Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pencil Sketch Effect in Photoshop Action

This morning I surfed down the net to find pencil sketch effect tutorials. There are obviously lots of different techniques to produce this kind of effect into a photo. I followed several tuts, to compare the results and I felt like I needed to find the very quick one, yet it should have great result too. So, I came across this (relatively old) tutorial post at Jeff Flowers' Written by Jeff Flowers himself :). He wrote a smart tutorial which is very easy to follow about "How To Turn A Photo Into A Sketch".

Source Photo: Danny North on Flickr

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I decided to create a set of photoshop action based on this step by step tutorial. In Step 3, Jeff Flowers set the radius blur into 6px (Filter » Blur » Gaussian Blur), but in this photoshop action, I set it into 15px. Jeff has also noted that: this all depends on your image.

Even you will have instant graphic effect using this photoshop action set in a blink of an eye, I think you would still need to understand how this effect is produced. Because your image contrast will take part on delivering a great result of pencil sketch effect. Sometimes you will have to create this graphic effect from scratch, instead of using automatic photoshop action.

Just hit the play button on two different file of images, and see the result within few seconds. If you don't know what photoshop action is and how to install it, you can read the details at: Graphic Identity Photoshop Action tutorial before you start.

There will be two different photoshop actions in a set:
  • Pencil Sketch B/W:black and white pencil sketch effect
  • Pencil Sketch Color: colored pencil sketch effect
Pencil Sketch Action.atn (1.43 KB)
Download Pencil Sketch Effect in Photoshop Action

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  1. this method would give better results,Photo to Pencil Sketch by Tim Shelbourne:

    How to record intermediate steps into action script, which will help make this more easy, and bring us to the final part (step 10) - the sketching itself? Since a lot of functions require user input during the session, we need let user enter some settings, probably with a prompt.

  2. I've checked Tim Shelbourne's tutorial before I wrote this post. It has better result I agree, but I decided to use Jeff Flowers's technique in creating pencil sketch effect action, because it is quicker to produce :)

    You can create a Photoshop action by reading this tutorial:
    How to create photoshop action, and when you apply this to an image, be sure to turn on the toggle dialogue box in Action panel that will allow you to prompt when you need to do custom settings. (Follow the link to see a preview of toggle dialogue option)

    Thanks for reading my article post and feel free to ask if you need more help in creating this!


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