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Portrait image to line drawing


jcarpenter2

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Hello all. Hopefully I can get a bit of advice from you all. I have tried to search your forums to see if I could find a solution, but to no avail. The past couple of years I’ve tried numerous times to convert an image of a person to line drawing in order to engrave it or cut it on my CNC, so now its time to turn to the experts:) I have never had a success and am at a loss why. The steps I take:

Cutout the person from the background.
Desaturate
Levels to adjust the black/white
Color Dodge
Invert and apply a Gaussian blur
Clean up the speckling and lines with the eraser and paint brush
Copy into Illustrator and Image trace to give myself the line art.
Move into my CNC software and vectorize and it always looks like crap.

I've posted images showing the different stages (except the vector (which looks horrible).
I have tried various version of the above but that is the general jist of it. For my CNC I need line art and yet the speckling and shading is always a problem. What is it that I am doing wrong? Am I going about this the wrong way or I missing a step? Obviously there is a better way to do this but it is beyond me.
 

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inkpad.t

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Nice, but unless you want a vector trace of the image you don't need to go over to illustrator, it can all be done within Photoshop, hears a link i found instantly on you tube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79BEVaz4ZLU

And there is plenty more on how to do this on other versions of Photoshop and different methods to do it..

Sorry for the commentary on the video, but this is just an example only.
 

jcarpenter2

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Thanks for the link - hadn't seen that one. However, those are pretty much the steps I take to get the line drawing. My line drawings always seem to have more speckling/pixelization than i see on those youtube videos. Also, the pencil line drawings do not seem to vectorize very well from my experience, hence the reason i feel im just not doing something correct. Im missing something and I just don't know what.
 

fredfish

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I tend to agree with inkpad that it can all be done in Photoshop - but to be honest using a combination of different tools (like you are doing) will most of the time lead to mediocre results.

I suggest that you follow the process that you have been doing and then spend a couple of hours getting your head around the pen tool (including all the nuances of how to stroke a line) - and then trace over by hand your image - IMHO this will always give you better results. The Image trace tool in illustrator sometimes gives amazing results, but not often.

I suspect that if you are using Illustrator that you already have tried the pen tool. If not it really is time well spent learning how to use it.

Just my 2 penneth!

Cheers

John
 

inkpad.t

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There's a filter in Photoshop, For the life of me i can't remember what its called ( sorry at work right now ), but i think its stylize, its the only one in its category, you can use it to get glowing lines, play around with the settings , then if i remember right, invert it , and then possibly use the blend modes, if you use a smart object image you can go in to it and adjust it i think.

Some one will now better than me on that though. But sure its somewhere around the mark or on the right track.
 

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