want to simplify the amount of colors used in an image.
 

IamSam

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Is there a way to do that?
Yes............not sure how I can explain it any easier than I already have. The number of colors you make are determined by you and the selections you make. You are the principle tool to be used in choosing what gets selected and what colors those selections will be.

Here I have used the Cutout filter to reduce the photos sky to 4 to 5 colors. The cutout filter is uncontrolled in it's selection process which is why you would need to actually use the Pen Tool for better detail and accuracy.
Screen Shot 2019-09-02 at 7.40.55 PM.png
 

kuroshida

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Yes............not sure how I can explain it any easier than I already have. The number of colors you make are determined by you and the selections you make. You are the principle tool to be used in choosing what gets selected and what colors those selections will be.

Here I have used the Cutout filter to reduce the photos sky to 4 to 5 colors. The cutout filter is uncontrolled in it's selection process which is why you would need to actually use the Pen Tool for better detail and accuracy.
View attachment 105814
Alright, now I know what to do as you now mentioned the filter to use. That was my main goal - to figure out what to do to decrease the number of colors.
So I guess at this point I will have to use the cutout filter to adjust the colors, and the pen tool to separate each color layer.
Are there any other suggestions to make this process faster/easier? Or is this just the only and best way to do it?
 

IamSam

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That was my main goal - to figure out what to do to decrease the number of colors.
Glad that appeals to you! But in the end I think you will discover that neither of the filters I mentioned will work well for what your trying to do.

So I guess at this point I will have to use the cutout filter to adjust the colors, and the pen tool to separate each color layer.
Are there any other suggestions to make this process faster/easier?
If you're going this route, there are many other easier and faster ways to make selections from a filtered image. You can use color range, quick selection tool, magic wand tool....etc.
 

kuroshida

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Glad that appeals to you! But in the end I think you will discover that neither of the filters I mentioned will work well for what your trying to do.


If you're going this route, there are many other easier and faster ways to make selections from a filtered image. You can use color range, quick selection tool, magic wand tool....etc.
I've tried using color range, quick selection, and magic wand and they all had their pros and cons. I guess at this point I'm just gonna have to experiment with everything and try to come up with something that works!
 

IamSam

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I've tried using color range, quick selection, and magic wand and they all had their pros and cons.
Yes, but were you using them on the original image or one that has been filtered? After you use either filters I mentioned, color range will work the best and the magic wand in a close second. You 're dealing with more organized colors.
 

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